Shortly after 10 am on 15 January 1947, Betty Bersinger was pushing her three-year-old daughter along Norton Avenue in the Leimert Park of Los Angeles not far from Hollywood. There were many vacant blocks there because World War II had put a stop to a lot of housing development although the driveways leading from the roadway had been completed. As the pretty young housewife made her way to a shoe repair shop, she saw what appeared to be a mannequin dumped on the grass. The store dummy was bleached white, but the bottom half of the torso appeared disconnected from the rest of her body. Both parts were facing upwards and there were flies buzzing around. On a closer inspection it wasn’t a mannequin at all-it was the body of a young woman, cut in half and completely drained of blood.
When police arrived, they found the body of a pretty young woman-her hair wet from the morning dew-lying face up. Her arms were lying above her head and her face was slashed. The lower part of her body had a number of knife marks and was missing some pubic hair. One of the woman’s feet was just a few centimeters from the footpath in clear view of the roadway. The murder was referred to as ‘The Black Dahlia’ the victim was named Elizabeth Short and the murderer was never found.