Analysis of the Dahlia "Show"
In the Black Dahlia's time there was a radio
show called Let's Pretend. A few years later, there was a TV program
known as You Be The Judge. Let's examine a Dahlia topic by a combo
of these themes. We'll pretend for circa-Black Dahlia time and
judge in 21st-century time. Our topic: "Abattoir Beeline"
Let's pretend that bloody sheets and bloodstained
women's clothes were found in a structure suspected to be the Dahlia
death place. Let's pretend the clothes were the Dahlia's style and
size. Let's pretend the structure was on a busy street and less than
a 15 minutes' drive from the Dahlia death lot. Let's pretend that the
structure was on a "beeline" from the lot.
What's a "beeline"? In Cartesian Coordinates and in Euclidean space,
a straight line can link any two points. Let's consult a dictionary. My word
book says: "beeline, a direct route traveled quickly." And about "direct," my
book says: ". . . proceeding in a straight line or by the shortest route;
The Abattoir on the Beeline
The "pretend" above talked of
driving in a car, not traveling via a brain movie following map grid
lines where streets may not exist. And it follows '47 LA streets. Let's
pretend we drive to the lot from say, 31st and San Pedro. We'll have
to jog north to Adams or south to Jefferson before we can even begin our
westward route to the lot. And then we'll be paralleling Washington
which would be faster and less than a mile to the north. Pretend you
use Jefferson from 31st and San Pedro, and I use Washington from 300
East Washington. It'll seem like a song: you use the low road and I'll
use the high road, and I'll get to Shortland before you. The San Pedro
Street-area start would be frustrating. Exposition overlays a map grid
line but it doesn't start to beeline westward 'til the USC area. But
you want to go by Exposition while I go by Washington? It'll be like
an old tune again: you go the low road and I go the high road and I
get to Lotland before you. The Metro Blue Line would wheel on Washington
for good reason . . .
Ed's likely route from the hotel to the show site: Washington west to Crenshaw.
Crenshaw south to Coliseum, Coliseum east to Norton . . . lights off, roll
south a half-block . ..
The structure on East Washington was on a busy street and less than a 15 minutes'
drive to the Degnan-locale lot. The hotel-lot route was as close to a "beeline" as
you could get. LAPD sleuths had to suspect that the hotel on Washington was
the Dahlia death chamber: they knew that Betty and Ed had checked into the
hotel three days before BD Day; they also knew that the doomed duo had used
the hotel several times in late-'46.
So you be the judge . . . Does the Washington Boulevard hotel match the "let's
The Bundle in the Abattoir
About those bloody sheets and bloodstained
clothes . . . Does that sound like the Ed Burns we know? Didn't he
have the Dahlia murder planned? Yes, he did. But think about what the
Dahlia told us previously: she thought Ed checked out three Harbor-area
hotels because managers of "their" hotel sensed spooky vibes
emanating from the "Barnes'" room, and got nervous. So let
me run a let's pretend scenario by you, and you be the judge . . .
Everything's jake until late in the second day of the murder process
when Ed hears knocking on the door. He first ignores it, as he'd ignored
the ringing of the phone a while ago. But the knocking continues and
Ed hears, "Mr. and Mrs. Barnes . . . Did you hear the phone? Can
you hear me? . . . Is everything OK?" Ed starts to freak, but
the knocking stops and the knocker goes away. Ed returns to "the
process" and has just begun to settle back into things when the
manager comes back and knocks, and hollers his inquiries through
the door. And Ed hears something about getting a key. Ed hasn't completed
his black task and he momentarily panics. But he calms down. The Dahlia
is Liz and Beth by now. He can put her in the suitcases and flee the
scene. But the scene's a bloody mess. Ed commandeers sheets and frantically
cleans and wipes, then places Tweedle Duo in her two suitcases and
realizes he has no suitcase space for Betty's clothes or the bloody
sheets. And the manager might soon return with a key . . . What can
Ed do? Ed looks for and finds an attic access in a tiny closet space.
