Are the Human Remains of One or More of the Three 1940s L.A. Lone Murder Victims Buried on the Hollywood Hillside Property Now Owned by Actress Laura Prepon?

boomhower spangler jane doe photos

Prepon (2)





Laura Prepon, Co-star of television series- Orange is the New Black

U.S. Magazine Laura Prepon


Los Angeles, California
June 10, 2014

While I personally remain skeptical on “things that go bump in the night” and endorse science over ghost-hunting; nevertheless I recognize that a very large portion of the world’s population does subscribe to paranormal activity and such things as, “spirit hauntings.”


laura parepon celebrity ghosts 1

LAPD Reverses Past Chief of Detectives, James McMurray’s Order to “Clear the Black Dahlia Murder Case” in Preference for Their New “Don’t Look, Don’t Tell” [DLDT] Policy

“I am also aware of your request to be allowed to present those theories [Black Dahlia and eight other serially-connected 1940s Lone Woman Murders] in a meeting… Unfortunately, I must respectfully decline that request. Given the fiscal constraints facing the City, and the impact on investigations assigned to my command, I do not believe it prudent that we pursue the Black Dahlia investigation at this time…I believe that Robbery-Homicide Division Detectives should expend their valuable skills on more contemporary investigations. I appreciate your interest in the Black Dahlia murder investigation and wish you the best in your quest to solve this notable crime.”
Charlie Beck, LAPD Chief of Police
Letter to Steve Hodel July 30, 201

“I actually agree with you, I think he [Hodel] has made a very compelling theory. I think there’s a lot of things that looks like it and his dad could actually be responsible for the murder of the Black Dahlia.” … “I think [the Black Dahlia murder] may go down as one of the great Los Angeles mysteries.”

LAPD Detective II Mitzi Roberts
Robbery/Homicide Cold Case Unit
KMEX/UNIVISION interview May, 2013

“I know your guys [Dostie/Hodel] passion about this [Black Dahlia case] but we will probably not be doing anything.”

LAPD Detective II Tim Marcia
Robbery/Homicide Cold Case Unit
[Response to Sgt. Dostie after being informed of Buster’s Sowden House search results, October, 2013]

 To Search or not to Search? – The Timeline

 Let’s see if I can keep this simple and stick with “Just the Facts”:

  1. February 15, 1950

A joint task force of eighteen (18)) detectives from the LADA and LAPD initiated an electronic stakeout of the residence of Dr. George Hill Hodel [Sowden House] at 5121 Franklin Avenue, in Hollywood.

  1. February 18, 1950-

DA/LAPD detectives on stakeout record a felony assault and or murder of an unidentified woman in the basement of the Hodel residence by George Hodel and Baron Harringa. Record sounds of her being beaten with a pipe and her screams. Take no action

  1. February 26, 1950-

DA/LAPD detectives (McGrath and partner) conduct follow-up witness interview with plumber who made recent visit to Hodel residence and inquire if he saw any signs of a grave or digging in the basement? McGrath makes a formal report documenting suspicions of a possible burial in the basement. This document is later [2003] found in the DA’s secret file and made public in BDA II.

  1. April 11, 2003
    Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez allowed to view secret Hodel/Black Dahlia transcripts by DA Steve Cooley. Writes two back-to-back articles including partial statements from Dr. Hodel admitting to various crimes including the Black Dahlia murder. Interviews a Confidential Informant and includes in his article that “his ‘source’ informed him that something was buried at the Hodel house.”
  2. 2010

Physical evidence (cement paper sacks linked from Franklin House to Black Dahlia victim at vacant lot 39th & Norton through original receipts at UCLA Special Collections and LAPD crime scene photos. Additional evidence establishes Hodel residence likely original murder location.

