Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia

John Gilmore


The Black Dahlia murder hit post-War Los Angeles like a bombshell and this impenetrable mystery was the haunting crown jewel of LAPD’s unsolved murders. Even before her savage death, beautiful 22-year old Elizabeth Short, an aspiring starlet and nightclub habitu‚, was known as the Black Dahlia. Since her horrible demise, she has become a magnetic icon in American pop culture, a mythical symbol of noir Hollywood. In this new, expanded edition, John Gilmore plumbs to the dark core of this terrifying story that he argues can never be truly solved and delivers to us the real Elizabeth Short, the girl who became the enigmatic Black Dahlia. He ushers the reader into her world and her life in intimate, searing, explosive, first-hand revelations.

trade paperback, 238 pages, illustrated
ISBN-10: 187892317X
ISBN-13: 978-1878923172


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

The most uncanny evocation of LA during and after the war ... His portrait of Elizabeth Short as a strange, unknowable somnambulist sleepwalking through that unique junction of time and space is permanently haunting. — Gary Indiana

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

About John Gilmore

Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as "the quintessential L.A. noir writer," John Gilmore has been acclaimed internationally for his hard-boiled true crime books, his Hollywood memoirs and his biting, literary fiction. He is considered one of today's most controversial American authors, with a following that spans the globe from Tokyo, Paris and London, to his native Hollywood where he was friends with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. He traveled the road to fame in many guises before turning to literature: kid magician, painter, poet, actor in films, TV, and the New York stage, then screen-writer, B-movie director and a "bang 'em out alive," nine-day pulp novelist.