When I first moved back to Los Angeles I started reading books about
LA’s strange and corrupt past, specifically the influence of the mob
and newspaper publishers on the police force and movie studios. It was
all so intriguing (and infuriating). One of the cases that often came
up was the murder of Elizabeth Short, commonly known as The Black
Dahlia Murder (please don’t ever watch the movie– it’s HORRIBLE!). A
young woman was brutally murdered and the LAPD never solved it…
because they were in on it! Before reading “The Black Dahlia Files:
The Mob, The Mogul and The Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles” by
Donald H. Wolfe (an AMAZING book that I cannot recommend highly
enough), an artist friend, Heather Gabel, and I were talking about
what potentially could have happened to Ms. Short in the days before
her body was discovered. It was pretty fun to nerd out like detectives
coming up with different scenarios. In the end we decided to make a
photo shoot out of it. We rented a room in an old Downtown LA hotel.
The entire place had been converted in to lofts except for the one
room that we shot in. Heather did her hair and make up much like
Elizabeth’s and we pulled clothes of the time from Western Costumes. I
love shooting these kind of collaborations, little scenarios that can
be styled out to fit how you envision it.
Though, I do have to admit, this shoot was a bit on the eerie side.

To see Heather’s art (often influenced by similar readings) please click here: http://heathergabel.com/

A couple of photos from the shoot: