1950 Hodel-Black Dahlia DA Official Transcripts & Summary Published

1950 LADA Hodel-Black Dahlia Case File No. 30-1268 OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS
8 1/2×11 Print and Digital Ebook Formats Published

confidential transcripts








April 2, 2014
Los Angeles, California

            Based on requests from many of my readers (along with a peppering of a substantial number of Emails saying, “Steve the transcripts in BDA II are too damn small to read”),  I have today, published a separate “easy to read” volume containing the ORIGINAL1950 LADA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION HODEL-BLACK DAHLIA FILES. This new book also includes the DA Lt. Frank Jemison-Dorothy Hodel transcribed interview and my chapter summary from Black Dahlia Avenger II providing biographical details on the two DA investigators who were directly responsible for the original solving the Black Dahlia Murder:  Lt. Frank B. Jemison and his partner, detective Walter Morgan. (See below description for complete details.)

Now Available from Amazon in both Print ($13.99) and Digital Formats ($4.99)
“Easy to Read”- 8 ½ x 11 format- 202 pages

FNL CVR March 22 14 JPEG 9780983074465



Click cover to enlarge



LADA Bureau of Investigation Hodel-Black Dahlia Case File No. 30-1268 contains the official unabridged transcripts of the 1950 electronic surveillance stake-out by a joint taskforce from the LADA Bureau of Investigation and LAPD’s homicide detectives.  The wire-recordings capture, Dr. George Hill Hodel’s secret conversations in which he confessed to: police payoffs, performing illegal abortions and admissions to having committed the 1945 murder of his personal secretary, Ruth Spaulding as well as the 1947 torture-murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short. These transcripts also contain the assault, beating and probable real-time murder of a woman as recorded by detectives during their actual 1950 police stakeout. The on-duty detectives listen in as their prime-suspect, Dr. George Hill Hodel, accompanied by a second man, Baron Ernst Harringa, go downstairs to the residence basement. Detectives listen in and hear sounds of a pipe striking an object, “A woman screams” more blows, “a woman screams again” then silence. The officers, though only minutes away from the residence, TAKE NO ACTION.  This is the “smoking gun” that law enforcement cannot allow to be made public. The police and political powers that be—make their decision. The transcripts are sealed and locked away for fifty-four years and are not discovered until the publication of Black Dahlia Avenger, which opens the locked files at the L.A. District Attorney’s Office and ultimately results in these transcripts being made public.

In addition to the original 146-page transcripts of the DA/LAPD forty-day stakeout, the book contains a chapter originally published in Black Dahlia Avenger II,  (the author’s follow-up investigation 2006-2012) providing background and biographical information on the two law-enforcement heroes of this real life investigation—D.A. Lt. Frank Jemison and his partner, D.A. investigator Walter Morgan. Also included is Lt. Frank Jemison’s original six-page transcribed interview on March 22, 1950, with Dr. George Hill Hodel’s ex-wife, Dorothy Huston Hodel (author’s mother and former wife of famed film director, John Huston). During this interview, conducted at her apartment on the Santa Monica pier, Dorothy stonewalls Lt. Jemison’s attempts at getting to the truth and the following day alerts Dr. Hodel to the evidence that the DA’s investigators have accumulated. Dr. George Hill Hodel, after receiving this information and realizing he is about to be arrested—flees the country just four days later.

“We identified the Black Dahlia suspect. He was a doctor.”

William H. Parker, LAPD Chief of Police

“The Black Dahlia case was solved. He was a doctor who lived on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood.”

Thad Brown, LAPD Chief of Detectives

“The Black Dahlia case was solved, but it will never come out. The suspect was a doctor they [LAPD] all knew in Hollywood, involved in abortions.”

James Downey, Undersheriff, LASD

“We know who the Black Dahlia killer was. He was a doctor [George Hodel] but we didn’t have enough to put him away.”

