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Madeleine Linscott

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You're a boxer, not a fighter!
~ Madeleine mocking Officer Bliechert as she reveals her true colors
Madeleine Cathcart Linscott is the daughter of a prominent rich couple, who harbors a dark and twisted connection to
The black dahlia41
the Black Dahlia. She is portrayed by Hilary Swank in the film.

The Black Dahlia (novel)

In January 15, 1947, the body of a woman is found in an abandoned lot, horrifically mutilated and cut in two. The murder of Elizabeth Short, nicknamed "The Black Dahlia", immediately becomes a sensation, horrifying the public and overwhelming the LAPD. It appears to hit Lee especially hard—years earlier, his beloved sister Laurie vanished and was never found, and the Dahlia's tortured corpse embodies all of Lee's worst fears about what might have happened to Laurie. Bucky, for his part, finds himself developing a strange obsession with the Dahlia. He falls in love with her, seeing her troubled, nomadic, desperate existence as akin to his own.

During the investigation Bucky comes across Madeleine Linscott, a spoiled, wealthy and promiscuous socialite and wannabe actress who greatly resembles Elizabeth Short. When he questions her, he finds she has a peripheral relationship with Short—they once had sex because Madeleine was curious what it would be like with someone who looks so much like herself. She plies Bucky with sex in exchange for keeping her name out of the papers. Bucky agrees to suppress evidence and they begin a torrid affair, with Bucky fantasizing that Madeline is the Dahlia. He meets her twisted family—a corrupt, cruel father (Emmett) who builds houses with shoddy, unsafe materials that have killed people in earthquakes, brutalizes his drug-and-alcohol-addicted wife (Ramona), emotionally torments his daughters Maddie and Martha, and ridicules his former best friend and business partner (Georgie), who now serves as the gardener.

While doing routine work on a wealthy man who has committed suicide, he begins thinking of the still unsolved Dahlia case because the suicide lives only a block from Madeleine Linscott. He ends up talking with the wealthy socialite who lives there and learns more about the eccentric Linscott family, particularly how Ramona and Georgie would have the kids engage in highly inappropriate, gory reenactments of World War I trench warfare on the Linscott's front lawn. Bucky also eyes a painting of a clown with garish makeup that exaggerates the scar the clown has from having been cut ear to ear, much like the Dahlia's facial mutilations. His obsession piqued again, he follows Madeleine around at night. She, seeing him, has made herself up like the Dahlia, even acting like her, and begins picking up strange servicemen for one-night stands in seedy places. She and Bucky rekindle their affair, causing Kay to leave. The city decides to tear down the last four letters of the "Hollywoodland" sign, and as the police clear the area they find a hut with walls covered in dried blood. They call in Bucky, and he realizes that the hut, owned by Emmett Linscott, is where Georgie lived, which can only mean that Georgie killed Elizabeth Short. Fingerprinting of the hut confirms it.

He goes to confront Madeleine and her father, and discovers them incestuously entwined on a bed. It turns out Madeline is Georgie's daughter, and Emmett mutilated Georgie when he found out. Georgie, son of a doctor and a veteran of WWI, has a morbid fascination with dead things. Lee had also deduced who the killer was, but used the information to blackmail Emmett Sprague for $100,000, which facilitated his trip to Tijuana. Bucky, knowing that turning them in will have consequences for him as well after his having suppressed evidence, kills Georgie for some measure of justice. But then he realizes, based on the mutilated clown painting, that Ramona Linscott was also involved in the murder, because of Short's resemblance to Madeleine; Emmett, Madeleine, and Martha were all accomplices, as they each knew part of what had happened.

Madeleine is declared mentally ill and institutionalized, after Bucky discovers she killed Lee in Tijuana; while Emmett and Ramona Linscott escape punishment. The novel ends with possible hope for Bucky's future as he and Kay reconcile and have a baby in Boston, the same city that Elizabeth Short was born in.

The Black Dahlia (2006 film)

Through the investigation of the Dahlia's murder, Bucky learns that Elizabeth liked to hang out with "sisters" (what lesbians were described in the 1940's). He goes to a lesbian nightclub and meets Madeleine Linscott (Hilary Swank), who looks very much like Elizabeth. Madeleine, who comes from a prominent family, tells Bucky that she was 'very close' with Elizabeth but asks him to keep her name out of the papers. In exchange for his silence, she promises him sexual favors. Continuing his relationship with Madeleine, Bucky meets her wealthy parents, Emmett (John Kavanagh) and Ramona (Fiona Shaw) and aspiring artist, Martha (Rachel Miner).

Furious with Lee and Kay for their actions and lies, Bucky returns to Madeleine's family mansion and continues his intense relationship with her. Kay is furious when she discovers the relationship, especially with the fact that Madeleine bears a striking resemblance to the deceased girl Lee obsessed over before he was killed and leaves the scene.

