Beth Short aka The Black Dahlia

Last weekend I went on a bus tour tracing the final days of Elizabeth Short … as known as “The Black Dahlia.” If you have an interest in true crime in general, in the Black Dahlia case specifically or the unsavory history of downtown Los Angeles itself, I highly recommend this tour and its producers ESOTOURIC (http://esotouric.com/).

I am not going to give you a play by play summary of the tour, after all, this is a photography blog and you should just take the tour anyway. What I would like to do here is simply show a few pictures I shot along the way and give a quick description of them.

One of the first stops was the bus station. Beth Short stored her bag in a locker here just days prior to her abduction and murder.

Bus Station

Bus Station

Everyone, including me, was the most fascinated with the location of Beth Short’s body. She was found in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles. The only other time I had been to Leimert Park was to pick up some BBQ from Phillip’s BBQ (http://www.yelp.com/biz/phillips-barbecue-los-angeles) (they are among the best).

This is the area where her body was found.

The Lawn

The Lawn

You can see the Hollywood sign from the crime scene – technically this is not the crime scene, it’s where the body was found (or the dump site) … Look far in the distance, in the hills, almost dead center of the photograph, you’ll see it.

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Here’s a shot of the entire tour group at the site:

Group Shot

Group Shot

And of course, me, pretty much at the exact spot (photo begrudgingly by The Weave).

Me

Me

And lastly, probably my favorite image of the location, taken with the iPhone, the spot. When Beth Short’s body was left here, there were no houses, no lawns … but they were getting ready to build here, so the sidewalks, curbs and fire hydrants were in place … She was about 50 feet north of the fire hydrant and across the sidewalk in what is now the corner of the lawn. (look along the right edge of the photo, right in the middle, where the corner of the lawn meets the sidewalk and the neighbor’s driveway … That is where I understand the spot to be.

Dahlia Site

Dahlia Site

7 thoughts on “Beth Short aka The Black Dahlia

    • According to the tour guides, the home owners are used to the crowds AND the neighbors are used to it and know why the crowds are there. I’d be bothered by it though …

  1. Yep. You’re right on the spot. Here’s a then and now comparison I threw together several years ago:
    http://tinyurl.com/ba28ocg
    Her body was more or less where the present lawn and driveway meet.
    Between us tourists and the history it must be a bit unusual to live there. I’m sure the hassles and distractions of everyday life usually take precedence… …but it still must be a bit creepy fetching the paper on quiet, predawn winter mornings.

  2. Yep. You’re right on the spot. Here’s a then and now comparison I threw together several years ago:
    http://tinyurl.com/ba28ocg
    Her body was more or less where the present lawn and driveway meet.
    Between us tourists and the history it must be a bit unusual to live there. I’m sure the hassles and distractions of everyday life usually take precedence… …but it still must be a bit creepy fetching the paper on quiet, predawn winter mornings.

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