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The Black Dahlia: The Case Reviewed

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posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 06:13 PM
Welcome back again ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the fourth installment of the case reviewed, the previous ones are as follows:

Marilyn Monroe: The Case Reviewed

OJ Simpson: The Case Reviewed

Anna Nicole Smith: The Case Reviewed

In This Case Review we will be delving into a very graphic murder. The murder of Elizabeth (Beth) Short, also known as the Black Dahlia. The details are very grim, but I will do my best to make them palatable.

Thank You for joining me again friends, in the this case review of:

The Black Dahlia: The Case Reviewed


(Wide World Photos)

Brief Biography

Elizabeth Short, the woman known as the Black Dahlia was born July 29, 1924 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts to Phoebe and Cleo Short. Elizabeth, known as Bette* in her hometown of Medford, was the middle daughter in a family of five girls: Virginia, Dorothea, Elizabeth, Eleanora and Muriel. The girls were brought up by their mother to be polite, proper, and independent. Virginia studied opera and performed at Jordan Hall in Boston. Dorothea enlisted in the service during World War II and became a cryptologist. All the girls were well liked and described by neighbors as having friendly personalities.

In the above they use her nickname Bette, however, she prefered being called Beth. So out of respect, I will call her Beth. As we can see here the mother taught her children to be respectful and independent. All the children were thought to be kind and respectful, pefect children. In fact Beth wanted to become an actress and make it "big" in hollywood. And she started to make good on that promise to herself.

Cleo, Bette's father, was a successful businessman, building miniature golf courses—until the stock market crash of 1929. In 1930 he deserted his family and faked his own death. Mrs. Short, who was his bookkeeper, closed the business and went to work to put food on the table. Times were hard.

Bette was a sickly child with asthma and lung problems. She left Medford High School in 1940 because of her health; the New England winters were especially difficult for her. Traveling to Florida, Bette stayed with family friends and worked as a waitress. She wrote to her mother twice a week. For the next couple of years, Bette would leave for Florida in the winter, returning home in the spring. A pretty child, Bette had turned into a beauty with translucent blue-green eyes, a stunning figure—always stylishly dressed. Her neighbors liked to watch Bette as she walked down the street. Bette talked of modeling and of her dreams to be a movie star.

Cleo, Beths' father, was reproted to have killed himself, because his car was next to a bridge. However, a body was never found. But a few years later Cleo wrote a letter to Beths mother. She never allowed him to return. However, Cleo then sent a letter to Beth.

In 1943, her father surfaced. Cleo sent money for Bette to join him in Vallejo, California. The reunion didn't last. After three weeks, Bette left and found a job at the Camp Cook Commissary near Santa Barbara. There she earned the title, "Camp Cutie."

I'm not sure if she had issues with her dad or what. It is not stated anywhere. But we know that she left early.

Bette did not return to California until mid-1946. She worked in the Boston area during the good weather and confined her winter travel to Florida with a brief trip to Georgia. In Miami, Bette, who did not lack for dates, on New Year's Eve 1944 met the love of her life, Major Matt Gordon, a Flying Tiger. Matt wrote to his sister that Bette was someone he was seriously interested in and asked his sister to correspond with Bette. He gave Bette a watch as a pre-engagement gift. "He is not like other men," she wrote her mother. Bette returned to Medford to await Matt's return. A few days after the war ended she received a telegram from Matt's mother that he had been killed en route home. "My sympathy is with you," the telegram said.

Spring of 1946, Bette headed west for California by way of Chicago where she had a brief rendezvous with Gordon Fickling, a serious beau she had met in Florida prior to Matt. In July she joined Gordon Fickling in Long Beach, California. The reunion did not work out.

Again, we see that "love" the emotion to all things was stripped away and the pursuit to find it again... Just like the Monroe and Anna Nicole cases this emotion was highly prominent. Emotions, that are important if we are going to understand this case.

People who knew Elizabeth Short described her as friendly, soft spoken and courteous, someone who didn't drink, smoke, or swear—someone stunning, who liked to appear glamorous. Ann Toth, a roommate and friend, described Elizabeth Short as “Tender. Young and tender.”

Young and tender. That is important, because this dismisses the prostitute claims. How does it dismiss this, well in my opinion: She grew up strong, smart and respectful. She was repectful of others, which in turn would mean that she would respect theory.

The next few months, Bette was broke, seemed lost, moving about. Her twice-a-week letters home continued— always upbeat, positive, not mentioning difficulties. For a few weeks in October and November Bette shared a room with Ann Toth at the home of Mark Hansen, owner of the Florentine Gardens. Bette's last Hollywood address was on Cherokee Street where she shared a room with four other girls.

