The Black Dahlia Study Guide

The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Bucky walks into the station, which is in chaos. Reporters are in Loew’s office for a press conference. He tells the reporters that Lee and Bucky have been put on the case. Bucky discovers Lee got them transferred on the case after arranging surveillance on Nash. Lee asks Bucky for one week.

The newspaper calls the murderer a werewolf, which puts pressure on the D.A. and police to find the killer. They have no leads. The girl was placed in the field after being killed somewhere else. They also do not know the victim’s identity.

Bucky and Lee witness the victim’s autopsy. During the procedure, they receive word the victim has been identified. She is Elizabeth Ann Short.

Loew is outside the hospital giving another press conference. The police have received eighteen confessions, all from crazy people attracted to the sensational nature of the crime.

Bucky and Lee go to question Elizabeth’s father, who is not distressed or emotional about his daughter’s death. He offers an alibi. He and “Betty” were not close and had not spoken for years. He says his daughter was man-crazy and wore all black.

Lee asks Bucky to check on Kay. Kay tells Bucky she has had a crush on him since the first time she saw him fight. She asks if there is a future for the two of them. Bucky tells Kay that Lee has done a lot for him.

The morning newspaper gives Elizabeth the name“The Black Dahlia” and portrays her as a man hungry tramp.

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