The Final Suspects…

... eventually included:

* Robert Manley
Manley was the last known person to see Short alive. He dropped her off at her hotel and left. He was initially booked as a suspect, but released after he passed a polygraph test. 82518676_133626891308Beset by a long history of mental health problems, in 1954, his wife committed him to a psychiatric hospital after he told her he was hearing voices. That same year, doctors gave him a shot of sodium pentothal — aka the “truth serum” — in another attempt to glean information about the Black Dahlia murder from him. He was absolved a second time. He died in 1986, 39 years to the day after he left Short at the Biltmore. The coroner attributed his death to an accidental fall. It is precisely because poor Manley was schizoid that I believe he was innocent. The polygraph has nothing to do with verifying his innocence. Psychopaths for instance, are easily able to pass polygraph tests because they lack a conscience. Insofar as Manley’s profile is concerned, very few mentally ill people hurt people around them. If anything, they end up hurting themselves or committing suicide, and even this is somewhat uncommon. Mentally ill people seldom have the capacity to lure people to a horrific death: pre-meditated plotting takes organized, rational (although nasty) thinking, a skill well beyond Manley’s mental capability as evidenced by his committment to a mental hospital.

* Mark Hansen
Hansen’s name was embossed on the address book that was mailed to the Examiner; it’s unclear how the item fell into Short’s hands. The 55-year-old Denmark native was the Florentine Gardens 1manager of the Florentine Gardens, a sleazy Hollywood nightclub featuring burlesque acts. Many of the young women working for Hansen lived at his home, which was located behind the club. It was well-known that if a beautiful young girl was short on money for food or a place to stay, Hansen would help her out. Short was his guest for several months in 1946, and the aging lothario is rumored to have tried to bed her – unsuccessfully. My feeling is that Hansen was also innocent. Short trusted this lech enough to live with him for several months and he did her no harm. This would have been the opportunity he needed to kill her. After she Mark Hansen 21left, Hansen would have had a more difficult time re-connecting with Short, who wanted nothing more to do with him. He would also be an obvious target for the police. He also had no motive for killing Short. Many young women lived with him. If Short wouldn’t have sex with him, I’m sure there were others who did. Ick. However he was dropped from the list of suspects very quickly after police began to question him. His response was if the police tried to connect him or any of his friends to the murder he would tell the press about the pay-off money he gave the cops who worked the beat around the Gardens. That was the end of that.

* George Hodel
In 2003, a retired LAPD detective named Steve Hodel published another daddy-did-it tract, but this one became a national bestseller.  According to the “Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder” Hodel Jr. depicts his dad as a tyrant and misogynistic pervert who held orgies at the family home and BD FBI Blurwas put on trial for raping own his 14-year-old daughter (he was acquitted). After his father died in 1999, Steve Hodel acquired his father’s private photo album, which contained two snapshots of a dark-haired woman. Hodel claims the woman was Short, but Short’s family has refuted his claims. Hodel’s second wife, Dorothy, was interviewed on March 22, 1950 by Frank Jemison at her home on the Santa Monica Pier. George and Dorothy were divorced in 1945, but were always on friendly terms, she said. She was raising their three sons at the time.

Jemison said, “I will now show you a photograph of Beth Short, Santa Barbara No. 11419 and ask you whether or not you have ever seen that young lady in your life?” Dorothy replied, “No, I never have.” When she was asked if her former husband had ever said, “They can’t pin that murder on me,” she said, ” – to the best of my knowledge he didn’t and doesn’t know her.” Jemison also asked, “Has anybody ever told you that Dr. George Hodel had Beth Short over to his home?” Dorothy answered, “No.” Jemison said, “For your information the photograph has been identified by certain persons as resembling the young lady that was over to his house prior to the murder.”

He continued to press his case with Dorothy, asking her to come forth with any information that might be helpful, but she insisted Hodel couldn’t have been involved. She told Jemison that, “I know he has never practiced surgery. His branch of medicine is V.D. generally and administrative medicine. At one point, Dorothy said to Jemison, “I have nothing to tell you that would bear out any idea you may have hodel_mugthat he did this.  All I know is that he is not the sort of man that would psychologically be the kind to do it.  He has a fine record as a doctor and is a dedicated man.  He has never had a fashionable practice.  He could have had.  He is a man that really cares about medicine.” She said the Biltmore was a “central location” and that they had been there together for lunch and possibly dinner. She thought he might have stayed there when he was between apartments at the time the “three-day law in effect.” This was the same law that may have caused Beth to move from residence to residence at different times. That Short had to move around on such a frequent basis also placed her in harm’s way. If her killer inhabited hotels in the same manner she did, or for whatever reason, stayed in various hotels, Short’s forced itinerant lifestyle placed her in greater danger than if she had remained in one hotel.

Now and then we read about parents who are so incestuous and violent as to expose their children to pedophilic orgies. Maybe this happened to Hodel. Maybe it didn’t. I believe George Hodel was brougCarol Marshall 2ht to trial for incest. His acquittal may have been fair and it may have been false. In the 1940s not many incest victims were believed when they tried to tell someone they were being molested or raped. A jury would have been keen to dismiss the charges because fathers simply didn’t rape their daughters in the 1940s (and for some people, it still doesn’t happen). What I don’t believe is Steve Hodel’s ability to prove any of the accusations he has made against his father. This book is merely a money-grabber.

* Jack Anderson Wilson
In “Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia Murder,” actor-cum-crime writer John Gilmore fingers an alcoholic drifter named Jack Anderson Wilson. When Gilmore interviewed him in the early 80s, Wilson purportedly divulged details about the murder that only the killer would have known, including knowledge a supposed vaginal defect which would have prevented Short from having sexual intercourse. A few days before his pending arrest, Wilson died in a hotel fire.  As soon as we learn that Wilson discovered Short couldn’t have sexual relations due to a vaginal defect we know this story is untrue. It was proven in the autopsy that Short’s vagina was normal in form and function. This leads to the idea that perhaps Short said she couldn’t have sex for this reason, so she didn’t have to have sex with Wilson. Anything is possible. That’s one of the reasons the case is still unsolved. Wilson did suggest to Gilmore that a Short impersonator told Wilson he had killed Short. Meh. I’m not convinced. Wilson eventually burnt to death in a fire at a cheap hotel where he lived. He fell asleep when he was smoking.

* Walter Alonzo Bayley
In 1997, a Los Angeles Times writer named Larry Harnisch suggested yet another suspect: Dr. Walter Alonzo Bayley, a surgeon whose house was located one block south of the lot where Short’s body was found. Bayley’s daughter was a friend of Short’s sister Virginia. Harnisch theorizeelizablanketd that Bayley suffered from a degenerative brain disease that made him kill Short. While the police believe Short’s killer was affiliated with a cutting profession — a surgeon or butcher, say — Bayley was 67 at the time of the murder and had no known record of violence or crime. Neither is it known whether he ever met Short. I had no idea that Short’s sister Virginia was in any way still connected to Short when she moved to L.A. so that piece of information is new to me. Whether or not that meant Virginia had any contact with Short in Hollywood however is open for speculation. It’s intriguing to take a closer look at Bayley because of the brain disease and his surgical skills. The two traits combined in this case do sound like an intriguing profile for Short’s killer. Yet his age may have made him an unlikely suspect. The effort that would be required for this killing and the dumping of the body sounds more like a young man’s horrible game. And dumping the body only one block south of the killer’s house is nothing less than stupid. Who walks a block away from home to dispose of a corpse? The idea is to remove the evidence as far away as possible. And if this profile fits so well, why didn’t the police arrest the good doctor? Stating that he was well-connected is nonsense. No one has good enough connections to get away with this murder. 

None of these suspects have been endorsed by the LAPD which isn’t to say that none of these suspects is the killer. I’d like to wager that thisdahlia7 person may have been a Scottish or English immigrant (no offence to the Scottish or the English). Why? The Glasgow smile also known as a Chelsea Grin, that was carved into Short’s face originated in Glasgow, Scotland by members of various gangs but it became popular in England. The smile is made with short cuts to the corners of the mouth then beating and stabbing the victim until facial muscles contract and the cuts extend up to the ears. Usually this is done with a utility knife or a piece of broken glass. This alone could have ended Short’s life due to exsanguination, or blood loss. This doesn’t narrow anything down of course. Just a thought.

To make matters worse 50 people confessed to the murder.
There are more nut cases around than you’d realize in any sensationalized murder case. In fact, Short’s social life included the adventurous and the utterly dangerous so every confession and every tip had to be followed, 1000 in total. She met dozens of men in bars and nightclubs and even worked in a nightclub for a while. The press porbette2trayed Short as a temptress and a loose girl who slept with several of these men but this is false. Short was not known by her roommates and friends to be promiscuous. She dated men for meals since she was so low on money most of the time, and for cash for clothes and trinkets but she wasn’t known to sleep with any of her male acquaintances. Most of her roommates dated several different men and they were also not promiscuous girls. In the 1940s, good girls didn’t have sex until marriage and Short appeared to live by this ethic.

