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1947: Elizabeth Short, "The Black Dahlia"

Discussion in 'Historical Cold Cases - Pre 1950' started by Lily, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    * Robert Manley
    "Manley was the last known person to see Short alive. He dropped her off at her hotel and left. He was initially booked as a suspect, but released after he passed a polygraph test. [​IMG]Beset by a long history of mental health problems, in 1954, his wife committed him to a psychiatric hospital after he told her he was hearing voices. That same year, doctors gave him a shot of sodium pentothal — aka the “truth serum” — in another attempt to glean information about the Black Dahlia murder from him. He was absolved a second time. He died in 1986, 39 years to the day after he left Short at the Biltmore. The coroner attributed his death to an accidental fall.It is precisely because poor Manley was schizoid that I believe he was innocent. The polygraph has nothing to do with verifying his innocence. Psychopaths for instance, are easily able to pass polygraph tests because they lack a conscience. Insofar as Manley’s profile is concerned, very few mentally ill people hurt people around them. If anything, they end up hurting themselves or committing suicide, and even this is somewhat uncommon. Mentally ill people seldom have the capacity to lure people to a horrific death: pre-meditated plotting takes organized, rational (although nasty) thinking, a skill well beyond Manley’s mental capability as evidenced by his committment to a mental hospital."

    https://killerswithconscience.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/the-final-suspects/

    I'm not sure myself that Manley couldn't be guilty. I have seen cases of schizoid personalities going as far as to drink human blood. not that they are bad people! Also, a polygraph test pass is not adequate to rule someone out in my humble opinion. I mean - he is the last person with her and mentally ill. do we think a "NORMAL" human being could have done all of these things to ES body?
     
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  2. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    There also is the mysterious Chicago Police Officer she had been seeing - but no one knows who he was.

    also this guy:

    Michael Anthony OteroOtero lived with Albert Rodriguez at the time of the murder. Right after the murder he emigrated to Barcelona, Spain.On September 1 1950 he returned to the U.S. He admitted dating Short 12 times and on one occasion he met Short at the Biltmore Hotel. He is the only known boyfriend who met Short at the Biltmore before her murder.

    and:

    Dr. Patrick S. O’Reilly – frequented the Florentine Gardens [​IMG]and attended sex parties with Mark Hansen. He had a history of weird, violently sexual crime and had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. No charges were brought against him but considering Hansen’s threat to expose police blackmail against the Gardens if his “friends” were harassed, I’d say O’Reilly is a solid candidate for the killer, especially due to the Scottish surname….I have the suspicion that a Scot or an Englishman committed the murder due to the Glasgow smile that was carved into Short’s face.
     
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  3. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    ^^^ The Doctor who knew Hansen and went to strange sex parties with him interests me as we know the potential killer tried to make Henson a patsy or implicate him by sending something with his name on it to the reporter. Makes me wonder if it was one of these two guys who could have had access to not only Short's belongings as she would frequent staying with Hansen. Furthermore makes me wonder how much access these men had to Henson's things and possibly even that meat factory.

    Dr. Patrick S. O’Reilly – frequented the Florentine Gardens and attended sex parties with Mark Hansen. He had a history of weird, violently sexual crime and had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. No charges were brought against him but considering Hansen’s threat to expose police blackmail against the Gardens if his “friends” were harassed, I’d say O’Reilly is a solid candidate for the killer, especially due to the Scottish surname….I have the suspicion that a Scot or an Englishman committed the murder due to the Glasgow smile that was carved into Short’s face.

    Bill Robinson – although not on the list of LAPD suspects, I dare say he belonged there. Marvin Margolis and Bill Robinson visited Mark Hansen’s home “quite often,” according to Ann Toth. She said that Bill was Marjorie’s boyfriend, but on one occasion he attacked Short. “This Bill Robinson tried to take advantage of her once and he slapped her in the face and threw her out of the car. She came home crying about that. I don’t think anyone else tried anything.” Mark Hansen described Bill Robinson and Marvin Margolis, saying, “They had a lot of nerve, those two guys. Always had to chase them out.”Concerning Margolis, Hansen said, “Well, I didn’t pay much attention to his conversation. He was a windy blower. I had to ask him to leave there. I didn’t want him around.”

    again im going to say that I think this crime involved more than 1 person. likely 2. JMO

     
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  4. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    this woman has an interesting take on which suspect she believes killed Elizabeth, and the suspect actually went into detail about the crime as if his "friend" committed it - when in reality that friend was never found and police believed he was the actual culprit:

    "More research brought me to crimelibrary.com. And at last I found my man.

    One of the top suspects in the case was in fact named “Morrison.”

    The suspect first came to the attention of highly respected LAPD officer, John St. John. He’d, been in charge of the Dahlia case for about a year when an informant came to him with a tape recording of a man named Arnold Smith.

    On the tape, Smith gave highly detailed information about the Dahlia murder, saying that she’d been murdered by a man named Al Morrison, who, according to Smith, was a violent sex pervert. The minute I saw the name, I knew that this had to be the killer, but I needed more details in order to put the case together, for everything to come together, and it did.

    The rest of Smith’s account provided crucial information.

    Smith claimed that he’s taken Elizabeth to Morrison’s room at the Hollywood Hotel when she didn’t have anywhere else to go (this was typical of Elizabeth who was always short of money and always staying with various friends). He said that Elizabeth was surprised that he was planning to stay in the room with her and that she’d refused the liquor he’d offered her. He might have made a pass at her, but she put him off; according to Smith’s statement, she showed no signs of being interested in a romantic relationship with him. I paused her, wondering if her rebuttal had inspired the man’s psychotic fury.

    Morrison, according to Smith’s account, was apparently not there at the outset, but Smith left and when he returned to the hotel room, Morrison was there. Smith said they took Elizabeth to a house on East 31st Street near San Pedro and Trinity Streets, which belonged to a friend of his. This is supposedly where Morrison assaulted and killed Elizabeth. Smith went into detail about the killing on the tape.

    “And he went to her and grabbed her arm like this, and started to pull her back but she hauled off and let him have it with the purse. Just swung it out and caught him across the side of the face. He slugged her once and her knees got weak. He pulls her back into the room, and he leans her against the door while he locks the door with the key. She just stayed there as though she was unsure exactly what would follow. He said he then grabbed her and pushed her and she fell down… on the floor with her dress up on her body. He said he stood over her and said something about he was going to screw her ass. She started to yell so he bent down and slugged her again. He said he put his hand on her neck and holds her head still while he hit her a couple of times. She didn’t move. Now he didn’t know what he was going to do, except he went out of the room, through the door he had locked and went downstairs…”

    Afterward, according to Smith, Morrison got a paring knife, a large butcher knife and some clothesline and went back upstairs. The frightened Elizabeth tried to escape, but he held her bound, “stuffing her underpants into her mouth and tying her up.” By this time he had apparently already beaten her and mutilated her with the knife, but the terror would continue.

    Smith continues: “She was naked, only he’d tied her hands and these were up over her head like this, and he stabbed her with a knife a lot, not enough that would kill you, but jabbing and sticking her a lot and then slitting around one tit, and then he’d cut her face across it. Across the mouth. After that, she was dead. He laid some boards across the bathtub and cut her in half with the large butcher knife, letting the blood drain out through the tub. When the body was sectioned and washed clean of blood, he wrapped her in an oilskin tablecloth and shower curtain and put (her) into the trunk of the car. From there, he drove to the vacant lot and lay her body, piece at a time, on the ground.”

    St. John suspected that Al Morrison and Arnold Smith were one and the same person, and indeed, I believe they were as well. How else could Arnold Smith have been privy to such information? In addition, he learned that “Arnold Smith” was one of many aliases for Jack Anderson Wilson. Wilson was an alcoholic with a history of sex offenses and robbery. Unsurprisingly, an investigation found no proof that Al Morrison existed, confirming the detective’s belief that Arnold Smith (Jack Anderson Wilson) was “Morrison,” the killer.

