X-Files: The mystery of the Black Dahlia (VIDEOS)

“The Black Dahlia” was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 – ca. January 15, 1947), an American woman and the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder. She has been portrayed in many ways over the last 60 years since her body was found mutilated, or sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, in Los Angeles. The X-Files today examines the evidence on this aspiring starlet’s gruesome and violent murder. Till this day it continues to be the source of widespread speculation leading to many suspects along with several books and film adaptations of the story.

The Black Dahlia- movie teaser

Elizabeth Short was born in greater Boston, Massachusetts; she grew up and lived in Medford. She was the third of five daughters of Cleo Short and Phoebe Mae Sawyer. Her father built miniature golf courses until the 1929 stock market crash, in which he lost much of the family’s assets. In 1930, he parked his car on a bridge and vanished, leading some to believe he had committed suicide. Short’s mother moved the family to a small apartment in Medford, and found work as a bookkeeper. It was not until later that Short would discover her father was alive and was living in California.

Troubled by asthma and bronchitis, Short was sent to live for the winter in Miami, Florida at the age of 16. She spent the next three years living there during the cold months and in Medford the remainder of the year. At age 19, Short travelled to Vallejo, California to live with her father, who was working nearby at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on San Francisco Bay. The two moved to Los Angeles in early 1943, but an altercation resulted in her leaving there and finding work in the post exchange at Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base), near Lompoc, California. Short next moved to Santa Barbara, where she was arrested on September 23, 1943, for underage drinking. Following her arrest, she was sent back to Medford by the juvenile authorities in Santa Barbara. Short then returned to Florida to live, with occasional visits back to Massachusetts.

The Black Dahlia Murder Theory Part 1/3

In Florida, Short met Major Matthew Michael Gordon Jr., a decorated United States Army Air Forces officer who was assigned to the 2nd Air Commando Group and in training for deployment to China Burma India Theater of Operations. Short told friends that Gordon wrote her a letter from India proposing marriage while he was recovering from injuries sustained from an airplane crash. She accepted his proposal, but Gordon died in a second airplane crash on August 10, 1945 before he could return to the United States. She later exaggerated this story, saying that they were married and had a child who died. Although Gordon’s friends in the air commandos confirmed that Gordon and Short were engaged, his family denied any connection after Short’s murder.

Elizabeth Short returned to Los Angeles in July 1946 to visit Army Air Corps Lieutenant Joseph Gordon Fickling, an old boyfriend she had met in Florida during the war. At the time Short returned to Los Angeles, Fickling was stationed at NARB, Long Beach. For the six months prior to her death, Short remained in southern California, mainly in the Los Angeles area.

The body of Elizabeth Short was found in the Leimert Park district of Los Angeles on January 15, 1947. Her remains had been left on a vacant lot on the west side of South Norton Avenue midway between Coliseum Street and West 39th Street. The body was discovered by local resident Betty Bersinger, who was walking with her three-year-old daughter. Short’s severely mutilated body had been found nude and severed at the waist, completely drained of blood. Her face was slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears, called the Glasgow smile. The body had been washed and cleaned and she had been “posed” with her hands over her head and elbows bent at right angles.

The autopsy stated Short was 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall, weighed 115 pounds (52 kg), and had light blue eyes, brown hair, and badly decayed teeth. There were marks on her ankles and wrists made by rope, consistent with being tied either spreadeagled or hung upside down. Although the skull was not fractured, Short had bruising on the front and right side of her scalp with a small amount of bleeding in the subarachnoid space on the right side, consistent with blows to the head. The cause of death was blood loss from the lacerations to the face combined with shock due to a concussion of the brain.

William Randolph Hearst’s papers, the Los Angeles Herald-Express and the Los Angeles Examiner, sensationalized the case; the black tailored suit Short was last seen wearing became “a tight skirt and a sheer blouse” and Elizabeth Short became the “Black Dahlia”, an “adventuress” who “prowled Hollywood Boulevard”. As time passed, the media coverage became more outrageous with claims her lifestyle “made her victim material”, when those who knew her all reported that Short did not smoke, drink or swear.

On January 23, 1947, the killer rang the editor of the Los Angeles Examiner, expressing concern that news of the murder was tailing off in the newspapers and offering to mail items belonging to Short to the editor. The following day a packet arrived at the Los Angeles newspaper containing Short’s birth certificate, business cards, photographs, names written on pieces of paper and an address book with the name Mark Hansen embossed on the cover. Hansen, the last person known to have seen Short alive (on January 9), became the prime suspect. The killer would later write more letters to the newspaper, calling himself “the Black Dahlia Avenger”, after the name given to Short by the newspapers.

On January 25, Short’s handbag and one shoe were found in a garbage bin a short distance from Norton Avenue. Due to the notoriety of the case, more than 50 men and women have confessed to the murder and police are swamped with tips every time a newspaper mentions the case or a book or movie about it is released. Sergeant St. John, a detective who worked the case until his retirement, stated: “It is amazing how many people offer up a relative as the killer.”

