Jack Anderson Wilson had been a lifelong petty criminal and alcoholic. He was originally a suspect in the Cleveland Torso Murders case, which occurred in Cleveland between 1934 and 1938. LAPD specialists investigated these murders in 1947 and later marked down any connections that they could have to the Black Dahlia case.
Wilson had been interviewed by author John Gilmore while he was researching to write his book Severed. After Wilson’s death on February 4, 1982, Gilmore claimed that Wilson had been associated with Elizabeth Short’s death.
When Wilson was still alive, Gilmore had made a different claim to The Herald-Express on January 17, 1982. In Severed, Gilmore claimed that Detective John St. John was about to “close in” on Wilson for the Black Dahlia case based on the information Gilmore had provided him. This statement was falsified when the FBI files and some of the Los Angeles district attorney files became visible to the public.
Severed also proposed that Wilson had been involved in the murder of Georgette Bauerdorf. Gilmore claimed that Elizabeth and Georgette had known each other because they both worked as hostesses at the same nightclub; however, Georgette had been dead for two years before Elizabeth moved to Los Angeles in 1946. Wilson was never a suspect in the Black Dahlia case until Gilmore brought him to the LAPD’s attention.
In Donald Wolfe’s The Mob, The Mogul, And The Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles, Wolfe proposed that Wilson was present for Elizabeth Short’s murder. Wolfe also claimed that Wilson was connected to the gangster Bugsy Siegel through some smaller gangsters who Wilson allegedly knew.