Black Dahlia Avenger II – 2014 – Five New Investigative Chapters Added to Revised Edition

Black Dahlia Avenger II -2014 Revised Ed. (576 pages)
Published May 11, 2014

May 2014 Revised Edition

May 2014 Revised Edition Click to enlarge

Five New Investigative Chapters added to this 2014 edition


Los Angeles, California

I have just completed updating my past two years of ongoing investigation into the 1940s Los Angeles Lone Woman Murders as originally presented in the 2012 publication of Black Dahlia Avenger II. 

This 2014 edition includes five (5) new chapters:

Chapter 23-LAPD Historical Society—The New Evidence
Chapter 24-Odor Mortis—The Smell of Death
Chapter 25-The KMEX-Univision Interviews
Chapter 26-Murder as a Fine Art: The Hodel/Man Ray Nexus
Chapter 27-Biometrics: New Photo Forensics

In addition to the new evidence and linkage further connecting my father the the many crimes BDA II 2014 has undergone a complete editorial revision.

To that end, I would like to here take the opportunity to thank and praise my editor, veteran journalist and bestselling author, Ron Franscell. Ron took on the challenge and using his editorial brush (made of steel) scrubbed down every chapter in both the original 2012 and this 2014 updated edition.  Ron manged to free the seaweed from the propeller as well as knock off all the clinging barnacles which held fast to the book’s hull.  A miraculous cleaning fore-and-aft/stem to stern. Book Dr. Ron comes highly recommended. Go to school on me--always use an editor.  And, in my book,  they don’t come any better than Ron Franscell. See his author/editor-book-doctor webpage here.

 I would also like to thank and give high praise to the remarkable work done by Aubrey Hansen, author, screenwriter and book-formatter extraordinaire, who completely redesigned  BDA II’s interior which included her artful selection and insertion of much improved fonts as well as the massive reorganization, positioning and replacement of 576 pages of text and over 300 photo-exhibits. Thank you Aubrey for a difficult job WELL DONE.

Black Dahlia Avenger II  2014 revised edition is now available in both print and eBook formats.

1940s Lone Woman Murder Victims Map Showing  KILLER’S UNIQUE LONE WOMAN CRIME SIGNATURE

LWM map

click to enlarge







Headlines Springer Long Beach Press




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BDA II Overview:

In Black Dahlia Avenger II bestselling author and veteran LAPD homicide detective Steve Hodel presents his eight-year follow-up investigation [2006-2014] into the Los Angeles Black Dahlia and other serially connected 1940s L.A. Lone Woman Murders. After the 2003 publication of his NYT bestseller and MWA Edgar nominated true-fact crime book, Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder, and receiving a “CASE SOLVED” legal opinion from many of LA’s top law enforcement officials-which included a then active Head Deputy District Attorney and LAPD’s Chief of Detectives-Hodel didn’t stop there. In this investigative sequel he presents his careful deconstruction of the Dahlia Myth-exposing and correcting the Black Dahlia Murder’s Three Greatest Urban Myths:

Myth No. 1 – “It was a standalone murder”
Myth No. 2 – “There was a Missing or Lost Week”
Myth No. 3 – “The case was never solved.

 2006-2014 Investigation Includes:

• The obtaining of Dr. George Hodel’s full DNA PROFILE which can now be made available for law enforcement testing and comparison to multiple cold case unsolved crimes.
• Discovery of the Hollywood residence where the BLACK DAHLIA MURDER was committed along with physical evidence connecting the killer to the house and to the vacant lot where he later transported and posed the victim’s surgically bisected body.
• Identification of “The Baron,” George Hodel’s house-guest and accomplice overheard by detectives discussing “crimes and payoffs” on the 1950 DA bugging tapes.
• New expert medical testimony and evidence photos proving – “A Doctor did it.”
• Complete original and unabridged 1950 DA-Hodel Black Dahlia Bugging Transcripts. [146 pages]
• THE HUSTON LETTERS – Personal correspondence between famed film director, John Huston and his ex-wife, Dorothy Huston Hodel [the author’s mother] covering the years 1948-1957. In these private letters Dorothy shares with John the day to day personal fear and terror she was experiencing living with George Hodel, as the doctor threatened her and the children with physical harm in the months just prior to his fleeing the country
• A World Class Surrealist Photographer reveals his firsthand knowledge of the crimes.• Over 300 photographs and crime exhibits including the 1969 Sowden House 17-Photo Historical Survey.


  • Five New Chapters [2014] containing: crime scene forensic results; new evidence advancing the “Murder as a Fine Art” crime-signature; newly discovered LAPD physical evidence that may yield potential suspect DNA and a 2014 biometric facial recognition analysis and comparison to known victim photographs.