Gerry Ramlow, a Los Angeles Daily News reporter later stated, “If the murder was never solved it was because of the reporters … They were all over, trampling evidence, withholding information.” It took several days for the police to take full control of the investigation during which time reporters roamed freely throughout the department’s offices, sat at officers desks, and answered their phones. Many tips from the public were not passed on to police as the reporters who received them rushed out to get “scoops”.

Short was buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. After her other sisters had grown up and married, Short’s mother moved to Oakland to be near her daughter’s grave. Phoebe Short finally returned to the East Coast in the 1970s and lived into her 90s.[4]

According to newspaper reports shortly after the murder, Elizabeth Short received the nickname “Black Dahlia” at a Long Beach, California drugstore in mid-1946, as a word play on the then-current movie The Blue Dahlia. Los Angeles County district attorney investigators’ reports state that the nickname was invented by newspaper reporters covering the murder. Los Angeles Herald-Express reporter Bevo Means, who interviewed Short’s acquaintances at the drug store, is credited with first using the “Black Dahlia” name.

A number of people, none of whom knew Short, contacted police and the newspapers claiming to have seen her during her so-called “missing week”—a time period between the time of her January 9 disappearance and the time her body was found on January 15. Police and district attorney investigators ruled out each of these alleged sightings, wherein in some cases, those interviewed were identifying other women they had mistaken for Short.


The Black Dahlia Murder Theory Part 2/3

Many true crime books claim that Short lived in or visited Los Angeles at various times in the mid 1940s; these claims have never been substantiated and are refuted by the findings of law enforcement officers who investigated the case.

A document in the Los Angeles County district attorney’s files titled “Movements of Elizabeth Short Prior to June 1, 1946” states that Short was in Florida and Massachusetts from September 1943 through the early months of 1946 and gives a detailed account of her living and working arrangements during this period.

Although a popular portrayal amongst her acquaintances and many true crime authors was of Short as a call girl, the Los Angeles district attorney’s grand jury proved there was no existing evidence that she was ever a prostitute and the district attorney’s office attributes the claim to confusion with a prostitute of the same name. Another widely circulated rumor holds that Short was unable to have sexual intercourse because of a congenital defect that left her with “infantile genitalia”.

Los Angeles County district attorney’s files state that the investigators had questioned three men with whom Short had sex, including a Chicago police officer who was a suspect in the case.

The FBI files on the case also contain a statement from one of Short’s alleged lovers. Found in the Los Angeles district attorney’s files and in the Los Angeles Police Department’s summary of the case, Short’s autopsy describes her reproductive organs as anatomically normal although the report notes evidence of what it called “female trouble”. The autopsy also states that Short was not and had never been pregnant, contrary to what had been claimed prior to and following her death.

So, who killed the Black Dahlia? Author and former head of the FBI’s behavioral sciences unit, John Douglas, had his own theories, based on his own past experiences profiling serial and dangerous killers. After reviewing the coroner’s inquest, autopsy files and cases records, Douglas described Beth’s killer as a white man, no younger than his late 20’s and possibly older, with a high school education. He lived alone, worked with his hands and was comfortable with a knife and blood, like a butcher or slaughterhouse worker. He was also familiar with prostitutes and was compulsive, patient and deliberate. He was also a heavy drinker and under financial stress. He spent several days with the victim and, when drunk, let his personal stress and the alcohol combine into a murderous rage. He cut Beth’s body in half to make transportation easier but also chose mutilation to make a personal statement about the rage that he felt towards her. Severing the body both dehumanized and defemininized her. Douglas also believed that the killer chose the dump site for a reason, as in a personal connection to the neighborhood, perhaps because of some financial setback caused by the fact that the construction in the area was halted because of the war.
Douglas believes that if the murder had been committed today, it would have been solved. He states that the killer would have given himself away by his behavior after the crime, when he sobered up. He also theorized that he might have become paranoid, fearing that he had left some clue behind, and would have become obsessed with the case, reading all of the newspaper coverage of it and collecting clippings. It’s also likely that he would have kept some souvenir of the crime and when he became convinced that he would not be found out, he might taunt the police and newspapers with knowledge he had that no one else did. This might explain the letters and the items of Beth’s that were mailed to the newspapers.
But why no other killings? Douglas believed that perhaps the killer was never under the same sort of stress again or perhaps he died. Most likely though, is that the murderer destroyed himself or was committed to a mental institution. Or perhaps simply faded into obscurity, sure that he would never be caught.

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But no matter the number of theories, books and documentaries on the case, to this date it remains unsolved. No matter who considers themselves an expert on the case and who does not, the truth is that no one was ever charged for the murder of Elizabeth Short and, as far as we know, her death has never been avenged. She remains an elusive mystery from the dark side of Hollywood — and the even darker side of the American landscape.

