a Moment of Silence, PleaseToday is the anniversary of the Feb. 10, 1947, Jeanne French murder. Frequently linked to the Black Dahlia in the popular imagination and absurdly claimed as one of the umpteen victims of Dr. George “Evil Genius” Hodel in “Black Dahlia Avenger,” French was a tragic, broken-down alcoholic. Spending the last night of her life in a Westside cafe, she dumped the contents of her purse on the bar and picked through the debris in hopes of finding enough money for just one more drink. She had no paper money, nothing more than a few coins. Whoever killed her beat her with the handle of a socket wrench, pushed her out of his car into the street and stomped on her until a rib broke and punctured her heart. A bleak, terrible death.
Her son, David Wrather, told the coroner’s inquest: “She’s gone now and I’m sure she would want me to say the right thing—she made a lot of her own trouble.”