December 8th, Bette took a Greyhound bus to San Diego. Bette was befriended by Dorothy French and stayed with the French family in Pacific Beach until January 8th when Bette left with Robert Manley. On January 9th around 6:30 or 7:00 PM Robert Manley left Bette at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, where, she told him, she was meeting her sister. At 10:00 PM the bell captain said good night to Bette and watched her walk into the night.

Unfortunately, what would behold that fateful night would be the murder of Elizabeth Short. The grizzly murder, that has went unsolved for far too long. This leads us to the crime scene.

*Reminder* The following is a very graphic description of what took place. Including photos that show the crime scene. There are NO pictures of Beth dead or in the autopsy room. This is out of respect. However, pictures of the crime scene will be shown.

The Crime and Timeline of the Crime

On January 15, 1947, an anonymous call to the police at 10:40 a.m. began the beginning of one of the biggest unsolved crimes in history. A woman described someone in a vacant lot on S. Norton Avenue between 39th and Coliseum. "A person needs attending to," the caller said, and abruptly hung up without giving her name. The woman was later identified and her story was later released. The story went as follows:

A mother and daughter were returning home from shopping, and were taking a short cut through a vacant lot. The mother caught sight of what appeared to be a store mannequin, albeit laying in two pieces, tosses haphazardly in the grass.

As the pair got closer, the mother shoved her daughter aside and shielded the little girl's eyes. It was not a mannequin at all but a young girl, her body not only bruised and battered but cut in half, nude, sprawled in the grass like a discarded doll.


A few minutes after eleven, Police Officers Frank Perkins and Wayne Fitzgerald in Radio Patrol Car 71 responded to the routine dispatch out of University Station... "Code 390... man down... 39th and Norton." They were not prepared for the sight that greeted them.

Perkins immediately made a call over the police radio to the watch commander at University Station, Lieutenant Freestone. "A bad one," Perkins told Freestone, describing the gouges and the mutilations. "The body's severed through the middle, and she's been cut from ear to ear." The body had been left in plain view at the edge of the vacant lot. Apparently, or the conclusion that I come to is that she was killed somewhere else and then dropped here. The reason I come to this conclusion is due to the body being on the EDGE of a vacant lot, if someone had a car all they needed to do was drive up and toss her body out. Simple, quick and easy.

Aggness Underwood, the aggressive police beat reporter for the Los Angeles Herald Express, was one of the first at the scene. The paper ran a photo of Aggie standing near her car and talking to the two policemen.

By the time Watch Commander, Freestone arrived on the scene, the trickle of cars had turned into a steady stream. The crime scene was becoming a circus. The five Los Angeles dailies had sent their people. Police from other divisions cruised by and offered their help. The inevitable onlookers appeared, some just driving by. Others parked down the street, standing on their car tops, straining to get a better look. LINK

The body identified as Elizabeth Short. It was clear that she murdered, but it was unclear who did it, where, and why.

Continued Next Post.

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 06:13 PM

(Wide World Photos)

The crime, then led to the corner. Which brings us to the Autopsy Report.

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.

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
Robert Kessler
H. W. LaChat
S. R. Moore
R. W. Rose
Fred Weller
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 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.


posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 06:14 PM

4. John D. Wade, alias Dr. J, Bass, DDS, whose photograph was shown to all waitresses and bartenders of the Crown Grill cocktail bar at 9th and Olive, Los Angeles, along with numerous photos, and his photo looked familiar as a customer to Francis Campbell, waitress (see statement), Joe Scalis, bartender of 2611 Bronson and also familiar to Bernice Smith, waitress, 915 North Vendome. Elizabeth Short and her friend Marjorie Graham and Ann Toth were known drinking customers of this bar located at 9th and Olive, which is two blocks from where Elizabeth Short was last seen alive. This suspect was caught phoning lewd conversations to a South Gate housewife by Investigators Sharp and Corsini and there questioned by undersigned. He admitted drinking in some of the bars where Short was seen shortly before her murder. No waitress or bartender or anyone else could place this suspect associated with victim. Not enough evidence for him to have commited the crime however, even if he did make lud remarks to some housewife. That just makes the guy creepy, not a killer.