List of suspects:

  • 1. Carl Balsiger
  • 2. C. Welsh
  • 3. Sergeant “Chuck” name unknown
  • 4. John D. Wade
  • 5. Joe Scalis
  • 6. James Nimmo
  • 7. Maurice Clement
  • 8. A Chicago police officer
  • 9. Salvador Torres Vera*
  • 10. Doctor George Hodel
  • 11. Marvin Margolis*
  • 12. Glenn Wolf
  • 13. Michael Anthony Otero
  • 14. George Bacos
  • 15. Francis Campbell
  • 16. Queer Woman Surgeon
  • 17. Doctor Paul DeGaston
  • 18. Doctor A. E. Brix
  • 19. Doctor M. M. Schwartz
  • 20. Doctor Artnur McGinnis Faught
  • 21. Doctor Patrick S. O’Reilly
  • 22. Mark Hansen
MORE INFO ON SUSPECTS1. Carl Balsiger, in February, 1943 was stationed at Camp Cooke at the same time as Beth Short. She was employed there in the commissary. When questioned by police on January 20, 1947, he stated he first met victim at real estate office on Sunset Boulevard on December 6, 1946, that she moved out of the Chancellor Hotel that date and that he took her in his car on a business trip to Camarillo, California where he made a sale of supplies to a baker. They returned to Los Angeles the same day and then signed his name for a room for victim at a hotel on Yucca Street, Hollywood. That on December 7, he took her down to the bus station in Hollywood where she said she was going to take a bus San Francisco to see her sister. He said that he had no sexual relations with her; he just felt sorry for her. This story was not believed as the facts indicated that the victim took a bus to San Diego on December 9, 1946. It was established that this suspect on two occasions had given different women vicious beatings apparently for no good reason and that a young twenty-two year old woman by the name of Dorothy Welsh with whom he had attended a school in Kansas City was murdered in that city in 1941 in a similar manner to victim Short. The brother Claude Welsh had been tried for this murder and acquitted. It was further suspected that this suspect Balsiger had known Short at Camp Cooke and had been court-martialed and sent overseas as a result of Short who then laid claim to the personal effects and property of this suspect. This suspect left Los Angeles shortly after the murder and moved from job to job in various states. Investigation by undersigned and Sgt. Brown established apartment where he was rooming at the time of the murder in Hollywood and that he had lied when he said he had been with the victim one day and one night on December 6, 1946, and that his name did not appear in victim’s address book, but that it was on a folded piece of paper in with her personal effects which were mailed into police department on January 24, 1947. There was no hotel register on Yucca Street which contained the name of this suspect on the evening of December 6, 1946. He was finally located in St. Louis. Sgt. Brown went there where he was given a lie detector test and questioned. He admitted being with victim until December 8, 1946, but convinced Sgt. Brown that he was not the sergeant court-martialed. He was informed that Claude Welsh was in Hollywood at the time of the murder. It has not yet been established that he [Welsh] ever met the victim. It has since been ascertained that the sergeant who knew victim at Camp Cooke, against whom she testified in the court-martial was Sergeant “Chuck” (last name unknown). This information was secured from interviewing numerous friends of victim at Camp Cooke who worked in the commissary and information from officers stationed there in 1943. Thus far it has been impossible to find any record of such a court-martial proceedings. See photograph and other reports in re this suspect.

2. Claude Welsh, in 1941 was acquitted by Superior Court jury of the murder of his sister, Dorothy, age twenty-two, in the city of Kansas City. Her body was cut by a sharp knife, a piece of flesh was cut from her buttocks and left on the ground near an open window in the victim’s bedroom where the suspect had apparently made his escape. This suspect’s fingerprints were in the room but standing alone were not sufficient evidence for conviction. There is now information that he was in Hollywood at the time of the murder of victim Short, however it has never been established that he knew the victim. Kansas City police have failed to send complete information on this suspect as they had agreed to do. The investigation of this suspect is still pending. See photograph of suspect attached.

3. Sergeant “Chuck” (last name unknown) was seen with victim on numerous occasions at Camp Cooke in the spring of 1943. She testified that he had assaulted her to the court-martial proceedings there and he was ordered overseas as a result of it. She attempted to obtain his personal property which it was necessary for him to leave behind. It is agreed by investigators that this could be a revenge murder committed by such a person as Sgt. “Chuck”. Thus far numerous associates of victim at Camp Cooke have been interviewed and a search has been made for the records of this court-martial proceedings which would reveal the full name, background and information of this suspect. Thus far they have not been found. The investigation of this suspect is pending. See Los Angeles Police Department reports.

