Category Archives: Books and Authors

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights – The Cahuenga Building

Note: This is an encore post from 2012. From its days as an elegant bank building to its abandoned and forgotten existence in the 1980s and 1990s, the former Security Trust and Savings Bank at Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Boulevard … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Piu Eatwell’s ‘Black Dahlia, Red Rose’ – A Name to Remember

Donald Freed in Piu Eatwell’s “Black Dahlia, Red Rose.” There are many names and many claims in Piu Eatwell’s new book, “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” but the most important for our purposes is that of Donald Freed, a very pleasant … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Dahlia: Piu Eatwell’s ‘Black Dahlia, Red Rose’ – A Bad Beginning

Given the brevity of human life, I don’t plan to do a line-by-line debunking of Piu Eatwell’s upcoming book “Black Dahlia, Red Rose.” Longtime readers may recall my labors over Donald Wolfe’s “The Black Dahlia Files,” which lasted for months. … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Another Good Story Ruined: Gen. Otis’ ‘Death Car’ Rides Again

Photo: Times President Gen. Harrison Gray Otis. Credit: Press Reference Library, 1912 Evidently the folks at Esotouric (nee “The Crime Bus”) have neglected their homework when it comes to the bombing of The Times, judging by a recent story. Which … Continue reading

Posted in Another Good Story Ruined, Books and Authors, Downtown, History, Libraries | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD – Part 5

Dr. J. Paul De River analyzes accused killer R. Bernard Finch based on the left and right sides of his face in the Jan. 27, 1960, Herald-Express. In case you just tuned in, we’re exploring some of the topics dealt … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD – Part 4

Feb. 24, 1949: Leslie Dillon files a claim against the city of Los Angeles for the LAPD’s massive screw-up in the Dahlia case. And yes, he collected.   Dear [redacted], a Comcast user from Spokane, Wash. I’ll say it again: … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD – Part 3

The Mirror (that would be the other Mirror) jumps on the Dahlia Murder “Solved!” bandwagon. Nobody “enjoys a good murder” as much as the Brits, so we are seeing a wave of publicity for Piu Eatwell’s new book, “Black Dahlia, … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD — Part 1

The Paul De River/Leslie Dillon/LAPD coverup conspiracy theory in the 1947 Black Dahlia murder is getting some traction with the upcoming release of Piu Eatwell’s “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” which purports to “solve” the Dahlia case. Spoiler alert

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia – Piu Eatwell’s ‘Black Dahlia, Red Rose’ Exhumes Leslie Dillon

Since I learned a few months ago that British writer Piu Eatwell was going to “solve” the Black Dahlia case in the forthcoming book “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” I have been waiting to see if she would open — Door … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’ at the Toronto Film Festival – Oh Dear

Scotty Bowers, author of the b.s.-laden book “Full Service,” is the subject of a “documentary” (cough, cough) by Matt Tyrnauer. Image courtesy of the Vanity Fair, which really ought to know better. This is Scotty Bowers, who wrote a heaping … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, Another Good Story Ruined, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Book Review: ‘Playboy Laughs’

Playboy Laughs: The Comedy, Comedians and Cartoons of Playboy By Patty Farmer Beaufort Books, 355 Pages Judging by a chronological list of Playboy covers, I started reading the magazine about January 1967 and stopped with the October 1970 issue, which … Continue reading

Posted in 2017, Books and Authors | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Hard-Boiled Hollywood’ and the ‘Blah Dahlia’

Hard-Boiled Hollywood: Crime and Punishment in Postwar Los Angeles By Jon Lewis University of California Press, 233 pages.   “Sometimes it’s interesting to see just how bad bad writing can be. This promised to go the limit.” — Joe Gillis, … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2017, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Black Dahlia: Another Entry in the George Hodel ‘Black Dahlia Avenger’ Franchise

Variety announces “One Day She’ll Darken.” While the rest of the world was consumed with the Senate vote on a “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, my inbox exploded with news of a purported “Black Dahlia TV series.” Oh dear. This one … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2017, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Mort Sahl: Last Man Standing’ by James Curtis

Folks, please give a little love to the publication today of “Last Man Standing,” James Curtis’ new biography of Mort Sahl, who transformed standup comedy from mother-in-law gags to cutting political commentary. James, known for his biographies of W.C. Fields, … Continue reading

Posted in 2017, Books and Authors, Stage | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Coming Events: Book Signing for ‘Hollywood at Play’

A book signing for “Hollywood at Play,” by Donovan Brandt, Mary Mallory and Stephen X. Sylvester, will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Larry Edmunds Bookshop at 6644 Hollywood Blvd.

Posted in 2017, Books and Authors, Coming Attractions, Film, Hollywood, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eve Golden’s YouTube Theater: Castles on the Air

  Eve Golden’s biography of Vernon and Irene Castle. I am operating on the assumption that none of you have read my 2007 biography of Vernon and Irene Castle—that book laid an ostrich-sized egg. Three dogs and a cat bought … Continue reading

Posted in 1915, Books and Authors, Dance, Eve Golden, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Severed’ Author John Gilmore Dead at 81 (Updated)

John Gilmore is dead? Really? Hidden in yet another rehash of the Black Dahlia case for the 70th anniversary of Elizabeth Short’s killing is word from Tony Mostrom in L.A. Weekly that “Severed” author John Gilmore died in October. This … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2016, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Heaven Is Here!’ Progress Report

A little over a year ago, on Dec. 18, 2015, I walked out the doors of the Los Angeles Times after 27 years, having asked a security guard to take this picture of my farewell. And yes, I’m wearing my … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Ghostland’ and Another Good Story Ruined (Updated)

“Ghostland” by Colin Dickey, Page 136. OK, who can spot the mistake in the highlighted passage? (And yes, Dickey is about to invoke the name of Kenneth Anger, who has caused more grief for historians than any other writer). This … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, LAPD | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

In the Steps of Raymond Chandler: L.A. Mystery Quotes (Updated +)

To accompany my piece on James Ellroy, Michael Connelly and The Wrong Side of Goodbye at the L.A. Review of Books, here are eleven mystery writers strolling Los Angeles in the shadow of Raymond Chandler. Can you identify the authors? … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors | Tagged , | 3 Comments