5. Joe Scalis, Adson Hotel, 2611 South Bronson, Parkway 9314, was a bartender on duty the night of January 9, 1947 at the Crown Grill, the night Short was last seen alive. He was bartender on the Olive Street side. It will be remembered that victim Short was last seen alive walking in the direction of this bar as she left the main door of the Hilton on the Olive Street side. This suspect had a reputation for being high-tempered with any woman who would not date with him after closing time. When questioned at his home in the Adson Hotel he appeared very nervous and stated, “Yes, her body was found right over here” (pointing to where it was found eight blocks away) and said, “I was sleeping in a room right across the hall at the time.” But he denied that her photograph looked familiar to him as a customer of the bar.

This is confusing. The person was a bartender and obviously saw people. I doubt he would forget Short. Something also bothers me is that he stated he was in the room across the hall and he denied that he photographed looked familiar. Why would he deny it? I am sure he knew of her and that he saw her. Perhaps he saw who did it and he knew who did it. And this fact alone scared him into saying that he remembered her. He is not a final suspect, but he is definatley a possible witness.

6. James Nimmo, 147-23 Eighty-eigth Avenue, Jamaica, New York, was assistant usher to chief usher Jack Egger for the Columbia Broadcasting Company located at 6121 Sunset Boulevard before and at time of murder. Jack Egger, now an investigator for the District Attorney, states that Nimmo told him he had taken Short out and that he and Nimmo had seen her at least twenty times waiting to see the broadcast and that the last time he saw her she brought a boyfriend with her for the first time. This boyfriend identified himself at the door by showing a Chicago police badge, and he admitted them ahead of the waiting line of people. Egger states that it was after New Year’s Day, 1947 and that apparently James Nimmo had become well acquainted with the victim. Nimmo has never been questioned. See statement of Jack Egger attached. Nimmo is not a person of interests in this case review. He is just another person..

7. Maurice Clement he is eliminated in this case review.

8. Unknown Chicago Police Officer And he is not a person of interest in this case review.

9. Salvador Torres Vera- not a suspect in this case review

10. Doctor George Hodel, M.D. 5121 Fountain* Avenue, at the time of this murder had a clinic at East First Street near Alameda. Lillian DeNorak who lived with this doctor said he spent some time around the Biltmore Hotel and identified the photo of victim Short as a photo of one of the doctor’s girl friends. Tamar Hodel, fifteen year old daughter stated, that her mother, Dorothy Hodel, has told her that her father had been out all night on a party the night of the murder and said, “They’ll never be able to prove I did that murder.”

Interesting. Suspect number 3.

11. Marvin Margolis not a suspect.

13. Michael Anthony Otero not a suspect

14. George Bacos 5622 Strohmer, Sunset 7623, is the brother of Francis Campbell, a bi-sexual waitress residing at 319 South Virgil, Dunkirk 1-1949. She identified the photo of victim as a customer of the Crown Grill Bar, 8th and Olive, Los Angeles. She has stated and the records have indicated that she worked the night shift on January 9, 1947, the night victim disappeared, but she stated that she could not remember seeing victim there that night. A short time after the murder an anonymous information came to homicide, LAPD, that George Bacos had taken victim to a queer woman surgeon in the valley. Police failed to locate George Bacos and he has never been questioned. In this case review. He could have been a great suspect, but there is no other information on him. So he can only be a person of interest.

15. Francis Campbell, even though he did see the victim on multiple occassions hardly makes him a killer.

16. Queer Woman Surgeon, see No. 14, suspect George Bacos for information. Madam Chang, Chinese wealthy surgeon of San Francisco spent considerable time partying in Hollywood and San Francisco. It has been established that she is a prominent queer. Again dismissed in this case review alongwith George, with much hesitation!

17. Doctor Paul DeGaston, not a suspect.

18. A. R. Brix, M.D., 125 South Lake Street, this doctor’s card was found in the effects of victim. When questioned he stated that victim came to him only on one occasion and consulted him about his charge for treating her for female trouble and never returned. His appointment records and other records of patients has never been checked. He's not a suspect.

19. Doctor M. M. Schwartz not a suspect

20. Doctor Arthur McGinnis Faught not a suspect

21. Doctor Patrick S. O’Reilly, 712 South Pacific, Glendale was a good friend of Mark Hansen and Millie Miller at the time of the murder. Both of these friends knew victim and this suspect spent many evenings at Florentine Gardens and is known to have attended sex parties at Malibu and also with these friends. See Supplemental Reports by Investigator Johnstone who along with Investigator for California Pharmacy Board examined all of the doctor’s records and also see reports by Investigator Morgan. He examined pharmacy prescription records of numerous Hollywood drug stores. None of these records were found that connected suspect to victim. He was formerly married to a daughter of Burt Wallace, retired Los Angeles Police Department captain, which marriage ended in divorce. He later was convicted of Assault with a Deadly Weapon as a result of taking his secretary to a motel and sadistically beating her almost to death apparently for no other reason than to satisfy his sexual desires without intercourse. His right breast was removed by surgery. The right breast of victim Short was removed apparently by a person skilled in the use of a surgical knife. This is a person of amazing interest. He will suspect number 4.