    St. John intended to pick the suspect up for further questioning, but it wasn’t to be. Smith had passed out in an alcoholic stupor while he was in bed in a nearby hotel, and he’d set the place on fire from a burning cigarette. He was burned to death in the flames, which also probably consumed any personal possessions of the Dahlia’s. According to the records, however, he’d earlier shown some of Elizabeth’s things to the informant.

    This same suspect had also come to the attention of Detective Joel Lesnick of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in connection with the unsolved murder that took place a few years previously of socialite, Georgette Bauerdorf.

    Bauerdorf had known the Black Dahlia through the Hollywood Canteen. She too was a dark-haired beauty who’d been brutally murdered, tortured, strangled, and raped before she was dumped in her bathtub face down. A piece of towel had been wedged in her throat to keep her from crying out, the same way “Smith” had reportedly gagged Elizabeth.

    Like St. John, Detective Lesnick also thought Arnold Smith was the Dahlia killer and was the mysterious “Al Morrison.” He theorized that “As the years went on, Smith’s ego drew him closer, not to confessing, but wanting to tell someone in a roundabout way what he got away with primarily through luck.”

    The District Attorney’s office thought that Smith was the murderer as well, as is apparent in their assessment of the suspect and his connection to the Dahlia murder. Their records state: “The case can not be officially closed due to the death of the individual considered a suspect. While the documentation appears to link this individual with the homicide of Elizabeth Short, his death, however, precludes the opportunity of an interview to obtain from him the corroboration. Therefore, any conclusion as to his criminal involvement is circumstantial, and unfortunately, the suspect cannot be charged or tried, due to his demise…it is conceivable that Jack Wilson might have been charged as a suspect in the murder of Elizabeth Short ”

    Conclusion: I believe that Arnold Smith, AKA “Al Morrison,” was Elizabeth’s murderer.

    As for the details, I believe that Mr. Smith fills in the gaps with his description of the murder. Quite simply, Miss Short took up with the wrong guy–one of the worst imaginable. Under the guise of the name “Morrison,” he took her to his hotel room, and later took her to a house where he tied her up, mutilated her, and then cut her in two. Afterward, he dumped the remains on an empty lot, and drove away.

    And I believe that he would have gone to jail for the crime if not for his untimely death."

    http://www.underworldtales.com/who-killed-the-black-dahlia/
     
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  5. DaisyChains

    DaisyChains Bronze Member

    Now that I think about it, I might have been right about Elizabeth being killed while hung like an animal prepared to be butchered/field dressed. Typically the animals are hung upside down by ankle and wrist. If the victim died due to lacerations from the face and bleeding out of her face - I think she bled out of her face while hung upside down!
     
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  6. Takeitfromme

    Takeitfromme Professional Journalist/News Reporter

    You are most likely correct. The poor girl. Such a beautiful woman and what a horrible fate to meet
     
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  7. I have been following this case for quite some time and at long last have decided to say just what it is I think about it all. I understand that somebody else already posted about this but I felt it deserved its own thread. This is going to be a long post. In a moment I will talk about the person I believe is most likely to have been responsible for this. If you are not familiar with this case I suggest you look up "The Black Dahlia in Hollywood" for an overview of the murder of Elizabeth Short.
    I believe that the person who committed this crime was a serial killer. There are a couple of reasons for this. First off, the state of the body, the overkill involved coincides with a serial killer doing this. There was a detective on TV who said that the state of a certain murder coincided well with the idea that the perpetrator had killed other people. This was a different case, I might add. Another reason is the notes. Jack the Ripper wrote letters. The Cleveland Torso Murderer purportedly wrote a letter. In recent years the likes of the Unabomber and the DC Sniper(s) both wrote letters. Only serial killers seem to write letters like that. Donald Wolfe in his book "The Black Dahlia Files" stated that he thought gangsters did this. Gangsters don't write letters like this.

    THE GEORGE HODEL THEORY

    When I first read "Black Dahlia Avenger" by Steve Hodel I came away thinking that his father didn't do it. After reading "Black Dahlia Avenger II" I came to believe that his father probably did it after all. I'm still a little bit on the fence about it but most of the time I believe that the case has been proven even beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Let's talk about another case for a moment that being the case against Ted Bundy. He was a accused of killing over 30 young women. When he lived in Seattle there was a series of disappearences of young women there. Then when he moved to Utah there were some similar disappearences. Then when he was in Florida there were these killings in places he was known to be. Also there were two positive identifications of someone looking like him during these events. One of these witness described the prime suspect as saying his name was Ted and drove a Volkswagen which Bundy drove. At that time the detectives involve had some physical evidence which consisted of microscopic hairs and bite marks. Even then you get the feeling that they didn't exactly feel extremely confident about their physical evidence. Eventually Ted Bundy confessed leaving no doubt as to his guilt. The point of it is that there were multiple things that incriminated Bundy.

    During the course of this thread I will be using the following abbreviations:
    BDA1= Black Dahlia Avenger paperback edition(2006)
    BDA2= Black Dahlia AvengerII 2012 edition
    BDF= The Black Dahlia Files
    EC= Exquisite Corpse
    FBI= The Elizabeth Short FBI files available online

    Some people have debated whether a doctor did this. The medical experts though seem pretty convinced that a doctor did it. In chapter 14 of BDA2 the evidence discussed is that medical experts both in the 1940s and today believe that a doctor did it. Among this evidence is that other than the intestines no internal organs were damaged. Also the spine was bisected perfectly according to medical procedure. Also the severed lines were clean or lacking in hack marks indicating that the person who did this had advanced medical knowledge.
    The question is also asked whether Steve Hodel's father had the surgical skill to do this. On pages 293-299 of BDA2 Steve Hodel discusses this. He talks about how his father had 766 hours of training in surgery in medical school. He also mentions that he worked as a "camp surgeon". He also discusses where there are numerous documents signed by either him or his wife where he is described as a surgeon. Other evidence is discussed in EC page 168 (figure 148) and in BDA1 pages 71,74 and 530 (footnote).
     
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  8. THE TIMELINE
    This part will involve whether or not George Hodel had an alibi during the time of the murder. From various sources George Hodel is known to have been out at a party during the night of the murder. It is generally regarded that it would have taken 1 to 3 hours to perform the bisection. He was regarded as having been out to around 3 or 4 AM on the night of. Then there was a witness who stated that he saw a car at the dropsite
     
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  9. THE TIMELINE
    This will involve whether or not George Hodel had an alibi during the night of the murder. From various source George Hodel is known to have been out at a party on the night of the murder. It is generally regarded that it would have taken one to three hours to perform the bisection. He was regarded as having been out to about 3 or 4 AM on the night of. Then there was a witness who stated that he saw a car at the dropsite around 6:30 AM on the morning of January 15th, 1947. That would have conceivably have given him time. In BDF page 331 lines 26-29 a document states Lieutenant Jesse Haskins said that he believed that Elizabeth Short had been killed on the morning of. On the other hand Dr. Frederick Newbarr states on BDF page 336 that he felt that Elizabeth Short could have been alive up to 24 hours before the body was discovered. I am going to out on a limb and say that George Hodel murdered Elizabeth Short on the late evening hours of January 14 then went to the party and then came home and performed the bisection.
    .
    Another issue is whether or not George Hodel was alone on the night of the murder. According to Dorothy Hodel (George's wife) in an interview with Detective Jemison in BDA2 page 14 in response to a question as to whether or not George Hodel was out on the night of the murder "No, I was living at my brother's house at the time. We were not living at the same house. I wouldn't know what he was doing." At various points in BDA1 and BDA2 Steve Hodel talks about how his father had servants and boarders. I couldn't get a straight answer as to whether or not any of these were living there at the time. But for those who say this could only have been done by someone living alone, in the case of John Wayne Gacy he was married around the same time he murdered 30 young men or teenage boys. Also he buried a young man in his backyard in broad daylight in a suburban neighborhood and apparentally noone contacted the police. Whether or not you believe George Hodel had an alibi is a matter of opinion.