A creepy letter was sent to the LA Times after the murder. Someone had cut out letters from magazines and newspapers to form words. The message read: Here are Dahlia’s belongings. Letter will follow. Undeniable evidence jean_spangler_purseincluding Short’s i.d. were provided to police. No matching prints were found on the letter. The author didn’t send the follow-up letter. A black address book was filled with names except for one page that was ripped out. Naturally police suspected this page held the killer’s name but this didn’t come to fruition either. Originally there were 23  suspects  (including the above 5) many of whom were decidedly warped, and, for one reason or another, were eventually ruled out by police. These included:

Carl Balsiger -in February, 1943 was stationed at Camp Cooke at the same time as Beth Short. She was employed there in the commissary. When questioned by police on January 20, 1947, he stated he first met victim at real estate office on Sunset Boulevard on December 6, 1946, that she moved out carl_basigerof the Chancellor Hotel that date and that he took her in his car on a business trip to Camarillo, California where he made a sale of supplies to a baker. They returned to Los Angeles the same day and then signed his name for a room for victim at a hotel on Yucca Street, Hollywood. That on December 7, he took her down to the bus station in Hollywood where she said she was going to take a bus San Francisco to see her sister. He said that he had no sexual relations with her; he just felt sorry for her. This story was not believed as the facts indicated that the victim took a bus to San Diego on December 9, 1946. It was established that this suspect on two occasions had given different women vicious beatings and that a twenty-two year old woman by the name of Dorothy Welsh with whom he had attended a school in Kansas City was murdered in that city in 1941 in a similar manner to victim Short.

Claude WelshHere’s a parallel universe if ever I read one:  The victim’s name was Leila Adele Welsh, not Dorothy Welsh, George Welsh 2as she was listed in police reports. Equally odd, Dorothy’s brother “Claude” was actually named George. Both siblings were incredibly beautiful and the family was wealthy. Nice. For two years, Claude was a suspect listed on the DA’s papers and for good reason: he lived at the murder site and was present when his sister was murdered.
Leila Adele Welsh was born in 1917 and died on March-09-1941 at the age of 24. Leila was the heiress of Kansas real estate mogul James Welsh, (her grandfather). She was a pretty brunette and was a runner-up in beauty contest at University of Kansas City in 1937. Leila taught school in Knoxville, IL until 1940, at which time she returned home to Rockhill Road in Kansas City, to live with her mother Marie and George. She was killed horribly and in a manadelener similar to Short:  three blows to the head with a 4 and 1/2 pound railroad hammer and a slit in her throat that almost decapitated her. Blood was drained from her body onto the floor, through the floorboards and into the basement of her mother’s home. Leila’s pajamas were shredded and a man’s shirt, minus collar, was stuffed into the wound in her throat. A 6 inch, circular piece of flesh was cut from her right thigh/buttock after exsanguination. The letter G
or S was written on the victim’s calf in the victim’s blood. The victim had not been sexually assaulted. If this doesn’t sound like Short’s murderer, I don’t know which does.

Incredibly, this murder took place in Marie’s house, when both she and her son were home sleeping.The killer entered Leila’s bedroom through an open window after she returned home from a date at the circus. Leila followed her date with a nightcap at a local hotel at around 1:30 am. Her mother heard a thump at some point in the night, but thought it was her son rolling off the davenport he was asleep on. Aft
er the murder, t
he killer left the hammer at the foot of the victim’s bed and stuck the knife into the ground outside the window. Police discovered the killer’s bloody cotton gloves as well as the sizable chunk of flesh he cut from Leila’s thigh/buttock, about 100 yards from the house. 

Marie didn’t discover her daughter until late morning the following day. The killer wedged a chair against the door of the victim’s beadeledroom making it difficult to enter. Leila’s friend
told police 
that the victim mentioned a recent marriage proposal by a male she recently met in Knoxville. This man was not named. Leila told him she would have to think about
his proposal. 
The police eventually and predictably arrested the victim’s brother George Welsh (named Claude), aged 27. This was based on the statement of the owner of a second-hand store, who claimed to have sold the knife used in the murder to the victim’s brother. Police claimed motive was money and greed, specifically the $200,000 trust that James Welsh left for the family. I find that one hard to believe. Why would someone use overkill because he was motivated by greed? And what was the point in draining the poor victim? A simple bullet to the brain would have finished her off quite nicely. This was no money-motivated murder. Whatever the reason, it took two years before Welsh was acquitted of the charge of murdering Leila Welsh. No other charges were laid against anyone and 72 years later, this case also remains unsolved.

Sergeant Chuck – name unknown

John D. Wade – Wade had a Crown Grill connection with  Short. The Crown Jewel Cocktail Room, at 754 South Olive Street, in downtown Los Angeles was a favorite drinking spot of Short and her friends, according to Frank Jemison. He testified before the 1949 Grand jury hearings about his investigation. He said that, “Elizabeth Short and her friend Marjorie Graham and Anne Toth were known drinking customers of this bar located at 9th and Olive, which is two blocks from where Elizabeth Short was last seen alive.” I am unsure of why Wade was a suspect.

Joe Scalis
– Joe Scalise worked at the Crown Grill across the street from the Biltmore Hotel where Short was staying, on January 9, 1947. Two other employees said they saw Short there that night.

James Nimmo – James Nimmo was an usher that worked at the CBS studios in Columbia Square on Sunset Boulevard near Vine Street. He worked under head usher 20-year-old John Egger. Egger said he saw Short “at least twenty times” at the radio studio. She always came alone, except once when she was with a man who identified himself as a Chicago police officer. Short usually waited in line to see a broadcast, but this time she was allowed in with the man through a side door. He said she came to see the Jack Carson show on either January 2 or January 8.

Maurice Clemment – Clement worked at Columbia Studios at the time of the murder. He lived in Hollywood at 1616 N. Normandie, apartment 107. His name was found in Short’s address book.

A Chicago Police Officer – A man accompanying Short to a radio program at CBS studios in January, 1947, showed a Chicago police badge to CBS employees. His identity was never established.

Unidentified ManSalvador Tores Vera (medical student) – Vera frequented Brittingham’s restaurant in Columbia Square, but it has never been confirmed that he knew Short. (The enclosed picture is an unidentified man found in Short’s belongings.)

Marvin Margoles (medical student)

Glenn Wolf – Ann Toth, a friend of Short’s, did not care for Glenn Wolfe. She described him as a “lousy character. I would say. One of the worst type. He was a sexual pervert, maniac, everything. I hate him. He even threatened to kill me once, because I was going to turn him over to the O.P.A. He was putting four girls into a room, where there should have been two, for $5.00.” Wolf, according to district attorney notes, lived at 1617 N. McCadden Place in Hollywood, sleeping “in the N.W. corner room.” Wolfe lived two blocks west and one block south of the Chancellor.

Michael Anthony Otero – Otero lived with Albert Rodriguez at the time of the murder. Right after the murder he emigrated to Barcelona, Spain.On September 1 1950 he returned to the U.S. He admitted dating Short 12 times and on one occasion he met Short at the Biltmore Hotel. He is the only known boyfriend who met Short at the Biltmore before her murder.

George Bacos – head usher at NBC Studios at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, was an ambitious 23-year-old who was employed on a commission basis at a record promotion company, Jay Faber Associates. As another sideline Bacos contracted entertainment talent around town, including the Crown Grill located two blocks south of the Biltmore Hotel. Short frequented this establishment and was last seen walking in this direction. Bacos had met Short while dating Short’s roommate, Lynn Martin. During the four plus months Short lived in Los Angeles, Bacos took Short out 12 times. When Short was identified as the murdered woman, Bacos’ statements to police contained comments that were disingenuous and derogatory.
I used to see her with a lot of people. I tried to avoid her as much as possible. She dressed kinda cheaply, you know too obvious and everything… I didn’t want to kiss her because of all that goop she used on her face. I’m used to nice cultured girls. Bacos says he was used to “nice cultured girls” yet he confessed to dating and having had sexual relations with Lynn Martin who was found to be 15 years old. He certainly was a cultured gentleman.

Francis Campbell – Campbell was on duty at the Crown Grill the night of January 9, 1947.

Queer Woman Surgeon – Elizabeth Short may have made contact with a female abortionist in the San Fernando Valley. There is no positive identification of this person.

Doctor Paul DeGaston – DeCaston was identified as an old-vintage-police-record-crime-photos-black-and-white-sydney-16abortionist who practiced under the alias, Dr. C. J. Morris in downtown Los Angeles. He was tried for murder in 1934 and served time for performing abortions. His name and address were found in Elizabeth Short’s address book after her murder. Very unlikely that DeGaston murdered and butchered Short in this manner. It’s a bit of a stretch from performing abortions to dismembering women. I suspect that the charge of murder against him was the result of a botched abortion rather than a random act of violence.

Dr A.E. Brix – A business card for Dr. Brix was found in Short’s belongings after her murder. Dr. Brix said she visited his office once, inquiring about his charges for treatment of female trouble. He said she did not return.

Dr. M.M. Schwartz – Dr. Schwartz was located in the Cherokee Building on Hollywood Boulevard, less than two blocks from the Chancellor. Mark Hansen said he drove Elizabeth Short to Schwartz’s office. The Doctor said she was a patient of Dr. Faught, with whom he shared a nurse in the Cherokee Building.

Dr. Arthur McGinnis Faught

Dr. Patrick S. O’Reilly – frequented the Florentine Gardens Florentine Gardens 1and attended sex parties with Mark Hansen. He had a history of weird, violently sexual crime and had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. No charges were brought against him but considering Hansen’s threat to expose police blackmail against the Gardens if his “friends” were harassed, I’d say O’Reilly is a solid candidate for the killer, especially due to the Scottish surname….I have the suspicion that a Scot or an Englishman committed the murder due to the Glasgow smile that was carved into Short’s face.

Bill Robinson – although not on the list of LAPD suspects, I dare say he belonged there. Marvin Margolis and Bill Robinson visited Mark Hansen’s home “quite often,” according to Ann Toth. She said that Bill was Marjorie’s boyfriend, but on one occasion he attacked Short. “This Bill Robinson tried to take advantage of her once and he slapped her in the face and threw her out of the car. She came home crying about that. I don’t think anyone else tried anything.” Mark Hansen described Bill Robinson and Marvin Margolis, saying, “They had a lot of nerve, those two guys. Always had to chase them out.” Concerning Margolis, Hansen said, “Well, I didn’t pay much attention to his conversation. He was a windy blower. I had to ask him to leave there. I didn’t want him around.”

Leslie Dillon – Jack Sands, alias Leslie Dillon, wrote a letter from Florida to Dr. J. Paul de River, LAPD psychiatrist, expressing his theory of the murder of Short. The two exchanged letters and met with each other in Las Vegas, leslieNevada. Dillon claimed he had a suspect, but LAPD psychiatrist, Dr. J. Paul de River thought Jack Sands made a good suspect. Homicide detective Sergeant John (J.J.) O’Mara worked undercover as dr River’s bodyguard and chauffeur.  Dillon and de River discussed lovely topics such as embalming and bleeding. Dillon admitted he had worked at the Hahn Funeral Home in Oklahoma in 1943. Dillon described how to drain blood from a body by making an incision on the upper thigh and inserting a tube. When de rivers asked why the killer would drain Short’s body Dillon suggested “the person would want to see how far his penis went into the person.”  That’s not at all weird.

The three eventually made their way to a lodge to discuss Dillon’s theory. Dillon showed de Rivers a picture of the Madonna, for no particular reason. The doctor sat and studied the picture. This caused Dillon significant annoyance.  When Dillon was brought to the crime scene he became increasingly agitated. O’Mara observed that Dillon was “very, very clever…you had to more or less, spar with, box with, a person.” In fact when the good doctor was questioning Dillon, the latter managed to infuriate the doctor with a condescending observation. The strange interrogation led nowhere and Dillon was never charged with Short’s murder. Too bad. I think he was a viable candidate in part because he knew about draining a corpse of blood and also because it was Dillon who contacted police about the murder, and not the other way around.

Robert Roberts – No you aren’t seeing double. That’s his name. Anyway,  Mr. Robert Robertson who was originally from Boise, Idaho, who was visiting California. He told detectives about his experiences with Short in Long Beach, where she stayed from late July to early August 1946.The photos wouldn’t come to the attention of the police until 1951 when Roberts was busted for beating his wife. Nice guy. bette7if Short had been interested in him, she dodged a bullet. I think. In his statement to LAPD detectives he said he and a friend, who had also known Short in Long Beach, had considered coming forward immediately following the news but they’d decided not to get involved. The man may have been guilty of spousal battery, but he was eliminated as a suspect in Short’s murder.  Police used this picture of Short at one of her favourite clubs as a clue to possible suspects. This is part of Roberts’ interrogation:

“…we saw this girl going down the stairs. She was ahead of us and we went across the street to breakfast at the drugstore. She was a nice-looking girl and smiled at us and we had breakfast together in the drugstore and then we went back to the room and then went to the beach. I don’t know where she went. And then we would have breakfast with her every morning and walked to the beach a couple of times in the afternoon. One night she said she would like to go to the Palladium dancing and we got the P.E. train and went to Hollywood in the afternoon and spent the day dancing and came back that night and probably got home about 2:30 or 3:00. That must have been in July or August, I guess. It’s hard, you know, when you don’t know exactly the months.”

Roberts can hardly be arrested for enjoying the company of a pretty girl while having breakfast. If he could there’d be a lot of over-crowded prisons in L.A. right now.

Fred Woodley
Technically Woodley wasn’t a suspect but he was arrested in
Colorado and brought to Los Angeles for questioning about Short’s murder. Woodley admitted to spending the ldahlia clippingast night of Short’s life with her but not alone: his date, and a sailor who was in Short’s company were all there having a booze and pot party. Woodley stated the sailor, simply known as Jack, was red-headed and had a “florid complexion.” Woodley also claimed the man was very drunk and belligerent. He fought with Short over some rings she wore and Woodley believed that Short didn’t seem to know how to handle the situation. Later in the evening, Short and her date parted company with Woodley and his friend. So
me hours later, Jack attended Woodley’s residence, covered in blood and stating he’d “been in an accident.” He acquired a new set of clothing from Woodley then he and the latter stuffed the sailor’s suit down a sewer. Why it was that the idiotic Woodley helped this belligerent, suspicious man to dispose of bloody clothing in the wee hours of the morning is beyond my understanding however I don’t believe Jack was a viable suspect. He was highly drunk, loud and attended Woodley’s house only hours after parting ways with him. That simply isn’t enough time to have committed the fatal atrocities against Short. And a highly intoxicated person isn’t going to be able to wield a butcher knife with that kind of skill. Whatever Jack had been doing to get so bloodied remains a mystery.

Claud R. Cox
Cox came to the attention of the LAPD after a Marion Brown springer_marion-brown2reported to police that he had threatened her with a knife and stated “I’ll cut you in half.” Cox approached Brown as she waited for a bus and he told her “I know you.” He offered to take her home in his car and she accepted, following him to his apartment. Once inside he jumped on her and held a knife to her throat. Brown managed to scream, free herself and run out to the street. Police questioned him about Mrs. Louise Springer, who was a sex slaying victim and Short, but no connection was made with either woman. Cox told cops that he got “a little friendly” but he flatly denied trying to harm the girl.




Georgette Bauerdorf

Georgette Elise Bauerdorf was born in New York City on May 6, 1924. Her mother, Constance, died at 40 years old in New York in 1935. When she moved to California, Georgette went to the prestigious Marlborough School, a girl’s preparatory georgetteschool in Los Angeles, where students were known as “Violets.” She also attended Westlake School for Girls in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, where she graduated in 1941. Fellow alumni included Shirley Temple. Her father, George Bauerdorf, was a Wall Street financier, with oil interests in Louisiana, Texas and Nevada.

The Hollywood Canteen
Anne Lehr, an entrepreneur, helped in the war effort when Bauerdorf lived in Los Angeles, by turning a rented home near Bauerdorf’s apartment into the Hollywood Guild and Canteen. Located at 1284 North Crescent Heights Boulevard, the guild was only eight blocks from Bauerdorf’s home and on her way to the Hollywood Canteen. Although not officially connected to the Hollywood Canteen, the Guild provided a place for servicemen to sleep at night while on leave in Los Angeles. Originally, the former Dustin Farnum home was opened by Mrs. Lehr to house studio employees and unemployed actors and others in the business that were down on their luck. The Canteen, built by Bette Davis, John Garfield and other Hollywood legends, turned an old barn at Sunset Boulevard and dahliacanteenCahuenga Boulevard into a night spot for servicemen. Almost every movie star in Hollywood donated time and effort to make the experience memorable for men and women in uniform. Joseph Jasgur was the official photographer for the Canteen. He took pictures of the troops and movie stars. Jasgur, who died in 2011, is famous for taking photos of the young Norma Jean Dougherty, later known as Marilyn Monroe, in 1946, the year after the Canteen closed. The interior had a western motif, with wagon wheels hung from the ceiling with lanterns as light fixtures.

The Hollywood Canteen opened on October 3, 1942 at 1451 North Cahuenga Boulevard and closed on Thanksgiving day, 1945. In less than three years of operation, nearly three million men and women in uniform visited the club. It was a hot spot for locals, celebrities and soldiers. The Canteen was one of the most prestigious clubs to visit on a Saturday night. Eventually Bauerdorf would volunteer as a junior hostess in the club, dancing with servicemen. It was a service to the military that was looked upon with respect.

El Palacio
Bauerdorf’s father, stepmother and sister moved back to New York that summer. Connie, her sister, left her coupe in California and Georgette drove it around Hollywood, often leaving it parked in front of the El Palacio or just across the stConnie's Coupe 2reet. Her the apartment faced Fountain Avenue below. It was a spacious upstairs-downstairs arrangement. There was a small patio outside the rear door to her kitchen and there were gardens. Among Bauerdorf’s neighbors was MGM actress Virginia Weidler. “Ginny” Weidler was born in Eagle Rock in 1926 and had a successful film career. Rose Gilbert, Mr. Bauerdorf’s secretary, spent time at the apartment accompanying Georgette on shopping trips. El Palacio management employed full time caretakers that lived on the property and Georgette had maid

juineand janitorial service provided for her. It seemed that Bauerdorf seemed an ideal life. Bauerdorf had a good friend, June Zeigler, whom she’d met when they volunteered to dance with soldiers at the Hollywood Canteen in Los Angeles. When she traveled, Bauerdorf wrote to Zeigler. One letter stated, “are you still going to the Canteen? I think of it every Wednesday ‘nite even though there seemed to be a majority of jerks there-.” 

The Traveler
Like Short, as a young adult during wartime, Bauerdorf traveled around the United States. In November, 1943, she visited San Francisco. In February, 1944 she traveled by train from Los Angelegeorg for webs to
New York, with stops along the way. She had not been home in almost four years. Afterwards, she continued on her way to Shreveport, Louisiana, where her father had business interests.  Bauerdorf sent postcards and letters to June in Los Angeles when she was traveling. Bauerdorf may have acquired some wisdom of the world in her travels but she remained very naive about people.

The Hitchhiker
In October, 1944 Sergeant Gordon Aadland was in Hollywood on furlough from duty in the Aleutian Islands. He was staying in West Los Angeles with his brother’s family and
his mother. On his last night before returning to duty, he decided to take his sister dancing at the Hollywood Palladium. Late in the evening when his sister had caught a streetcar home, he recalled, “I needed a ride…No sooner did I get on Sunset and Palisade, motioned with my thumb, than she pulled up in a coupe. She asked, ‘Where to?’ 12345I told her. ” On Sunset Boulevard, near the Palladium and the Hollywood Canteen  Bauerdorf was headed west. She talked about her boyfriend in Texas. She dropped Aadland off “after a few miles.”  During the ride, he thought it was unwise of her to pick up strangers on the road, but said nothing. Aadland spent, by his own estimation, about 10-15 minutes with Bauerdorf. Many years later, he said, “She seemed like a friendly girl and I appreciated the ride, but she never should have picked up a soldier around midnight.” 