Ed stands on a chair and moves the access door aside, then gets down
and bundles all the bloody stuff in a ball, then gets himself and the
bloody cotton ball onto the chair and pushes a ball of blood and sheets
and clothes into the attic, and clear of the access area. Ed then slides
the attic-access door back into place and gets down from the chair.
Ed does frenetic final cleanup, then peers through the organdy curtain...
No manager cometh. Ed opens the front door, lifts his ladylove and
goes out the door, sets the luggage down, shuts and locks the door,
grabs the ponderously heavy suitcases and walks to the car and
loads it, and is on his way to the Inglewood area . . . But Ed Burns
doesn't forget about the grotesque bundle in the attic on East Washington.
And as the Art Bisecto to the west spawns nightmares, Ed motors back
to the abattoir. Let's pretend he gets into the room out of eyeshot
of the managers and puts suspicion-snuffing sheets he's scrounged,
into place. Right now Ed wants to get that stuff out of the
attic and into the car. But he decides to check on activity of the
managers, to avoid any "embarrassing" interruptions. Ed goes
to the office and informs a manager he's back and is waiting for his
wife. The manager scares jumpy Ed by saying, "We thought you were
dead." Shaky-with-good reason, Ed jackrabbits out of the area,
leaving the bundle in the attic of the cheap
hotel. . . The manager will be a gremlin, and Ed realizes it . . . Wrong
with Eversharp, Mr. J, you didn't say which "you. " OK, call the
police. So they shake down the room, go into the attic, find the stuff, and
can't prove it's her blood or her clothes, and can't lift prints. They can't
prove a thing.
You be the judge . . . Did the stashed-sheet scenario fit the Black Dahlia
Story in combo with the "beeline" topic?
The Baring of the Abattoir
Let's pretend that 1947 LAPD Homicide
had the Abattoir Beeline data from week two of the Dahlia case. Let's
pretend LAPD disclosed the info to a 1949 Grand Jury. LAPD scorecard
on six Ripperesque murders of LA women, from '44 to '49: Blader Jacks,
6; Friday Joes, 0. Why would LAPD have revealed the abattoir data?
To show some progress on the Dahlia case? LAPD is reluctant
to bare info on the case to this day. Is LAPD still in case-protection
mode? I say: no; LAPD lawmen who need to know do know that the
Dahlia killer suicided in March 1947. The abattoir data was real.
It was but one strand in the web of circumstantial evidence LAPD had
on Ed Burns. Even had LAPD not decrypted any of Ed's messages,
I'm certain 1947 LAPD knew that Ed was their man in the Dahlia case.
Poignantly Ironic Finality
Maybe Ed's hotel-room lecture covered
the whole Black Dahlia Story. Maybe the saga didn't end quite
like Ed's surfside litter implied. Maybe Ed Burns and Elizabeth Short
took this secret to their graves:
Ed sets up his Degnan Murder Tableau, drives a safe distance from the scene
lot and parks. He cleans the exteriors of the Liz and Beth suitcases, then
rolls to the downtown-LA Greyhound Bus terminal. He checks the two suitcases
into a locker near the one that contains Betty's suitcases. Ed's evidentiary
murder kit is EdBlematically occulted...
In the dawning hours of suicide day, a disguised Ed reclaims his suitcases
from the depot locker. He motors to a secluded spot and parks. He opens the
suitcases and takes out the stained rope that bound Betty's ankles and legs.
He cuts two 4' lengths from this rope. He puts a noose on one end of each piece,
and ties 30 pounds of iron-pumper discs on the other end. Ed puts a weighted
rope segment and a 10-pound "sinker" disc in each suitcase, and closes
his luggage. He then drills holes in the luggage: he wants it to sink like
a human with a 60-pound payload. The saw-it-all suitcases now holding the murder
kit plus weighty cargo are ready for their final mission. . .
