She Was A Good Girl
She Was A Good Girl!
After identifying the remains of her daughter, Elizabeth (“Betty”) Short
Los Angeles, California
Jan. 15, 1947: The mutilated remains of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short are found in Los Angeles. Her murder remains unsolved.
There’s never been a shortage of suspects in the Black Dahlia murder — but police have never been able to pin the crime on any of them.
After the mutilated body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short — cut in half at the waist and drained of blood — was found in a vacant Los Angeles lot on this day, Jan. 15, in 1947, dozens of people confessed to killing the woman who newspapers dubbed “the Black Dahlia.”
It became the most sensational murder story in a city rife with sensational murders, and fame-seekers all over town wanted to play a part. Over the years, the number of people claiming responsibility grew to hundreds, most of whom detectives ruled out almost immediately.
One promising admission came a few weeks after the murder, from an Army corporal who said he had been drinking with Short in San Francisco a few days before her body was discovered — then blacked out, with no memory of his activity until he came to again in a cab outside New York’s Penn Station. (Short, an aspiring movie star, had a fondness for servicemen, according to The Black Dahlia, the James Ellroy novel based on her murder.)
Asked if he thought he had committed the murder, the corporal said yes, and became a prime suspect until evidence emerged that he had actually been on his military base the day of Short’s death.
Then there was the woman who became convinced — in 1991, after therapy chipped away at 40-year-old repressed memories — that her late father was the murderer. Police dug up the yard of her childhood home, where she believed they’d find his weapons or the remains of other victims. They did find a rusty knife, farm tools, and costume jewelry — but no evidence to tie him to the Black Dahlia case or any other murders.