Category Archives: Books and Authors

Black Dahlia: ‘Definitely Not Betty’ Elizabeth Short’s Family Refutes Hodel Photos of ‘Black Dahlia’

  The Short family rarely speaks on the record, but in 2003, they were so incensed by Steve Hodel’s “Black Dahlia Avenger” and his bogus claims of photos purportedly showing Elizabeth Short that they issued a public statement through me. … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Are There Any Good Black Dahlia Sites on the Internet? Part 2

John Gilmore’s “Severed” was once the most popular book on the Black Dahlia case, although it was eclipsed by Steve Hodel’s seemingly endless series of “Black Dahlia Avenger” books. You may Google “Black Dahlia” while you’re watching “I Am the … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD, Wikipedia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Black Dahlia: Here’s Some More Bad Books on the Black Dahlia Case

In compiling my list of bad books about the Black Dahlia case, I neglected to mention William T. Rasmussen’s fringe publication “Corroborating Evidence,” which I had forgotten, mainly because it’s so nutty that I won’t even let it in the … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Are There Any Good Books on the Black Dahlia Case? Oh Dear!

“Severed”  by pathological liar John Gilmore (d. 2016) was once the go-to book on the Black Dahlia case, but it’s 25% mistakes and 50% fiction. Are there any good books on the Black Dahlia case? No. But there are a … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Jan. 9, 1945: The Making of ‘The Blue Dahlia’; Paramount Signs Raymond Chandler for Original Film

Jan. 9, 1945: The New York Times reports that Paramount signed Raymond Chandler to write a script. Contrast this with John Houseman’s account of making the film in “Lost Fortnight,” originally published in Harper’s magazine, August 1965, and reprinted with … Continue reading

Posted in 1945, Blue Dahlia, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Raymond Chandler | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Video: David Blight on ‘Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom’

I’m late to the party on this book, but I was pleased to run across a Q and A with historian David Blight of Yale on his new biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.” The session, with Princeton professor Eddie … Continue reading

Posted in 2018, African Americans, Books and Authors, History | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Victor Segno: ‘How to Live 100 Years’

A. Victor Segno is my favorite Los Angeles charlatan. I wrote a feature about him for The Times in 2012.. The entire Daily Mirror post appears on Archive.org.

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Jan. 1, 1945: The Making of ‘The Blue Dahlia’

Jan. 1, 1945: Raymond Chandler writes to Charles Morton, mentioning his original idea for a film. “The Blue Dahlia” would become Chandler’s first original screenplay. To be continued.

Posted in 1945, Blue Dahlia, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jan. 2, 1959: Matt Weinstock ‘Reader’s Choice’

The old-school newspaper columnists were tough, writing six pieces a week. Six-day-a-week columnists like Matt Weinstock and Paul Coates took it easy by making their Saturday columns a roundup of readers’ letters. In those days, apparently, newspaper columnists received interesting … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide: A Brief History of the Tom and Jerry

A recipe for the Tom and Jerry from the San Francisco Call, June 30, 1912. Note: This is an encore post from 2013. Over on Facebook, Christopher McPherson asked whether the Tom and Jerry was named for the MGM cartoon … Continue reading

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Dec. 25, 1947: The Times Christmas Poem

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. The Times’ front-page Christmas and Easter poems are as forgotten today as their author, James M. Warnack. I’ll leave it to my theological betters to parse … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Books and Authors, Obituaries, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dec. 24, 1947: LAPD Seeks 700 Officers and L. Ron Hubbard Answers the Call

  Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. Dec. 24, 1947 One of the applicants appears to have been future Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Records show that he was fingerprinted Dec. 31, … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 6 No Connection

Elizabeth Short contrasted with the unidentified woman found in George Hodel’s photo album. Not at all the same. Here are six reasons Dr. George Hodel did not kill Elizabeth Short that you will need to know before watching the TNT … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 5 Not a Practicing Surgeon

Here are six reasons Dr. George Hodel did not kill Elizabeth Short that you will need to know before watching the TNT mini-series “I Am the Night” or listening to the eight-part podcast accompanying the production. Reason No. 5: Dr. … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Medicine, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 2 Not Guilty of Morals Charges

Here are six reasons Dr. George Hodel did not kill Elizabeth Short that you will need to know before watching the TNT mini-series “I Am the Night” or listening to the eight-part podcast accompanying the production. Reason No. 2: George … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1949, 1950, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide: ‘Making Black Los Angeles’

I only recommend books that I have read, which is why I haven’t listed Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book” or Stephen Gee’s “Los Angeles City Hall: An American Icon.” I look forward to reading both of them, but I’m not … Continue reading

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Dec. 20, 1947: Pulp Author Rob Eden Dies | Author of ‘Short Skirts: A Story of Modern Youth’

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.. And at the age of 55, after dozens of novels and countless short stories, he died. Not that you’ve heard of him or any of his … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Books and Authors, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 1 Not a Prime Suspect

Here are six reasons Dr. George Hodel did not kill Elizabeth Short that you will need to know before watching the TNT mini-series “I Am the Night” or listening to the eight-part podcast accompanying the production. Reason No. 1: Dr. … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1949, 1950, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dec. 17, 1947: Frightening Food From the 1940s — ‘Unusual’ Fruitcake

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project..   Bonus factoid: The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a $2,500 fine against Hollywood book dealer Marcell Rodd for selling the obscene book “Call House … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Books and Authors, Comics, Crime and Courts, Food and Drink, Frightening Food From the 1940s | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Holiday Shopping Guide

“Angel’s Flight” by Leo Politi. Note: This is an encore post from 2014. Another of my favorite books about Los Angeles is Leo Politi’s “Bunker Hill Los Angeles: Reminiscences of Bygone Days,” published in 1964. Copies are listed on Bookfinder … Continue reading

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