WEIRDLAND: Anniversary of Black Dahlia's murder - Pathology Museum event

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Anniversary of Black Dahlia's murder - Pathology Museum event

Barts Pathology Museum at Queen Mary, University of London’s West Smithfield campus will hold a special evening seminar on Tuesday 15 January – the anniversary of the gruesome and much-publicised Black Dahlia Murder. The event will focus on cultural depictions of the case, followed by a wider look at forensic science and cases of dismemberment.

On January 15th, 1947, the dismembered body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short was discovered on a vacant lot in Los Angeles, California. To this day, the murder is unsolved, but the brutality of the crime and Short’s ‘femme fatale’ persona have ensured The Black Dahlia Murder remains a part of crime folklore.

Crime fiction scholar and editor Steven Powell runs the blog The Venetian Vase and is author of the essay Betty Short and I Go Back: James Ellroy and the Metanarrative of the Black Dahlia Case. He has edited the books Conversations with James Ellroy and 100 American Crime Writers. His talk, I Never Knew Her in Life: Cultural Depictions of the Black Dahlia Case, focuses on the enduring popularity of Short’s life and death in newspapers, novels, and films.

Entry to the event is £6 and includes refreshments and a themed cocktail. There will also be a chance to win a copy of the film The Black Dahlia, directed by Brian De Palma. Source:

Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson and Brian De Palma on the set of "The Black Dahlia" (2006)

Ofcr. Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert: "The basic rule of homicide applied: nothing stays buried forever. Corpses. Ghosts. Nothing stays buried forever."

"I kept everything pertaining to them away from him out of a desire to keep Madeleine's lesbian bar doings under wraps. I continued skimming the file, sweating in the hot, airless room. No Webster prefixes appeared, and I started getting nightmare flashes: Betty sitting on the westbound Wilshire bus stop, 7:30 P.M., 1/12/47, waving bye-bye Bucky, about to jump into eternity. I thought about querying the bus company, a general rousting of drivers on that route--then realized it was too cold, that any driver who remembered picking up Betty would have come forward during all the '47 publicity. I thought of calling the other numbers I'd gotten from Pacific Coast Bell --then jacked that chronologically they were off-- they didn't jibe with my new knowledge of where Betty was at what time. I called Russ at the Bureau and learned that he was still in Tucson, while Harry was working crowd control up by the Hollywoodland sign. I finished my paper prowl, with a total of zero Webster prefixes. I thought of yanking Roach's P.C.B file, fixing the notion immediately. Downtown LA, Madison prefix to Webster, was not a toll call--there would be no record, ditto on the Biltmore listings. It came on then, big and ugly: bye-bye Bleichert at the bus stop, adios shitbird, has-been, never-was, stool pigeon niggertown harness bull. Bye-bye Betty, Beth, Betsy, Liz, we were a couple of tramps, too bad we didn't meet before 39th and Norton, it just might have worked, maybe us would've been the one thing we wouldn't have fucked up past redemption" -"The Black Dahlia" (1987) written by James Ellroy

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