Lt. Frank Jemison, LADA Bureau of Investigation



  1. mitch scott on April 5, 2014 at 4:14 am

    Unbelievable.that your dad and the baron killed that woman in the basement where he administered punishment to his children.maybe he caught her smoking.okay; not funny.just a thought.is it possible your dad was alerted to the fact that the house was bugged;and knowing his murderous actions were recorded;that is why he fled the country?

    • Steve Hodel on April 5, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Mitch: A possibility in the last days someone “inside” informed him the house was bugged, but clearly, from the tapes he didn’t know he was “wired for sound” from Feb 15-March 27, 1950. He speculates in a few phone conversations that he suspects the “phone might be tapped”, but then informs his maid/girlfriend, Ellen, that he “didn’t know for sure was just guessing.” The leaked article on April 1, 1950 made it clear they were about to arrest him, so that alone would have been enough for him to “Get out of Dodge.”

      • Robbie on December 6, 2020 at 10:13 am

        Hi Steve , my great grandmother was the witness in the trial that established the alibi for Elizabeth’s father. It was only told to me that she testified that he had a cold so he spent the night at her house.

        Her name was Leona Marie Antoinette White ( she may have used her maiden name so her last name might be different on the transcript ).

        I would sure love to see the transcript . I think it is entirely possible that Mr. Short was involved .
        I was never told that it was the truth , only that is what she testified to.
        My family tree is littered with psychopathy , my great grandmother may have testified under duress .

        I would love to talk to you sometime . I want to get the trial transcripts . I am very curious about this . My email address is rfelix@yahoo.com if you want to contact me .

        • Steve Hodel on December 6, 2020 at 11:30 am

          Need to read my books to see how it is now way beyond any reasonable doubt that Dr. George Hill Hodel committed the crime. Elizabeth’s father would not have had the surgical skill required to perform the “hemicorrectomy” etc. Doubt any transcripts still exist? Regards, Steve

  2. mitch scott on April 5, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Steve.i just have to say.what you were subjected to in all of this.must have been intimidating growing up with a father who lent new meaning to the term renaissance man.then to find out he was a serial killer who made Hannibal lector seem like an underachiever.i think it would be fair to say the toughest guy in the world would have buried his head in the sand over this.yet you pursued and are pursuing it to the bitter end with heart in the moral sense of the word and the street sense of the word.and then to have all these pea brains and morons question your motives.who could blame you if you were the most cynical man in the world.but you don’t seem to be.anyway,you should be saluted not criticized.

    • Steve Hodel on April 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Thanks again. There will always be the naysayers, and self appointed “Dahlia experts” and “Don’t mess with my mythers” out there. But, fortunately most who have actually taken the time to read my books and investigation– “Get it.” Along with wanting to get to the truth of it, a main motivator for me has been to see and understand my city’s history. What we have found, buried deep in the DA vault is that the real life L.A. NOIR far outstrips anything dreamt up by Hollywood screenwriters of that day! It’s sooooo L.A. *s*

  3. mitch scott on April 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Steve two last questions if you don’t mind.why would your father take in a boarder(Barrett)with all the money he presumably had coming in?especially with all that was going on at the house and possible resentment on barretts part at not being invited to the parties?it just doesn’t seem like a smart move on your dads part.and just out of curiosity,was your dad completely fluent in Chinese?thanks alot man for your time.your books are riveting

    • Steve Hodel on April 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      The renting out of the rooms didn’t occur until starting sometime in 1948. Barret was a young artist and he and a friend (also an artist) rented the back North Studio which was great for painting as there was so much available light. The roomers, (mostly women, as one can see summarized in BDA II) kind of came and went on their own, and not really a part of the A-LIst of dad’s social partying. Dad always spent more than he made, regardless of income, and so picking up an addition $200-$300 pocket change from renting of rooms was a natural for him. Since most of the women living there were also very beautiful, it was also probably an “aesthetic” thing on his part. What’s not to like to be surrounded by beautiful women who pay you to be there?
      No, GHH barely spoke Chinese. Despite his attempts at trying to learn the language, June told me after his passing, “Your father went back East to learn/study Chinese before he went to UNRRA, but he never learned the language. He had a hard time with it.” Steve

  4. mitch scott on April 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    .i thought Barrett was the only boarder.sounds like Chinese was the only thing he never mastered

  5. Kathy on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Dear Steve, That leads me to ask, what languages was your father fluent in? English and French, but what about Spanish? German? Japanese? Tagalog? Thank you. Best wishes!

