• Thu, Aug 9 2012

Shelved Dolls – Elizabeth “The Black Dahlia” Short – It’s Not The Murder Story You Think You Know (But It Is Terrifying And NSFW)

Well, that lasted for only so long. She was soon back in Hollywood, trying to make it in the movies once again. Perhaps assuming that you need a gimmick to make it big, she began wearing only black clothing and dyed her hair a deep shade of jet black. It was around that period that she picked up the nickname: the Black Dahlia.

Dahlias are not, in case you were wondering, black. She did wear dahlias in her hair – as was a fashion at the time – though some newspapers overrated her fondness for them (they literally had her wearing a crown of dahlias). Her sister claimed, “She never wore flowers all over her head only one on her ear. She always loved Hawaii and I think it made her think of that and Dorothy Lamour.”

Here’s the famous studio shot of Dorothy Lamour that might have inspired Elizabeth:

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  • Chelsea

    Have you seen the Sissi movies? They are the opposite of her life. But the costumes were nice! LOL

  • Maggie

    Oh dear god, your ending gave me goosebumps!

  • Sarah!

    Steve Hodel wrote a couple of books about his dad maybe doing this. They are extremely interesting but you have to kind of suspend your disbelief in order to get into them. Especially the second one where he implicates his father in like, 45 of the most famous murder cases of the last 60 years.

  • BeccaTheCyborg

    My suspect of choice is Frank Sweeney, a former doctor who almost certainly committed the Cleveland Torso Murders, and was in LA at the time.

  • Sabrina

    This was fascinating! So basically, do they not even have an idea of why someone would have wanted to murder her? No secret lovers, no super bad something with her dad? Her life seems pretty unextraordinary for a murder this brutal.

  • Laura

    I love, love, love the Shelved Dolls feature! I’ve already obsessively read about all the women you’ve profiled, yet I still learn something new every time. Can’t WAIT for the Sisi article!

  • Em

    You should do Sisi, definitely. I’m in the middle of her (poorly translated) biography, and she’s really interesting. Also, bought Mitford’s Pompadour bio after reading your take on her. I really like this series of yours!

  • Matzukado

    I absolutely did NOT click on the page with the picture (my psyche is far too fragile) but I just wanted to say that as someone who has had a passing interest in this case, this article added an extra dimension that I never knew about. I’m realling enjoying this series, thanks for writing it.