Buster, the Wonder Dog Corroborates Sowden House Black Dahlia and other Murders as Revealed on 1950 Secret Black Dahlia DA Bugging Tapes

Sowden  House 1950 Secret Black Dahlia DA Bugging Tapes Capture a “Murder in Progress” and contain Dr.  Hodel’s  Confessions to  Black Dahlia and 1945 OD Murder of his Secretary, Ruth Spaulding. Third Taped Murder Victim Assaulted in Basement Remains Unidentified  

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Secret DA Tapes in Feb/March 1950  capture a “Murder in Progress” and are the Smoking Gun as to WHY Law Enforcement did not pursue George Hodel after he fled country. Detectives on stake-out just two miles from residence  listened in and recorded  crime but– TOOK NO ACTION. This Information was concealed for fifty-three years. Had this information become public in 1950 it would have prevented William H. Parker’s June 1950, appointment as the new LAPD chief, and prevented him from moving forward with his  desire to reform a corrupt department.


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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.”




See below article by Frank Girardot





  1. Bud White on February 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Aren’t Buster’s alerts compelling evidence that a crime has been committed? Shouldn’t LAPD’s forensics team be digging up the basement? I mean this in all seriousness. If you found a massive amount of blood on the floor, you’d suspect homicide and that the body had been moved, right? Here, a highly skilled dog has done the equivalent. Isn’t time to investigate?

  2. Steve Hodel on February 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    BW: LAPD won’t be doing any follow-up investigation of any kind. Why start now? They have done ZERO follow-up in the past ten years since their own then active Chief of Detectives, James MacMurray ordered Brian Carr and the Robbery Homicide Division detectives to “Go ahead and clear the Black Dahlia case, unless you can find some major holes in Hodel’s investigation.” Carr then told the public that he “Don’t have time to prove or disprove Hodel’s investigation. Too busy with active cases.” Their will be no follow-up. To quote Michael Connelly’s Hollywood Homicide Det. III Harry Bosch, from “City of Bones, page 266″:
    ” Bosch almost laughed. The department (LAPD) doesn’t care about it. The department cares about the image, not the truth. And when the truth endangers the image, then fuck the truth.”
    I agree with Harry’s assessment 150%. My follow-up and ongoing investigation is for YOU my readers. You care. You appreciate it. Steve

  3. Marcel Bonner on February 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    So if blood and or bone is found in soil under a house, the LAPD can just choose to do nothing? I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a law on the books that essentially states that if human remains are found under a house, that it must be investigated by local law enforcement. To not do so makes it seem as if the department is corrupt. So much for William H. Parker’s desire to reform a corrupt department. Sorry for the sarcasm, but this is just so upsetting. Righting a wrong even from 50+ years ago, would reflect well on TODAY’S LAPD. Why isn’t that worth something? Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the good work of the dedicated men and Women of the LAPD, and I know the decision to take action on this matter rests with a relatively small number of people in the organization. I’m just saying, doing the right thing late is much better than never doing it. Thank you, Steve, for doing the right thing.

  4. Steve Hodel on February 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Marcel: I agree. Very upsetting. Initially early on, I assumed they would as you say, simply “do the right thing.” Then as years passed and now a decade later, seeing them use the excuse of “no money” “other priority investigations,” and other BS, I’ve come to realize that it comes down to territoriality and petty egos. Sadly, It is a common attitude, even inside the Dept. You see it in every area and every profession in one form or another, but as you say, you expect more from those that take on the responsibility to “Protect and Serve.” Still, many, most of them are dedicated and honest and believe and work for the common good.

  5. Marcel Bonner on February 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Territoriality, petty egos, and other BS aside, is there no law that would compel LAPD to do an investigation if human remains are found under a house?

  6. Steve Hodel on February 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    As I understand it, our four separate soil samples, when analyzed, will at most, only show the probability of whether the soil contains chemicals consistent with human decomposition, thus confirming Buster’s “alert” to the scent of human death in the basement. But, let’s wait and see what they say. I doubt there are any bodies buried in the basement, but?? Maybe on the upslope of the hill in the back is a possibility since two of George Hodel’s suspected murder victim’s bodies are still outstanding and were never found. Public pressure might compel LAPD to take some form of limited action, but I remain skeptical. But, the soil results if positive, will strongly underscore what I have already presented in my investigation, and confirm what the original detectives knew and or suspected from the 1940s. Let’s see what unfolds. From Buster’s alerts, as far as I am concerned he has already confirmed it for me. SKH

  7. Ryan on February 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Why would we need to wait for the LAPD to act?Wouldn’t it be possible (with the owner’s permission)to hire a private crew to dig in the basement or the hill in the back? Then, if something is found, the LAPD would have to respond?

  8. Bud White on February 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Steve, you’ve referenced before that the police inquired to plumbers working on the Franklin House if they noticed any disturbance in the basement.
    This jarred my memory and I recalled the 2003 article in the LA Times by Steve Lopez. Regarding the still unidentified “Ruth” from your father’s office, he wrote that his source told him that:
    “According to my contact, an anonymous caller told police ‘Dr. Hodel was involved in a noted case in 1947 and had poisoned his secretary shortly thereafter because she knew of the crime.’ The caller claimed Hodel had buried something in the yard of his Los Feliz home.
    The diary, perhaps?”
    Although the dates are wrong, there now appears to be strong corroboration to suspect something was buried at the Franklin House: digging noise heard during police taping, the police questioning the plumbers, an anonymous source indicating something buried in yard, and now Buster.

  9. Steve Hodel on February 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Ryan: We expect the soil analysis back shortly. Hopefully in the next week or so? We will take it one step at a time. I’m not sure what the Sowden House owner’s position is going to be now? But, we will keep working it step by step. Best, Steve

  10. Steve Hodel on February 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    BW: Thank you for this. I had completely forgotten about Steve Lopez’s reference about “burying something in the yard at the Los Feliz House.” It’s more independent corroboration to go with LAPD, the DA investigator’s, the tape recordings, and Detective McGrath’s possible digging/graves follow-up report, and Buster’s multiple alerts to the scent of death. I’ll work this up and present it as a blog. Sure helps to have you reader/partners out there as a lot more eyes to follow-up where and when I miss something. Keep up the good work and I’m goning to give you a field promotion to Detective II. Steve

  11. Rachael on February 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    are you or anyone you know in touch with any of Beth Short’s relatives? Do they follow the case? I’ve read very little from them.
    Are you saying that the likelihood of gaining any DNA evidence from the soil samples is zero?
    How can human decomposition be distinguished from other animal decomposition?
    After all these years interest in this case hasn’t diminished. How is it possible for the authorities to justifiably de prioritize it?

  12. Steve Hodel on February 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Rachael: No, not in touch with any of her relatives. They no longer “follow the case” and just assume that after sixty-six years no real work is being done. They never contacted me nor do I believe they have they ever read my investigation. As far as the soil samples, let’s wait and see what the experts say on that. I believe that the most they will be able to say is that in their opinion there are traces of human decomposition, but to tie it to any specific, individual DNA, doubtful. But, let’s wait to hear from the experts. Steve

  13. CL on February 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I am glad that you clarified that MOST officers on the LAPD are good, decent people. I think officers today have more integrity & want to do what is right. I recall in your book that Michelle Phillips, your sister’s friend, when she met your dad, she felt as though he wanted to kill her. Did she mention this to your sister at the time, I can’t remember? And, did she ever say what gave her that feeling? Do you love your dad at all? Knowing what he did to your sister, her daughter, your mom, other women, etc. I just think it would be hard to have any sort of love for a person like that. How do his grandchildren feel about him?

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