Bugging Tapes "Baron" Identified!

Genealogist’s tip leads to identity of George Hodel’s confidant/accomplice

Thanks to a recent email from JIL ANDERSON, a genealogist/researcher, the fifty-nine year-old mystery of the identity of “The German Baron” overhead speaking in conversation with my father on the February 18, 1950, DA HODEL- BLACK DAHLIA SURVEILLANCE TAPES has been solved.  Here is JIL’s verbatim e-mail to me, describing her findings:

Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 7:42 PM

Subject: Identity of Baron Herringer

Dear Steve,

After having read all of your website, I forgot to mention that I think I may have discovered the identity of “Baron Herringer” – not that it will make any difference, but thought you might be interested to know what popped up on a genealogy website. (I have frequently done “random acts of genealogical kindness” for people searching their ancestry; and likewise, people have helped me with discovering my own family tree.)

Maybe you already know about him, but your intriguing statement that no one knew who he was, made me wonder if I could locate him in the genealogical databases. Since he was German, and I know that families wanting to express nobility frequently use the name “von” in their names, I looked him up that way. The fact that he was called “Baron” makes me think that was a nickname, leading people to believe him to be of noble heritage. So I have attached some records of one “Ernst Von Harringa” who emigrated from Germany, via Chungking China, to the United States. He applied for naturalization 5 times and wed an American in 1939. (Actually he had changed his name from Ernst Franz Meyer which was his name in Germany.) He was a writer and an art dealer and married a socialite by the name Alene.

Also in a book about Aleister Crowley, titled The Unknown God, there is a mention of “Baron Ernst Von Harringa”.

I’ve attached these documents . . . the extent of my suspicion of who “Baron Herringer” was.


Jil Anderson

Having just completed two months of  research on the name provided by JIL , I can say with complete confidence that-SHE HAS IDENTIFIED THE RIGHT MAN.

The Back-Story on  “Baron Herringer”

Those of you who have read the updated version of BDA will be familiar with the heretofore unidentified “Baron” from the DA/LAPD- HODEL – BLACK DAHLIA TAPES.  (BDA pages 468-471)

This man initially identified by LAPD on the tapes as “a man with a German accent”, (and then in later transcripts named as, “Baron Herringer” (phonetic) is first heard on the tapes in conversation (live, not phone tap) with Dr. George Hodel at the Franklin House– on February 18, 1950.

In that conversation, George Hodel makes the following incriminating admissions implicating both himself and “The Baron” in various criminal activities. Here is a brief recap [sic] from the DA transcripts:

7:35 PM

Hodel to the German – “This is the best pay off I’ve seen between Law Enforcement Agencies. You do not have the right connection made.” Hodel states, “I’d like to get a connection made in the D.A.’s office.”

General conversation between the two – “Any imperfections will be found. They will have to be made perfect. Don’t confess ever. Two and two is not four. Much laughter. “We’re just a couple of smart boys.” More laughter.

Hodel then -in exact detail-explained to the German about his wife being stopped on Wednesday morning by McGrath and Morgan of the District Attorney’s office when they stopped her going up her steps to the house on Franklin. It should be noted that every question asked of Mrs. Hodel was repeated ver-batum by Hodel to this German. He then began to explain to this German about his recent trial – making statements that, “There out to get me. Two men in the D.A.’s officer were transferred and demoted because of my trial.” Hodel then explained about his being questioned at the D.A.’s office on Wednesday morning, and told in great detail as to questions perpounded to him at that time. One statement made to the German was as follows: “Supposin I did kill the Black Daliah. They couldn’t prove it now. They can’t talk to my Secretary anymore because she’s dead.”

One point of the conversation was also, “Have you heard from Powers”.


Hodel talking to a man with an acent, possibly German. “Telephone men were here. Operator..?  Realize there was nothing I could do put a pillow over her head, and cover her with a blanket. Get a taxi. Call Georgia Street Receiving Hospital right away. Expired at 12:39. They though there was something fishy. Anyway, now they may have figured it out. Killed her. Maybe I did kill my Secretary.”

