From Velvet Hammer via the Church of Satan site:
Velvet Hammer: Why do you think the Black Dahlia case haunts people to this day?
Anton LaVey: It’s a strange case, that one victim could illicit such an incredible amount of speculation. Just one girl, Elizabeth Short.... It was grisly, but it wasn’t like a, well, there have been a series of ”torso slayings” and dismemberment — but none of them have had this kind of staying power. A combination of ingredients: the time, the place, the girl.... The time was right in the heart of the noir era, the apex of film noir, that dark brooding tragic relief from WWII, in L.A., more profound than any other city. A haunted place then, the boulevard of broken dreams. These aspects wrapped up in this one place, with decaying stucco mansions, the past glories of the Hollywood silent era. There was a lot of scandal, futility.
Velvet Hammer: In life what do you think she was like? The smile carved into her face, the henna-ed hair — was it all symbolic?
Anton LaVey: A stereotype of a real loser, the Black Dahlia, she was someone who was just waiting for an executioner, waiting for it to happen. She was an ideal victim. I’ve met quite a few like her. They’re just crying out, not just to be killed, but also tortured. She seemed very parasitic, a psychic vampire. Maybe she just met the wrong guy who was out on a lark. She wanted commitments from him, he was easily pushed over the edge. I guess she was rather sullen, she wasn’t what you’d call scintillating. So, being sort of dour like she was, it was natural — if you can say natural — the killer would just get fed up with her brooding and surliness. He wanted to “brighten” her up and put a smile on her face.