Gruesome Story Of The Black Dahlia

On January 15, 1947, Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. the “Black Dahlia,” was brutally killed in Los Angeles at the age of barely 22.

One of Los Angeles’s oldest unsolved crimes is the “Black Dahlia” murder of Elizabeth Short, who was killed in 1947. It was a horrifying crime that has a reputation for being challenging to solve.

Since the Black Dahlia murder, police, the media, and amateur investigators have all dug deep into this unsolved crime and produced a number of compelling ideas.

The Black Dahlia’s murderer may never be known, yet looking over the facts in this case is still as eerily intriguing now as it was back in 1947.

The Case Of Elizabeth Short’s Murder

Elizabeth Short’s body was discovered on January 15, 1947, in the Leimert Park district of Los Angeles. A mother walking her toddler in the morning was the first to report the gruesome scene.

The woman said that at first she thought the body of Short was a mannequin because of the way it had been positioned. But a closer examination showed the Black Dahlia crime scene’s brutal reality.

Short, 22, had been slashed in half at the waist and had lost all of her blood. Her intestines, for example, had been carefully removed and placed underneath her buttocks.

Her thighs and breasts had sections of skin removed. And because she had a lot of excrement in her stomach, some people assumed that she had been made to consume them before she was killed.

The mutilations on her face, though, were the most horrifying. The attacker created a “Glasgow smile” by slicing each side of her face from the angles of her mouth to her ears.

Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department came to the conclusion that she must have been slain somewhere else before being placed at Leimert Park because the body had already been scrubbed clean.

Detectives discovered a heel print and a bloody cement sack that had likely been used to carry her body to the empty field next to her body.

In order to identify the body using the FBI’s fingerprint database, the LAPD contacted the agency for assistance. Because Short had sought for a position as a clerk at Camp Cooke’s commissary in California back in 1943, her fingerprints were easily discovered.

Elizabeth Short’s mother, Phoebe Short

Reporters from The Los Angeles Examiner phoned Elizabeth Short’s mother Phoebe Short and pretended that Elizabeth had won a beauty pageant. Only then did Phoebe Short learn of her daughter’s death.

Before telling her the horrible reality, they barraged her with as many details as they could find about Elizabeth. Her daughter had been killed, and her body had been horrifically dissected.

The Black Dahlia Murder Investigation Attracts The Media

As the public became increasingly aware of Elizabeth Short’s past, the media started to portray her as a sexual outlaw. According to one police report, the deceased knew at least fifty males at the time of her death, and sixty days prior to that, at least 25 men had been spotted with her. She has a reputation for pleasing men.

Due of her alleged predilection for wearing a lot of revealing black attire, they dubbed Short “The Black Dahlia.” This was the reason for the movie The Blue Dahlia. Short was falsely accused of being a prostitute by some, and she was falsely accused of being a lesbian who enjoyed making fun of males by others.

Short was apparently a Hollywood prospect, which added to her charm. Just six months before her passing, she had relocated to Los Angeles where she was employed as a waitress. Sadly, she had no known acting roles, therefore her only claim to fame was her death.

Despite how well-known the case was, investigators had a great deal of trouble identifying the perpetrator. The media did, however, obtain a few hints.

About a week after the body was discovered, on January 21, the Examiner got a call from someone claiming to be the killer who promised to deliver Short’s possessions in the mail as evidence of his claims.

Short’s birth certificate, pictures, business cards, and an address book with the name Mark Hansen on the front were sent to the Examiner shortly after on the 24th. A letter that said, “Los Angeles Examiner and other Los Angeles publications here is Dahlia’s belongings letter to follow,” was also included. It was assembled from newspaper and magazine letter clippings.

No fingerprints were visible on any of these items since they had all been cleaned with gasoline. An incomplete fingerprint was discovered on the envelope, but it was ruined during shipping and was never examined.

One more letter arrived on January 26. “Here it is. Turning in Wed. January 29, 10 a.m. Had my fun at police. Black Dahlia Avenger.” The letter mentioned a place. At the scheduled time and location, police waited, but the author never appeared.

After that, the claimed murderer emailed the Examiner a note fashioned of magazine cut-and-paste letters that read, “Have changed my mind. You would not give me a square deal. Dahlia killing was justified.”

Her body was mutilated when she was found

Once more, gasoline had been used to sanitize everything the person sent, making it impossible for detectives to recover any fingerprints from the evidence.

The LAPD examined more than 150 probable suspects connected to the Black Dahlia slaying at one point while 750 investigators were working on the case. During the original inquiry, police heard more than 60 confessions, but none of them were deemed to be reliable. More than 500 admissions have been made since then, yet no one has been put on trial.

Many people believed that the Black Dahlia murder was a date gone wrong or that Short had encountered a scary stranger while out alone late at night as the investigation grew cold.

The Black Dahlia murder case has remained unsolved for more than 70 years. But in recent years, a few fascinating—and terrifying—theories have surfaced.

The Person Who Believes His Father Murdered Elizabeth Short

Steve Hodel, a veteran LAPD investigator, was searching through his father’s stuff shortly after his father passed away in 1999 when he came across two images of a woman who looked just like Elizabeth Short.

Hodel started looking into his own deceased father after finding these unsettling photographs and applying the knowledge he had acquired while working as a police officer.

Hodel examined newspaper records, listened to witness testimonies related to the crime, and even requested FBI data on the Black Dahlia murder under the Freedom of Information Act.