    THE CAR

    As just previously stated a witness, Robert Meyer(BDA1 page 153) stated that the car seen on 6:30 AM on the morning of was a "1936 or 1937 Ford, black in color". That is not a match for George Hodel's car. In BDF page 354 George Hodel's car is described by Donald Wolfe as being a post World War 2 black Packard Sedan. By his own admission this witness saw this vehicle in the dark and from a fair distance. Nonetheless comparing the two cars there is some similarity. Comparing a 1947 Packard Clipper with a 1936 Ford Fordor there are some differences but there are also some similarities. The main difference is the position of the headlights. But did George Hodel drive a post WW2 Packard? The District Attorney Confidential Transcripts tells a different story. According to the book "Hodel-Black Dahlia Case File No. 30-1268" which I forget to mention in the abbreviation part but will henceforth abbreviate with ConfTr =Confidential Transcripts on page 58 George Hodel is recorded by the Los Angeles District Attorney's office who wiretapped the house as saying "I've got a 1936 Packard Sedan to trade in." Then on page 125 of the same book he refers to same car as his "Packard jalopy". That would seem to relate more to an older car. Comparing the 1936 Packard and the 1936 Ford Fordor they have a much more similar front end including the headlights. The 1936 Packard is unique in that it has a spare tire mounted on the side of the car although presumably you could take that off. What could be said about this witness is that although he got the make wrong at least he got the year right. In BDA1 page 496 a document states that George Hodel drove a black Packard Sedan. Continued tomorrow.
     
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  10. THE HANDWRITING

    After reading the first BDA book I had come to the conclusion that Steve Hodel's father had not committed the crime in large part because it didn't seem like the handwriting matched. After reading BDA2 I took a second look at the handwriting. I am not a handwriting expert but certain things are simple common sense. In BDA1 Steve Hodel uses a handwriting expert Hannah McFarland in chapter 22 who says that the killer and George Hodel's handwriting are identical or at least very similar. But yet she compares George Hodel's handwriting as being very similar to the "lipstick murderer" or the killer of Jeanne French rather than Elizabeth Short. Let's back up a little. On the afternoon of January 23, 1947 Los Angeles examiner editor James Richardson got a phone call from a man who claimed to be Elizabeth Short's killer. He said he would send a package with some personal effects of her. A day or two after that a package was found addressed to the Examiner where the Post Office apparentally intercepted it and gave it to the police. It contained Elizabeth Short's birth certificate, social security card and other personal items. It also contained a letter constructed of pasted together words taken from newspapers and magazines. It is almost universally accepted that the killer sent the package. It said in this letter that there would be a letter to follow. A second letter was subsequently sent that was written in hand in all-cap or block letters. Given what the first letter said it seems very probable that the killer wrote the second letter. In BDA1 page 169 exhibit 18 shows killer letter number 2 whereas on page 279 of the same book are samples (K5, K6) of George Hodel's handwriting from the 1940s. When I first read the book I came to the conclusion that either George Hodel faked his handwriting or the two sets were written by two different people. After reading BDA2 though I came to realize that although there are differences there are also similarities between the two sets.

    Comparing the two sets one of the first differences is that in the killer number 2 note the writer dots his i's whereas George Hodel doesn't dot any of his i's. Also the killer slants his writing to the right whereas George Hodel writes pretty much straight up and down. Also the B in the killer no. 2 note is different than any of George Hodel's B's. The lone 2 in the killer note is also different than the 2's in the George Hodel samples. George Hodel also has this occasional habit of connecting his letters which appears nowhere in the killer note. Both notes write with standard E's although George Hodel's E's look flatter although in BDA1 page 280 in sample K1 which comes from later in life for George Hodel his E's are much more similar to the killer's. There are some similarities though. In both sets the writer writes with abbreviated G's that look almost like 6's. Also both the killer and George Hodel have this tendency to "capitalize" the first letter for some of their words even though they are written in all caps. By that I mean the first letter for some words is larger than the other letters. The killer does this a lot in his note. You can also see it in the samples K5 and K6 of George Hodel's handwriting in BDA1 page 279 in the words "Steven", "Poisons", "Periods" and beyond. This is rare but I have seen other writing samples of writers who do this. Typically though when people write in all caps or block writing they write words with all their letters the same height. In BDA2 page 331 both sides of the killer's postcard are shown but there is a difference between the front and the back in that in the back or the note portion of the postcard he dots all five of his i's where in the front part , the address side, the lone i appears not to be dotted. Another thing that is worth mentioning is that on page 277 of BDA1 Hannah McFarland is quoted as saying "There are no unexplained differences between the known and questioned samples." On the ID America special on the JonBenet Ramsey case an expert stated that in a long document where time is of the essence the writer is more likely to write in their natural handwriting whereas in a short document where there is plenty of time it is more likely to be faked. Regardless of who the killer was you would have to figure that he faked his handwriting at least somewhat in the number 2 letter. Steve Hodel thinks that the handwriting is an incriminating piece of evidence whereas I would only say that upon further reflection the handwriting analysis mostly just goes into the indeterminate column.
     
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  11. THE FINGERPRINTS

    Were the police able to obtain fingerprints from the killer number 2 letter? That depends upon who you ask. In BDF pages 143-144 Donald Wolfe states that although the police were able to obtain fingerprints they were lost in the transmission to the FBI. Prairie Ghosts says that there just weren't any fingerprints. In BDA1 page 393 in an interview Steve Hodel did of Kirk Mellecker who was assigned to the case in the 1970s and had looked at the LAPD case file said that as he recalled there were no fingerprints. In the FBI files on pages 21 and 23 it talks about fingerprints but these were from a document sent to the police as opposed to the killer number 2 letter that was sent to the Los Angeles Examiner. Steve Hodel talks about fingerprints at various stages but I have yet to see any document that says any suspect was eliminated or whatnot because their fingerprints did not match fingerprints taken from the above mentioned letter.

    THE TAMAR HODEL SCANDAL

    The Tamar Hodel scandal is best discussed in BDA1 in chapter 7. Tamar Hodel who was the daughter of George Hodel accused her father along with other people of sexual impropriety. The evidence is probably best summarized on page 94 of the above mentioned book. It talks about how there were three adult witnesses who corroborated her story. Also her father made incriminating statements including saying "these things must have happened". Larry Harnisch talks about this on his site that Tamar had accused something like 15 people of sexual impropriety at a party. It may have happened but the prosecution failed to pursue it. He claims that she was a pathological liar but I'm not entirely convinced that is true. Even pathological liars tell the truth some of the time. George Hodel testified at the trial and said that he hypnotized four adults (BDA1 page97). His story doesn't ring true. None of these other witnesses said anything about being hypnotized. Generally speaking when people are hypnotized they know it afterwards. In this particular instance if all of this was a misunderstanding because they were hypnotized George Hodel would have had an interest in them understanding that. Some other evidence that Steve Hodel publishes in BDA2 include page 390 where a Detective Jokisch who was an LAPD detective from 1940 to 1972 (BDA2 page 388) said in an interview that he gave to Larry Harnisch who subsequently posted it on the internet that "His (Steve Hodel's) father was involved in this 1949 incest trial and was apparently as guilty as you could be." Also in BDA2 page 35 there was this actress who George Hodel knew in the day named Maganda who is quoted as saying that Tamar told her "My daddy was bad to me". Hodel states that Maganda would have been an important prosecution witness at the trial. Also there is the police officer Mary Unkefer letter BDA1 page 482 where she states that "He (Joe Barrett) stated that the Dr. boasted that the $15,000 he paid Jerry Geisler was used to influence the Dist. Attorney & that was how the Dr. was cleared of the charge against him." Larry Harnisch seems to feel that George Hodel was exonerated. I think that is hardly the case. It could best be stated that he got off with a technicality. From the defense's standpoint that is the best case scenario. I certainly don't think he was proven innocent.
     
