Chapter 20 ~ The Biltmore

After overstaying her welcome with the French women in San Diego for a month, Beth caught a ride with Red Manley back to Los Angeles. They arrived at the Biltmore Hotel early in the evening of January 9, 1947.

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When Robert Manley drove Elizabeth Short to Los Angeles on January 9, 1947, he noticed that she frequently turned around in her seat and looked back at cars they passed or that passed them on the road, but she said nothing. He dropped her off at the Biltmore Hotel that evening. Manley said she was wearing a black suit without a collar, a fluffy white blouse, white gloves, nylons, high heeled suede shoes and a full length beige coat. Elizabeth used the pay phones and the ladies room. Manley checked at the desk to see if her sister had left word. After awhile, he said good bye and made his way home.

Red Manley couldn’t figure her. When police interrogated him repeatedly, he said, “I was infatuated, that’s all. I couldn’t tell if Betty was a gold digger or a nice girl.”

Elizabeth stayed at the hotel for several more hours and then she walked out to Olive Street and headed south. As far as the police were concerned, that was the last verifiable time she was seen by any known witness. However, a number of people came forward over time and claimed to have seen her around town.

When interviewed by Frank Jemison, Mark Hansen said he received a telephone call from her, but he wasn’t sure of the date. Jemison said, “We do have information now and evidence that would establish that you haven’t told us exactly the truth in connection with what conversation you did have with Beth Short, and our information is that you received a telephone call from Beth Short from the Biltmore Hotel on the evening of the 9th of January 1947.”

Hansen was also questioned about a telegram. He told Jemison he had no recollection. “I received a phone call. I don’t recall any telegram. There may have been a telegram. I don’t recall, but I know this phone call, I remember that very distinctly because Ann wasn’t home. She was visiting her folks.”

Anne Toth had expected to see Beth in northern California when they were both supposed to be in the Bay area, but she lost track of her. “Gee, the funny part of it, I was thinking of her all the time I was gone, wondering what did become of her, because she didn’t say goodbye to me.”

Anne said Beth told her about three weeks before Christmas that she was going to Berkeley to see her sister. “But instead,” Anne said, “she went to San Diego. Why, I don’t know. Just before Christmas, she wired me saying she needed $20. She had been gone about three weeks when I received another wire, saying she was coming back and stating that a letter would follow. That was the last I ever heard of her. The letter never came.”

Anne had returned from Richmond, California to Hansen’s Hollywood home on the evening of January 10, and Hansen told her the story of how Elizabeth had called from San Diego. Anne was surprised. “Well, that is like wrong way Corrigan. Headed for Berkeley and went to San Diego.”

Marjorie Graham, Beth’s friend from Boston and her roommate in Hollywood, was interviewed after the murder. Marjorie said,

“After staying with me for a month she went to live with a private family and when I left Hollywood in October, she  said she was going down to San Diego because the weather in Los Angeles was getting too cold.”


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