Later in the suicide morning, Ed Burns strolls onto the Venice beach, carrying
his litter-to-be in a shopping bag. He places the clothes on the sand, with
his suicide note in a shoe. He lays low 'til the evening Herald-Express hits
the stands. He doesn't want the final ploy of his plan to be waylaid by a curious
canine or a scavenger seagull . . . All went well. The newspaper covered his
effort with an item that began: "Claiming that he was the Black Dahlia
killer, an unidentified man left a note stating..."
At witching hour of suicide day, Ed wheels to his and Betty's happy-place amusement
park, and parks. He sits for a minute, ears "on" and eyes peeled,
to get a feel for locale activity. It's as dead as a corpse. He is the activity
in the locality. He gets out of the car, removes the luggage from the back
seat, takes a deep breath, grips a memory-joggingly heavy suitcase in each
hand and heads for the pier.
Burns walks onto the creaking Ocean Park pier and gazes to the South. Something's
percolating a quarter-mile down the beach. Ed thinks . . . They're looking
for a suicide floater. Sorry, sports fans, you false-started . . . and I won't
Ed proceeds to the breezy spot on the pier where he and Betty saw a blood-red
sun sink into the blue Pacific. He ruminates how they talked of shoes, and
ships . . . "The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many
things: Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax. Of cabbages, and kings. And why
the sea is boiling hot, '" . . . and why a rabbit cannot have wings
. . .
Ed opens the suitcases, takes out his weighted rope segments, and closes and
locks the Liz and Beth caskets. He slips the Liz noose around his left ankle,
and the Beth noose around his right ankle. Rope that held Elizabeth Short when
she died will do the same for Ed Burns. He moves caskets and discs to the edge
of the pier, maneuvers to the outside of the railing, grips the coffins, then
splashes into murky brine. Ed clutches the eerily bubbling murder paraphernalia
as rope at his ankles tugs him inexorably downward into the gloom . . .
Ed's surreal Black Dahlia odyssey is dead.
A Pandora's Box in a Cloud of
LAPD is haunted by the Dahlia case.
I'm sure the reason would surprise Dahlia buffs. The truth: LAPD cops
knew their man was Ed Burns; they had him, they grilled him, but they
did not hold him, and suddenly he "wasn't there" and
by the time LAPD learned where he was, he'd juked justice with a salty
suicide. Eddy Rabbit had given LAPD cops the slip! In a garden-variety
case, a preventable truth like this is soon forgotten. But in a dahlia
case that made front-page news all over the world, it left career-marring
burns scars on very good cops.
Has the "Burns-Scars Truth" been the case secret? Yes!
What if LAPD never found physical evidence needed to make a DA happy, and never
deciphered Ed's trilogy, and King Neptune never regurgitated Burns Bunny? We
would see a Dahlia case in open-case limboland, with LAPD referring to Ed Burns
as "unID'd man." We've seen a half-century of that.
For 54 years, LAPD has prevented the Burns-Scars Truth from leaking to the
public. How would LAPD have done this?
LAPD would have allowed only a select coterie of non-leakers to know the Truth.
LAPD Homicide didn't dare curtail the Dahlia investigation: LA newshawks would've
been all over this one like petals on a dahlia blossom. So LAPD would have
reined in a given non-select sleuth once non-select sleuth had gotten close
to the Burns-Scars Truth. And we're close to something ...
There are Los Angeles newspersons who assert that 1947 LAPD purposely subverted
the Dahlia-murder investigation. LA newsman Bill Welsh remembers persistent
rumors that the Dahlia case was fixed. LA Times reporter Niesen Himmel emphatically
insists that the Dahlia-homicide investigation was a "cover-up by the
police department of that day."
In the decades since 1947, six different homicide detectives separately blew
the whistle on a Dahlia-case cover-up. But their reports were squelched through
the LAPD policy of secrecy with regard to the Dahlia case.
