March 18, 1947
St. Louis, MO
Melvin Bailey, 25, interrupted his own interrogation for car theft today, telling police, “Let’s forget about cars. I’ve got something hot. Let me tell you about the murder.”
Bailey claimed that he had been out on a date with Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles in January, during which he consumed a cocktail of coffee and Benzedrine. When Miss Short declined his offer of a trip to the East, he struck her head with the butt of a Marine combat knife. He then bissected the young lady in the back of a stolen car parked in the manufacturing district, dumping the remains in the notorious vacant lot at 39th and Norton.
From there, Bailey claimed, he drove to the home of acquaintance William E. Hughes (1710 Cerritos Ave., Long Beach), changed into one of Hughes’ suits, caught a bus to San Francisco, and later moved on to St. Louis. When reached by police, Hughes said he hadn’t seen Bailey in six months, had found no bloody clothing in his home, nor was one of his suits missing. However, Hughes’ landlady, Mrs. Ellen Scaife did recall a man matching Bailey’s description attempting to enter Hughes’ home around the time of Short’s murder.
Police Captain Jack Donahoe was quoted as saying Bailey was a “very good suspect.”