After the mutilated body of 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. 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. Short, an aspiring movie star, had a fondness for servicemen, according to The Black Dahliathe James Ellroy novel based on her murder. Then there was the woman who became convinced — inafter therapy chipped away at year-old repressed memories — that her late father was the murderer. 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.
Most recently, retired detective Steve Hodel landed on a suspect he believes is unquestionably the killer: his own father, the late doctor George Hodel. According to a CBS News report that aired inGeorge Hodel was just one among their 22 viable suspects in the Black Dahlia murder — seven of whom were doctors.
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Evidence concerning the murder of American aspiring actress and murder victim Elizabeth Short -known as the 'Black Dahlia,' is strown across a table at the Los Angeles District Attorney's office in By Jennifer Latson. Related Stories. Get our History Newsletter. Put today's news in context and see highlights from the archives. Please enter a valid email address. Sign Up Now.
Dr. George Hodel 1940s "L.A. Lone Woman Murders" Victim Map Update
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Can't get enough of the gory stuff? Check out our list of the 18 most notorious L. He allegedly ruptured her bladder during a violent sexual encounter, which caused her death. Arbuckle was on trial three times, and though he was never convicted, his acting career was ruined.
Other possible causes of Rappe's death include cystitis exacerbated by alcohol consumption, a botched abortion or even a potential venereal disease. Successful silent film director William Desmond Taylor was found dead, shot in the back, in his bungalow on February 2, He had last been seen the night before, around pm, by his friend Mabel Normand.
Though there were multiple suspects with convincing motives, a crowd gathered in the house before the police arrived, making evidence collection nearly impossible. No one was ever convicted of the murder. Thomas Ince, the silent film mogul known as "the father of the Western," died on November 19, aboard the yacht of newspaper mogul Wiliam Randolph Hearst. The official cause of death was listed as heart trouble, but sordid rumors about Hearst's mistress, actress Marion Davies, surrounded Ince's death for years.
Another tale says Hearst simply mistook Ince for Chaplin and shot him outright. On October 12,year old Georgette Bauerdorf was found dead, face-down in her bathtub with a washcloth stuffed into her mouth. At first, police had the audacity to suggest that Bauerdorf, an aspiring actress and the daughter of a wealthy oil tycoon, simply slipped and drowned, but autopsy reports confirmed she had been beaten, raped and suffocated.
Bauerdorf was a hostess at a nearby gentlemen's club and supposedly had a serviceman caller whose feelings for her were unrequited; authorities tried to find the man but had no luck. On January 15th,a year old woman named Elizabeth Short a waitress and young Hollywood hopeful was found dead in Leimert Park. Short had been cut completely in half, most of the blood drained from her body, with lacerations on her face from her mouth to her ears. She also had lacerations and bruises on her wrists, indicating that she may have been tied up and even tortured.
She was given the nickname "the Black Dahlia" and despite multiple investigations and much media attention, her assailant was never apprehended. To this day, people still theorize about who committed the crime; former LA police department detective Steve Hodel spent 15 years putting together evidence suggesting his father was the murderer—just one of many theories that persist, still capturing Angelenos' morbid imaginations.
On January 7,Jimmy and his little brother Wayne were home alone when they heard a knock at the back door. Jimmy went outside and never returned. After three days, his mother filed a missing persons report, but told the police her son had probably just run off with friends.Though it was in plain sight all along and readily discoverable, I had simply missed it for the past fifteen years.
Suzanne Degnan age 6. Lucila Lalu, age Lucila Lalu was kidnapped from her place of business in Metropolitan Manila on May 28, Her body was surgically bisected by a skilled surgeon and her body parts placed on a vacant lot in the Makati district of Manila, adjacent to a street named Epifano De Los Santos immediately adjacent to a street named ZODIAC. Jeanne T. French left her vehicle, a Ford Roadster, in the restaurant parking lot and left with the suspect at a.
The coroner estimated Mrs. French was slain at approximately a. Her nude body was found posed in a vacant lot near the intersection of Indianapolis and Grand View. Below photos show the funeral, held on January 25, Two weeks after those services, Dr. George Hill Hodel kidnaped and brutally murdered Mrs.
Jeanne French. The victim was then dragged from the vehicle stripped of her clothing and stomped on causing her ribs to puncture her heart. The profane lipstick message was then written on her torso and her fur coat placed on top of her body. As seen in the photo and map diagram below, inthe location chosen to dump the body was another isolated vacant lot. The street directly adjacent to where the body was placed? Another, his fourth taunting street clue connecting himself to his crimes.
Steve, It makes sense because GHH had a photographic memory right and liked riddles, thinking abstractly. Do you know if he ever worked at or did a residency at Bellevue Hospital anywhere…there had to be some planning of these murders. The reason I am asking about Bellevue is because I sent you a link regarding a ligature murder and strangulation of two young women. Or maybe I am just reading way too many of your books…this was also in an area that the Zodiac was familiar with as suspect of the Lass et all murders 2 nurses clothes found underneath victims.