(SKH Note- This conversation relates to the murder of his personal secretary, Ruth Spaulding in 1945 by overdose of barbiturates. LAPD actively investigated him at that time, but were unable to prove a case. Two weeks after these statements are made, we find in DA Lt. Jemison’s March 4, 1950 notes that he has reactivated that investigation and is preparing to reinterview all of the original 1945 witnesses in the Ruth Spaulding investigation.(See Book Gallery Photo Section, Image 25)

The February 18, 1950 tapes go on to document a series of events at the Franklin House which involve George Hodel, “The Baron” and an unidentified woman who could well have been the victim of –a murder in progress.   

Briefly summarized, the woman is first heard crying. Later she is heard dialing the operator, more crying. Then later still, she is heard to scream out. George Hodel and The Baron are heard digging in the basement.  The woman screams again. A sound of a pipe hitting something solid, then the woman is silent. While this is all recorded on tape and reported in the DA transcripts, incredibly NO ACTION IS TAKEN BY THE OFFICERS.(Had I been monitoring those audio tapes, both my partner and I would have been out the door of the police station in seconds and driving code-2  (damn fast!)  to the Franklin House which was about five-minutes away. We would have kicked down the door and forced entry in hopes of saving a life. It is just unbelievable that the two-man surveillance team sat in the basement of LAPD Hollywood Station and –DID NOTHING.)

This raises a second obvious question – Why did law enforcement, not conduct any follow-up on “The Baron?” 


Here is what my research has produced so far:

Born Ernst Franz Meyer in Netteln, Germany on March 4, 1899.

Fought aa a soldier in WW I, during the Second Reich (Weimar Republic 1919-1933)

Worked as a “banker” in Chungking, China

Meyer sailed from Shanghai, China to San Francisco on the vessel, Taiyo Maru and entered the U.S. on August 21, 1925

On December 11, 1932 “The Baron” writes a lengthy article for the L.A. Times, entitled,

I FOUGHT AMERICANS-But, they healed my hate.” His introduction begins, “My first contact with them was on the battlefields, and they were such good sports I decided to become an American citizen myself– which I’ve just done.” (His entire article is a blatant attempt to help him  gain citizenship, which was denied.)

Legally changed his name to “Ernest Von Harringa” and on a 1933 “Declaration of Intention” the document lists his physical description as: Male, White, age 34, 5-10, 175, blonde hair, blue eyes, occupation- “Writer”. Residence, 947 Parkview St., Los Angeles, California. Marital Status- Single.

On November 4, 1931 Von Harringa is arrested by LAPD for “attempted extortion.” The victim was Dr. H. Clifford Loos and his former wife, Mrs. Anita Johnson. The charges alleged that “Von Harringa demanded $5,000.00 from Dr. Loos and Mrs. Johnson under threats of defaming their character in published articles.” Baron Harringa is found guilty of the charges, but then the case is later overturned on appeal.

On April 2, 1933 “The Baron” writes a lengthy article which is published in the L.A. Times entitled, I WAS A BANKER IN CHINA. The introduction begins, “Far in the interior, near the Tibetan border, I ran into strange customs-forty-course banquets, ninety kinds of currency, bandits who robbed one politely…and business methods, which will make you smile.”

1935, Los Angeles artist, Robert McIntosh creates a portrait of Ernst Von Harringa entitled, “The German Art Dealer.” (The oil is currently on display at the Trigg Ison Art Gallery, 511 N. Robertson Bl., West Hollywood. Asking price $30,000.00)

1937-  Baron von Harringa opens his art gallery in the posh OVIATT BUILDING and receives a write-up and opening announcement in the Los Angeles Times from then art-critic, Arthur Millier who had this to say about Baron Harringa’s gallery:


Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1939


Good clothes and good pictures consort well together. So we have the Oviatt Galleries, just opened by Ernst v. Harringa in the well-known clothier’s establishment downtown.

