We are approaching the 70th anniversary of the killing of Elizabeth Short and it’s no trick for lazy writers to run off five yards of poorly researched copy on the Black Dahlia. The latest example is by James Bartlett for the BBC News. (I have noticed over the years that the Brits have a keen appetite for gruesome crimes but a distaste for facts.)
Bartlett, author of “Gourmet Ghosts,” rounds up some nonsense from Wikipedia (whenever you see a reference to “Glasgow smile,” you know an author has dipped into the fetid stew cooked up by citizen-scholars or someone who has swiped from Wikipedia and not checked anything). He works in a cameo by James Ellroy and a mention of former LAPD Detective Steve Hodel and his nutty theories about his father.
Glynn Martin of the LAPD Historical Society offers the usual take on the star-struck girl from back east being horribly killed and Christina Rice, senior librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library photo collection (and the definitive source on Ann Dvorak), attests to the crackpots who are drawn to the case. Kim Cooper and Richard Schave of Esotouric also make an appearance.
Bonus: Recipe for the Biltmore Hotel’s Black Dahlia cocktail.
And boom, we’re done.
ps. James, you could have emailed me. I would have set you straight about a few things.