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Even 65 years after it happened, the murder of Elizabeth Short remains one of Americas most notorious unsolved mysteries. The utterly gruesome nature of the murder, combined with the incidents connection to the very in-vogue (at the time) Los Angeles art scene, make this a murder people cant seem to forget.

To be a fan of Marcel Duchamp is not uncommon in this day and age among people who consider themselves art lovers. But the truly obsessed, those who read endless monographs on the artist, eventually reach a point where they encounter the quietly heralded opinion that Duchamps final work of art, Etant donnés, bears a striking resemblance to crime scene photos of Shorts death.

DISCLAIMER: This book contains a section of graphic images depicting the scene of the crime, which may not be appropriate to readers of younger ages. Please proceed with caution.


George Gillis lives in San Francisco.

'George Gillis' is used as a pseudonym, at the author's request.


Outside of Short and the two detectives attached to the case, our storys main characters are absent. Due to the fact that reporters all over LA trampled evidence and kept tips to themselves to get the best story, its possible that the police never even had access to all of the evidence originally available.

Hundreds of people have been considered suspects in the years both immediately following the murder and since, but ultimately no one has been proven guilty. The crime remains unsolved.

There are, of course, popular speculations regarding who it was that killed Elizabeth Short. Some have considered the possibility that Shorts death was caused by the same man responsible for the Cleveland Torso Murders, while others insist that it was George Hodel.

George Hodel was a physician in the LA area who became a suspect when he was accused, by his fourteen year old daughter, of molestation. He was acquitted of all charges in the molestation case, but the incident led to the police placing his home under audio surveillance. Transcripts of the recordings reveal the following statement made by Hodel himself: "Supposin' I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn't prove it now. They cant talk to my secretary anymore because she's dead...They thought there was something fishy. Anyway, now they may have figured it out. Killed her. Maybe I did kill my secretary..."

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