“Jack Smith writes like your father would write
if he could, like your brother would write if he
could, like your neighbor would write if he
could. He is wise, he is witty, he is heartwarming.
We need him, because he is us.”
Let’s set the record straight in another of the dozens of myths and false statements surrounding the investigation of one of LA’s most infamous murders; that of Elizabeth Short, known to the world as “The Black Dahlia.”
Legend has it that newspaper reporter, Bevo Means discovered the name. FALSE.
In truth, it was a young Jack Smith, in 1947, then, a rewrite reporter for the MIRROR newspaper, one of LA’s four major newspapers. Smith would in 1953 join the Los Angeles Times, and in the following decades, become much beloved and our city’s leading humorist/journalist/ with a daily column that reported on all things LA.
But, let’s let Jack tell it in his own words as he wrote it in his book, Jack Smith’s L.A., Chapter 15, The Black Dahlia, published back in 1980.
Jack Smith’s L.A. (McGraw-Hill 1980)
The Truth on the naming of the “Black Dahlia”
excerpted as told by Jack Smith in his book “JACK SMITH’S L.A.” (McGraw-Hill 1980)
And below is the full three page Chapter for your enjoyment: