Last Known Photographs of Elizabeth "Black Dahlia" Short – Veritas Vincit-Truth Conquers

Below are the last known photographs of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short that were taken in life. They were taken on the steps of Marshall High School, in the Los Feliz District of
Hollywood, California by a young male friend who met and spent the day with her
in Hollywood in October, 1947.
 (Photos were published in BDA)

ES Marshall Truth Conquers.jpg


Los Angeles, California

A few weeks
ago I received the below e-mail from a reader who is a resident of the Los
Feliz District of Los Angeles. For his privacy sake I have made minor edits
removing personal information and will give him the fictitious initials: A.R.




May 19, 2013


Dear Steve,


I just finished reading Black Dahlia Avenger (Book 1) and I was thoroughly compelled by
your story. I wanted to thank you for your bravery and dedication in bringing
the truth of such sad and painful events to light. Your book was so well
researched and so clearly written with a thirst for justice, that I feel as
though I know the people involved those many years ago.

Even though I am a reader with no connection
to the events or people of your story, I nonetheless feel a strong, emotional
sense of compassion for Elizabeth Short. I am not a young woman with dreams of
being an actress–as she might have been-but I did come to Los Angeles as a
25-year-old guy with dreams of my own. Somehow, I feel I can relate to Beth and
her optimistic journey from the East. I can relate to her feelings of wonder
and excitement at discovering the west coast, the allure and magic of
California. I came to LA over 10 years ago, and I have established a good
career here.  Thinking of the joy and the
accomplishment I have experienced, it pains me to imagine the tragic end of a
young woman–just a girl–who never wanted to harm anyone, and yet who was
brutally destroyed in her youth. I thank you for seeking the truth on her
behalf, both for her good name and to bring her killer to justice.

After finishing your book, and watching some
of your video interviews on YouTube, I didn’t necessarily intend to write
you–and in fact I don’t recall ever writing to an author. But something I
learned today compelled me. (Something you may already know about John Marshall

As a resident of Los Feliz, I am familiar
with John Marshall High School. I drive past it every day on my way to work.
After I saw the photos in your book of Beth Short sitting on the steps of the
school, I couldn’t resist walking by to see those steps for myself. To picture
her sitting there, alive and smiling. (The thing that struck me on first sight
was that in real life the steps looked smaller to me than in the photos.
Obviously, this is because Beth was smaller than me–and by comparison, the
steps look bigger next to her. The observation only deepened my compassion for
her, realizing how tiny she really was next to the man who ended her life.)

I stood near those steps for a moment,
looking at the brass seal, and the old, cracked bricks of the wall. I stood and
walked where she must have done the same. But I didn’t sit on that seat. I just
imagined her there.

I googled John Marshall High, and read the Wikipedia
page… and was struck by the school’s motto when it was established in 1931:
Veritas Vincit


At that moment, I had the urge to email you.
To give you those words, even if you’ve heard them before. And to thank you for
your unblinking pursuit of the truth.

Thank you,



Thank YOU
A.R.  No, I was not aware of the school’s
motto. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and this ironic discovery, and for
bringing to light and making visible this permanent truth, which has stood in
silent, secret prophecy with Elizabeth on the school steps–but remained unseen and
unknown until your discovery.




  1. Kathy on June 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Steve, I was amazed to read this latest post and the kind words of A. R. The synchronicity of this case is uncanny and it’s just amazing to realize that Elizabeth Short, sat on the steps of John Marshall high school and that the school’s motto was “Truth Conquers”. How prophetic that was or is! I firmly believe that the truth does eventually come out in the end and that your part in bringing to light the truth about her sad case is very helpful and so important in the scheme of things! There are probably more unknown victims of Dr. George Hodel and perhaps more of them will gain the strength and bravery to come forward and let their or their loved ones’ stories be told.
    Keep up the good work and the good fight!

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