Some excellent pictures by older masters are in this first showing, among them two exceptionally fine “Scenes Galeantes” by Pater of eighteenth century France, a very pure “Madonna,” attributed to Luis de Morales, the great sixteenth century Spanish religious painter; a fine anonymous Flemish “Bearing of the Cross,” done about 1820; Joseph Highmore’s, “Portrait of a Gentleman,” better than many an alleged Gainsborough; an exquisite small circular river scene by Herman Saftleven, pupil of Van Goyen, a portrait by Rembrandt’s pupil, Levecque, and canvases by Gillis van Tilborch, Charles Le beran, Berne-Bellecour, Charles Hoguet and an anonymous Spanish painter of “St. Francis.” The choice of works shown inspires confidence in the future of this enterprise.

(SKH Note- The Oviatt Building, 617 So. Olive St., a striking art-deco was built in 1928, and remains one of L.A.’s finest architectural buildings. The clothier with its clock-tower restaurant was home to Hollywood’s rich and famous. See video trailer for its remarkable history. The building and Baron Harringa’s art gallery were just one-block from the Biltmore Hotel and three blocks from Dr. George Hill Hodel’s then private medical practice at 7th & Flower St.)   

Here is how the Art Deco Society described the OVIATT building for a 2008 lecture and film screening:

Through lecture and film screening, here is the untold story of downtown Los Angeles’ first Art Deco jewel: the 1928 Oviatt Building and its opulent penthouse. Virtually a second home to Clark Gable, Errol Flynn and other male stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age; the Oviatt Building housed L.A.’s finest haberdashery and catered to filmdom’s titans. For eight decades, its glamorous and controversial history has been shrouded in mystery and clouded by misinformation…until now. Full of long-lost archival images and long-forgotten events, this myth-busting documentary spans more than a century and interviews the men and women who shaped the Oviatt Building’s turbulent history. Trailer | More  


On a 1939 Petition for Naturalization, Von Harringa provided additional information: Residence address listed as, 946 Arapahoe St, Los Angeles. Occupation- “Art Dealer” He claims he was married to Alene von Harringa on 1/14/39 in Calabasas, California, declaring his wife to be a U.S. citizen with a birth date of 5/12/12.  He listed her residence address as, 3747 ½ W. 27th St., Los Angeles. (Documents indicate Harringa had previously requested but was denied citizenship in 1931.)

  In November, 1952 Harringa reportedly leaves the U.S. “for a job building dams in India. “

Baron Harringa, and  W.T. Smith – Church of Thelema connections:

In my further search for information on Baron Harringa, I found very little personal  information  available but did find some important insights in the book mentioned by Jil Anderson in her email, The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites, (Teitan Press: November 2003) by Martin P. Starr.

An excerpt from the publisher’s description of the book:

The first documentary study of Aleister Crowley’s contemporary followers in North America, told through the life of their de facto leader, Wilfred Talbot Smith (1885-1957). Smith. …To promulgate the Crowleyan teachings, in 1934 Smith incorporated his own “Church of Thelema”–known to Los Angeles newspaper readers as the “Purple Cult.” The following year he initiated OTO activity in Los Angeles which attracted its own cast of occult characters.

It turns out that Wilfred Talbot Smith and Baron von Harringa, according to author/researcher, Martin Starr, were close friends in Los Angeles. Mr. Starr in his book includes some brief but quite remarkable insights into Ernst von Harringa and his personality. I quote from the excerpted pages of Starr’s book:

The Unknown God, page 322-323:

In the hiatus, Smith had befriended Baron Ernst von Harringa (b.1899), a naturalized German art dealer and importer who worked as the director of the Oviatt Galleries in Los Angeles. Von Harringa had studied in Count Hermann Keyserling’s “School of Wisdom” which had been founded in Darmstadt, Germany in 1920; he also claimed the passing acquaintance of Theodor Reuss. However, he knew nothing of Crowley’s work prior to his friendship with Smith. The Baron was a lover of Chinese art and bestowed many prize objects of virtu on Smith and Helen. Calling on his training as a cabinetmaker, he had Smith construct replicas of Asian furniture for sale in his gallery. Helen cheerfully waited on her two “big boys” as they spent long hours drinking tea and sharing their ideas. Given von Harringa’s level of understanding, Smith considered him the equivalent of an Exempt Adept; Jane, too, was impressed by his person, thinking him a second Crowley, but changed her mind after she read several analyses of the Baron’s horoscope, including one prepared by Phyllis Seckler. Von Harringa was an extreme individualist and he felt that any effort for humanity was a waste, in view of the catastrophe that he believed was just around the corner. …