Keep up the good work Steve! Oh my gosh, Steve! Also, after watching you on numerous news shows I was very frightened to see an example of Dr. That knocked the wind out of me! But that Zodiac Street in Makati floored me. This is so weird cause I was doing a full research on Elizabeth and found this lady Mrs. French like early last year I went to visit theses places.
It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized I have stood within a few feet of where it occurred.Click map to enlarge. As I pointed out in my original investigation, if one takes the position that none of these s Lone Woman murders were connected then, statistically, at least half should have been solved. None were. The reason none were cleared was because all were committed by the same killer. With the June 13,murder of Louise Springer, police reaffirmed, as they had from the very beginning, their suspicions that many if not all of the crimes were connected.
Are you writing another book? Have just added five 5 new chapters to BDA II and will be updating and publishing that in the next few weeks. A year or more? Best, Steve. I have a print copy. If I buy the kindle version, will any subsequent updates be included automatically? I think there is a program that they offer that allows me to offer the revised Ebook version for just a few dollars, but will have to wait and see how that plays out.
They also have a library program that I think permits users to have it on loan free for a certain time span? Yes, very sad story. So many families suffered so much. So much more added to the investigation from Maybe some day will be translated.
Best Regards, Steve. Now I have an info to ask you…Recently I came across a gruesome video on Youtube,showing the hanging of childkiller gordon northcott oct 2 …Was that a real film or actors playing the roles? Thank you for the kind words.
Much appreciated. The feature film was based on a real life serial killer Gordon Northcott, who was arrested, tried and convicted of the serial murders of many young boys in the s.
The recent film was directed by Clint Eastwood and starred, Angelina Jolie. Panda: InI was able to locate, identify and eliminate that woman as not being Elizabeth Short. Her name was Marya Marcos.
Many readers believed, like you, that one or both photos bore a strong resemblance to actress Jean Spangler. InI conducted state-of-the-art Facial Recognition analysis on the other photograph. I had comparisons made to known photographs of both Jean Spangler and Elizabeth Short. Steve, I have my own personal reasons for believing that Georgette Bauerdorf was murder number four, Ora Murray being number three, do you have any idea who number one and two could be?
Hood: Not sure what you mean re. I have listed the nine victims chronologically by year of crime, starting with Ora Murray in followed by Bauerdorf in moving forward in time. Regards, Steve. The year was or in or around Santa Monica. From pictures La Rue had, she was a beautiful woman. The murder was never solved.
Could this be another Lone Woman victim? Have you ever run across the Raymond name as a cold case?Elizabeth Short July 29, — January 14 or 15,known posthumously as the " Black Dahlia ", was an American woman who was found murdered in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los AngelesCalifornia on January 15, Short's case became highly publicized due to the graphic nature of the crime, which included her corpse having been mutilated and bisected at the waist.
A native of BostonShort spent her early life in MedfordMassachusetts and Florida before relocating to California, where her father lived. It is commonly held that she was an aspiring actressthough she had no known acting credits or jobs during her time in Los Angeles.
Short would acquire the nickname of the Black Dahlia posthumously after the owner of a Long Beach drugstore told reporters that male customers had that name for heras newspapers of the period often nicknamed particularly lurid crimes; the term may have originated from a film noir murder mystery, The Blue Dahliareleased in April After the discovery of her body, the Los Angeles Police Department LAPD began an extensive investigation that produced over suspectsbut yielded no arrests.
Short's unsolved murder and the details surrounding it have had a lasting cultural intrigue, generating various theories and public speculation. Her life and death have been the basis of numerous books and films, and her murder is frequently cited as one of the most famous unsolved murders in American history, as well as one of the oldest unsolved cases in Los Angeles County.
This is where Short was raised and spent most of her life. Troubled by bronchitis and severe asthma attacks, Short underwent lung surgery at age 15, after which doctors suggested she relocate to a milder climate during the winter months to prevent further respiratory problems.
In her sophomore year, Short dropped out of Medford High School.
In lateShort's mother received a letter of apology from her presumed-deceased husband, which revealed that he was in fact alive and had started a new life in California. Arguments between Short and her father led to her moving out in January Short told friends that he had written to propose marriage while he was recovering from injuries from a plane crash in India. On January 9,Short returned to her home in Los Angeles after a brief trip to San Diego with Robert "Red" Manley, a year-old married salesman she had been dating.
At the time, the neighborhood was largely undeveloped. Short's severely mutilated body was completely severed at the waist and drained of blood, leaving her skin a pallid white. Upon the discovery, a crowd of both passersby and reporters began to gather; Los Angeles Herald-Express reporter Aggie Underwood was among the first to arrive at the scene, and took several photos of the corpse and crime scene.
The body had been cut completely in half by a technique taught in the s called a hemicorporectomy. The lower half of her body had been removed by transecting the lumbar spine between the second and third lumbar vertebraethus severing the intestine at the duodenum.
Newbarr's report noted "very little" ecchymosis bruising along the incision line, suggesting it had been performed after death. Prior to the autopsy, police had quickly been able to identify the victim as Short after sending copies of her fingerprints to Washington, DCvia Soundphoto, a primitive fax machine of the era; the prints matched those given by Short during her arrest. That was yet another ploy since the newspaper kept her away from police and other reporters to protect its scoop.
