The Black Dahlia, A Realistic View Of The 1947 Los Angeles Murder Of Elizabeth Short Part 1 of 3
My Personal Thoughts
After reading most of the accounts written about, “The Black Dahlia” I wrote my own opinion as to what occurred the night of “January 14th and the early morning of Jan. 15th 1947” when “Elizabeth Short” was murdered.
My opinion did not come from somebody else’s thoughts or writings even though some thoughts I read hinted in the direction of this speculation I have written but stopped at the first thought. Some opinions hinted in this direction but stopped at the hint and did not proceed. Remember, “You Heard It Here First” when you read new posting from here on into the future.
My writing on the “Black Dahlia” murder is just “Educated Speculation” and NO proof was generated to back up my final opinion as to who the killer is. I was astonished that I was even able to find any pieces at all that put the picture together of a “Quacking Duck” but enough of the factual information was gathered to create a possible finished puzzle.
The Hunter Episode
I was watching an old episode of the T.V. police drama series, “Hunter” and decided to write this article based on the “Black Dahlia” show theme of this one episode. There’s plenty of re-run channels that these old T.V. series are shown on now and one of my very favorite back in the 1980’s and still to this day is the “Hunter” show starring “Fred Dryer”.
I found out many have written about the “Black Dahlia”. I shouldn’t say “Written” because most are “Copy/Pasted” from another web site and the author reads the Copy/Pasted article then enters his/her own opinion here and there in the article before it’s posted. My article is fully written by, “Me”. No Copy/Paste here! except for one quote towards the bottom of this article.
I watched this “Black Dahlia” show and all in all at the end “Hunter’s” partner “Dee Dee McCall (Stephanie Kramer)” caught the “Black Dahlia” killer. The show started off with an old body being discovered and of course “Hunter” got the case. The old body lead into the “Black Dahlia” killing with some black mail and the “Black Dahlia” killer seeing “Hunter’s” partner “Dee Dee McCall” as the “Black Dahlia” he had killed back in 1947. The “Black Dahlia” killer seeing “Dee Dee McCall” as the “Black Dahlia” got him psycho again and he went after her at her home. “Dee Dee McCall” came face to face with the “Black Dahlia” killer and of course she whooped his ass to no end with the killers knife pointed at her throat. She put the hurt to him and cuffed him. Show over. The “Black Dahlia” killer was caught and this old murder was put in the solved column.
After this episode of “Hunter” I started reading up on the killing and found out there were hoards of stories about this unsolved murder. Sure, I’ve heard about the “Black Dahlia” case a few times in the past but never really went deep into the many readings that were out in the public. I started to read about “The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short)” and realized there were some questions I was asking that were not answered in the many articles I read about her. My article here is “Summarized” with only “Pertinant” points to tell the story.
The Questions Asked
One question is, “What Happened To Her Sister?”. Elizabeth Short went to visit her sister at the “Biltmore” hotel in downtown Los Angeles and the actual face to face visit with her sister wasn’t documented anywhere. Which sister was staying at the “Biltmore” for the visit? Was she just going to visit her sister for 5 minutes or longer? Was the sister staying in downtown Los Angeles for a job interview and then leaving right afterwards? Why didn’t Elizabeth Short spend any quality time with her sister or even see her?. The story states Elizabeth Short was dropped off at the Biltmore hotel then ended up leaving which was the last time anyone had seen her.
Another question is, “Which Person In The Vast Amount Of Suspects Knew The Area Her Body Was Dumped In And Was Going To Be Dark And Un-populated”? The area her body was dumped in only had the road and sidewalks put in. The homes were not built at the time of the murder. There were homes in the surrounding blocks around this un-built neighborhood to the North, South and East and it looks as if these several undeveloped neighborhoods plus a massive undeveloped business district to the west were the last buildings to be built in this area.
In the blocks to the west of this undeveloped neighborhood was a massive unbuilt business district. It’s approx. 6.6 miles from the Biltmore Hotel to this undeveloped dark area in “Leimert Park” where her body was dumped. There were plenty of places in L.A. at that time where bodies could have been dumped and where some bodies of other women were dumped. Murders were happening all over L.A. in the 1940’s. “Elizabeth’s” murder just went viral.