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  12. THE LAPD FILES

    The LAPD case file (BDF second insert, last page) for this case remains intact. It has been discussed not only by Sgt. Vetter who looked at it in the 1970s but also in recent years. In an article on this case that I failed to annotate the cold case detective at that time who was apparently Brian Carr discussed it. In the A&E program "Cold Case Files" on this case reporter Bill Kurtis asked Brian Carr about the files and Carr's refusal to let Steve Hodel look at them. I remember Kurtis saying something like "He says that the reason you won't let him see those files is you don't want him to see what's in those files." I don't remember what Carr's reply was. The Jack the Ripper files were closed for 100 years until they were open to the public. You have to wonder when the files regarding this case will be made publicly available if at all. The District Attorney's files on this case were made available to researchers and whatnot but not the LAPD case file. If it means that much to them they could have a professional research firm or whatnot come in and electronically record it before making them available to pertinent parties. Another thing worth mentioning is that in BDA1 page 524 in the footnote Steve Hodel states that at a book signing he met a Ms. Elma Duke who stated in 2003 that two years earlier she had personally reviewed and handled all the Black Dahlia evidence including the original letters and mailings. That was before the A&E "Cold Case Files" episode that came out in 2006.'s

    Something else that is worth mentioning comes from "The Black Dahlia Files" page 257 where Donald Wolfe states "In speaking to a former clerk who handled the assembly of files for the archive, I learned there had originally been sixty-five boxes of accumulated Black Dahlia investigative material, which included files from the LAPD, the Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney Office. The file clerk recalled that the sixty-five boxes were culled through in the early months of 2002 and reduced to thirty five boxes, which remain in the LAPD warehouse. But two file boxes involving Jemison's
    Grand Jury investigation into the Black Dahlia case were among those placed in the archives of historical criminal cases at the D.A's office." Another thing that is worth mentioning is that in Exquisite Corpse page 118 that "no indexing or filing had been done on these documents since December, 1948." That was written in October 28, 1949. You would have thought that it would have been after that but possibly not.
     
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  13. POLICE CORRUPTION

    Both Steve Hodel (BDA) and Donald Wolfe (BDF) believe that not only was there police corruption in Los Angeles back in the '40s and '50s but that it was such that there was a cover up for the Black Dahlia case . The evidence regarding this begins with George Hodel speaking of a payoff for the Tamar Hodel trial not only in the aforementioned Mary Unkefer letter (BDA1 page 482) but also George Hodel is recording as speaking about a payoff for same case in the DA transcripts (BDA2 page 8). Other evidence comes from pages 276-277 of BDA2 from a 2004 TV interview given by Tom Vetter who was a Los Angeles area law enforcement officer beginning in 1957 and after that had a 40 year career with such. When asked the question about the climate in law enforcement back in the '40s his response was "The Sheriff's Department and especially the Police Department in Los Angeles-did not have a good reputation back then for honesty, integrity, ethics. They had some great problems then. They were known for payoffs and graft, and what have you. And-and the atmosphere was bad. Probably stayed that way until about the early '50s when Chief William Parker came in and he really reformed the Department and cleaned it up then." He goes on to say though that he didn't think that there was a cover up for the Black Dahlia case. He says he just didn't think it would happen under Parker. Another perspective comes from BDA2 page 195 where in a TV interview former Los Angeles DA Lieutenant Walter Morgan states " a cover up and payoff was suspected". Another source that both Steve Hodel and Wolfe use is the 1951 book "Thicker 'N Thieves" written by Sergeant Charles Stoker in which he alleges that there was police corruption including doctors who performed abortions who made payoffs to the police. Steve Hodel alleges that his father was one of those doctors. He also states in various places that his father had inside information about high ranking people in Los Angeles including members of the police (BDA1 page 358) due to his venereal disease practice and that he also performed abortions (BDA2 page 299). On the hand his father was charged with a high crime and the LA District Attorney's office with the assistance of some LAPD officers had him under surveillance for 40 days. On the other hand Larry Harnisch on his blogspot lmharnisch.blogspot.com has a different perspective. He not only does not think there was a cover up for the Black Dahlia case but that there was precious little police corruption in the '40s and 50's. The part of his blog which covers the book "The Black Dahlia Files" runs from approximately 2/3/2006 to 4/30/2006. He talks about this throughout but especially on 4/22/06. He mentions the "Thicker 'N Thieves" and says that it was self published like as if that discredits it? He says nothing about the payoffs George Hodel discusses in the Mary Unkefer letter or the DA Transcripts and certainly not the other evidence. Another possibility is that the police might not have been able to put the pieces together back then. There are a lot of old cases like that. The Michael Skakel case was like that and there were other similar cases like that from the '70s. The police may have believed that George Hodel did it and in fact there appears to be evidence that they did but they might have believed they just didn't have enough evidence to prove it in a court of law. Steve Hodel asks the question as to why his father was not put in a police lineup before the witnesses for the Black Dahlia case and other similar murders. You know what? I don't know. It may have been a case of shoddy police work. It may have been that the police were planning on doing that but then when Hodel skipped town the investigation fell apart. Another possibility is that Steve Hodel was right that there was a cover up for the reasons he stated but I remain unconvinced.
     
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  14. ELIZABETH SHORT'S FINAL LETTER?

    On behalf of those who wish to know why these series of posts did not get their own thread as I stated in my first post, it is because the administrator moved it to a preexisting thread. Just for the record. No problem. Alright. Anyway, in The Black Dahlia Files page 114 the author writes of Elizabeth Short's supposed final letter. "The last letter Fickling received from Elizabeth was from San Diego and postmarked January 8-the day before she vanished. She wrote 'Do not write me here. I am planning on going to Chicago to work for Jack' . Fickling told police investigators that she had once told him that "Jack" operated a modeling agency in Chicago." Assuming it is true you get the impression that "Jack" might have been the man who took her life. In BDA1 pages 459-460 Steve Hodel theorizes where the name "Black Dahlia Avenger" came from. He says he believes George Hodel lifted it from the 1926 Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Lodger" which is about Jack the Ripper. He says that originally Hitchcock wanted to name it Avenger but was forced to change it before its release. Assuming "Jack" was really George Hodel using a fake name how long did this go on for? Steve Hodel says at various points that he thinks that Elizabeth Short was George Hodel's long time girlfriend but that doesn't make sense. A better scenario would be if George Hodel had met Elizabeth Short and they more or less parted company and then ran into each other in January of 1947. If Black Dahlia Avenger does come from the 1926 Alfred Hitchcock film that means that the killer was in all probability at least middle aged. Back in the '60s and '70s silent movies on TV were basically nonexistent. I suspect even though it was before my time that it was the same as far as big screen movies in the 40s. When the silent movie era ended it ended and there was really no going back mainly because talkies were such a superior technology.

    Having said this there needs to be some trepidation about taking this passage at face value. At the bottom of BDA1 it speaks of the same letter and same date but says nothing about "Jack" from Chicago. As mentioned before Larry Harnisch wrote extensively on his blog about "The Black Dahlia Files". To put it kindly he doesn't think that the book is the most reliable source. He talks about how he saw Donald Wolfe in the District Attorney's office or whatnot reading the 600 page DA File on the Black Dahlia case but yet the book doesn't seem to be terribly accurate based on those files. He talks about how Wolfe kept changing the wording on this or that. On the back cover of BDF it talks about how Wolfe was a former movie screenwriter. Wolfe may have looked at it from the standpoint of it made for a good story and he effectively wrote a screenplay on it. I couldn't say. Arguably it depends upon whether you believe Wolfe or Harnisch and it appears Harnisch is the more reliable source. I still felt it was worthy of a mention.
     