  1. November, 2012

Police Cadaver Dog “Buster” and ret. Mammoth Police Department, Sgt. Paul Dostie conduct permissive search of Sowden/Hodel residence, 5121 Franklin Avenue. Buster alerts to human remains interior basement and rear alley behind structure. Soil samples obtained. Buster’s alerts confirm LAPD and DA detectives’ suspicions that human remains are in or near residence.

  1. September, 2013            

Police Cadaver Dog “Buster” conducts a second exterior search of Sowden House alley and alerts in rear of property. Soil samples recovered by Sgt. Paul Dostie. Submitted to Dr. Arpad Vass and laboratory results “positive and specific for human remains.” Formal lab reports and Dr. Vass full report sent to LAPD advising that department lab results have confirmed both original LAPD suspicions and Buster’s alerts. (Reportt ent to Detectives Mitzi Roberts and Tim Marcia, current gatekeepers of the Black Dahlia investigation.)

  1. November, 2013

No response from LAPD, other than Detective Marcia’s comment, “We will probably not be doing anything.”  Property owner/actress Laura Prepon’s attorney contacted and apprised of facts and that forensic anthropologist, Dr. Vass and Sgt. Dostie believe human remains are possibly buried in rear yard, uphill from Sowden/Hodel home, on his client, Laura Prepon’s property. Permission to do a simple non-invasive “walkthrough” of area with Cadaver Dog Buster denied. Follow-up letter from me to Laura Prepon making plea to examine property that might contain body of actress Jean Spangler submitted. No response.

  1. June, 2014

Public airing of soil analysis results aired on NBC News (Reporter Patrick Healy).

Map showing Laura Prepon Property and possible gravesite at rear of Sowden/Hodel residence:

Buster alert near Prepon property








Excerpt from Black Dahlia Avenger II (updated 2014 ed. )
Chapter 24- Odor Mortis: The Smell of Death (PAGES 414-417)

To Search or not to Search?

“I know your guys passion about this [Black Dahlia case] but we will probably not be doing anything.” —Detective Tim Marcia, LAPD Robbery/Homicide Cold Case Unit, to Sgt. Paul Dostie, Re. K9 Buster’s search of Sowden House

During both the November 2012 and the later September 2013 searches at the Sowden House, Buster alerted at the base of an uphill slope directly behind the home.

Based on their experience examining chemical distribution and “plume flows,” both Dr. Vass and Sgt. Dostie believe the most likely area for finding human remains would be an area adjacent to and directly north of the Sowden House lot. (Soil samples recovered from the interior basement in the earlier 2012 Buster search and alert inside the Sowden House are still pending.)

From a strictly legal standpoint, the law is clear. Based on the evidence, ample probable cause exists that would allow law enforcement to obtain a search warrant for both the interior courtyard and the basement of the Sowden House. The known facts would also support a judge granting permission to search the level area of ground located on the property, some 60 feet north of the rear alley.

In a real-life Hollywood twist, public records show that  property is currently owned by actress Laura Prepon, best known for her roles in the television series, That ’70s Show and Orange Is the New Black.

Actress Laura Prepon









Photo courtesy of

In November 2013, I personally contacted Ms. Prepon’s attorney and provided him with an overview of the facts linking my father to the serial crimes. I also told him of Buster’s recent searches and how Dr. Vass believed a likely burial site could be located in Ms. Prepon’s backyard.

The attorney advised me he would contact his client and get back to me the following week.

True to his word, he called me back on November 5, 2013, and informed me that he had recommended that Ms. Prepon not grant permission for an above-ground search by Buster.

I then wrote and mailed a follow-up letter directly to Ms. Prepon. Here are a few excerpts, appealing to Ms. Prepon to reconsider granting Buster, Sgt. Dostie and myself access to conduct a brief, non-invasive examination of her backyard:

Dear Laura:

Based on my investigation it is my belief that if there is a victim buried on your property is most likely would be, Miss Jean Spangler, a twenty-six-year-old film actress, and friend of veteran screen star, Robert Cummings. She was just beginning her career and was kidnapped and slain by an unidentified “date.”

