The Black Dahlia Murder

TVTERRORLAND just added this 70’s take on Elizabeth Short‘s murder in 1947.

My mother owned one of those Hollywood books that focus on the scandals and crimes surrounding the famous, and while flipping through I came upon the page with the black and white photograph of Elizabeth Short’s severed corpse in the grass.  I could not look away and would return to the page again and again, my mind trying to grasp the horror this young woman must have endured, with her butchered breasts and gaping, sliced-open mouth.

It was entirely understandable the unfortunates who discovered the murder believed they were looking at a mannequin lying in the grass…at least until they were close enough to see the wounds.

I read everything I could find about the crime and it stayed with me over the years, particularly the fact that it has never been officially solved.  The murderer either through skill or pure rotten luck had gotten away with slicing the poor struggling actress in half and dumping (or posing) her like so much refuse in a field.

The film released a few years ago in 2006 starring Hilary Swank, Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett missed the mark for me in many ways, but an unsolved murder leaves many doors open and Hollywood will walk through them all.

Information surrounding the case can be found here:

Elliott Ness–yes that Elliott Ness–believed the Cleveland Torso Murders  were committed by the same person who later killed Elizabeth Short.  He was never able to name the person, lacking solid evidence.

At one point in my digging I even tried to connect the murder of the Black Dahlia with the unsolved murders that occurred a year earlier in Texarkana.

The wikipedia scoop on those murders can be found here:

This inspired the movie The Town that Dreaded Sundown, hokey in parts and scary as hell the first time I watched it.

Crazy thought: if sightings of UFO’s throughout history are, as some believe, people from the future returning to witness firsthand various historic events, I know I wouldn’t waste my time on famous battles or wars.  I’d come back to learn who killed Elizabeth Short, et al.

UPDATE:   Have spent hours scouring many videos and websites concerning this murder, but after posting the above, I happened on the video I believe has the answer and the name of the killer (Walter Bayley, the surgeon who lived a block away from the dump site and knew Elizabeth’s sister.)   I’m convinced, and you may be after watching the following:

~ by S.K. Epperson on December 7, 2011.

5 Responses to “The Black Dahlia Murder”

  1. I’ll tell you the Elizabeth Short detail that has never quite left me. She had been forced to ingest feces sometime before her murder. I can only imagine the horror she went through before her murderer finally killed her.

    I have sent the link to your video to my email. I’ll have to set aside the time to watch it. I had never even heard of TVTERRORLAND. Go figure.

    Do you watch American Horror Story? Last weeks episode featured an alternate theory on what happened to Ms. Short. IMHO, it wasn’t particularly historically accurate, though I do suspect some random person did Ms. Short in.

    The Town That Dreaded Sundown. My grandmother (who is 87) told me that people were so scared that her father came to sit all night with her while her husband worked. I do plan to do a story on that sometime. But I want to make it really, really scary. :D

  2. Catie, check out the update I added above, the James Ellroy video. There’s a connection that’s never been discussed before and coincidences that are too much to ignore.

    I’ll have to scan and send you the material I’ve compiled over the years on the Phantom Killer. You won’t have to work very hard to make it scary. The pillowcase alone gets to me.

    • I’m sorry I’m just now getting back to this. I’m currently watching the James Ellroy video you linked to. There were three parts, so I ended up opening a you tube window so I could see it better. Ah, the horror of getting older.

      Anyway, thanks for posting the video. Fascinating stuff. James Ellroy is a lot better in this video than in the short-lived series in which he starred.

      I’d love to have the info you’ve compiled on the Phantom Killer. My email is catierhodes AT gmail DOT com. If there’s any information I have that you’d be interested in, please let me know. I am one who returns favors when possible.

  3. […] S. K. Epperson recently did a blog post on The Black Dahlia which includes a theory on the real murderer's […]

  4. […] S. K. Epperson recently did a blog post on The Black Dahlia which includes a theory on the real murderer's […]

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