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  15. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Could Jack have been someone who told her not to tell anyone about? So there is another party involved in her life that after all these years no one knows about at all?
     
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  16. In response to your question: No, I think George Hodel did it.

    THE CASE AGAINST GEORGE HODEL

    This is the evidence that goes beyond the basic evidence that incriminates George Hodel which is that he was a doctor who had the surgical skill to do the job, that he was a kinky guy (BDA2 pages 22-23) who was accused by his daughter of sexual impropriety and also that he didn't really have an alibi.

    1. The cement bags are arguably the most incriminating piece of evidence in the case. In BDF page 332 in appendix A which is the Coroner's Inquest Lieutenant Jesse Haskins states "there was an empty paper cement sack in the driveway and it also had a spot of blood on it." Also in BDA2 page 87 the top image appears to show three cement bags at the Norton location. Then on pages 78-80 of BDA2 Steve Hodel presents the evidence of a receipt that shows his father had work done on his home on January 9 and 10th of 1947 which included the use of 10 sacks of cement. Somebody on the internet said that undoubtedly other people in the Los Angeles area at that time had cement work done on their home or whatnot. I suppose that's true but the point is the who of the cement bags, that being George Hodel who was a prime suspect in the case.

    2. The District Attorney surveillance tapes or the DA Transcripts also provide some incriminating evidence. The two main incriminating statements that George Hodel makes (BDA2 page 44) are that he alludes to the possibility that maybe he did kill Elizabeth Short and he practically confess to killing his secretary. As far as the ES statement he states "Supposin' I did kill the Black Dahliah. They couldn't prove it now. They can't talk to my secretary anymore because she's dead." That's kind of a strange thing to say. His secretary died in May of 1945 so obviously she didn't have any direct knowledge about the murder of Elizabeth Short. So, what was he referring to? Did she know that Elizabeth Short and George Hodel knew each other? Steve Hodel postulates that Elizabeth Short was George Hodel's patient and that Ruth Spaulding knew about it. Another possibility is that Ruth Spaulding never even met or knew about Elizabeth Short but that she had incriminating evidence on George Hodel that disappeared.

    In BDA1 page 502 and BDF page 355 Detective Jemison who oversaw the operation states at the end that the long sheets and recordings tend to eliminate this suspect. I don't know how he could have said something like that. It seems at the very least that the transcripts were suspicious. A clue might come from the dujour.com article "Uncovering the secrets of the Black Dahlia Murder" by Sheila Weller. On page 2 of the online article she states that a witness stated that George Hodel had made a drunken utterance " a guilty sounding muttering " apparently where he alleged that he might have done it. The police may have been looking for an all out confession. On page 502 of BDA1 Jemison lists 11 witnesses all who knew George Hodel but none of them could connect him to Elizabeth Short. There seems to be some misunderstanding that unfortunately has lasted to this day. Generally speaking serial killers don't know their victims very well. They either know them only slightly or not all. Jemison identifies only one witness Lillian Lenorak, an actress who knew George Hodel who says she had seen Elizabeth at the Hodel home. Given the graphic violent nature of the crime I do believe that the killer did know her beforehand. This was not a case where the killer met her for the first time in the late evening hours of the night before.

    3. In BDA2 page 445 Steve Hodel presents a crucial witness. One of the District Attorney files suspects was an "Unknown Chicago Police Officer". He found the witness who had reported this man to the police or DA back in the '40s or '50s. It was based on the fact that Elizabeth Short had gone to the Jack Carson radio show at the CBS studio in Hollywood in early January of 1947 just days prior to her slaying. The chief usher Jack Egger identified her as standing in line with a dapper man in his late 30s who identified himself as a Chicago police officer. Hodel showed Egger a picture of his father circa 1950 and Egger identified George Hodel as the suspect. If true that's major. Is this documented? If we only have Steve Hodel's word for it this has some value but if he has an audio recording of this it would definitely have more. Even better yet would be if there was a video recording.

    4. Another incident worth mentioning involves the previously mentioned Lillian Lenorak. On page 57 of BDA2 according to Joe Barrett , a boarder at the Hodel home, he "found a hysterical Lenorak armed with a rifle belonging to George Hodel. Lenorak was screaming "He is going to pay for what he has done. He has to pay for it. I'm going to kill him." The text goes on to say that she believed that George Hodel had killed Elizabeth Short. When Hodel came home Barrett told him Lillian she wanted to shoot him and Hodel's response was "Why didn't you let her?". Although Lillian Lenorak's actions are incriminating it's really George Hodel's response that's the most incriminating part. In this case this is very well documented because Barrett recounted this years later in a 2003 Dateline TV episode.

    Along these lines comes another series of incidents from the Confidential Transcripts. On page 116 of the transcripts Hodel is quoted as saying that he was looking to sell his house in a couple of months. That was on March 5th of 1950. Then on page 147 which was March 16th a phone rings and it is a patient and Hodel said that he would see him today. Then on page 149 or March 17th he examines a woman patient who is coming back Tuesday. Then on page 155 or March 19th he is recorded as talking to a woman about renting a room apparently at his house. Throughout the transcripts he actually talks about renting rooms to numerous people. Then on page 170 there is the interview Dorothy Hodel (his wife) gave to Detective Jemison on March 22nd. In that interview the detective asked her about Elizabeth Short and about her husband's possible involvement in the case. Then as described on BDA2 page 16 on March 23 as described in the DA Transcripts, Hodel comes in with Dorothy. Suddenly everything changes. Although the recordings fail to pick up the conversation Steve Hodel surmises probably accurately that she told her husband about the interview. Then as described on BDA2 page 16 or Conf. Tr. page 167 Hodel and "the Baron" are recorded as talking where Hodel says something about the Black Dahlia. "They talked about Tibet - sounded like Hodel wants to get out of the country...Hodel talking about Mexico...Hodel seems afraid of something." On March 26 or March 27 George Hodel skips town fleeing to Hawaii for three years and then to the Philippines (EC21). It smacks of similarities to the Ira Einhorn or John Wayne Gacy case who fled the country when the cops got too close or at least attempted to do so.
     
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  17. 5. In various places throughout BDA1 and BDA2 Steve Hodel talks about numerous people back in the early '50s or later who believed that George Hodel had murdered Elizabeth Short. This list begins with various police officials who are quoted as stating off the record that they thought George Hodel had done it. In BDA2 pages 264-265 he presents four major police officials including Thad Brown who was the LAPD chief of detectives who is credited with saying "The Black Dahlia case was solved. He was a doctor who lived on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood." George Hodel lived on Franklin Avenue. In BDA1 page 509-510 it goes into a little more detail on this saying that this quote comes from Raul Moreno who was an LAPD reserve officer who also was friends with Jack Webb of Dragnet fame who said that Jack Webb told him this. It appears he was a friend of Jack Webb and as proof of this he showed Hodel the badge "714" that had apparently been given him by Webb. It remains unclear whether this is better documented but it appears this is at least somewhat well documented. Another statement comes from LAPD chief of police William Parker circa 1950 "We identified the Black Dahlia suspect. It was a doctor." This statement was made to his personal physician circa 1964. I could find no further documentation for this. Another quote comes from J. Gordon Bowers who was the LA Sheriff's captain of detectives in 1947. "The Black Dahlia case was solved. But it will never come out. It was some doctor they (LAPD) all knew in Hollywood involved in abortions." George Hodel lived in Hollywood. This comes from the previously mentioned Tom Vetter TV interview (BDA2 page 274) so it's pretty well documented. Yet another quote comes from Detective Jemison who is quoted as saying "We know who the Black Dahlia killer was. He was a doctor, but we didn't have enough to put him away." Further documentation of this last quote comes from BDA2 pages 188-189. It comes in the form of a letter from Jemison's nephew who went on to become a doctor who said that Detective Jemison said this in 1951. Of the four quotes only Thad Brown's statement can almost unequivocally be said to refer to George Hodel. Of the other three it must be said that the Black Dahlia investigation began on January 15, 1947 and ended more or less in October or November of 1950. During that time there is no other suspect doctor or otherwise who the LA authorities had under surveillance by wiretap for 37 (not 40) days. Through the entire course of the investigation it appears that George Hodel would have had to be considered the number one suspect. The last cop to make a statement regarding this comes from BDA2 page 10 from a Lieutenant Sullivan who according to a 1999 interview with Joe Barrett, a boarder at the Hodel home back then, said that Sullivan told him "We think Dr. George Hodel killed the Black Dahlia." He said this in an interview to Steve Hodel in 1999 but Hodel still doesn't say how he documented this.

