The Black Dahlia Murder

For decades one mystery from real life has served as inspiration for mystery fiction. Writers and authors have dedicated hundreds of pages of mystery books and crime fiction to one of the worlds most notorious unsolved crimes, the Black Dahlia Murder. The infamous murder, worthy of a Sherlock Holmes or Auguste Dupin case, has captured the imagination and morbid curiosity of the general public since it was made public. We here at Manhattan Mysteries, are no exception.

Most recently James Ellroy, penned the successful novel "The Black Dahlia", based on the investigation of the murder, this novel earned him the status of a serious talented author and it gathered for him the respect of the critics. The book uses the murder as a plot generator, it focuses around the life of two fictional police investigators who investigate the murder and how it affects them on a personal level. Other representations of the Black Dahlia have generated adaptations in mystery fiction and crime fiction, normally becoming a popular reference in the genre, specially due to the fact that the murder was not solved, raising the case to near mythic proportions. However, the case was never solved because of the widely documented overwhelming press around it and its investigators. Also, the publicity the case gathered caused for great number of people to come forward and confess to the murder, a figure of almost 50 men and women, that gave the police tons of false information and false evidence.

Many true crime mystery books have speculated on the possible involvements of the large list of suspects, some even famous individuals such as actor/director Orson Welles and folk singer Woody Guthrie. No sufficient evidence was attained by the authorities to prosecute a particular suspect, this only fueled the morbid curiosity surrounding the case. In later days, the Black Dahlia Murder has been references in books by mystery authors in detective fiction, movies, tv shows and video games.

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