(Wide World Photos)
The crime, then led to the corner. Which brings us to the Autopsy Report.
Frederick D. Newbarr, would perform the Autopsy on January 16, 1947 at 10:30 A.M. and found the following details in his sworn testimony. It was my opinion that the appearance of the body was such that the death occurred not more than 24 hours previous to the 15th, probably less.
The following details, explain what Frederick saw when he perfromed the autopsy:
The immediate cause of the death was hemorrhage and shock due to concussion of the brain and lacerations of the face. The body is that of a female about 15 to 20 years of age, measuring 5'5" in height and weighing 115 pounds. There are multiple lacerations in the midforehead, in the right forehead, and at the top of the head in the midline. There are multiple tiny abrasions, linear in shape on the right face and forehead. There are two small lacerations, 1/4" each in length, on each side of the nose near the bridge. There is a deep laceration in the face 3" long which extends laterally from the right corner of the mouth.
The surrounding tissues are ecchymotic and bluish purple in color. There is a deep laceration 2&1/2" long extending laterally from the left corner of the mouth. The surrounding tissues are bluish purple in color. There are five linear lacerations in the right upper lip which extend into the soft tissues for a distance of 1/8". The teeth are in a state of advanced decay. The two upper central incisors are loose and one lower incisor is loose. The rest of the teeth show cavities. Upon reflecting the scalp, there is ecchymosis in the right and frontal areas of subarachnoid hemorrhage on the right side and small hemorrhagic areas in the corpus callosum. No fracture of the skull is visible.
There is a depressed ridge on both sides and in the anterior portion of the neck. It is light brown in color. There is an abrasion irregular in outline in the skin of the neck in the anterior midline. There are two linear abrasions in the left anterior neck. It is light brown in color. There are two depressed ridges in the posterior neck, pale brown in color. The lower ridge has an abrasion in the skin at each extremity. The pharynx&larnyx are intact.
There is no evidence of trauma to the hyoid bone, thyroid or cricoid cartilages or tracheal rings. There is a small area of ecchymosis in the soft tissues of the right neck at the level of the upper tracheal rings. There is no obstruction in the laryngotracheal passage. There is an irregular laceration with superficial loss in the skin of the right breast.
The tissue loss is more or less square in outline and measures 3 & 1/4" transversely and 2 & 1/2" longitudinally; Extending toward the midline from this irregular laceration are several superficial lacerations in the skin. There is an elliptical opening in the skin located 3/4" to the left of the left nipple. The opening measures 2 & 3/4" in a transverse direction and 1 & 1/4" in a longitudinal direction in its midportion. The margins of these wounds show no appreciable discoloration.
The doctor then stated or elaborated upon the severing of the body:
The trunk is completely severed by an incision which is almost straight through the abdomen severing the intestine at the duodenum and through the soft tissues of the abdomen passing through the intervertebral disk between the 2nd and 3rd lumbar vertebra. There is very little ecchymosis along the tract of the incision. There is a gaping laceration 4 & 1/2" which extends longitudinally from the umbilicus to the suprapubic area. On both sides of this laceration there are multiple superficial lacerations. There are multiple criss cross lacerations in the suprapubic area which extend through the skin and soft tissues. No ecchymosis is seen.
He then stated that the cause of death was due to a blow to the head and the lacerations on the face.
VERDICT OF CORONER'S JURY
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, County of Los Angeles
In the Matter of the Inquisition upon the body of
Elizabeth Short, Deceased,
Before BEN H. BROWN, Coroner.
We, the Jurors, summoned to appear before the Coroner of Los Angeles County at room 102, Hall of Justice, Los Angeles County, California, on the 22nd day of January A.D. 1947, to inquire into the cause of the death of Elizabeth Short, having been duly sworn according to law, and having made such inquisition and hearing the testimony adduced, upon our oaths, each and all do say that we find that the deceased was named Elizabeth Short, a female, single, native of Mass., aged about 22 years, and that she came to her death found on the 15th day of January, 1947 at Norton St. Between 39th and Coliseum Drive, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, and that this death was caused by hemorrhage and shock due to concussion of the brain and lacerations of face; and from the testimony introduced we find said injuries to have been inflicted on the deceased by some person or persons unknown at this time to this jury and at some location unknown to this jury; and we find this to be a homicide and recommend that every effort be made to apprehend the perpetrator or perpetrators responsible therefor, all of which we duly certify by this inquisition in writing, by us signed this 22nd day of January, 1947.