The day after Bauerdorf dropped him near the Clover Club, Aadland’s brother drove him to Los Angeles Union Station to begin the first leg of his trip to Fairbanks, Alaska and then back to the Aleutians. He said he found a copy of the L. A. Times on board the train and saw the headline about an oil heiress that had been killed. After reading the article he wrote a letter to the Los Angeles police chief . Years later, he said, “In retrospect, probably the key to our short conversation is that when she got home, if there was a message from her boyfriend in Texas, she would fly there. That’s what made me make the connection to her when I saw the Los Angeles paper’s story about the horrid affair. When I wrote the letter to the police, I probably said two things that misled them. I said she dropped me off on Sunset and then turned right. That is because at that place, the only turn was right. The probable truth is that further along is a left turn off Sunset, which she probably took to get to her apartment. The other possible misinformation I gave in this letter is that she seemed nervous. I assumed that because she kept looking out the rear view window. The reality is that she was doing that while switching lanes; some drivers don’t trust their rear view mirrors.” Aadland also said, upon reflection, “There should have been my fingerprints on the passengers side, from where I got in and out of the car, but the police never contacted me about it.”

Junior Hostess
Before long, Bauerdorf was back in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Canteen on Wednesday evenings. Her family had returned to Los Angeles, too, but in August, they left for New York again. She was on her own, living at the spacious El Palacio. There would be no more traveling for Bauerdorf. Bauerdorf became a volunteer georgette_3_001hostesses at the Canteen at this time. She didn’t just dance with the military men; she gave rides to the soldiers, treated them to lunches and invited them into her home. Most nights, two bands played and the volunteer hostesses danced with the soldiers.

Mrs. Atwood, the janitor’s wife at Bauerdorf’s residence, the El Palacio, said, “She seemed happy and contented. She was very much interested in war work- especially the Hollywood Canteen, where she went every Wednesday evening. She was real proud of being a junior hostess.” The hostesses were not allowed to enter or leave with soldiers although clearly Bauerdorf overstepped this rule on her own time. Rule number 6 of the Canteen-Volunteer agreement stated , “All volunteer workers, hostesses, hosts, entertainers, musicians, name people, etc. must enter through the Cole St. door. There will be a light there at all times..” 

On Wednesday, October 11, Bauerdorf went out with Rose Gilbert, who said she was in good spirits. “We shopped and 39060607_124673427509had lunch together, and she seemed perfectly happy. I was with her until two o’clock in the afternoon.” Bauerdorf had her hair done and bought a ticket to fly to El Paso to see a boyfriend, Jerry Brown, who was stationed at Fort Bliss. She and Jerry met each other on June 13 at the Hollywood Canteen. At that time, he was stationed at Camp Callan in San Diego County. Later in the day, June Weider met Bauerdorf in Hollywood. She was knitting in her car in front of the Canteen for half an hour before going in.

The Persistent Soldier
According to Deputy Sheriff Hopkinson, Weidler said that Bauerdorf, “appeared to be nervous and had asked her to spend the evening with her at her apartment. However, she gave no explanation for her nervousness or any reason why she wanted her to spend the night with her. She remained in the car until 7:00 o’clock at which time they entered the Canteen-.” On October 11, friends noticed that Bauerdorf seemed agitated. Weidler noticed that one soldier was persistent in jitterbugging with Bauerdorf. She didn’t want to dance that way because she preferred the waltzes and more conservative style, but he kept cutting in. She said later that she was annoyed with the jitterbugging soldier. An employee, Hopkinson, said that, “the records show that she signed out at 11:30 P.M.” Weidler and Bauerdorf said goodbye outside and Bauerdorf walked to her car alone and drove off. It was the last night of Bauerdorf’s life.

The Murder
Bauerdorf arrived home sometime around midnight on October 11. She parked her car and entered her apartment. She went into the kitchen to make a snack for herself. She ate a can of string beans and cantaloupe, cleaned her dishes, spoon and fork and tossed the remains of the fruit into the trash. Fredrick Atwood, the janitor, heard the sound of high heels pacing around the kitchen in her apartment. About midnight, he heard what sounded like a tray crashing to the floor. Then, at 2:30 am, a neighbor heard a woman scream. “Stop, stop! You’re killing me!” He didn’t knock on the door to ask Bauerdorf if she was alright nor did he inform the janitor or police.  Bauerdorf may have invited her killer in or he may have laid in wait. She may have invited the killer home when she thought no one would notice. Or, he may have forced his way in before or after she returned home.

According to the Metropolitan edition of the October 14, 1944 Daily News, Bauerdorf’s neighbour, Ginny Weidler, “who lives next door, said she knew Miss Bauerdorf quite well, and that on
Wednesday night she heard no noise from her neighbor’s apartment.” 
But, something went wrong. Bauerdorf had time to scream and fight back, but in the end she lost the struggle. Her body was placed faclothce down in her bathtub and the hot water had been turned on. A cloth was wedged between her teeth. It was “inserted into the mouth and carried far back into the larynx, sufficient to be impacted therein.” There was secondary bleeding from the nose, and  the lips, both upper and lower, show bruised areas where they rest over the teeth and around the mouth., extending down over the chin, more to the left that the right are bruised areas caused apparently by pressure. There is one slight break in the surface of the lower lip below the second right incisor tooth.”

The Day After
On the morning of the murder, Frederick Atwood, the janitor and his wife and one of his daughters, entered Bauerdorf’s apartment. Hearing water running upstairs, Mrs. Atwood went up the stairs and called to her husband. Mr. Atwood ran up the stairs and found Bauerdorf’s body in the bathtub, face georgette_maiddown. He said, “- her face was in under water and her hair floating on top.” Atwood testified later that, “We usually got around to the apartment around 10:30 and my wife went to the bedrooms and the bathrooms first and my daughter did the bathrooms and my wife, the bedrooms, and I cleaned up all around. The bathtub was about three parts full, quite a ways up the tub and we thought she had fainted and I reached in there myself to drain the water in the hopes we could bring her to.We didn’t know what to do.” He reached in the tub to pull the stopper and open the drain, touching her right forearm, thinking she was possibly still alive.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department handled the case. A.L. Hutchison, Deputy Sheriff arrived at the crime scene at 12:10 pm. Hutchinson recounted his investigation on the day of the discovery: I found the dead body of the victim in the bathtub Mrs Rose Gilbertand her face was lying on the bottom of the tub straight down, and the body kind of lying on the left side. There was no water in the tub at the time. She had the upper part of a pajama suit on. That was wet, and alongside of the tub upon the floor of the bathroom was a wet Turkish towel and it looked kind of dirty, but it was wet, so I went into the bedroom then and the bed didn’t seem to be mussed up. There were two sheets lying on the bed that hadn’t been disturbed, but the blanket had been thrown back and there was an indentation in the pillow and looked as if somebody had been lying on the bed on the two sheets and covered by the blanket. ” When asked at the inquest if it appeared that there had been a struggle, Hutchinson said, “No indication. The bed didn’t show it and nothing in the room turned over or disturbed, and the only thing is her pocketbook was lying on the floor alongside the bed. There were a couple of ashtrays there on the floor and they hadn’t been turned over and they still had cigarette buts in them, and they hadn’t been disturbed, and they seemed to have been there right along.”

It was determined that Bauerdorf had been raped and killed by someone who waited for the right moment. The cause of death was strangulation. A nine-inch by nine-inch piece of cloth was found forced down her throat, with about one inch protruding outside her clenched teeth. The light bulb on her porch was unlit, possibraymondly to cover the exit of the intruder after the murder. Atwood, the janitor, said, ” the light bulb was at least not screwed in a couple of turns.” “Rape, not murder, was the motive,” the police said.

Kenneth Raymond

Kenneth Raymond a 23-year-old army deserter, was accused of kidnapping and possibly killing 6-year-old Rochelle

Gluskoter in the 1940′s. At the time of his arrest in 1946, he was questioned about the murder of Georgette Bauerdorf. He
was described as a “gangling, 6 foot tall youth” and a “nightclub dancer.” The FBI labeled Raymond, alias Raymond Pulaski, as a “one man crime wave.” He had a history of robbery and assault, but there was not enough evidence to charge him in the Bauerdorf murder. Nor was he convicted of the murder of little Gluskoter.

Otto Stephen Wilson
Freak that he was, Otto Wilson, a serial rapist and murderer in the Los Angeles area, wasn’t considered a suspect in Bauerdorf’s murder. Wilson was a prize. He murdered several young ottowilson_cropwomen in Los Angeles, taking the time to mutilate their bodies after the killings. Like Short’s killer, Wilson used a large butcher knife to mutilate the women. The victims were hacked to pieces, including dissection of the breasts and vagina. His wife came forward after the murders and informed police that her husband, Wilson, committed strange “sexual impulses.” As an example she told them that once when she removed her clothing to take a shower, Wilson slashed her buttock with a razor and licked the blood away. Soon after his arrest, Wilson confessed to the murders of his two victims, neither of whom was Bauerdorf.  A forensic psychiatrist stated, “He was a necrophiliac and cannibalistic, all of which when summed up are the manifestations of the sado-masochistic complex.” It wasn’t possible that Wilson murdered Short. He was sentenced to death and executed that year for the murders.

