Time was, I used to read true crime books. Not so much now. But, I am still interested in crime-related news stories, not in a prurient way, but the human condition fascinates me.
Also, some of these old stories are genuine puzzlers, going back for decades. That is what this evening’s blog post will be about.
Elizabeth Short was a wanna-be actress from Medford, Massachusetts who achieved fame, or infamy, only after being brutally murdered in January of 1947. Her murderer has never been caught. Beth Short is best known as The Black Dahlia. There are many websites about The Black Dahlia; the best, in my opinion, is here. There are some gruesome pictures on this website, so be warned!
The Zodiac Killer terrorized San Francisco in the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s. Once again, he has never been caught. There have been many books about who this guy was. The most thorough website, however, is this one right here.
I know you’ve heard all about Jack The Ripper. There have been so many theories as to who is was, ranging from well-known doctors, to a member of the royal family! This website lays out all of the theories. I’ll let you decide who “Jack” really was. There is a regular podcast that you can download as well. I haven’t heard any of them yet. Perhaps I’ll download them and report back here sometime.
Finally, a murder from early Hollywood. William Desmond Taylor was a successful film director who pissed off the wrong person, because in 1922 Taylor (which wasn’t his real name) was murdered. Police screw ups, cover ups, and the politics of the day have made this case unsolved as well. Some people put together an online magazine called Taylorology which ran for years and years. You can tell it’s old because of how the issues look. Find me some html code in there, folks. I just found this interesting youtube video about this enduring, and unsolvable, murder case.
These crime stories are fascinating in many ways. I hope that you find them as interesting as I do. If not, there’ll be another post on Friday.