The Black Dahlia. Just the name itself evokes mystery and intrigue, conjuring images of a raven-haired and gothic beauty tragically slain at the zenith of her youth, of a gritty 1940s Los Angeles straight from a hard-boiled True Detective magazine, revealing the dark underbelly of old-school Hollywood.
Indeed, the Black Dahlia murder is one of the most enduring murder mysteries in the history of true crime, and one of the most gruesome as well. The savage killing of beautiful and enigmatic Elizabeth Short in 1947 sent shockwaves through Los Angeles and beyond, leaving a trail of unanswered questions and unsettling theories in its wake.
Today we take a deep dive into this infamous murder mystery. We detail the life of Elizabeth Short, her childhood and formative years, her move to Hollywood and her short life there. Then we explore the suspects and narrow them down to a terrifying and incredibly disturbing, figure in the 1940s Los Angeles avant-garde world, and in the end, we ask, could the death of this beautiful girl be more than an act of brutal homicide, but be a disgusting and deviant attempt at surrealistic art?
Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, and prepare for a wild ride, as we bring you: The Black Dahlia Murder, a mystery in five acts.
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Creepy Amusement Park theme by Brandon Fiechter and Derek Fiechter, used by permission and with many thanks.
Black Dahlia: The Story of America’s Most Gruesome Murder by Roger Harrington
Black Dahlia Avenger by Steve Hodel
The Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia a podcast produced in partnership between Cadence13 and TNT
Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia Murder by John Gilmore by John Gilmore