Additionally, he had a handwriting expert compare samples of his father’s writing to some of the notes that the alleged murderer allegedly gave to the media. Though the analysis’s findings were inconclusive, there was a good chance that his father’s handwriting matched.

The Black Dahlia crime scene photographs revealed that Short’s body had been sliced in a way that was consistent with a hemicorporectomy, a surgical operation that involves slicing the body beneath the lumbar spine. When this treatment was being taught in medical school in the 1930s, Hodel’s father was a physician.

George Hodel

Hodel also looked through his father’s records at UCLA, where he discovered a file full of invoices for hiring contractors to work on his childhood house.

There was a receipt in that file for a sizable bag of concrete that was the same size and brand as the bag of concrete that was discovered close to Elizabeth Short’s body, and it was dated a few days before the murder.

Many of the police personnel who had initially worked on the case were already deceased when Hodel started his research. But he meticulously recalled the exchanges these police had with one another over the incident.

When verifying the accuracy of the book, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez obtained the case’s official police files and learned crucial information. The LAPD identified six key suspects shortly after the crime, and George Hodel was one of them.

He was actually such a major suspect that the authorities bugged his house in 1950 to keep an eye on him. Although much of the audio was unimportant, one terrifying passage stood out:

“8:25pm. ‘

A woman yelled. Woman screamed once more. The woman was not heard before the scream, it should be emphasized.

George Hodel was heard saying, “Realize there was nothing I could do, throw a pillow over her head and cover her with a blanket,” later that day. Hire a cab. passed 12:59. They believed there was a red flag. They may have discovered it now, however. murdered her.

“Supposin’ I did kill the Black Dahlia,” he continued. They were no longer able to prove it. My secretary is no longer available to speak because she passed away”.

The Black Dahlia case hasn’t been officially solved despite this surprising development, which appears to confirm the theory that George Hodel killed Short and probably also his secretaryt. This hasn’t prevented Steve Hodel from looking into his father, either.

He claims to have discovered information about numerous more homicides that may be connected to his father, casting him not only as the Black Dahlia murderer but also as a psychotic serial killer.

Even law enforcement agencies have expressed interest in Hodel’s studies. In 2004, Stephen R. Kay, the chief deputy for the district attorney’s office in Los Angeles County, claimed that if George Hodel were still alive, there would be enough evidence to indict him for the murder of Elizabeth Short.

Was The Black Dahlia Murdered by Leslie Dillon?

The case was ultimately solved in 2017, according to British author Piu Eatwell, who revealed her discoveries in the book Black Dahlia, Red Rose: The Crime, Corruption, and Cover-Up of America’s Greatest Unsolved Murder.

Leslie Dillon, a man who police briefly thought was the main suspect but ultimately let go, was the real offender, according to her. She asserted there was much more to the case than just the murderer, though.

Eatwell claims that Mark Hansen, a local nightclub and movie theater owner who collaborated with Dillon, ordered Dillon, a bellhop, to kill Short.

Hansen, the owner of the address book that had been mailed to the Examiner, was another suspect who had ultimately been cleared. Later, he asserted that he had given Short the address book as a gift.

Hansen was one of the final people said to have spoken with her before her death. Short apparently spent a couple nights with Hansen. Eatwell claims that Hansen made advances on Short despite her refusals because he was smitten with her.

He allegedly contacted Leslie Dillon to “take care of her” at that point. It appeared that Hansen was aware of Dillon’s murderous propensities but was unaware of the extent of his mental instability.

Leslie Dillon had previously worked as a mortician’s assistant, where he might have picked up the skill of bleeding a body dry.

Mark Hansen

Police files revealed to Eatwell that Dillon was aware of information regarding the crime that had not yet been made public. Short had a tattoo of a rose on her thigh that had been taken out and stuffed within her vagina, which was one particular detail.

Dillon, on the other hand, claimed to be an aspiring crime writer and informed the authorities that he was working on a book on the Dahlia case; however, this book was never completed.

Dillon was never accused of the crime despite the overwhelming amount of evidence that pointed to him. Eatwell asserts that Mark Hansen’s connections to a few LAPD officers led to his release. Eatwell feels the department was already corrupt, but she also thinks Hansen had a significant role by taking advantage of his connections to certain officers.

A crime scene discovered at a nearby motel was another finding that supported Eatwell’s theory. Eatwell discovered a report by Henry Hoffman, proprietor of the Aster Motel, while conducting her study. The University of Southern California’s campus was close by the modest 10-cabin Aster Motel.

Leslie Dillon, the man she believed was responsible for the crime

He discovered the chamber “soaked in blood and fecal matter” when he opened the door to one of his cabins on the morning of January 15, 1947. He found a bundle of women’s clothing wrapped in blood-stained brown paper in another cabin, which had been left by someone.

Hoffman merely cleaned up the crime instead of reporting it. He didn’t want to run the danger of getting into another incident with the police after being detained four days previously for hitting his wife.

Eatwell thinks Elizabeth Short’s murder occurred in the motel. Although unconfirmed, eyewitness accounts suggest that a woman who looked like Short was seen at the motel just before the murder.

Eatwell’s allegations have not been confirmed because many official LAPD documents are still kept in vaults and because everyone connected to the original Black Dahlia murder case is likely deceased by this point.

Eatwell, though, is still confident in her conclusions and genuinely feels that she has solved the grisly and enigmatic case of the Black Dahlia murder.

Although the identity of the Black Dahlia’s murderer is still unknown, these latest theories make strong arguments. And it’s possible that the information needed to uncover the truth is still out there, just waiting for the appropriate investigation.


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