22. Mark Hansen while he has a lot of theories around him, but I doubt it was him. And this concludes the D.A's suspects. You can view the entire report here:

Complete Reports

Now brings us to the fifth possible killer, a killer that did not appear in the D.A's suspect report. A report of a person who was a killer and this killer cut his victims apart and in some cases even cut them in half at the waist...

Serial killer operating in the Kingsbury Run area of Cleveland from 1935 through 1938; twelve victims attributed to suspect, an additional seven or eight victims are questionable.
Book Excerpt. LINK

And it is continued below:

Suspect sent communications to the Cleveland police. Dissection varied. Some of suspect's victims were bisected at the waist, washed, and drained of blood. All victims were killed quickly and then decapitated—an important departure from the signature of the Black Dahlia killer.

Why was he a suspect? Well lets look at what he did.

On September 5, 1934, a driftwood hunter found the lower portion of a woman's torso buried in the sand at Euclid Beach, eight miles east of downtown Cleveland. The victim's legs were severed at the knees, her skin discolored by the application of a chemical preservative.

Cut at the knees.

A year later, on September 23, 1935, boys playing in Kingsbury Run found two headless male bodies, nude but for stockings worn by the younger victim. Both had been emasculated, and their severed heads were found nearby.

Heads cut off.

On January 26, 1936, a Cleveland butcher was alerted to the presence of "some meat in a basket," behind his shop. Investigating, he was stunned to find two human thighs, one arm, and the lower half of a woman's torso. The upper torso, lower legs and missing arm were found behind a vacant house on February 7, several blocks away, but fingerprints had already identified the victim as Florence Polillo, a 41-year-old prostitute. Her severed head was never found.

What a mess and what evil.

Four months later, on June 5, two boys found the severed head of a man in Kingsbury Run, a mile from the spot where Andrassy and his nameless companion were found in September 1935. Railroad workers found the matching body on June 6, but victim number five remained anonymous, despite publication of numerous distinctive tattoos.

For further reading and the mass scale and the evilness of this man or woman in detail can be viewed here


[edit on Jun 21st 2009 by TheMythLives]

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 06:14 PM

Now its time to review our suspects:

They are:

1. Carl Balsiger
2. Sergeant “Chuck”
3. Doctor George Hodel
4. Doctor Patrick S. O’Reilly
5. The Cleveland Butcher

The Suspects Reviewed

Carl Balsiger

There was no hotel register on Yucca Street which contained the name of this suspect on the evening of December 6, 1946. He was finally located in St. Louis. Sgt. Brown went there where he was given a lie detector test and questioned. He admitted being with victim until December 8, 1946, but convinced Sgt. Brown that he was not the sergeant court-martialed. He was informed that Claude Welsh was in Hollywood at the time of the murder. It has not yet been established that he [Welsh] ever met the victim. It has since been ascertained that the sergeant who knew victim at Camp Cooke, against whom she testified in the court-martial was Sergeant “Chuck” (last name unknown). This information was secured from interviewing numerous friends of victim at Camp Cooke who worked in the commissary and information from officers stationed there in 1943. Thus far it has been impossible to find any record of such a court-martial proceedings.

A lack of evidence. A passed lie detector test. Even though he knew Beth and that he was with her for some time, he was certainly the type to hurt women. However, even though he was a hurter, no where did he kill. And in this case reviewed he is cleared. Not because of the evidence, but because of the evidence for another. Evidence that outweighs many of these people. And we move on:

Sergeant Chuck.

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.

I honestly doubt that this "chuck" would have had the coconuts to follow her to get what he "wanted". I imagine he found an easier victim and had his way with her. No reason to take revenge or risk worse by following when there are more fish in the sea. This Chuck is also cleared.

Doctor George Hodel.