Smith felt himself loved and understood by von Harringa, who left California in November 1952 for a job building dams in India and never saw his friend alive again. Helen and Smith kept up a regular correspondence with the Baron, and frequently lamented his absence from their lives. To his intellectual soulmate Smith revealed his thoughts on politics, gender roles and the future of humanity, sometimes all rolled into the same paragraph:

We are headed for a radical social change; which among other things, will ultimate in the ladies fulfilling the function nature (not man) adapted them to better grace, and less intrusion into spheres of activity they are so unsuited to occupy. Men will find them at hand when they are needed and in the interim enjoy tranquility and peace, or the company of an intellectual, wise, and understanding companion. (Smith to Ernst von Harringa, June 28, 1954, WTS Papers.)

What was the George Hodel — Ernst von Harringa connection?

With the identification of “The Baron” it seems we have created more questions than found answers. (Frequently the case.)

Did George Hodel and Ernst von Harringa’s friendship in L.A. trace back to his arrival in the mid-twenties?  Perhaps.

Did Ernst Harringa as a high-profile art-dealer know and possibly even represent George Hodel’s close friend, artist, Fred Sexton?  Very likely. At the very least, they must have known each other-perhaps much more?

Was Baron Harringa associated with many or most of the men and women of the L.A. art world, listed in Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss’ book, Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and The Black Dahlia Murder in their listing and map of the,  Los Angeles 1935-1950 A Web of Connections”?  Almost certainly.

We now know that Harringa and Hodel’s L.A. offices were within three blocks of each other and in their chosen professions as art dealer and physician both socialized with the rich and famous, as well as city politicians and men in power.

It is obvious the two men were kindred spirits. Both had a love of art and enjoyed intellectually stimulating conversation. Both shared a burning desire to travel and had been to many of the same locals in China, including Chungking and Shanghai. Both were extremely eccentric and from what we know from the bugging tapes were politically connected and at the very least were involved in payoffs to law enforcement, as well as accomplices in the assault or possible murder of a female victim at the Franklin House. “We’re just a couple of smart boys. Don’t confess ever.”

What other crimes had the two men committed?  It is likely we will never know? But, now, thanks to JIL ANDERSON’s efforts, we do know “The Baron’s” identity and have gained some fairly good insights into his background.

Should any of my readers have additional information on this mysterious Baron Harringa, please feel free to forward it to me via email.

Stay tuned; I’m confident that this is not the last word on Baron Ernst von Harringa.

 (Double click photos to enlarge)


Harringa Declarations 



 Oviatt Building


“The German Art Dealer”  by Rober MacIntosh (1938)




 Harringa extortion 1931




  Lt. Jemison “Spaulding” reinvestigation



  1. Peter Keller on May 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Haven’t you stated that you thought your father smuggled art objects from China and used them to finance his departure from the United States? The ‘baron’ would have been useful as a fence or intermediary to a fence. Perhaps Powers?

  2. Steve Hodel on May 28, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Yes, I think Baron Harringa would have been a very likely source on disposing of my father’s Chinese art objects. Dad sold them to pay for his attorney, Jerry Giesler and to “get out of Dodge.”

  3. Marcel Bonner on May 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Is Mrs. Anita Johnson also Anita Loos the screenwriter?

  4. Steve Hodel on May 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Interesting observation. Don’t know. But, check out http://www.imdb.com for
    Anita Loos, who has quite an impressive filmography. It does mention
    her brother was founder of the Medical Center, soooo.

  5. Karen on May 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Wikipedia says Anita Loos married Frabk Pallma, Jr and John Emerson.
    She didn’t believe in taking her husband’s name after marriage.

  6. Kathie on June 7, 2009 at 11:41 am

    On the Beth Short.com website there was someone trying to establish a connection between Short’s death and the occult/Crowley. Have you found any evidence that your father was also interested in Crowley, or that Fred Sexton was?

