Friday, April 14, 2006

Blogging the Wolfe Book, How to Fake a Document

I have ceased blogging in real time as I read Donald H. Wolfe’s “The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles.” Wolfe uses the “Laura” format, in which the anonymous, butchered body is found and the narrative proceeds in flashbacks.

As we discovered yesterday, the alleged memo on Page 198 of Wolfe’s book is a fake, pasted together from two unrelated documents.

Today, let’s see how it was done.

First, here’s a scan of the book, just to show Wolfe’s handiwork.

Now, our raw material.

First, a memo from the district attorney’s office dated Oct. 28, 1949.

We snip off the top here:

But it's tricky to delete the date as Wolfe does, so I'm leaving it. Note the raised "t" in the word "Attorney" on the third line. A sure giveaway that this is our source.

Next we take Pages 13-14 of the Nov. 23, 1949, document “Evidence and Declarations Tending to Connect or Disconnect Leslie Dillon to the Murders of Elizabeth Short, Jeanne French and Gladys Kern.”

Page 13

Page 14

And here’s our snippage, except I've intentionally done a clumsy job.


Paste it together and it looks very much like this:

Now to be fair, I think Donald H. Wolfe should get a chance to defend himself, so I’m going to write him an e-mail and see what he has to say.

Time for my walk….

Shout out to:

London: (

Los Angeles AOL subscriber ( 19 hours.

My pals at Dark Horse Comics (

Hurry back!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your pain has been my great, great pleasure! I am thoroughly enjoying your 'review.' (OK, for the record, I skipped to the last link to see how you ended it...) You have done some solid work.

1:39 PM  

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