On September 20, Beth and Marjorie and Sid Zaid, a musican, moved into the Figueroa Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Elizabeth and Marjorie also lived with Zaid at his home for about five days, until October 1.
-- The Black Dahlia in Hollywood
939 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California
The Department of Justice FBI file on "Elizabeth Ann Short, The Black Dahlia" contains almost two hundred pages of previously classified material. Included in these files is the important interview their agents conducted with "Sergeant Doe," who dated and dined with Elizabeth Short in late September 1946 and then spent the night with her at the Figueroa Hotel.
-- Black Dahila Avenger
The Los Angeles Police Department informed the Los Angeles Division that (redacted) was considered a likely suspect in connection with the murder of the above victim based on two postcards postmarked September 21, 1946 to (redacted) the victim signing one as Betty Short (redacted) and the other signed by (redacted) indicated that they were married and living in Hollywood. (redacted) was acquainted with the victim when she resided in Medford, Massachusetts. Although military records indicated (redacted) was on duty (redacted) during the perinent period the Los Angeles Police Department requested that (redacted) be interviewed for them.
(redacted) was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Division at which time he informed that during 1946 while with the Army he was assigned the duty of returning deserters and absentees to (redacted). While in Los Angeles on September 20, 1946 he was picked up by the victim while standing on a street corner after she had commented on certain military insignia on his uniform and asked if he was acquainted with (redacted) who was also in (redacted). He had a date wth the victim and spent the night with her in her hotel room, spending also part of the day of September 21 with the victim and (redacted) whose name (redacted) could not recall. Accompanying them on this day was (redacted) who had accompanied (redacted) to Los Angeles. It was on September 21 when the discussion of (redacted) came up that the victim stated that she had formerly gone with him and he was quite jealous of her and to play a joke on (redacted) she suggested that they both send postcards to him informing (redacted) that she was married to (redacted).
(redacted) says further that after reading in the (redacted) papers about the Black Dahlia murder he wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Police Department informing them of his meeting with her, fearing that his name might be found in her address book as she had noted it down when she had promised to write to him (redacted). He did not receive a reply from the Los Angeles Police Department.
(redacted) added that the victim was the type of girl who was very friendly and would talk to anyone. She appeared known to the head waiter and numerous waiters at Tom Brenneman's Restaurant.
(redacted) could furnish no information relative to the possible killer of Elizabeth Short.
-- Elizabeth Short FBI File
(redacted) was interviewed by Special Agents (redacted) and (redacted) at his office on March 27, 1947. During the interview with (redacted) he furnished the following information regarding his relations with the victim:
(redacted) stated that he was stationed at (redacted) during the summer of 1946 and was assigned the duty of traveling to all sections of the United States to pick up deserters and AWOL soldiers and to return them to (redacted). In accordance with these duties, he was directed to proceed to Fort McArthur, California in September, 1946, accompanied by (redacted) in order to pick up an AWOL soldier and return him to (redacted) and (redacted) arrived at Fort McArthur, located in San Pedro, California, on September 19, 1946. Upon their arrival they requested four days leave in order to visit Los Angeles, and were unofficially granted permission to take this leave without going through the proper Army channels. (redacted) separated from (redacted) on the morning of September 20, 1946, and proceeded to downtown Los Angeles.
(redacted) wandered around the downtown section of Los Angeles until about 1:45 P.M., when he stopped and stood leaning against the wall of a store on the corner of what he recalls was 6th and Olive Streets. While he was idly watching he passers-by, he observed the victim, accompanied by another young woman, walk by at about 2:00 P.M. After passing him, the victim turned around and walked over to (redacted) and asked him whether he had been in (redacted). (redacted) at this time was wearing his Army khaki uniform with numerous overseas ribbons and with the shoulder badge of (redacted) on his right shoulder. (redacted) stated that he told the victim that he was a member of (redacted) whereupon she inquired if he was acquainted with (redacted). (redacted) advised that he recalled a (redacted) who had been with him in (redacted) whereupon the victim advised him that she and (redacted) had been childhood sweethearts in their home town of Medford, Massachusetts. She also advised (redacted) that she had heard that (redacted) had re-enlisted in the Army but did not know where he was stationed at that time.
