Analysis: The “Black Dahlia” Case—Part II

In this part, we are listing facts and circumstantial evidence and summarizing our argument, which may serve to reopen the investigation into the murder of Elizabeth Short. If our suspicion is correct, the effort serves two important purposes: to aid Frank Olson’s sons in their quest for resolution, and to influence government policymaking. 

  1. The first intentional experimental ingestion of LSD took place in 1943, in Switzerland.
  2. A precursor to the MK-ULTRA mind-control program was begun in 1945 with the recruiting of “former” Nazi scientists—including war criminals having expertise in torture and interrogation—who were brought into the USA prior to and then under the auspices of Project/Operation Paperclip.
  3. The primary purpose of mind-control experiments was to develop substances to enhance a person’s ability to withstand privation, torture, and coercion during interrogation, as well as to achieve “brain-washing.”
  4. Other documented purposes of experiments included: development of methods to produce amnesia, confusion, dependency, perceptual distortion, subliminal persuasion, and temporary loss of consciousness.
  5. LSD, coupled with “psychic driving,” can alter personality and precipitate ultra-violent behavior, including murder.
  6. Some covert sex-connected experiments, such as Operation Midnight Climax, were undertaken on the California coast.
  7. Some experiments employed (presumably paid) volunteers.
  8. If the experimenters in California included former Nazis, it could be significant to note that Betty may have been partly Jewish. Her mother’s maiden name was Sawyer which is English but appears to have a Jewish origin.
  9. German POWs, including ones from fanatical Nazi units, were held in camps, including Camp Cooke, in California, from 1944 through 1946. Betty worked at Camp Cooke in 1943 and 1944, where she was popular—voted “camp cutie,” and dated numerous servicemen with the goal of marrying an officer.
  10. Experiments were conducted in California medical facilities, mental hospitals, prisons, and Veterans Administration hospitals as early as 1945. Facilities hosting such experiments included the VA Hospital at Long Beach, California.
  11. Betty dated an Army officer stationed at NARB, Long Beach (Los Angeles County) and was in that area from July, 1946 until her death in 1947. She lived at the Hotel Washington in Long Beach.
  12. During 1947, unwitting military and civilian subjects were used to study LSD as a bio-weapon. This was pre-MK-ULTRA and included tests of “truth serums.”

The point is that Betty Short was an attention-getting figure living and working in close proximity to areas, agencies, facilities, and individuals involved in military operations, including the mind control experiments stated above. The bizarre damage to her body is consistent with what may be expected to be found on a person used as a guinea pig in such experiments. “Red” Manley had been discharged from the Army due to mental instability. His strange behaviors and persistent mental disorder are also consistent with common effects of these kinds of experiments.

The experiments would have required some test subjects to serve in the role of victim and others to serve as victimizer. Why Betty? It may be that the experimenters wanted to learn whether a man could be made to submit an attractive woman to extreme torture. Enemy spies and assassins can be female as well as male—consider Mata Hari of WWI fame, and the Biblical figure, Judith.

That is PluribusOne™’s theory, which we think is more than credible and justifies reopening this very old cold-case.

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4 Responses to “Analysis: The “Black Dahlia” Case—Part II”

  1. Stark Raven Says:

    Considering what is known about MK-ULTRA now, that it was a large scale program, I would think that if the experiments were so extreme there would have been more cases like The Black Dahlia along with unusual suicides and missing persons.

  2. PluribusOne™ Says:

    We have not done statistical analyses, and not all law enforcement information is available to us. However, during the 1945 to 1947 period we did find other high-profile murders in the same general area, all females, and in one case the body was butchered.

    The man eventually convicted of those murders was arrested months before Betty was killed. Based on details of the case against him we feel it doubtful that he was the killer. However, we do see signs that those deaths could have been connected to the mind-control program—indications that would not have been obvious to investigators unaware that the government was conducting experiments that employed numerous drugs, not just LSD, combining them with hypnosis, to (among other purposes) make a person insensitive to pain, even in the extreme.

    That hypnosis was part of the experimenting is not speculation. A Dr. Estabrooks, involved in developing hypnosis for military intelligence use, beginning in 1943, wrote a book and at least one magazine article. Subjects hypnotized to perform for experimenters would not necessarily be aware of it. In the 1971 Science Digest article, “Hypnosis Comes of Age,” Estabrooks said, “…I had removed from him, by post-hypnotic suggestion, all recollection of ever having been hypnotized.” And, the idea that people cannot be made to violate their moral standards is a myth.

    Adding support to our Black Dahlia theory is the case of Jessica Wilcox, known as Candy Jones. A book published in 1976, titled: The Control of Candy Jones, contains details of her involvement with the CIA as a “hypnotic courier.” As “Model of the Year’ in 1943, Candy, like Betty, was a high-profile figure with servicemen, including high-ranking officers, during WWII. She headlined in VA hospital USO shows and traveled overseas in the South Pacific. First hypnotized in 1946, Candy worked for the CIA for pay but also became an unwitting mind-control guinea pig. Her controller was based in Oakland, California. According to the book, MK-ULTRA testing originated on the West Coast.

    Like Betty, Candy/Jessica had bad teeth. The CIA doctor who controlled Candy did not allow her to see civilian doctors, including dentists. The CIA had its own dentists but she was not referred to them. Apparently CIA dentists were not part of the MK-ULTRA community. Whether Betty Short was a paid or unwitting CIA operative is probably unknowable because in 1973 the CIA destroyed all MK-ULTRA records to impede investigation, and most of the people involved in the 1940s are undoubtedly deceased.

  3. Sandi Says:

    There was a novel titled The Black Dahlia and then a movie by the same title based on the book. Although fiction the story appears to be based on facts and it points in a different direction. Are you familiar with this? If so, how do you respond to that theory?

  4. PluribusOne™ Says:

    The Black Dahlia novel and screenplay is considered “historical romance” by the authors, not a theory about anything real. Although it includes some facts related to the Betty Short murder and, of course, shocking photos of her corpse, the story is shamelessly rich with fabricated facts, blatant errors, and wild speculation with respect to the: who, how, and why of the crime.

    The story capitalizes on the fact there was once a grotesque murder and the victim was called The Black Dahlia. Otherwise, it is sideshow fiction, not even “historical crime” fiction. The degree of creative license taken by the film-makers makes the movie about 98% pure baloney. It is unfortunate that dead people cannot sue. Although the cinematography and acting are excellent, the DVD is a sad waste of shiny plastic.

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