A Preview Compilation of Ed Burns'
Trilogy Messages with their Decipherments
William Heirens' message written in red lipstick
on the murder victim's beige wall
If LAPD's hush-hush Black Dahlia files do not
contain all decipherment shown below, shame on 1947 LAPD!
Translations of Messages
I/Ed or Heirens [is] Dahlia's now. Bet on George [Murman] / Heirens murdering
her. Letter to follow.
Short and Ed B. are in a triangle.
Ed, George [Murman], and Betty are in a triangle.
Bett was killed and bisected in The Hirsh Apts.
Elizabeth Short and Ed B. were in a triangle
Heirens, George Murman, and Suzanne Degnan, in parallel
w' Ed. Had Murder Man fun at police: Ed Burns murdering Suzanne Degnan
[while] George Murman/Heirens murdered the Black Dahlia.
Ed, the Dahlia and [Degnan Hero] George Murman were in
a triangle. Ed "won" and. to proclaim victory, displayed the
Black Dahlia remains in a Degnan Boulevard lovers lane.
Have [regained] my mind, you/LAPD. [This was] not George Murman and Suzanne
Degnan. Dahlia murder I did was just, if I [am] Ed.
I/Ed killed and bisected the Dahlia in a hotel at 300 East Washington.
Have changed my mind [about] why you would not give me sex.
[Your] murder, which I committed, was justified.
First Stage Deciphering of First Two Messages The 1st message contains an allusion to Heirens.
Then we have "Dahlia's," after we detour Ed's
dangling-left quote ploy.1 In the jumble
of purposeful disparity below this, three huge letters stand out. They
were cut from the same letter block. The insertion mark above the huge
N is a tab marker down here. The only other big datum down here is a
zero, not an O. It says, "Head this way, and use letters exactly
like the big N." So start with the large N at the tab . . . and
N-O-W we have it. And now we see why Ed used the crummy-grammar "is." It
bolstered the allusion, then was a true-message word. An "are" would've
muddled the allusion and fogged the true meaning of this message. Ed
did none of this by chance. He did it so the message would make the strange
Heirens [is] Dahlia's now.
The 1st message has more buried info than the line above.
Rest of deciphering is on pages to follow.
The 2nd message ends with the vengeful word "Avenger." During the
mid-to-late-1940s, "Avenger" conjured up "Grumman" as fast
as "Hickory-Dickory" conjures up "Dock" So take "Grumman," an
anagram if we ever saw one, switch the "r" and first "m" and
there's Heirens' bad boy, George Murman.
The mere word "Avenger" was encryption. Ed wrote the note by hand.
This message implicitly and definitely makes the crazy statement:
Black Dahlia [was murdered by] G Murman AKA
The 2nd message has more hidden info than the line above. Rest of deciphering
is on pages to follow.
1Ed's left single-quote mark
was part of his encryption, and it was a cunning ploy. He
wanted color-blind cops using B-and-W dupes to know he'd out "Dahlia's" from
a red Herald headline. Ed used the January 20 red print to
insinuate that he'd begun his 1st message before he'd seen
the January 22 Examiner. He did not want LAPD to know that
the guy in the photos with Betty was now a murderer "gone
postal" because the cops had picked up his scent, and
had pics of him . . .
A Deeper Look into Ed's First
When we first scanned this message we knew we had a dummy with an embedded
cipher right off the bat. If not, then why was the Degnan triumvirate palpably
spookifying an up-front message? We spotted the Heirens allusion. We saw G
and S. George Murman and Short/Suzanne Degnan, attached to opposite ends of
the italicized "ing." Ed chose an italicized "ing" to spotlight
G and S, and for another to-be-clear reason.
Xerox copy of Message
After segueing from a Heirens allusion through
a ready-to-use "Dahlia's" and an assembly-is-required "now" to
sentence ending, we turned our mental radar on and rescoped the scene.
We learned enough to draw lines that'll help us peer into Ed's cipher
works. Our next unraveling spot will be at "GingS." Ed has
George doing something to Short/Suzanne. Now what could that be? If we
jump to a conclusion we'll be right, but let's let Ed's puzzle tell us.
Insertion markers can point up or down. A "T" and a huge zero
are directly and unrandomly below "ing." And "T" and
the flat left side of the zero point upwards at "ing." The
vectors intersect smack dab in the middle of "ing." It looks
like "T" is winching zero up to fuse it with "ing." The
fusing is what Ed wants us to see. So George is zeroing Short/Suzanne?
Yes, where zeroing means offing, snuffing, rubbing out, killing her.
