The Murder/Riddle Solution-Page 3

The Newsprint-Confetti Smoke Screen
The massive newspaper coverage of the Dahlia case. Served LAPD well in obscuring the presence of their man Ed. But it didn't quite hide him completely. Ed made some anonymous appearances in LA newspapers. He showed up in the January 17 Herald-Express as Betty's Long Beach-hospital boyfriend who was being sought for questioning. He showed up in the January 22 Examiner as the man who registered in the hotel with the Black Dahlia. He was in the January 22 Times as the man who was looking for a room with a private bath with tub. He then made it to the February 3 Herald as that same guy who was seeking a room with private bath with tub. As Betty said previously, the three hotels Ed checked on the evening of the 14th were in the Harbor District. Also as Betty said, Ed did this because the managers at Ed's and Betty's south downtown-LA hotel were becoming pesky. On all hotel checks, Ed parked his black "tow-rope-special" 1937 Ford sedan at least a block from the hotel. He had Liz and Beth cozily tucked away in their separate suitcases which were locked in the car. But maybe they were too big to fit in the trunk and were visible through the windows. Ed didn't want to clearly show the car that would be seen at the show site the next morning; and he didn't want to be visualized toting two big suitcases in and out of a hotel room he'd use for only one night. The suitcase scenario might've been suspicious, in retrospect, especially to hotel managers who would never see the wife who needed a tub. . . And Ed's anonymous mug appeared beside Betty's in newsphotos. But LAPD did a phenomenal obfuscation job. The public never "saw" the real Dahlia murderer, although Dahlia-murderer Ed was in front of their eyes more than once. A famous ex-LAPD-cop/author eyed the meticulously prepared first installment in Ed's occult murder story and believed he was looking at sales-promotion gimmickry by an LA newspaper. Ed was the little man who wasn't there, even when he was there . . .

"Just the facts, ma'am."
In 1958, Jack Webb published a book called The Badge. It has a haunting 10-page summary of the Black Dahlia case. Webb was given material and "hints" on its presentation by LAPD Ed anonymously appears in the summary. But LAPD has changed Ed's occupation, and moved Ed's and Betty's hotel. Webb has a "coded" paragraph in the segment. It goes: "Two or three times, friends later remembered, Betty had hitched rides to the Sixth Street area when she was out of funds. After a day or so, she would reappear, mysteriously replenished. Where she got the money never was known." LAPD knows full well that: the money came from Ed; Betty and Ed rendezvoused in Hollywood, Betty did not hitch rides; Betty and Ed spent the nights in their Washington Boulevard hotel. But LAPD had a case to protect and Webb had a Dahlia summary. In another paragraph, Webb says that no-name Ed signed in as "Mr. and Mrs." Webb later asks: "Was the killer The Dahlia's lover or husband who felt he had been betrayed?" LAPD knew Ed had used, "Barnes and wife." And they had to say, "Howdy, Ed, we know damn well you did it!"
But this "Hello, Ed" was analogous to sound of a tree toppling in Nowhereville. Dahlia-murderer Ed had long ago ceased to exist, save as a memory and an LAPD secret. It's time for the public to know Ed Burns, and the real Black Dahlia murder.

Cat and Mouse
On January 22 the Examiner printed the item about the Dahlia and a man, Ed, being traced to the hotel on Washington. I think the public had already OD'd on Black Dahlia reportage and had no idea that the guy was the Dahlia killer. The pictures of Betty and killer Ed seemed purposely conspicuous. Was LAPD using this article to cause Betty's killer to surface? Ed surfaced. Two days after seeing his smiling face beside Betty's, Ed mailed his first correspondence. And he'd done unsquare dealing: he had included another photo of himself and Betty. What killer would mail cops a photo of himself with his victim? A killer who knew cops had pics of him with his victim might. Ed did. And he'd sent the packet pronto. He knew LAPD had picked up his trail and would be seeing him soon. He thought it'd look funny if they found Betty's stuff with him. A day later, Betty's purse and shoes showed up at an LA dump: more booty to shed before LAPD showed up. This likely was a Harry Hansen/Finis Brown stratagem that worked. And it fortified their strong suspicion that the guy in the photos with Betty was her murderer. LAPD used the press to throw other smog-and-mirrors verbiage at Ed and the public. Captain Jack Donahoe's hokum about looking for a "shack in a thinly populated district outside the city" was part of it. I'm sure LAPD had by then deduced that the abattoir was the hotel room. And Donahoe's telling killer BD he could "turn in" in the homicide squadroom was heavy smog. LAPD should've deciphered Ed's first two messages by now.

