It was the morning of January 15, 1947, when a mother was taking her child on a walk when she stumbled upon an ungodly sight: a young naked woman who was sliced in half at the waist. The body was so still that the mother originally thought it was a mannequin. Despite being cut in half and mutilated there was no blood at the scene which indicated that the young woman must have been murdered somewhere else.
The identifying of her body was quicker than one would think for 1947. The LA Police Department sent over her fingerprints to the FBI via a caveman version of a fax machine (which itself today is a relic). The fingerprints were luckily in the FBI database. The young woman was none other than Hollywood hopefull Elizabeth Short. She had been arrested for underage drinking a few months earlier and had applied for a job at the Army’s Camp Cooke a few years earlier which is why she was able to be identified quickly. The press labeled her Black Dahlia based on a movie that was out at the time called Blue Dahlia and rumor that Elizabeth liked to wear sheer black clothes.
To this day the killer has not been found. At the time over 60 people confessed to the murder but only 25 of them were considered viable suspects by the LAPD. Because of this legend, more suspects keep getting added to the list and now over 500 people have confessed to her murder (some of which weren’t even born at the time of her death!). Because of the clean nature of the cuts on Short’s body, the police believed the killer to be a medical professional.
Since this crime was committed 72 years ago, the odds of us ever figuring out who the real killer is are slim to none. It will forever be a mystery, a mystery that will go unsolved.