Joan Renner

Joan Renner is a writer, lecturer, and a social historian with an expertise in historic Los Angeles crime.

She has appeared in the ID Discovery Channel program “Deadly Women”, and in 2013 will appear in three episodes of “Evil Twins”, also on ID Discovery. Joan has appeared in a segment on film noir for the Turner Classic Movie series “Film Fanatics”.

Joan is an archivist at the Los Angeles Police Museum and was an assistant curator for a limited run exhibit based upon the LAPD’s continuing investigation of the 1947 unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia”. She is currently editing a book of crime scene photos for the LAPM which will feature narrative by author James Ellroy. The title of the book is LAPD ’53.

She has lectured at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, the Central Library, and private organizations on such diverse topics as: “Gold Diggers & Snake Handlers: Deranged L.A. Crimes from the Notebook of Aggie Underwood”, “Felonious Flappers: Bad Girls of the Art Deco Era”, and “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: How the ‘Bob’ Changed Hiistory”.The “Gold Diggers…” lecture provided the inspiration for the Deranged L.A. Crimes blog.

On January 15, 2013 a brief presentation of her thumb nail sketch of Elizabeth Short’s personality, based upon her choice of make-up, was included in an event given at Bart’s Pathology Museum in Smithfield, U.K. (in conjunction with Queen Mary, University of London).

In addition to Deranged L.A. Crimes, Joan’s blog Vintage Powder Room explores history, women, art, and provides her with a blatantly transparent excuse to add to her extensive collection of vintage cosmetics ephemera.

Joan is board member for the non-profit Photo Friends (affiliated with the Los Angeles Public Library), and is Secretary of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Museum Additionally, Joan is a tour guide for Esotouric, a company that gives crime-themed tours of Los Angeles.


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