Ed and Red and the French Connection
Elizabeth Short told the Frenches about her "green-eyed" LA beau. She often played games, like mendaciously blaming bug-bite marks on her arms on a tiff she'd had with a jealous San Diego boyfriend. But the jealous LA man and Betty's fear of him were real. Elvera French knew it. Elvera knew that the man was an Ed who worked in a Long Beach hospital. LAPD muted Elvera about the name "Ed" and other info about Betty's and Ed's relationship. But Elvera saw dark danger in Ed that Betty didn't see. When Elvera heard "mutilated girl found in LA lot" news, she "knew" the girl was Betty Short. And maybe Red Manley had heard black stuff about Ed. Finis Brown said Red knew more than he was revealing. Finis was thinking of Ed. LAPD might've silenced Red about Ed. Red had schizoid mental problems unrelated to his fateful flirtation with the Dahlia. But maybe Red Manley's supersonic downward spiral was mainly due to guilt: an unwarranted guilt related to not talking Elizabeth Short out of again calling on an insanely jealous and possessive Ed Burns . . .

. . . Drifting Inexorably Toward Her Fate . . .
Betty had Manley drive her to an area near the hotel and the LA Santa Fe Depot. She again called on Ed. She thought she could sweet-talk his into loaning her train fare to Chicago. And maybe she thought that if she restricted the with-Ed setting to their hotel room, she'd be OK with managers and other guests there with them; she walked to the hotel on the 9th and the 12th, she didn't get into Ed's car. Red might have given Betty bring-on-the-guilt erroneous advice on this.

Strangers in the Night and Day

Ed Burns and Betty never really knew each other. Ed must have thought Betty would be happy to move in with a "stable" guy who "loved" her and would take care of her. He probably believed she eventually would see the light and would "settle down." And Betty apparently thought Ed was like other men she'd known. Guys had become jealous and possessive around her before. Maybe that was why an Army MP she'd been living with in '43 had given her a bad beating. That might've been why Joe Fickling and Betty went their separate ways. Joe was jealous of sailors who were hanging around the hotel at 53 Linden Avenue in Long Beach. And Betty might have made up that "insanely jealous, dark-haired Italian boyfriend" in San Diego. Jealousy in men was something Betty could handle. And men other than Ed had pleaded with Betty to move in with them, or to let them fix her up with a place to stay. There was a short, dark-complected fellow who'd helped her with rent at one of her residences in Hollywood. He wanted to put her up in an apartment in Beverly Hills. Betty refused his offer. He let go and rode off into the Santa Monica sunset . . . But the lovesick Ed would not and could not let go. He'd fallen for Betty way too hard. Betty probably began to grasp this fact in the early part of December of '46. That was when she rode a Greyhound bus to San Diego. But Betty must have still believed that Ed Burns was pretty much like a normal guy: she called on him again after she had returned to Los Angeles. It was a one-for-the-books mistake

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The Five Not-So-Missing Days
Red Manley had driven Betty from San Diego to LA on Thursday, 1/9/47. He'd waited as she'd checked her luggage into a bus-depot locker, then he'd driven her to the Biltmore Hotel. They'd said "good-bye" in the lobby at 6:30 p.m. Betty stayed in the vicinity of the Biltmore for three hours, then walked to the fateful hotel on Washington. Betty and Ed spent this night in their hotel. They must've agreed to meet at their hotel on Sunday, because they met at their hotel at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Where was Betty from Friday morning until Sunday morning? I'd say the reported sighting by Christenia Salisbury should be believed. Betty had worked for Ms. Salisbury in '44 and '45 in the former showgirl's Miami, Florida restaurant. Salisbury allegedly saw Betty with two tipsy women on Friday night outside Club Tabu, on the Strip. Betty allegedly told her ex-boss that she was staying with the tight twosome at their place in the San Fernando Valley. This makes sense. Betty's luggage was in the depot locker; the ladies had lady-stuff Betty could use until Sunday. Betty likely stayed with the Valley girls until Sunday, when they dropped her off in downtown LA. And how did Ed Burns make sure Betty would keep her date with fate? Previously, Betty told us how Ed had tricked her into thinking he'd loan her money for a train trip to Chicago. Maybe he did another devious thing. Maybe he told Betty he'd pick up her luggage for her: she'd have her stuff with her as soon as she arrived at the hotel. That would be great! If Betty decided she did want to go to Chicago, Ed would drive her right to the Union Pacific train station . . . So Betty wouldn't bug out on Ed Burns again: he had her luggage claim ticket, in other words her suitcases, and her Chicago-trip fare . . . What a sicko scenario! . . .

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