Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Esotouric offers Black Dahlia crime bus tour Jan. 7

Bus Tour Rolls On the 65rd Anniversary of the Black Dahlia's Disappearance

WHAT: 65rd Anniversary Edition of Esotouric's Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus
WHEN: Saturday January 7, 12pm-4pm
WHERE: Departing from The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 5th & Olive, L.A.
COST: $58/person
INFO: , 323-223-2767

On January 7, the eclectic bus adventure company Esotouric
offers a special anniversary edition of its most popular true crime tour,
THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA, on the 65rd Anniversary of the notorious kidnapping.
It was January 9, 1947 when Beth Short left the Biltmore Hotel for a nearby
bar and vanished, only to be found cut in two in a vacant Crenshaw District
lot six days later.

Since January 1947, this one iconic murder mystery has lingered unsolved at
the forefront of the American imagination, with dozens of books, films and
websites dedicated to solving the slaying of Beth Short, the Massachusetts
girl who came to Hollywood hoping to make it, and ended up cut in two in a
vacant lot. Suspects in the Black Dahlia murder have included L.A. Times
publisher Norman Chandler and Orson Welles, crazed lesbians, twisted
drifters and more than one writer's father, but still the mystery abides.

The Real Black Dahlia tour dedicates itself to revealing who victim
Elizabeth Short really was by exploring her life in Los Angeles from mid
1946 to her January 1947 murder through examination of the police
investigation and news coverage. The various theories are up for discussion
during the onboard Q&A sections, and the hosts share their idea of who the
killer might have been, but the focus is firmly on the 22-year-old woman
whose death continues to fascinate. Along the way, passengers will explore
the social history of postwar Los Angeles and its lively downtown scene and
learn the role the city played in Short's mysterious death.

The tour begins at the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, where Beth
Short went after checking her bags at the Greyhound Terminal. Passengers
will tour the beautifully restored hotel before heading south, to the low
rent Olive Street bar where she met her murderer. The Downtown portion of
the tour includes the Examiner newspaper offices, where the crime became
myth as pioneering female City Editor Aggie Underwood spun the case for
weeks, and the Figueroa Hotel, where Short stayed in happier times.

The bus then heads west towards Leimert Park and the formerly vacant lot
where Short's bisected body was discovered on January 15, 1947. Also in this
neighborhood, passengers visit the site of another unsolved 1940s
kidnap-murder and the home of Dr. Walter Bayley, who has emerged in recent
years as the most compelling suspect, with his personal ties to Beth Short's
family and the crime scene, and the surgical skill needed to bisect the
body. The tour includes a cop-approved snack stop for coffee and donuts near
the body dump site.

The tour concludes at the Biltmore, where passengers may choose to linger
over a late afternoon tea to remember Beth Short.

Also featured: a special presentation from cosmetics historian Joan Renner
exploring Beth Short's unusual proto-goth make up, so different from the
popular girl next store look of 1947, and a key to understanding her

Passengers on this eye-opening and informative tour will leave with a new
understanding of the Black Dahlia case and what it was like to be a single
woman in 1940s Los Angeles. It is highly recommended for natives and
newcomers, crime and history buffs and anyone who likes to seek out the

Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule
Sat Jan 7 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Sat Jan 21 - Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles
Sat Jan 28 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California
Mon Jan 23 - The LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank featuring Dan Fante (info at
Sat Feb 4 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66
Sat Feb 25 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown
Sat March 3 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Sat March 10 - Weird West Adams crime bus tour
Sat March 17 - Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour (weekend pass available)
Sun March 18 - East Side Babylon crime bus tour (weekend pass available)

Esotouric's Richard Schave, Kim Cooper and Joan Renner are proud members of
LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.

For more info on Esotouric, visit

For more on the Dr. Walter Bayley theory, visit Larry Harnisch's "Heaven is
Here" website


Matthew Steeples said...

Fascinating reading. Here's an exhibition inspired by the murder that might interest you:

Mickie said...

Thank you for sharing the link. Interesting exhibit!

Keep on rockin;