This is where Short was raised and spent most of her life. In her sophomore year, Short dropped out of Medford High School. In late , Short's mother received a letter of apology from her presumed-deceased husband, which revealed that he was in fact alive and had started a new life in California. Arguments between Short and her father led to her moving out in January Short told friends that Gordon had written to propose marriage while he was recovering from injuries from a plane crash in India. At the time, the neighborhood was largely undeveloped.