Black Dahlia: Can You Identify the Black Dahlia? (Updated)

OK, let’s have some fun.

Does either of these photographs show Elizabeth Short?
1. The woman on the left is Elizabeth Short.
2. The woman on the right is Elizabeth Short.
3. Both women are Elizabeth Short.
4. Neither woman is Elizabeth Short.

Woman on left 0
Woman on right 11
Both 2
Neither 2

Here is the final tally from our unscientific poll. The image on the left was found by Steve Hodel in his father’s belongings and according to Steve Hodel, this establishes a relationship between Dr. George Hodel and Elizabeth Short. The image on the right is cropped from a known photograph of Elizabeth Short.

I should note that Elizabeth Short’s family issued a statement saying that the woman on the left is not Elizabeth Short.

Only two people said both images showed Elizabeth Short — the same number that said neither image showed Elizabeth Short. In contrast, 12 said that only the woman on the right is Elizabeth Short.

About lmharnisch

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

22 Responses to Black Dahlia: Can You Identify the Black Dahlia? (Updated)

  1. Anne Papineau says:

    E.S. on right, God rest her soul.


  2. beachgal says:

    I nibble at this – of course the one on the right is Elizabeth Short – I’m going to guess the one on the left is a photo of Jean Spangler.


  3. Sally Stark says:

    The girl on the right, is definitely Elizabeth Short…but I’m going to say that BOTH pictures are Elizabeth.


  4. Puzzling. But studying individual features, I choose both. At least, I am certain both are one woman, and I believe it is Elizabeth Short.


  5. Lee Rivas says:

    Neither woman is Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short?


  6. Mary Mallory says:

    Only the one on the right is Short.


  7. James Scott says:

    The one on the right is her.


  8. KT says:

    Ditto, only the one on the right


  9. Anne R. says:

    The one on the right is definitively Elizabeth Short. That is well documented. The one on the left is definitively not. A person can alter their makeup application and hair style but they can’t (or wouldn’t, in this case) alter immutable features such as a hairline. The woman on the left clearly has a widows peak. Unfortunately, the photo of Elizabeth Short to the right has a strategically placed bit of hair that hides the spot where a widows peak would be located. But in examining other known photos of Ms. Short, she clearly does not have a widows peak.

    And don’t get me started on the nose, eyebrows and mouth…


  10. My guess: the one on the right is Elizabeth, and the photo on the left was found amongst George Hodel’s effects by his son Steve.


  11. mandymarie20 says:

    Right – the one that looks like a man is cut off the photo aka the one without the flowers in the hair


  12. Candy Cassell says:

    The picture on the right is one of the few verified images of Elizabeth Short after she left Massachusetts and was living in California. The image on the left is one of the photos that George Hodell has utilized while trying to connect his long dead father to the real Elizabeth Short.

    I have spent years studying the faces in generations of my family photos, deciding who looks like who. I have never seen Beth Short´s face in the Hodell photographs.


  13. James Scott says:

    One of Elizabeth’s most obvious traits was her “Jay Leno” chin, what they use to call a “Lantern Jaw”. A rare trait in a woman.


  14. The woman on the right is Elizabeth Short; I don’t know who the woman on the left with her eyes closed is but her features don’t look consistent with Ms. Short’s. She also looks somewhat older to me than Elizabeth on the right but that might have more to do with the texture/finish on that particular photo.


  15. James Scott says:

    Larry, I just watched the 1988 episode of “Hunter” that dealt with The Black Dahlia. It gave a fictional resolution to the case but I’d like to know your opinion of this episode. I thought it was interesting.


  16. Tami Harris says:

    oops I didn’t see this post when I commented on the other group of pictures. If I had seen this first I would have just voted rather than comment because I pretty much said the same thing you did here. It always bothered me that Steve Hodel misidentified those pictures as Elizabeth Short because to me it was always obvious that it was not her.


  17. Pingback: Black Dahlia: 1949 Letter Proves Nothing About Dr. George Hodel |

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