Black Dahlia: Donald Wolfe, ‘The Black Dahlia Files’ and a Faked Document (Revisited)

Page 198 of Donald H. Wolfe’s “The Black Dahlia Files.”

Someone asked about the fake a document in Donald Wolfe’s “The Black Dalia Files.” Here’s a post I wrote about it on April 14, 2006. Eight years later, I’m still waiting for a response from Wolfe about this.

April 14, 2006

I have ceased blogging in real time as I read Donald H. Wolfe’s “The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles.” Wolfe uses the “Laura” format, in which the anonymous, butchered body is found and the narrative proceeds in flashbacks.

As we discovered yesterday, the alleged memo on Page 198 of Wolfe’s book is a fake, pasted together from two unrelated documents.

Today, let’s see how it was done.

First, here’s a scan of the book, just to show Wolfe’s handiwork.

Now, our raw material.

First, a memo from the district attorney’s office dated Oct. 28, 1949.



We snip off the top here:



But it’s tricky to delete the date as Wolfe does, so I’m leaving it. Note the raised “t” in the word “Attorney” on the third line. A sure giveaway that this is our source.

Next we take Pages 13-14 of the Nov. 23, 1949, document “Evidence and Declarations Tending to Connect or Disconnect Leslie Dillon to the Murders of Elizabeth Short, Jeanne French and Gladys Kern.”

Page 13




Page 14




And here’s our snippage, except I’ve intentionally done a clumsy job.




Paste it together and it looks very much like this:


Now to be fair, I think Donald H. Wolfe should get a chance to defend himself, so I’m going to write him an e-mail and see what he has to say.

Still waiting, Don!

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Black Dahlia: Donald Wolfe, ‘The Black Dahlia Files’ and a Faked Document (Revisited)

  1. Eve says:

    I don’t mean to nag (well, OK, I do mean to nag, it is what I do best–that and Katharine Hepburn imitations), but the best way of bitch-slapping these awful Black Dahlia books is to write the only non-crazy book on the case, which really is needed.


  2. JAMES says:

    Thank you so much for this. You’ve done more than anyone to expose the quacks in this case.


  3. Lee Rivas says:

    I always remember one specific California Civil Jury Instruction (instruction given to jurors in a trial) as a kind of guide in dealing with people and their stories. Here it is seriously redacted:

    “Section 5003. Witnesses
    A witness is a person who has knowledge related to this case. You will have to decide whether you believe each witness and how important each witness’s testimony is to the case. You may believe all, part, or none of a witness’s testimony…..if you decide that a witness deliberately testified untruthfully about something important, you may choose not to believe anything that witness said. On the other hand, if you think the witness testified untruthfully about some things but told the truth about others, you may accept the part you think is true and ignore the rest…”

    In my life deliberate untruths raise a red flag which have been almost impossible to erase; let alone ignore.


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