A Holland “Passerby” Captures Photographs of “Black Dahlia” Mannequin Posed on Vacant Lot in South Amsterdam

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!
Kind regards,
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

Victim Elizabeth Short
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)

Het Parool Newspaper article Click Here

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


Imagine this happening to you: during your daily corona walk through Southeast you will see two feet sticking out, motionless, from behind a bush. You suspect the worst. You slowly walk towards it and guess what? It is not a body, but a mannequin.
It happened to one of our readers, who forwarded the photo to the editors. The shock is understandable, all the more because the mannequin seems to be severely battered. The doll is cut in half and has many cuts.
What tragic fate exactly fell to the mannequin woman remains a guess, for the time being. The reader has reported the eerie find to the police, who removed the doll.
Interesting that the article fails to make the obvious connection to the infamous crime when they ask the question, “What tragic fate exactly fell to the mannequin woman remains a guess for the time being.”
However, it is understandable considering that what is Big Front Page News in the U.S. is hardly recognized in Europe and vice versa.
For example, here is a headline from Holland, (on the same day, Jan. 15, 2021, as the mannequin was found) which I, nor likely most American’s were unaware of, but is HUGE NEWS in Holland. 
Thanks again to “Our Man in Amsterdam” – As we say here, It’s all Good. “Jam Up and Jelle Tight”.


  1. Steve Hodel on January 18, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Mockery noun “An absurd misrepresentation of imitation of something.”

    I disagree. The intent is exactly the opposite. In this case, it is to show that in fact the Amsterdam mannequin and it’s posing does mimic and specifically represents our Los Angeles crime scene and the January 15, 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short.
    Those unfamiliar with our crime (most Hollanders) have never seen the Dahlia Crime scene.
    Also, the photographs clearly establish the horrific crime signature of “Murder as a Fine Art” which the killer has “borrowed” from his personal friend, Man Ray, in staging his own Surreal Masterpiece. The showing of the crime scene as it appeared is not for any sensational purpose, but rather TO INFORM.

  2. Douglas on January 18, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Wow. What a disturbing homage or at least reference. I wonder if there ever was or will be more “artistic” activity in this corner of the world relating to the original crime(s). Do you know of any significant links to Amsterdam and GHH, or would you guess this is some kind of random, twisted “fan art”?

    • Steve Hodel on January 18, 2021 at 5:08 pm

      I’d say your “random, twisted guy” (or gal?) pretty much sums it up.
      At least I hope so. No known connections of GHH to Amsterdam other than he
      had been there in his travels. But, he’d pretty much been all over the world, so…

      • Christian Espinal on January 19, 2021 at 9:11 pm

        Hi Steve just pure curiosity, did you father ever went to Africa?

        • Steve Hodel on January 19, 2021 at 9:20 pm

          Christian E:
          Good question. I don’t have an answer to it. He never made mention of ever going to Africa, but traveled extensively throughout Europe. Also, he never mentioned South America, but did travel extensively through Mexico.
          I think he would have mentioned it at some point going to Africa, but ???

Leave a Comment