Home Murder Investigation Beth Media Comments FAQ

Black Dahlia FAQ

This site has received quite a few questions (and hundreds of E-mails) regarding the Black Dahlia Murder. With the help of reports, articles, and John Gilmore, I've created this FAQ to better familiarize viewers with pertinent info.

More information can be found in the interview with John Gilmore.

And if you want to talk about these issues, then participate in the message boards.


Reproductive Defects

Books and Articles About The Black Dahlia

Personal Information

Evidence

Suspects

Gravesite

Crime Scene


Reproductive Defects

What about Elizabeth Shorts reproductive defects?
In response to Elizabeth Short's inability to be properly penetrated, John Gilmore responds:
Because Beth Short hadn't menstruated during puberty, there was some concern; and a "family" doctor was consulted. The doctor advised Beth's mother that "she would outgrow" the problem "when she more fully developed." He believed she was a "slow developer" in the vaginal area, though the breasts, etc. were normal for her age.

Beth was taking some pills to bring on her period, but then stopped and pretended to (menstruate). She wore sanitary napkins at least once a month or more often the remainder of her life.

Additionally, "Finis Brown visited the doctor in "Chicago" after his interviews with Gordon Fickling who confirmed Beth's problem. She had consulted the doctor under another name, but it was a play on her own. Again, this information was kept secret "pending questioning the 'right' suspect"and this information was never corrected in the media by the police, so the "rumor" that Beth was a whore stayed afloat. It's where the gossip and Ellroy's and others notions came from. The killer wasn't bothered by lack of penetration. He had other fish to fry with her. " - John Gilmore

NOTE: The LAPD will not comment on this issue.

TOP


Books and Articles

Where can I find a copy of Severed?
If you're looking for the first and second printings (out of print), try: Patterson Smith, 23 Prospect Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07042 - (201) 744-3291. The new edition of the book has been published by Amok Books. You can order the book from amazon.com.

Which books or articles should I really read?
If you are really wanting to delve into this case, it is suggested that you read Severed: The True Story About The Black Dahlia Murder, and also recommended is Daddy Was The Black Dahlia Killer. Both of these books have gained both praise and criticism, and they each contain vastly different information. It is up to you and further efforts of your own delving into the case to determine which information is correct. If you're looking for something online, Russell Miller's Article is superb. If you're looking for fiction, James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia is just that. You can find a listing of Black Dahlia related media here.

TOP


Personal Information

What name did Elizabeth Short go by?
Elizabeth Short called herself "Beth," while back home, she was called "Betty."

Did Beth Short have a tattoo?
According to John Gilmore, Beth Short did not have a tattoo. The author says she did, however, have a rose-colored birthmark on her left thigh.
The LAPD will not comment on this issue.

Did Beth Short have an affair with Marilyn Monroe?
We have found no evidence to support this, or even that the two knew one another.

Did Beth Short ever appear in a snuff film?
To the best of our knowledge, no. John Gilmore talks about this in his online interview.

TOP


Evidence

What weapon was used to sever Beth's body?
It is believed the killer used a butcher knife to hack Beth Short's body in two. The LAPD will not comment on this issue.

Did the killer send a note to the LAPD?
The LAPD says an envelope exists, but will not comment whether or not the police believes the article to be authentic. John Gilmore talks about this letter in his online interview.

Did Beth Short have cigarette burns on her body?
According to John Gilmore, no.
The LAPD will not comment on this issue.

Was Beth Short's hair henned?
According to John Gilmore, Beth's hair, when she was found, was wet. He says there was no henna.
The LAPD will not comment on this issue.

What was in Beth Short's stomach at the time of her death?
According to John Gilmore, during the autopsy, Beth's stomach was found to have contained fecal matter.
The LAPD will not comment on this issue.

Which pages were torn from the address book found with Beth Short's belongings?
Accoring to John Gilmore, the names (pages) removed from the address book were those of high-profile people. The book had belonged to Mark Hansen. There were no entries in Beth's handwriting. According to Ann Toth, an actress, Beth had stolen the address book (an opportunist move), a silver Hawaiian letter opener and some money.

TOP


Suspects

What are Confessing Sams?
Confessing Sams are people who admit to a crime they didn't commit in order to gain popularity. In the case of the Black Dahlia, there were about 50 Confessing Sams.

Was a woman ever a suspect?
According to John Gilmore, Finis Brown never suspected a woman of the crime.
The LAPD will not comment on this issue.

Who was the "unnamed" informant who told the police the killer could be Jack Anderson Wilson?
John Gilmore approached the police in November 1981, telling them about Arnold Amith (AKA Wilson).

What about George Knowlton?
Janice Knowlton believes her father killed Beth Short, and has also written a book about it, called Daddy Was The Black Dahlia Killer.
The LAPD says George Knowlton was not a suspect in this case.

TOP


Gravesite

Why was Beth buried in California?
California was where Beth wanted home to be.

Exactly where is Elizabeth Short buried?
Beth is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California, originally named Plot 6, Grave 913. From what we hear, it is not wise to ask for information about the site or Beth Short from cemetery personnel, and I've also heard that they may have altered plot numbers to keep outsiders away from Beth's grave. You will likely be turned away. "It is apparent according to another person who has written that the plot numbers have been moved around, possibly due to the publicity." More explicit directions are: Going down the main drag, just past the fountain, take the drive going left. Go up the hill to the right of a large dark crypt. Her grave should be there.

Patrick Benson visited the gravesite recently and provided this site with more detailed information and a map.

TOP


Crime Scene

In what condition was Beth's body found?
Beth's body was found cut in half and drained of blood. Her face (mouth) had been sliced as well. The absence of blood indicated she had been murdered elsewhere, then dropped off at the lot in which she was found.

Who found Beth's body?
According to John Gilmore, Beth's body was found by Betty Bersinger. Mrs. Bersinger had been walking her daughter in the early morning when she noticed the body. While she called police immediately, she did not identify herself as the caller until later.

TOP

NOTE: While many answers were supplied by John Gilmore, they do not necessarily reflect the views of The Black Dahlia Web Site. If and when others who have researched the case provide information to this site, it will be posted.


| Home | About Site | Beth Short | The Murder | The Investigation | Interviews | Articles | Media |
| FAQ | Visitor Comments | Links | PR | Memorials | The Latest | Register | Contact |


The Black Dahlia Web Site is Pamela Hazelton. All Rights Reserved. Last update: July 15, 1999.