Where Did She Get the Name, Black Dahlia?

Long Beach detective Edward C. Boynton was sitting at a table at Lander’s drug store one day in July, 1946, when Elizabeth Short joined him at his table. She pointed to newspaper headlines involving a sensation murder.

Boynton recalled that she said, “Back in Boston the papers don’t play up murders like this. I don’t like this sort of thing.”

He saw her at Lander’s not long after with an Air Force  officer. Months later, after the murder,  Boynton asked to be assigned to the case. He learned the officer was Gordon Fickling.

After her murder, Boynton took a photograph of her to the coffee shop and talked to the employees. They told him she was called the Black Dahlia by customers. He also talked with  a woman he described as someone involved in real estate transactions. He could not remember her name, but he found her and showed her the photo.“

“Oh my God, that’s her.”

Boynton identified her as the person who christened Elizabeth Short the “Black Dahlia.” “There were about 16 newspaper reporters there. In talking, I mentioned casually that someone thought she should be called, ‘The Black Dahlia.’ Those reporters headed for the phones like a covey of quail tripped by a bird dog. From then on it was ‘The Black Dahlia’ case.”

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