All of you who believe that the murder of the black dahlia, also known as Elizabeth Short, has yet to be resolved, please raise your hand. How many of you know who shot Lincoln? And finally, how many know who killed John Kennedy?

These three unrelated but notorious murders have gained a following from cynics and conspiracy theorists. Alright, two of them have international implications, while the third, The Black Dahlia, is better known in the US because it’s about sensationalism at its finest. Many mystery books have been written on the subject.

Folklore has propelled The Black Dahlia to the status of Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden. But here are some interesting notes on the murder. Since he has not been tried in court, we cannot believe it now and he will most likely never be prosecuted. And now that he is dead, he can continue as more than a legend but as part of history. Here are some interesting facts:

  1. The victim had blue eyes and brown hair and was from Massachusetts, not California.
  2. Elizabeth Short was not only killed, but dissected and mutilated by having her mouth open on both sides by someone with a detailed knowledge of anatomy.
  3. The body was discovered in a vacant lot by a woman and her daughter.
  4. She was not killed at the scene; her body was placed there. Police believed the murder took place at a home on Franklin Ave. in Los Angeles.
  5. Reporter Will Fowler and photographer Felix Paegel were the first to arrive on the scene before the police!
  6. The secretary of Dr. George Hodel, the suspected killer, was writing a manuscript about him when he died suddenly and the manuscript disappeared.
  7. The killer taunted the police with a series of notes written after the murder took place.

The reason the killer was never charged or prosecuted for the crime, even though the police knew who he was shortly after the crime occurred, had more to do with blackmail and corruption than anything else. The physician who was in charge of public health in Los Angeles County was Dr. George Hodel. Venereal diseases were not only dangerous in the late 1940s and early 1950s, they were a taboo that few people would even talk about. Dr. Hodel treated some members of the police department and the judiciary who contracted venereal diseases. They feared that he would make their names public if they charged him.

Shortly after the murders, and there were more than one, Dr. Hodel was embroiled in a sensational incest trial involving his 14-year-old daughter. He was acquitted of the charges on Christmas Eve and left for the country where he stayed for many years.

Their daughter gave birth to a girl who was immediately given up for adoption to a black bathroom attendant in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Hodel maintained distant contact with the new father, keeping track of her offspring as she struggled in this dual world.

7 unknown facts about the murder of Black Dahlia

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