A question to be asked is, “Did The Killer Want The Body Cut In Half To Lessen The Burden Of Having To Move The Weight Of A Whole Body?”. The killer may have cut the body in half and drained it so he/she could move it more easily to it’s final destination to be found. Was the way her body ended up being laid out in the field thought of after the body was cut in half or was the body cut in half to be intentionally laid out this way? This was talked about but never taken seriously since all the suspects were cleared. Because the cut around her torso was straight and and precise the two doctors that somehow were connected to “Elizabeth” and the doctors had homes in the area where the body was dumped that lead police to the doctors being the prime suspects.
A big focus by investigators was the fact that the body was drained of all of its blood and then cleaned. Of course all the blood is going to drain out of the body when you cut it in half. The focus of investigators should have only been on why the body was cut in half. Sure, if your going to move a body and want to lessen the load then you would cut the body in half and when all the blood is drained out you would clean the body so blood won’t seep through the blanket it’s in and create blood stains on your cloth’s and in your car.
Elizabeth Short was taken to someone’s place of residence or business to be killed and then driven to the place her body was to be dumped most likely to send a message and for the publicity. The killer did get his/her publicity to the point of a timeless story that is now in the history books. It does appear the way her body was dumped and where it was dumped is completely intentional no matter if the way it was laid out was due to it having to be cut in half for mobility or not. My take on this murder focuses around, “Who Knew The Area Where The Body Was Dumped?”, “Who Was Disgruntled Enough With Elizabeth To Kill Her”, “Who Wanted To Send A Gruesome Message?” and “Who Was To Frail To Move A Whole Body?”.
I’d like to say right now who I “Think” killed “Elizabeth Short” but then you wouldn’t get the true feeling of the “Elizabeth Short” murder and not read the rest of this very lengthy story.
Elizabeth Short, “Who She Was”
We Find Out Elizabeth Had An Income Begging
“Elizabeth Short” must have had some money saved. I’ve read everyone always speculated as to where “Elizabeth” was getting her money. Everyone agrees she wasn’t a prostitute or slut and only liked getting men to buy her drinks and meals and “Not” having sex or very little. During her time in Los Angeles it seemed like she always had a place to sleep and a few bucks at any given time so she didn’t have to “Slut” herself. She always had women roommates unless she had what she thought was a permanent boyfriend or living with the other women at “Mark Hansen’s” home.
There’s nothing unusual about women dating for drinks and meals and not having to spend their own money. It was reported that “Elizabeth” called “Ann Toth” and asked “Ann” to send her $20.00 before she left for San Diego? It was indeed “Ann Toth” who paid for “Elizabeth’s” apartment at the “Chancellor”. I’m not under the impression “Elizabeth” was broke but I am under the impression she was developing into a “Con Artist” at the age of 22 to make ends meet.
Even though she was “Cheaping It” it may be that “Elizabeth” found out that living on the cheap and “Conning” people out of little bits of money and favors was a great way to stretch the bucks she had saved while she was working back in Florida. She was a waitress at a busy nightclub getting a paycheck plus tips and not paying much rent for the short time she lived with “Mark Hansen”. Remember, “Elizabeth” liked being around hoards of people. When in a financial pinch she always was able to come up with the cash, “Fast”, which I speculate within the time it would take her to go to a bank.
“Elizabeth Short” although she refused to get a job or go to school was a nice girl who kept her sex to only individual boyfriends she became close to. “Elizabeth” would have never stayed in the “Cecil Hotel” in downtown Los Angeles as some have stated because of the criminal activity and seedy personalities whom resided there. She rejected and ran from the “Chancellor Apartments” that was filled with “Seedy Criminal” personalities where I am under the impression she borrowed money she could never pay back.
Yes, she was an alcoholic like her father was and she decided “Begging” and “Bar Hopping” was the life she enjoyed the most. People, men and women liked “Elizabeth” even if they did not know her. She was becoming a regular at local bars but it looks like she found out begging was more profitable at places like the Greyhound bus station where she always had new faces to beg from.