  7. Steve Hodel on June 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    No. On the contrary, everything that I know about my father would point in the opposite direction. Being a man of science (as well as a Misanthrope and Nihilist) he had zero interest or beliefs in any “isms” or philosophies. In conversations with me, he made it clear that he had total disdain for anything metaphysical or “occult.” That is not to say that he didn’t identify and personally subscribe to the thoughts of a kindred spirit such as the Marquis De Sade, but that was personal and private. George Hodel was a loner, not a joiner. Can’t speak for Fred Sexton, but I seriously doubt it.

  8. Tim on March 20, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Did you try contacting the Trigg Ison gallery? Their site shows a picture of Robert McIntosh alive and well on march 8, 2008 — there’s a living link to v. Harringa right there who might have some recollections. Better hurry, though, Bob doesn’t look to be getting any younger.

  9. Steve Hodel on March 20, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion. It was the very first action I took. Shortly after making the positive identification of “The Baron” I did visit the gallery and met with the owner and saw the original painting which was then on display. I explained my desire to meet and or talk with the artist and the owner contacted Mr. McIntosh, who declined to talk to me due to “poor health.” I did learn from the gallery owner that Robert McIntosh and Baron Harringa “had had a falling out” due to a dispute over the painting.” Apparently, it was over the fact that Baron Harringa, a decade or so after the painting was created, approached McIntosh and demanded that he be given the portrait, claiming that “it belonged to him by the fact that he had posed for it.” Obviously, that claim didn’t hold water (or oil) with McIntosh who retained the painting and the two men had a “parting of the ways.” I would have liked to have been able to talk with McIntosh not only because of his connections to “The Baron” but, also because the chances are good they he may well have known and been friends with another fellow LA artist, George Hodel’s good friend, and probable accomplice in some of the crimes, Fred Sexton.

  10. Tim on March 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Heh, heh, forgot I was talking to a detective. But thanks for the additional info! Your account of this investigation is the most fascinating true-life story I have ever heard.
    It’s interesting that the one personal account we have of v. Harringa shows him acting with a level of arrogance and entitlement that is frankly bizarre. Surely an art dealer ought to know better. (Though any time I hear the phrase “art dealer in the 30s and 40s,” a voice in my head shouts, “GRIFTER! CROOK!”) Maybe his demands aren’t an indicator of psychopathy, but they sure don’t exclude it. This guy, already the Mayor of Hinkyville, has one anecdote, and it’s WEIRD.
    But again, I’m telling you things you already know.

  11. California Girl on May 31, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    While Crowley was supposed to be this great occult figure, he was really more about kinky sex than the occult. His occult reputation merely brought more fish into his net.

  12. Steve Hodel on June 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Snakes and their oil were cheap and plentiful back then. (Still Are.)
    Especially in the “Promised Land” of California and Los Angeles-Cult City.

    • Frank Adkins on July 30, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      In LA everybody has a tan,hard to tell the shaman from the con man.they all look great n healthy. Lol.

  13. Michael McTeer on September 25, 2010 at 1:56 am

    The Anita in the 1931/1932 Extortion story/case was the ex-wife of Clifford LOOS (co-founder of Ross-Loos Medical Group) who resumed her maiden name JOHNSON after the divorce and then remarried becoming Anita WAND. According to the LA TIMES articles, von HARRINGA was convicted and then a new trial was ordered by the presiding judge who reversed his own previous decision about evidence that he did not allow (namely letters from Anita). The case was then dismissed upon motion by Deputy DA KEARNEY who according to the 17 May 1932 article “told the court that if the letters, assertedly written several years ago when the youthful German and Mrs. Wand were close friends, were admitted into evidence an acquittal would be probable.” The contents were not disclosed nor why it would not be considered extortion or blackmail. von HARRINGA later sued for false arrest but that case was dismissed.
    Regarding the 1939 naturalization petition, of some interest are the witnesses: William B. NEELEY and Ellery CUFF, both public defenders for the county and the former to later become a judge.
    According to a 5 Dec 1928 LA TIMES article, Ernst MEYER had petitioned and received approval for a legal name change claiming HAMIGA as his native German name.

