For weeks Marjorie Graham, an acquaintance of Short’s and Short lived together as roommates in various locations. They left the Hawthorne Apartment where they were staying in September 1946, then teamed up with Sid Zaid, a musician who let them stay at his home. On October 1, Zaid drove the girls to the home of Mark Hansen on Carlos Avenue in Hollywood and left them with him. Short was becoming known around Hollywood although not for shady reasons. If anything Short was referred to as a “tease” because she refused to have sex with the majority of men she dated (or perhaps any of the men at all). The war was over, and returning soldiers and sailors filled the streets and bars of Hollywood. Like so many women, Short liked men in uniform and she began to spend a lot of time in Hollywood bars where servicemen were to found in droves. Short met many men and women during her brief time in town, but none of the friendships appeared to be close. It was only beautiful actress and model Anne Toth, 24 years old, that was her truest friend.
Toth first met Short in Hansen’s home after she returned from a trip to San Diego. Hansen owned the Florentine Gardens nightclub on Hollywood Boulevard and the Marcal Theatre near by. He owned other properties around town, including his home on Carlos Avenue, behind his club. He allowed showgirls and young women to stay at his home. His own estranged wife and daughters lived in the Hollywood Hills. When Toth came home one day, Short and Hansen were there. That was the first time the two girls met. Over time, Hansen and Short got romantically involved. Investigators asked Toth, “-did she want him to think he was going steady with her?” Toth replied, “Yes.” She agreed with investigators that asked if Hansen “was kind of carrying the torch for her at that time.” But the two fought with each other, too, she said.
“Well, she cleaned up his bathroom for him and threw out a number of things, you know, set them out, empty bottles and things that he didn’t have any use for, but then he got awful damn mad about that. So I told him he should be thankful somebody wanted to clean it up for him. He said “I would rather leave the damn things alone and she leave my things alone. For a week he carried on about it.“
LAPD Officer Ed Barrett asked, “Anne do you think Beth was afraid of Mark?” “Yes, I do,” she answered. “She never said much around him. As a matter of fact, she , she was – seemed afraid to tell me anything because I think she thought that I was in cahoots with him, I think, that I might say something to him. That is probably why I didn’t find out half as much as I should have.”
When Toth was asked if Hansen ever hit Short, she replied, “Well, I don’t know if he did or not. Of course, maybe she was afraid to say anything because she had a feeling I was on Mark’s side, I would probably tell him. Actually, I was just living there, I was just an innocent standbyer. My friend and Mark were very good friends, they used to – he used to visit with Mark. They were pretty good buddies, so he was always around there, so he couldn’t get too rough with me. I don’t think he would of if he could, because we are both of the same nationality, I can be just as mean as he can get, so -”
Short moved out of Hansen’s place on October 22, but she was back at his home on October 23. At least Short was a woman who could make up her mind. Toth said Hansen allowed Beth to “come back in, and I think at that time, I think, she placed a long distance telephone call to Texas, to this Fickling, and I think that sort of — she charged it on his telephone bill, and I don’t think she told him about it. That is one of the things too, he wanted her to — then of course, I think she paid for it later, and then he let her come back in later and she had a place to stay, without Margie of course.”
Toth said Hansen was trying to get Short to have sex “a couple of times,” but Short was a virgin. After that he didn’t bother her again. She continued to see other men, but they were not allowed to to visit her at the Carlos address. Toth indicated that Short moved out of Hansen’s home about November 13, 1946, after an argument with another of Hansen’s girls. Short “was planning to stay for the evening and, of course, as Mark told Betty that he was going with her and she was going with him and vice versa. In the meantime, he was having other girls come over there, and I imagine he was trying to romance her or something. Well, anyway, Betty came along –.” The other girl was upset. “Betty got out of bed, she was sleeping with me, and insisted that this tramp go home.” The other girl told Short to go home to her mother where she belonged. Anyway, words were flying back and forth and there was almost a beef and a fist fight, and Mark stepped in between them and he ordered Betty to move the next day. She was right though, I’ll tell you that.”
Toth defended Short to the end and beyond. In the first place, she didn’t drink, she didn’t smoke, because after all, living with her. I knew. and she always came in at a decent hour, 11 o’clock, or around there. She never came in later than that, and naturally if she was supposed to be sexy and do other stuff, there is a lot more that goes to it, rather than if a decent girl~ there is drinking, smoking, wining and dining, and a few other things that go with it. In a plain way. Nothing malicious about her. He didn’t know that she lived at the apartment there, because I was the one that got it for her, and he was amazed, he didn’t know what had happened to her, where she had gone or what had happened. I didn’t say anything. I borrowed a car to move her and everything and I never told him. He would have probably gotten pretty sore at me, so I didn’t tell him that I knew she was living there, because I had been there to visit her, and he drove her home.
Toth that looked out for Short and tried to help her. Toth:
Toth was a true friend to Short, to the end and beyond. Ann Toth died in the late 1980s from natural causes. Toth was in a nursing home at the time. Toth left Hansen’s house after the murder, but they remained on good terms. Had Short survived, I’m sure that would have been the case with the two friends.