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The Case of the Black Dahlia

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

There is nothing essentially impossible about a Harvard man backing a young girl called the "Black Dahlia" to death in Los Angeles in 1947. It is unlikely, but definitely within the limits of reason. Consequently, when a police sergeant from Los Angeles (that is where the murder took place) comes to Cambridge (which is a good distance to travel) and confers with someone at Harvard, the interpretation is obvious.

At least, it was obvious to one Boston newspaper, which chose to head its front page. "DAHLIA MURDER HUNT SHIFTS TO HARVARD." This was good for discussion in the dining halls last night, but its effect on the University itself is not likely to be permanent.

What could be permanent is the is the effect on the great outside world. Newspaper readers in general, and Boston ones in particular, may be getting tired of exposes of Harvard as a Communist cell. This particular campaign has been too successful; readers have come to accept the fact, and frequent rehashing serves only to gild the smear.

Sensing this, a wise editor may have decided that Communism is losing its appeal, and that it is time to attack the Harvard man on some new ground. What better charge could there be than murder, which is almost as much of a threat to the American way of life as Communism? Soon Killers, Inc. may supplant the Labor Youth League and Young Radicals as the most sinister influence emanating from the University's ivied towers. The "Black Dahlia" case opens up a bold new stereotype.

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