January 15, 1947
Los Angeles, California
The nude and mutilated body of Elizabeth Short, aka Black Dahlia, is found by a woman walking with her 3-year-old daughter

The murder created an immediate sensation, due in part to Short’s body being mutilated so horrifically and the mystery of who would be so savage to another person. Short’s body was found bisected at the waist, her blood completely drained from her body, her face cut in a Glasgow smile (the cheeks cut from the corners of the mouths to the ears), her thighs and breasts received several cuts including several pieces of flesh being removed. When posed at the scene, her lower half was placed approximately a foot away from the top, her intestines pulled out and pushed under her buttocks, her legs spread open, and her arms pulled over her head, bent at the elbows. An autopsy revealed ligature marks to her wrists and neck as well as bruises to her head and face; her official cause of death was determined to be a combination of beatings to the head and hemorrhaging from the Glasgow smile.

During the sensationalized media frenzy, many rumors and misconceptions about Short arose: that she was a call girl, though no evidence existed showing she was ever a prostitute; that she had “infantile genitalia,” though the autopsy and several of her previous lovers (including a police officer) proved otherwise; or that she was possibly the victim of an illegal abortion gone wrong though her autopsy revealed she was not and had never been pregnant.

Although around 60 people confessed to the murder, many were eliminated quickly and those who remained were never taken to trial. The case is still unsolved.

The scene of the discovery, with a group of people huddled around Short’s body

A plaque memorializing Elizabeth

WARNING: the following photos are graphic and uncensored

8 thoughts on “Black Dahlia’s body is found (graphic)

  1. This story always fascinates me. The glaskow smile must be what inspired the Joker in Batman. It’s crazy to think that nobody alive today knows what really happened to her because this happened so long ago. If that murderer is still alive, he or she would probably keep that secret with them to the grave.


  2. What is interesting is how inhumane the person(s) involved were with Elizabeth, just using her and her torture to send a very explicit message to someone. The methods of her torture and body dissection plus exposure are clearly of more than one psychopaths involved.


  3. I cant get over the fact that this is a human body. I can now understand why people who come across dead bodies will assume its a mannequin at first. It’s frightening.


  4. There is evidence she went to an address given by her sister if she needed help. A doctor suffering from brain degeneration(CTE) prone to vicious physical anger reactions, he lost a son in the past and maybe hearing Beth same but untrue story may have provoked an episode of crisis being lie from a tragic drama that somebody would use for sympathy and manipulation.


  5. I forgot to mention the doctor is a surgeon, and resided a block away. The hotel where Beth was last saw may be close to address, maybe a walking distance, not confirmed, someone?


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