(redacted) stated that after this conversation he inquired of the victim whether she would give him a date for that evening. The victim agreed and asked him to accompany her to her hotel. (redacted) stated that before going to the hotel, Miss SHORT introduced him to her girl friend, whose hame he is unable to recall. However, he advised that the victim (redacted) in the Figueroa Hotel, and he was positive that the room (redacted) at the Figueroa Hotel was definitely registered in the name of (redacted). The victim, according to (redacted), advised him that her name was BETTY SHORT.
(redacted), the victm, and her girl friend then proceeded to the Figueroa Hotel, where they sat in the lobby for some time and talked. The victim then went up to her room to dress and (redacted) and the victim's girl friend engaged in conversation. During the conversation, (redacted) ascertained from the victim's girl friend that she was married at one time, had separated from her husband, and was then divorced. He wlaso ascertained that this girl was employed (redacted) at some establishment in Hollywood or Los Angeles (redacted). He also stated that the victim's girl friend advised him that the victim was not working, and that (redacted) she did not pay any of the expenses. In addition, this girl friend stated that she lent the victim money from time to time.
(redacted) stated that he inquired of the victim's girl friend to determine if she knew where he might obtain a hotel room for the night, and she advised him that it would be extremely difficult to obtain a room. However, she sugested (redacted) since the victim had twin beds, he might sleep (redacted) if the victim agreed. (redacted) stated that he then told the victim's girl friend that she should talk to the victim and have her agree on this plan. (redacted) stated that the victim's girl friend then went upstairs (redacted) and after some time she and the victim returned to the lobby of the hotel, at which time the victim advised that she would show him Los Angeles that night.
(redacted), the victim, and her girl friend then proceeded to get on a bus nearby, on which bus (redacted) sat with the victim's girl friend, and at which time the victim's girl friend told him that the victim had told her that (redacted) could sleep (redacted) that night. (redacted) stated that during the bus ride the victim sat in a vacant seat next to a Marine and immediately struck up a conversation with him. He stated that the victim was the type of girl who was very friendly and would talk to anyone.
The victim's girl friend separated from the, and the victim and (redacted) then proceeded to the Columbia Broadcasting Station Studios, where they saw TONY MARTIN broadcast. Thereafter they proceeded to Tom Brenneman's. (redacted) stated that at the corner of Hollywood and Vine they met (redacted) who accompanied them to Tom Brennerman's. Upon arriving at Tom Brenneman's, they observed that a number of people were waiting in line for a table, but as soon as they entered the door, the head waiter came over to the victim and escorted her, along with (redacted) and (redacted) to a nearby table. (redacted) stated that during hte time they were at Tom Brenneman's, he observed that the victim appeared to be well known to all of the waiters there.
(redacted) related that while they dined at Tom Brenneman's, the victim's conversation returned to (redacted) and she again related that he had been quite jealous of her when they were young and had told her not to have any boy friends. (redacted) stated that the victim related this in a laughing, matter-of-fact manner and thought that it was quite a joke. The victim advised (redacted) that she had seen (redacted) upon his return from the Army, but had not seen him for several months. (redacted) stated that he advised the victim that he had only known (redacted) under combat conditions and , therefore, did not know him very well. (redacted) also stated that the victim was very well dressed and caught the attention of many of the guests at Tom Brenneman's. He stated that he caught snatches of conversations of people seated in the immediate vicinity and heard some of them suggest that she must be a professional actress employed by RKO or some other studio. (redacted) advised that they departed from Tom Brenneman's establishment at approximately 12:30 A.M., September 21, 1946, at which time (redacted) separated from them.
(redacted) said that they rode a trolley to return to the hotel and had to walk about five blocks from the point where they left the trolley, and while they were walking back to the hotel, a black car drove up beside them and stopped. (redacted) stated that there were five men seated in the car who appeard to be dark comlexioned and possible were Mexicans, three of whom jumped out of the rear of the car and yelled, "There she is." (redacted) stated that he suggested to the victim that he beat these individuals up, but she told him the best thing to do would be to run. Accordingly, he stated, they ran and escaped from these individuals, who apparently were unknown to the victim.
Upon arriving at a point approximately on block from the hotel, the victim told (redacted) to wait outside for about twenty minutes while she proceeded to her room alone since the hotel regulations were rather strict. (redacted) stated that he then waited for twenty-five minutes before entering the hotel and then immediately proceeded to her room. (redacted) was unable to recall the floor or the room number of the victim's room. He stated that upon knocking on the door, the victim immediately opened the door and he observed her dressed in a flimsy negligee.
