In the summer of 2001, my girlfriend, Roberta McCreary (my researcher extraordinaire) and I drove to the seaside community of Seal Beach in Orange County, where I would conduct the most bizarre homicide witness-interview of my entire career. An interview with fellow retired LAPD officer, Myrl McBride, the last person to see Elizabeth Short alive. (With the obvious exception of her killer(s).
Myrl McBride at 88, lived alone.(Visited regularly by her “pride-and-joy son,” LAPD Commander Tim McBride). She played golf three times a week, her mind was still sharp as a tack, and her sense of humor was as strong as her coffee. (Perfectly brewed!) Myrl was an absolute delight!
Excerpted below is the two-page interview from BDA that established that officer McBride HAD NO DOUBT that the person who ran up to her in fear, claiming “an ex-suitor had just threatened to kill her,” WAS IN FACT ELIZABETH SHORT. This occurred on January 14, 1947 at approximately 3:30 p.m.. Officer McBride calmed her down, then accompanied Elizabeth back to the Main Street bar where they recovered her purse. (The man was gone.) After Elizabeth assured McBride that she was “O.K.” the officer left, but confirmed she saw and spoke to her just thirty minutes later when Elizabeth exited a second bar, accompanied by “two men and a woman.” (Myrl could not recall their descriptions, but informed me she had given them to detectives back in 1947.) On this second contact, Elizabeth was calm and informed officer McBride that she, “was going to meet her father at the bus station.” This is the last known sighting of Elizabeth Short. Her bisected body was found the following morning at 10:30 a.m– just 18 hours after speaking with officer McBride.
Click for interview:
myrl mcbride bda excerpt.pdf
Here’s how I described my meeting with Myrl McBride in BDA, Chapter 30, page 398:
“This interview with Myrl was the strangest of my career. On the surface, we were sitting together in her home, sharing a cup of coffee, linked as we were, ‘fellow retired LAPD’ discussing the facts of an ice-cold murder case. Below the surface, the link was surreal. The last known witness to see and speak with Elizabeth Short — and that in the presence of her killers — was, five decades later, seated next to that killer’s son, now an ex-homicide detective, who was putting the final pieces in place to solve the murder.”
Myrl McBride and author at her home 2001
(photo courtesy of Roberta McCreary)
Myrl McBride & son Tim circa 1949
Myrl’s son, Tim, grew up to become an LAPD Commander, now retired.
Myrl McBride, a beautiful soul and one of LAPD’s finest, passed away, on
November 26, 2002.
R.I.P. Myrl and Thank You!