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
Open Preview

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

2.85  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  25 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

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 2.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  240 ratings  ·  25 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer: The Identity of America's Most Notorious Serial Murderer--Revealed at Last
Ashley Daviau
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
So I’m right in the middle with this book. Some parts were incredibly interesting and gruesome but others quite nearly put me to sleep from boredom. I loved the gory descriptions of the murder but that was about the only thing that held my attention. I also thought the whole thing was kind of unbelievable so that did affect my enjoyment a bit a think. All in all it was entertaining for the murder parts but other than that, not so much.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-black-dahlia
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
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
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'
Jessica T.
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
LOL.. every father living in California at the time was Ms Shorts killer.
Maria Manvik
Nov 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
The book was very interesting at times, but also mind-numbingly-boring at times. To be clear: I don’t believe the theory presented at all, and much of the information presented in this book are not consistent with the facts of the case. I also found the author’s description of Elizabeth Short — the victim in this case — so disgusting; she literally described Short as a cheap prostitute, who would sex-traffic children for money in her own pocket. Further, the author theorized about a cover-up by ...more
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
Lurid, but not believable. I'm sure Janice Knowlton faced some childhood trauma that she's channeling, but I don't think it's what these "memories" show.

I bought it because I thought it was maybe written by the sibling of another author who's book I read, Steve Hodel (who also claims his father, another George, was the Black Dahlia killer) who wrote the very compelling, evidence filled "Black Dahlia Avenger". I had forgotten that authors name at the time, and they are obviously unrelated.

Big H
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Lindsey Hazlett
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-novels
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
Stefanie Robinson
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
I got this book for fairly cheap at a used book store, and I am glad I didn't pay more than a dollar for it. I was not impressed with this book at all. I mean, anything is possible, but I am just not buying this story. Perhaps the author did suffer from False Memory, as some other reviews suggest. Parts of this book were really interesting, and made me believe that she believed what she saw. Other parts of it were just terribly dull. I do not recommend. ...more
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was a very hard book to read, not only because of some of the very graphic images of murder, but also because there is a lot of information and history and sometimes it was hard to keep up with who was whom and what relationship they had to each other. I think giving the history and background of people that only appeared briefly made it harder to follow. It is however and interesting story.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read! The author explains that an operation that changed her hormones around caused her to cough up the repressed memory of witnessing the murder of Elizabeth Short. I raced to buy this after seeing Oprah interview her. Very hard to put down and one of the most entertaining I-know-who-REALLY-killed-the-Black-Dahlia stories out there.
Sandy Miller
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Oct 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jan 26, 2008 rated it liked it
a bit goofy, but okay.
Keri Goddard
Feb 17, 2010 rated it did not like it
Not Impressed
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like books like this. A background of a killer!!
Feb 05, 2008 added it
Very dark and disturbing.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: used-to-own
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. ...more
Dec 06, 2008 rated it liked it
very sad,very explicit book...i almost wonder if its true...but then truth can be stranger than fiction
Alicia Ritter
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2012
Cathy Lynn Bungard
rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2012
rated it did not like it
Jul 03, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2008
rated it liked it
Mar 31, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty
  • Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation
  • The 1939-1940 New York World's Fair (Images of America: New York)
  • I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
  • The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy
  • It's Always Something
  • I Know an Old Lady
  • Children Make Terrible Pets
  • The Complete Adventures of Curious George
  • Curious George
  • Snowmen at Night
  • My Monster Mama Loves Me So
  • The Perfect Stranger
  • Enemies of the Secret Hide-Out
  • Black Dahlia: The Story of America’s Most Gruesome Murder
  • Introducing Nietzsche: A Graphic Guide (Introducing...)
  • Black Dahlia, Red Rose: The Crime, Corruption, and Cover-Up of America's Greatest Unsolved Murder
  • The Wild Robot (The Wild Robot, #1)
See similar books…

Related Articles

“I'm in a weird place because the book is about to come out. So I'm basically just walking around like a raw nerve and I'm not sure that I...
41 likes · 8 comments