The Mysterious Case of Black DahliaThe Murder of Elizabeth Short..

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Theories and Speculations

Because of the case’s notoriety, throughout the years, more than 50 men and women have admitted to the murder and the police were overwhelmed with tips. Some even volunteered their own family to be suspects. Sergeant John P. St. John, an investigator who worked on the case until his retirement, expressed, “It is amazing how many people offer up a relative as the killer.”

Short was buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. After her sisters had grown up and married, Phoebe Short moved to Oakland to be close to her girl’s grave. She came back toward the east drift in the 1970s, where she lived into her nineties.

“Dark Dahlia”

As indicated by daily paper reports, shortly after the murder, Elizabeth Short got the nickname “Dark Dahlia” supposedly from the film The Blue Dahlia. Los Angeles County lead prosecutor agents’ reports expressed that the epithet was developed by daily paper columnists covering the murder. Los Angeles Herald-Express columnist Bevo Means, who met Short’s associates at the medication store, is credited to have coined the “Dark Dahlia” name.

Various people, none of whom knew Short, claimed to have seen her between January 9, the last time she was seen, and January 15, the date when her body was discovered. Police and head prosecutor specialists investigated each of these claimed sightings; however, none proved to be real sightings of Short.

A record in the Los Angeles County lead prosecutor’s documents titled “Developments of Elizabeth Short Prior to June 1, 1946” states that Short was in Florida and Massachusetts from September 1943 through the early months of 1946 and describes her life during this time. In spite of the fact that a mainstream depiction amongst her colleagues was that Short was a prostitute, the Los Angeles lead prosecutor’s jury demonstrated there was no current proof that she was ever a whore.

A broadly flawed talk likewise holds that Short was not able to have sex in view of an inherent deformity that left her with “puerile genitalia.” The Los Angeles County head prosecutor’s records expressed that the specialists addressed three men who reportedly had slept with Short, including a Chicago cop who was also a suspect. The FBI documents looking into the issue additionally contain a message from one of Short’s alleged sweethearts. Found in the Los Angeles lead prosecutor’s documents and in the Los Angeles Police Department’s rundown of the case, Short’s post-mortem examination depicts her reproductive organs as anatomically typical, in spite of the fact that the report notes confirmation of what it called “female inconvenience.” The post-mortem additionally expresses that Short was not and had never been pregnant, as opposed to what had been asserted preceding and tailing her passing.


The Black Dahlia murder investigation was led by the LAPD, but they also employed the assistance of many officers from other law enforcement agencies.

Around 60 people admitted to the murder, for the most part men. Of those, 25 were viewed as practical suspects by the Los Angeles District Attorney. Over the span of the examination, a few new suspects were proposed. Suspects include Walter Bayley, Norman Chandler, Leslie Dillon, Joseph A. Dumais, Mark Hansen, Dr. Francis E. Sweeney, George Hill Hodel, Hodel’s companion Fred Sexton, George Knowlton, Robert M. “Red” Manley, Patrick S. O’Reilly, and Jack Anderson Wilson.

Some speculators connected the Short murder and the Cleveland Torso Murders, which occurred in Cleveland somewhere around 1934 and 1938. The first LAPD specialists investigated the Cleveland murders in 1947 and later marked down any relationship between the two cases. New developments implicated a previous Cleveland Torso Murders suspect, Jack Anderson Wilson (a.k.a. Arnold Smith). However, Wilson died in a fire on February 4, 1982.


Short’s murder was also connected to the 1946 murder and dissection of six-year-old Suzanne Degnan in Chicago. Captain Donahue of the Los Angeles police additionally expressed openly that he thinks both murders were “likely connected” because Elizabeth Short’s body was found on Norton Avenue three squares west of Degnan Boulevard and Degnan was the last name of young Suzanne. There were also striking similarities between the written work of the Degnan payoff note and that of “the Black Dahlia Avenger.” Both used a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters (the Degnan note includes this sentnece: “Blaze This FoR heR SAfTY”), and both notes contain a comparative deformed letter P and have a word that is formed exactly the same. Convicted serial killer William Heirens served life in jail for Degnan’s murder and was suspected to have been the Black Dahlia Murderer.


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