In 2003 a retired Los Angeles Police Dept. homicide detective, Steve Hodel, found several pictures of her among papers left by his late father George, a former surgeon. Upon further investigation, he discovered that his father had been a prime suspect in her murder. The police at the time believed that because her body had been so precisely dismembered, only a skilled physician could have done it. George Hodel was not only a surgeon but it turned out that he had been carrying on an affair with her. After police initially questioned him about his relationship he fled the country to the Philippines, abandoning his family, and never returned. Steven Hodel now believes that his father was actually a serial killer who murdered at least a dozen women, including her, and that he fled the country because he was tipped off that he was a suspect in her murder by corrupt police with whom he was running an illegal abortion practice.
The Regal Biltmore Hotel added a Black Dahlia cocktail to its menu after her death.
This infamous murder has been the subject of intense and sometimes bizarre speculation and theorizing. At least six authors claim to have solved the murder, each offering a different solution. Two separate and unrelated people have published sensationalistic books claiming that their fathers committed the crime. Another author suggested filmmaker Orson Welles as the killer. Author and screenwriter Donald H. Wolf has written yet another book on the case, to be published in 2005, promising to implicate an as-yet-unnamed "Hollywood mogul" in the crime.
Was last seen alive January 9, 1947, when she went to meet her sister at The Regal Biltmore Hotel (506 South Grand Avenue) in Los Angeles.
Buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California, Alameda County Section 66 Marker 798.