    In addition to these there are two actresses who knew George Hodel in the day who both said that they thought he did it. One was the previously mentioned Lillian Lenorak who in addition to what was said in the previous post positively identified Elizabeth Short from a picture shown her by Detective Jemison (BDA1 page 501) as being one of the doctor's girlfriends. In addition to this there is also Madi Comfort who was also an actress who knew the doctor in the day who is quoted as saying (BDA2 page 1,18) "We all knew that he had done it." This comes from George Parkington in an interview with Steve Hodel who said that his late girlfriend said this. It remains unclear how well this is documented although the text states (BDA2 pages 17-19) that there were two other people at this interview. Regarding these seven people what is missing is why they believed this. Was it because he was a doctor and a kinky guy and a few other things mentioned here or was there some other reason?

    Other witnesses include two other people from the day where it wasn't so much that they believed that the doctor did it but rather they had incriminating evidence. Among these include Ed Teske , who is described as having been a friend of both George Hodel and his artist friend Man Ray. In BDA2 page 217 Steve Hodel talks about having met Steve Lamb a residential architect from Altadena, California at Clifton's Cafeteria in Los Angeles. Hodel talks about how Lamb said he read his books and told Hodel about this incident regarding Ed Teske who Lamb met in 1978. He talks about how he met Teske at the Sowden house (the Hodel home) and that Teske told him that it was a "an evil place" and that "murders happened there". He documents this in a letter Lamb sent Hodel in 2011 (BDA2 pages 218-219). In the pages following this Hodel goes on to document how Teske was of sound mind back then and for years afterwards. Another incident similar to this discussed on BDA page 207 comes from a conversation Hodel had with a former owner of the Sowden house who stated that he met a former "bag lady" who is quoted as saying about the house "This house is a place of evil". The owner reportedly said "She obviously had been inside this place before we owned it." Steve Hodel says that he thinks that this woman was Ellen Taylor a former servant at the house. The former owner went on to talk about how she accurately described the interior of the house in detail. This owner also talked about (BDA1 page 263) how Ed Teske along with other people had been to the house. As far as this conversation with the former owner though, Hodel fails to say how he documented all this. When you tally it all up there were a total of at least 9 people from the '40s or '50s who either said that they thought he did it or at least gave incriminating evidence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  18. 6. Throughout both books Steve Hodel discusses the possibility that his father murdered other people. As I stated before I would agree that the person who committed this crime killed other people. The problem is who are those people? In BDA1 Hodel establishes that he believes that his father killed 11 different people in the LA area during the late 1940s. He discusses this in BDA1 in chapters 14, 23,24,31 and 32. Although he does provide some evidence for these cases that coincide with his father having done it there isn't really enough evidence to prove the case in any individual case. In BDA2 he discusses this in chapter 11 where he talks about many of the same victims as the previous book but the list is slightly different here. Of all the cases presented I felt the evidence was strongest for the case of the murder of Ora Murray (BDA1 pages 294-300). But even in that case I'm not sure that the evidence is strong enough to prove that George Hodel did it. In chapter 32 of BDA1 titled "Forgotten Victims, 1950s: The Probables" he doesn't really make much of a case that his father did it. He proposes rather that George Hodel's friend Fred Sexton was responsible for these although he does say that his father who was living either in Hawaii or The Philippines at this time sometimes came back to the states to visit. Throughout many of these discussions of these cases a figure reappears over and over again of a man who was approximately 6 feet tall who had dark, curly hair. Is that George Hodel? I'm not entirely sure that it is part even though that fits George Hodel. Other than the Ora Murray case (and technically the Jeanne French case) none of these witnesses described the chief suspect as having a mustache. In every picture of George Hodel taken in either the 1940s or the 1950s Hodel is always seen with a mustache. He didn't have a mustache his entire life. In fact it appears he didn't have one other than these two decades but nonetheless. He also could have shaved it off before these events but then there's no evidence of that. There is also another figure who as described by witnesses often appears during these attacks. Steve Hodel thinks that this is Fred Sexton but then there's no hard evidence of that. Part of the problem is that Hodel is getting almost all his evidence from newspaper reports. At some point he says that he was not able to get the LAPD case file for any of these cases. Perhaps with more evidence it could be more firmly established whether or not George Hodel committed these crimes. Part of the point of all this according to Hodel is to refute the idea that many detectives had in the '80s and later said that this was a "standalone murder". Perhaps they believed that because there was no other case quite like it. As Hodel shows though not only the police but the news media back in the '40s and early '50s were almost united in believing that the person who committed this crime had killed other people.

    Probably the most compelling other murder case comes from BDA2 page 320 where he talks about the 1967 murder of Lucila Lalu who according to the Manila coroner "her body was then bisected by a skilled surgeon". Hodel goes on to say "After the bisection, her killer posed the body parts on a vacant lot, just three miles distant from Dr. Hodel's then residence/office on Manila Bay. As of the publication date of BDA2 the case remained unsolved. When George Hodel lived in LA there was a bisection murder there and when he moved to Manila in the Philippines there was a bisection murder there.

    One case that is disputed by Larry Harnisch is the case of the murder of Jeanne French (lmharnisch.com/jeanne_french.html). There is also a direct link on that page to Detective Jemison's 1950 report on that case. He states on that page that the killer stomped her face leaving heel marks that were measured by crime lab technicians as being either a size 6 or 7 shoe. The likely perpetrator in the Jemison report is also described as being " a medium-small dark complexioned boyfriend". George Hodel on the other hand was tall. Also somewhere in the BDA books it states that George Hodel wore a size 10 shoe. It appears that George Hodel was not the killer in the Jeanne French case. I don't think that rules out George Hodel as the murderer of Elizabeth Short. The Jeanne French case was preceded by the news media publishing a fake story about a "Corporal Dumais" who they knew did not kill Elizabeth Short as nonetheless being the killer. They did this because they thought it might flush out the real killer who they thought would be upset that somebody else had gotten credit for his murder (BDA1 pages 186-188). They published this on February 10,1947 and a scant two days later the body of Jeanne French was found. Contrary to what has been written elsewhere I don't think that the two cases were necessarily related. The impression that I got was that the Jeanne French killer was upset because he felt that the Black Dahlia killer had been caught. The lipstick message on the victim's body was "F___ YOU BD" obviously referring to the Black Dahlia in some way but that doesn't necessarily mean these two crimes were committed by the same person.

    Back in the late '40s and early '50s the old detectives investigating this case referred to "stress factors" for various suspects. I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth but they perhaps were thinking in terms of stress factors regarding the 1947 Elizabeth Short murder. But maybe the stress factors were what lead to an earlier murder. The first murder that Steve Hodel thinks that the serial killer responsible for the ES murder did at least where hers was among a series at that time was the murder of Ora Murray in 1943. George Hodel divorced from his wife Dorothy in 1944. Conceivably that could have been the stress. Of course he wasn't going through a divorce in 1943 but there could have been trouble in his marriage back then.