Actually, there may be an undiscovered bank account somewhere in the banking system to this day with “Elizabeth Short’s” name on it that doesn’t contain a lot of cash but does contain cash in the hundreds. $200 back in 1947 is like $2000 now. Most unclaimed bank accounts are turned over to some family member but I haven’t read anything about her family members receiving any of her belongings left behind. Could be that a bank account of “Elizabeth Short” is sitting in state custody unclaimed? Since the homicide of “Elizabeth” was declared an unsolved murder I would take it that all of “Elizabeth’s” belonging would still be in the custody of the Los Angeles police dept. including custody of any bank account she may have had.
Elizabeth Short’s Activities In California
The Father And Daughter
“Elizabeth Short” moved to the west coast because of her father “Cleo Short” in early 1943. He faked his suicide when “Elizabeth” was very young and when “Elizabeth” found out he was in California alive she went to him on his invitation to “Keep His House Clean” in exchange for rent. “Cleo Short” was making good money for that time period and could afford to support the family he threw away but after contacting his ex wife the family rejected him except for “Elizabeth”.
The problem between “Cleo Short” and his daughter “Elizabeth” was they both were alcoholic prone. “Elizabeth” was becoming the alcoholic her father was with the controlling temper soon to follow later on in life. “Elizabeth” was her father and her father wanted someone that was “Not” him to do his cooking and cleaning. Constantly drunk was the father “Cleo” and constantly drunk was the daughter “Elizabeth”. “Elizabeth” liked to go out a carouse all night. A few months later in mid 1943 “Cleo” tossed her out of his home. I guess “Cleo” didn’t like himself. “Cleo” was always drunk too and he didn’t like to clean his own home.
Elizabeth On Her Own
“Elizabeth” found a job at “Camp Cooke” after she was tossed onto the streets by her father. She was staying out all night while living with her father so she was already trained to live off the fat of the land when her father told her to leave.
In September 1943 she lived with a girlfriend in Santa Barbara, Calif. and was busted for underage drinking. The police arranged her return back to Massachusetts.
California Or Bust For Her
“Elizabeth Short” stayed in Massachusetts and Florida until May of 1946 when she packed her bags and moved to California from Florida after a brief 10 day stopover in Chicago. She ended up at the “Washington Hotel” in Long Beach Ca.. I haven’t read anything about if she knew her father had moved to Los Angeles before her or even if she had any correspondence with him after she left her fathers house in Vallejo, Calif.. The girl must have had plenty of money saved for her journey.
Elizabeth’s Residents During Her Time In Los Angeles
Washington Hotel, 53 Linden Ave. Long Beach from July 12 to August 3rd.
Sunset Hotel August, 1 week in Hollywood
Brevoort Apartments, Lexington Ave. near Vine, Hollywood until August 27th
Hawthorne Hotel, 1611 North Orange Drive, Hollywood from August 28 to September 20th
Hotel Figueroa, Downtown Los Angeles, September 20th to October 1st
Mark Hansen’s Home, Carlos Street, Hollywood Oct 1st to November 13th
Chancellor of Hollywood Apartments November 14th to December 9th
Went To San Diego until January 9th
Aster Motel at 2901 South Flower Street January 10th to the 14th. Nobody could identify that Elizabeth stayed at the “Aster Motel” by name and the manager had destroyed all the registration cards before the police got there on August 2nd, 1947 to tear the rooms apart looking for blood residue. Some witnesses did make statements that there was a black haired girl whom laid in bed all day and occasionally came out of the room once in awhile begging for money. The police were positive “Elizabeth” stayed at the “Aster” but without a positive name ID they wouldn’t report it as true.
After “Elizabeth Short” left the “Biltmore Hotel” and left her luggage at the “Greyhound Bus Station” near “Skid Row” on “Los Angeles Street” she traveled south to the “Aster Motel” via “The City Rapid Transit” system at 10:30 pm and registered at the “Aster Motel”. This is clear because the L.A. Police Dept. was so very interested in scouring every room for blood residue.
The Mark Hansen Experience
Approx. 2 months before the death of, “The Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short)”, she moved into the groupie home of “Mark Hansen” whom owned the “Marcal Theatre” and the “Florentine Gardens Nightclub”. Her ending up in “Mark Hansen’s” home was due to his friend “Sid Zaid” who was a photographer. “Elizabeth” had no problems making women friends as well as male friends even though she argued with a lot of them.
