One of the most famous unsolved murder cases has to be that of Elizabeth Short aka The Black Dahlia. Elizabeth was born July 29, 1924 in Massachusetts.
At the age of 5 her father Cleo disappeared, many thought he had committed suicide, but later he wrote a letter to her mother Phoebe apologizing for leaving. He was never allowed to return to his family.
Beth, as she preferred to be called, became very close to her mother and they would frequently visit the movies. This started Beth’s obsession with becoming a famous movie starlet.
At the age of 19 Beth moved to California to be with her father and pursue her acting career, however, the stay didn’t last long as he asked her to leave when she started staying out late and becoming lazy.
She was later arrested in Santa Barbara for underage drinking and ordered by police to return home. She didn’t return home, instead she moved to Hollywood and got carried away in the lifestyle.
Beth was last seen alive in January 1947, aged 22, at the Biltmore Hotel. She was believed to be meeting a gentleman, but when she left the hotel on the 9th of January, it was the last time she was seen alive. Her body was found on the 15th of January in a vacant lot on the side of a road in the Leimert District of LA.
Her Body was severed.
Short’s severely mutilated body was severed at the waist and completely drained of blood. Not only was the body bloodless, but her body had been obviously washed by the killer as well. Her face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears.
The Los Angeles Herald-Express and the Los Angeles Examiner, sensationalized the case, making her seem promiscuous. The black tailored suit Short was last seen wearing became “a tight skirt and a sheer blouse” and Elizabeth Short became the “Black Dahlia”, an “adventuress” who “prowled Hollywood Boulevard”. As time passed, the media coverage became more outrageous, with claims that her lifestyle had “made her victim material”.
Local police were swamped with people claiming to be the killer of Elizabeth Short. On January 23, 1947, someone claiming to be the killer called the editor of the Los Angeles Examiner, expressing concern that news of the murder was tailing off in the newspapers and offering to mail items belonging to Short to the editor. The following day, a packet arrived at the Los Angeles newspaper containing Short’s birth certificate, business cards, photographs, names written on pieces of paper, and an address book with the name Mark Hansen embossed on the cover. Hansen, an acquaintance at whose home she had stayed with friends, became a suspect.
To this day, whenever a reference is made about Elizabeth, whether it be in a new show, movie or newspaper, local police get an influx of people coming forward with information. The Killer has NEVER been caught.
It is believed that Elizabeth’s ghost haunts the Biltmore Hotel. Popular legend goes that a man enters the elevator in the lobby and notices a beautiful woman and as he goes to press the 8th floor button, he noticed the 6th floor button is already lit up.
He notices the woman in the reflection of the metallic doors, she is dressed all in black and has a very pale complexion. As the elevator reaches the 6th floor the doors open and the woman remains still, he turns to her but she just stares into space. She becomes startled as he gentle reminds her that the elevator is on her floor, and she slowly moves past him towards the open doors. As she brushes past, the gentleman gets chills as the air suddenly becomes freezing.
The woman walks into the hallway and slowly turns back towards the gentleman. As she turns there is sudden sadness in her face, an urgency behind her eyes, screams out silently for help. The elevator doors start to close on the woman. The gentleman frantically presses the button to open the elevator doors again but as the doors start to re open, the woman is gone.
He walks out into the hallway and looks both ways but no one is there, the entire length of the hallway is empty.
A few days later the man is reading a book about unsolved murders and staring straight back at him is the woman he saw in the elevator…..Elizabeth short. The Black Dahlia.