    7. Another thing that Steve Hodel posits as evidence that incriminates his father was the mailbox drop or the location of the mailboxes from which the killer sent his letters. In BDA2 pages 253 and 355 Hodel talks about the same downtown mailbox was used to send a letter for both the Elizabeth Short and the Gladys Kern case and that mailbox was just 300 yards from George Hodel's private medical practice. Yea, but what letters? There were multiple letters sent regarding the Elizabeth Short case, some more likely to be sent by the killer than others. I believe that the killer probably sent many of the numerous letters described in BDA1 beyond just letters number 1 and 2. The problem is knowing which ones. In BDA1 page 169 it does say that the number 2 letter was sent from downtown Los Angeles. How does he know this? For what it's worth in The Black Dahlia Files page 143 it states that the first letter which contained the package within which was Elizabeth Short's birth certificate, social security card and so on was mailed from the main branch of the downtown LA post office. In BDF page 146 the book goes on to say that also the number 2 letter was sent from the same Post Office. Then in BDF page 157 it says that according to Ray Pinker who was the top crime lab guy the first four letters were all sent by the same person. I believe that last part is corroborated elsewhere. I don't know quite what to make of this but I don't think it is insignificant either.

    8. Hodel also says that some of the letters were written on proof sheets and that also connects to his father. In BDA2 page 334 and BDA1 page 198 he posts an undated statement made by Captain Jack Donahue who was the top guy in the LAPD Homicide Division around the time of the Dahlia murder saying "At least one of the notes sent in by the Dahlia killer in that case used proof-sheet paper, of a type commonly found in printing shops". Another quote also from Captain Donahue dated February 17, 1947 is found in BDA2 page 335 or 336 states "Among the anonymous notes sent police in the Black Dahlia case there was one which was obviously prepared in a print shop." The fact that Donahue states that this letter was sent to the police rather than the Examiner lessens its probative value somewhat but it still has some value. Hodel goes on to say that the way that this connects to his father is that his father once owned a printing press (BDA1 page 267, BDA2 page 337). He also talks about how many of his childhood drawings that he drew were drawn on proof sheets (BDA1 page 267, BDA2 pages 343-344). How does he know that these were written on proof sheets? Did an expert say so? In BDA2 page 343 he also says that all of his father's handwriting on the proof sheets was written with a blue ball point pen which the killer apparently used in the number 2 letter and that ball point pens were new and rare back then. I felt that this had some evidentiary value.
     
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  19. 9. Probably the most compelling piece of evidence regarding the artistic evidence comes from Exquisite Corpse pages 60-63. On page 60 of the book in figure 52 is a portrait of Dorothy Hodel and Juliet Browner who went on to become Juliet Man Ray. It was apparently taken by Man Ray. Then on EC page 62 the book states "Man Ray and Juliet sent Hodel a friendly postcard from Paris after they had settled into a new apartment there. 'What to (sic) you want from Paris besides a cocotte?' it says in closing. 'Love Juliet & Man'." Then on page 63 are two pictures, figure 55 and figure 56. The one on the top was taken by Man Ray (figure 55) whereas the one on the bottom (figure 56) was of Elizabeth Short. The similarities are obvious. For figure 55 the text states "In an image taken less than two years before the murder of Elizabeth Short, Juliet Browner lies supine with her arms above her head in a position recalling Man Ray's 'Minotaur'. On the wall above her is Man Ray's second version of le beau temps with a sectioned torso as it's central figure." Whether or not the figure in the picture on the wall is a sectioned torso is debatable. It appears it might be wearing a belt. Still, point taken. Another Man Ray work comes from EC page 53 (figure 43) which clearly shows a bisected torso. The text states that it "is one of many Man Ray works picturing sectioned bodies." Also on page 37 is another bisected work (figure 26) as compared to Figure 27 which is of Elizabeth Short's bisected body. The book goes on to say (EC Page 38) that surrealism which George Hodel was interested in was replete with dolls, mannequins and bisected figures. Another work worth mentioning comes from page 76 ( figure 72) which compares to the body of Elizabeth Short (figure 73). The text states "The cutaways in the thighs and abdomen bear parallels to the damage done to the body of Elizabeth Short". Another example is the "stocking mask" Man Ray portrait of his wife Juliet (EC 90, BDA1 242, BDA2 434) which is so similar to a letter sent by the purported killer. There are also many other argument and examples in Exquisite Corpse that will be left alone. I read EC many years ago (It came out in 2006) but it didn't impress me that much. It was only after reading in BDA2 pages 427-429 excerpts from Henry Miller's World of Sex that I began to think there was something to the artistic evidence. Steve Hodel says of his father that to other surrealist artists this was just jabber and entertainment but of his father he says "He drank the Kool Aid and BELIEVED". In EC page 158 it corroborates that Miller had a relationship with George Hodel saying that according to Joe Barrett, a roomer at the house, Miller was a guest at the Hodel home and Steve Hodel maintains that Dorothy Hodel was close to Miller and visited him at Big Sur.

    On page 82 of Exquisite Corpse the author(s) state "Whoever killed Elizabeth Short we maintain, was someone familiar with the art and ideas of surrealism-including the surrealist preoccupation with psychoanalysis and dreams. The murderer may have crossed the line from expressing sadistic fantasies through artistic works to expressing them in real acts of aggression. George Hodel's interest in dream states and psychoanalysis was evident in his taste in fiction, film, and art". What other doctor could this be said about?

    To anyone who has seen both it is obvious that the 1991 Paula Abdul music video "Rush, Rush" is based on the 1955 movie "Rebel Without a Cause". According to the Wikipedia article "Rush Rush" the video uses the same car and the same observatory as the movie. Also in one part Paula Abdul replicates a scene originally done by Natalie Wood in the movie. What can be said is that the person who created the music video must also have seen the movie.

    Throughout these books it is established fairly well that George Hodel definitely had an interest in art, most especially surrealist art. There are many examples, some of which I won't even bother to list. Probably the best example comes from BDA1 page 242 where Steve Hodel talks about his father's interest in a local surrealist artist's work (Fernando Modesto) when he lived in Manila. He writes "From that first showing until his return to the United States from Asia in 1990 Father would be Modesto's patron, buying virtually everything he created . And Modesto was prolific. By 1990 Father had amassed a personal collection of over 1,600 Modesto works, 95 percent of which would have to be considered erotica". In Conf Tr. page 33 George Hodel is quoted as saying that he would be selling his art collection. In BDA1 page 460 and BDA2 pages 336-337 it talks about how George Hodel in 1925 published a short lived art magazine which was dedicated to the "bizarre beauty in the arts". In BDA1 page 460 it talks about how with the magazine Fantasia, Hodel reviewed Ben Hecht's Fantazius Mallare and praised the story where the protagonist beats and strangles the black haired Rita, avenging himself for her teasing.

    There are at least a couple of cases where artistic evidence played a part in solving a case, one in fiction, the other in real life. The fictional case was from the 1971 Columbo episode "Murder by the Book" where Columbo uses artistic evidence to solve the case. The real life case is that of Kristin Rossum who was convicted of killing her husband. In that case her husband was poisoned and when the body was found it was surrounded by roses. This was important because her favorite movie was "American Beauty" where roses were a key theme. In one key scene actress Mena Suvari was surrounded by roses . In the case a key piece of evidence was that they had a receipt where Rossum had bought a bunch of roses but nonetheless.

