With startling new evidence, this gripping reexamination of the Black Dahlia murder offers a definitive theory of a quintessential American crime. Los Angeles, 1947. A housewife out for a walk with her baby notices a cloud of black flies buzzing ominously in Leimert Park. An "unsightly object" is identified as the mutilated body of Elizabeth Short, an aspiring starlet from Massachusetts who had been lured west by the siren call of Hollywood. Her killer would never be found, but Short’s death would bring her the fame she had always sought. Her murder investigation transformed into a real-life film noir, featuring corrupt cops, femmes fatales, gun-slinging gangsters, and hungry reporters, replete with an irresistible, legendary moniker adapted from a recent film—The Black Dahlia. For over half a century this crime has maintained an almost mythic place in American lore as one of our most inscrutable cold cases. With the recently unredacted FBI file, newly released sections of the LAPD file, and exclusive interviews with the suspect’s family, relentless legal sleuth Piu Eatwell has gained unprecedented access to evidence and persuasively identified the culprit. Black Dahlia, Red Rose layers these findings into a gritty, cinematic retelling of the haunting tale. As Eatwell chronicles, among the first to arrive at the grisly crime scene was Aggie Underwood, the "tough-as-nails" city editor for the Los Angeles Evening Herald & Express; meanwhile, the chain-smoking city editor for the Los Angeles Examiner, Jimmy Richardson, sent out his own reporters. Eatwell reveals how, through a cutthroat race to break news and sell papers, the public image of Elizabeth Short was distorted from a violated beauty to a "man crazy delinquent." As rumors of various boyfriends circulated, the true story of the complex young woman ricocheting between jobs, lovers, and homes was lost. Instead, kitschy headlines tapped into a wider social anxiety about the city’s "girl problem," and Short’s black chiffon and smoldering gaze become a warning for "loose" women coming of age in postwar America. Applying her own background as a lawyer to the surprising new evidence, Eatwell ultimately exposes many startling clues to the case that have never surfaced in public. From the discovery of Elizabeth’s notebook, inscribed with the name of the city’s most notorious and corrupt businessman, to a valid suspect plucked from the hundreds of "confessing Sams" by a brilliant, well-meaning doctor, Eatwell compellingly captures every "big break" in the police investigation to reveal a truly viable resolution to the case. In rich, atmospheric prose, Eatwell separates fact from fantasy to expose the truth behind the sinewy networks of a noir-tinged Hollywood. Black Dahlia, Red Rose at long last accords the Elizabeth Short case its due resolution, providing a reliable and enduring account of one of the most notorious unsolved murders in American history.
“It’s Downton Abbey meets The Addams Family in [this] delightfully offbeat history.”—Library Journal At the close of the Victorian era, as now, privacy was power. The extraordinarily wealthy 5th Duke of Portland had a mania for it, hiding in his carriage and building tunnels between buildings to avoid being seen. In 1897, an elderly widow asked the court to exhume the grave of her late father-in-law, T. C. Druce, under the suspicion that he’d led a double life as the 5th Duke. The eccentric duke, Anna Maria contended, had faked his death as Druce, and her son should inherit the Portland millions. Revealing a dark underbelly of Victorian society, Piu Marie Eatwell evokes an era when the rise of sensationalist media blurred every fact into fiction and when family secrets and fluid identities pushed class anxieties to new heights.
“A mesmerizing storyteller who seems almost unnaturally able to enter the tormented inner lives of her characters.” —Denver Post Black Dahlia & White Rose is a brilliant collection of short fiction from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates, one of the most acclaimed writers of our time. These stores, at once lyrical and unsettling, shine with the author’s trademark fascination with finding the unpredictable amidst the prosaic—from her imaginative recreation of friendship between two tragically doomed young women (Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Short), to the tale of an infidelity as deeply human as it is otherworldly. Black Dahlia & White Rose is a major offering from one of the most important artists in contemporary American literature; a superb collection that showcases Joyce Carol Oates’s ferocious energy and darkly imaginative storytelling power.
Originally published fifty years ago as a criminology/sexology textbook for law enforcement personnel, The Sexual Criminal is a fascinating glimpse at the seedy L.A. Confidential underbelly of a dark and fetid Los Angeles, a city littered with innumerable true-life noir characters: a hophead butcher who eviscerates his dance-hall girlfriend; an electrician who makes love to his pet collie; an Italian immigrant who engages in clandestine necrophilia; an inebriated hustler who strangles his homosexual meal ticket; an adulterous housewife who puts rat poison in her husband's coffee. Written in a terse, Dragnet-like style by the controversial autocratic director of the Los Angeles Police Department's Sex Offense Bureau, and graphically illustrated with mugshots and harshly-lit photographs of violently torn bodies, The Sexual Criminal is both an amazing sociological time capsule of a not-so-distant era in the history of Los Angeles and a voyeuristic, prurient examination of the explosive sex lives of its inhabitants.