Strange Confession
As time passed, the trail grew cold, and the confessors began to appear. In December, a 22-year-old man walked into the FBI offices in San Francisco and said he had killed Georgette Bauerdorf. Detective Hopkinson left for the Bay Area to talk with the man. “I met the girl on a street-car and she asked me to accompany her home. When we got there, we talked for a while and then I bummed her for a cup of coffee. Pretty soon a soldier came in and stayed about an hour. Then, after he left, I strangled her.” Hopkinson was suspicious of his story, and eventually the man admitted the lie. “I wanted to die in the chair because I had nothing to live for. I was afraid to commit suicide.” The suspect, John Lehman Sumter, had been discharged from the army for writing bad checks. His family later revealed that he had spent time in a sanitarium in Georgia.

Doris 2Doris Puckett
Zeigler and Bauerdorf volunteered as hostesses together.
Zeigler was also friends with Doris Puckett, who worked at the Times and volunteered at the Canteen on Tuesday nights. Puckett remembered dancing with servicemen and helping them write letters. Puckett and Zeigler worked at the classified counter at the Times. Bauerdorf worked for Becky Webb in the Women’s Service Bureau. Puckett and Bauerdorf did not know each other, but Puckett remem
bers Webb telling her after the murder that Bauerdorf let her know that she was an heiress.

Cosmo Volpe
Later it was verified that Volpe was the soldier who kept cutting in on the dance floor to dance with Bauerdorf. When questioned by police about the last night of Bauerdorf’s night at the Canteen, Zeigler said a soldier was “cutting in all evening and that she danced with him only to avoid a scene.” He was brought in for questioning
georgette_4_~_juneand later released. Volpe said, “She was not a good dancer, but wanted to learn. I was a professional dancer back in Astoria, Long Island, and I’m a good jitterbug.” Zeigler said, “Georgette did know one soldier who was extremely tall – probably six feet four inches at least. She met him at the Canteen throu
gh another soldier who is now overseas. This tall man gave Georgette quite a rush, but after dating him a few times, she refused to go out with him again. Said she just didn’t like him.”
 Zeigler could n
ot remember the soldier’s name. June Lorraine Zeigler left California for Connecticut after the murder of Georgette Bauerdorf in October, 1944. She reunited with her fiance, William Joseph Quinn, and they married on November 28, 1944.

Robert George Pollock White
Another lovely suspect, Robert George Pollock White, was arrested in San Diego after he was reported to have forced a cloth down the throat of a 65-year-old woman whom he had
attacked. The suspect said he had been in Los Angeles at the time of the Bauerdorf murder. How convenient. Where do these creeps come from anyway? One newspaper article said, “Miss Bauerdorf’s duplex apartment was a ‘little overnight hospitality center’ for service men who, in town on leave, had no other place to sleep. Of this sheriff’s investigators [were] convinced after piecing tGeorgette Woodlawn 002ogether the stories of a score of persons who knew her habits and after leafing through large bundles of ‘thank you’ letters from soldiers, sailors, Marines or Coast Guardsmen, most of whom are now in various combat zones, who had slept in the downstairs living room of the suite.”

Like Short’s killing, the Bauerdorf murder was never solved.



Leila Adele (Dorothy) Welsh

Here’s a creepy parallel to the Elizabeth Short murder. One of adelethe suspects on the LAPD list was one George (in correctly entered into LAPD reports Claude) Welsh, brother to Leila Adele (incorrectly entered into LAPD reports as Dorothy) Welsh. Allegedly, a person named Claude Welsh was in California at the time Short was murdered, but it was unknown if he and Short had ever met. Leila Adele Welsh was born in 1917 and died on March-09-1941 at the age of 24. Leila was the heiress of Kansas real estate mogul James Welsh, (her grandfather). She was a pretty brunette and was a runner-up in beauty contestant at University of Kansas City in 1937. While there she was part of a sorority. After Welsh’s murder a friend there told police a man Welsh had dated only once asked her to marry him. Clearly, her money was the motive. Welsh stated she would think about it. Her sorority sister believed Welsh didn’t know how to handle the situation. As with the Black Dahlia story, there are many facts that were misrepresented in this case, as in most murder cases. I have researched all the facts that I can find thus far.

black-dalhia-p1Also interesting is a fact that suspect in Short’s case, Carl Balsiger, was stationed in California at Camp Cooke at the same time (February 1943) during Short’s employ there at its commissary. Further, Balsiger had apparently attended school in Kansas City with Leila Welsh. The method of operation in both murders contained distinct similarities although they were six years apart. In two separate incidents, Balsiger had been involved in giving women “vicious beatings.” Balsiger and Welsh were two of the original 25 suspects in the Short murder investigation. It was never proven, though, that Welsh ever knew Short.

Clearly, one reason why George Welsh was on the LAPD list is the uncanny resemblance between Short and Leila. Police hoped the man who killed Welsh also murdered Short, hence the connection. The resemblance between Short and Leila Welsh was uncanny, perhaps indicating a preference for a certain “type” of woman. Put a dahlia in Leila’s hair and you’d almost think it was Short. Both siblings were incredibly beautiful and the family was wealthy. Nice. For two years, Claude was a suspect listed on the DA’s papGeorge Welsh 2ers and for good reason: he lived at the murder site and was present when his sister was murdered.

Leila taught school in Knoxville, IL until 1940, at which time she returned home to Rockhill Road in Kansas City, to live with her mother Marie and George. She was killed horribly and in a manner similar to Short:  three blows to the head with a 4 and 1/2 pound railroad hammer and a slit in her throat that almost decapitated her. Blood was drained from her body onto the floor, through the floorboards and into the basement of her mother’s home. Leila’s pajamas were shredded and a man’s shirt, minus collar, was stuffed into the wound in her throat. A 6 inch, circular piece of flesh was cut from her right thigh/buttock after exsanguination, rather decent of the murderous chap. The letter G or S was written on the victim’s calf in the victim’s blood. The victim had not been sexually assaulted. If this doesn’t sound like Short’s murderer, I don’t know which does.

Incredibly, this murder took place in Marie’s house, when both she anadeled her son were home sleeping.The killer entered Leila’s bedroom through an open window after she returned home from a date at the circus. Leila followed her date with a nightcap at a local hotel aaround 1:30 am. Her mother heard a thump at some point in the night, but thought it was her son rolling off the davenport he was asleep on. After the murder, the killer left the hammer at the foot of the victim’s bed and stuck the knife into the ground outside the window. Police discovered the killer’s bloody cotton gloves as well as the sizable chunk of flesh he cut from Leila’s thigh/buttock, about 100 yards from the house. 

Marie didn’t discover her daughter until late morning the following day. The killer wedged a chair against the door of the victim’s bedroom making it difficult to enter. Leila’s friend told police that the victim mentioned a recent marriage proposal by a male she recently met in Knoxville. This man was not named. Leila told him she woujonld have to think about his proposal. The police eventually and predictably arrested the victim’s brother George Welsh (named Claude), aged 27. This was based on the flimsy statement of the owner of a second-hand store, who claimed to have sold the knife used in the murder to the victim’s brother. Nearly four days prior the incident, a hardware store owner claimed to have sold the gloves found at the scene to George. Prosecutors also presented evidence from her diary indicating the last entry in which the words, “broke up,” had been written and they claimed it was George’s handwriting, hence the evidence for charging George with his sister’s murder. Trace evidence included a footprint and fingerprint, the latter of which may have had nothing to do with the crime. The fingerprint in question belonged to the suspect, George W. Welsh Jr., who was also Leila’s brother, living in the same household. The footprint was determined to belong to someone who had small feet.Good police work, that.

You may wonder how it was that the family slept through such a horrendous murder. I was wondering the same thing. Well there is the Jonbenet Ramsey murder as an example. This child was murdered in the basement of her home and her family slept throughout the entire incident. I suppose anything is possible, especially when you don’t have light sleepers in a family. The murder was never solved.

Leila’s brother George was a suspect in the DA’s office for two adeleyears. George was ultimately arrested based on circumstantial evidence alone but there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a trial. Police believed his motive was money and greed. For two years he remained a police suspect until he was finally cleared. No other men were considered as serious suspects including Leila’s date, Richard Funk, whom Leila had been dating for 5 years, from that fateful evening. No arrests were ever made. Depending on the case, since some opinions carry that a victim and a killer probably were acquainted or knew each other well, then to ponder that someone showed up at Leila’s open and screenless window for an invitation to sneak in becomes a plausible possibility. Police suspected the man who murdered the Black Dahlia might have been a candidate but since they couldn’t locate Short’s killer, it wasn’t likely they would find Welsh’s killer either. The Welsh case remains unsolved.




Psychic Sylvia Browne Encounters the Black Dahlia

…at least that’s Browne’s claim. The following review is from the NZ Beach Haven Books website. I haven’t read the book.

Visits from the Afterlife  – Sylvia Browne, Psychic
 REVIEW: This book is an intriguing view into the world of ghosts, spirits, and “reunions” with loved ones on the so-called “other side.” Sylvia explains the differences between ghosts (who are “earthbound” for various reasons) as opposed to spirits who have made the transition. I found Sylvia’s descriptions of ghosts she has encountered over the years to be fascinating, frightening, and intriguing. She points out that spirits will always be friendly, whereas a ghost may not be. Some of the stories are chilling, such as her encounters with Bela Lugosi and Elizabeth Short (aka the Black Dahlia). **It is not stated here whether BD is a spirit or a ghost** Others are sad…

Browne claims when she channeled Short, the information went like this (this is another direct quote): if you read the book “visits from the afterlife” phoebesylvia browne had a conversation with beth short-you can read it at the end of the book-(towards the end) BETH HERSELF SAID THAT THERE WAS ANOTHER WOMEN THERE THAT TOLD THE KILLER,( BY THE WAY-HE WAS A FATHER OF HER FRIEND)AND SHE TOLD HIM TO ” GET RID IF HER”!I WOULD BELEAVE (sic) THE STORY COMMING FROM THE VICTIM HERSELF-WOULDNT YOU?!