4. John D. Wade, alias Dr. J, Bass, DDS, whose photograph was shown to all waitresses and bartenders of the Crown Grill cocktail bar at 9th and Olive, Los Angeles, along with numerous photos, and his photo looked familiar as a customer to Francis Campbell, waitress (see statement), Joe Scalis, bartender of 2611 Bronson and also familiar to Bernice Smith, waitress, 915 North Vendome. Elizabeth Short and her friend Marjorie Graham and Ann Toth were known drinking customers of this bar located at 9th and Olive, which is two blocks from where Elizabeth Short was last seen alive. This suspect was caught phoning lewd conversations to a South Gate housewife by Investigators Sharp and Corsini and there questioned by undersigned. He admitted drinking in some of the bars where Short was seen shortly before her murder. No waitress or bartender or anyone else could place this suspect associated with victim.

5. Joe Scalis, Adson Hotel, 2611 South Bronson, Parkway 9314, was a bartender on duty the night of January 9, 1947 at the Crown Grill, the night Short was last seen alive. He was bartender on the Olive Street side. It will be remembered that victim Short was last seen alive walking in the direction of this bar as she left the main door of the Hilton on the Olive Street side. This suspect had a reputation for being high-tempered with any woman who would not date with him after closing time. When questioned at his home in the Adson Hotel he appeared very nervous and stated, “Yes, her body was found right over here” (pointing to where it was found eight blocks away) and said, “I was sleeping in a room right across the hall at the time.” But he denied that her photograph looked familiar to him as a customer of the bar.

6. James Nimmo, 147-23 Eighty-eigth Avenue, Jamaica, New York, was assistant usher to chief usher Jack Egger for the Columbia Broadcasting Company located at 6121 Sunset Boulevard before and at time of murder. Jack Egger, now an investigator for the District Attorney, states that Nimmo told him he had taken Short out and that he and Nimmo had seen her at least twenty times waiting to see the broadcast and that the last time he saw her she brought a boyfriend with her for the first time. This boyfriend identified himself at the door by showing a Chicago police badge, and he admitted them ahead of the waiting line of people. Egger states that it was after New Year’s Day, 1947 and that apparently James Nimmo had become well acquainted with the victim. Nimmo has never been questioned. See statement of Jack Egger attached.

7. Maurice Clement, Apartment 107, at 1616 North Normandy was working at Columbia Studios at the time of the murder. His name appeared in the victim’s address book. He knew Short socially and is a likely tyoe of character but has been partially eliminated by Los Angeles Police Department. See their reports.

8. Unknown Chicago Police Officer See photograph taken from trunk of victim of an acquaintance of hers in the East, no doubt as victim was endeavoring to trace her trunk which had gone astray enroute from the East to California at the time of her death. This trunk was located after the murder by officers, and that photo of unnamed person has been identified by Jack Egger, District Attorney investigator, as looking similar to the man who stated that he was an officer from Chicago and who displayed a Chicago police badge which he examined at the Columbia Broadcasting Company entrance during the week of victim’s disappearance. Egger states he was positive it was after New Year’s Day 1947. On this occasion this officer escorted Short into the broadcast ahead of the waiting line. He knew Short having seen her approximately twenty times but on this last occasion it was the only time he saw Short with a boyfriend. This suspect has never been questioned. See statement of Egger and correspondence with Chicago police department. It has been determined that the Chicago police department honorary and special police badges are star shaped and Jack Egger is uncertain as to the shape of the badge examined. He is positive that it read Chicago Police Department. Further that the following named persons knew victim while she was in Chicago enroute to Long Beach, California in July 1946: Jack Chernau, residence 7107 Grand Avenue, Chicago, he registered at the Blackstone Hotel with Short and saw her approximately fifteen times in three weeks. He had intercourse with her; he was in the upholstery business. Slig Diamond, a newspaperman whose residence is Park Row Hotel, Chicago, he saw Short over a ten-day period and has stated that he had intercourse with her and says that she was always talking about murder cases. Lou Paris, feature writer for the Chicago Daily Times, Chicago knew Short and talked with her at which time she was keenly interested in the famous Heirens Chicago murder case. John Giampa, 3421 West Lexington, was a mailer for Chicago Herald American; he knew her and said that Short knew a Chicago detective who worked on the Heirens case. Jan Jansen was reporter on the Chicago Daily News has stated that he knew victim in Chicago. All of these named persons new Short in the month of July, 1946 approximately six months before the murder and anyone of these men could have the honorary special Chicago police badges. See list of Chicago police officers who have retired which was sent by Commissioner of Police of Chicago, Illinois, which officers have retired and come to live in southern California. See photo of suspect identified by Jack Egger. It has been further established that there was only one Chicago police officer who had official business in Los Angeles at the time and he arrived and checked in to his hotel a day after the murder on January 15, 1947. All retired Chicago police officers carry police badges similar to the ones they carry in active service with the exception of the word “retired” appearing in small print on the face of the badge. See correspondence with the Chicago police department and list of names with addresses of all retired Chicago officers residing in this area, which list has not been checked out with photos and by interview.

