39th & Norton to-day

Having been to 39th and Norton more times than I care to remember, may I direct you here:



Larry notes: Hi. Despite what you read everywhere, Elizabeth Short wasn’t found at 39th and Norton Avenue. She was found between 39th and Coliseum, about roughly the midpoint of the block.

To which Nathan replies: Larry is correct. Here’s a shot looking north on Norton, with Coliseum in the distance. I would posit that the action is a bit closer to 39th than halfway up the block, but if so, not by much–Norton is a long block here. One source has her at “54 feet north of the fire hydrant at mid-block” so there you go.


While off-topic for LA47, I still have to ask this, as I’m sure one of you out there knows… Short was bagged in Santa Barbara in ’43 (whence came that famous photo, and her post-murder ID) for underage drinking, and what I want to know is, where was she popped?

5 thoughts on “39th & Norton to-day”

  1. Ellroy is pointing to the wrong spot. According to the detective at the coroner’s inquest, “The body was 54 feet north of the fire plug toward Coliseum.â€Â Ellroy's picture looks south and there is no sign of the fire hydrant in his photo, which should be 54 feet in the background, between the sidewalk and the curb. He is correct in pointing west of the sidewalk. The body was found, not between the sidewalk and the curb, but just west of the sidewalk, put in in 1941, so it was found diagonal to the fire plug.
  2. It shouldn’t be that difficult to pinpoint the exact spot she was found. If anybody knows, it’s probaby James Ellroy. Here’s a photo of him pointing to what he claims is the spot:


    I don’t live in the LA area, but using maps.live.com, my best guess is he’s standing on the sidewalk of the 9th house south of Coliseum on the west side of Norton. The house behind him is the 10th house down.

  3. C’mon, somebody, it’s gotta be a matter of public record. Where exaclty was ES arrested in Santa Barbara? I’m not trying to be coy here, I really want to know, and I haven’t done the research. I only ask because I know Santa Barbara intimately, and let me tell you, it’s a town that puts LA’s darkness to shaaaaame.
  4. The inquest says her body was 54 feet north of the fire hydrant, and yes, that’s the same fire hydrant still there today.

    By the way, your Page 1 photo of the Daily News has been doctored by the source of that picture (as your source has done with many of his pictures). 😉 The original crime scene photo has a big arrow pointing down to body. Check the next time you’re in the microfilm.

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