The problem with the above opinion (not the review) is that this person naively accepts that Browne can indeed channel and speak to spirits and ghosts. Nonsense. Personally I don’t believe in these things so I am not going to believe anything Browne had to say about Short. However I found it interesting to research what the world’s most notorious psychic had to say about her. Browne is famous not for her accurate predictions but for her inaccuracies, (frauds), including the incorrect prediction of her own death date (she was off by 10 years) but she placed a lot of faith in herself so naturally I had to investigate her claims. I have copied the following information from the site About the Solution:

….But Ms. Browne is definitely in the dark on several Dahlia-case facts. I think you’d be interested in hearing about these facts, so I’ll tell you about them, as part of my reaction to Sylvia’s Black Dahlia piece. I’ll go from the picayune to the profound.

  • Ultra picayune: Elizabeth Short’s eyes were green, not blue; Elizabeth’s hair was naturally brown, not black.
  • Picayune: The ghost said she/Betty had all that she owned with her when she went to San Diego. The ghost was wrong. Betty knew she had a large, full-of-her-stuff steamer trunk at the downtown-LA Railway Express Agency.
  • Sylvia Browne Performs At Route 66 Casino's Legends Theater Semi-picayune: Contrary to what the ghost said, and repeated, Betty Short was not 19 when she resided with her dad Cleo: she was 18. This is something that many Black Dahlia “historians” get wrong. These historians don’t know that Betty went down to Los Angeles right after Cleo kicked her out. She stayed in LA for a short time, then went up to Camp Cooke to take a job in the base PX. She moved in with a US Army MP, got into a bad tiff with him, quit her PX job, went to Santa Barbara and stayed there until she was arrested for underage presence in a bar with Camp Cooke soldiers. By the time of the arrest, Betty was 19. Betty’s ’43 time in LA never made ’47 newspapers. I believe this is why Sylvia Browne and other Dahlia-case historians erred about Betty’s Vallejo-time age . . .
  • Semi- Profound: The ghost said that Betty phoned Dr. Walter Bayley from the Biltmore Hotel, met him at his car, and was with him all that night and into eternity . . . Ms. Ghost was wrong. I think this info derived a priori from Larry Harnisch, newsman and master of the website. Betty exited the Biltmore shortly after she’d said “sayonara” to Red Manley. The “three hours” of the Biltmore stop would come from LAPD via Jack Webb’s ’58 The Badge. Profundity of this will be explicated . . .
  • Profound: Elizabeth Short’s ghost claims she still hangs at the Biltmore Hotel, but occasionally walks over to 39th and Norton to check out the display locale. Ms. Browne thinks the never-happened three hours at the Biltmore really happened, and that this was a cardinal event to earthly BetSylvia Browne Performs At Route 66 Casino's Legends Theaterty and to the real Black Dahlia murder. Psychic Sylvia is wrong. The three hours in the Biltmore is part of an LAPD smokescreen. Betty Short did sit solo and kill three hours soon after she had shed Red. But the sit site was the Gay Way Bar at 514 South Main, about four blocks from the Biltmore. (This was probably one of those errant details the police deliberately gave to the media to mislead people pretending to be her killer).
  • Ultra profound: Betty Short’s ghost has Betty with Bayley continuously, from “Biltmore to bisection.” But Betty was positively ID’d as having checked into The Hirsh Apts. with “Barnes”/Burns, three days after her Biltmore ruse.

There are many stories that prove Browne is a hack, and a cruel one at that:

Case One: – Terry Pflanz: Browne told Pflanz that her son, Mark, who was dying of cancer would “get a miraculous treatment” and would survive. She urged Pflanz to leave her son in the hospital so doctors could tend to him. Mark didn’t want to die in the hospital; he wanted to die at home but Pflanz, on the advice of Browne, left him in hospital. Two days later, Mark died.

Case Two: – Shawn Hornbeck:  (2:32) In 2002 11-year-old 522f44f5ed7ef_preview-620Shawn Hornbeck vanished on his way home from a friend’s house. Browne gave the Hornbecks a reading about their son’s disappearance on the Montel Show, stating the wooded area, so, southwest of you…there are two jagged boulders which look very misplaced… he’s near the boulders.” Browne told the Hornbecks that Shawn was dead; 4 years later he was found alive, a kidnap victim. His parents claimed believing their son was dead was the “hardest pain they’ve ever felt.”

Browne was very unapologetic when she was confronted with her mistakes, no matter how unhappy her “clients”. Her flippant reply was simply, “only God is right all the time.” As to referring to a psychic such as Browne (who is now dead but may come back to life to do more readings), The Amazing Kreskin, a mentalist, stated, “It’s the height of irresponsibility and it indirectly aids the criminal because the people who believe t061412-Kreskinhe psychic may have less of a reason to continue to search for the victim.” Kreskin himself works with police to help solve crimes but he is only right 1/3 of the time (very impressive stats in my book).  “No one celebrates her death, but skeptics do criticize how she lived. Her dismal track record at predictions — she confidently predicted she would die at 88, not 77, for instance — would only be laughable if they did not hurt so many people,” he said by email. “The number of people she hurt with her pretend supernatural abilities is nearly as high as the number of her failed predictions. It is sad that it took death to stop Sylvia Browne.” 

For all that, a blogger on the site Black Dahlia Avenger Archive stated, “It’s interesting to note that in one of Sylvia Browne’s books she “talks” with Elizabeth Short. Elizabeth tells sylvia-browneSylvia (who is in a trance-like state) that her killer was “Dr. H” and that he will someday be identified. Keep in mind that this book was out far before the Black Dahlia Avenger book was.” I don’t know if that is true. I’d nurse a healthy skepticism about Browne and Short’s supposed conversation. It is more likely that Browne read about the suspect Dr. Hodel before she published the book as this wasn’t new information in the media.

Casting further doubt on her character, in 1992, Browne and her then-husband Kenzil Dalzell Brown were indicted on charges of investment fraud and grand theft. Browne and her husband sold securities in a gold-mining venture under false pretenses. In one instance, they told a couple that their $20,000 investment was for the mine’s operating costs, then transferred the money to an account for the Nirvana browneFoundation for Psychic Research.  They received one year probation and Browne was given 200 hours of community service, a pittance compared to giving people such as the Hornbecks’ years of emotional anguish.

The convenience about channeling Short however is that Browne doesn’t need to prove the validity of their conversation. Short’s dead. She can’t object to anything Browne says they discussed. Perhaps that’s the way Browne should have directed her career; conversing with dead people and not devastating those who are living.




A Compilation of Tragic Hollywood Movie Star Beauties….

…and two unknowns who died horribly. Among great screen beauties, there are all manners of sad, lonely, Hollywood deaths. Marilyn Monroe, (suicide) Veronica Lake, (poor health), Jeanne French, (brutal homicide), Barbara Payton, (poor health), Jean Spangler (technically still listed as a missing person, never found), Georgette Bauerdorf (brutally murdered), Carole Landis (suicide), and of course, Elizabeth Short, whose fame only began the day her life ended.

The baffling question of course is why did all of these successful, talented and beautiful women end up on such hard times or end up dying a horrible death? The woman who died by their own hand is perhaps the most baffling of all. Those who died of ill-health generally got that way due to living excess, specifically drinking and d484px-Veronica_Lake_stillrug use. Short was murdered. Spangler went missing after meeting with a man in the film industry about a walk-on role in a movie.  Short, French and Spangler are victims of circumstance. Two died horribly, Spangler was simply never seen again. To this day, no one except perhaps the killer (if there was one) has knowledge of what happened to Spangler, that is, if the killer is still alive.

Victimology is the study of victimization, including the relationships between victims and offenders.  and the connections between victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, businesses, and social movements. One of the most controversial sub-topics within the broader topic is victim-proneness. This theory posits that the location and context of the crime bring the victim of the crime and perpetrator together.  Victim facilitation is a model that describes the misinteelizablanketrpretation by the offender of victim behavior  Categorization was based upon lifestyle risk (example, amount of time spent interacting with strangers), type of employment, and their location at the time of the killing (example, bar, home or place of business). A trend was noticed among serial killer victims after 1975: one in five victims were at greater risk from hitchhiking, working as a prostitute, or involving themselves in situations in which they often came into contact with strangers.

Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held responsible for the crime. There is a tendency to blame victims of rape than victims of robbery in cases where victims and perpetrators know one another. Although this trend has improved somewhat in the previous 15 years, there is still much prejudice against rape victims in the judicial system. Some of the women in this blog were what police would call “high-risk victims”. The others were “moderate-risk victims” and still others were “low-risk victims.” Landis, Lake and Payton were low-risk victims. For example, although Payton was known for sex scandals and rough boyfriends she was never in any significant danger with strangers. Her scandals were of her own doing. Monroe, Bauerdorf and French were moderate-risk victims. Short and Spangler were definitely high-risk victims. High-risk victims live risky, often dangerous lifestyles.

In Short’s case she was a drifter and a womangb_1 who easily hopped into strange men’s cars when offered a dinner or occasionally a place to stay for the night. Short also dated two Mafia members who were henchmen of Kingpin Mickey Cohen. Spangler was an actress and a party girl who associated with members of the Mafia. Spangler associated with the Hollywood set, and trusted acquaintances enough to meet them without revealing their names or her whereabouts to her family.

