Visiting Some Black Dahlia Sites

Photo of Elizabeth Short – via prairieghosts.com

Yesterday I bicycled out to check out some sites mentioned in “My Fair Dahlia,” Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s musical recap of the Black Dahlia murder in the Cinema Purgatorio #11 comic. This post is similar to my earlier post on visiting Thelma Todd sites, but frankly there is even less to see at the present day Dahlia sites.

The most important location associated with the Black Dahlia (one where several people have visited and posted accounts online – there are even tours that visit it) is the site where Elizabeth Short’s body was discovered. In January 1947, Betty Bersinger discovered Short’s mutilated corpse in a vacant lot. Today that lot is a neighborhood of modest single-family homes. The neighborhood is called Leimert Park, historically and still today a community where many African-Americans live.

The site is often described, including by Moore, as “39th and Norton.” (That’s even the title of a chilling Dahlia comics story published in Taboo #5 in 1991 – alongside Moore’s From Hell and Lost Girls.) That’s the closest intersection, but the site is actually mid-block on Norton Avenue between 39th Street and Coliseum Street. Today the address is 3825 Norton Avenue.  Continue reading

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