Here is Part I of a three part article on the Black Dahlia, written by Kahina Sekkai for the French Magazine, Paris Match.
My apologies for having to use a computer translation to convert to English, as much of the writing becomes “lost in translation”, but for those of us that do not read French, it must suffice.
For those of you that do read French, Ms Sekkai’s article appears HERE.
(Parts 2 & 3 will follow on Sunday and Monday.)
February 23, 2013
The Black Dahlia (1/3): A
By Kahina Sekkai- Parismatch.com
(Computer translation to English from French)
In 1947, a gruesome discovery is made in a vacant lot in Los Angeles. The lifeless body of a young woman, drained of blood and cut in half. Since
then, no suspect has been
arrested. In the light of new
evidence, we propose to (re)
discover the Black Dahlia case in three parts. Here is the first.
The Scene of the Crime
It is a “cold
case” one of those unsolved cases,
which occupy the archives of the Los
Angeles Police Department. If the death of Elizabeth Short is the
most violent, it is also more
media. Case will rarely
managed to captivate the public, the press, and to
prolong the mystery more than 65
years later. Many blogs are now held
by Internet intrigued, trying to gather evidence
on their side to finally give an identity to the murderer.
All elements are combined to arouse the curiosity of the media, at the end of the 1940s in LA. First, the
identity of the victim, Elizabeth
Short, a waitress 22 years, apprentice actress came to get glory
to Los Angeles after growing up
in Massachusetts. The young woman
had a troubled childhood,
thinking for many years that his father
had committed suicide. In reality,
Cleo Short abandoned his wife and children beg to accept it again to
the family upon his return. A decision that Phoebe‘s mother does not accept.
At age 19, Elizabeth tries her luck for the first time in California, where she joined her father. Returned home
the latter after
being arrested drunk when she was
not of legal age to
drink alcohol, she leaves in Massachusetts by order of the police. The New
Year of 1944, the young woman
falls madly in love with a major
in the army, Matt Gordon. It will even ask her to
marry before leaving for the
Pacific, where it is used. But
in August, the plane in which it is crashed, plunging into a deep depression Elizabeth.
She then heads to
Florida, where resident friends of his parents, and drowned in a sea of
men, conscious of its power of
attraction. Some authors have studied the fate of Elizabeth believe that
she became a prostitute, although lacking hardware to
confirm this theory. His latest
conquest is officially a lieutenant met at the end of 1944, Joseph Gordon Fickling.
It is for him that the young woman
joined California in July 1946. Despite their
breakup, both remain in contact.
In the last letter she sent him a week before her
death, she told him want to move
to Chicago to become a model. His former roommates have said, soon after his death the “Los Angeles Times,”
she had chained male
conquests during the last six months of his life.
It is January 15, 1947 between Elizabeth Short,
in spite of herself, in the legend.
Wednesday iced a
crime of violence is rarely found in a
vacant lot in the City of Angels.
The lifeless body of the 22 year old waitress is
found by a mother walking down
the street with his girl. It is primarily a shoe, alone in the middle of the sidewalk,
which attracts the eye of the young
woman. Then his eyes focus on what will be a
few minutes later the scene: the body, cut in two at the waist, Elizabeth
Short. The victim was drained of blood, his intestines are exposed and her legs wide
apart. No drop of
blood around the body, clearly indicating to investigators
that she was not killed on the ground.
His face was slashed to form a macabre smile
and brands at the wrists and ankles shows it was attached.
It is not easily identifiable,
but when newspapers finally put a name to this terrible
news story, they know that the story
will sell: the girl is pretty, brown eyed
and put some
pictures of it have been made
for his book. The
nickname “Black Dahlia” has several explanations:
some argue that the proximity between
the release date of the movie
“The Blue Dahlia”
with Veronica Lake, the mysterious murder of
a young woman, others say that
Elizabeth was such a flower
in her black hair, she wore a color often.
But it is also plausible that this is only a
name given by the press without foundation other than the
sound–a common practice at the
If, for the moment, no end has been given the
mystery of the Black Dahlia, this
incident has greatly inspired.
Brian De Palma has made a film in 2006, giving the apprentice actress Mia
Kirshner traits, which it shares with that
embodies large clear eyes, a porcelain complexion and raven hair. Several television
series have discussed, if not downright solved the mystery, like the series now kitsch 1980s
“Hunter”. And, of course,
among the works related to the Black Dahlia, remain the most famous book by James Ellroy, the first episode
of the saga devoted to Los Angeles. The author
has never hidden his attachment to
Elizabeth Short, his mother being herself
died in violent circumstances,
still unsolved to
this day. For him, the Black
Dahlia served as catharsis
for a drama which he never really recovered.