7 Insane Things You Didn't Know About the Black Dahlia Murder

By | October 8, 2019

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Elizabeth Short's Mugshot (​www.laurajames.com​)

Whether you're a hardcore crime fanatic or just your average Jane with a penchant for the macabre (hey, no judgement), you've surely heard of Elizabeth Short, A.K.A. "The Black Dahlia." You probably know ​how she was found: naked, bloodless, posed like a mannequin, and cut in half, wearing a "Glasgow smile." That alone is crazy. Here's where it gets crazier.

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Mrs. Betty Bersinger, the woman who discovered Short's body (Los Angeles Herald Examiner Photos Collection via the Los Angeles Public Library)

Women Were First On The Case

In the early hours of January 15, 1947, Mrs. Betty Bersinger was walking with her three-year old daughter when she found Elizabeth Short's body​ in a vacant lot in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. She initially thought it was a mannequin due to its pose and pallor. (You know how you find mannequins in fields sometimes.) When she realized she was looking at a corpse, she immediately telephoned the police.

The first reporter to arrive was Agness Underwood with the ​Los Angeles Herald-Express, ​also known for her interview with ​Amelia Earhart. Despite her capable background, Underwood was abruptly taken from the case not once but twice​ and promoted to editor of the paper's city desk to keep her happy. The reporters who came after her ... did not help the situation.