  14. Chuck Murray on March 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    i have read your book Most Evil and I am convinced of your fathers guilt. With the development of Touch DNA hopefully the victims with finally rest in peace and their families will find closure. Keep up the great work.

  15. Steve Hodel on March 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks Chuck. It really is incredible that law enforcement has not done anything by way of securing confirmed DNA in the Zodiac crimes. Ball is in their court now. No reason why they can’t get it and put it in CODIS data banks. Maybe some day?

  16. Wolfgang Von Harringa on July 17, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Do you think Hamiga was his native name or could it have been made up.

  17. Steve Hodel on July 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Well, according to his “papers” he claimed his birthname was: Ernst Franz Meyer, born March 4, 1899 in Nuttein, Germany. Whether there was any truth to his assumed legal name of HARRINGA hard to say? Relatives or assumed? Toss a coin on that one.

  18. webmaster on June 29, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Nice Article.i have read your book Most Evil. With the development of Touch DNA hopefully the victims with finally rest in peace and their families will find closure. Keep up the great work. Thank you so much for sharing useful information………

  19. Steve Hodel on June 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for the support. Steve

  20. BrotherBob on October 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Have you ever found any connection between OTO members Jack Parsons and L Ron Hubbard and the Babalon working rituals in Los Angeles in 1946-1948 and BD. Parsons was a prominent figure in LA occult circles and would most likely have known Baron Harringa. Several passages in Parson’s Liber 49, which documented the rituals, are eery when considering the almost ritual-like nature of Beth’s murder.
    Also, it sounds like you suspect at least three men and potentially one woman in the murders: your father, Sexton, Harringa and possibly the woman who accompanied two men to San Diego and the Biltmore (?) Hotel. That sure sounds “cult-like”.

  21. Steve Hodel on November 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Brother Bob: So far the only direct link is Baron Harringa to W.T. Smith of the Thelema Church, as close friends. I agree that the Elizabeth Short torture/murder, does seem to have “cult-like” signatures to it. Whether this was “organized” or something that was based on George ‘s and a few friends hatred of women is difficult to say. I began this investigation thinking it was his action alone, now I’m not so sure. As the years pass, I find myself leaning more toward the possibility that others were directly involved. Sexton, Harringa, Ellen as possibly the unidentified woman??? My problem with that theory is knowing how difficult it is “to keep a secret.” and not have it leak out sometime over the decades. On the flip side, we now have the statement from Edmund Teske that “women were tortured and murdered” at the Franklin House. (As presented in my updated investigation in BDA II.) Regards, Steve

    • BrotherBob on December 4, 2017 at 12:13 am

      Steve, cant believe it took me 5 years to respond. Here is the connection to Jack Parsons and L Ron Hubbard. Harringa’s best buddy WT Smith was the Mentor of Jack Parsons in the Agape Lodge of the OTO. Smith’s wife Helen was actually Jack Parson’s ex wife. To make an even closer connection, the Agape Lodge met at Parson’s home in Pasadena and WT Smith and Helen lived in Parson’s home. In fact, Parsons financially supported Smith with a monthly stipend.

      Therefore, it is highly probable that if Harringa knew Smith well, and was a member of the Agape Lodge, Harringa had connections to Parson.

      The connection between Parsons, the Agape Lodge and L Ron Hubbard is well established. Hubbard married Hellen’s sister Betty, who had been Jack Parsons long-term lover until she ran off with Hubbard. Yes, Parsons exes were Helen and Betty who married Smith and Hubbard respectively.

      Regarding you father having been a man of science, Jack Parsons was a literal “rocket scientist” and funding member of the JPL and Aerojet. He was the principle inventor of modern solid rocket fuel, JATO rockets and was a profound scientific mind. He was also one of the pre-eminent occultists of his day and a devoted follower of Aleister Crowley.

      The OTO of the 1940s Los Angeles was not unlike the Hellfire Club. Maybe not to lower level members, but those of at least the VIII and IX degrees were essentially in a sex cult, where orgies, bisexuality and extremely questionable sex acts were commonplace. Crowley was their leader and wrote ll their rituals. This is the same person whose Temple of Thelema in pre-war Italy was rumored to have included sacrifices, beastiality and blood rites.

