The Black Dahlia Files
The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los AngelesBook - 2005
In 1946, movie star wannabe Elizabeth Short traveled to Hollywood to become famous and see her name up in lights. Instead, the dark-haired beauty became immortalized in the headlines as the "Black Dahlia" when her nude and bisected body was discovered in the weeds of a vacant lot. Despite the efforts of more than 400 police officers, homicide investigators, and the arrest of numerous suspects, the heinous crime was never solved.
Now, after endless speculation, theories, and false claims, bestselling author Donald H. Wolfe discovers startling new evidence and reveals the shocking secrets of the sealed autopsy -- buried in the files of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office for more than half a century. Furthermore, Wolfe discloses that the brutal murder of Elizabeth Short was the work of one of the most notorious mob leaders of the era, a brazen playboy known for his explosive temper and pathological bouts of violence -- Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel.
How did this ordinary young woman from Medford, Massachusetts, end up the victim of Los Angeles's most powerful political and criminal elements? Wolfe evokes the time, place, and converging circumstances that led her down a tangled trail to her death. Desperate for cash and showbiz connections, Short entered a labyrinthine world of Syndicate-run clubs, brothels, casinos, and other shady velvet rope operations that catered to Hollywood's elite and preyed on naive, ambitious beauties such as herself. Soon after she took a job with Madam Brenda Allen's call-girl ring, which fell within Bugsy Siegel's vice-map, Short found herself involved with the most powerful political figure in the city, the mogul who ran Los Angeles -- Norman Chandler. Wolfe discovers that the real trouble began when Short became pregnant with his child.
In recounting the whole noir tale in The Black Dahlia Files, Wolfe not only reveals the motive behind the murder and identifies the killer and his accomplices, but also shrewdly unravels the large-scale cover-up behind the case. With the aid of more than 150 archival photos, news clippings, and investigative reports, Wolfe documents the riveting untold story that stands apart from all other works on the Black Dahlia case and casts a far wider net -- implicating practically an entire city and Hollywood way of life in the murder of an aspiring starlet.
Wolfe's extensive research, based on the evidence he discovered in the recently opened LADA files on the murder, make The Black Dahlia Files the authoritative work on the mystery that has drawn endless scrutiny but remained unsolved -- until now.