A new book by a British author may reveal the truth about the long-unsolved "Black Dahlia" murder that shook the U.S. in 1947.
The murder of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short has remained mysterious for decades, but author Piu Eatwell has said that she believes she may have solved the case, according to The Sun. Eatwell's new book, "Black Dahlia, Red Rose: America's Most Notorious Crime Solved For The First Time," describes her research on the infamous cold case.
Short's body was discovered in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1947, mutilated, cut in two and drained of blood, with a horrifying smile carved into her face. The murder came to be known as the "Black Dahlia" after a popular film noir called "The Blue Dahlia."
Through decades of false leads and dozens of suspects, the case has never been solved.
Eatwell said that she had examined documents that linked Short's death to an illicit L.A. underground that often exploited women. An aspiring actress, Short had moved to the city to pursue her dreams, but found herself struggling with poverty and homelessness.
Eatwell investigated downtown L.A.'s Aster Motel, where she found that the same morning that Short's body was discovered, the motel's owner had found one of the rooms covered in blood and feces. In one of the cabins next door, he found a bundle of women's clothing stained with blood and wrapped in paper.
Rather than reporting the horrific discovery to the police, owner Henry Hoffman cleaned the cabins and burned the sheets to avoid suspicion from police, since he had just been arrested for beating his wife.
Because Hoffman destroyed the sheets and other evidence, Eatwell wrote, police continued to pursue fruitless leads in other places.
According to Eatwell, Short had become involved with businessman Mark Hansen, who was connected to organized crime. Hansen reportedly allowed Short to stay in a house behind a nightclub he owned, but then kicked her out. Eatwell said that then Hansen asked associate Leslie Dillon to take care of Short, not realizing that Dillon was a brutal psychopath.
Dillon had reportedly worked as an assistant to a mortician and knew how to drain a body of blood. Eatwell's theory is that Dillon murdered Short at the Aster Motel, possibly unbeknownst to Hansen.
Despite evidence against Dillon, the man never went to trial because of police corruption and incompetence, Eatwell said.
When homicide detectives interviewed Dillon, he reportedly told them he would stay quiet if they released him. But if they arrested them, he reportedly said, he would reveal information about 'where the bodies were buried' from organized crime in the city.
Dillon even had information that hadn't been released to the public, such as the fact Short's rose tattoo had been cut from her thigh and put into her vagina, and that her pubic hair had been cut off and inserted into her rectum.
According to the author, the LAPD "let a dangerous psychopath on the loose" by releasing Dillon, reports Daily Mail.
Eatwell called the release of Dillon by the LAPD a massive coverup.
"Police went on record to the press and said: 'She was a tramp, she was a slag - why do you all care?'" said Eatwell. "They thought she was just another young female casualty of their corrupt world and the case would eventually blow over."
"I lived and breathed this case for more than three years and based on the huge amount of evidence I've uncovered, I feel confident I've finally solved it," said Eatwell. "I felt very strongly Elizabeth Short deserved some sort of justice."