In my July 23, 2009 blog (1947 LAPD Confidant That The Black Dahlia Avenger Was A Serial Killer) we examined the myth of the Black Dahlia Murder being a “standalone” crime and produced the documentation and statements from LAPD showing what they actually believed — that her crime was a serial killing and was just one of many LONE WOMAN MURDERS perpetuated by one suspect, operating in and near the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
Now let’s examine the Dahlia’s second sacred cow – The Myth of the “Missing Week.”
Legend has it that Elizabeth Short was last seen walking out the Olive Street door of the Biltmore Hotel. She was seen to turn right and head south on the sidewalk and into the fog of L.A. NOIR.
As the story goes Elizabeth was not seen by anyone for six-days, until her bruised, battered and surgically bisected nude body turned up carefully “posed like a mannequin,” on a vacant-lot, some four-miles south of Hollywood.
The simple and well documented truth is–THERE NEVER WAS A MISSING WEEK.
Since BDA’s original publication in 2003 new evidence has been discovered supporting the fact that there was no missing week. In my 2004 post-publication review of the secret DA FILES I located a never before seen 1950 interview conducted by Lt. Frank Jemison of a highly reliable witness and friend of the victim’s, Miss Connie Starr, who knew and visited with Elizabeth Short at the residence of Mark Hansen and his girlfriend, Ann Toth, on Jan. 11th, three days into her “missing week.”
What was likely not known by Lt. Jemison at the time of his 1950 interview was that there was a direct link (one degree of separation) between Elizabeth Short’s friends, Connie Starr and Ann Toth and George Hodel! How?
In Lt. Jemison’s interview notes he makes mention that Connie Starr and her friend, Ann Toth (live-in girlfriend of Florentine Gardens theater owner, Mark Hansen) were both bit actors in the film, ARCH OF TRIUMPH (released Feb. 1948) The film starred : Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Charles Laughton, and the costume designer was- Marion Herwood Keyes. Marion in addition to working for the film studios as a costume designer (credited in such classic films as: Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Clock, The Postman Always Rings Twice) was also girlfriend and personal secretary to- Dr. George Hill Hodel. (Marion not only worked as Dr. Hodel’s secretary at his First Street Clinic, but also was a co-worker and girlfriend to Ruth Spaulding, whom LAPD had suspected was overdosed by Dr. Hodel in May, 1945. (See FAQ 12.1 for full summation)
MYTH OF THE “MISSING WEEK”
One of my biggest investigative revelations came to me late in the year, 2000, when I was just completing my first full year of research.. I had spent four full months chronicling the KNOWN facts and had amassed 150 different witness interviews. (They spanned the time period from 1943-1999) After sorting them by date, time and location, in looking at the limited time-frame of Jan. 9 – 14, 1947 it became obvious to me that there never was a missing week. All of the separate witnesses’ statements, though independent of one another, lined up and corroborated that simple truth.
Apparently, no one before me, (including LAPD detectives) had taken the time to do this! (Partly understandable, as it was extremely time-intensive research, and took many months to compile.) But there it was!
MISINTERPRETATION OF LAPD POLICE BULLETIN CONTRIBUTED TO MYTH
At first glance (without reading the information) the below official LAPD Bulletin would appear to confirm a missing week between Jan 9-15, 1947. It does not! The bulletin is actually a REQUEST FOR INFORMATION. It was prepared and circulated just four days after the identification of the body as being Elizabeth Short. The bulletin printed and distributed to uniform patrol and detectives orders them to “make inquiries at all hotels, motels, apartment houses, cocktail bars and lounges, night clubs to ascertain whereabouts of victim between dates mentioned.”
On Jan. 21st, just five days into the investigation, LAPD officers did as requested and this resulted in 12 of the verified 13 reliable sightings as reported below. (The 13th verified sighting (Connie Starr) would be uncovered by DA Lt. Jemison in his 1950 investigation.)
DOWNTOWN L.A. SIGHTINGS JAN 9 – 14, 1947
HOLLYWOOD – BEVERLY HILLS SIGHTINGS JAN 9 – 14, 1947
COMBINED HOLLYWOOD-DOWNTOWN SIGHTINGS JAN 9 – 14, 1947
JAN 9 – 14, 1947 WITNESS LIST
Here are the FACTS. All of the witnesses listed below made official reports directly to the LAPD. They are fresh accounts from January, 1947, published by the various L.A. newspapers in the days and weeks immediately following the discovery of the body. Six of the witnesses (in red) were personally acquainted with and spoke directly to Elizabeth Short at the time of the sighting/encounter and their identifications are not in doubt. As shown below, Elizabeth Short was seen and talked to on: Jan 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14, which includes each and every day of her supposed “missing week.”
WITNESS SIGHTINGS DIAGRAM
While not directly related to the Missing Week Myth, the following discovery must be added as a surreal P.S. to the time period- January, 1947. As Elizabeth Short is traveling between downtown L.A. and Hollywood, the below calendar is printed and released
This though FACT is beyond the surreal and can only be found in Rod Serling’s “land of both shadow and substance.” For this P.S. we have to enter his world of the “The Twilight Zone”:
But, first let’s- CUE THE MUSIC
GEORGE HODEL’S FRANKLIN HOUSE TENANT/ACTRESS – “MISS JANUARY 1947”