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"The most satisfying and disturbing conclusion to the Black Dahlia case. After reading SEVERED, I feel like I truly know Elizabeth Short and her killer. " --David Lynch

 

"My god this is a frightening tale... The most famous murder in L.A., and we suddenly see that we knew nothing before, only the glitter and red of blood. This is now a Pandora's Box."-- Kenneth Anger

The grisly 1947 murder of aspiring starlet and nightclub habitué Elizabeth Short, known even before her death as the "Black Dahlia," has over the decades transmogrified from LA's crime of the century to an almost mythical symbol of Hollywood Babylon/film noir glamour- cum-sordidness.

SEVERED, the first true-crime book published on the strangest of all "unsolved" murders in the annals of modern crime, offers the documented solution to the case as endorsed by law enforcement and forensic science experts. It is appropriate that hard-boiled, Hollywood-born author John Gilmore, whose father was an LAPD officer at the time of the murder, should be the one to unravel the multi-layered mystery of this archetypal Los Angeles slaying, having begun his painstaking investigations into the case over thirty-five years ago.

Elizabeth Short in happier times

"...only with author John Gilmore's SEVERED do we get previously undisclosed information from police files, never-before-published photos and a look at the probable murderer--and why he escaped prosecution." -- Larry Flynt

Elizabeth Short



"I love SEVERED. It is the most uncanny evocation of Los Angeles during and after the war I've read it about seven times His portrait of Elizabeth Short as this strange, unknowable somnambulist sleepwalking through that unique junction of time and space is permanently haunting." --Gary Indiana


With his hard-boiled, yet hauntingly evocative prose, Gilmore tells several previously unrevealed stories at once, each filled with its own bizarre elements which transcends the true crime genre. One is the tale of victim Elizabeth Short, small-town beauty queen with big hopes who seemed to float through her tragically futile life, already an alluring yet doom-laden enigma. Another is the tangled inside story of the police investigation and remorseless Hearst-stoked press hoopla which paralleled it. Finally, Gilmore reveals the twisted psychology and down-and-out life story of the actual murderer— as well as the startling circumstances and gruesome details of the killer's indirect confessions to him. SEVERED contains a thirty-two page photo section with many never-before-published photos from the life of Elizabeth Short and from the case, including graphic crime scene and postmortem police photos.


"The discoveries made by Gilmore in these unsolved murders are mind-blowing; they'll be bitched about, denied, contested and contradicted, but are factually irrefutable. And reading what he's written makes your stomach hop like an elevator on the fritz." 
--William Herrmann (Detective, LAPD)

"The classic account is John Gilmore's SEVERED, which achieves the almost impossible feat of turning the very blackness of Elizabeth Short's brief life into a thing of riveting oddity. According to Gilmore, Short had a rare vaginal deformity that made the image of a sexually easy creature of the night nothing more than an image; if we accept this premise, the Dahlia story becomes the dark tale of a hapless mimic whose grasp of adult relations extended only to what they looked like in the movies. There's no reason not to credit Gilmore's fastidious account, in which one drifter kills another, then dies in a flea-pit hotel fire: This cruddy, depressing solution to the mystery is utterly consistent with the pathos of the world the Black Dahlia traveled through on her way to the big nowhere." 
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

 

 

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John Gilmore's books are available at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE

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