    • Steve Hodel on April 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Kathy: He was semi-fluent in German and Spanish, and to a much lesser degree in Japanese and Tagalog. Some word understanding, but not close to conversational in the latter two. (At least that was his stated position?)

  6. Misty on May 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Just a quick question. What do the other BD authors think of your findings? James Elroy/Larry Harnisch (LA Times) Ect.

    Thank you.

    • Steve Hodel on May 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Misty: Copy editor, Larry Harnisch apparently is sticking with his own theory and is on his fourteenth-year of “writing his own book.”
      Ellroy wrote a “Case Solved” Foreword to my book enthusiastically and unequivocally endorsing my investigation and solution, however,
      after that endorsement stopped sales on his own book, he was now come out with, “Case will never be solved. It needs to remain a mystery.”
      Regards, Steve

      • Misty on May 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm

        Thank you ! I have read probably about every book there is to read on this subject and I have to say. Yours is the only one that has captured my thoughts (for lack of a better word) My grandmother and Beth Short were room mates at camp cooke and Beth stood with my grandmother more then once back here in LA. A lot of things click and brought back memories of a few conversations I had with my grandmother. There is to much to get into here. But I really think you hit the nail on the head.

        Keep up the good work!

  7. Joshua on October 26, 2015 at 12:46 am

    I am doing a research paper for college English class and I was wondering besides the information thats already posted online about the black dahlia. What other information could you give me that could help me with my project. I am doing a 15 minute podcast and my group picked this case. Please and thank you

    • Steve Hodel on October 26, 2015 at 2:13 am

      Well, I’ve written four books on the investigation, two of which focus directly on the Black Dahlia Murder. Black Dahlia Avenger and Black Dahlia Avenger II. I have also written several hundred blogs on the subject that can be reviewed both at my Squad Room Blog at my website and in the FAQ section, also at my website at stevehodel.com See FAQ and index here: http://stevehodeloldsite.staging.authorbyteshosting.com/faq-pages/faq/

  8. David on February 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I am intrigued by the case, which I saw featured on Ghost Adventures this week. I plan to read your book(s). Question: Do the original recordings of the wiretaps still exist? Or are there only transcripts? If the recordings exist, who has them or where are they? And has anyone listened to them in recent history — espcially the audio of the basement attack? Thank you.



    • Steve Hodel on February 3, 2016 at 5:57 pm


      No, the actual tapes and transcriptswere destroyed by LAPD way back.
      The only reason we have a copy is that the DA Lt. Frank Jemison made a secret second set and locked them in the DA vault in 1950. Full transcripts and information are included in BDA and BDA II.


      Steve Hodel
      Los Angeles

  9. Travis on October 3, 2017 at 12:38 am

    I’ve always wondered about what certainly seems to be the commission of a violent crime documented in the transcript. Is there a missing or murdered female that “disappeared” from the Los Angeles area on or about February 18th, 1950?

    • Steve Hodel on October 3, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Travis: Back then LA was known as “The Port of Missing Persons” so just another husband making a “Missing Report” would have been filed and forgotten. Those records were all destroyed back in the Seventies when LAPD destroyed old records other than homicides. Even some of the homicide unsolved got destroyed in the purging of reports. So, no way of telling who she was and if her body were found as a “Jane Doe” in another area/jurisdiction, be difficult to locate or establish a connection. Best, Steve.

  10. Austin Reves on February 3, 2022 at 2:08 am


    Just had you speak in our Harvard class. Where did the detectives listen to the audio recordings in real time? I briefly heard you mention something about a basement, but I was unsure whether that was in reference to the actions being taken in the Sowden house basement.

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