Read The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles by Donald H. Wolfe Online


In 1946, Elizabeth Short traveled to Hollywood to become famous and see her name up in lights. Instead, the dark-haired beauty became immortalized in the headlines as the "Black Dahlia" when her nude and bisected body was discovered in the weeds of a vacant lot. Despite the efforts of more than four hundred police officers and homicide investigators, the heinous crime wasIn 1946, Elizabeth Short traveled to Hollywood to become famous and see her name up in lights. Instead, the dark-haired beauty became immortalized in the headlines as the "Black Dahlia" when her nude and bisected body was discovered in the weeds of a vacant lot. Despite the efforts of more than four hundred police officers and homicide investigators, the heinous crime was never solved. Now, after endless speculation and false claims, bestselling author Donald H. Wolfe discovers startling new evidence—buried in the files of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office for more than half a century.With the aid of archival photos, news clippings, and investigative reports, Wolfe documents the riveting untold story that names the brutal murderer—the notorious Mafia leader, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel—and the motive—an unwanted pregnancy resulting from Short's involvement with the most powerful figure in Los Angeles, Norman Chandler. But Wolfe goes even further to unravel the large-scale cover-up behind the case. Wolfe's extensive research, based on the evidence he discovered in the recently opened LADA files, makes The Black Dahlia Files the authoritative work on the murder that has drawn endless scrutiny but remained unsolved—until now....

Title : The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060582500
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles Reviews

  • Niki
    2019-04-30 11:38

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! Do your research before reading this book or believing anything contained therein. While this book is very well written and nicely structured, it's full of holes and is just plain not true. Donald Wolfe builds a bit on John Gilmore's crackpot theory and throws some of his own odd tidbits in there for good measure. I would direct people to Larry Harnisch's blog where he disects this book chapter by chapter first. He finds many of the holes I mentioned and lays out why Wolfe's theory is just impossible. I personally though, don't believe Larry's theory.(Dr. Leslie Audrain, a doctor in his 60's at the time who also had a bad heart, just doesn't seem plausible.)Then I would encourage you to do your own research and read the other books available about the Dahlia before believing wholeheartedly in Donald's theory. Overall, this was just too far-fetched for me to believe and I stumbled upon Larry Harnisch's blog while reading this book so I just found myself questioning and researching everything in this book. It was not an enjoyable read because of that and I wouldn't recommend it unless you are someone like myself who is intensely interested in all aspects, angles, and theories about the Black Dahlia murder.

  • Paul L'Herrou
    2019-05-13 15:33

    Much more violence than I usually want to read about. However, my family lived in Los Angeles at the time. I was a 9-year-old,and recall overhearing adults talking, without wanting children to hear, about this brutal murder. This book was compelling in describing the life of Elizabeth Short, AKA The Black Dahlia, as it led up to her death. More interesting to me was the picture it painted of the movie industry and the competing mob interests that operated within the control of a corrupt police force and city government.

  • Abra
    2019-05-12 15:59

    Reading this book I felt like I knew Elizabeth Short. It kept me turning pages too. Donald Wolf is an excellent writer as well as researcher. One of my favorite written descriptions to date is in the first chapter of this book. It is the description of a printing press. After reading this I knew I wanted to read more by Wolf so I checked out The Marilyn Monroe book he wrote. I didn't like it as much as this though, but it was still well done. This case has always fascinated me and this was the best look into it in my opinion.

  • Natalie
    2019-05-20 11:37

    Without giving too much, if anything, away if no one has ever really heard much about the Black Dahlia case, I thought it was extremely well written and presented. The book progresses through the evidence, and gradually outlines to the reader what is known, what isn't known, and the history behind the key people involved. I think that's what I liked most about it, that it didn't really straight out exclaim things immediately, but kind of let you figure out and put the pieces of the puzzle together along the way. I also liked that it shared a lot of back story about not only Elizabeth, but other people that played significant roles. The fact that it was very to the point and didn't really exaggerate anything beyond what it was, made the findings very convincing and believable. I also liked that it included dozens of photos, maps, messages, and really involved you in the evidence... it also gave a clearer picture of what was actually going on. I think the occasional visual goes a long way in painting a picture in your mind about what happened. I think I started it not even 2 weeks ago, and already finished it... it was one of those books that keeps you wanting to read to find out what happened. The only downside was the many, many names mentioned, and at times it was hard to keep up with who was who, but I found that the book often referred back to information to remind the reader, and the photos helped putting a face to the names as well. A fascinating story, it's unfortunate that it will probably always remain 'open and unsolved'.