Additional newspaper reports, such as one published in the Los Angeles Times on January 17, deemed the murder a "sex fiend slaying". On January 21, a person claiming to be Short's killer placed a phone call to the office of James Richardson, the editor of the Examinercongratulating Richardson on the newspaper's coverage of the case, and stated he planned on eventually turning himself in, but not before allowing police to pursue him further.
On January 24, a suspicious manila envelope was discovered by a U.Courtesy of the California Dept. Located in Downey, Los Angeles County opens its first publicly-funded animal shelter. Los Angeles Almanac Photo.
The Cleveland Rams professional football team begins playing in Los Angeles. The "Hollywood Ten," seven writers, two directors, and one producer, are charged with contempt of Congress for their refusal to state whether they are Communists. The Hollywood Freeway opens. One of the most infamous crimes in Los Angeles history occurs, the "Black Dahlia" murder. Plans are revealed for the world's first "four-level grade separation" near downtown Los Angeles, connecting the Hollywood and Harbor and Pasadena freeways.Women and the Unsolved Murders of the 1940's L.A.
Los Angeles County begins using telephone area code Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Congressman Edward R. Courtesy of Library of Congress. The U. Louis H. Boyer begins the largest private land development in the nation with a plan for the 17,home community of Lakewood.
Senate seat in a campaign against Congresswoman Helen Gahagin Douglas. Congressman Richard Nixon campaigns for the U. Senate, Courtesy of National Archives. Backyard incinerators are banned in an attempt to reduce smog. Seven Mexican American youths are arrested and beaten by Los Angeles police officers in an incident that becomes known as "Bloody Christmas.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority is established. Nevada atomic test miles away observed from Mt. Photo by Los Angeles Mirror, courtesy of the U. A major earthquake centered in Kern County jolts Los Angeles, but heavy damage is limited here due to the distance from the epicenter. At least five people are killed. Professor Arie J. Haagen-Smit of the California Institute of Technology first explains conclusively the origins of smog. Local congressman Richard Nixon is elected Vice President.These are crimes both solved and unsolved, killers and victims both famous and unknown.
They span more than a century and run the gamut from bank shootouts to insurance scams, gangsters on the lam to murderers so sadistic judges are devoid of words to describe their actions.
Unlawful acts occur in and around Los Angeles every day, too numerous to recount, but what follows are those that have most seared into our memories, and where they happened. The Onion Field Murder Two thugs kidnapped the police officers who pulled them over in Hollywood and drove to an onion field in Bakersfield, where they killed one officer while the other escaped. As a result of the crime, the LAPD formally changed its procedures of what to do and not to do when approaching a vehicle.
Three Little Inglewood Girls WPA crossing guard Albert Dyer lured three little girls ages 7, 8, 9 from Inglewood to his Baldwin Hills home, where he raped and strangled them and left their bodies in a ravine. Their murders shocked and devastated s Los Angeles. But the most dangerous man in her life may have been a former classmate of hers with no mob ties: Robert Durst.
He is currently awaiting trial for her murder. Its value endures because of a murder. Shattered by the trial, Bow retired from the film business to a Nevada ranch. The Murder of Bugsy Siegel He was the most infamous celebrity gangster in Los Angeles, and he was shot and killed through the window of his Beverly Hills home. The killer was never found—though one family claims they now know who did it.
A jury called it a justifiable homicide.
The Manson murder spree is still terrifying to contemplate today. Nicholson was not home at the time. The Billionaire Boys Club It was a Ponzi scheme masquerading as a social club, highlighting all of the excesses of the s, and its publicity may have inspired the Menendez Brothers to kill their parents.
Or something more sinister? The brothers were convicted of murdering their parents and became a national sensation. Fall of the House of Brando A fatal turn for a troubled family. With prosecutors unable to prove the case was premeditated, Christian pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss claimed to have many famous and wealthy clients, and in the s she became a household name when she sidestepped a pandering charge but was convicted on federal counts of tax evasion.
The Beverly Hills Loan Sharks Former record promoter Joseph Isgro and two other men operated a loan-sharking business outside the Le Grand Passage shopping center in Beverly Hills for six years before they were busted. In the spring ofthe fashion designer was set to star in his own VH1 reality series when he was arrested in Beverly Hills for raping and sexually assaulting models, some as young as Ronni Chasen The Hollywood publicist was shot repeatedly while driving her Mercedes home from a movie premiere in Beverly Hills.
Authorities said it was a botched robbery, but questions have been raised about the initial investigation. It was a crime, trial, and media circus like no other. The murders remain unsolved.
How did Mabel Monohan end up in the crosshairs? Three gang members were convicted in what authorities believed was a random street robbery. Some suspect the killing was the doing of genocidal dictator Pol Pot, but no link was ever uncovered. A year before that, according to court testimony from two women who described separate incidents, he tied them them up, raped them at the campsite, and released them.
His murder remains officially unsolved.