Crime all the Time

By Katie Koth

The Death of Elizabeth Short

Words cannot comprehend how sad this reading was for me. I had actually heard of the death of Elizabeth Short before. It is one of the most well-known murder crimes of the mid 1900s. The details of the murder are horrifying. She had rope burns along her wrists and ankles, indicating that she had been “spread-eagled”. There were cuts along the breasts. Obviously, this girl had endured significant amounts of torture before her untimely murder.

One thing I’m a little confused about. The killer tortured the Dahlia so severely for several days. But once the victim choked on her own blood, the killer took care of the mess. He drained her blood, cleaned her body, and even shampooed her hair. Why?

The layout of this article was very good. I loved how it pulls the reader in and captivates them. I pictured a Law and Order episode while reading it. The body is discovered, and it’s a mystery who the body actually is. So they spend the first half of the episode searching for clues. Once the victim is identified, they spend the second half of the episode trying to figure out who did it. This is the basic structure to any Law and Order episode. However, most Law and Order episodes resolve, and this one didn’t. It left the reader completely in shambles wondering WHO KILLED ELIZABETH SHORT?????


    3 comments already | Leave your own comment

  1. 10/29/2013 | 9:00 pm Permalink

    Agree with you, one of the most disturbing elements of the Black Dahlia is that it’s so gruesome and remains unsolved. What’s crazy to me is how this murder is linked back to Torso, the killer had a similar modus operandi, and also seemed to bleed the bodies. Did the Cleveland Butcher move West?

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  2. 10/31/2013 | 1:18 am Permalink

    I love what you are getting at with the WHY? question. Why go to the trouble to drain her blood, clean her body, and shampoo her hair? I have my suspicions that this was a crime of passion and not a random killing and that the only way not to be charged with the crime would be to make sure there wasn’t evidence on the body. Draining her blood I’m not sure why that was needed. I also am perplexed as to if it was a lover, as resent reports have said it to be, how did his family not know he was torturing a woman for 2-3 days? Did they know? These are the questions I ask myself.

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  3. 10/31/2013 | 2:06 am Permalink


    Not sure this could be a crime of passsion, it seems way too methodical and deliberate. Not saying he or she didn’t know Betty Short, but there can be no doubt this was the work of a bonafide lunatic.

    Read Ellroy’s Black Dahlia

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