  • James
    2019-05-24 12:43

    Donald H. Wolfe has presented a meticulously researched and thoroughly documented account of what likely is the truth about the brutal murder of Elizabeth Short. Wolfe's book has the authority of a properly prepared murder investigation, but reads with the building anticipation of a fictional murder mystery. The Black Dahlia Files is an excellent book in every respect, as Wolfe examines, in detail, the actual evidence. Certainly, he possessed the ability to refer to documents and information recently released by the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, many of which were unavailable to authors of previously-published "non-fiction" accounts of this crime (note that some of the "non-fiction" accounts previously published don't even count as non-fiction because they were based upon complete speculation).In as much as he is seemingly able to, Wolfe sets right some of the wrongs committed against Elizabeth Short that occurred even after her murder. He speaks for her and sheds light on an ugly truth, not only about her murder, in particular, but in the subsequent cover up by LAPD investigators. This book names names and levels accusations against the perpetrators of this crime before, during, and after Short's death. It's an eye-opening account that I recommend to anyone who is familiar with the so-called Black Dahlia case or to those, like myself, who knew almost nothing about it. Thank you, Madelyn!

  • Sam
    2019-04-28 15:39

    Hmmmm I kind of feel like this is two books in one, the first half dealing with the facts of the murder itself and the second which is the author's own theory and 'solution' to the killing. Both are really well written and vivid in their accounts, bringing the people and places, sights and sounds to life so you feel the public terror and outcry at such a brutal killing. But then the theory side of things, while well supported by various pieces of evidences and less well by hearsay and gossip (including from the author's own background), is just too far-fetched and barely believable. While I like the idea that the Dahlia killing was some kind of mob hit covered up by the LA police and politians, I really struggle to actually believe this. This is the first book on the Black Dahlia that I've read and now I feel like I need to read much more to be able to say whether Wolfe's theory holds any kind of water, but I really doubt it. Because of this I found I enjoyed the second half much less, spending much of the time incredulous and cynical at the conclusions and accusations being made. An interesting read but a dubious conclusion.

  • Stephanie Moran
    2019-05-12 17:43

    Donald Wolfe uncovers what he believes to be the truth behind the unsolved Black Dahlia murder in this book. It is a quite interesting read and Wolfe seems to have quite a bit of information that previous authors were not privy to, mostly do to the time that has passed and the information that has been leaked to the public. Yet, I remain amazed that much of the evidence remains to be sealed despite the passage of time.I thought Part 1 of the book was put together rather well and easy to follow (although the author tends to go off on tangents by talking about random personal things). Part 2 was insane to me. There were way too many people mentioned to keep concise track of. Sometimes I had no clue who he was talking about. It would have been nice to have some kind of summary of people to follow or may just a list of sorts at the end saying who belonged where and what their importance was to the whole case.Wolfe draws conclusions of what happens at the end of the book and puts the puzzle pieces together - his ideas are complete but may not be 100% accurate - but the truth will probably never be known. The book is worth reading and considering.

  • Linda Lipko
    2019-05-25 16:38

    This was interesting, but also rambling. The author makes a solid case that Elizabeth Short was involved with the mafia. And, it was this connection that brought about her horrid demise wherein her body was found severed in many pieces, left in a lot, near a sidewalk where it could easily be found. Bloodless, severed with her mouth slit from each side of the lips to the ear, this was indeed a very brutal crime. Mid way the author got off track, leading me to feel that he should have made his case and wrapped up pages earlier.Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia was a sad soul who found herself attached to the wrong crowd. A magnet for the seedy, sleezy Los Angeles crowd.

  • Emilie
    2019-05-03 13:41

    of all the black dahlia books out there, i found this one is the most engaging and least daddy hating.

  • Suvi
    2019-05-11 10:54

    Wolfe writes engagingly and he has truly made his research. He doesn't reveal his theory about the murderer(s) until in the very end, forcing the reader to think about the case and connect the clues. For that reason I'll try not to give away too much in the following.I actually believe that the solution Wolfe provides is how things really happened. It all makes sense, pieces fit in the gaps. Even if it's not true, files that became public only recently give away pretty big clues, things that dirty cops and corrupt big shots had so adamantly wanted to hide. Mafia involvement was the biggest factor. I was pretty shocked to find out that Cary Grant and Gary Cooper among others were Bugsy Siegel's friends, at least until Hollywood realized he was a raving gangster.Marilyn Monroe also talked to Elizabeth Short at one point, when she was asking about how to get into the right Hollywood crowd, and later Monroe was very disturbed by her murder. There was so much anecdotes and information about the case, varying from plausible (an interview with the possible murderer) to downright ridiculous (lesbian killer hoax). The cover-up probably lasted well until the 1980s when someone talked a bit too much (hint: a very movie-like scenario involving an apartment fire). Whatever the truth is, it's likely that the murderer(s) will never be punished for what they did.