“Mark Hansen’s” groupie home was on “Carlos Ave.” directly behind the “Marcal Theatre”. The “Marcal Threatre” and “Florentine Gardens” are located on “Hollywood Blvd.” near the “Hollywood Freeway”. There was a gate between the “Marcal Threatre” and the home so “Mark Hansen” just had to open the gate to access the “Marcal Threatre” property. The “Florentine Gardens” was down the road maybe 100 yards give or take with one other business between the “Marcal Theatre” and “Florentine Gardens”.
“Elizabeth Short” was employed at the “Florentine Gardens” as a waitress. She was only 22 years old. “Ann Toth” as told in most stories of the “Black Dahlia” is said to have been “Mark Hansen’s” girlfriend but this is untrue. “Anne Toth” had a different boyfriend named “Leo Hymes”. “Anne Toth” stayed at the “Carlos Ave” home on and off. “Mark Hansen” always helped out many young women by renting them rooms in his home on “Carlos Ave.”. He maybe gave key employees cheap rent in his home. I have personally run into bosses that help out employees like this to get good work done and keep their employees honest.
According to detective “Harry Hansen” (No Relation To Mark Hansen), “Elizabeth Short” did not have any jobs until her job at the “Florentine Gardens” when she first moved to Los Angeles. The detective stated she had a lot of men friends and dating was her lifestyle. She was not a prostitute or slut and only was seen as a social butterfly. Even “Mark Hansen” her nightclub boss who let her stay at his home on “Carlos Ave.” stated she was active with many men showing up at his home but I also read “Elizabeth” and “Mark Hansen” were having an affair and the men that showed up were just dispelled.
“Elizabeth’s” friend “Marjorie” who was also let to live in “Mark Hansen’s” home was pissing “Mark Hansen” off by drinking all of his booze and he finally tossed “Marjorie” and “Elizabeth” out. I wouldn’t doubt if “Elizabeth” was suspected of putting her fingers in the till or “Coning” people here and there to increase her take. The address book that was sent to the newspaper by the killer and stated as being part of “Elizabeth’s” belongings was stolen from “Mark Hansen” so both were kicked out for, “Missing Booze And Small Items”.
Did Elizabeth Try San Diego Or Was She Running From Glynn Wolfe?
“Elizabeth” stated she went to San Diego to get away from a crazy man. Could this crazy man be the owner of the “Chancellor Apartments” who was “Glynn Wolfe”? “Ann Toth” was “Elizabeth’s” friend stated “Glynn Wolfe” was a maniac and sexual pervert who threatened to kill her once. “Ann Toth” took “Elizabeth” to the “Chancellor” because of the cheap rent and “Elizabeth” later on complained that the apartment building was filled with really undesirable people and she wanted out and went to San Diego.
From December 9th to January 9th “Elizabeth” stayed in San Diego with a nice woman she had met while sleeping at the “Aztec” theatre. This woman who befriended “Elizabeth” in San Diego was the ticket clerk at the theater. After “Mark Hansen” told “Elizabeth” she wasn’t welcomed back at his home to live she called him again and he told her she had to wait until “Anne Toth” came back from her visit with her mother up north. “Mark Hansen” asked “Elizabeth” why she went to San Diego and she responded that she was afraid of some crazy guy that was at the “Chancellor” apartments.
Elizabeth’s Return To Los Angeles
Elizabeth Short was dropped off at the downtown Los Angeles “Biltmore Hotel” at approx. 6:30 PM on January 9th, 1947. It was reported that her sister whom she was suppose to meetup with had not checked in yet. It was also reported that she hung around the lobby of the hotel for another 4 hours then left after making several phone calls. If the reports were correct about the time she spent in the hotel lobby then she would have exited the hotel around 10:30 PM. She was seen leaving the hotel and walking south on “Olive Street”.
What you read is that this is the last place “Elizabeth” was seen before her death but this is false. Many off the cuff reports stated she was seen walking around downtown L.A. and driving around in peoples cars after Jan. 9th but most of these reports were proven to be before “Elizabeth” left to San Diego. I even read a report where she was at a bar drinking and left with a sailor who then returned to his friends house in bloody cloths but this story is “False”. Many false stories and time lines are circulating.
