The "The Black Dahlia" murder of 1947 -- boy has that one been hammered home in various books, movies, newspapers etc. since Elizabeth Short's mutilated body was found one fateful day in Los Angeles. A simple examination of the timeline and related events leads me to conclude that the likeliness of it ever having happened is extremely, almost laughably slim. Feel free to skip to my summation at the bottom if you don't want to bother with the dreary details.
1. From La Examiner Wiki
"Examiner reporter Will Fowler was on another assignment with photographer Felix Paegel on January 15, 1947, when they heard a radio call of a mutilated female body found in a vacant lot on Norton Avenue in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles."
"Fowler and Paegel arrived before police and observed the body. Fowler claimed in his autobiography that he knelt down to close Short's eyes before Paegel began shooting pictures."
"Whatever the facts were, the morning Examiner scooped the other Los Angeles newspapers by publishing an extra edition two hours before any of the afternoon newspapers hit the streets."
2. "By the late afternoon of January 15, an autopsy on Short was completed by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. The victim's fingerprints were scheduled to be airmailed to the FBI fingerprint identification division in Washington, D.C. Examiner Assistant Managing Editor Warden Woolard suggested to Los Angeles police Capt. Jack Donahoe, who was chief of the department’s homicide division, that the victim’s fingerprints be transmitted to the FBI by using the Examiner's new Soundphoto machine. During the early morning hours of January 16, the International News Photo wire service received the prints via photo transmission from the Examiner. Soon afterward, the FBI identified the victim as Elizabeth Short."
3. "In the early afternoon of January 16 an Examiner extra hit the streets, again beating the competition. The Examiner identified Short and provided details of her life growing up in Massachusetts, and details of her adult life in Santa Barbara and later in Los Angeles. The Examiner noted that Short had lived in Los Angeles for a period of time before moving to various other cities in the pursuit of jobs and men. She returned to Los Angeles in 1946 and lived in hotels and rooming houses while visiting a man she had met while living in Florida."
1. From the TruTV article
"FBI technicians compared the prints with 104 million fingerprints they had on file, and quickly made a match to one Elizabeth Short. Short's fingerprints were taken for a mail room job she'd had at an army base in California — and for an arrest record for underage drinking in Santa Barbara."
2. "The FBI also sent the paper Short's government application photo. When reporters saw how attractive the 22-year-old victim was, they knew they had a sensational tale on their hands."
"This was news noir at its best. To juice up the story, Examiner reporters resorted to an unethical ploy; they called her mother, Phoebe Short, and told her that her daughter had won a beauty contest. After prying as much personal information about Elizabeth from Mrs. Short as possible, they informed her that that her daughter was actually dead."
3. "The five daily papers in Los Angeles gobbled up these details in a ferocious competition to outscoop each other. Someone — possibly the killer — mailed a package to the Examiner nine days after Short's death. It reeked of the gasoline the sender used to erase his or her fingerprints from the envelope. Inside were Short's belongings, including photographs, her birth certificate, social security card, and Matt Gordon's obituary.
1. From the Wiki on Elizabeth Short.
"On January 25, Short's handbag and one shoe were reported seen on top of a garbage can in an alley a short distance from Norton Avenue, and then finally located at the dump"
So here is my short summation based on just the items above:
On January 15, a reporter and photographer happen to be working on a different story in the area, intercept a broadcast meant for the police, and arrive at the scene before the police can get there so that they can snap their pictures and break the story. Later that same evening, the LA Coroner finishes up the autopsy, planned on sending the fingerprints to the FBI via airmail, but the newspaper offers up its '1947 based fax machine' to zap the prints on over to the FBI the next morning. That morning of the 16th, out of 104 million finger prints , the FBI almost immediately identifies them (using what as technology??) and immediately contacts the newspaper back about its findings, along with extra information they didn't even ask for. The newspaper appears to deduce right away as to who the relatives must be of this victim, call the mother and punk her out of the information on her daughter, and then tell her... 'Oh by the way, your daughter is really dead, but thanks for the info. " Later that afternoon, they already have a newspaper ready to go out with the information they have just obtained from the mother. Add some stuff mysteriously sent to the newspaper a week later, a shoe and a purse found in a trash bin and now we have a real murder mystery on our hands.
I thought I would also add that Elizabeth Short was reported to have had a Social Security card as noted in the items sent to the newspaper, but she is not in the Social Security Death Database Index.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angele ... d-Examiner
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/noto ... dex_1.html