Her body was never found, but her purse and identification were recovered just ¼ mile from the Sowden House, which was my father’s residence at that time. A note found in her purse indicated she was most likely seeking an abortion at the time she was slain. (DA documents confirm my father was both performing and securing abortions for women just months before Jean’s disappearance. Additionally, he was arrested for Incest and Child Molestation and had bailed out of jail the day prior to Jean’s kidnap/murder.)

I am writing to ask that you reconsider and allow us to conduct a non-invasive search of the rear-yard of your property. As indicated in my letter to Mr. ———-, Buster’s search would only take a few minutes and if he failed to “alert” on the property it could exclude it from being the potential burial site.

On the other hand, if Buster did alert and was able to pinpoint the location of human remains, and those remains were found, you would be directly instrumental in helping solve one of Hollywood’s most mysterious murders.

Jean Spangler, like yourself, was a young and vibrant actress who was brutally slain just as her life and career were beginning.

I have attached some newspaper articles  on the 1949 crime showing that both the press and the police were convinced that Jean Spangler’s  abduction and murder was connected to that of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short.

Based on my own findings I am convinced their original assessment was correct.

Should you have any questions, or desire to meet in person for additional information please contact me at either my email or home telephone number below.

Most Respectfully Yours,

Steve Hodel
Sherman Oaks, California

As of this writing, Ms. Prepon has not given us permission.

Nor has there been any public response from LAPD Robbery/Homicide Cold Case Unit detectives Mitzi Roberts and her partner, Tim Marcia, regarding Dr. Vass’ soil analysis results. They were the first to receive his full report in October, 2013, several months before the information was made public.

Specifically addressing Buster’s search, Detective Marcia informed Sgt. Dostie that “we will probably not do anything.”

Echoing Chief Beck’s written response to me that his detectives “should expend their valuable skills on more contemporary investigations,” Detective Roberts confirmed in a May 2013 press interview there would be no further efforts to investigate the historic case. “I think [the Black Dahlia murder] may go down as one of the great Los Angeles mysteries,” she said. (See BDA II Chapter 25: The KMEX/UNIVISION Interviews for Detective Roberts complete statements on the case.)

### [End of Chapter excerpt]


SKH Note-

With LAPD’s current “fiscal restraints” and their “Don’t Look Don’t Tell” policy and absent a change of heart from property owner, Ms. Laura Prepon that would allow Buster to put his nose to the ground and conduct a non-invasive ten-minute search of her rear-yard– further efforts to pinpoint the possible human remainsgrave-site are currently stymied.

The Investigations continues.







  1. Bob Schulenberg on June 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Having read your books documenting in meticulous detail your evidence as to the crimes of your father, I am extremely annoyed when I read currently that these crimes are “unsolved”. They similarly imply that the cases remain open and invite any new material!
    It’s annoying to me and I just don’t get it. I can only imagine how annoying it must for you!
    Your work is amazing and so thorough, I defy anyone to doubt you!

    • Steve Hodel on June 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Bob: Thank you for your kind words and support. Much appreciated. Also, thanks for the excellent reviews you sent to Amazon after reading BDA, BDA II and MOST EVIL. Its readers like YOU that have spent the time to wade through the massive amount of material (three books and 1500 pages of investigation) that really “make my day.”
      Takes a lot your own valuable time to immerse yourself in the many investigations. Most like you, who stick with it, do in fact, “get it.” Again, my thanks for your loyalty and support. Steve

  2. J.R. Neumiller on June 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Your father’s ancient connections with the LAPD are apparently still sound after almost 70 years later. That’s impressive, even by today’s standards. He was untouchable at the time, and evidently remains so to this day. (He truly was a genius at compromising the highest levels of power, that they would still protect him to this very hour.)

