The Black Dahlia: A Gruesome Murder Mystery Hollywood Just Can’t Quit
The brutal slaying of Elizabeth Short, aka the “Black Dahlia,” is far stranger than any fiction.
Jack the Ripper remains the most notorious real-world fiend to have never been identified, much less apprehended. Yet the most famous unsolved murder case, at least stateside, is that of the “Black Dahlia,” aka Elizabeth Short, whose body was found in Los Angeles’ Leimert Park in January 1947. That 73-year-old slaying continues to baffle and inspire in equal measure, and audiences can taste of its macabre mystery with such works as James Ellroy’s classic 1987 neo-noir novel The Black Dahlia, and Brian De Palma’s vastly inferior 2006 film adaptation of that tome, as well as TNT's I Am the Night, a six-part miniseries from the Wonder Woman team of director Patty Jenkins and star Chris Pine.
As is so often the case, the truth about the Black Dahlia is far stranger than any fiction.
The story of the Black Dahlia begins not in Los Angeles but, rather, in Boston, where Elizabeth Short was born and spent her first 15 years, until nagging respiratory problems convinced her mother, now single because her husband had faked his own suicide and started a new life elsewhere, to ship her off to the warmer climates of Florida.