Watching an old movie one night, Bucky notices that a bedroom scene matches the set in Elizabeth's pornographic movie. The credits at the end of the film includes the statement "Special Thanks to Emmett Linscott", Madeleine's father. Bucky's search for answers leads him to an incomplete housing project that Madeleine's father had started just below the Hollywoodland sign. In one of the empty houses, Bucky recognizes the set that was used to film Elizabeth's pornographic movie. In a barn on the property, Bucky finds where Elizabeth was killed and her body butchered, as well as a drawing of a man with a Glasgow smile. The drawing resembles a painting in Madeleine's family home and matches the disfiguring smile carved into Elizabeth's face during her murder.

Bucky silently breaks into the Linscott mansion, where he discovers Madeleine being comforted by her father during a conversation of relocating to Europe. Madeleine dislikes Europe as her father always talked about how dreadful is it to live there, but Emmett assures her that Europe has everything her heart desires. Emmett and Madeleine nearly kissed but are confronted by Bucky, who accuses them of murdering Elizabeth. Emmett and Madeleine deny killing the woman and claim that George killed her, only to be yelled at by Ramona who tells them both to shut up. Madeleine's mother Ramona reveals that she was the one to kill Elizabeth, who looked so much like Madeleine. She confesses first that Madeleine was not fathered by Emmett but rather by his best friend, George, whom she had an affair with. She further reveals that George had been on the set when Elizabeth's pornographic film was made, becoming infatuated with her. Finally, she felt that Elizabeth looked too much like Madeleine, was bothered that George was going to have sex with someone who looked like his own daughter, and decided to kill Elizabeth first. Upon finishing her confession, Ramona kills herself.

A few days later, remembering something Lee had said during the investigation, Bucky visits Madeleine's sister Martha with some questions. He learns that Lee knew about the lesbian relationship between Madeleine and Elizabeth and was blackmailing Madeleine's father to keep it secret. Bucky finds Madeleine at a seedy motel, and approaches her with evidence that she was the shadowy figure who slit Lee's throat.

On the night Lee was blackmailing Emmett Linscott, Madeleine was eavesdropping on them. Frightened by the sight of Lee brutally beating her father caused her to seek revenge. The night Lee Blanchard went to settle an old score with wanted felon Bobby Dewitt, Madeleine disguised herself by wearing a man's suit and tracked Lee down like a dog. As Georgie Tilden began strangling Lee with piano wire, Madeleine approached both of the men and slit Lee's throat with her cutting knife, causing his death.

Bucky asks Madeleine what does she think about his theory and the evidence that proves she murdered his partner. Madeleine insists he'd rather has sex with her than kill her but he doesn't have the male genitalia to do either. Madeleine says he's only a boxer, not a fighter. Bucky tells her she's a murder of his partner, Lee Blanchard. Madeleine laughs at his claims and says that he should be thanking her for killing his partner. That Bucky would have never became romantically involved with his partner's girl if she hadn't killed him. Bucky warns her not to talk so badly about his deceased partner and his love interest. Madeleine coyly reminds him that he isn't romantically involved with his partner's girl anymore, because he would rather make love with her instead. Bucky calmly reminds her not to talk badly of either Blanchard or his love interest.

Madeleine once again tries to get Bucky on her side, claiming that his partner was going to take her father's money and abandon both him and his girlfriend. Bucky refuses to obey her and aims his pistol at her. Dejected, Madeleine walks away from him, saying that he would never shoot her, that he would never kill her. At the last minute, Madeleine claims that Bucky would choose her over his partner and love interest. She tells Bucky not to forget who she looks like and, while cursing Elizabeth Short in death, tells him that the "poor, dead girl" is all he will have left in the world and chuckles evilly. Bucky tells Madeleine she is wrong and shoots her dead.



"Daddy spying on me?"
~ Madeleine's assumption when she first sees Bucky following her
"I just wanted to know what it would be like to do it with someone who looked like me."
~ Madeleine confessing to Bucky why she made love with Elizabeth Short in the first place
"Family's in Laguna. But you know that, because you've been watching."
~ Madeleine telling Bucky where has her family gone to and why she's alone
"Do you miss them already? Mother's insults? Martha's pornography?"
~ Madeleine asking Bucky when she finds that he's looking at her family's memorabilia.
"I doubt modern art gets you either, but I do."
~ Madeleine to Bucky when he says that he doesn't "get" modern art.
"Murderer? Of Lee Blanchard? You should thank me for killing Lee Blanchard"
~ Madeleine's reaction when Bucky discovers her to be the murder of his partner Lee Blanchard
"If it weren't for me, you wouldn't have had the balls to fuck your partner's girl."
~ Madeleine's warning Bucky of how her killing Lee affected his relationship with Kay Lake
"Oh wait. I forgot. You don't fuck her anymore because you'd rather fuck me."
~ Madeleine reminding Bucky how he choose her over Kay Lake
"I think you'd rather fuck me than kill me, but you don't have the guts to do either."
~ Madeleine to Bucky when he asks what does she think when he hasn't killed her yet
"You'll never shoot me."
~ Madeleine to Bucky when he's aiming his pistol at her for her crimes and murders
"Don't forget who I look like, because that poor girl, that sad dead bitch, she's all you have left."
~ Madeleine's last words to Bucky before she's fatally shot by him


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