Don't try to find me." When interviewed, lead investigator Captain Jack Donahue told the press that he believed Short's murder had taken place in a remote building or shack on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and her body transported into the city where it was disposed of.
Based on the precise cuts and dissection of Short's corpse, the LAPD looked into the possibility that the murderer may have been a surgeon, doctor, or someone with medical knowledge.
Troubled by bronchitis and severe asthma attacks, Short underwent lung surgery at age fifteen, after which doctors suggested she relocate to a milder climate during the winter months to prevent further respiratory problems.
During the next three years, Short lived in Florida during the winter months and spent the rest of the year in Medford with her mother and sisters.
In her sophomore year, Short dropped out of Medford High School.
Shortly after, she took a job at the base exchange at Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base), near Lompoc, California, living with several friends, and briefly with an Air Force sergeant who was reportedly abusive to her.
She would acquire the nickname of the Black Dahlia posthumously, as newspapers of the period often nicknamed particularly lurid crimes; the term may have originated from a film noir murder mystery, The Blue Dahlia, released in April 1946.