The 'Black Dahlia' Revisited: Los Angeles Police Museum Unveils 'Elizabeth' Exhibit

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A 'Black Dahlia' exhibit is now on view at the Los Angeles Police Museum—thanks to crime writer James Ellroy. (Photo: Los Angeles Police Museum)

by Adrienne Dorsey / Special to LAist

More than 65 years after her mysterious murder in Los Angeles, “Black Dahlia” Elizabeth Short’s unsolved case is now part of the Elizabeth exhibit at the Los Angeles Police Museum.

The mutilation slaying of 22-year-old Short, nicknamed "Black Dahlia" by reporters, has captivated the public since her bisected body was found on a vacant lot in Leimert Park on January 15, 1947. The exhibit is sponsored by bestselling crime fiction author James Ellroy, who penned The Black Dahlia in 1987.

Elizabeth features highlights from the extensive police files, never-before-seen photographs, news clippings of the crime, police memorabilia, and other intriguing artifacts curated by Ellroy and volunteers. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck gave the museum unprecedented access to the previously unseen case files, allowing the public their first glimpse of portions of the official LAPD investigation.

The exhibition runs now through June 16. Located in Highland Park, the Los Angeles Police Museum is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, and every third Saturday of the month, 9 am to 3 pm. Adult admission is $8.