    Elizabeth Short was known to have posed as a model (BDA1 pages 516-517, various). By the same toke George Hodel was known to take pictures of women in modeling type situations(BDA1 39-41). Elizabeth Short was picked up by Red Manley (BDA1 page 146) whereas George Hodel picked up the model/actress Kiyo (BDA1 page 123). I believe that George Hodel killed Elizabeth Short. The whys and the wherefores remain an unknown.

    10. The black hairs. In BDA1 page 554 it states "We know from 1947 reports that black hair follicles were found on Elizabeth Short's nude body at the crime scene and that LAPD criminalist Ray Pinker made microscopic comparison to the victim's hair and found it to be different. Detectives theorized that it came from her killer". BDA1 page 541 speaks of same black hair. From BDA2 page 22 from page 29 of Madi Comfort's autobiography, who was an actress who knew George Hodel, she states that he had black hair. Also on BDA1 page 172 the text states "The LAPD crime lab analysis had quickly connected the envelopes and paper used (It is speaking of letter #4) and indicated that the same suspect who sent the original packet containing the victim's identification and address book also sent the subsequent offers to surrender in exchange for a ten-year sentence. Additional important evidence found on these notes by the crime lab were that several dark hairs had been imbedded in the scotch tape used to paste on the words. Upon comparison, the hairs were found not to be those of the victim, but nonetheless became an important clue, to be matched to the hair of future suspects".

    11. In the 2006 episode of Cold Case Files on A&E on The Black Dahlia some of the evidence that came out incriminating George Hodel was that he had a bathtub and that he had the perfect place to do it. In BDA2 page 96 and other it speaks of same bathtub even though the Cold Case Files episode filmed a scene from there. Bathtubs were very common back then. I suppose it's true that he had the perfect place to do it in the sense that he could have taken the body to his car without anyone seeing him because it was obscured but by the same token it didn't seem to bother the killer too much to stand by the side of the road for 3 or 4 minutes at 6:30 in the morning on a weekday on a through street with a dead body right there.
     
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  20. OTHER SUSPECTS

    Leslie Dillon was a suspect who was seriously considered as the possible killer by the LAPD in 1949. He was not a doctor. He was a mortician's assistant. Although they have their disagreements Donald Wolfe (BDF 239-246), Larry Harnisch (lmharnisch.blogspot.com 4/22/2006) and Steve Hodel (BDA2 page 401) all agree that he was not the killer. The ordeal began when he wrote to Dr. Paul DeRiver who was familiar with the case and discussed it. The authorities thought that he knew too much but upon further examination he seemed to know only things that were written about in crime magazines and the newspapers. What all three of the previously mentioned writers agree on is that he had an alibi. In BDA2 page 401 Steve Hodel writes that that in October of 1949 Detective Finis Brown went to San Francisco which was Leslie Dillon's hometown and found he had an alibi. Larry Harnisch says that Dillon spoke of a certain Jeff Connors who DeRiver thought was Dillon's alter ego who committed the crime but police investigated and found the real Jeff Connors. Some people have said that although Dillon had an alibi for certain dates or was in San Francisco at the time in January of 1947 he didn't have an alibi for the January 9 through January 15 time frame. First off the police don't agree with that. Second off not only would he have had to have an alibi for then but he would had to been in Los Angeles to make the phone call to the LA Examiner, sent the first package, sent the second letter land probably other letters as well as well as possibly other things. It all seems pretty unlikely.

    Dr. Walter Bayley is another suspect who was not under suspicion during the time of the original investigation. He died in 1948. Larry Harnisch seems to think he should be the number one suspect. The evidence is discussed on lmharnisch.com/bayley.html and also in BDA1 pages 344-345. The evidence is that he was a surgeon so he had the ability to commit the crime. Also Bayley's daughter knew Adrian West, Elizabeth Short's sister and in fact was a witness at her marriage. Also the body was found less than a block from where he once lived and his estranged wife lived at the time of the murder. Also he had a woman colleague Dr. Alexandra Von Partyka who was blackmailing him. As Steve Hodel explains in his book the reason his colleague was probably blackmailing him was because he was probably a part of an abortion ring. As Steve Hodel explains Bayley's office was the same as Dr. Audrain who Charles Stoker names in Thicker 'N Thieves as being an abortionist doctor. Harnisch provides no evidence that Bayley knew Elizabeth Short. Dr. Bayley was 67 years old at the time of the murder. He was 42 years older than Elizabeth Short. All other things being equal people tend to commit crimes when they are young and less when they all older. David Berkowitz, the son of sam, was young. Charles Manson was young. BTK (Dennis Rader) was young when he committed his murders. As he got older he committed fewer if any murders. The list goes on and on. As far as the location of the body if a body is found under somebody's house or in their backyard that's pretty significant but a block from where they used to live is not particularly significant. On page 464 of BDA1 Steve Hodel has a footnote which says that in a 1999 documentary on the Black Dahlia, Joseph Wambaugh concluded that Bayley could not have done it. Also there is the paucity of the evidence. There just isn't much evidence. Bayley had Alzheimer's disease around the time of. Harnisch's scenario seems to be that Bayley, in the throes of dementia, committed the crime, bisecting the body and then made the phone call, then sent the package and then the note and possibly other notes and beyond. I don't buy it. There is no precedent for this.

    Another doctor discussed as a possible suspect is Dr. Patrick O'Reilly. As discussed in the Wikipedia article Black Dahlia Suspects the evidence is that Dr. O'Reilly was a friend of Mark Hansen a nighclub owner who knew Elizabeth Short well and in fact she lived in his home. According to the article "files state that O'Reilly attended sex parties with Hansen". O'Reilly also had a history of sexually motivated crime, once attacking his secretary. There is some other evidence which I won't discuss. The problem again is the paucity of evidence. I had read once on the forum on either BethShort.com or The Black Dahlia in Hollywood that O'Reilly had an alibi.

    The Cleveland Torso Murder was an unapprehended serial killer who bisected his victims in the Cleveland area in the late 1930s. There was also a letter from somebody who claimed to be the killer that was sent to the Cleveland Chief of Police in 1938 and postmarked from Los Angeles saying that he had moved to Los Angeles or at least California. In the Wikipedia article Cleveland Torso Murderer it claims that the killer is credited with killing 12 people including 7 men and 5 women. All were beheaded and the bodies were also found in either steams or a dump. All victims were described as either drifters or among the working poor. In BDA2 page an LA Examiner article it describes a series of murders including Elizabeth Short none of whom were beheaded and the bodies were found where they could easily be found which was not the case with the Cleveland Torso Murderer. Also of the 11 murder victims that Steve Hodel discusses in BDA1 all were female, most were found on the side of the road and of them they for the most part were not among the working poor. Another list comes from BDA1 page 227 which comes from The Long Beach Press Telegram dated June 16,1949. In that list all of the victims (of whom totaled 9) were female and none were beheaded am0ngst other things. The victimology is just simply different.

    The Donald Wolfe theory as described mostly in chapters 18-20 of The Black Dahlia Files is that Norman Chandler, then publisher then on the Los Angeles Times and arguably the most powerful man in Los Angeles got Elizabeth Short pregnant. He then got his buddies in the mob to take care of it and the rest is history. First off even if that unlikely event were to happen if the mob did it they would have just put a bullet in her brain and buried her somewhere. Gangsters don't act like this. Wolfe also borrows a character from John Gilmore's "Severed" in Jack Anderson Wilson who goes by Arnold Smith. Unlike Severed which apparently had Wilson doing it alone he is one of four people in BDF who were part of the crime including gangster Bugsy Siegel. Larry Harnisch in his blogspot book review of BDF says that book borrows heavily from Severed. Even Severed by itself has its problems. Wilson conveniently died before police could talk to him. Also according to the message boards of either BethShort.com or the Black Dahlia in Hollywood the tapes of Gilmore interviewing Wilson have disappeared if they even existed to begin with.
     
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