Choteau W. Paul, Foreman
Paul I. Todd
H. W. LaChat
S. R. Moore
R. W. Rose
H. E. Brier
F. D. Tucker
Who could have committed this murder? And better yet why did they commit this murder? Which leads us to the suspects.
The District Attorneys list of suspects was many.
1. Carl Balsiger
2. C. Welsh
3. Sergeant “Chuck” name unknown
4. John D. Wade
5. Joe Scalis
6. James Nimmo
7. Maurice Clement
8. A Chicago police officer
9. Salvador Torres Vera
10. Doctor George Hodel
11. Marvin Margolis
12. Glenn Wolf
13. Michael Anthony Otero
14. George Bacos
15. Francis Campbell
16. Queer Woman Surgeon
17. Doctor Paul DeGaston
18. Doctor A. E. Brix
19. Doctor M. M. Schwartz
20. Doctor Artnur McGinnis Faught
21. Doctor Patrick S. O’Reilly
22. Mark Hansen
There are detailed reports for each, I will list all of the reports of the people for your convenience.
1. Carl Balsiger, in February, 1943 was stationed at Camp Cooke at the same time as Beth Short. She was employed there in the commissary. When questioned by police on January 20, 1947, he stated he first met victim at real estate office on Sunset Boulevard on December 6, 1946, that she moved out of the Chancellor Hotel that date and that he took her in his car on a business trip to Camarillo, California where he made a sale of supplies to a baker. They returned to Los Angeles the same day and then signed his name for a room for victim at a hotel on Yucca Street, Hollywood. That on December 7, he took her down to the bus station in Hollywood where she said she was going to take a bus San Francisco to see her sister.
He said that he had no sexual relations with her; he just felt sorry for her. This story was not believed as the facts indicated that the victim took a bus to San Diego on December 9, 1946. It was established that this suspect on two occasions had given different women vicious beatings apparently for no good reason and that a young twenty-two year old woman by the name of Dorothy Welsh with whom he had attended a school in Kansas City was murdered in that city in 1941 in a similar manner to victim Short. Read the entire article here.
Carl Balsiger, a person of high interest and a person that has made moved into the top five of definate suspects in this case review.
2. Claude Welsh, in 1941 was acquitted by Superior Court jury of the murder of his sister, Dorothy, age twenty-two, in the city of Kansas City. Her body was cut by a sharp knife, a piece of flesh was cut from her buttocks and left on the ground near an open window in the victim’s bedroom where the suspect had apparently made his escape. This suspect’s fingerprints were in the room but standing alone were not sufficient evidence for conviction. There is now information that he was in Hollywood at the time of the murder of victim Short, however it has never been established that he knew the victim. Kansas City police have failed to send complete information on this suspect as they had agreed to do. The investigation of this suspect is still pending.
Claude Welsh another suspect of interest for his fancy in knives and his prior use of a knife in the killing of his sister. However, due to reports of him being in hollywood this suspect doesn't hold enough weight.
3. Sergeant “Chuck” (last name unknown) was seen with victim on numerous occasions at Camp Cooke in the spring of 1943. She testified that he had assaulted her to the court-martial proceedings there and he was ordered overseas as a result of it. She attempted to obtain his personal property which it was necessary for him to leave behind. It is agreed by investigators that this could be a revenge murder committed by such a person as Sgt. “Chuck”. Thus far numerous associates of victim at Camp Cooke have been interviewed and a search has been made for the records of this court-martial proceedings which would reveal the full name, background and information of this suspect. Thus far they have not been found. The investigation of this suspect is pending. See Los Angeles Police Department reports.
Camp Cooke? Sounds familiar doesn't it? It should because Beth had spent some time in Camp Cooke. For this reason alone Sergeant "Chuck" is a person of high interest and has been moved to number 2.