SIGNATURE CRIME: noun-
:any of two or more crimes that involve the use of a method, plan, or modus operandi so distinctive that it logically follows that the crimes must have been committed by the same person
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law
M.O. is a very broad term and it is oftentimes mentioned in very general non-specific terms when it comes to criminal investigations. The roll call sergeant when reading off crimes from the previous week might say, “The suspect is a hot prowl burglar and his M.O. is to enter upscale private residences during daytime hours.”
That said, there are signature crimes and signature acts within those crimes that are so specific that they become extremely important in attempting to link serial crimes and serial killers.
In my MOST EVIL investigation, there are many such acts that I believe not only link the suspect from crime to crime, but from city to city. Today we will examine what I consider to be one of George Hodel’s most significant SIGNATURE ACTS:
The bringing to and use of pre-cut clothesline to either strangle or bind his victims.
Chicago’s, “Lipstick Killer”; Los Angeles’ “Black Dahlia Avenger”; Manila’s, “Jigsaw Killer” and San Francisco’s, “Zodiac” EACH BROUGHT AND USED CLOTHESLINE IN CONNECTION WITH ONE OR MORE OF THEIR CRIMES