      Parson and Hubbard performed their Babalon Working ritual in 1946 and Parsons declared that the results of it would become known in nine months. Another name of interest was the red-heaed, b-actress and future wife of Jack Parsons, Marjorie Cameron.

      Anyway, I think it is safe to assume Harringa was acquainted with, at a minimum, Jack Parsons. The real question to me is did George Hotel also know Parsons.

      • BrotherBob on December 4, 2017 at 12:16 am

        sorry for typos. On mobile device.

      • Steve Hodel on December 4, 2017 at 12:30 am

        Brother Bob: Thanks for the additional information. Lot to ponder here.

      • BrotherBob on December 4, 2017 at 12:35 am

        By the way artist Man Ray was connected closely to William Seabrook, who was famed as a sexual sadist. Seabrook was an occultist and friend and involved with Aleister Crowley.


        • Steve Hodel on December 4, 2017 at 12:40 am

          BrotherBob: Yes, I’m familiar with the Seabrook/Man Ray connections and photographs. (Seabrook had him photograph some S&M staging with his wife and designed a collar with spikes for her to wear. (But, only in impolite society).

          • Bebe on April 20, 2019 at 5:53 am

            Hi Steve, thanks so much for your incredible work on this case, as an artist, I’m obsessed and horrified.

            I recently found a photograph, I believe it’s the one you have mentioned above, from the Man Ray book, “The Fantasies of Mr.Seabrook c.1930” It is of a nude bound woman in a cross “X” position. This image though made in 1930 looks to me to be the exact same way the Black Dahlia was murdered? In the photograph, the woman is nude and bound around the ankles and wrists and has a collar or restraint around her neck, a rope is placed across her waist where the Black Dahlia was cut in two, one person is clamping or doing something to her right breast and there is a knife? held on the pubic bone area, where an incision was made on the Black Dahlia’s body?

            In the photograph, there are two people over the woman’s body. Is their evidence of a team of people executing the murder as Dr. Hodel looked on and instructed? Then after the body was washed and cleaned Dr. Hodel took the body sections and created the Minotaur (Man Ray) homage scene? Similar in fashion to the way some popular artists today create their artworks, by instructing a team of two or three people?

            The image is very disturbing in context to the Black Dahlia case, especially where the rope is placed. Could this image have been a guide or template for the murder? Can you talk more about this image and is it just a coincidence that the Black Dahlia murder and this image are so very very similar?


          • Steve Hodel on April 20, 2019 at 11:48 am

            Bebe: Thank you for the email and comments. Yes, the Seabrook photo is the one I have referenced in the past. But, we find numerous references to this same theme (the bisected woman, trauma to the body and hands positioned in the “Minotaur position”) throughout Man Ray and his fellow surrealist’s works. See below link to Man Ray’s “Black Widow (1915) where he actually used a surgeon’s scalpel to bisect the woman’s body with her hands in the Minotaur position. Best, Steve https://stevehodel.com/2019/02/20/george-hodel-surrealism-man-ray-dali-and-new-zodiac-connections/

          • FErnando on December 28, 2021 at 8:12 am

            Hello Steve. First timer here. Have been reading page after page of your site and, in parallel, looking at the artworks to try to make my own opinion. So far, the more I see, the more I believe. It’s all blatantly out there for everyone to see. I guess that was part of “the game”.

            I just looked at that Seabrook picture. Not only did the body position and the highlighted areas (nipple, waist, vagina) strike me right on the chin, but I also find a facial resemblance with E.S.?

            If so, do you think that might have been a reason she was picked specifically?

            Ok I will get back to reading now.
            There’s still so much I want to know about this case.

            Thank you.

        • Luigi Warren on December 4, 2017 at 12:59 am

          Aleister Crowley used to send “Antichristmas cards” to his friends. Perhaps GHH cribbed that idea, too. -LW

          • Steve Hodel on December 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

            LW: Additional antireligious comments surface in GHH’s crimes very early on as I will be reporting in Book V: The Early Years.