The problem I have with all these false stories that have been generated about the “Black Dahlia” is the “Biltmore Hotel” was surrounded by “Rapid Transit”. The L.A. Subway main station was right next to the “Biltmore Hotel” on the north side. Bus stops were frequent all around the “Biltmore” and most likely “Elizabeth Short” started making phone calls and “Begging For Money” from the hotel guests then hopped on a “City Transit” trolley to someplace. Some trolley and subway routes run between 12:00am and 1:00 am or so but I don’t know the transit schedule in 1947 Los Angeles. “Elizabeth” did not have a car so I expect she was very familiar with the “Public Transit” lines of transportation. “Elizabeth” was also very familiar with the bars and bus stations in the area since she often bar hopped them during her time in Los Angeles.
Why her sister wasn’t there at the “Biltmore” I haven’t found out yet. There’s no accounts about her sister except “Elizabeth” was suppose to meet her at the “Biltmore” which most likely now was a lie to get Robert “Red” Manley to go out of his way and drive Elizabeth from San Diego to the Biltmore in Los Angeles.. I read another statement saying before she went to San Diego she told everyone she was going to “Berkeley” to spend the holidays with her sister which was just another fabrication for some reason. “Elizabeth” is proven to lie now and again to get what she wants, she cons people, steals stuff like she stole “Mark Hansen’s” address book and she turned to begging in high turnover bus station bars and hotels. Hell, even in today’s society “Begging” is highly profitable if you can get a good spot to do it.
Elizabeth’s Situation Between Jan. 9th and 14th
There were stories about her being dead broke but I myself do not think she was dead broke. I believe she did have some cash to function on. Elizabeth was planning to move to Chicago as she had told her ex boyfriend but that may have been a ruse also to get some cash. A letter was found from “Elizabeth” to her want to be husband “Gordon Fickling” stating she was going to Chicago. Gordon even sent her $100 right before she was murdered.
In my opinion “Elizabeth Short” lived in the Aster motel and was begging for money at the “Greyhound” bus station in the days before she was killed. I have an opinion now that something did in fact happen at the “Chancellor Apartments” that made “Elizabeth” want to leave Los Angeles for a short period of time. “Elizabeth” did in fact want to come back and when she did 1 month later none of her past friends or acquaintances knew she had returned. She was spotted making phone calls at the “Biltmore Hotel” but I’m sure the calls were calls to local “Motels” to check rates and vacancy’s and not to her past friends or acquaintances. “Elizabeth” hopped on a “Trolley” probably around 11:00 am before the “Trolley’s” stopped running.
“Elizabeth” did indeed contact her friend “Ann Toth” right before Christmas from San Diego and asked her for $20.00. It’s unknown if the money was ever sent but “Begging” was “Elizabeth’s” thing and no matter who you were to her she would hit you up for money or gave you a sob story until you stopped doing favors for her.
“Elizabeth” had herself dropped off at the “Biltmore Hotel” intentionally to “BEG FOR CASH” with no intention of staying. At 10:30 pm after she had spent hours “Begging” and calling local motels for rates and vacancy’s she hopped on a “Rail Trolley” and headed south to the “Aster Motel” and nobody ever knew.
A few of her old haunts were just across the street from the Biltmore and even though there were reports of her entering those establishments between Jan. 9th and the 14th she never did. The sighting of her being in her old “Crown Bar And Grill” haunt with a nut case coming in looking for her was a month before and not after she had returned from San Diego. Actually it sounds like that nut case that was coming in looking for her is the reason she fled to San Diego. “Elizabeth” may have ripped off someone at the “Chancellor Apartments” for enough money that they were looking for her.
Many people stated they saw her between Jan. 9th and the 14th all over Los Angeles and Hollywood but some of the sightings were proven to be prior to “Elizabeth” leaving for San Diego. Nobody that saw her can say anything that cements their stories so the police discarded the claims? and some were proven not to be factual.
The truth appears to be “Elizabeth” made her way down to the “Aster” hotel via “Rail Trolley”. “Elizabeth” never did anything during the day, she laid around all day and went out at night in the 5 days after she returned from San Diego. The “Greyhound” bus station had the “Corral” bar and this is most likely where she spent her nights at between January 10th and the 14th with constantly rotating travelers she could “Beg For Money From”.