Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Black Dahlia Profiled

Postmortem Reports

Not long after her death, the Los Angeles Examiner received a package with a note created from newspaper lettering that said, "Here is Dahlia's Belongings," and "Letter to Follow."  Inside the package were Short's social security card, birth certificate, a telegram, photographs with various servicemen, business cards, a newspaper clipping a man whom Short had passed off as her deceased husband, and claim checks for the suitcases she had left at the bus depot.  Another item was an address book filled with 75 names and addresses, but with several pages recently torn out — another indication that her killer had known her and might have been listed on those missing pages.

On January 26, a woman's purse and black suede shoes, identified as Short's, were located at a garbage dump on East 25th Street. This indicated that the killer was traveling north from the body dump site.  That might show approximately where he lived or where the murder occurred, since he might have been returning to clean it up. 

Manley helped police identify Short's belongings.
Manley helped police identify Short's belongings.

On January 27, Gerson Abrams, a dealer in second-hand clothing on Santa Monica Blvd., received a phone call from a man who had women's clothing to sell.  He instructed Abrams to come to 1842 North Cherokee, apartment 501.  Abrams skipped the appointment but realized too late that this was one of Short's former addresses.  If that report was true, then it's possible that the offender (or an accomplice) did indeed know Short, and had been acquainted with her for some time.


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