Baron Von Harringa Acquires Rare 1903 China Photos


Thanks to “DG” for a heads up on some rare 1903 photographs of China’s Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi that were included in the April 5, 1948 edition of LIFE MAGAZINE. (pgs 9-10) The article states that the rare photographs “were recently acquired by Los Angeles Art Dealer, Ernst Von Harringa.”  (Ernst Von Harringa is the man with the German accent identified by LAPD as “The Baron” and as being present in multiple conversations with George Hodel during the electronic surveillance of the Franklin House. Von Harringa is the man present on Feb. 18, 1949 to whom GHH confesses committing several murders (Dr. Hodel’s secretary Ruth Spaulding and Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short. He is also the same individual who is present at the Hodel residence during the assault, beating and possible murder of an unidentified woman on that same date.)


Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi 1903

LIFE MAGAZINE April 5, 1948


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To put the above photographs in a time perspective, this article appeared in LIFE MAGAZINE just seven weeks after the assault/murder of real-estate agent, Mrs. Gladys Kern who was believed stabbed to death by George Hodel and a second unidentified assailant while she was showing them a vacant house for sale, one mile away from the Franklin House. (See the Lone Woman Murder of Gladys Kern, BDA  pages 309-316.) Coincidentally, the empty house for sale where Mrs. Kern was slain was just around the corner from Baron Harringa’s mother-in-law’s residence. (Mrs. Marie Valla)  See below map showing locations of Hodel residence to Kern murder scene to Valla residence.


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