The death of wannabe starlet Elizabeth Short became entwined in Ellroys mind with the murder of his mother and inspired his bestselling novel
I had written six novels before Dahlia, but my primary income throughout this time had come not from books, but from being a golf caddy. At first, I worked at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, but around the time my first book, Browns Requiem, was published in 1981, I moved to Westchester County, about half an hour outside New York City. I had first heard about what became known as the Black Dahlia murder case the horrifying and unsolved violent death of wannabe starlet Elizabeth Short in late 1940s Los Angeles, just a few months after the unsolved murder of my mother, Geneva Hilliker Ellroy, in 1958, when I was 10 years of age. That, as you can imagine, betrothed me to crime. The cases became entwined in my mind, and my intellectual curiosity has stayed focused on crime lo these many decades.