Mattie Comfort, 3423-1/2 South Arlington, Republic 4953. She said that she was with Doctor Hodel sometime prior to the murder and that she knew nothing* about his being associated with the victim. Rudolph Walthers, known to have been acquainted with victim and also with suspect Hodel, claimed he had not seen victim in the presence of Hodel and did not believe that the doctor had ever met the victim. The following acquaintances of Hodel were questioned and none were able to connect the suspect with murder

With no connections and no evidence for him being here. Means that he is also cleared. Even when he said, "They’ll never be able to prove I did that murder." I personally believe this person was a drunk and person of arrogance and odd demenear, much like Drew Peterson Drew Peterson. A person who is cocky and a complete moron.

Doctor Patrick S. O’Reilly

His right breast was removed by surgery. The right breast of victim Short was removed apparently by a person skilled in the use of a surgical knife.

This is the most convincing evidence, however, this is all I have to go on and because of this. He is cleared, even though it may seem that he is a person of vengeance, anger and hate and that he would probably kill a woman just for the fun of it and that he would cut them. While it seems like a mountain of evidence, it just does not add up all the way and thus, must be cleared...hesitantly. Very hesitantly....

Which brings us to the next and final suspect.

The Cleveland Butcher

On February 23, 1937, the upper half of a woman's torso was found at Euclid Beach, almost precisely where the first (and unacknowledged) victim was discovered in September 1934. The lower trunk was found in Lake Erie, off East 30th Street, on May 5, while the head, arms, and legs remained forever missing.

A chopper and cutter. A maniac who loved to spread his victims bodies apart and on occassion place them in styles of "art", dismembered art. In close proximity.


The last "official" victims - male and female, killed at different times - were found on August 16, 1938, by workmen at a lakeside rubbish dump. The new "John Doe" was nothing but a skeleton, decapitated in familiar style, missing two ribs, plus both hands and feet. Murdered no later than February 1938, he might have died as early as December 1937. The female victim was cut into nine pieces, but all were accounted for. She had been killed some time between February and April 1938, her identity forever disguised by advanced decomposition.

The last official deaths were a far time from Beth, who died in 1947. But the case is not closed yet. The Butcher Began to spread from coast to coast. Detectives did not know if they were the same killer, but knew that they were very similar. The best piece of evidence that the Butcher killed Beth is this mailed note from The Butcher to the lead detective in 1939.

Chief of Police Matowitz:

You can rest easy now, as I have come to sunny California for the winter. I felt bad operating on those people, but science must advance. I shall astound the medical profession, a man with only a D.C.

What did their lives mean in comparison to hundreds of sick and disease-twisted bodies? Just laboratory guinea pigs found on any public street. No one missed them when I failed. My last case was successful. I know now the feeling of Pasteur, Thoreau and other pioneers.

Right now I have a volunteer who will absolutely prove my theory. They call me mad and a butcher, but the truth will out.

I have failed but once here. The body has not been found and never will be, but the head, minus the features, is buried on Century Boulevard, between Western and Crenshaw. I feel it my duty to dispose of the bodies as I do. It is God's will not to let them suffer.

(Signed) "X"

Why is it the best piece of evidence? Because it shows that this killer is moving. Most serial killers do not move. They stay in one place and work in an area comfortable to them. This note shows that the Butcher was moving places and that he was traveling. And that he was going to California where Beth would be in a couple of years….

On May 3, 1940, three male corpses were discovered in abandoned box cars at McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh. All had been decapitated, and the heads were missing; one was otherwise intact, while two had been dissected at the hips and shoulders. Killed in the cars where they lay, the men had been dead from three to six months, and all three bodies had been scorched by fire.

The killer has returned this time in Pennsylvania. Again the Butcher struck, but was it really him?

In 4 Against the Mob, journalist Oscar Fraley contends that Eliot Ness - then Cleveland's director of public safety - not only identified the Butcher in 1938, but also brought him to a semblance of justice. Dubbed "Gaylord Sundheim," in defense against libel suits, the suspect was described as a homosexual pre-med student and member of a prominent Cleveland family. Interrogated by Ness in autumn 1938, "Sundheim" escaped prosecution by committing himself to a mental hospital where he died around 1940 or '41. In the interim, he tormented Ness with a barrage of obscene, menacing notes, that terminated with his death.

The person that was sentenced to the mental institution was said to be the Cleveland Butcher. But the Butchers signiture would return in 1950. It appears the Butcher was still alive and doing well.

There is a grisly post script to the Butcher's story. On July 23, 1950, a man's headless body, emasculated and dismembered, was found in a Cleveland lumber yard, a few miles from Kingsbury Run. The missing head turned up four days later, and the victim was identified as Robert Robertson. Coroner Samuel Gerber, responsible for handling most of the Butcher's "official" victims, reported that "The work resembles exactly that of the torso murderer."

