In 1947, housewifeÂ Betty Bersinger was walking down a residential block in LA with her 3 year old daughter. She was on her way to pick up a pair of shoes at the shoe repair man’s. She saw something in the street that she assumed was a discarded mannequin.
I know this seems like a crazy notion now – how could you see that body in the street and not realize it was a body immediately? – but honestly. If you saw a body in the street carved in two, you would not think that it was a body either. At least I wouldn’t. I don’t even recognize people I know when I run into them in situations where I don’t expect to see them.
So, yes, no one would expect that.
Especially since the body was meticulously cleaned and sawed apart to look, well, not human. However, a 3 inch long cut was made across her face to make it look as though she was bleeding. That kind of cut is called a “Glasgow smile”. The police report claimed her death was due to â€śhemorrhage and shock due to concussions of the brain and lacerations of the face.â€ť However, her body also appeared tortured (grass was shoved into her vagina, the killer may have taken the rose tattoo as a trophy, and she was likely sodomized after death. I’m putting these facts in parentheses as though the parentheses will somehow keep us safe from them.)
Mostly, I worry about what happened to the three year old who saw this. Do you think they remembered it? I think if they remembered it it’s possible they were really sincerely troubled afterwards. Every time I hear this story I try to think about how much I can remember from when I was three. The answer is “nothing” so that’s pretty reassuring.
Weirdly, the details of the murder are not what horrifies me most.