September 18, 2021
Los Angeles, California
Here’s my latest blog and sadly and horrifically, it is the reason WHY victim Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short became one. of if not, THE most infamous whodunit in LA history. (Caution contains adult content and detailed crime scene descriptions.)
Let’s do a review of the “timeline” of the final hours immediately preceding the horrific torture-murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short up through the discovery of her body, posed in the Leimert Park vacant lot on January 15, 1947, at approximately 10:00 A.M.
We begin with the last confirmed sighting of Elizabeth Short some eighteen hours before her body was found.
A TIMELINE OF HORROR
Jan 14, 1947- 2 pm (approx) – 5th and Main Streets, downtown Los Angeles, sidewalk.
Elizabeth Short exits a bar and runs up to LAPD uniformed officer Meryl McBride and hysterically yells to her, “A man in the bar, just threatened to kill me.” Officer McBride accompanied by Elizabeth enter the bar and the man is gone, however, Elizabeth recovers her purse. Both exit and after thanking the officer both go their separate ways and McBride resumes her foot beat in the area.
Jan 14, 1947- 4 pm (approx) – 6th and Main Streets, downtown Los Angeles, sidewalk.
Officer McBride still on her footbeat one block south of prior contact with Elizabeth Short sees her exit a bar near 6th and Main Streets in DTLA with “two males and a female.” McBride, concerned for Elizabeth’s welfare, stops and questions her, “Are you OK?” Elizabeth responds, “Yes, I’m fine. Going to the Greyhound Bus Depot to meet my father.” (The bus depot is just one city block away.) Officer McBride leaves her with adults and continues on her foot beat.
Jan 14, 1947- 5121 Franklin Ave, Hollywood 4:30 pm – Jan 15, 1947 -6:00 AM
Elizabeth Short was taken by same “two males and one female” adult suspects (believed to be Dr. George Hodel, Fred Sexton, and unknown female) and driven to Hodel’s private residence, 5121 Franklin Ave, where she was likely drugged, beaten, tortured and sexually assaulted (sodomized) during the late-night and into the early morning hours. Based on the trauma to the body LE experts and doctors estimate the extended torture could have taken as long as 3-4 hours. (Drugged, posed, photographed, rounded scalpel cuts to mouth (almost ear-to-ear) believed to represent surrealist artist Man Ray’s 1936 painting The Lovers. The victim’s right breast was completely excised and removed. (Breast never found and may have been buried at Hodel residence?) Cuttings to pubic region and a large section of flesh bearing a Rose Tattoo cut from left thigh and inserted in victim’s vagina. Multiple crisscross cutting patterns, to the victim’s right thigh, is believed to be in imitation of Man Ray’s 1943 painting L’Equivoque. The victim, while still alive, was force-fed feces (likely Bandini Fertilite Steer Manure). Multiple blows (blunt force trauma) were inflicted to the victim’s forehead which according to the Coroner would have caused a loss of consciousness and were contributory to the “Cause of Death.”
The victim’s body was then surgically bisected and a “hemicorporectomy” was performed. (A procedure taught in medical schools in the 1930s that could only be performed by a trained, skilled surgeon. Experts estimate this procedure could have taken several hours to perform, “likely in a bathtub.” The two sections of the body were then washed, scrubbed clean using a nylon brush, and towel dried.)
Investigation indicated that the two separate body parts (upper and lower torso) were then carried from the inner courtyard of the residence through the backdoor that led directly to the rear garage. Multiple fifty-pound empty paper sacks (Bandini Fertilite Manure and four separate sacks previously containing powdered cement) were used to cover the bench seat or trunk of the vehicle and the body parts.
Dr. George Hill Hodel seated atop the desk in the library at 5121 Franklin Ave circa 1949
Jan 15, 1947 -6:00 AM
The below graphic (courtesy of Author/retired Dallas PD police officer Robert Sadler) depicts the suspected route and actions of Dr. George Hill Hodel in the early morning hours of January 15, 1947. Author’s Note- I personally reenacted and drove the suspected route on January 16 (to ensure identical lighting conditions) and following the suspected route below (in red) arrived at the vacant lot while it was still dark outside. Daylight was just beginning to break and after waiting four minutes at the scene (as described by the witness who saw the suspect and his dark sedan), I then followed the below route home (in red) back to the Hodel residence. I made one brief stop on the return route to where the victim’s shoes and purse were known to be placed by the suspect atop the trashcan at 1136 S. Crenshaw Blvd.
Jan 15, 1947 6:20 AM (approx)
The suspect makes a right turn at Degnan Blvd. drives northbound and bears left at the Y (believing he is still on Degnan and stops on the west side of the street at 3825 S. Norton Avenue. He removes the body parts from the vehicle using the empty manure/cement sacks and carefully poses the separate parts just west of the west curb line; leaving the four or five fifty-pound empty paper sacks (cement and steer manure) near the body. (LAPD will later confirm these sacks were used to transport the body parts from an unknown murder location to the vacant lot.) The eyewitness confirms the suspect, and his black sedan, was at the scene “approximately four minutes and he then drove northbound out of sight.”
SKH Note- For those unaware of my previous investigation/writings it is my belief that the reason George Hodel placed Elizabeth Short’s body on DEGNAN BL. was to serve as a “taunting clue” to his previous murder of little Suzanne Degnan, who I submit he murdered in Chicago almost one year to the day earlier. (1.6.46) He would continue to pose victims bodies and leave these “street clues” in his later serial crimes. See below graphic.
Jan 15, 1947, 6:35 AM (approx)
The suspect drives north to Coliseum Blvd left one block to Crenshaw Blvd then northbound to 1136 South Crenshaw where he places the victim’s purse and shoes atop a trashcan next to a restaurant.
Jan 15, 1947, 6:50 AM (approx)
The suspect drives north on Normandie Ave to the rear alley behind his home makes a left turn drives 150′ and parks his car inside his residence garage and is literally “home free.”
There are naysayers that claim that “Dr. George Hodel was never a surgeon. He had an administrative position and was not skilled in surgery.” NOT SO.
As documented in Black Dahlia Avenger II (Thoughtprint Press 2014) under the chapter “A Doctor Did It”, pages 225-239, here is some of that documentation.
And this is a scan from an earlier job application George Hodel submitted, showing he was “the sole surgeon at a logging camp” shortly after receiving his M.D. in 1936.