Harry The Hat Hansen
Did His Invisible-Rabbit Trick
Detective William Harmon was a plainclothesman investigating the Dahlia murder.
The case was two weeks old when he told his family the case was "virtually
solved." By spring he was almost ready to take his evidence to the DA.
But the DA didn't see his data. Harmon was abruptly taken off the case, ordered
to turn in his notes and "never discuss the case again."
In 1949, a grand jury heard about a Dahlia-case cover-up. LAPD detective L.
Waggoner was working the "Long Beach angle" in the case. He told
the grand jury that he and his partner were making "remarkable progress." But
they were abruptly reassigned to other duties without explanation. Under oath,
he said: "The case could have been solved . . . [But] I was suddenly taken
off the case, and I never did learn the reason why."
The detectives detected a cover-up, but never learned the why of the cover-up.
It's a no-brainer: the why of the cover-up was the Burns-Scars Truth.
Why did LAPD cover up the Truth? Solely to hide a goof? Just because of chagrin?
No on both: 1947 LAPD wasn't amateurish. The cover-up "benefited" the
public, but it was done mainly in the interest of good police work. Detectives
Harry Hansen and Finis Brown were topnotch professionals.
By Truth time, Hansen had almost given up on finding physical evidence to warrant
an arrest of Ed Burns. But an adamant Hansen knew Burns was his man, and he
had airy hopes of taking the evidence to court and closing the case. Ed was
gone: sleuthhounds scenting his karma could've worked a data field and dug
up a stiff: a liplubing sleuth-squander. So Harry pulled dead-rabbit trackers.
By covering up the Truth, Harry forced Dahlia-case sleuths to sleuth in unBurns'd
areas. Harry was covering all bases. This is why his card-filing and Finis'
lead-chasing went on for years after Ed's suicide. Had the Dahlia case reached
court, sage Harry could have said: "LAPD went to the 5th dimension in
a hunt for another good suspect. Ed Burns wasn't just our ultra-likely suspect.
Burns is a shoo-in for the Dahlia killer!"
Harry Hansen Told Us He Knew
Harry repeatedly said he "knew" who
killed the Dahlia, but he made it seem like he was saying the
opposite. In '71, he told a journalist: "I know for certain that
I never met the killer face to face." In '79, Harry flatly told
an LA Times newsman that the killer was dead. Had Harry not known
the killer, then he would've been telling us good stuff like: "I
know for certain that I never met I don't know who face to face. And
I'm sure I know not who is dead." Reductio ad absurdum. In '82,
sly Harry said: "It was the killer's first and last killing." To
know the kill window, Harry had to know the killer in the window.
Clean Harry never said, "I don't 'know' who killed the Black Dahlia." He
would have been lying.
The Abortionist was Harry's Man
Via 1990s LA TV, a very-old former cohort
of Harry's gave us some intriguing info. Harry's Black Dahlia-case
suspect was an abortionist. Harry found the man's phone number in the
Dahlia's address book, but "the digits were slightly rearranged." Shades
of the Crypto Man, Ed Burns, AKA Maurice from "Guess Who"!
Given quack credentials Ducktor Burns had earned when he'd aborted
his medical training at USC, the following scenario is pregnant with
LAPD ID'd the grinner in the photo-booth pics.
His birth certificate name: "Ed Burns." LAPD showed the
photos to the ladies at Chancellor Apartments. Some of them recognized
the man; they told LAPD he did abortions; but they didn't know
him as "Ed Burns." Hansen's hot hunch: Maurice, the Dahlia's " favorite
boy friend, " was Ed Burns. LAPD sleuthed up Burns phone number.
