. . . Wintertime Means Slow Change . . .
The Dahlia autopsist was Dr. Frederick D. Newbarr. His official estimate of the time of the Dahlia's death is often misrepresented. At the 1/22/47 Coroner's Inquest, Dr. Newbarr said: "It was my opinion that the appearance of the body was such that the death occurred not more than 24 hours previous to the 15th, probably less." The 1/23/47 LA Times reported that some LAPD cops thought the official estimate was on the short side . . . Previous to the 15th . . . Dahlia death at 12:01 a.m. on the 14th would be within Dr. Newbarr's estimate . . .
. . . To Have or Have Not, a Lucidity Tune-Up . . .
It's good to know what we have, and what we do not have . . . when we are changing a "do not have" to a "have." In the following Time Flies section, we're going to figure out where Ed Burns must have resided at murder time, and how he must have been getting to and from Los Angeles. It won't be rocket science, it won't even be complicated. It won't be guesswork. Ed gave it away: this was not in his plan . . . But determination of residence area and travel mode travels with an assumption: Ed Burns did not reside in Mexico.
So what do we have/know? Related to the paragraph above, we know that Ed Burns alias Barnes was the guy on page 13 of the FBI Black Dahlia file. We know this from The Karma and The Man. And if we wanted more evidence, we could consider the January time window, 10th through 15th, and the flight from arrest, late-February: these go with Ed Burns like Black goes with Dahlia. And we know that Ed Burns killed Elizabeth Short. We know this from Ed, himself: decipherment of his cryptic trilogy and his suicide message.
. . . Means Means Time, and Time Flies . . .
"Unemployed," "spends money freely," "one-day trips." What's wrong with this picture? Big clash between the first two quotations. Right . . . So let's add one quotation: "abortionist." Ed did do abortions. Abortionists are unemployed as far as pay stubs and income tax are concerned . . . Ed Burns had become a one-job man: an abortionist, a successful one. Ed's fertile abortion grounds were Hollywould and El Lay. The FBI found out Q BURNS was residing outside California at the time of the Dahlia murder. I ask you, Dahlia buffs, is a mental-case abortionist likely to move out of range of his livelihood? Are "psychotic," and "idiotic," synonyms? Of course not! Then where was Ed's residence at the time of the Dahlia murder?
Here's a hot clue: think "one-day trips" . . . Hmmmmmm . . . Ed must have been residing in Arizona or Nevada. And he must have been flying in and out of Southern California. But could Ed have flown to LA, done an abortion, and flown back home, in one day? Easily! And he'd have had time to kill. Sorry . . .
And we can track Ed's residence to the Cal-bordered Sunbelt in a different way. Barnes became the prime Dahlia-murder suspect as a fallout of checking into the HIRSH with the Dahlia. From Karma and Man sections, plus common sense, we know Barnes was the FBI-file page 13 guy. For now, forget that the FBI ID'd him: he's plain ol' Barnes. The FBI did the background investigation on this guy . . . The FBI file indicates Barnes was at his not-in-California home on January 14. A cop who knew Barnes saw him. A dated receipt showed Barnes was home on January 14. But three LA moteliers saw Barnes in the LA Harbor area on the evening of January 14. HIRSH managers saw Barnes in LA at about 10:30 a.m. on the 15th. Later on the 15th, Barnes and an unwitting accomplice to an alibi departed Barnes' home in a car and motored for California, to pick up Barnes' wife and drive her home . . . And how was Barnes traveling between his not-in-California home and LA so swiftly, in pre-jet-age 1947? He must've lived in Nevada, or Arizona. And he had to be flying . . . OK . . . Ed Burns plotted a "H I R S H corners" rectangle to show us he had X'd out the Black Dahlia in the HIRSH. So Burns was the Barnes who'd checked in with the Dahlia. Therefore, Ed Burns lived in Nevada, or Arizona, and was flying to and from LA. QED.
In what city/town did Ed Burns reside? I'd say Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, or Flagstaff. They each had an airport, not necessarily a Western Airlines kind of place, but perfect for the type of plane Ed would likely have used.
. . . "Two Places at Once" is a Giveaway, Not an Alibi . . .
Ed was seen in and out of California on January 14 and on January 15. Had he not been sighted out of CA on those days, we wouldn't've had the necessary info to puzzle out his travel mode and area of residence. In being seen in LA on the 14th and 15th of January, Burns blew his alibi. This will be explained later.
. . . And 1947 was a Good Year for Flying . . .
World War II was recent history. There were many young war-veteran pilots around who were not ready to end their flying days just because the Grumman Avengers and their warbird ilk were grounded. The major airlines were unable to absorb all of these diehard pilots, so many of them found work with the smaller, commuter-type airlines. And some of the diehards flew commuter-type routes as wildcatters . . . For his Dahlia-murder flights, Burns had to dictate departure times. If Ed didn't fly the airplane himself during his Black Dahlia marathon, he must've flown via a wildcatter.
By the mid-1940s, several airplanes could've handled the Dahlia wingathon with performance to spare. Examples: Beech 17 Staggerwing, Stinson SR-10 Reliant, Cessna T-50 Bobcat. These are larger than light planes, smaller than DC-3s. Each plane could have made a one-way between Las Vegas and LA in an hour-and-a-half, and a one-way between Phoenix/Tucson/Flagstaff and LA in about two-and-a-half hours. Ed Burns' Black Dahlia-alibi requirements would have been no problem whatsoever to these 1940s aircraft . . .
OK . . . The pilots were available and the planes were capable. What about the weather situation on January 9, January 10, January 14, and January 15 of 1947? Zero precipitation; normal winds; superb flying conditions throughout the entire area of interest. Even the meteorological elements were working against Elizabeth Short!