        • Luigi Warren on December 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm

          In his autobiography, SELF-PORTRAIT, Man Ray describes meeting Aleister Crowley in Paris, although it does not seem they became friends. He also describes working with Seabrook, who at the time of their meeting kept a young woman (an S&M prostitute) chained to a post for days at a time in the luxurious Paris apartment he shared with his wife, Marjorie. Man Ray describes how the woman would be fed like a dog, with a plate of food cut up and left on the floor for her to eat. He says of Seabrook, “it must have been as the result of a childhood pampered by five doting aunts that he conceived the desire to torture women in a more or less benign manner.” Man Ray portrays himself as a wry, detached observer of his clients’ foibles in this account rather than an enthusiastic participant in their sexual shenanigans. -LW

      • Tami on May 12, 2019 at 5:49 pm

        I am just catching up on all of this, but my personal search for answers led me to the same conclusions, re: Aleister Crowley. “The Beast 666” was into sex — including incest and pedophilia, which were accusations brought against George Hodel by his own daughter. As already pointed out, Crowley knew William Seabrook, who was a cannibal; I always wondered if the missing pieces of Short’s body could have been used for that purpose.

        Both Crowley and L. Ron Hubbard founded cults (frankly, I view all religious groups as such). Hubbard was a bad sci fi writer; Crowley was a pervert. But I do believe that there is a connection between them and Hodel, Man Ray, and the other artists who were involved (even if they merely observed) with Elizabeth’s murder, even if it wasn’t for metaphysical purposes — but maybe these men wanted to use that as a cover for the twisted, sadistic acts in which they engaged. Many cult leaders have used “the word of God” as a cover for their perversions, to get away with raping underage girls, etc. Hodel and his cohorts may not have been believers in anything but their own power. I think it’s odd that the cold, menacing Lloyd Wright house was modeled after Maya architecture (a culture connected to human sacrifice) which was the exact opposite of the peaceful aesthetic of his father’s tranquil, Japanese-inspired designs. That house seems very fitting for a man who compared himself to the Marquis de Sade. Regardless of his feelings on the matter, one might think this was the continuation of a past life. Or maybe he was just evil, which is not necessarily linked to spiritual beliefs of any kind. I do think David Lynch’s short movie featuring men in severe black attire and a woman submerged in a tank of water like doctors performing a procedure, strikes a deep chord in me when it comes to this crime, and makes me think that Elizabeth Short was the unfortunate subject of a grotesque science experiment.

  22. Karin on August 18, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Who was Edmund Teske, and how did he know that?

    Best Regards, hotel receptionist

    • Steve Hodel on August 18, 2016 at 10:02 am

      Edmund Teske was a surrealist photographer and a close personal friend of both my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel and Man Ray. He lived just a few miles away in Hollywood and was a regular visitor to the Franklin House.
      See summary on his life here. Read BDA II for further.

  23. Tami on May 12, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Teske also did a lot of photography of Jim Morrison in the 60s.

    • Steve Hodel on May 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      Tami: Yes, and Jim Morrison and the Doors as an early band rented and were friendly with my ex/wife KIYO in Laurel Canyon. All after my divorce from her in ’65. She was their landlord and their “Astrologer.”
      Now there is a woman that was very likely into Black Magic and The Dark Arts. In retrospect, she made Femme Fatale’s look like pussycats. I think the Eagles “Witchy Woman” must have been written for HER.

      WITCHY WOMAN THE EAGLES- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJY2fX3pVM8&list=RDRJY2fX3pVM8&start_radio=1

  24. Andrew Ratajzak on June 11, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Hi. I tried to find traces of this Baron Herringa.
    But I could not find a town or a village named Netteln in Germany. So no chance to find a Birth Certificate from Church. His birthname should be Ernst Franz Meyer. But again no traces.

    Can you give more info on him?
    P.S. I am from Germany


    • Steve Hodel on June 19, 2021 at 9:42 pm

      Andrew R:
      Sorry have no additional information other than what was posted in that blog.
      It’s Harringa not Herringa. Aka, Ernest Von Harringa or Ernst Von Harringa.
      Regards, Steve

  25. Anon on June 5, 2022 at 11:17 am


    In the far-north of Germany.


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