Hansen scanned the Dahlia's address book. "Ed Burns" was
not there. "Maurice" was. Hansen recognized the number
to the right of "Maurice" as a permutation of Burns'
phone number. And how had Ed Burns made "Maurrice"? His
main maneuver was to morph "Burns Ed" into "nBurs
de" . . . Don't look now, Hansen, but the rearrangement of
Ed's seven-digit phone number dittoes the rearrangement of Ed's
Please do glance back now, Black Dahlia puzzle-fans,
at Ed's suicide cryptography. The first T pointer aims at the cap E in "CONCERN." Notice
that the pointer could be extended to point at cap M in "WHOM," as
well as cap E. Note the slashy I in "IT." If Ed's original
had a similar I in "IT," I bet that Ed wanted us to use it
as an "IT" I, then recycle it as a clue: the vertical line
of "name" letters begins with cap M in the 1st line, not with
cap E in the second line; cap M means "Maurice"; and Burns
said: "I am Maurice/Ed Burns"
The LA Times reported that Harry Hansen
got drunk and teary at his retirement party because the Dahlia case
was the "one case he wanted to solve, the one killer he wanted
to find." Well, it was more than that. Harry found the
killer, but he couldn't close the case, and he had to keep it hush
hush. It was the '47 Truth.
The '47 Truth was de facto case closure.
But the custodians of Pandora's Box keep mum about it. Decryption in
this document is post-'47 truth. It heralds de facto Black Dahlia-case
closure for the public.
NOW's the Time
The purpose of this document is to provide
all necessary info for bringing Elizabeth Short some justice.
The Black Dahlia
The year was
1947, but the Dahlia-slaying site was of another time. It was an old
three-story, long, narrow wooden building on the southeasterly corner
of East Washington Boulevard and Santee Street, in Los Angeles. The westerly
wall was just off the Santee sidewalk; the seven wooden steps that climbed
to the large front porch began just off the Washington sidewalk. This
was typical of pre-auto-era buildings: no engine roar to deal with. I'd
say the structure was built in about 1900. It was fittingly classifiable
as a hotel, a rooming house, or apartment flats. The front entrance,
three hallways and rear-wall fire-escape exits were on a centerline:
the place was lengthwise symmetric. In the Black Dahlia's time, the squarish
building wore "The Hirsh Apts." as a part of its original decor.
The Hirsh was "safely" remote from downtown LA, Long Beach
and Hollywood. But: the LA Biltmore Hotel was an easy-walk away; via
Washington, Alameda, and Atlantic, Long Beach was a 30-minute car ride
away; via Washington and Western, Hollywood was a 20-minute drive away...
And 39th and Norton was a relaxed 15-minute roll away . . .
Santee dead-ended just beyond the three
fire-escape ladders on the back wall. So there was virtually no pedestrian
nor vehicular traffic near the Santee side. There was seclusion to the
There was open space directly to the rear of the Hirsh. There was seclusion
to the south.
The rearmost Hirsh units were about 65 feet from the sidewalk on Washington.
There was seclusion from the "outside north."
The normal access of a given Hirsh apartment
was via the front entrance plus one of three inside halls. There was
no "courtyard exposure" of comings and goings or other activities
The Hirsh managers' office was in a front apartment; the fire-escapes were
75 feet away. A sneaky guest could've migrated from floor to floor, or departed
the premises, out of eyeshot of the managers.
The old building boasted attic area and a spacious cellar: the Hirsh had stash
space for bloody clothing and sheets which might result from a messy "surgical" procedure
. . .
It wasn't just by chance that Ed Burns used the Hirsh for the Dahlia-slaying
site. I think it was serendipity. Serendipity? But Bladester Burns chose the "Hearse" because
of stuff noted above, correct? Correcto!
I say the Hirsh had been Ed's secret abortion
site before he and the Dahlia joined paths. And it served Ed well as
a secluded sanctum on sexless one-nighters with the Dahlia. So once Ed
opted to slay the Dahlia, he had a serendipitously preselected slaying
site: an old Los Angeles hotel at 300 East Washington Boulevard, The
The Hirsh Apartments Revisited