Sex. Beauty. Violence. Elizabeth Short, the “Black Dahlia”

Written By: Terri Pressley

Time has immortalized Elizabeth Short as the pinup girl of LA noir, and the story of the unemployed 22-year-old has inspired dozens of books, Web sites, a video game, a movie, and even an Australian swing band. The quest to pinpoint her killer has become a hobby for generations of armchair detectives.

Aspiring actress, Elizabeth Short nicknamed the "Black Dahlia," was only 22 years old when she became the victim in a notorious 1947 murder case. (The name was a bit of word play based on the title of the 1946 movie ‘The Blue Dahlia’.) On January 15, 1947, Short's body, discovered in a Los Angeles vacant lot, was severed in two at her waist and severely mutilated. The gruesome nature of the crime and the Hollywood connection made the case a public sensation.



  1. Very interesting; I had encountered this story once before, only with another curious angle: the story gets tied to the history of west coast rock music through John Philips and on to Cass Elliot and a whole string of grizzly murders that pepper the history of the Laurel Canyon Drive that figures so prominently in the history. Just google "laurel canyon and the birth of the hippie generation" and be prepared for quite a ride!

  2. I really wasn't aware of the hippie and early rock movement in Hollywood of the late 40s ....

    An amazing case!


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