'American Horror Story' Black Dahlia Episode Went Too Far


American Horror Story isn't a show that is known for pulling punches, and the "Spooky Little Girl" episode featuring The Black Dahlia murder victim was no different. The show has had rapes, murders, stabbings, school shootings, and homophobic attacks, half of which all happened in the same episode. But bringing a real murder into the house and fictionalizing it seems like going a bit too far.

The Black Dahlia remains one of Los Angeles' most notorious unsolved mystery cases. The mutilated corpse of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short was found in LA by a young mother back in 1947. She was a beautiful actress from Massachusetts who was trying to make it in Hollywood, but instead met a gruesome end. The story is tragic and so, so sad, and yet, because of her looks, it was sensationalized, made front page news, and spawned 1,000 rumors.

The truth about who Short was isn't clear. Some say she was an escort. Some say she had deformed genitalia and couldn't even perform sexually. Still others say she was neither of those things and was engaged to be married. What is clear is that she wasn't as she was portrayed by Mena Suvari on American Horror Story. **Spoilers ahead**

On the show she was sweet and somewhat naive, but she was also seductive and clearly using her sexuality to charm men. It's intriguing to use such a notorious real case on the show, but the fact is, Short was likely not accidentally killed and the person who chopped her up, drained her blood, and mutilated her face wasn't a slightly drugged out ghost, but a very real, very disturbed person.

Just because something was 70 years ago doesn't make it any less terrifying and tragic. It's one thing to be fascinated by the case, but it's another to openly accuse someone who was once very much alive of basically being a prostitute. It just feels exploitative.

The show has been doing just fine on its own. It didn't need a real murder to add spice.

In fact, with a few tweaks, they could have even fictionalized her a little and made it seem like real life (as they did with the nurse murders that bore a striking resemblance to the Richard Speck killings in 1966). It just seems like poor taste.

I love the show and will be back again next Wednesday, but I hope this isn't a pattern that is emerging because the show has nowhere else to go. This show is creative enough on its own. It doesn't need to go there.

Do you think it was poor taste?


Image via FX Networks


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

VMoreno VMoreno

I love the show.  They can do no wrong.

Christine Murphy

You people feeling the need to bitch about every episode is going to far. Get the hell over it. It's not called lets give everyone flowers and bless you all its a horror show. Move on to reality shows. There is where the offensive crap lies.

LoveM... LoveMyViolet

Don't like it, don't watch it, it's that simple. I'm tired of people complaining about every little thing. How many movies have been made in reference to serial killers etc. Are you offended about those or did you have trouble finding something to b*tch about today?

nonmember avatar Amanda

tuffymomma: Elizabeth Short had no children

Sinat... SinatrasKitten

No they didn't go too far. Its a TV show with THEIR tongue and cheek version of what happened to Elizabeth Short. I don't see people complaining when dead people are portrayed in different movies or television shows... JFK anyone?  We don't know who shot him but there are plenty of movies and theories out there with THEIR realistic version of what happened.  If you're going to bitch about AHS's take on the Black Dahlia, then you had better bitch about every tv show or movie that has their own version of an unanswered murder.

holly... hollyNmaddi

I honestly love the show, it's called American Horror Story for a reason. If it was called Not touching on anything remotely offensive story then everything would be politically correct.

nonmember avatar Emmaloosa

I usually don't mind SBW's articles, but this is seriously stupid. Its an amazing show. Maybe you shouldn't just sit around criticising everything. Make your own show if you think you can do better, which you can't, or you wouldn't be writing online articles that require virtually no intelligence or effort.

Sidthe Sidthe

Thank you Trollie!!! With a name like American Horror Story what do you expect Sunshine and puppies? Good lord people! Was the movie based off Black Dahlia in poor taste as well it was based on the murder as well...

Sidthe Sidthe

Also if you are offended or think the show went to far, because they used a well-known murder for the (get this the MURDER HOUSE!!!) Don't watch any of the Law and Order shows as someone said OR Criminal Minds...or actually now that I think about it ANY of the crime shows!!!

21-30 of 46 comments First 12345 Last