Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer: The Identity of America's Most Notorious Serial Murderer--Revealed at Last” as Want to Read:
Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer: The Identity of America's Most Notorious Serial Murderer--Revealed at Last
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer: The Identity of America's Most Notorious Serial Murderer--Revealed at Last

2.78 of 5 stars 2.78  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  18 reviews
It is one of the most enduringly fascinating crimes in American history. On January 15, 1947, passersby made a grisly discovery in a vacant lot in Los Angeles: the body of a naked young woman, cut in two, and savagely mutilated. The victim was identified as Elizabeth Short, a struggling Hollywood actress. Nicknamed the Black Dahlia by a headline-hungry press, her lurid dem ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Pocket Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 289)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Janice Knowlton's story is (was) most surely one of "false memory syndrome". I picked up this book on a Dahlia reading craze knowing the likely-hood that this book would have "the answer" was slim to none. I was of course, right. There were way too many inconsistancies with what we already know about the Black Dahlia Murder for anything she writes about to be fact.

That being said, I found this book fascinating as someone who is studying to be a clinical psychologist. The amount of emotional di
This is a sleazy book about the "true" accounts of Janice Knowlton's fathers murder of Elizabeth Short aka Black Dahlia. This unsolved murder has spawned many novels, true crime books and movies/tv shows. This book is a disturbing read if any of it is true. The author apparantly was outed as a fraud and maybe her father was a sex offender, but this is really a bizarre book.
Jan 03, 2008 Jennie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: True Crime fans/ Black Dahlia obsessed
One star for the title alone. Fabulous title. Appparently, the author (now deceased) had some severe emotional issues. Let's just leave her be.

There is no way the stuff in the book could have happened as she claims...lots and lots of inconsistencies and impossibilities.

But, wow, what a title, huh?
Alex Severin
This woman's story is completely fascinating.

I personally believe that Janice Knowlton is suffering from False Memory. I do believe, however, that she suffered abuse, but I do not believe that the Black Dahlia connection is real. It's not that I think she is lying, I just think her fractured psyche is attempting to make sense of the abuse she suffered and is linking it to something that was prominent in the news during that time.

Nevertheless, if you're into the whole Black Dahlia thing (and I
Not a good book at all. It would've been better if I came at it to read it as just a fictional novel--as a "true" story, it's terrible. The author's number one claim throughout the entirety of the read is, "My dad was a total f*cking psychopath, and all this graphic stuff really happened...but all the evidence to prove it has either been lost over time (such as her supposed documents to show she was absent from school due to her father taking her on his killing sprees with him), or changed by th ...more
Obviously this woman has some issues to work out so I'll leave my critique of her alone.

I think that a lot of their "hard" evidence supporting her claims is just too broad to be convincing. The main things they focus on are murders in the general areas of where the family was living at the times. But to say that every woman beat to death in the area was him is just a little on the vague side as (unfortunately) that's a pretty common murder method. And the parts that detail the Black Dahlia's
I can't really decide whether or not I believe this is someone's pathetic attempt to cash in on one of the most notorious unsolved crimes ever or if this poor lady actually believes her dad was a monster. (And here I thought I had parental issues!)

In any event, I thought her recalled memories of watching Dad do horrible things were far-fetched and the entire theory circumstantial.

I do have a passion for true crime books and there was a lot of information regarding the Black Dahlia murder, but I'
Lindsey Hazlett
This is the only book I have ever started that I have been unable to finish. I have to give it 5 stars- it was fantastic, however, I couldn't do it. This is the easily most graphic book I have EVER read/heard of. Throughout the book, Janice knowlton is telling about her childhood experiences with rape and abuse. It was terrifying to read.
I picked up this book in intention of a gross murder tale. But, this book wasn't a murder tale. It was drowned in incest and rape.
If you're going to read this
Sandy Miller
Holy crap what a terrible childhood the author had if this book is to be believed. Being based on "recovered memories" makes me a little suspicious, and maybe just the horror that is portrayed makes me not want to believe that any of it happened. Definitely not for the squeamish or tender hearted.
I gave this book 4 stars because it was a good read. However, I highly doubt that Janice Knowlton's father actually killed Elizabeth Short.
If true... Wow and sick.. But I have my serious doubts... All seems a wee bit far fetched... And if untrue... A sad attempt at fame by making money off a poor lonely aspiring actresses terrible demise.
I read this book years ago. I don't remember it clearly, but I remember I enjoyed it. I think it may have started my interest in true crime stories.
very sad,very explicit book...i almost wonder if its true...but then truth can be stranger than fiction
Jessica T.
LOL.. every father living in California at the time was Ms Shorts killer.
An interesting concept but a little forced.
Feb 05, 2008 Chong added it
Very dark and disturbing.
a bit goofy, but okay.
Susan Skinner
Susan Skinner marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
Jalen marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2014
Melissa marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2014
Charlotte Gates
Charlotte Gates marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2014
Tasha marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2014
Matthew Crump
Matthew Crump marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2014
Susan is currently reading it
Oct 09, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Serial Killers (True Crime Series)
  • Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper
  • Serial Killers
  • Depraved: The Definitive True Story of H.H. Holmes, Whose Grotesque Crimes Shattered Turn-Of-The-Century Chicago
  • Eternal Defilement: A Story of Betrayal, Abuse and Destruction
  • Nightmare in Wichita: The Hunt For The BTK Strangler
  • Vice: One Cop's Story of Patrolling America's Most Dangerous City
  • Predator
  • 501 Most Notorious Crimes
  • Zodiac Unmasked: The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killer Revealed
  • Cries in the Desert
  • Lethal Intent
  • Curbchek-The Box Set
  • The Still Before Dawn
  • On the Run : A Mafia Childhood
  • Buried Dreams: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer
  • This Family of Mine: What It Was Like Growing Up Gotti
  • Scrag - Up the Hill Backwards
From Wikipedia:
"Michael Newton (born 1951) is an American author best known for his work on Don Pendleton's Mack Bolan series. Newton first began work on the Executioner series by co-writing "The Executioner's War Book" with Don Pendleton in 1977. Since then he has been a steady writer for the series with almost 90 entries to his credit, which triples the amount written by creator Don Pendleton. H
More about Mike Newton...
The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers Armed and Dangerous: A Writer's Guide to Weapons Hunting Humans: An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers The Trial (Mack Bolan The Executioner, #91) Doomsday Disciples (Mack Bolan The Executioner, #49)

Share This Book