Black Dahlia, Red Rose: The Crime, Corruption, and Cover-Up of Americas Greatest Unsolved Murder

Piu Eatwell. Liveright, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-63149-226-6
The 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short and the ensuing hunt for the so-called Black Dahlia killer baffled the LAPD and fascinated the public at the time, and has been studied by crime historians in the decades since. In this ambitious but overstuffed account, Eatwell (The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse) too often gets tangled up in the web of mystery surrounding the still-unsolved crime rather than unraveling it. When a young woman’s bisected body was discovered in Los Angeles’ Leimert Park on Jan. 15, 1947, identifying her proved challenging for LAPD detectives. From the outset, the press took a strong interest in the case, particularly the Los Angeles Examiner and the Herald-Express. It was ultimately the Examiner that first identified the victim as 22-year-old Short, after the staff sent the corpse’s fingerprints to the FBI. In agonizing detail, Eatwell catalogues the LAPD’s struggle for answers, even after the discovery of Short’s luggage, containing an address book filled with potential suspects. Often preoccupied with tracing the corruption scandals that ran rampant within the LAPD, Eatwell, who oddly becomes a character in the narrative at the end, makes a convincing case for the Black Dahlia killer’s identity, but takes far too long and far too twisted a road to get there. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/21/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-63149-227-3
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