Two Thumbs Down
I cringe every time I think of this book. I can certainly give credit where credit is due here; it took some real bravery to write and publish this story and to endure the public scrutiny. However, the scrutiny was not unwarranted.
In Daddy was the Black Dahlia Killer, Knowlton claims her father was a troubled and abusive man who tortured and killed Elizabeth Short that fateful January night in 1947 while young Janice hid and watched. She further claims her father had ties to Orson Welles and Man Ray, and that, to some degree, these two were involved in the murder as well. Short’s body was then, allegedly, taken and posed in a grotesque display designed to mimic the artistic works of Ray.
I gave Knowlton’s story a chance, but by the end of the book I wanted to laugh hysterically. However, I was also disgusted. As someone who has studied psychology and human behavior for many years, the word exploitation comes to mind. Consider the elements: a vulnerable psych patient prone to suggestion, alleged repressed memories, a potentially manipulative third party with an ulterior motive, imagination, and of course, one infamous unsolved murder… it does not take rocket science to see through the bullshit here. And to top it off, the whole book reads like a tall tale with no evidence to support the finger-pointing except claims of long-repressed memories. I don’t buy it, Janice. I think it is safe to say that Daddy probably was not the Black Dahlia killer. And the claims about Orson Welles and Man Ray are hard to believe, but when you put it all together, it also does not make sense that, regardless of the posing and grotesque clown-like smile cut into Short’s face, there is no way the body was posed to mimic art. This crime has personal written all over it!
Stay tuned… there is more to consider in the case of Elizabeth Short.,