Bauerdorf worked at the Hollywood Canteen, a place inhabited by the Mafia, celebrities and military men. It is believed she was murdered by a military man who followed her home one night. French was an adventurous woman and a freelancer: a movie bit player, an aviator and an Army Nurse. The high-risk victims in this situation were all beautiful actresses or wannabes, associating with powerful men who expected sex in return for a place to lay their heads for a night, or an introduction to a Hollywood producer.

Low Risk Victims
Carole Landis
Landis wasn’t the victim of a perpetrator, but it is fair to say she was a victim of her situation, being a pending divorce from her husband and a complex relationship with her married boyfriend. Landis divorced her fourth husband, Schmidlapp, in order to marry Harrison, but he chose to remain with his wife. On July 4, 1948, after having dinner with Harrison, 29-year-old Landis took an overdose of Seconal leaving a suicide note that ended with “goodbye my angel – pray for mdahlia lakee.”

Veronica Lake – was a victim of circumstance and her own doing, rather than a perpetrator.  She was a pinup queen during WWII and co-starred in several films with Alan Ladd. Although popular with the public, Lake, like Marilyn Monroe, acquired a reputation for being difficult to work with. A co-worked stated, “She was known as ‘The Bitch’ and she deserved the title.  During filming of the 1946 film The Blue Dahlia she was referred to as Moronica Lake. Ouch. By the early 1950’s Lake had suffered three broken marriages, a domineering stage mother, a manic-depressive personality, and was by then an alcoholic. Lake died at the age of 51 from acute hepatits and acute kidney injury, due to her excessive lifestyle.

Barbara Payton – was another complex, blonde bombshell who was not only a difficult co-worked but a complete nut when not filming. Payton had simultaneous relationships paytonwith Tom Neal and Franchot Tone. One evening the two men engaged in a physical fight over Payton; Neal shattered Tone’s cheekbone, broke his nose and gave him a severe concussion. Payton decided to marry Tone but continued her relationship with Neal. Tone divorced her less than a year after they were married.  The Payton/Neal relationship ended their film careers. Payton’s hard-drinking and hard living destroyed her physically and emotionally. From 1955 to 1963, her alcoholism and drug abuse led to multiple run-ins with the law including arrests for the passing of bad checks and an arrest for prostitution. Offered the choice of being admitted to the detox unit, Payton said, “I’d rather drink and die.” Following her brief hospitalization, she went  to her parents’ home in San Diego. Her father and mother were both heavy drinkers, and joined Payton in unabated drinking binges. At the age of 40 Payton died of heart and liver failure.

Moderate Risk Victim
The Suicide
Suicide is essentially a crime against oneself. Monroe was a successful film star throughout the 40s and 50s. Monroe fits 75430 Bert Stern 001this category since she:

  • was a beautiful film star
  • died too soon
  • died at a young age
  • died alone and at home
  • overdosed with drugs
  • was isolated from friends and family during the
    last weeks of her life
  • was involved in a dismissive relationship with John F Kennedy, President of the United States
  • died a non-violent death
  • was suffering or had recently suffered career failure
  • was known as difficult to work with on the set
  • had several failed marriages
  • suffered from depression or manic-depression
  • was addicted to drugs and alcohol

Georgette Bauerdorf – was a junior hostess, heiress and a 2-Georgette-Bauerdorf-10_11_44volunteer who knew Elizabeth Short at the Hollywood Canteen, a place frequented by military men, the Mafia and the occasional B-movie celebrity. Although she wasn’t a starlet, nor did she aspire to be, I included her on the list because of her association with Short and her murder, which took place only months before Short’s. At the Canteen, Bauerdorf danced with enlisted men. It was a place to see and be seen in its day. Unfortunately, one night Bauerdorf was seen by the wgeorgetterong man, most likely an enlisted man, who followed Bauerdorf home and brutally murdered the poor girl.
Newspaper reports indicate Bauerdorf went directly home from the Hollywood Canteen. A maid found her body in a  bathtub. She was attacked by a man who was lying in wait for her. Bauerdorf put up a great struggle. An examination by the Los Angeles County Autopsy Surgeon found abundant bruises and scrapes on her body.Bauerdorf was a moderate-risk victim since she wasn’t in the habit of giving out her phone number or address and she didn’t date any of the men at the Canteen.

Jeanne French – Her killing became known as The Red Lipstick Murder since the killer took a red lipstick from her purse and wrote an obscenity on her corpse. He also wrote the initials BD which initially made police suspect a connection to the Black Dahlia; later it was determined that the initials were PD. Whatever the initials meant, no one seemed to have discovered. The body was stomped to death (ugh) in such a vicious mannerredlipstickmurder_article that, internally, she hemmoraged to death. Nine days prior to the murder, French and her husband Frank had gotten into a bad argument: Frank punched her in the face, giving her a black eye. Frank was arrested on domestic violence charges. Soon after that incident, Frank moved out to a small apartment in Santa Monica near his job while, French remained at their residence alone.
On Friday February 9, 1947, Jeanne went out after visiting Frank at his apartment. She went to The Picadilly Drive-In at 3932 Sepulveda Avenue, in Los Angeles between 12:00 and 1:00 am. A carhop stated later that he saw French eating with an unknown man. Unknowingly, Jeanne left in the killer’s car. Although she was picked up by a stranger, this was atypical for French, placing her in the moderate-risk category, rather than high-risk.

High-Risk Victims
Jean Spangler – Gorgeous Spangler’s appearance bore a similarity to Short’s. Spangler had a number of small walk-on roles in films. She was also a showgirl dancer at the Hollywood Canteen. She was the divorced mother of a 5-year-old little girl named Actress Jean SpanglerChristine. Her sister-in-law Sophie, Spangler’s brother’s wife, lived with Spangler and her child. Often Sophie babysat for Christine so Spangler could audition for movie roles and work modelling jobs. Technically Spangler isn’t considered a homicide; she simply disappeared on October 7, 1949 and was never seen again. Police questioned Spangler’s ex-husband, Dexter Benner, about her sister-in-law’s statement that she was going to meet Benner about his child support payments. He he had not seen his former wife for several weeks. His new wife Lynn Lasky Benner stated he was with her at the time of the disappearance. Two days later, on October 9, Spangler’s purse was found near the Fern Dell entrance to Griffith Park in Los Angeles.  There was an unfinished note in the purse addressed to a “Kirk,” which read, “Can’t wait any longer, Going to see jean-spanglerDr. Scott. It will work best this way while mother is away,…”. The note ended with a comma as if it had not been finished. Sixty police officers searched the 4,107-acre natural terrain park, but no other clues were ever found of the beautiful model/actress. The case remains unsolved to this day. Spangler was a high-risk victim due to the very public and excessive lifestyle she led. Spangler was a party girl, a fact that almost cost her custody of her daughter. On the day she disappeared she went to meet a man who was supposedly offering her a role in a movie. It is doubtful that Spangler even knew this man.

Elizabeth Short – The Black Dahlia
At the age of 21, Short had been in Los Angeles for several months, looking for a way to get into Hollywood films. She auditioned for roles but there is no evidence that she even had a screen test. Brian DePalma, in his film The Black Dahlia, suggests that she did, but no such screen test has ever been cropped-cropped-black-dahlia_1.jpgfound. Short was a drifter; she’d wandered around alone for approximately 18 months before arriving in Hollywood. Short may have been an habitual liar. She was flighty and imaginative. Short was love-starved and emotionally tormented. She lived on the outskirts of Hollywood, seldom making enough money to pay her rent. Frequently she dated men she didn’t know well for dinner, occasional trinkets and money. Although the media accused Short of being a prostitute, this allegation was untrue. Short wasn’t sexually promiscuous either. She worked at the Hollywood Canteen for a time and it is a possibility she may have met her killer there, just as Dahlia05Georgette Bauerdorf, the 20-year-old oil heiress, had. Short’s murder was by far the worst of all reported Hollywood murders. She was tortured for approximately 2 – 3 days; beaten about the head and face, sliced with a knife on the upper chests and on her breasts. She was burned with cigarettes, had her face cut into a Glasgow Smile and finally severed in half at the waist. Short was found in an appalling position: her lower half didn’t quite align with her upper torso, arms and head. Her legs were spread-eagled, her arms were up over her head and her intestines were tucked beneath her buttocks. It is rumoured that police moved the torso before photographs were taken and that Short was arranged to look as though she was performing oral sex on herself. Although police investigated 1,000 leads and interviewed several suspects, no arrest was ever made and over 60 years later, the case remains unsolved.

All of these women were victims of their own hand or someone else’s. Their only crime was living a life of excess, flirting unknowingly with danger, and/or trusting the wrong stranger. No matter how laissez-faire or unfocused a person may be no one deserves to die like Elizabeth Short or Georgette Bauerdorf.





Veronica Lake, Barbara Payton and Ella Raines…Tragic Names of the 1940s

Consider the story depicted by Veronica Lake in Sullivan’s Travels (1941). Lake is every girl who had a dream of Hollywood, only to have the dream broken. Made cynical by dahlia lakefailure, she’s on her way back home and entirely unaware that the bum she’s bought ham and eggs for is a Hollywood director, and her luck is about to change. The story Lake is telling was her own, along with that of thousands of others. She had done the rounds as a Hollywood hopeful; the beauty contests, the meetings, the auditions, the extra work. She got bit parts at RKO, and an MGM contract that led to little more than days spent hanging around the lot, quite like Marilyn Monroe early in her career. Elizabeth Short, of course, was a long way behind. She met the agents, trudged round the auditions, but so far as we know, never even got a screen test. 

But Lake made another imprint on Short’s mythic afterlife. It is a common misconception that ‘Black Dahlia’ was Short’s nickname in life. De Palma’s film encouraged it by showing her wearing black flowedahliabluers in her hair: There is some debate whether the nickname was given to her by the proprietor of a drugstore in the summer of 1946, or if it had been a journalistic invention, or even a play on the movie The Blue Dahlia, simply because it had been released the year before Short’s death.

The irony is that it was Veronica Lake who starred in The Blue Dahlia. Elizabeth died in January of 1947, Veronica’s film was released in April of 1946. If she was known as the Black Dahlia, it was for less than a year. The ‘Blue Dahlia’ itself is not a person but a nightclub, and there seems to be no obvious reason why Elizabeth and the title became conflated. The ‘black’ applies to her penchant for black dresses and jet black hair (in actual fact dyed henna by the time of her death), but the iddahliamiaea that the ‘dahlia’ referred to her habit of wearing flowers is generally considered untrue. The woman pictured here is Mia Kirshner, the actress who portrayed Short in The Black Dahlia, released in 2006. The most likely explanation is that whoever invented the name mistaken the title of the movie. Either way, it is now entangled in the folkloric undergrowth surrounding the case, to the extent that a popular rumour still circulates to the effect that Elizabeth actually has a walk-on role in the film.

Eventually Lake also became a victim of bad luck and personal despair. She became known as an actress who was difficult to work with and many directors stopped calling. By 1962, the year Marilyn Monroe died, Lake was living in poverty, living in an old hotel and working as a lounge 75430 Bert Stern 001waitress. Monroe, too, had a reputation of being a difficult co-worker but this never prevented directors from seeking her out for significant movie roles until her death on August 5, 1962 at the age of 36. Like Monroe, Lake struggled with alcoholism and bipolar disorder. Lake however did return for minor parts in 1966 movies. In the early 1970s she made her final film then was hospitalized due to poor health in a Vermont medical centre. Another eerie commonality with Monroe: during the last days of her life she was relatively cheerful, and looking forward to the future. In 1973, Lake succumbed to ill health. No friends or family visited her. in the end Monroe, Lake, Short, and Payton all died alone and for a long time, most were forgotten.

During the long days in Hollywood, Short got herself hostess work at the Hollywood Cadahliacanteennteen, the famous nightclub created by Bette Davis and John Garfield, that allowed servicemen to eat and be entertained for free while served by a staff of Hollywood notables. This was the closest she ever got to her goal, and her letters home make much of the experience. She became well acquainted with the actor Arthur Lake, as did another hostess with whom she socialised, Georgette Bauerdorf. Georgette, too, was murdered during the time that both were working at the Canteen; her brutal killing shares many weird similarities to Elizabeth’s. It was speculated that she had been killed by a serviceman who had followed her home from the Canteen. Hollywood was not a safe place to be for a starlet in the 1940s.

Another of the Hollywood hopefuls that Elizabeth encountered around this time was one who would rise far higher up the ladder of stardom than she ever would, but whose eventual fall would prove equally dramatic. payton largeThis was gorgeous Barbara Payton. She briefly took Elizabeth under her wing, introduced her to some useful names and took her to the Formosa Café, where studio executives would often grab a quick meal, and anything else that might be available, from the all-night establishment. Across the road was the studio of Sam Goldwyn. Upstairs was the office of Bugsy Siegel.  Barbara was more pragmatic than Elizabeth when it came to getting ahead and was willing to audition on the casting couch. Though she would eventually land significant roles in a number of major films alongside Cagney, Cooper and Gregory Peck, Payton was volatile and wildly promiscuous, keeping the scandal magazines busy with lurid accounts of her affairs.

Most famously, she was the cause of a vicious fight between actors Franchot Tone and Tom Neal, that left her with a black eye and Tone critically injured, with broken bones and a brain paytonconcussion. Tone’s ex-wife Joan Crawford was one of many who urged him to sever connections with Barbara, but he was besotted, and they married after his recovery. Mere weeks later, however, she returned to Neal. 

Her career was unable to withstand so much extra-curricular scandal, and she was assigned to B-pictures like Bride of the Gorilla (1951), an enjoyable jungle horror with silver-tongued Tom Conway. Soon, even these offers deserted her. As an ex-actress who’d had a taste of fame and wealth, she drifted into alcoholism and prostitution, suffering frequent savage beatings from her clients. She died of alcohol-related heart and liver failure in 1967, at the age of 39. Most of the female movie star wannabes who knew Elizabeth Short seemed to be destined for a bleak future.

Franchot Tone offered a glimpse of Short in Hollywood, in those moments when her shadow falls over a still extraordinary film called Phantom Lady, made for dahliaraines5Universal in 1944. Why is it that there are so many dark ironies surrounding Short during this period in her life? While Tone was making this film, he encountered Elizabeth at the Formosa Café. Tone asked her what she was doing there: “She said she was waiting for someone, and I said, ‘Of course you are, you’re waiting for me!'” He then told her that he knew of contacts in Hollywood who were looking for girls with her kind of looks, and offered to take her to meet some of them. In reality, he was taking her to his own apartment. “I thought it was a pick-up from the start,” he recalled later; “she came with me so easily, but to her it wasn’t anything of the kind.” His attempts to seduce her were rebuffed, so he gave her some money and sent her home in a taxi: “There was something sad and pathetic about her.”  That comment may have been influenced more by Short’s demise than her actual personality.

The heroine in the 1944 film Phantom Lady was the strikingly beautiful Ella Raines, and the most famous scene in the movie is the still-extraordinary one in which she disguises herself as “a real hep cat”.  Raines looked somewhat like Elizabeth; she has her shiny raven-black hair and clinging black dress. The film is one of darkness and peril, the women are all dark haired, and slick city life eventually reveals a dangerous underside, inhabited by people who live on the edge of thedahliaraines2 night. In the film is a walk-on named Ruth, a secretary at Raines’s office. This brunette actress is completely uncredited, so unimportant is her role. She gets a tiny scene, with nothing dialogue. But it is dialogue, and the camera does look at her. It’s the break Short wanted. The woman who played Ruth looks like Short. Short could have done it: it’s a try-out part, no talent required, just looks. But in Short’s dark parallel universe, there are no on-screen breaks. Instead it is Short herself who is broken; a tortured, twisted doll, staring offscreen lifelessly,  not at a studio lot, but at a vacant lot on a July morning near a busy Los Angeles intersection, and the place where she would be discovered in her final role.

Cleo Short

Cleo Short, Elizabeth Short’s father, was born on October 18, 1885 in Virginia. He married Phoebe Sawyer on April 11, 1918 in Portland, Maine. When the Great Depression hit, Short phoebestaged a suicide, then deserted his family, leaving his wife Phoebe and his five young daughters to fend for themselves when he disappeared from their lives. Several years later, for reasons known only to himself, Short contacted Phoebe and asked if he could reunite with the family. Phoebe was through with her errant husband and rejected his tardy apologies. Small wonder, considering the trauma and financial strife he’d caused his family.

What sort of man was Cleo Short? He was as much of a mystery as Elizabeth. Although a handsome man, certainly he was as formidable as his pictures. He was also an alcoholic. Little is known about him except the start of his life with Sawyer, his career during the Great Depression, and his abandonment of his family. Why he left the family isn’t entirely known. It is speculated that the finances needed to care for his wife and four daughters were 1cleotoo hefty for him and this was the reason he abandoned them. Cleo was known as a heavy drinker; this may have been where a large sum of his money went every payday. Certainly Cleo Short was a man whose lifestyle fit the description “every man for himself.”

Cleo eventually moved to Vallejo, California. When Elizabeth learned of his whereabouts, she contacted him and asked if she could live with him. In her letter she promised to keep house for him in exchange for a place to live. Accordingly, Cleo sent his daughter 200 dollars in 1942 to travel west. Back then 200 dollars was more like 2,000 today. It would appear that Cleo had loosened his purse strings at least where Elizabeth was concerned. However it was Elizabeth who didn’t make good on her promise to act as housekeeper. She slept all day and went out at night. She didn’t even tidy up after herself. After a few weeks, the father-daughter relationship was strained and, after a volatile argument, Cleo told Elizabeth to leave his home in January of 1943.Cleo 2

Cleo and Elizabeth went their separate ways, but coincidentally they both ended up in Los Angeles, a few miles from each other. After Elizabeth’s murder Cleo told investigators that he never saw his daughter again after she left his home up north. “I didn’t want anything to do with her or any of the rest of the family then. I was through.” Such a sentimental, family man. Clearly Cleo Short was an oddball. At the time of the murder, Cleo Short was living at 1020 South Kingsley in Los Angeles, one mile from the Figueroa Hotel. He was working at a refrigeration repair business on Santa Monica Boulevard, just east of Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood. Investigators had to search for Cleo after his daughter’s body was discovered and identified. He was eventually found in his apartment on Kingsley Drive and was intoxicated and uncooperative:

We went up there and first time we ever saw him, we knocked and knocked and knocked on the door, and finally roused him, and we found him to be in a drunken stupor. Found wine bottles all over the place, he was very uncooperative, especially in view of the fact that after all, his daughter had been murdered.”

Dahlia05They went to see him the next day and he described his relationship with her, saying in part, “he kicked her out because she was so dirty, and she wouldn’t keep the house clean, she wouldn’t cook his meals,” the investigators said. He refused to identify his daughter’s body and did not attend her funeral. To state that Cleo was a tad dysfunctional is a whopping understatement.

Perhaps the coldest father in all of California, Cleo’s response was, “I want nothing to do with this.” Cleo Short died in Los Angeles on January 19, 1967, 20 years and four days after his daughter’s murder. So far as anyone knew, he never spoke of his unfortunate child again.