The Black Dahlia Judge Eckert Judicial Function Pueblo Community College Abstract In the following paper I will be sharing the Elizabeth Short (Black Dahlia) case that took place in Los Angeles, in 1947. This case was so famous because the case was unsolved, the woman was beautiful, and the murder was so gruesome. On January 15, 1947 her body was found sliced in half and her body mutilated. A few days after the murder her killer called and said he would be sending her belongings. 0 days after the murder a package was delivered to the Examiner newspaper with Elizabeth’s belongings inside. The killer sent letters to the police and continued to toy with them till he sent a final letter declaring he would not reveal his identity. Media from all over the world wanted a piece of this story and the story was headlining for weeks. The story still gets attention from books and movies, but has slowed down since no other evidence has been found. Even though her killer hasn’t been found a case is important no matter what. The Black Dahlia
On January 15, 1947, in a Los Angeles vacant lot, the mutilated body of a woman was found by Betty Bersinger and her 3 year old daughter (Elizabeth Short, Page 2). The victim had been sliced in half, beaten, and her intestines had been removed. The killer also slashed 3 inch gashes into the corners of her mouth, drained her body of blood, cut off her nipples, and put grass up her vagina. Bruising around her wrists and ankles indicated she had been bound with rope and tortured. At the scene, the body was washed clean of evidence and was lying top of dew determining she was killed elsewhere.
Her murderer cleaned her body so well you could see the bristle marks from a brush. The only real evidence at the crime scene was a tire track, a bloody heel mark in this tire mark, and there was a paper cement sack with blood on it. The main detectives on the Black Dahlia case were Harry Hansen and Finis Brown. The detectives gathered her finger prints and identified the woman as Elizabeth Short. At this point the media was all over this story. The Examiner reporters used this information to call Short’s mother and inform her Short had won a beauty contest.
Before revealing the true reason they called the reporters gathered as much information as they could before informing her of her daughter’s death. The cause of death was hemorrhage and shock due to blows to the head and face (Scheeres, Page 3). Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia, was a beautiful woman who was aspiring to become an actress in Hollywood. She was born on July 29, 1924, in Hyde Park, Massachusetts. She got the name “Black Dahlia” because of her black hair and black wardrobe. She spent a lot of her time in radio stations, bars, and nightclubs with new acquaintances.
Her friends described her as the type of woman who got a lot of attention from men and went on a lot of dates. She depended on small jobs and the men she was around to support her. And as many men as she dated, it is hard to say which and if one of the men murdered her. The last time anyone saw Elizabeth was around 10:00 pm at the Biltmore Hotel on January 09, 1947. A couple days after the murder, the murderer called Jimmy Richardson, city editor of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and described the mutilation to the body and said he would send the police Shorts belongings.
The personal belongings were photographs, her social security card, birth certificate, and an address book. The murderer sent other letters to toy with the police officers. Than finally, the killer sent a final letter stating “Have changed my mind. You would not give me a square deal. Dahlia killing was justified”. There were over 75 suspects in the Black Dahlia case but a lot of those suspects got thrown out. The main suspects in her case were Robert Manley, Mark Hansen, Cleo Short, Carl Balsiger, and George W. Welsh, Jr.
Robert Manley was the first suspect in her case because he was the last person to be with Elizabeth outside of the Biltmore Hotel. He was also given truth serum and found not guilty. In 1949, suspects testified in front of the Grand Jury and did not find anyone guilty. The case continued to be investigated but the Grand Jury stopped issuing progress reports by 1950. Sadly, this case has never been solved, but the media has always covered this case. When the murder was released the police and newspapers got tips and as well as confessions for Elizabeth’s death.
For weeks this story was headlining papers and had citizens in a worry. Even today this case is so popular it has even made its way into movies and books(Who Was Elizabeth Short? , Page 4. ) This case is important because a young woman’s life was taken and no one has been found guilty of her murder. Every case is important, especially when searching for someone as twisted as Short’s killer. No one wants someone like that around others in society. Even though Short’s murderer is probably dead, it is always important to close a case for the sake of the victim and their family.
References Elizabeth Short: The Black Dahlia. (n. d. ). Crime and Investigation Network. Retrieved February 7, 2013, from http://www. crimeandinvestigation. co. uk/crime-files/elizabeth-short-the-black-dahlia/biography. html Scheeres, J. (n. d. ). The Black Dahlia Story. truTV. com. Retrieved February 7, 2013, from http://www. trutv. com/library/crime/notorious_murders/famous/dahlia/index_1. html Who Was Elizabeth Short? (n. d. ). The Black Dahlia Website. Retrieved February 7, 2013, from http://www. bethshort. com/about-beth. php
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