Thursday, September 6, 2012

Secrets & Conspiracies

The inspiration for my spread in Dorie's "Secrets & Conspiracies" came from a recent visit to the Museum of Death in Hollywood, California.  It's not a museum for the faint of heart.  There are grisly, gruesome photos of murders, fatal accidents and executions.  I found it absolutely fascinating!
Caution:  Do not read this next paragraph if you are easily offended. 
My favorite room was the "Serial Killer Archives."  In this room was a collection of letters and artwork of some of history's most notorious serial killers.  Again, it was so fascinating to me how these twisted minds could be so creative.  One serial killer crafted pop-up cards.  They were perverse, obscene and crudely constructed, but they were pop-ups nonetheless.  And you know how I am a fan of pop-ups!  The most intriguing piece however was a series of miniature jointed nude human figures--not more than an inch tall--engaging in various sexual positions.  Ingeniously powered by a "windmill" created from a single playing card, the figures actually move when you gently blow on the windmill.  The power source (windmill) and figures together fit into a plastic cassette tape case (remember those?)  Eight different cassettes were showcased here.  Fascinating.
The collection at the Museum of Death in Hollywood would not be complete without a section about the infamous "Black Dahlia" murder.  Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia, was brutally murdered and dismembered in Los Angeles in 1947.  Her murder has never been solved.  It was a sensational crime in its day--and even by today's standards.  I was compelled to do a spread on the Black Dahlia.
My spread resembles the desk of a weary detective mulling over the information gathered during the investigation.  Over the years, the pages have yellowed and the photos have faded.  Her image is so haunting.  It is hard to believe that her death remains unsolved to this day.


  1. Sounds fascinating. I saw a documentary a couple of years ago about the Black Dahlia and then read the book. Just one of many fascinating mysteries in real life.

  2. Just this week I was looking through a website with old police photos, from the 20's through the 50's. It was fascinating. I started out looking for old police reports to use as the background for an Edgar Allen Poe book I'm making, and ended up browsing some pretty morbid photos.

    Those little cassette works of art sound fascinating. I guess these demented minds are very detail oriented.