9. Salvador Torres Vera, business address Brittingham’s Columbia Square at 6121 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood 9-3611. He is employed by his former business associate in Mexico, George Brittingham. This suspect stated that he graduated in surgery at the University of Mexico City. He was residing at 3609 South Hoover attending U.S.C. at the time of the murder. The landlady there, a Mrs. Schreiber, states that she remembered this suspect as a quiet type of roomer and remembered nothing unusual about his conduct or clothing at the time of the murder and never saw him with girls. It has been established that the victim frequented Brittingham’s Restaurant in connection with her visiting the Columbia Broadcasts, but it has not been proven that this suspect ever knew her.

10. Doctor George Hodel, M.D. 5121 Fountain* Avenue, at the time of this murder had a clinic at East First Street near Alameda. Lillian DeNorak who lived with this doctor said he spent some time around the Biltmore Hotel and identified the photo of victim Short as a photo of one of the doctor’s girl friends. Tamar Hodel, fifteen year old daughter stated, that her mother, Dorothy Hodel, has told her that her father had been out all night on a party the night of the murder and said, “They’ll never be able to prove I did that murder.” Two microphones were placed in this suspect’s home (see the log and recordings made over approximately three weeks’ time which tend to prove his innocence. See statement of Dorothy Hodel, former wife.) Informant Lillian DeNorak has been committed to the State Mental Institution at Camarillo. Joe Barrett, a roomer at the Hodel residence cooperated as an informant. A photograph of the suspect in the nude with a nude identified colored model was secured from his personal effects. Undersigned identified this model as Mattie Comfort, 3423-1/2 South Arlington, Republic 4953. She said that she was with Doctor Hodel sometime prior to the murder and that she knew nothing* about his being associated with the victim. Rudolph Walthers, known to have been acquainted with victim and also with suspect Hodel, claimed he had not seen victim in the presence of Hodel and did not believe that the doctor had ever met the victim. The following acquaintances of Hodel were questioned and none were able to connect the suspect with murder: Fred Sexton, 1020 White Knoll Drive; Nita Moladero, 1617-1/2 North Normandy; Ellen Taylor 5121 Fountain Avenue; Finlay Thomas, 616-1/2 South Normandy; Mildred B. Colby, 4029 Vista Del Monte Street, Sherman Oaks, this witness was a girl friend of Charles Smith, abortionist friend of Hodel, Turin Gilkey, 1025 North Wilcox; Irene Summerset, 1236-1/4 North Edgemont; Norman Beckett, 1025 North Wilcox; Ethel Kane, 1033 North Wilcox; Annette Chase, 1039 North Wilcox; Dorothy Royer, 1636 North Beverly Glenn. See supplemental reports, long sheets and hear recordings, all of which tend to eliminate this suspect.

*Note: Correct address is 5121 Franklin

11. Marvin Margolis, now living at 1445 West Thome Street, Chicago, Illinois, formerly at the time of the murder resided at 1442 South woods Avenue, Los Angeles. He entered U.S.C. on March 4, 1946, taking a pre-medical course, and was so engaged at the time of the murder. It has been established that he and his friend, Bill Robinson, lived in the same apartment, No. 726 at the Guardian Arms Apartments, 5217 Hollywood Boulevard from October 10 1946 to October 22, 1946 with victim Short and her friend, Marjorie Graham. Victim slept on the sofa while the suspect and Bill Robinson slept with Marjorie Graham. See supplemental report in re Veteran’s Administration file on suspect Margolis. It reveals that he came out of the medical corp of the navy diagnosed a fifty per cent mental disability, due primarily to his persistent demand and desire to be attached to the surgical unit. He was engaged in the handling of hundreds of dead bodies in the Pacific Islands, but was denied any service in the surgical units, which he so much desired. He did not come forth at the time of the murder investigation and when finally questioned, he stated that he had been residing at the St. Francis Apartments and did not mention he was living at the Guardian apartments with victim. He finally admitted living with the victim at the latter address. Bill Robinson now owns the Bowery Restaurant and beer joint, Rosecrans Boulevard, San Diego, California and he has not been questioned by undersigned. T. Moroney, 1031 South Broadway, Prospect 4711 is chief attorney for the Veterans’ Administration and has control over navy case history file of suspect. His mother is Mrs. L. Margolis, 300 South Hamlen, Chicago, Illinois; his father is Irving Margolis, residing at 1448 Roosevelt Road, Chicago, Illinois. See Los Angeles Police Department reports in re suspect.

