On January 15, 1947, the body of Elizabeth Short was found in Los Angles, brutally murdered. Her body was bisected
and carefully posed with very carefully geometric sections of the body removed. Elizabeth Short was a beautiful woman
and was said to have left an Exquisite Corpse.
In the course of the investigation, there were over 300 suspects and later over a dozen confessions. Many of the
suspects had ties to the Los Angeles arts community and to each other. In spite of all this, no one was ever charged
and the murder now known as "The Black Dahlia" murder was never solved.
In recent years there have been strong accusations that a photographer, George Hodel was the murderer and used the
Black Dahlia as a real life canvass to one up some of his art friends, Man Ray being the main one, with influences also
by Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. This accusation was made by Hodelís son.
The authors of Exquisite Corpse, Mark Nelson and Sarah Bayliss, use their expertise to show the possibilities
of these accusations. Sarah Bayliss is a writer on art and culture, being well published and Mark Nelson is a design
director in New York City where has worked with many museums and galleries.
The book is well put together, with 149 black and white and full color illustrations. Some of the art the surrealists
were doing at the time was eerily similar to the crime scene photos of Elizabeth Short. This gives the reader something
to think about.