Hollywood and Crime is a ground-breaking true crime series about the most infamous murders in Tinseltown history.
In The Black Dahlia Serial Killers, host Tracy Pattin investigates the sensational unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short. Known as the Black Dahlia, Short was a star-struck young woman whose body was found completely severed at the waist in January 1947. Many remember her tragic story, yet few know that more than a dozen other women died in similar circumstances around that same time.
Wondery Presents: This Is Actually Happening: The Long Shadow
What would you do if a singular moment changed your life forever? This Is Actually Happening is a weekly podcast from Wondery that features extraordinary true stories of life-changing events told by the people who lived them. To remember the 20th anniversary of 9/11, This Is Actually Happening is bringing you a special four-part series called The Long Shadow, with each episode told from the perspective of a person who survived that tragic day. You'll hear from an ER doctor in Lower Manhattan, a Port Authority officer who was near Ground Zero when the planes hit, a firefighter who was on the scene and a cardiologist finishing his residency who worked in a makeshift morgue. This Is Actually Happening will commemorate the heartbreak, courage and bravery of the day that changed everything.
Listen to the rest of this series at wondery.fm/TIAH_BlackDahlia.
Wondery Presents: SUSPECT
A big Halloween party at an apartment complex in Redmond, Washington. Themed rooms and costumed partygoers. But by the end of the party, one of the hosts is dead. The police look to the partiers as the prime suspects: was it the guy in the devil mask, the bank robber, the construction worker? As investigators comb through forensic evidence, witness testimony, DNA, and even consult with a psychic, they zero in on one suspect in particular. But for what reason? Host and reporter Matthew Shaer (Over My Dead Body) returns to the scene of the crime, speaks with everyone about a night that still haunts them years later. It’s a series about race and policing, mislaid justice, cutting-edge science, and the kinds of weighty choices that cops and prosecutors make every day -- choices that, once made, are difficult to reverse.
Listen to SUSPECT: wondery.fm/Suspect_BlackDahlia
In the wrap-up of our Black Dahlia Serial Killers series, host Tracy Pattin interviewed true crime experts Joan Renner, editor of Deranged LA Crimes.com and author of The First with the Latest: Aggie Underwood, the Los Angeles Herald, and the Sordid Crimes of the City, and Jim Clemente, host of Wondery’s Real Crime Profile, as well its Best Case/Worst Case and Locked Up Abroad podcasts. He’s also a writer/producer for Criminal Minds on CBS and creator of Discovery’s Manhunt: Unabomber. Tracy interviewed Joan and Jim earlier, in episodes 13 to 17, about the murders covered in the first season, including that of Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia. Now she follows up with them on the murders we covered in the second round – and gets these experts’ take on the big question: Were all these crimes committed by a single killer or were they the work of multiple copycats and lone wolves?
In June 1949, more than a year after the Kern murder, another body was found. Louise Springer, a successful young hairdresser, was carjacked in a parking lot on Crenshaw Boulevard, just five blocks from the site at 39th and Norton where Elizabeth Short’s body had been dumped two and a half years earlier. Four days later, Louise’s body was found in the back seat of her car, which had been abandoned on a downtown side street. The manhunt that ensued was the largest in the city since the Black Dahlia investigation. While the search continued, the first of two women went missing. Emily Boomhower, a wealthy widow, disappeared from her Bel Air mansion on August 18, 1949. Three weeks later, Jean Spangler, an attractive young starlet, was last seen leaving a Sunset Strip nightclub at two in the morning.
The Best Suspect Ever
Eight months passed and then, on Valentine’s Day 1948, there were two attacks. Viola Norton survived an assault by two men who abducted her in Alhambra, an eastern suburb of Los Angeles, and drove her 16 miles to Leimert Park. She was found clinging to life the next morning, a few blocks south of 39th and Norton, where the Black Dahlia’s body was found. That same day, realtor Gladys Kern was stabbed in the back while showing a house in the Hollywood Hills. Her body was found two days later, laid out on the kitchen floor. The case seemed to take a promising turn when police received a confession from the killer’s accomplice. And then, six months later, the LAPD made a dramatic announcement: They had arrested a man they called the “best suspect” so far in the Dahlia case. They claimed Leslie Dillon had information about the case that only the killer could know.
The Silk Stocking Murder
On June 21, 1947, six months after the murder of the Black Dahlia, another shocking homicide stole the Werewolf killer’s spotlight. Top Hollywood mobster Bugsy Siegel was assassinated in a Beverly Hills mansion. In a book written decades later, an author claimed Siegel killed Elizabeth Short -- making Bugsy the most notorious among dozens of suspects in the Dahlia case. And then, 12 days after Siegel’s funeral, the Werewolf grabbed the headlines again after the nude, mutilated body of Rosenda Mondragon, 21, was found rolled up against a gutter near Downtown Los Angeles. She’d been strangled with a silk stocking. On the day of Rosenda’s funeral, a woman’s body was found in a park at the beach near San Diego, 100 miles south of Los Angeles. Had the Werewolf killer expanded his range?