  • Ryan
    2019-04-27 16:31

    While this was a very well-written and compelling book, I have a lot of trouble believing the author's conspiracy theory. I don't think enough hard evidence exists that will ever definitively solve her murder. This was entertaining though, like a Godfather twist on James Ellroy's famous novel.

  • Meg
    2019-05-08 14:41

    It's a well told story, but that is all it is, a story. If you are trying to find out as much about Elizabeth Short as you can, then read this book. Otherwise, I'd leave it.

  • Jonathan
    2019-05-02 17:41

    A crime so horrible, so brutal, that we’re still talking about it 70 years later. If you watched LA Confidential, and were taken with the seedy underbelly of Hollywood, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. It’s amazing what a soulless place LA could be in the carefree post WW2 days, but it’s laid in gruesome detail by Wolfe, a lifelong resident of Los Angeles. The main thrust, the investigation into the murder of Elizabeth Short is an incredible story in itself, as it has almost an endless pit of sadness. Wolfe’s knowledge and research are excellent, but one must take everything with a grain of salt, as there are many contradicting “facts” in this case. His theory about the killer of Short, doesn’t add up to me, but I think he’s in the ballpark. A highly disturbing book, but one that should be read if you have an interest in history, or true crime.

  • Theremin Poisoning
    2019-05-01 11:37

    A frist-rate true crime book. The unprecedented access to police files allows for a piecing together of the tangled society that allowed for such a grisly murder and the coverup that kept this enigma alive since 1947. Highly recommended, this volume includes police interrogation transcripts, copious photographs of all involved, and a sensible rebuttal of the "Hodel hypothesis."

  • Rachel Dows
    2019-05-24 17:59

    Definitely an interesting book. Wolfe presents the evidence meticulously, weaving his own theories so seamlessly, one would think this was a report of a solved case.Overall, if you're interested in unsolved crime, this is worth a read. However, take it with a grain of salt - this case remains unsolved, and Wolfe's accusations are not the only possible scenario.

  • Carrie Marshall
    2019-05-08 11:55

    Very interesting story. I liked knowing more about this renowned mystery. This was a brutal murder. A psychotic killer. This helps us understand the circumstances better. But again, it's been soo long. All witnesses are non existent or dead. We'll never know.

  • Crystal Murphy
    2019-05-18 17:29

    I really believed his version

  • Valerie
    2019-05-02 12:56

    Of all the books I have read on the murder of Elizabeth Short, known as "The Black Dahlia", this one seems the most logical and makes the most sense. The author was able to access some FBI fileswhich had previously been unavailable. Elizabeth Short had been pregnant by Norman Chandler, the owner of one of the Los Angeles newspapers at the time, and who was connected to members of the Mob, including "Bugsy" Siegel. She apparently had no intention of getting an abortion by one of their doctors, and so she became marked for murder, probably because she was trying to obtain some money from Chandler or one of his cohorts so she could leave town and go to Chicago. Instead, she was basically kidnapped and murdered. The author theorizes that her body was bisected because the murderers (and there were at least four of them) wanted to hide the fact that she had been pregnant. A hysterectomy was done after she had been tortured and bled to death. The fact that her face had been slashed from ear to mouth to ear is a method the Sicilian Mafia members used frequently at the time. Beth Short was not the only woman murdered around this period of time between 1946 to 1948. There were others in the Hollywood area also, and one of the principal murderers told a writer that he had killed at least one of them.I thought the book was interesting, although gruesome, but as we all know, man's inhumanity to man still goes on to this day. It did not help that most of the LAPD was full of corruption, not for the first or the last time.

  • Angela
    2019-04-30 12:36

    I rated myself as liking this book, but I wouldn't say that is true. I think that the author did an excellent job writing a compelling and well-supported theory behind a notorious murder, but the picture that he paints with so many facts is incredibly disturbing. I cannot count the number of times that I turned a page and moaned in dismay at finding a graphic description or photograph (yes, photograph! There are many photographs of dead and mutilated bodies). This book is definitely not for the queasy. However, if you are interested in this topic and want a well-documented and -supported theory of the culprits in an infamous murder, this one is definitely worth picking up. If I hadn't been so horrified by the actual content of the book, I think I would have given this one four or five stars for being written so well.