And we've almost zeroed the cipher . . . We notice the "T's" tilt
goofily in "Letter." The 1st "T" points directly
at the wobbly-appearing "e" in "BeloNGingS": it says, "We
belong together." The 2nd "T" points at the area between
L and 0: it says, "After you insert, skip L." And the front
edge of the "e" slab is an insertion marker aiming at the 1st "T":
the dutiful slot between the "e" and L slabs shows where the "e" slab
edge is aiming; the "e" slant emphasizes the function of the
slab edge. So we have: "Bet on George killing Short/Suzanne." Because
of previous work, and because Betty is now a Suzanne Degnan doll, we
can pronoun the sentence to: "Bet on George murdering her." Second-stage decipherment of
the 1st message is:
Heirens [is] Dahlia's now. Bet on George [Murman]/
Heirens murdering her. Letter to follow.
A Cleaner, Sharper Look into
Ed's First Message
Let's get a cleaner, clearer copy of Ed's 1st message.
OK . . . Now we'll see
whether or not we missed anything. Let's examine the top/address line; and
deal with the suspicious shapes of two slabs . . .
Copy of Message
Does anything jump out at us from the top/address line?
Yes . . . At least three
things. The word "OTHER" is strange. Why is this word conspicuously
and italicized? The encryptor wanted us to notice it and mull it over. OK .
. . The "O" is spaced to stand out from the other letters; and the "R" is
oriented to stand
out. The encryptor wanted us to perceive "OR" as separate from "THE" .
. . In
the "papers" we see a weird "p." We'll find a "p" in Ed's 2nd message which
just like this 1st message "p." Pretty peculiar . . .
Now let's recheck the 2nd line. Look at words "Here" and "is":
note that each
is intactly contained in a single newscutting slab, and that each of the two
a conspicuous pointer in the upper right corner. And we see that Ed the Encryptor
shaded each pointer. I'd say Ed did this to point peepers at pointers, and
clearly show where each pointer points. Hmmmm . . .
And where does each pointer point? OK, I see
. . . there, and there. And there
must be at least one more pointer directed into the address line . . . And
I spy two
more: that versatile, bidirectional exclamatory device, and the single left
let's draw, and find out what Ed lined up for us . . .
Ed's pointer targets are: "E," "i," "O," and "R." The
contextual decipherment of
this is: "I/Ed or . . ." You and I know "E" means "Ed." Neither of us knew
receipt of Ed Burns' 1st message. But Ed's three messages comprise a trilogy,
not three unrelated messages. Several times in his next two messages,
Ed will assure
us that sans "S" in the blend, "E = Ed" is truth throughout his trilogy. So
forsaking rigor in using the equation in decryption of Ed's 1st Black
installment . . .
Third-stage decipherment of the 1st message:
or Heirens [is] Dahlia's now. Bet on George [Murman]/Heirens
murdering her. Letter to follow.
The Symbolic Love Triangles
in Ed's First Message
Wow!Crypto-guyEd Burns was resourceful
with dummy data. And we are
not finished with his 1st message. So let's erase pointer lines and rescope
message . . . And while rescoping, let's cogitate these ponderables: (1) A
cryptogram might mix crypto text with crypto graphics; (2) Ed's 1st
already has Ed Burns competing with Heirens for the Dahlia's affection . .
Copy of Message
. . . OK . . . we're still eyeballing . . . And we're
searching for some rectilinear
graphic which alludes to a Burns, Heirens, Black Dahlia competition/triangle.
expect Ed to use initials to define sides or vertices . . . And sure enough,
two triangles defined by initials of the Black Dahlia-murder makers.
Let's draw the two triangles, then survey the geometric
situation . . . Are these
triangles a random fluke? Don't bet on it. Odds against it are prohibitive,
against Dahlia remains having been remains of two women. Can we be sure
this? Absolutely . . . Here's why:
They're two triangles in close
proximity; they're isosceles triangles; they're similar triangles; they were born in a cryptographical
neighborhood; they ditto
neighborhood gossip. Burns ensured that thinking people of at least
intelligence would deduce that these triangles were not born of
The larger triangle has vertices E, S and B. This triangle
lends itself to a legwise
interpretation. Encryptor Ed saw the three legs of this "love" triangle as
rightside-leg ES equals Elizabeth Short; leftside-leg EB equals Ed B. Elizabeth
Ed share vertex E. Decryption of the larger triangle is:
Short and Ed B. are in a triangle.
The smaller triangle has vertices E, G and
B. Ed saw the three vertices of this
love triangle as the players: vertex E equals Ed; vertex G equals George;
equals Betty. Decryption of the smaller triangle is:
George [Murman], and Betty are in a triangle.
A Deeper Look into Ed's Second Message
At first glimpse of this message we saw essential content. But more was going
on than Avenger/Grumman/G Murman anagrammatism.
In his 1st message, Ed sank a broken word of his true message in a sea of dissimilarity.
