Mark Hansen, a nightclub and theater owner, had known Elizabeth Short while she was in Los Angeles. Hansen allowed Elizabeth to live at his home on several occasions between May and October of 1946. Ann Toth, who was Hansen’s girlfriend at the time, shared a room with Elizabeth Short in a house close to Hansen’s nightclub called the Florentine Gardens.
On January 8, 1947, Elizabeth Short called Mark Hansen in Los Angeles from San Diego. Mark Hansen was one of the last people to speak to Elizabeth Short before her disappearance on January 9, 1947. When the LAPD interrogated Hansen on his conversation with Elizabeth, he made several contradictory statements.
The Examiner received a package from Elizabeth’s killer on January 24, 1947. The package included Elizabeth Short’s birth certificate, photographs, business cards, and an address book with “Mark Hansen” on the cover. Hansen told the LAPD that the address book had belonged to him, yet he had never used it. He said that he had given the address book to Elizabeth as a gift for her to use as her own.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s files also indicated that Hansen tried to seduce Elizabeth at one point, yet she refused him.
Hansen was linked to three other suspects in the Black Dahlia case. These suspects included Dr. Patrick S. O’Reilly, Dr M. M. Schwartz, and Dr. Arthur McGinnis Faught. Hansen was one of the first suspects in the case and was still considered a prime suspect during the Grand Jury’s investigation in 1949.
However, no official charges were ever brought against Hansen, and he died of natural causes in 1964. Hansen never had a criminal record and had no known history of violence. Some theorists believed Hansen could have had ties to gangsters, but there was never any evidence of this being true.