  • Tanya
    2019-05-27 13:35

    This is one of the better books written about Beth Short. How much of it is really true, who knows. You feel as though you know her when you are finished reading the book. I have always been fascinated by her story. A beautiful girl in L.A. trying to make it in acting winds up drifting from town to town, and eventually brutally murdered. The author puts forth a believable solution to the crime but so has John Gilmore in Severed. What I love about this book is you get immersed in the time period. This was a time of corrupt L.A. cops and gangsters such as Bugsy Siegel. Many of the places Beth frequented and lived are still standing in Los Angeles. The Biltmore Hotel where she was last seen is one of the most stunning hotels in Los Angeles. I suppose what continues to make her story so compelling is the mystery that still surrounds her case.

  • Jessica Powell
    2019-05-23 17:50

    This was the first book I read on the Black Dahlia case, so I have a soft spot for it. It's well written and, more importantly, well structured. For the most part Wolfe follows the media chronology, letting us learn the details in the same order the people of LA would have back in 1947. If you're just getting into the case, I'd recommend starting with Wolfe for that reason.But - because there is always a but - you need to take Wolfe's theory with a big pinch of salt. E.g. His argument that the fact Short was pregnant was the control question kept back from the press seems weaker the more he presses it, and there is some definite cherry picking of evidence going on.Still, it's a gripping read, and gives a good feel for the main players involved in the case from the press and the police.

  • Jack Perreault
    2019-05-18 14:36

    Larry Wolfe does a solid job of researching this heinous crime. He uncovers the corrupt politics behind the investigation and the shady dealings of the press and the police that has hindered the solving of this famous murder case. The crime lords at the time were so powerful and influential that people with knowledge of the case were terrified to come forward with information. Eliizabeth Smart a girl from Medford Mass was a dreamer and wanted to find fame in Hollywood, but ended up being exploited and died tragically at the age of twenty-two. She was prone to depression and mood swings, and underneath all she really wanted was to find a nice guy and get married. Warning some portions aren't for the faint-hearted people like me.

  • Colleen Mertens
    2019-04-29 15:31

    I thought this was a well-written true crime book. It was graphic in the nature of the violence depicted because of the nature of the crime involved and the players in the crime. It was interesting to learn about the levels of corruption at that time and how that often played into how things were investigated and covered up. It amazed me to see how controvesial some of the events were for that time and how something considered so horrific then may not even get much attention by today's standards of violence. This book was ineteresting and is worth reading if you are someone who likes true life crime books.

  • Jacqueline Schroeder
    2019-05-12 11:44

    I own this book about the Black Dahlia and while it was interestingly written, I would still recommend the version of this story bY Hodel ~Whether his version is more fact than fiction, he has got real believable points to his side of the story...I would be led like an animal to its trap...So convincing is his theory...One of the best Celebrity Murder Mysteries of all time

  • Charleen
    2019-05-04 09:49

    The politics and other happenings surrounding this case are so dull, yet every book and account of the history of this murder is so focused on it. I want to read a profile, I want to read 50 profiles in a row, I want to know every detail regarding the case, the victim, the body, not about Bugsy and this guys "Uncle." BORING. Cool photos though.

  • Tasha
    2019-04-27 09:45

    This book was really interesting. Along the same lines as The Devil in the White City. Why I love these true story gruesome mob books I don't know but I do. It was a fascinating read. I like that the author doesn't tell you right away who the prime suspects kinda figure it out as the book progresses.

  • Kristin
    2019-05-25 09:57

    This book was a lot of fun to read at Halloween time and in LA at Halloween time. I am not sure how legitimate this writer is, but it was a pretty good theory on what may have happened to Elizabeth Short. Enjoyable.

  • Norma
    2019-04-26 12:49

    Absolutely fascinating. I think this one came very close to pinpointing the real murderer. With all the abundance of facts, summations and speculations, this book kept me riveted from front to back. Very well written; will look for his name on future books

  • Gae-Lynn Woods
    2019-05-24 15:35

    A well-researched look at the Black Dahlia murder. Wolfe draws fascinating conclusions about Elizabeth Short's killers, the motive for her murder, and why it was so well covered up. Worth a read for true crime lovers.

  • Robyn
    2019-05-19 11:56

    I've read a lot of books on this topic, this one seems to be the most researched and well documented. Very interesting and if you believe the facts as they are presented by the author...the case is solved.