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THE BLACK DAHLIA
When one thinks of the unsolved cases throughout history, the
one name that pops out is the Black Dahlia whose murder
investigation remains unsolved for the past 70 years. Ma...
When one thinks of the unsolved cases throughout history, the one name that pops out is the Black Dahlia whose murder investigation remains unsolved for the past 70 years. Many movies, songs, and books were inspired by this investigation.
On the morning of January 15th, 1947, a jogger named Betty Bersinger discovered the remains of the Elizabeth Short also nicknamed as the Black Dahlia near 3800 Norton Ave in Los Angeles, CA. The body was cut in half with surgical precision so that there was no trauma to the internal organs and bones. The body was so pale and blood drained that it looked like a mannequin. Her face was cut from the lips towards the ears to form an everlasting smile muck like the Jokers.
There was no blood near the body making it obvious that the murder happened elsewhere.
On January 24th, 9 days after the incident, the Los Angeles Examiner received a letter written using newspaper cuttings. It contained the personal items of the Black Dahlia which included shorts, social security card, birth certificate, snapshots and an old address book. Gasoline was rubbed on the letter to remove any fingerprints. Subsequently, many letters were received and one of them read Turning in Wednesday, Jan 29, had my fun with the police.
Before Elizabeth came to LA, she spent time in San Diego with a man named Robert Manley who later drove her to LA and helped her check into The Biltmore Hotel. Some people claim that this is the last sighting of Elizabeth. Others claim that after checking in Elizabeth went to a nearby Crown Grill Bar and that this was the last true sighting of the Black Dahlia.
Naturally, during the investigation, the police had a lot of suspects but the main there were
Robert was the last man seen with the Black Dahlia and hence the first suspect. However, he had returned to San Diego even before the body was found. Additionally, he even passed a Polygraph test. He was finally dropped as a suspect after being questioned under the influence of the truth serum.
He was admitted to a mental hospital after he started hearing voices.
Joseph was an Army corporal who admitted to being blackout drunk with Elizabeth in San Francisco a few days before the murder. When asked if he killed the Black Dahlia, he confessed to murdering her. However, it was later revealed that he had falsely confessed as he was on his military base on the day of the murder.
George was a highly intelligent doctor who studied surgery in medical school and was capable of surgical disembowelment. He was unmarried and had 11 children with 5 different women. He had a secret room in the house where the kids werent allowed to go.
His son, Steve Hodel who was 5 at the time of the murder, later joined the police as an investigator, was convinced that his father was the killer. He found pictures of a woman in an album who looked like Elizabeth. A forensic artist at that time concluded that the woman was 85%, not Elizabeth. However, in 2014, another artist used facial recognition technology and was 90-95% certain that the woman was Elizabeth.
The police had suspected George was the killer and had planted listening devices in his house. He was recorded saying Supposing I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldnt prove it now. They cant talk to my secretary anymore because shes dead.
Steve had tracked down an L.A.P.D. file in which a female witness claimed that George and Elizabeth knew each other. However, L.A.P.D. at that time was corrupt and the case was subsequently closed even though the police had enough proof to arrest George and later all the physical evidence magically disappeared.
In 2012, Steve brought police dogs to his childhood home and had them sniff for human remains. Even the soil samples sent for testing came back positive for human remains.
The murder of Elizabeth Short has now been officially listed as unsolved. Some people even claim that The Biltmore Hotel is haunted by the spirit of the Black Dahlia who roams the corridors of the 10th and 11th floor in a black dress waiting for justice.