12. Glenn Wolf is the owner of the Chancellor Apartments, 1842 Cherokee Hollywood. It was the last place where victim resided in Los Angeles before she met Carl Balsiger and then left for San Diego. He [Wolf] was residing at 1617 North Las Palmas in an apartment house owned by Kate Harris at the time of the murder. He admitted knowing victim. She lived in a six bed apartment at the Chancellor Hotel and left there December 6, 1946 as she did not like the place. Wolf is known as a sexual maniac by other young women. Ray Pinker, LAPD Crime Laboratory chemist, checked the rooms in which he resided for blood and got no positive reaction. This was done upon request of undersigned. Marvin Hart, now living at Lido Apartments, Hollywood, lived at Chancellor Apartments at the time of the murder. He has not been questioned. Alice Lebedeff, private investigator, 1967 Carmen Street, Hillside 6279 states that a Miss Schell, who runs a hot dog stand on Santa Monica boardwalk, slept in the upper bunk of the bed occupied by victim on December 1, 1946 at the Chancellor apartments. Further that Polly Blits, Hollywood real estate broker is a known queen queer and knows plenty. There is reliable information that some of the five girls in the room at the Chancellor living with victim were queers. Victim stated on several occasions, however, that she had no use whatsoever for queers.

13. Michael Anthony Otero, lived at the time of the murder at 3940 Marathon Street, Normandy 2-3632, with Albert Rodriguez. Shortly after the murder, he left the United States and resides in Barcelona, Spain. Approximately, on September 1, 1950, he returned to New York and is now residing there at an address known only to his brother. He has admitted going out with victim Short, twelve times and at least on one occasion Ann Toth took victim to the Biltmore Hotel to meet this suspect whom she referred to as her Spanish teacher. His spanish book was found in her effects. He was with victim on December 6, 1946, the day before she left for San Diego. He is the only known boy friend who was meeting her at the Biltmore Hotel where she was last seen alive. Albert Rodriguez still resides at 3940 Marathon, Los Angeles, and has not been questioned. See Robert Manley’s statement in which he states that two days before he left San Diego with victim to bring her up to Los Angeles, that the victim had specified in requesting him to take her that she would like him to take her to the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

14. George Bacos, 5622 Strohmer, Sunset 7623, is the brother of Francis Campbell, a bi-sexual waitress residing at 319 South Virgil, Dunkirk 1-1949. She identified the photo of victim as a customer of the Crown Grill Bar, 8th and Olive, Los Angeles. She has stated and the records have indicated that she worked the night shift on January 9, 1947, the night victim disappeared, but she stated that she could not remember seeing victim there that night. A short time after the murder an anonymous information came to homicide, LAPD, that George Bacos had taken victim to a queer woman surgeon in the valley. Police failed to locate George Bacos and he has never been questioned. See statement taken from this suspect by undersigned where he states that at the time of the murder he was supplying the entertainment for the Crown Grill Bar and that he talked with victim approximately twelve times and had taken her out in his car and parked on Mulholland Drive at least on one occasion, but he denied taking victim to any queer woman surgeon in the valley. Suspect lives in the valley. Doctor Tony Zorb, M.D., well known abortionist stated to undersigned that it had been commonly accepted by Hollywood physicians that victim was murdered by a queer woman surgeon. He would not name the suspect and should be questioned further. See attached statement of Robert Granas of 4964 Glen.

15. Francis Campbell, residence 319 South Virgil, Dunkirk 3-1945, is said to be bi-sexual by her associates, waitress Bernice Smith, 915 North V****ma, Olympia 9258, and waitress Marjorie Underorbok, Crown Grill Bar, 8th and Olive. They all knew victim as a customer of this bar two blocks from the Biltmore Hotel. Suspect stated that she was a former waitress at the Continental Café. She was on duty the night of victim’s disappearance. A few days after the murder, Officer Ed Barrett was told by a bartender in the Crown Grill that victim was in there that night alone. Suspect Francis Campbell never came forth with with in [sic] information nor was she questioned until by undersigned. It has been positively established that not only victim, but her friends Marjorie Graham and Ann Toth, and her boy friend Leo Hymes were regular customers at the bar. See statement of George Bacos, Bob Granas, and Arthur Richmond attached.

16. Queer Woman Surgeon, see No. 14, suspect George Bacos for information.

Madam Chang, Chinese wealthy surgeon of San Francisco spent considerable time partying in Hollywood and San Francisco. It has been established that she is a prominent queer. She entertained all the pilots and flyers of the Air Force enroute to Chinese areas during the was [war]. Victim was engaged to a United States flyer Quin [Matt Gordon], who was stationed in San Jose and went to China where he was killed in action. She made trips to San Francisco with him and could have known this surgeon, Madame Chang. This subject has a brother who is now a Los Angeles County sheriff.