As we have seen that the world of the Butcher is filled with blood and rage for no apparent reason. Before I move on I want to present one more possible suspect.

William Heirens.


What connects him to the murder? Well for one thing he was a serial killer from 1945-1946. The most convincing evidence that anyone has brought up was that he dismembered the body of Suzanne Degnan. And that Elizabeth Short was found on Norton Avenue, three blocks west of Degnan Boulevard. Whats the signifigance? Well William killed three people, hence the reason for three blocks from Degnan Blvd. It seems like a really odd coincidnece and thats what I also believe. It is just a really odd coincidence..

But continuing along with the butcher:

It appears that the Butcher was still out. But what would link him to Beth. What is the Key evidence? How did the crime play out? Why did he choose her? What was his motive? I will attempt to recreate that night and the murder. I will show you and explain my theory to what happened to Beth and the connection that connects the Butcher to Beth. Its time for my theory...

Continued Next Post.

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 06:14 PM

*Warning the video has images of the Black Dahlia when she is dead* But they move really fast. Other than that it is important.

(click to open player in new window)

My Theory

Crenshaw district of Los Angeles, CA, a body was found to be that of Elizabeth Short. But what happened before this what is the connection?

1) She was obviously not killed in that area. Only because no one had heard screaming in the areas around him and the houses are RIGHT across the street! I am sure Elizabeth would be screaming if she was being chopped up and that someone would have come to help her. This leads me to believe she was killed somewhere else. Not in that area.

2) Remember the possible KEY witness that I mentioned above, Joe Scalis. He was mentioned to be highly nervous. When questioned at his home in the Adson Hotel he appeared very nervous and stated, “Yes, her body was found right over here” (pointing to where it was found eight blocks away) and said, “I was sleeping in a room right across the hall at the time.”

Now when you point. What is that a sign of? What is the purpose of pointing? To acknowledge that you saw something. But why would he acknowledge something that everyone knew? Everyone knew her body was there, whats the point in pointing to the obvious? Well in this case he wanted to create doubt by pointing and then following it up by saying that he was down the hall. This leads me to believe that he saw who did it and that he either knew the person or seen them frequently.

3) The Butcher did stop killing for about four years, but then he resurfaced out of the blue. Which leads me to believe that he was either A) In Jail or B) He was still killing, but was not getting attention. Before this killer was getting attention everywhere from the newspaper and then it stopped. So what better way to start again then to get back into the papers.

4) 506 South Grand Avenue – She was seen to leave the Biltmore Hotel and walk south on Olive Street by Harold Studholme, the Biltmore Bell Captain, residence, 427 Magnolia St., S. Pasadena. At night she was seen by bartender and two other persons in the Crown Jewel Cocktail Lounge, formerly known as Broox's Cocktail Lounge at Eight and Olive, Los Angeles. LINK


Here is the map which shows the route from the Adson Hotel (No longer there) and The Biltmore Hotel. Map Showing the distance which is only 4.6 miles away from each other and only 11-16 minutes to get there

5) A man stated that he saw a car pull up where her body was and park there for about 10 minutes, no lights on or anything. He didn't see anything else, but he did see a car there. This car was most likely the drop point. In that area her body ended up here: Map- Final Destination

6) Elizabeth leaves her home (point A) and says bye to bell man. She arrives at point D and from there meets the Bartender Joe Scalis. Joe serves her drinks and then probably watches as she leaves, he may have seen someone walk out with her. She exits the bar and from here, probably meets the Cleveland Butcher. He brings her somewhere and kills her. He chops her up and puts her in the car. This probably took hours and she was tortured and then killed.

7) Joe leaves the bar (point D) and then heads to his home which is at point B. He and the killer are probably arriving at there destinations at the same time. The map has been redone to fit with the current street names and everything, so things are probably off by a little bit, but it gives an idea of the crime area.

8) Joe looks to where he pointed to the police from his window and saw something strange. He probably saw the person that left with her and probably saw her being thrown from the car. To the street. The killer then drives to his Hotel, which was Joe's hotel as well. Joe was probably leaving to go somewhere and then bumped into the man and the mans car.

9) Joe saw what happened and he saw the killer. But he was afraid to come forward after all the killer was in his Hotel.

Now your probably wondering why it would be Joes Hotel. Well for one thing. That was the closest Hotel to the crime and that Hotel was were Joe was staying. And the body was found only 5 minutes away. To much of a coincidence. Also remember that serial killers will not leave the proximity of there killing. They will stay there to see their work in the papers.