    The final chapter has not been written, however, and God is not finished using you to upend the game your father was playing against Him, (who clearly knew Him when describing those “outside viewers” in the Parable of the Sparrows.) He was smart, shrewd, and endlessly cunning, but God is shrewder. You will see this resolved eventually, Steve.


    • Steve Hodel on June 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      J.R. Thanks for your continued and long-time support. You were one of the few that “Got It” from the Get Go.
      Stay well. Steve

    • John Vinga on July 13, 2014 at 4:34 am

      Mr. Neumiller’s comment regarding the LAPD still protecting George Hill Hodel despite Steve’s incredible and detailed investigations proving he is a serial killer may be a bit off target. Isn’t the LAPD protecting the LAPD? There could be such fallout if the corruption, graft, coverups, deliberate “loss” of evidence in multiple murder cases. Surviving family members of victims, of corrupt officials, of crooked cops, of just about anybody who feels they could go after the city for damages probably would have a field day. My guess is the LAPD decision now comes down to trying to stave off a litigious feeding frenzy.

      Steve, your books are simply amazing. I couldn’t put any of the three down until I finished them. You have solved murder cases from Chicago, to Los Angeles, to Manila, and the Bay Area. You have painted a very accurate portrait of your father as a very gifted yet very sick individual. It is tragic the LAPD did not stop him when it clearly had the chance as so many more victims came after 1950.

      One question I still have; Could it be your father knew where Degnan Blvd. and Norton Ave.branched, and he simply positioned Elizabeth Short’s arms to point toward Degnan (and therefore the Chicago crimes) rather than to be so obvious as to place her on Degnan itself? Just a thought since he knew the streets so well. But as you said in BDA II, the vacant lot on Norton may have proved to be the most convenient and safest spot to dump the body and still carry out his macabre clue game to keep the police guessing.

      Certainly hope you can get a higher authority to order a search warrant on the Franklin House and the Laura Prepon property for a thorough forensic investigation. One can only hope that justice can’t be ignored just because the LAPD doesn’t want to embarrass itself any further.

      • Steve Hodel on July 13, 2014 at 10:27 am

        John V: Yes, I believe you are correct that LAPD’s non-action is all about protecting their image and the reputation of their two greatest heroes: Chiefs Bill Parker and Thad Brown. And, as you say, avoiding any present day law suits. (Not sure how civil statute of limitations factors into that?) There is more to why they didn’t arrest GHH, but will have to wait for my final book on “The Early Years.” I tend to favor the Degnan Street as being GHH’s error, primarily because it is the same street name and actually changes its name mid-block, though you could be right.Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Steve

  3. Marie on July 13, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Dear Steve,
    I am constantly fascinated by your tenacity and bravery. Laura Prepon is a ‘devout’ Scientologist. Don’t expect to get any cooperation. I think the Scientologist’s are just as savvy as the LAPD when it comes to protecting themselves from scandal. Rumor has it she’s Tom Cruise’s next cult wife. That could turn out to be false but it’s all over the Internet. It may explain a lot.
    I saw your comment about Jerry Sandusky. Have you read The Franklin Scandal by Nick Bryant? It’s horrifying and shameful and I believe every word. I think the Sandusky story is just the tip of the iceberg. Sorry to digress to another subject but would like to know your opinion.
    I read every detail of what you write and I am anxiously awaiting the latest update to BDA. I have never felt the same about John Huston after reading about him in your book. I feel there’s a whole story we’ll never know. With respect to the fact that he has relatives still alive it’s probably a tactless subject anyway. I rewatched Chinatown recently with new eyes recently and found it very creepy.
    Keep up the great work.
    A fan,

    • Steve Hodel on July 16, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Marie: Thanks for the information and kind words. Much appreciated. No I haven’t read The Franklin Scandal by Bryant, but will check it out. Best Regards, Steve.