17. Doctor Paul DeGaston, 3701 Shannon Road, Olympia 0241, is fifty-four years of age, two hundred pounds, five feet ten and one-half inches, dark brown hair and brown eyes, and has been positively identified as the abortionist using the alias name of Doctor C. J. Morris, room 417, 3923 West Street, Los Angeles. He was using this alias and this address at the time of the murder. See the statement of Doctor Reginald Rankin, abortionist for whom suspect was employed, who along with Doctor J. Walther and son, owners of the Walthers Building at 3923 West 6th Street, Los Angeles definitely established that he was using the name of Morris before and at the time of the murder. “Doctor Morris, Room 417, 3923 West 6th Street” appeared in victim’s address book. This doctor was not investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department. He has been known to state that he studied surgery at the University of Paris, France; he is not now recognized as an M.D. in the United States, but has made a career out of abortions. He is now assisting Doctor Eric Wilson at 13835 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks. See statements attached by Doctor Tony Zorb, M.D., and Doctor C. J. Morris, M.D. of Glendale. DeGaston was tried for murder in Los Angeles, October 15, 1934, and served a term beginning on September 28, 1940 in Washington State Prison for abortions. His wife Cleona is a school teacher at Vinedale school in Sun Valley, she is now getting a divorce from him. This suspect along with Doctor C. J. Morris was arrested by the agent for the California Board of Osteopathy and officers of the Los Angeles Police Department Homicide Division on Thursday, FEB 9, 1951. He has been charged with one count of abortion and will be questioned in regard to the murder.

18. A. R. Brix, M.D., 125 South Lake Street, this doctor’s card was found in the effects of victim. When questioned he stated that victim came to him only on one occasion and consulted him about his charge for treating her for female trouble and never returned. His appointment records and other records of patients has never been checked.

19. Doctor M. M. Schwartz, room 203, 6630 Hollywood Boulevard (Cherokee Building) Granite 4651, this doctor was uncovered after undersigned took a statement from suspect Mark Hansen at which time he accused Hansen of lying and so forth and so forth then shortly thereafter Hansen who had been questioned for three years relative to his having any knowledge of any Hollywood doctors that victim went to, at this later date, he stated he had taken victim in his car one day to a doctor in the Cherokee Building. By covering all doctors in this building it was discovered that this doctor was associated with Doctor McGinnis Faught in Suite 214 Cherokee Building at the time of the murder. This information was secured from Claude J. Faught, brother of Arthur, who lives at Apartment 105, 1525 North Van Ness Avenue. Information from him was to the effect that Doctor Arthur Faught and Schwartz together with their nurse, Lillian Sickler knew the victim Short as a patient. Doctor Schwartz last stated that he studied surgery and that victim was on the make for him but that she was the patient of Doctor Arthur McGinnis Faught who was treating victim for trouble with her bartholin gland and that he wanted nothing to do with her. He stated that the bartholin gland was the lubricating gland in the vagina and that Doctor Faught had lanced it on several occasions and it could account for the fact that she had not been having intercourse with men. He said the nurse Lillian Sickler should be able to give information. He named her brother as C. W. Cozard, 1231 Randolph Street, Topeka, Kansas and said he would know where she is now located. He also named the nurse’s best girl friend as May Prior, 1644 North Cherokee, Hampstead 9162. The brother Cozard has given undersigned present address of Lillian Sickler as Station Hospital, Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas. This nurse has apparently refused to give any information on victim’s murder as she will not reply to letters and questions addressed to her. She had at no time mentioned to her best friend May Prior, with whom she usually ate lunch during the time the newspapers were spreading the Black Dahlia murder news on the front pages, that she met Short and that she was a patient at her office. Doctor Arthur McGinnis Faught is now deceased. His widow, Mrs. Sally Faught resides at 268 South Larchmont Avenue, Los Angeles. She has never been questioned.

20. Doctor Arthur McGinnis Faught, deceased November 1, 1949, see above No. 19, Doctor M. M. Schwartz for details.

21. Doctor Patrick S. O’Reilly, 712 South Pacific, Glendale was a good friend of Mark Hansen and Millie Miller at the time of the murder. Both of these friends knew victim and this suspect spent many evenings at Florentine Gardens and is known to have attended sex parties at Malibu and also with these friends. See Supplemental Reports by Investigator Johnstone who along with Investigator for California Pharmacy Board examined all of the doctor’s records and also see reports by Investigator Morgan. He examined pharmacy prescription records of numerous Hollywood drug stores. None of these records were found that connected suspect to victim. He was formerly married to a daughter of Burt Wallace, retired Los Angeles Police Department captain, which marriage ended in divorce. He later was convicted of Assault with a Deadly Weapon as a result of taking his secretary to a motel and sadistically beating her almost to death apparently for no other reason than to satisfy his sexual desires without intercourse. His right breast was removed by surgery. The right breast of victim Short was removed apparently by a person skilled in the use of a surgical knife. For details see supplemental report by Investigator Morgan.