10) The Butcher had won, he had killed Elizabeth Short who was a victim of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The Butcher gained a ton of attention and then left to continue his killing in other areas.

Of course this is pure speculation, but it seems to add up. I just wish I had more details, a map of the area at the time, a detailed report of all workers in the bar, the people staying in the hotel, and the detail report of distances. But unfortunately, this was not documented to my knowledge.

And this concludes my fragile theory…lol

Closing Statements

All in all this case will most likely never be solved. Only speculated upon, as I have demonstrated. Another woman of beauty, lost love and the hope of the dream. The dream was to make it big, unfortunately, she was never able to make good on her dream. And she became something more in death than she could have ever become in life.


Daddy was the black Dahlia Killer, you can purchase it here. AMAZON


Severed, you cabn purcahse it here. AMAZON


The Black Dahlia Avenger, You can purchase the book here. LINK

Two relatively recent entries to try and solve the Black Dahlia murder include Black Dahlia Avenger and Daddy was the Black Dahlia Killer, in which both writers blame their deceased fathers for the crime. The 1995 book by Janice Knowlton and respected crime author Michael Newton, Daddy was the Black Dahlia Killer, was written after repressed memories surfaced for Knowlton. As an alleged victim of incest and child abuse, he kept her memories of her life with father -- and the murder of "Aunt Betty" -- below the surface for years. The book presents several well-known facts about the case but there is nothing to substantiate the story that her father was the killer other than the author's claims. Black Dahlia Avenger is unfortunately just as flawed. This book had many excited when it learned that the author, Steve Hodel, was a veteran police detective but his initial evidence in the case turned out to be some photographs that he found in his late father's estate that he believed were of Elizabeth Short. I wish that I could say that I thought the photos were genuine but I can't. The book is a well-written and well-researched investigation into the past of Hodel's father -- and his likely crimes -- but I don't think it a presents a great case that his father killed Beth Short.

I have not read any of these books, so I do not know much about them. So I cannot promote one over the others..

Two of the best bodies of research that I have found into the case have been done by authors John Gilmore and Larry Harnisch. Gilmore is the author of the bo0k Severed, which I have always found to be one of the best and most complete investigations of the murder. Gilmore was the first to write about several aspects of the case that have since been taken for granted, including that Beth's sexual organs were undeveloped and that the Wilson / Smith scenario was the most likely solution for the crime. And while this book remains very readable (and recommended) it has, since it's release, been criticized for many errors. To be honest, I haven't really found them but then I have never claimed to be an expert on the case, as so many others claim to be. To this date, I continue to find Severed to be the most comprehensive and credible book on the case so far.

Elizabeth Short, died young and died tragically. Tortured and then cut in half, the cutting was a precision cut, done by someone who knew what the hell they were doing. This person had experience, this person had rage and this person ENJOYED what he did. Perhaps the true identity of the killer will never be known. But we must not forget the victim of the crime, we must continue to search for clues and evidence. We cannot let the dead be forgotten…

For furthering reading:
The Black Dhalia: The Movie
The Solution To The Murder
Google Timeline
Thank You for reading.

I hope you enjoyed it,

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 06:48 PM
You get a flag and a star from me for the time, effort, and information you took to put the origional post together. There were some good suspects at the time of the murder, which was similar to others that took place both before and after Elizabeth Shorts murder. It is possible that they were all related to the same person, i.e., a serial killer. This would explain why the police didn't have enough on any one suspect to say for sure that this was the person who had killed the Black Dahlia.

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 06:55 PM
reply to post by Wally Conley

Thank Wally Conely for the kind words and support. I personally believe that there is a common denominator somewhere. Its just hard finding that denominator to connect the dots. I still stand by theory, but at anytime it could be proven wrong. But until it is, I stand by it.

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 07:34 PM
I thought this was interesting!

According to newspaper reports shortly after the murder, Elizabeth Short received the nickname "Black Dahlia" at a Long Beach drugstore in the summer of 1946, as a word play on the then-current movie The Blue Dahlia. However, Los Angeles County district attorney investigators' reports state the nickname was invented by newspaper reporters covering the murder. In either case, Short was not generally known as the "Black Dahlia" during her lifetime.

I thought her name was interesting, I thought this was a neat factoid.

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 08:46 PM
reply to post by TheMythLives

What a monster thread...........Five OPs,

I never researched this before so thank you for bringing this to ATS so others and myself can learn about it.

What an excellent addition to your continuing massive anthology of your "Case Reviewed" series. So when you going to publish this mainstream?lol Great job..

