Below announcment information prepared by the South Pasadena Library
Retired LAPD Homicide Detective and Crime Author Steve Hodel Returns to the South Pasadena Library on Thursday, May 19 7pm
Steve Hodel Serial Books
Dr. George Hill Hodel
Pianist Gere Fennelly and Lead Singer Renee Simone and their 7-piece band, “Summer of ’69” will entertain the audiance with songs from the Sixties
Steve Hodel, New York Times bestselling author of “Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder” will return for an encore ‘Author Night’ appearance in the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room on May 19 at 7:00 p.m. In 2008 Hodel appeared before a full house in the venue and revealed a wealth of compelling evidence that his father, Dr. George Hodel, was 1947’s Black Dahlia murderer, the perpetrator of one of the most infamous crimes in Los Angeles history.
George Hodel (1907-1999) grew up in South Pasadena on an estate on Monterey Road. He was identified as a child musical prodigy and the Hodel home was even visited by famed composer Rachmaninoff. Later George Hodel was declared a boy genius after scoring 186 on an IQ test, purportedly 1 point higher than Einstein. George graduated early from South Pasadena High School and in 1923 at only age 14 entered Cal Tech. Later as Dr. George Hodel, a physician, he hobnobbed with Hollywood socialites and became acquainted with Beat poet Kenneth Rexroth, writer, Henry Miller and surrealist artist, Man Ray. 1n 1949 Dr. George Hodel became a Black Dahlia murder suspect and the LAPD planted two microphones in the family home. Dr. Hodel moved to the Philippines which was his home base for the next forty-years. Dr. Hodel was an early pioneer in Market Research and his company, INRA-ASIA was the most respected research firm in all of Asia. In 1990 he returned to California to live in San Francisco. George Hodel died in his penthouse residence on Bush Street in San Francisco in 1999 at the age of 91.
Steve Hodel spent 24 years as a homicide detective with the LAPD earning one of the highest “solve rates” in the department before becoming a nonfiction crimeauthor. The publication of his “Black Dahlia Avenger” in 2003 garnered national news coverage and television appearances and led to the discovery of a hidden cache of law enforcement documents that caused LA Head Deputy District Attorney, Stephen Kay to declare that the decades-old mystery of the murder of Elizabeth Short, AKA The Black Dahlia, had finally been solved. (Kay was co-counsel with Vincent Bugliosi on the Charles Manson trial and personally prosecuted and convicted all the remaining “Manson Family” defendants.)
Steve Hodel’s follow-up “Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel “is even more shocking than its predecessor. In it Steve Hodel alleges that his father’s murderous ways didn’t end when he moved to the Philippines. “Most Evil” presents a stack of forensic, visual, and circumstantial evidence that Dr. George Hodel may well have been the Dahlia-copycat “Jigsaw Murderer” in Manila, as well as “The Zodiac,” who according to many crime historians, committed the most perplexing series of murders of the 20th Century. In the late 60s and early 70s The Zodiac terrorized Northern California with his serial killings. Dr. George Hodel died in 1999 at the age of 91. As Hodel has written, “Serial killers don’t stop until they’re caught, go to prison, or die.” It would be naïve to think his reign of terror was isolated to 1947 Los Angeles.
One of the many surprises of the Steve Hodel Author Night in 2008 was the presence of 103 year-old Nick Navarro who attended South Pasadena High School at the same time as George Hodel. Mr. Navarro passed away in 2011 at age 106 after a remarkable life as a husband, father of six children, and proficient pianist who started playing at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles at age 18. Mr. Navarro had a valid driver’s license until he was 100 and voluntarily gave up driving then even though he had no accidents. He continued to live at the family home in South Pasadena until he was 104! He is survived by his wife, 5 children, 7 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
Two of the others present at the 2008 Steve Hodel Author Night are singer Renee Simone and pianist Gere Fennelly who that night performed wonderful Black Dahlia -period songs of the 40s as the Lucky Dames. For the May 19 Author Night they will be returning to the Library Community Room as the leaders of ” Summer of ’69,” a 7 piece band that will play the Zodiac-era tunes “Come Together,” “Easy to be Hard,” “Age of Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In,” and others. They will be joined by Darr Senit on bass, Damon Wilson on guitar, Peter Sheppard on guitar and vocals and Bruce Bode on keyboards and vocals.
The Author Night program is free and open to the public and presented by the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library. The Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street and no tickets or reservations are necessary. Refreshments will be provided and signed hardback copies of “Most Evil” will be available for purchase for only $10. It retails for $26.95.