Epi 38: The Black Dahlia

Heyy 2020!  We’re kicking off the year talking about one of the most brutal and culturally enduring crimes in American history – the murder of Elizabeth Short, or the Black Dahlia.

WTF Moments:

  • On January 15th, 1947, Elizabeth Short was found murdered, laying naked in a field, cut in half, and completely drained of blood. She was 22 years old.
  • Elizabeth’s dad was a dick, he “faked suicide” during the Great Depression and left his wife and 5 daughters totally fucked for 12 years.
  • Elizabeth had a tough life growing up, and when she was a young adult she got like, really pretty, and became an aspiring model/actress.
  • Elizabeth’s body was found on the morning of January 15, 1947, by Mrs. Betty Bersing, and her three-year old daughter.
  • Betty originally thought it was a mannequin due to its pose and pallor. (You know how you find mannequins in fields sometimes.) When she realized she was looking at a corpse, she immediately telephoned the police.
  • The killer ​began contacting police within a week​ of the body’s discovery. He started with a phone call, saying they should “expect souvenirs of Beth Short in the mail.” A few days later, he/she sent a package with some of Elizabeth’s personal belongings, including: Elizabeth Short’s birth certificate, business cards, photographs, and an address book with the name “Mark Hansen” on the cover. 
  • Steve Hodel, a former Los Angeles detective, has spent 23 years ​gathering evidence​ to posthumously I.D. his father as Elizabeth Short’s killer. With good reason, because his dad was sketchy AF. 
    • George Hodel (Steve’s father) basically admitted to murdering her.  He was literally recorded on tape saying “Supposin’ I did kill the Black Dahlia. They can’t prove it now. They can’t talk to my secretary anymore because she’s dead.” – oh, he was also questioned about his secretary’s random and untimely death.  
    • George was a doctor, more than capable of the precise hemicorporectomy performed on Elizabeth Short. 
      • Also, the initials “G.H” were repeatedly mentioned in a posthumous letter from police informant W. Glenn Martin referencing both the Black Dahlia murder as well as the Green Twig murder only two years later. ​George Hodel was questioned and released for that one, too​.
      • If you’re keeping track, that’s 3 separate murder’s George was a suspect in.
  • The Black Dahlia murder has been unsolved for over 70 years, but it’s certainly not for lack of manpower. Between January 1947 and the spring of that same year, 400 sheriff’s deputies and 250 California State Patrol officers tried, unsuccessfully to solve the crime. Some, think it’s because the LAPD ​was actually trying to cover it up​…. will we ever know?

What we’re drinking today: Tito’s


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