"The history of Hollywood's postwar transition is framed by two spectacular dead bodies: Elizabeth Short, AKA the Black Dahlia, found dumped and posed in a vacant lot in January 1947 and Marilyn Monroe, the studio era's last real movie star, discovered dead at her home in August 1962. Short and Monroe are just two of the many left for dead after the collapse of the studio system, Hollywood's awkward adolescence during which the company town's many competing subcultures--celebrities, moguls, mobsters, gossip mongers, industry wannabes, and desperate transients--came into frequent contact and conflict. Hard-Boiled Hollywood focuses on the lives lost at the crossroads between a dreamed-of Los Angeles and the real thing after the Second World War, whose reality was anything but glamorous"--Provided by publisher.
Academy Award--winning director Michael Curtiz (1886--1962) -- whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954) -- was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his unprecedented twenty-seven year tenure at Warner Bros., he directed swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies, and film noir masterpieces. The director's staggering output of 180 films surpasses that of the legendary John Ford and exceeds the combined total of films directed by George Cukor, Victor Fleming, and Howard Hawks. In the first biography of this colorful, instinctual artist, Alan K. Rode illuminates the life and work of one of the film industry's most complex figures. He begins by exploring the director's early life and career in his native Hungary, revealing how Curtiz shaped the earliest days of silent cinema in Europe as he acted in, produced, and directed scores of films before immigrating to the United States in 1926. In Hollywood, Curtiz earned a reputation for his explosive tantrums, his difficulty communicating in English, and his disregard for the well-being of others. However, few directors elicited more memorable portrayals from their casts, and ten different actors delivered Oscar-nominated performances under his direction. In addition to his study of the director's remarkable legacy, Rode investigates Curtiz's dramatic personal life, discussing his enduring creative partnership with his wife, screenwriter Bess Meredyth, as well as his numerous affairs and children born of his extramarital relationships. This meticulously researched biography provides a nuanced understanding of one of the most talented filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age.
The chilling follow-up to The Three, Sarah Lotz's "hard to put down and vastly entertaining" debut (Stephen King). Hundreds of pleasure-seekers stream aboard The Beautiful Dreamer cruise ship for five days of cut-price fun in the Caribbean sun. On the fourth day, disaster strikes: smoke roils out of the engine room, and the ship is stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Soon supplies run low, a virus plagues the ship, and there are whispered rumors that the cabins on the lower decks are haunted by shadowy figures. Irritation escalates to panic, the crew loses control, factions form, and violent chaos erupts among the survivors. When, at last, the ship is spotted drifting off the coast of Key West, the world's press reports it empty. But the gloomy headlines may be covering up an even more disturbing reality. DAY FOUR is a heart-racing tale from "a ferociously imaginative storyteller."* *Lauren Beukes
NATIONAL BESTSELLER AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR It is December 6, 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans—but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins. The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman. William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police Department. He's superbly gifted, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up, and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith—Irish émigré, ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer. Hideo Ashida is a police chemist and the only Japanese on the L.A. cop payroll. Kay Lake is a twenty-one-year-old dilettante looking for adventure. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm center that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls—comrades, rivals, lovers, history's pawns. Perfidia is a novel of astonishments. It is World War II as you have never seen it, and Los Angeles as James Ellroy has never written it before. Here, he gives us the party at the edge of the abyss and the precipice of America's ascendance.Perfidia is that moment, spellbindingly captured. It beckons us to solve a great crime that, in its turn, explicates the crime of war itself. It is a great American novel. From the Hardcover edition.
The Black Dahlia is a roman noir on an epic scale: a classic period piece that provides a startling conclusion to America's most infamous unsolved murder mystery--the murder of the beautiful young woman known as The Black Dahlia.
This comprehensive guide to James Ellroy's work and life is arranged as an encyclopedia covering his entire career, from his first private-eye novel, Brown's Requiem, to his 2012 e-book Shakedown. It introduces new readers to his characters and plots, and provides experienced Ellroy fans and scholars with detailed analyses of the themes, motifs and stylistic innovations of his books. The work is a tour of Ellroy's dark underworld, highlighting the controversies and unsettling questions that characterize his work, as well as assessing Ellroy's place in the annals of American literature.
Author: Raymond Borde,Etienne Chaumeton,Paul Hammond
Publisher: City Lights Books
Beginning with the first film noir, The Maltese Falcon, and continuing through the postwar "glory days," which included such films as Gilda, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and The Lady from Shanghai, Borde and Chaumeton examine the dark sides of American society, film, and literature that made film noir possible, even necessary. A Panorama of American Film Noir includes a film noir chronology, a voluminous filmography, a comprehensive index, and a selection of black-and-white production stills.
Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
Author: William J. Mann
Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: True Crime
New York Times Bestseller Edgar Award winner for Best Fact Crime The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry. By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime, and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now. In a fiendishly involving narrative, bestselling Hollywood chronicler William J. Mann draws on a rich host of sources, including recently released FBI files, to unpack the story of the enigmatic Taylor and the diverse cast that surrounded him—including three beautiful, ambitious actresses; a grasping stage mother; a devoted valet; and a gang of two-bit thugs, any of whom might have fired the fatal bullet. And overseeing this entire landscape of intrigue was Adolph Zukor, the brilliant and ruthless founder of Paramount, locked in a struggle for control of the industry and desperate to conceal the truth about the crime. Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate. A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers—and the solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century.
