Everyone has a fascination with the glamour of old Hollywood and when you combine that with the murder of a beautiful woman, an aspiring actress. You have tabloid gold. Tragically it is not a figment of Raymond Chandler’s imagination to be adapted into a lush noir movie starring Ava Gardner. This is the gruesome and sad story of Elizabeth Short.
Elizabeth Short was a 22 year old Boston born beauty, with dreams of Hollywood stardom (like millions of other girls hoping to catch a break). She was known for dressing all in black and was nicknamed ‘The Black Dahlia’, inspired by the Veronica Lake film ‘Blue Dahlia’. She was very sociable and turned allot of heads with her striking beauty. Unfortunately her beauty was greater than her acting talent, she had no luck in landing any acting work or really any work. Tragically she never had the chance to turn her life around.
On January 15th 1947, her severed and mutilated body was discovered by a mother walking with her young child. Her lovely face slashed and she was displayed so EVERYONE could see the horror done to this woman. In the days before forensics was widely used there was little clues for the LAPD to follow. What was another barrier was the intrusive tabloid press, they had a bloody field day with Short’s murder. Their behaviour was not only immoral (calling Short’s mother before she had been notified of her daughter’s death to scope for information) but detrimental to the investigation (they were at the crime scene before the police, maybe destroying evidence). The only real clues came for the killer himself , having posted daunting letters to the police. After 60 plus years, the Black Dahlia is Hollywood’s most grisly and famous unsoiled murder.
Has elected to not show the crime scene pictures or her autopsy pictures. With the fascination with high-profile murders it is too easy become blase to the fact a real person was killed. Even though you can easily find them on the Internet, I feel that seeing her mutilated corpse is unnecessary and ghoulish. Instead I feel it is more productive to focus on the human tragedy, that a young woman suffered a horrifying end and no one ever paid for what was done to her.