ELIZABETH SHORT Biography - Crimes, Laws and people


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Elizabeth Short                                                                         
Born 29 July 1924                                                                       
Hyde Park, Massachusetts, U.S.                                                           
Died 15 January 1947 (aged 22)                                                           
Los Angeles, California, U.S.                                                           
Occupation Waitress                                                                     
Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 - January 15, 1947) was an American woman who was         
the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder. Nicknamed the Black Dahlia,         
Short was found, severely mutilated and her body severed, on January 15, 1947 in         
Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. The murder, which remains unsolved, has           
been the source of widespread speculation as well as several books and film             
Elizabeth Short was born in Hyde Park, Massachusetts. She was raised in Medford,         
by her mother, Phoebe Mae, after her father, Cleo Short, abandoned her and her           
four sisters in October 1930.[citation needed]                                           
Troubled by asthma, Short spent summers in Medford and winters in Florida. At           
the age of 19, she went to Vallejo, California, to live with her father. The two         
moved to Los Angeles in early 1943, but after an argument, she departed, getting         
a job at one of the post exchanges at Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base),       
near Lompoc. She moved to Santa Barbara, where she was arrested on September 23,         
1943 for underage drinking and was sent back to Medford by juvenile authorities.         
In the few years following, she resided in various cities in Florida, with               
occasional trips back to Massachusetts, earning money mostly as a waitress.             
In Florida, Short met Major Matthew M. Gordon Jr., who was part of the 2nd Air           
Commandos and training for deployment in the China Burma India theater of               
operations. Short told friends that Gordon wrote a letter from India proposing           
marriage while recovering from an airplane crash he suffered while trying to             
rescue a downed flier. (He was, according to his obituary in the Pueblo,                 
Colorado newspaper, awarded a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze           
Star, the Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters, and Purple Heart). She accepted           
his proposal, but he died in a crash on August 10, 1945, before he could return         
to the U.S. She later embellished this story, saying that they were married and         
had a child who died. Although Gordon's friends in the air commandos confirm             
that Gordon and Short were engaged, his family subsequently denied any                   
connection after Short's murder.                                                         
Short returned to Southern California in July 1946 to see an old boyfriend she           
met in Florida during the war, Lt. Gordon Fickling, who was stationed in Long           
Beach. For the six months prior to her death, she remained in Southern                   
California, mainly in the Los Angeles area. During this time, she lived in               
several hotels, apartment buildings, rooming houses, and private homes, never           
staying anywhere for more than a few weeks.                                             
Elizabeth Short was murdered; the killer remains unknown. Her body was found on         
January 15, 1947 in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, severely mutilated, cut in half,         
and drained of blood. Her face was slashed from the corners of her mouth toward         
her ears.