Sunday, November 28, 2010

The " Black Dahlia" case -- never solved

Several days after Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was found shot to death in her Mercedes-Benz, a friend voiced the hope to KNBC-TV news that the case wouldn't turn into "another Black Dahlia."

The friend was referring to the 1947 slaying of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short (shown above), which has never been solved.

The Times' Larry Harnisch attributes fascination with the Black Dahlia case to the fact that the killing was a "gruesome, unsolved murder of an attractive victim with a haunting nickname."

She picked up the nickname because of her black outfits and black hair and because a movie of that era was titled "The Blue Dahlia."

Short's mutilated body was found Jan. 15, 1947, in a vacant lot on Norton Avenue in the Leimert Park area.

More than 50 delusional characters confessed. No one was ever arrested.

Over the years, the villain has variously been identified as a pipe salesman, a doctor, a cop, a mobster, a cafe owner and an actor.

Meanwhile, it is too soon to predict the outcome of the investigation into the Nov. 16 slaying of Ronni Chasen. But, as the above cases illustrate (all too brutally), not every Hollywood story has a happy ending. And some have no ending at all.

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