From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
The Los Angels Hilton, California
My dear Holmes
The messenger called this morning to let me know that, yet again, you have declined my dinner invitation in lieu of that of the Family Ness. Had I not known you better, Holmes, I should imagine that the object of your attention to be Mr Ness’s lovely wife and that you are somehow attempting to woo her with your vast knowledge of tobacco varieties, or some such tosh. (I trust we are not to witness another one of your “lost weekend” scenarios when you will eventually turn up somewhat the worse for wear and sporting several unsportsman-like venereal diseases?)
No matter, given your apparent lack of interest in this investigation I have taken it upon myself to examine a few theories of my own:
1. As the Black Dahlia’s (Elizabeth Short’s) severely mutilated body was completely drained of blood, I have been looking at the possibility of a similar scenario to that adventure of ours known as The Vampire Who Went Down to Sussex and Came Back Again.
2. Another hypothesis is that our old rival “Jack the Ripper” has re-emerged here in Los Angeles to continue his reign of terror. My reasoning for this is the nature of the multiple cuts on Short’s thigh and breasts, where entire portions of flesh had been removed. In addition, the body had been washed and moved into a specific pose, so that her hands were over her head, elbows bent at right angles, and her legs spread-eagled.
3. Finally, the look of sheer terror on the victim’s face could be due to another of our old adversaries, “The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town” (who obviously would also have moved to Los Angeles to continue his reign of terror, etc etc).
If you can pick holes in any of these, my friend, please do, as any input from you whatsoever would be nice. Seriously, old bean, this case is driving me mad – if you could shed a morsel of light on the shed door after the horse has bolted, sort of thing (yes I know, I’m mixing my metaphors again), I’d be eternally grateful.