Nickname given to Elizabeth Short (29th July 1924 – c. 15th January 1947),
an American woman who was the victim of a much-publicized murder in 1947.
Short acquired the moniker posthumously from newspapers in the habit of nicknaming crimes they found particularly lurid. The “Black Dahlia” nickname may have been derived from a film noir murder mystery, The Blue Dahlia, released in April 1946. Short was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on 15th January 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Short’s unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books, television, and film adaptations of the story. Short’s murder is one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Los Angeles history.
About sixty people confessed to the murder, mostly men. Of those, twenty-five were considered viable suspects by the Los Angeles District Attorney. In the course of the investigation, some of the original twenty-five were eliminated, and several new suspects were proposed. Suspects remaining under discussion by various authors and experts to this day include Walter Bayley, Norman Chandler, Leslie Dillon, Joseph A. Dumais, Man Ray, and most specifically Dr. George Hill Hodel, who may have murdered Short in his Loyld Wright designed home on Franklin Avenue.
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