"Gloria" & "Filipina Woman" Remain Mysteries

Six-years after their publication in BDA, two photographs secreted in George Hodel’s private photo album still remain unidentified.. Most certainly they were George Hodel’s girlfriends, but were they more than that?  Could they also have been his victims?

George Hodel’s Secret Photo Album-

                               “Gloria”                                       Possible Filipina girlfriend?

ghh album.jpg


Yesterday, I received an email from a reader asking for higher resolution photos of these two women so that he might pursue their identities. A good suggestion, which also prompted me to make a broader appeal through my blogsite. So, here they are.  Here is all I know about the two photographs:

1)   “Gloria”   – On the back of the photograph “Gloria” inscribed the following:

“George – the teacher



Too little time – No?

(Machine printed number on back of photo appears to read- “9701”)


2)  Unidentified Woman.  (Possibly Filipina? Photo possibly taken in Manila?)

While I have no “hard information” on this photograph, some years back, I did meet briefly with a Filipino relative of mine and asked if they recognized the photo, who I thought might be a younger version of my ex-step mother, Hortensia Starke (Hodel). My relative claimed it was not Hortensia, but, then seemed to temporarily acknowledge recognition, stating, “Oh, I know this is….” but then immediately stopped mid-sentence and refused to provide any name or information and just shook their head.

From this response, I gathered that the woman may have been a friend/acquaintance of Hortensia and George Hodel in Manila and also known to my relative. Possibly one of dad’s many girlfriends? So, I’m guessing that someone from Manila just might recognize the photograph. By the look (coloring) of it, I think it was taken in the 50s or possibly 60s, but that’s just a guess.

Anyone with any information please email me at  skh@stevehodel.com



gloria 2.jpg


Gloria 1.jpg


“Gloria” back of photo:

gloria 3 Hw.jpg



Unidentified  Woman (Possibly Filipina)

Filipina Unident 2.jpg Filipina Unident1.jpg



  1. Travis on November 5, 2017 at 5:09 am

    I always thought that the person in the “Gloria” photo looked familiar. It nagged at me every time I came across it re-reading BDA. Earlier tonight, I was watching “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and I had that same nagging feeling—and I made the connection: the actress who plays “Violet” in the film so very strongly resembles “Gloria” in every way…and when I looked up who the name of the actress, I discovered her name was GLORIA GRAHAME. Although this could be a coincidence, I was honestly shocked (to say the least) to find she had the same name. I am by no means an expert, however as I poured over as many photos available online to compare facial and other identifying characteristics, I cannot tell any difference between “Gloria” in GHH’s album, and the actress Gloria Grahame.

    Her long, straight nose, the angle and curve of her chin, the carefully sculpted eyebrows, disctinctive sloping hairline, deep laugh lines and full lips lead me to believe I am correct, however I pledge fealty to those who are actual experts in scientific identification. Still, from the photographs I have been able to locate, the “Gloria” album picture appears to coincide with the darker color she dyed her hair in 1949, about and immediately after the time period she filmed “A Woman’s Secret.”

    The story of her life also could indicate what could be corroboration. She lived in Hollywood and, while becoming a star, in 1949 was still a B-player and supporting actress. Like GHH, she was married multiple times, and later accused of an incestual relationship with her step-son; indeed, years later, she would marry her step-son, who was 14 years her junior. Associates described her as curious, serious about her work, and insecure in her physical appearance—someone whose personality would complement that of the egomaniacal but charming GHH.

    Has anyone ever suggested “Gloria” could be Gloria Grahame?

    • Steve Hodel on November 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Travis: No, they haven’t. You’re the first. There is a good resemblance and name is right as is time and place. But, absent anything definitive, just too difficult to make a call from a lookalike. Maybe someone could ID the dog. That could do it. Thanks again for the suggestion. Best, Steve

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