New York Times Bestselling Author Steve Hodel


On the morning of February 15, 1950 the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office investigators interviewed Dr. George Hill Hodel at their downtown office in the Hall of Justice. He was detained and questioned at length.  Simultaneous to his detention, a team of electronic experts from both the DA and LAPD had secretly entered (burgled) and were installing several microphones in the walls of his private residence, “The Sowden/Franklin House.”  The officers then ran a phone line from the residence to the basement of Hollywood Police Station where they would monitor and tape-record the conversations.

These were live microphones (not a phone tap) and were meant to listen to and record live conversations coming from both his home office and bedroom.  The surveillance consisted of a joint taskforce of 18 detectives from LAPD and the DA’s office. In charge was, Lt. Frank B. Jemison, who had been assigned by the 1949 Grand Jury to reinvestigate the then two-year-old unsolved Black Dahlia Murder. (For the grand jury to give such an order was unheard of and to my knowledge this is the only time in the history of L.A. law-enforcement that such an action has ever occurred.)

The surveillance (both physical and electronic) of George Hodel as “the prime suspect” lasted 40 days and involved over 40 wire recordings, which contained over 1000 man hours of surveillance.  (LAPD has recently announced that all of the DA tapes have “disappeared.) What remains are the DA Hodel transcripts, consisting of 146-typed-pages, which are the officers’ verbatim entries during their stakeout in the basement of Hollywood Police Station, where they monitored and recorded the conversations.

I am here providing the actual detectives entries as they appear on the transcripts with no editing so their misspellings and phonetic entries (“Baron Herringer”instead of Harringa etc.) are as they appear in the original pages.  Separate to and below the actual conversations I have annotated the transcripts with explanations and identification of persons, when pertinent.

The 146-pages of transcript are here reduced to 15-pages of what I consider to be the most important conversations. I here provide them in PDF format  for your review. Keep in mind that these are the detectives’ entries and represent only a brief description of what was actually spoken in the conversations, which naturally would have been a much lengthier discussions. (For example, in one of the later conversations the officer merely writes, “Hodel talking about the Black Dahlia,” leaving the details of what was said, to be listened to at a later time.)

BDA II Chap 6 DA transcripts (6 MB file – please be patient while the transcripts download)


  1. Anthony Patstone on May 28, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Again the evidence abounds. I can’t believe some think it is NOT Dr. Hodel.

    • Joe Biden on September 27, 2016 at 10:48 am


  2. Steve Hodel on May 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I’m with you!

  3. Ray Murphy on October 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    This much-discussed photo found in Dr. Hodel’s photo album is a photo of Ann Toth.
    Doesn’t change the reality and it is just an observation.

  4. Steve Hodel on October 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I assume your talking about the yet unidentified reclining nude photo. To me, from the photos I’ve seen, it does not appear to be Ann Toth the part-time film actress. Many believe the photo resembles Jean Spangler and a number of photo comparisons can be found on-line. Fact is no actual positive ID has been made. As you rightfully point out,” it doesn’t change the reality.”

  5. Rick on November 27, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I have just finished your book and I believe you have proven the case is closed. But, several TV cable channels with credibility such as A & E and The History channel still declare it’s unsolved. Also the Medford, MA Historical Society as well.
    Any comments?

  6. Steve Hodel on November 27, 2009 at 11:25 am

    As you likely know, “today’s LAPD” position is, “We don’t have time to look at Hodel’s investigation to prove or not prove it. We are too busy with active investigations.” (This despite the fact that in 2004 LAPD Chief of Detectives James McMurray ordered them to “clear it, unless you can find some major holes in the investigation.” But, “old school LAPD detectives” rendered their “case solved” opinion long ago. Bottom line is that I wrote the investigation for YOU my readers to decide. YOU are the real jury. Most agree with you that the evidence is compelling and “beyond a reasonable doubt” which is the requirement for finding a defendant “guilty”. Recommend you check out the below FAQ 61 in my FAQ Section.

  7. Deuce on September 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I have to agree the evidence is compelling and “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” like him saying that they can’t talk to his secretary cause she is dead so they can’t prove nothing i worded it different but it is in the evidence box

  8. Tara on June 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Just finished your book, I could not put it down. I do agree with your theory, but at the same timeout continue to think about the impact your father’s lifestyle had on his children, the impact his misdeeds had on any advances women had made during that era to not be objectified, as well as all the family members left behind to mourn his victims. I applaud you for stepping out of such dysfunction and not only separating yourself from it, but also being able to take a clinical look at who your father really was. This is a book I will not forget for a long time.

    • Nadia John on February 5, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      i know this is an old comment, but I just wanted to second tara’s sentiment about ‘stepping outside the dysfunction and taking a clinical look at who your father really was”. my father is a psychopath, who brainwashed/controlled me with fear as a child and i never got to see him for who he was and im 21 and just now recovering from everything he has done and seeing beyond who he wanted me to perceive him as. I find ALL of your work courageous and I am inspired by you (and RIP Fauna’s ) drive to seek for justice.

      Blessing to you and your family

      • Steve Hodel on February 5, 2018 at 2:07 pm

        NJ: Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated. Steve

      • robert cook on June 2, 2018 at 9:00 am

        Nadia… this MKULTRA related? I have always thought George Hodel was sent to France as a kid to have him broken in a technique that would become famous after WW2 as MKULTRA. I think perhaps they were trying to create a musical prodigy but failed.

        I would do a heavy dive on the parents of George Hodel. Even a heavy dive on his Grandparents. I think there is a story there also.

  9. Steve Hodel on June 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Tara: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, the physical and psychological carnage he left behind is tremendous. So many lives and families impacted. Each of us leaves behind waves of good or ill in varying degrees, but his was tsunamic. Tragedy was that he had the potential to do so much good. Very sad. Steve

  10. Jane Howkins on January 11, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    I was always wondered who he was talking to in the transcripts. He refers to himself and someone else as ‘smart boys’. Who is joe?

    • Steve Hodel on January 11, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Jane H: He’s talking to his friend/confidant Baron Ernst Harringa. The “Joe” he is referring to is Joe Barrett, a young artist and a roomer at the house at that time. He will later become a major witness for the DA’s Office then decades later for me in my investigation.

  11. Sonne on May 9, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Hi, I’m having trouble downloading the file. It tells me I can’t access it. Is anyone else having this problem?

    • Steve Hodel on May 9, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Sonne: Let me try and reload Chapter 6 from BDA II again. steve

      • Sonne on May 12, 2018 at 12:48 pm

        Thank you very much!

  12. […] Here is a link to the earlier DA Tapes Chapter that includes information on GHH and Baron Harringa. […]

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