Baron Ernst von Harringa circa 1940s
(photo courtesy of grandson, Baron von Harringa)
Baron von Harringa (his given name) is the grandson of Ernst von Harringa. Baron is a handsome young man of just 18-years. He too is looking for answers.
We met for breakfast in mid-January at my favorite deli in Studio City. Both of us were there with the same hope. Baron wanting to learn more about his mysterious grandfather and I wanting to discover additional background on my father’s old friend, confidant, and possibly his accessory to murder!
Our talk lasted nearly two-hours, but unfortunately provided little new “hard” information for either of us. Here is what I learned from the grandson:
1. Von Harringa family rumors have it that his grandfather, Ernst von Harringa, aka Ernst Meyer, may have been related to nobility in Germany, but nothing to support the information and no actual names.
2. Ernst von Harringa apparently returned to the U.S. (possibly from India) in the mid-1950s and supposedly died in Los Angeles circa 1960. (I have yet to find a death certificate or obituary as documentation.)
3. He (the grandson) met his grandmother Alene Valla Von Harringa) several times before she died in 2001 and he had heard that her family (Valla) had owned large land parcels in Orange County in the early days. (Turn of the century?)
4. Baron gave me the above photograph of his grandfather, believed taken sometime in the 1940s or possibly early 50s?
Was Baron Ernst Harringa an accessory to murder? The 1950 Franklin House Tapes-
Two days after above taped conversation (2.20.50) DA investigator McGrath locates and interviews Dr. Hodel’s residence plumber attempting to determine if a body might have been recently buried in the Hodel basement. McGrath asks the plumber if he had seen “signs of fresh digging?” Dr. Hodel is placed under physical surveillance and his vehicle is followed by investigators Walter Morgan & James McGrath.
DA Black Dahlia File, March 1950 handwritten notes made by DA Lt. Jemison show he has decided to reinvestigate the 1945 murder of Dr. Hodel’s secretary, Ruth Spaulding with plans to reinterview all of the original witnesses.
George Hodel flees Franklin House in March, 1950 relocating to the Territory of Hawaii.