New DNA Evidence Potentially Opens Door to Solving of 1940s & 1960s Serial Killings
January 15, 2011
Los Angeles, California
Today is the 64th anniversary of the murder of Elizabeth Short. As I post this announcement I cannot help but reflect on the irony and the horrific fact that her sadistic killer had just completed his butchery and was at this exact same time carefully posing the bisected body, “his materpiece” on the vacant lot at 3815 S. Norton Ave, in the Liemert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
George Hodel October 6, 1949 Generic sample showing STR Loci
LAPD booking photo for incest and
On the eve of the 64th anniversary of the January 15, 1947 murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short, one of the nation’s top forensic laboratories has finally obtained a full-profile sample of Dr. George Hill Hodel’s DNA.
For the past two-years, Bode Laboratories in Lorton, VA, has been working on analyzing various personal effects known to have been owned by Dr. Hodel in an effort to isolate and obtain his full DNA. Bode Technology is recognized by the FBI and law enforcement internationally as state-of-the-art. Their newly developed “Touch DNA” process recently obtained a DNA suspect profile on the Jon Benet Ramsey investigation which resulted in the elimination of both her parents as “suspects.”
In the Hodel investigation, success came on the very last evidentiary item to be tested. An envelope, mailed by my father to me from the Philippines in 1971, proved positive.
The sample is now on file and will upon their request, be made available to legitimate law enforcement agencies in furtherance of their Cold Case investigations.
Bode Technology, Lorton VA
Dr. George Hill Hodel’s DNA full profile obtained from this 1971 letter mailed from Manila, Philippines.
L.A. Lone Woman Murders-
In addition to the Black Dahlia murder, between 1943-1949 a number of other Lone Woman Murders occurred all in a tight geographical area between Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. LAPD was convinced that many of these unsolved murders were committed by the same suspect and released a summary to the press listing “11 Points of Similarity” in support of their belief. In six of these crimes the suspect left a taunting note, just as he had in the Elizabeth Short murder. [Exceptionally unusual M.O. and signature.]
With the recent obtaining of Dr. George Hill Hodel’s DNA, along with the newly develop technique of “Touch DNA”, which provides a process where the suspect’s skin cells can be collected off of a victims clothing, or even from a ligature used to tie or strangle the victim, the prospect of solving many of these additional LAPD and LASD murders becomes a very real possibility.
It would require minimal investigative manpower, a single two-person team to coordinate and oversee the collection of potential evidence for testing to the known unsolved Cold Cases for the presence of suspect DNA. Those findings could then be entered into state and federal CODIS for inclusion or exclusion to the known George Hodel sample.
The names of some of the 1940s cold cases that remain unsolved and were actively investigated and suspected of being connected and could –if tested- potentially yield suspect DNA are:
Ora Murray, 7/27/43 (LASD); Georgette Bauerdorf, 10/12/44 (LASD); Jeanne French 2/10/47 (LAPD); Laura Trelstad, 5/11/47 (Long Beach PD);Marian Newton, 7/17/47 (San Diego PD); Lillian Dominguez, 10/2/47 (Santa Monica PD); Gladys Kern, 2/14/48 (LAPD); and Louise Springer, 6/13/49 (LAPD).
Cold Cases in the 1940s and1960s crimes summarized in my sequel: Most Evil: Avenger-Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel that could also potentially yield suspect DNA- if tested– are:
Josephine Ross, 1945, (Chicago PD); Frances Brown, 1945, (Chicago PD); Suzanne Degnan, 1946 (Chicago PD);
Cheri Jo Bates, 1966, (Riverside PD); Lucila Lalu, 1967, (Manila PD), Betty Jensen/David Faraday, 1968 (Solano County Sheriff’s); Darlene Ferrin/Michael Mageau, 1969 (Vallejo PD); Cecelia Shepard/Bryan Hartnell, 1969, (Napa County Sheriff’s); Paul Stine, 1969, (San Francisco PD).
In 1949, Dr. Hodel was the DA & LAPD’s “prime-suspect.” Decades after the murder four of the top law enforcement officers involved in the original investigation confidentially disclosed that “the case was solved” and secretly confirmed that Dr. George Hodel was her killer. [See below exhibit for individual command officers statements]
In February and March, 1950, a task-force of eighteen detectives conducted five-weeks of 24-hour electronic surveillance of Dr. Hodel’s private Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. built residence in Hollywood and obtained secret tape-recorded statements from him admitting to the murder of Elizabeth Short, and to also killing his personal secretary, Ruth Spaulding in 1945, just eighteen months prior to the Dahlia murder. [LAPD confirmed George Hodel was suspected of foul play in the1945, “suicide/overdose” of his clinic secretary/lover. The Ruth Spaulding LAPD active criminal investigation was halted in late 1945 due to Dr. Hodel joining UNRRA and absenting himself from Los Angeles. In Feb’46 he was sent from Washington D.C. to doctor in Hankow, China for eight-months.]
D.A/LAPD Franklin House electronic surveillance [live microphones concealed inside the walls] lasted nearly six-weeks from Feb 15-March 27, 1950 and was terminated only because George Hodel again left the country.
DA/LAPD investigators also recorded Dr. Hodel in 1950 conversations on the surveillance tapes, admitting to performing abortions, “lots of them” at his V.D. clinic in downtown Los Angeles and to making “payoffs to local law enforcement agencies.”
Original LAPD, LASD, and LADA investigators confirm “case solved.”