  1. Valarie Johnson on May 13, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    May 13, 2014

    Dear Sir,

    I will buy the book and read it, I’ve read all.
    You are right, I believe about everything.

    Thank you, for the E-Mail

    Valarie Johnson

    • Steve Hodel on May 14, 2014 at 1:27 am

      Thanks Valerie. Much appreciated. Steve

  2. Roland giolli on May 14, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Good work, Steve. I’d say that discovering new information on a and adding this to what has you have already, is a mark of a dedicated detective and mystery writing. You are the best.!
    Roland Giolli

    • Steve Hodel on May 14, 2014 at 1:28 am

      Thanks Roland. I think you will enjoy the new forensics. Best, Steve

  3. Kathy on May 14, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Dear Steve,
    Looking forward to when I can purchase the new book. This looks highly detailed and great. I’m sure your multiple years of work can bring help to many of the victims and their families. Thank you very much! Best wishes!

    • Steve Hodel on May 14, 2014 at 1:29 am

      Hi Kathy: Just approved the print and eBook new versions so may take 12 hours or so to post on Amazon?
      Just look for the Yellow star blast with 2014 as shown on my blog site. Best, Steve

  4. Walt Schnabel on May 14, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading this one and adding it to my collection of your previous books.

    Best regards,

    Walt Schnabel

    • Steve Hodel on May 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Walt: Thanks for the support. Hope you enjoy the updates. Lot of new material.
      Best, Steve

  5. Denise Roe on May 14, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    I was and still am amazed at the through research you’ve done. You have me convinced of your fathers guilt. And the connection to Man Ray is amazing. I will get this new book, I love your writing, I feel that you have a gift of research and seeing things that other people cant see.

    • Steve Hodel on May 15, 2014 at 1:11 am

      Denise: Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated. I think you will find the new Man Ray Nexus fascinating. I know I did.
      Best Regards, Steve

  6. Denise Roe on May 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Just bought it on e-book for Kindle. Cant wait to start.

  7. Greg on May 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Awesome, thanks for the e mail, I will be picking this up! Have all your other works, and love how in depth you have researched everything.

    • Steve Hodel on May 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Greg: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Steve

  8. Ryan on May 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Just read the updated BDA II. One of the things that really struck me is how mindbogglingly uncooperative the LAPD has been with you re DNA testing. Maybe this sounds naive, but do you think some sort of social media campaign to raise awareness and apply pressure might help?


    • Steve Hodel on May 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Ryan: Well, as you probably noted from the KMEX/Univision chapter/interviews it sounds like they did some form of testing as a result of my letter to the Chief in 2013, but detective Mitzi Roberts statement was confusing as to what and when the testing occurred. I’m sure this was just perfunctory and as a CYA. But, it gives them “cover” so when and if the press asks about testing letters, they can now say, “We did and no DNA was found.” Until they realize that they have potential DNA on eight or nine of their unsolved Cold Cases from that period, I don’t expect anything to be done. Until they read and “get” the fact that their L.A. Lone Woman Murders as unsolveds are all linked I don’t expect anything will be done. After all, they’ve had 11 years now, and the hands on detectives at Robb/Homicide still refuse to even look at my investigation despite the fact that a Head DA and a Deputy Chief of Detectives have told them to “clear it.” Best, Steve

  9. kris landis on May 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Mr. Hodel, I already purchased BDAII from you, so I was wondering if there will be an option to buy the new chapters as an e-book or something, so I don’t have to shell out for the book a second time?

  10. Mary on May 24, 2014 at 11:28 am

    The new chapters are fascinating. It’s frustrating that the police are slow to communicate and do the DNA testing. Or at least be clear about what testing they have done!

    Glad to hear Buster is doing well on three legs. That’s just amazing he can detect cadavers after decades have passed.

    It’s a fascinating, horrific saga. Your content is always in depth and fully explained. It makes it easy for a casual reader to follow.

    The new editing is great. It adds considerably to the readability. That sort of thing always is a key component for how readers decide on a book’s authority, too.

    I bought the first edition of BDA II as the printed book. I bought this updated edition for Kindle. For what it’s worth, there are missing photos in the “Touch DNA” chapter. Also the red type throughout the book sometimes appears and disappears in text in a confusing way. I don’t know how easy it is to update a digital product.

    Thanks for the new installment in this ongoing mystery!