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 08:53 PM
reply to post by jkrog08

lol, I know 5 OPS.. is a lot. I appreciate the kind words and the continued support. Who knows I might create a book about all these cases reviews and then publish them in a massive encyclopedia of Murders. That would be interesting, or at least I think so.

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 09:32 PM
Well, I couldn't fine the site I read a couple of years ago, it had some wild story about who did it and how, most of which I don't remember, but I did find this one. Something about some dude named Ed Burns. I didn't want to spend a lot of time reading the site but what I did read was hard to follow. I really don't know what the guys is saying at times but that could be due to typos, or some strange script the guy uses. He's got some thing going with letters sent to the LAPD and what he says made little sense to me. Here's the link, FWIW, which may not be much.


posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 09:48 PM
Bravo! This case ever since I saw it on "Unsolved Mysteries" has always got my attention. It was a gruesome murder and to someone so young with such high hopes and dreams, very very sad. I have seen all the movies and shows in regards to this and I still have no idea really what to think about who did it. I have never heard of the "Butcher" you mentioned and after reading about this "Butcher" well this person seems like a great suspect but then again who knows. I do remember seeing a program on the Black Dahlia about a year ago and it did mention the son who said his father did it. I have never really thought 100% his father did it but then again who knows. Whoever did do this had obvious knowledge imo in the medical field and or use with knives/scalpels.
I did read the link another poster gave about Ed Burns but I will have to read more about him and his so called confession.

Thanks again for another great case review! I really enjoy reading these as you already know

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 09:54 PM
reply to post by mblahnikluver

There's no doubt that the blackdahliasolution website has done some odd research that had reached some very interesting conclusions. I did some research and I am not sure that is the correct conclusions only on the ground that the conclusions are reached by theoretical evidence and guess work. WHich is what I have done in this thread. But I could be wrong, hell, I probably am. Nonetheless an interesting website and very good read!

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 12:42 AM

I went a looking for the site I was originally looking for because I remember it being a odd conclusion to the crime and thought it might be a interesting read here. I still can't find it but I came across this article:

L.A. Times

It states:

I've now been told that Los Angeles police are attempting to match prints of Hodel's father, Dr. George Hodel, to material still on file from the 56-year-old case. Short, 22, was sliced in two, drained of blood, and left in a vacant lot in Leimert Park.

Bolding mine. I don't remember the body being drained of blood and I looked through your autopsy report and don't see that. Is that true?

Also, was anyone NOT a suspect in this thing? Here's a freakin' site that has Orson Welles and Woody Guthrie as suspects, plus some others you didn't name.

Serial Killer Calendar

Well, I just spent a few more minutes looking for the site and I just can't find it. All I wanted to do was find one web site and leave a link. Seems like a simple task. It may not exist anymore and damned if I can remember what that theory was. Oh well.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 02:01 AM
MAN, you do excellent work!! I love reading your detailed work. Still reading, but I wanted to say thank you!!

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 04:23 AM
And another THANK YOU from me as well. I've re read your original post here again and picked up on a couple of thinks I missed out on the first time. As one of the other replyers aid, you did some mighty fine research to put your op together. I don't know if the moderators would agree with me, but I think you deserve some bonus points for your op here on the Black Dahlia review.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 05:26 AM
Great thread,Myth! S&F for you!
I do have Severed by Gilmore great read,I put it down and never had the time to get back into it,I think I will get into reading it once more.I agree with Gilmore that the killer was Jack Wilson I always found his death more then convenient with the LAPD closing in.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:17 AM
Myth, I noticed that in your other posts you come to a conclusion, or have an opinion of who committed the crime. In this case you didn't. Makes it that more intriguing. Thanks, good read.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 11:52 AM
reply to post by TheLoony

No the Dahlia was never drained of blood. That was a false rumor to fit it with a specific killer, I don't remember who. But the suspects were easily over one hundred. I just focused on the D.A's list because that list seemed to have the best suspects.


To EVERYONE! Thank you for your continued Support in this thread and the others. It truely means a lot and is much appreciated!

[edit on Jun 22nd 2009 by TheMythLives]

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 01:11 PM
reply to post by mike dangerously

Yea, it could definatley be Jack. I just don't know, it seemed to "easy" to me. But hey, I have been known to be Gilmore is definately good at making his case! It almost had me convinced, until I read about the Butcher and then that changed everything.. Thanks for your continued Support Mike, I know you have enjoyed the Case review Anthology! So stay tuned and I promise the next will not disappoint.

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