The Black Dahlia

by J-Mirabelli
the mugshot of Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short’s arrest photo from 1943 when she was charged for underage drinking at the age of 19 – even though family and friends maintained that she didn’t drink or smoke. Media coverage at the time blamed her lifestyle choices for her murder despite any evidence that she was an “adventuress” as was claimed.

Fascination with the life and death of Elizabeth Short has continued for over six decades since her mutilated and dismembered body was found in an empty lot in Los Angeles on January 15, 1947. She was 22 years old. Elizabeth has been referred to as a manipulative playgirl, aspiring starlet, naive tease, and many times as just a troubled soul. Above all, she has been immortalized as the pin-up girl of Los Angeles Noir. The Black Dahlia.

Her unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story. Hollywood has recast her tragic plight in a star-studded Black Dahlia movie. Sensational media coverage at the time twisted the facts and reporters withheld evidence in order to get a ‘scoop’ on the murder investigation.

The Los Angeles Police Department has all but given up hope of ever closing the Dahlia case most likely because her killer has probably been dead for years. Also, because the gathering of evidence at the murder scene was bungled. Yet, it is precisely the unsolved status of Elizabeth Short’s murder that gives it such an enduring allure.

Many amateur detectives have come to their own conclusions just by reading all the accepted facts available, including historical newspaper articles and law enforcement records, as well as contemporary literature.

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