    • Steve Hodel on May 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Hi Mary: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Yes, I am very happy with the much improved look and read of this revised edition. Had both a great editor and a new interior formatter, which makes all the difference. Will check on the Ebook problems. Thanks for he heads up on that. Steve

  11. John Ayers on May 28, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Steve, after reading your books and listening to your radio interviews, I can’t imagine a more thorough investigation and not only did you identify the killer, you independently corroborated the investigative findings of Lt. Jemison who was contemporary to the crime.

    It’s sad that both you and Jemison have met the same resistance of LAPD, who seems to confirm that the more things change the more they stay the same. What good are Parker’s reforms to a police department that picks and chooses the crimes they want to solve? If they are truly interested in public confidence, they will take the investigative work that was performed both then and now and close the Black Dahlia case among other cold cases.

    I hope both you and any remaining survivors of the victims can take solace in that, regardless of the state of law enforcement, there are always people like Jemison and yourself who live up the lofty ideals of police work. You and Jemison have convinced me of that reality, and you spoke very eloquently on Jemison’s behalf.

    The impact of this latest installment (2014) to me is that I do not know George Hodel as well as I did before this most recent read. I look forward to any light you can shed in the future on what compelled your dad to commit these crimes.

    One reason the Black Dahlia investigation has intrigued me is timing. My dad died perhaps a couple of weeks after yours did. I think we always find out things we didn’t know that disturbs us posthumously, but I can truly say you got the worst of it. The fact that an honest cop with service first and foremost on his mind evolved from that troubled family situation provides me with a lot of hope for better law enforcement in the future. The truth and relief for the victims has a future, and that’s what you have represented these last 15 years in distinguished fashion.

    Congratulations on a job well done, and keep the light on for truth and justice!

    John Ayers

    • Steve Hodel on May 28, 2014 at 1:36 am

      Hi John: Thanks again for the very kind words and support. I know how much you stay on top of the latest developments and it brings me much pleasure to know how well you “get” how the many assorted pieces of this huge jigsaw puzzle–fit into place. I don’t see LAPD ever really changing their position of, “Don’t have time to look at it, too busy with current day investigations.” They just chose to ignore [or may even be ignorant of the fact] that six of their top commanders past and present have identified the killer as George Hodel and provided statements that, “The case was solved and Dr. Hodel did it.” Again, my thanks. Steve

  12. Dana Schwalie on July 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I have read all 3 of your books and am completely convinced that your father commuted many, if not all of these crimes. As an attorney, I agree with the DA who said if your dad was alive he could convict him on the Short murder and at least one other. Your books got me so interested I bought another by William Rasmussen, who also ties the Short murder to the Zodiac, the Degnan murder, the lone woman killings AND the Cleveland torso murders. Have you ever looked at those murders as possibly being linked to your father? I know that several were found in water and the killer seemed to have a thing for the heads. I assume you are well aware of these murders yet never mentioned them. Just wondering if you had eliminated your father as a suspect, possibly by putting him in another location? Keep up the good work.

    • Steve Hodel on July 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Dana:
      Re. the Torso Murders, I have not studied them in-depth. I know there were some male victims which does not fit my father’s MO at least related to surgical bisections etc. Also, hard to believe that my father spent that much time in the area. I have nothing to connect him to being in Cleveland. Rgds, Steve

      • Mathew Chico on July 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        Dear Steve, thank you for the email regarding your most recent update concerning the Black Dahlia. I haven’t seen the latest book yet but will certainly be looking for it a the bookstore. Thanks again for the info. Mathew

    • James P Hayes on October 10, 2019 at 12:28 am

      I suspect that the Doctor with so many appetites and pretensions wanted the fame of capture on one level and that if he had been arrested he would have boasted, not confessed. He considered his female victims and “patients” as mere playthings, sources of money and gratification, not fellow human beings, not peers. Dr. Hodel grew up being told how gifted he was, proud to have played for Rachmaninoff (who might have detected a talented typist but a soulless young man?), full of hubris that he was a sophisticated Medical Doctor who could augment his income by ignoring the Hippocratic Oath and the Judaeo Christian tradition. Bring your mistress, I’ll force her into a basement abortion. Seems these services actually had him in good stead with some of LA’s cops and men of influence.

      Look forward to reading more. Good work Detective Hodel. Did you ever find papers your father left for posterity? A memoir? Maybe a diary or two or a draft for a book? Part of me thinks he wouldn’t want to take all of his secrets to the grave.

      • Steve Hodel on October 10, 2019 at 4:13 pm

        James H: Hi James. No, unfortunately, no papers or “memoirs” left behind. (And if they had been, I expect his wife, June would have followed his wishes and “destroyed them.”

  13. malenna on May 20, 2016 at 9:07 am

    im going to finish this murder case

  14. malenna on May 20, 2016 at 9:08 am

    my next spring break will be in the dahlia house

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