In his 3rd message, start letters of words he truly wanted to say were start
letters of "dummy" words. And he had throwaway data: the words in
small, dull print.
These are common encryption methods. There are many methods with countless
variations. Last letters of dummy words could be start letters in a hidden
message. If there's a pattern, the data is decipherable. And a key would be
helpful. In Ed's case, the constant key/theme was "Suzanne Degnan murder."
Xerox copy of Message
Like Finibrown said, this message starts with
an allusion to Heirens. And Ed has his "insertion marker":
a T-stem aimed at the missing N . . . Let's draw a line through the
middle of letters ending the first two lines. Let's next draw a line
through the letter in the middle of the 2nd line and the letter ending
the 3rd line. Our two lines look to be perfectly parallel.
As if Ed had planned it. He had. One line connects a G and an M,
the other line connects an S and a D. And familiar players in Ed's
twisted show are about to show: George Murman and Suzanne Degnan.
And we see that any Wed A.M. would've been fine w' Ed.
Second-stage decipherment of the 2nd message is:
Heirens, George Murman, and Suzanne Degnan,
in parallel w' Ed, had Murder Man fun at police: George Murman/Heirens
murdered the Black Dahlia.
Why didn't Ed tip us off about the WED to w' Ed
thing? He did. The top of W isn't as high as the top of E, but with
days of the week and with all other words in Ed's first four lines
the first letter is the highest letter. Look at J in Jan. Why didn't
W in WED get the same treatment? Because cap E in "w' Ed" didn't
want it. But the Degnan trio did want to be w' Ed for parallelism.
the Address Side, Part 1 Part 1 is a primer for Part 2. It sizes up the Euclidean situation
Los Angeles Examiner Tuesday, January 28, 1947
The expert is eyeballing the Avenger side of the
postcard. But did he scan the address side? Ed Burns took his cryptology
to the far side of his Dahlia Murder Sphere. I think we should backstop
the expert. See the Xerox of the address side of the card? Give it
your best-shot perusal . . .
Well, did you see them? The gang's all
there: Elizabeth Short and Ed Burns, and William Heirens an even the
murder motive are there symbolically . . .
You didn't see all of them? That's OK, we'll puzzle out Ed's cryptowork piece
Scene-stealer Ed is in the letter column directly above the peculiar splotch
mark. The bold mark is under an Examiner E and the Broadway D. This mark serves
as a Burns "T function": it's a tricky column marker . . . And surely
it is pure coincidence that the perfectly columnated "ED" letters
are directly above the bold mark. Riiiiight! You and I know it's pure Ed Burns.
Let's pretend we don't know that. Let's say the letters refer to an "Ed," or
to someone with initials "E, D" or "D, E."
OK, what is the wispy mark in the lower left corner all about? Measurement
shows that the goofy marks plus the apex of the LA A define a perfect isosceles
triangle, with the marks defining the base. Address-side encryption is just
about triangles? No. If so, the marks would be look-alikes. This encryption
is about letters E and D, and triangles . . .
Cryptography on the Address Side, Part
2 In Part 1 we found three points in need of a perfect
isosceles triangle. Let's let them define a perfect isosceles triangle.
The encryptor made the triangle isosceles so that: (1) LA A and the strange
marks would loom as potential vertices; (2) There would be no doubt that the
triangle was "meant to be."
But we drew two triangles. After we drew the 1st one, two "Is" inspired
us to keep drawing. The lst "1" points at the LA A, and says: "Here's
the apex vertex of an isosceles triangle." The 4th "1" points
at cap E, and says: "Make this guy an apex vertex in an isosceles triangle." We
The "alpha" triangle has vertices E, S and B. Letters "E" and "S" allude
to Elizabeth Short. We now can resolve that ambiguity involving letters "D" and "E." Simple
logic tells us they allude to an "Ed." And Ed has sent us a convoluted "love" triangle.
The leftside leg, ES, is the Elizabeth Short leg. The rightside leg, EB, is
the Ed B leg. Ed and Elizabeth share vertex E. But Ed and Elizabeth are a duo.
How could they be a triangle? To Ed it was elementary: Elizabeth was a couple;
she carried William Heirens into the geometry via her Degnan-murder obsession.
The decryption of the address side supplements the decryption of the 1st message.
It also smooths the segue to the 2nd-message decryption. The decryption of
the 1st-message proclaims, "I/Ed or Heirens is
Dahlia's now." Decryption of the address side of the Avenger postcard
Elizabeth Short and Ed B.
were in a triangle.
So now we know
. . . Ed Burns chose the LA Examiner because of its mailing address: "L.
A. Examiner, 1111 S. Broadway" provided fertile fodder for his
OK, Black Dahlia-puzzle fans, let's flip the postcard and deal with Ed's 2nd/Avenger
message . . .