The mansion on South Muirfield is full of many surprises, and is inhabited by an interesting family. A father who feels the need of controlling everyone in the family, yet ashamed of his weak past. A mother who believes it her role to protect the innocence of her child, yet commits a crime so grave that rips the innocence from another young woman. An older daughter who seeks the attention of not only her step-father, yet also of other men by pretending to be someone she is not and is not capable of being. A daughter protected from the world, yet confused as to how to break out into the world. A secret father that is not recognized or even acknowledged, yet secretly able to control the family in so many ways.
An interesting note about this house is that Bucky visited this location many times in the novel, yet the family, the location, or any location affiliated with the family was not investigated thoroughly to relate Short's murder to the location. And it is in this location that Bucky witnesses the incestuous relationship between Emmett and Madeleine, where Bucky learns of Ramona's crime and history, and where Bucky is directed to the actual location of Short's brutal murder. The mansion that is hid so well in a well off area, on a street that Bucky knows so well after spying on the family for so long, is actually the heart of the entire crime against Elizabeth Short. The irony of the location's truth is important. The mansion essentially was covered up, yet blatantly led to the very crime. Like the mansion, Los Angeles also is masked, by the many posh areas, by the glamor of Hollywood, by the blue waters of the beaches, yet like the mansion, Los Angeles also has a truth that is not always seen. Los Angeles blatantly exposes itself in many ways, yet people choose to ignore this facts by masking the general idea of Los Angeles with a glamorous costume.