(redacted) then proceeded to take a shower and then got into the (redacted) bed. (redacted) stated that after lying in bed for a few minutes he advised the victim that he was unable to sleep, and she stated that she also was unable to sleep. (redacted) then suggested to the victim that he kiss her goodnight, at which time he proceeded to get into bed with her. (redacted) related that immediately thereafter he proceeded to make love to the victim and was successful in having relations with her. He stated that he had relations with the victim numerous time during the night. (redacted) said that at no time was the victim in a passionate mood, which led him to suggest the possibility that she was a Lesbian. In order to corroborate this statement by (redacted) he pointed out that during his conversations with the victim, she related to him that she at one time frequently visited a wealthy woman who resides either in Hollywood or Los Angeles, and that this woman had made improper advances towards her, which she resisted.
The following morning, the victim's girl friend returned to the hotel room, and at this time arrangements were made to have (redacted) obtain a date for the victim's girl friend with his friend (redacted). It was agreed that they would meet at 2:00 or 3:00 that afternoon at the corner drugstore located directly across the street from the Figueroa Hotel.
(redacted) and (redacted) were met by the victim and her girl friend at the aformentioned drugstore at about 2:00 or 3:00 P.M. on the afternoon of September 21, 1946, at which time they proceeded to have a coke in this drugstore. (redacted) stated that as they were leaving the drugstore, the victim suggested to him that each of them write a postcard to (redacted) and advise him tht they were happily married and living in Hollywood. He said that the victim suggested that this would be an excellent way to make (redacted) jealous, and they both considered it a huge joke at the time. (redacted) related that accordingly, he purchased some postcards and stamps at the drugstore, and that they then proceeded to write the postcards and to address them to (redacted) home address in Medford, Massachusetts, and mailed them at the mail box located near the drugstore.
(redacted) and (redacted) accompanied by the victim and her girl friend, then proceeded to a small beer garden, located within a short distance of the hotel, where all of them proceeded to get drunk. (redacted) stated that both he and (redacted) suggested to the girls that all of them return to the hotel, but both girls stated that they had dates with other men for that night. The victim indicated that her date was with a man having a car, who planned to take her someplace that night. (redacted) stated that he could not recall the name of this individual although the victim mentioned it during the conversation. (redacted) stated that after it became apparent that he would not have another date with the victim, he told her that he wanted to correspond with her and wanted to see her again sometime. Accordingly, he furnished his address at (redacted) which address was noted down in a small notebook by the victim's girl friend.
(redacted) said that he and (redacted) separated from the victim and her girl friend at about 7:00 P.M. on September 21, 1946, when both girls proceeded to the Figueroa Hotel. (redacted) stated that as the girls entered the hotel, he observed the victim in a heated conversation with a short, chunky, well-dressed man who appeared to be 40 or 45 years of age. (redacted) advised that he had not seen the victim since that time, and had never had any correspondence with her.
redacted) claimed that after reading in the (redacted) newspapers that the victim had been murdered, he wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Police Department advising them of his meeting with the victim. (redacted) stated that he feared that his name might be found in the little black book of the victim's girl friend, and, accordingly, contacted the Los Angeles Police Department as soon as possible. (redacted) advised that he had never received a reply to his letter.
(redacted) stated that during his various conversations with the victim, she never expressed fear of anyone, but she did mention that Los Angeles was a tough city and that it was dangerous for a girl to be alone on the streets at night. She told him that she was afraid to be alone on the streets at night, and while they were reading a newspaper in the lobby of the Figueroa Hotel, she pointed out to him an article which featured a resume of the number of murders and rapes which had occurred in Los Angeles over a short period of time. In addition, (redacted) stated that the victim told him that she was going with a man whom she did not like very much, but she stated that she did not want to hurt his feelings by stopping to go with him. (redacted) advised that he did not know the name of this man. It may be noted that (redacted) vigorously denied that he had ever been married to the victim.
(redacted) stated that he and (redacted) departed from Los Angeles, as well as he could recall, on September 22, 1946 to return to (redacted). He denied that he was in Los Angeles from January 9 to January 15, 1947, and stated that the records at (redacted) would positively establish his whereabouts during that period as having been at (redacted). (redacted) stated that (redacted) was stationed at (redacted) recently (redacted) but was scheduled to be discharged (redacted).
-- Elizabeth Short FBI File