January 18, 2021
Los Angeles, California
On January 15, 2021 I received the below email from Jelle Haversmans, an artist/writer living in Amsterdam, Holland.
Today, on the 15th of January – which is, as you know, the same date as when Elizabeth Short’s (The Black Dahlia) body was found, a Dutch woman from Amsterdam found a mannequin that eerily resembles the Black Dahlia. She didn’t report it to the police but called some newspapers to notify them of her gruesome find. It was located near a subway rail close to a street called Dolingadreef in the south of Amsterdam. For a few seconds she thought she had stumbled upon a dumped body but then noticed it was a painted mannequin that seemed to be cut in half (I can send you the pictures). Like the Black Dahlia, the corpse is carefully painted white and ‘her’ mouth is cut from ear to ear. The mannequin is cut in two, just like with Elizabeth Short.
I sometimes write for Dutch newspapers like Het Parool en de Volkskrant, and a reporter I know sent me the images the woman took with her phone, because he knows I’ve always been interested in the Elizabeth Short murder case ever since I read your book. He connected the dots rightaway and thought of me. I asked the woman who found the mannequin if she wanted to talk with me but, unfortunately, she didn’t want anything more to do with it. I think it is not a coincidence that this disfigured mannequin was found on the same date as Elizabeth Short.
Perhaps it is a sick prank, or maybe something else? I thought it was worth sending this news to you, as you must be compelled by anything that is Black Dahlia related. I would be happy to send you the pictures of the ‘corpse’ so you can see the resemblances. Anyway, keep up the good work!
Jelle Havermans from Holland
Many thanks to Jelle for forwarding the information and photographs. Thanks to his efforts, let’s make Jelle, our foreign correspondent, “Our Man in Amsterdam.”
Clearly this sculpted “artwork” (unclaimed and uncredited) is the artist’s imitation of and re-presents the January 15, 1947 Los Angeles’ Crime and infamous murder of Elizabeth Short, better known to the world as “The Black Dahlia.” (The “artist” in his/her recreation has even included the detailed trauma to the face, head, breasts and lower body; the bisected torso; and the posing of the arms in what the surrealists referred to as: “The Minotaur position.”
Location where mannequin posed on South Amsterdam lot:
Below are the photographs forwarded to me by Jelle Haversmans, taken in the South Amsterdam lot, by the anonymous “passerby”. That witness must have been affected and shocked much as the original witness, Mrs. Betty Basinger was, when she and her three-year-old daughter discovered what they at first they believed was a mannequin, as they passed by the Los Angeles vacant lot in Liemert Park District on the same date in 1947.
Five photographs taken by anonymous passerby witness of mannequin
posed in vacant lot off Dolingadreef Street in South Amsterdam, Holland.
Photo of victim Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short circa 1946
January 15, 1947 crime scene photos of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short, posed in vacant lot 3815 S. Norton Ave, in Liemert Park District of Los Angeles:
“Murder as a Fine Art” Crime Signature as discussed in Black Dahlia Avenger (Skyhorse Publications 2015)
English translation of Het Parool article by Jelle Haversmans:
Steve, I translated the article for you here:
Shocking: “Corpse” turns out to be battered mannequin