Sunday, August 8, 2010

Black Dahlia

This flower (from the East Bay garden where my daughter's roses continue to seem pleased with an unusually cool and foggy August in Northern California) is gamely trying to live up to the noir associations of its name.

Elizabeth Short, the original Black Dahlia, found her final resting place in the East Bay – in Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery to be exact – even though her famous and mysterious murder took place in Los Angeles.

Sixty people (almost all men) confessed to the much-publicized crime. It remained unsolved all the same, serving to this day as a fertile source for books and films.

Mia Kirshner (seen above) took the part of Elizabeth Short most recently – in a 2006 Black Dahlia movie. The Hollywood machine did its usual convincing job of making one girl look like another girl, but did not, of course, attempt full accuracy. "The autopsy stated Short was 5 feet 5 inches, weighed 115 pounds, and had light blue eyes, brown hair, and badly decayed teeth." Can you imagine an American movie in which the beautiful young female lead is portrayed with "badly decayed teeth"?