22. Mark Hansen, 6024 Carlos Avenue, Granite 9670, Hillside 8594, Olympia 9456, he lives apart from his wife and two daughters who reside at 2274 Canyon Drive, Hudson 2-7257. At the age of fifteen, suspect came to Plenty Wood area in Montana, his citizenship papers No. 72516, Petition Volume 4, No. 858 in the 17th District United States Court were taken out of Plenty Wood Montana on August 2, 1917. See the suspect’s statement attached where he denies ever being in the cattle butchering business and also see letter from Sheriff at Plenty Wood area, which states he engaged in the cattle business. In the statement he [Hansen] says victim could have phoned him the night she disappeared at the Biltmore Hotel as he admits getting a phone call and tells a different story about his conversation with her than the story he originally told Ann Toth at the time of the murder. Ann had been living with him sometime prior and sometime after the murder, he told her that victim phoned and asked to come back and live [with] him and he said that he victim, “Ok, come and stay with me until you can find some other place.” He told police and undersigned that he said to her, “You cannot come to stay with me because Ann is not here and she would not like it.” Victim had lived with this suspect and Ann Toth two weeks in October and ten days in November, 1946 at 6024 Carlos. Victim told Ann Toth that Mark was trying to make her, that he was jealous so she had to leave boy friends at the corner so he wouldn’t see them. Suspect phoned Mrs. Ardis, his tenant at 6002 Hollywood Boulevard who was engaged in the dressmaking business and invited her and her husband to come over for drinks to his house and see the most beautiful creature in Hollywood (referring to victim). They went over and met with Beth Short the next day Hansen brought Beth to Ardis’ home and ordered two dresses for her which she fitted and made, but never delivered to the victim. This suspect admits he did not want this victim to go out with those boy friends of her. On the evening of December 6, 1946, victim had dinner with suspect at his home and he took her alone up to the Chancellor Hotel, 1741 [1842] North Cherokee at which time she cried and said she was leaving this hotel and going north to see her sister in Oakland. This suspect claims that was the last time he saw her. Ann Toth and her friend Leo Hymes state that Mark was crazy about her and jealous of her, that he is a man who must have what he wants. They suspect Hanson [sic] and informed undersigned that he left the night of the murder in a dress suit, was out all night and returned in his street clothes. Upon investigation it was established by Mr. And Mrs. B. H. Van der Sten (see statements) and manager of the Wilton Hotel, that this incident occurred nine days after the murder, on January 24, 1947, on the day the newspapers announced the receiving of victim’s address book, on the front of which appeared, “Mark Hansen” in gold letters, suspect explained this by stating that victim, unknown to him, picked up this address book from the drawer of the desk at his home and said that he had received it from the old country as a gift. The investigation establishes that this suspect was never at Mr. Henry Hoffman’s motel Astor at 2901 South Flower Street as indicated by gangster squad investigators of the LAPD, Doctor DeRiver, psychiatrist, and Fred Whitman, private investigator. A show-up was arranged by undersigned so these witnesses could see and hear suspect Hansen. See statements of these witnesses after the show-up attached. Mr. And Mrs. Burton Moorman, both told undersigned that after seeing Hansen that he was not the man at the motel. Burton Moorman attempted suicide the next day and according to Mrs. Moorman, was taken by his mother to a mental institution in Texas. Evidence indicates that victim was never at 2901 South Flower Street. Owner Henry Hoffman stated the black-haired girl told him she was working as a waitress at 8th and Broadway. It has been established that there was a waitress resembling victim, but not the victim, working there in January 1, 1947 (See previous reports for details). The records of the tax assessor’s office indicates Hansen owned, at the time of the murder, properties located at 6021 Hollywood Boulevard, 6025 Hollywood Boulevard, 6002-4 Hollywood Boulevard, and 6024 Carlos Avenue, Hollywood. He stated he had two rooming houses at the time of the murder. (See his statement) They have not been checked for blood. See the two statements taken from Ann Toth, the friend of victim and who lived with victim and suspect on two occasions and lived with Hansen for approximately one year. Her sister is Mrs. C.L. Wallace, DeLong Way, San Pablo, California. See statement of Sonnie Sugar Gales in supplemental report by Investigator Morgan, whose wife is Sugar —— of Florentine Gardens fame, knew the background of this suspect and of suspect Doctor Patrick O’Reilly very well. Phillip Edwin Smalley of 1433 Second Avenue met a girl whom he believes to be Beth Short (having identified her picture a few days after the murder, at the Circle Bar, Santa Monica, at 10:30 on the night she disappeared, being January 9, 1947. The bartender at this place had identified her picture. She told Smalley she was driving a car she had borrowed from a Los Angeles man. She took Smalley to the Hilton (now Wilton) Hotel in Long Beach, she left him at the door and it records do indicate that he registered in Room 528 on January 9, 1947. According to reliable information, Hansen was spending considerable time in Long Beach at this time as he was running around with a Long Beach girl referred to as the “preacher’s daughter” (See statement of Mrs. Van der Sten) The girl friend of Edwin Smalley at the time was Hazel Mersman, alias Hurrah, 3025 Washington Boulevard, Ocean Park. Suspect accompanied by Mr. And Mrs. Van der Sten did spend the evening of January 24, 1947 at the Hilton Hotel.


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