she was not a flower, an inanimate,insensate object. she was not a prostitute. she was not a hussy ,not a tramp. she did not pose in the nude or appear in porn films. she did not deserve what was done to her in life. she does not deserve the treatment she and her family have received after her death. she was never anyone's to rename, fetishize, debase, and mutilate either literally or metaphorical. her name was elizabeth but her medford hometown friends called her bette.
on january 15th,1947 her desecrated,bisected body was found in a vacant LA lot, cruelly displayed and mutilated, meant to be found.the identity of her murderer likely will never be discovered. the media and sundry writers persist in eroticizing the barbarity inflicted upon her while simultaneously savaging her character over prominently evincing civilized, rational concern that a particularly vicious and distinctive killer evaded justice. everyone has a pet theory or, even worse, a petty grudge against the victim's unasked for notoriety that takes precedence over the any facts or evidence,obscuring the human victim and the crime by divorcing them from reality. in the cold case murder of elizabeth short, unsubstantiated fantasy has numerous proud disturbingly obsessed papas and the truth is but an orphan.
it is impossible to know if this person killed previously or afterwards but the signature is so distinct, the execution of the crime so controlled it is doubtful it was done by a first (or last) timer.america in the 40s and 50s was not lacking in bizarre sex crimes or horrific senseless murders,however,no similar murders credibly fitting the same pattern in the same time period in the same area have emerged. in this the murder of elizabeth short in LA in 1947 is somewhat similar to the murder and dismemberment of swedish nanny karina holmer in boston in 1996 also unsolved. murders involving dismemberment as a signature are rare. this particular MO occurring in a vacuum is an oddity that makes identifying the perpetrator even more difficult. with no crime scene (only dump sites), little evidence, and no witnesses, a similar crime or cluster thereof would have been helpful in tracking either killer. with all the enormous technological advantages we now have over 1947, the police are no closer to karina holmer's killer than they are to closing elizabeth short's 64 year old case.
as her killer effectively escaped detection, his crime has largely evaded rational critique and explanation. it triggers a haze of freak that turns almost everyone who goes near it into an hallucinating, damaged zombie. (or perhaps it just attracts only hallucinating damaged zombies.) it's a murder that pulls a lot of triggers- and the results range from simply deluded but well intentioned to indifferently malicious to tragic. even in the late 40's a parade of lost, tortured souls falsely,fervidly confessed to the murder. the literature and media surrounding elizabeth short's homicide has been suffused in conjecture, mendacity and outright convoluted manipulation from the beginning. as elizabeth short, human being, dissolves behind a nickname and a titillating crime, repeatedly drenched in surreal flights of erotic and narcissistic fancy ,her killer likewise evades not only responsibility but concrete form. his crime is shorn of motive. this lack of reason has given rise to a disturbing amount of fantastical and lucrative conjecture- nearly an entire infotainment genre based on the murder of one woman. elizabeth short has lost her life and her name, as if the dehumanizing nature of her death wasn't enough. her killer has, through his unlawful, sadistic act, created a supreme , highly desirable mythic fetish object where there was once a kind, unique and beautiful woman. the number of people who have made coin off of her corpse appears never ending . many of them have more bad to say about elizabeth than they do about the creep who killed her. some deranged sociopath has thoughtfully provided some with a career and many with a pin up suffused with the enticing scent of perverse and power over-an overwhelming intoxicant in an age where porn has become more and more just hate driven domination and violence. serial killers are the top dogs of BDSM porn-keeping it real while the rest are just play acting. professionals amid the truly confounding number of enthusiastic amateurs.
a vast array of individuals in the media seem more focused on how unworthy elizabeth short is, both in life and in death, of their or anyone's attention. that her murder was grotesquely evil, quite singular and thus particularly worrisome for society as a whole is of no concern. no woman of any age, class, or occupation should be the victim of such an outrage. those that commit such atrocities must be brought to heel and eliminated. it's serial murderers of women who are unworthy of any attention besides that needed to catch,try,and execute them. our culture lavishes universe-spanning miles of print, bytes and pics on just about any loser, toothless underclass rapist-murderer as long as they're ghoulish enough. how dare some "underclass chippy" and "probable sometime whore", an "unremarkable woman, with just-this-side-of-movie-star looks" command any attention and sympathy whatsoever ? how dare anyone waste a thought on the eons ago death of elizabeth short? the entire world should be rather in thrall of hack writers slut walking themselves out as expert witnesses in defense of misunderstood but very,very important and attention worthy porn peddlers- the moral,artistic, and cultural equivalent of being a jizz mopper at a peep show. (although actual semen swabbers work hard and provide a necessary service to the public unlike most critics,murder fetishists, and writers.). by all accounts, elizabeth short possessed the class and decency that precludes uttering such mean spirited petty venom about other women solely to elicit snotty, knowing chuckles from fellow smug assholes parading about as so very above it intellectuals. let's just say it- sex workers who charge 5 bucks a blow job have more evolved senses of empathy and compassion( and probably better understanding of men who commit such crimes against women). denigrating the victim is a byproduct of misogyny, internalized woman hating masquerading as sophistication.it certainly provides no useful insight into the the killer and his crime and it certainly isn't necessary in refuting the premise of a spectacularly untrue true crime book .
there is something quite wrong with,after studying an account of one of the most profound, extreme examples of woman hating known, sexually motivated dismemberment murder, launching into a tourette's stream of class conscious, slut shaming pot shots, all of them untrue, aimed at the dead victim. unlike the cool, talented murderous incarcerate felons the writers of PEN usually champion and swoon over, elizabeth short is no longer alive to defend her reputation nor address her unforgivable crime of not being significant enough to warrant such fulsome attention and press coverage.
nearly every anniversary piece on the murder of elizabeth short- as well as in many exacting and labyrinth treatises on the suspect du jour of any number of self-appointed experts- is littered with such off the cuff slaps at her perceived, imagined or usually just outright conjured up failings. many indulge themselves and their vanity to lesser or fuller extents by blaming the victim for the many artless pop conspiracy theorists and crackpots obsessed with her demise . the more we feast uncritically on media that insists upon the pornification of a most vicious murder and the slut shaming of the victim, the deeper the cover we provide for the actual murderer and those who commit similar crimes. the more we ignore or thrust aside the humanity of elizabeth short - negating her right to life and right to empathy from others, the more inhumane we become. the more inhumane and less empathetic we become as a society the more vicious destroyers of life we will birth and unleash on the world.
there are few non exploitative and very few evidence based/fantasy free accounts of the murder of elizabeth short. even the best go haywire somewhere. the most sympathetic victim and evidence oriented source is a website by mary pacios, who was befriended as a child by the adult elizabeth.although i do not agree with her theories about the murderer( which are expounded on in her book but are not prominent on the website), pasios's site has many facts plainly presented from original documents such as the transcript of the coroner's inquest. mary pacios has done more than anyone to restore elizabeth short's humanity to her, pointing out the many lies and the numerous fabrications concerning many aspects of her death.elizabeth short has living sisters and family, many friends who loved her and miss her. pacios provides many quotes from those who knew her which go a long way towards restoring her shamelessly robbed dignity.
Larry Harnisch appears to be writing a book about the murder of elizabeth short. if his websites are any indication,it will be grounded in reality, quite the exception.
go to entries headed 'blogging the wolfe book' on this site: