Black Dahlia Murder case features in Wednesday series on Netflix

Rachael Grealish November 24, 2022
Black Dahlia Murder case features in Wednesday series on Netflix


Netflix’s Wednesday is finally here and the show weaves a level reference to the Black Dahlia Murder that helps with the plot twist.

Warning: Graphic details ahead and contains spoilers from Wednesday

The Addams Family-spin off dropped on the streaming site on Wednesday (obviously) November 23. It stars Jenna Ortega, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzman and none other than the 90s Wednesday Addams, Christina Ricci.

In the show, Ricci hands over the reins to Ortega who plays the titular role in the new hit show – but the 42-year-old actor does still have an interesting part in the show.

Wednesday nods at Black Dahlia case

In the very first episode of the Wednesday, fans may notice the show nods at the infamous Black Dahlia Murder which was never solved.

Marilyn Thornhill (played by Ricci) gifts Wednesday a black dahlia flower which she said is also the same as her “favourite unsolved murder”.

The murder she’s talking about is the 1947 case of Elizabeth Short who was only 22 when she was found dead in the Leimert Park section of Los Angeles.

Head shot of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, a murder victim nicknamed the Black Dahlia

According to the FBI’s description of events, she was “sliced clean in half at the waist”. The biography’s write-up notes that “gashes” had been “carved from each side of her mouth”. No blood was found at the scene, suggesting she was killed elsewhere.

This cold case remains unsolved and Short’s murderer was never caught.

What is the meaning of a black dahlia flower?

Dahlia flowers can come in all sorts of colours, but black dahlia flowers are mainly dark burgundy, with flecks of black.

They’re said to “convey negative meanings compared to the other shades” and are meant to symbolize “betrayal, sadness, and other negative emotions”.

However, one thing is they’re not actually named after the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short. The flowers got their name from a Swedish botanist, Andreas Dahl, who gave a name to this flower, hence the name, “dahlia.”

Elizabeth Short was nicknamed the “Black Dahlia” as wordplay to the 1946 movie The Blue Dahlia.

What does the Black Dahlia mean for Wednesday?

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in Wednesday. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

The Black Dahlia is more than just Wednesday’s favourite unsolved murder – it has meaning in the show and links to the plot twist.

Thornhill giving Wednesday the flower foreshadows her involvement with the mystery she must solve and looks back on Morticia and Gomez’s suspected involvement with Garret Gates’ death. It’s later revealed Gates is actually Thornhill’s brother (her real name is Laurel Gates).

Thornhill says she picked the perfect flower for every girl and by giving her the black dahlia she not only hints at the plot twist but also describes what she perceives to be her personality and fate.

Delighted true crime fans spot reference

Fans have loved the Black Dahlia reference in the show and now many have taken to Twitter saying they think Wednesday Addams is into true crime podcasts.

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Rachael is the Senior Content Editor at Freshered. She is NCTJ qualified with an MA in journalism. Rachael has almost ten years experience as a journalist in regional, national and international press and is passionate about creating engaging content.