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January 15, 2007

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Jeffersonic

This web address: http://identityclues.org/ will lead you to a site devoted to posting all of the evidence related to the savage killing of Athalia Lindsley, a former model and early television personality. (and onetime girlfriend of John F. Kennedy's older brother Joseph, which actually seems of little significance other than background info)

The case was given shoddy treatment by the A&E (?) program "City Confidential". I caught
the last 30 second recap of the case, just as the show was ending and the details wedged
in my subconscious, resurfacing when I was visiting St. Augustine, Florida recently, where the murder occured in 1974. (which eventually led me to the website)

What intrigues me most is:

1) That this shockingly brutal murder, (she was hacked to death with a machete on the front steps of her home) took place in broad daylight, in an upscale, well travelled neighborhood, the scene completely open and unobscured. The only witness HEARD the
murder and rushed outside, observing only the killer's back as he calmly walked around
a far corner of the victim's home, leaving the witness unable to make a positive I.D.

2) At the time, this killing divided the community of St. Augustine and continues to do so
to this day, in certain circles.

3) Three other murders occurred in close proximity, which seem as if they are related, and apparently were not given much attention by the police.

4) Several neighbors missed witnessing it by seconds. One of the neighbors who routinely walked past the site, taking her afternoon constitutional, was found bludgeoned to death with a concrete block not long after the initial killing, not far from
the scene of the murder. (one of the previously mentioned three)

5) The only suspect ever prosecuted, (Alan Stanford, the St. Johns County manager and
Athalia's neighbor to the south) was acquitted, even though a large amount of evidence
(which could have been planted) pointed to his guilt.

6) St. Augustine has a wild and interesting history.

This site was created by Michael Gold, who was a deputy sheriff at the time of the crime
and is now a private investigator (who edits the site). If you are interested, post a reply
in the public forum section and request "supporter access" and they will usually grant it.

This site seems to be an exhaustive study of a shocking crime that provides deep insight into the community of St. Augustine, which is a fascinating place. People who were present in the community during these events often post.

Rupe

You can see the house in the AmEx ads running recently where Ellen is meditating; looks like it was shot there.

HP

The Zombie Astronaut has posted a 1950 episode of the radio show "Somebody Knows" (an early progenitor of "America's Most Wanted") about the Black Dahlia case. It's fascinating to hear a pop-culture document of the story when it was still a hot case, and before it entered the land of true-crime myth.

Arvo

That book is undermined by Larry Harnisch, who seems to be a pretty thorough detractor, at http://www.lmharnisch.com/home.html , where you can also find "Somebody Knows". Some things of note are that the rights to Black Dahlia Avenger have been sold to New Line Cinema, and that the pictures that were supposed to have "spurred" his investigation into the Black Dahlia were not even of Elisabeth Short, and furthermore, Steve Hodel is accused of starting the investigation before his father's death, and therefore before finding those pictures (of a woman that doesn't look a thing like Beth Short). That may be why I found BDA in the "give a book, take a book" box in my laundryroom. But anyhow, Steve Hodel did present a good argument, the FBI files are aligned, and the DA did accept the evidence. I'm also a strong believer in graphology. And it's also easy for Larry Harnisch to talk-- his book has not been published yet.

Beautiful piece of architecture though.

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