When three hundred residents of the little town of Snowfield, California, disappear and one hundred fifty others die suddenly, a doctor and a dedicated county sheriff, aided by government authorities and scientists, pursue the terrifying mystery.
Detective Anna Travis is working on a horrific, brutal murder case that has created a media frenzy. The victim, Louise Pennel, a 24-year-old, single, 'fun-loving' girl, was last seen in a London night club wearing a sequinned mini-dress and a red rose in her hair. In an eerie mirror image of the famous LA murder case of Elizabeth Short in the l940s known as the Black Dahlia, her body was found dumped by the River Thames… severed in half and brutalised beyond recognition. Anna Travis must summon all the strength and guile she became so well known for in ABOVE SUSPICION to hunt down this sadistic killer.
One of the Most Notorious Murders of the Twentieth Century . . . Solved!
Author: Steve Hodel
A New York Times Best Seller! In 1947, the brutal, sadistic murder of a beautiful young woman named Elizabeth Short led to the largest manhunt in LA history. The killer teased and taunted the police and public for weeks, but his identity stayed a mystery, and the murder remained the most tantalizing unsolved case of the last century, until this book revealed the bizarre solution. Steve Hodel, a retired LAPD detective who was a private investigator, took up the case, reviewing the original evidence and records as well as those of a separate grand jury investigation into a series of murders of single women in LA at the time. The prime suspect had in fact been identified, but never indicted. Why? And who was he? In an account that partakes both of LA Confidential and Zodiac, for the corruption it exposes and the insight it offers into a serial killer’s mind, Hodel demonstrates that there was a massive police cover-up. Even more shocking, he proves that the murderer, a true-life Jekyll and Hyde who was a highly respected member of society by day and a psychopathic killer by night, was his own father. This edition of the book includes new findings and photographs added after the original publication, together with a new postscript by the author.
Camille Verhoeven, whose diminutive stature belies his fierce intensity, has reached an unusually content (for him) place in life. he is respected by his colleagues and he and his lovely wife, Irene, are expecting their first child. But when a new murder case hits his desk--a double torture-homicide that's so extreme that even the most seasoned officers are horrified-Verhoeven is overcome with a sense of foreboding. As links emerge between the bloody set-piece and at least one past unsolved murder, it becomes clear that a calculating serial killer is at work. The press has a field day, taking particular pleasure in putting Verhoeven under the media spotlight (and revealing uncomfortable details of his personal life). Then Verhoeven makes a breakthrough discovery: the murders are modeled after the exploits of serial killers from classic works of crime fiction. The double murder was an exquisitely detailed replication of a scene from Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, and one of the linked cold cases was a faithful homage to James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia. The media circus reaches a fever pitch when the modus operandi of the killer, dubbed "The Novelist," is revealed. Worse, the Novelist has taken to writing taunting letters to the police, emphasizing that he will stop leaving any clues behind unless Verhoeven remains on the case. For reasons known only to the killer, the case has become personal. With more literature--inspired murders surfacing, Verhoeven enlists the help of an eccentric bookseller and a professor specializing in crime fiction to try to anticipate his adversary's next move. Then Irene is kidnapped. With time running out, Verhoeven realizes that all along he's been the unwitting dupe in The Novelist's plans to create an original work of his own. Now, the only person in the world the commandant truly cares for is in danger, and a happy ending seems less and less likely as it becomes clear that the winner of this deadly game may be the man with the least to lose.
By incorporating and transforming foreign influences, film noir became a uniquely American art form. Though it was overlooked at first, this powerful genre would give Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum career-defining roles, fuel Joan CrawfordÕs middle-age comeback, and set the stage for the work of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Noir illuminated the dark side of the American dream, but despite its characteristic bleakness, these films are somehow always fun. Film Noir: 75 Years of the Greatest Crime Films revisits 20 of the genreÕs best, from the first noir The Maltese Falcon to L.A. Confidential. We commence by delving into ÒClassic Noir,Ó films released between 1941 and 1958 with their angular chiaroscuro and Teutonic angst combined with the influence of pup and hard-boiled crime fiction. Stunning photography walks us through Shadow of a Doubt, Double Indemnity, Laura, Mildred Pierce, Out of the Past, The Third Man, In a Lonely Place, Niagara, The Night of the Hunter, Touch of Evil and more. Next in our ÒNeo NoirÓ section, you will see the transformation of noir from 1967 onward with films like Bonnie and Clyde, Dirty Harry, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, Body Heat, Blood Simple, Blue Velvet, Pulp Fiction and more. Articles about how the genre was born, tabloids and film noir, offscreen noir, and what factors lead film back to black punctuate these spreads. Enter the cinematic world of Òdoom, fate, fear, and betrayal,Ó as beloved film critic Roger Ebert said, with Film Noir: 75 Years of the Greatest Crime Films