In the wintry Los Angeles of 1947, better known for its glamorous film stars and Hollywood lifestyle, Elizabeth "Beth" Short became the victim of one of America's most brutal murders.
At only 22 years of age, Beth had spent much of her early adult life with a wistful desire to be 'in movies'; drifting from the East Coast to the West and back again, melancholy and lonely yet picking up admirers wherever she went.
During this exact week in that fateful January, Beth was being brutally murdered by someone who still remains unknown, and her mutilated, bisected body was discovered on a vacant lot on January 15th.
In my capacity as Pathology Museum curator I have organised a sell-out seminar which can be seen at www.tinyurl.com/bartsdahlia. However, in my other life as AVON lady I have decided to dedicate my next Cake It On! event (February 5th) to the memory of Beth.
You see, what struck me most during my research into the case reading various books was how often her make-up, perfume and clothing were mentioned by witnesses and how her style deviated from the 'norm' in post-war America - ultimately earning her the nickname 'The Black Dahlia' prior to her death.
Another woman with the same double life as me (paradoxically interested in both make-up and the macabre!) is Joan Renner who runs the two blogs: Vintage Powder Room and Deranged LA Crimes. Her magnificent post on Beth's make-up can be seen here: http://vintagepowderroom.com/?tag=black-dahlia and it was this which really got me thinking about the 'darkness' which resided in Beth and whether or not it could actually influence the manner of her demise...
Joan is a writer, lecturer and social historian with an expertise in historic Los Angeles crime. With her insider info and thorough research she has created a 'personality profile' of Beth based on her clothing and make-up choices. I'm going to use that profile, and some of my own research, to discuss how The Dahlia's choices differed from other women of the time and really made her stand out.
Perhaps that's why she caught the eye of someone with insidious intentions and dark desires?
I'll be giving away a 'Black Dahlia' inspired make-up kit to the winner of the quiz and also a pair of black Dahlia earrings to the winner of the order form raffle. So come along and don your blackest dress and darkest lips and learn some of the lesser known facts of the Dahlia case:
Wednesday Feb 6th at Crimson Heart Cafe from 6:30pm (87 Leonard Street, Shoreditch EC2A 4QS) Nearest Tube: Old St