On the 70th anniversary of one of the most mysterious murders in Los Angeles, new podcast Hollywood & Crime aims to investigate the grizzly case and reveal new information that could finally have the answer. Who killed the Black Dahlia?
In 1947, Hollywood hopeful Elizabeth Short was the victim of one of the most publicized murders in US history. Her body was found in two pieces early on a cold January morning, and while over 50 people have confessed to killing the woman who would become known as the “Black Dahlia”, the case goes unsolved to this day.
Hollywood & Crime is a new show from Wondery that explores up to a dozen other murders that happened around the same time, and asks if these seemingly unconnected events could be pieces of a much larger mystery.
Hosted by LA history connoisseur Tracy Pattin, the podcast blends storytelling and sound design together in a really neat and unique way that makes the events of 70 years ago feel as fresh and relevant as ever.
It seems almost a discredit to the hard work that goes into true crime shows like Hollywood & Crime to constantly compare them to Serial, WBEZ’s ridiculously popular anthology series, but it’s inevitable.
What made the first season of Serial so good was how the key players in the case were part of the action, telling the story alongside host Sarah Koenig. But with the length of time between 1947 and now, Hollywood & Crime doesn’t have this luxury.
Instead, the show blends reality and drama as reenacted vignettes are used to immerse the audience in the story. Some of these best moments come when police officers are giving statements about the murders described in the show to the press. Instead of being a jarring blend of fact and fiction, these moments add to the narrative of the show in a way that’s so unique.
It’s important that we try to honestly evaluate podcasts in terms of their merits, instead of comparing them to shows of the past. Hollywood & Crime isn’t the new Serial– but that’s not a bad thing.
Instead, it’s a genuinely interesting and gruesome peek into the golden age of Hollywood, and a show that’ll have you hooked from the start.