    • John Vinga on July 22, 2014 at 3:34 am

      Yes, I agree with Marie. Chinatown does touch on the creepiness associated with the real John Huston. For a thorough delving into the corruption, graft, greed which was Los Angeles and LA County’s water development, read the book CADILLAC DESERT. Of course, the LAPD was most likely involved in this corruption in the 20s, 30s and 40s as well. This book is a fascinating journey into how the Los Angeles area begged, borrowed and stole its water from other parts of California (Owens Valley/Bishop and Mono Lake) and the Colorado River. As I recall in the late 20s, the governor of Arizona had his state’s guardsmen trained to fire machine guns on the advancing canal builders sent by the LA politicos (and Mulholland I believe) to get water from the Colorado. Only a phone call from the President of the United States to the Governor of Arizona averted bloodshed. The governor was told to let Los Angeles have the water from the Colorado.

      • Steve Hodel on July 22, 2014 at 10:19 am

        John: Thanks for the reference. I checked out the book and just ordered it. Looks like a great read. The Amazon link to the book below.
        Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner

        • John Vinga on July 26, 2014 at 2:59 am


          You are most welcome. Hope you enjoy the book and perhaps get more perspective on the fascinating development of how water is supplied to Southern California. As I recall, the government corruption/competition between the Army Corps of Engineers and Dept. of the Interior is palpable in the book. Many dams were built by one of the agencies on very marginal sites and with very dubious need just to BEAT the other agency to the punch. Many of these dams would of course not be built today, and some have been removed. But what a waste of taxpayers’ money and government resources. The early history of Los Angeles and environs’ “thirst” for water is perhaps more interesting and filled with graft, illegalities, and chicanery.

  4. Lisa Herbert on September 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I have followed your story for many years now. Your books are fascinating and I can’t wait for the next one! It’s such a shame the powers that be won’t put this whole matter to bed, and do whatever it takes to finally solve this horrific crime. Best of luck to you in all your efforts , and thank you for all the great detail and information your books have provided. Cheers!!

    • Steve Hodel on September 25, 2014 at 6:50 pm

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

  5. Annika on January 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Hello Mr. Hodel,
    I periodically check on the current status of your investigative efforts and am amazed at the new findings re: the photo comparison and the dog. It’s disheartening that Ms. Prepon won’t give permission, but that’s the way Hollywood works, always self-protective even when they claim to care so much about humanity and justice. Well, what about the possibility that Ms. Spangler’s body may be there, and her murder could be solved? Does she not care about a fellow actress, a young woman just starting her career, who has never been found? It’s sad that your direct appeal to her in a letter was met with no response. In any event, you are an amazing person and there are many people out here who follow your efforts closely. I continue to hope and believe the LAPD will do what’s right and pursue the leads your investigations have uncovered. The victims cry out for justice. God bless.

    • Steve Hodel on January 6, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Hi Annika: Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated. Yes, sad that she won’t allow us to conduct a non-invasive walk through of the back yard with Buster, for all the reasons you have pointed out. Based on the known evidence, it would be very simple for LAPD to obtain a search warrant for the property. (Just the exterior yard.) But, don’t see that happening anytime soon, as evidenced by their claim that they are “too busy with current investigations.” Thanks for your ongoing support and stay tuned, hope to have some new information in the near future. Happy New Year, Steve

  6. Carina Wallöf on January 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Steve!
    I just can’t stop thinking about the poor women who can’t get any justice… A quite simple search for bodies on Ms Prepon’s estate could give many people the answers they need. A murder can never be too old. Never. I wish you all the best and that your investigation soon will come to an end.


    • Steve Hodel on January 7, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Carina: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Best Wishes to you. Steve

  7. Denise Syrett on June 25, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Dear Steve,
    Thank you so much for your amazing dedication to finding justice for these murdered women, even at the cost of learning the truth about your own father. It is appalling to think that just because a crime is ‘so old’ that it isn’t worth pursuing justice. Shame on you, LAPD. These women were real people with hopes and dreams who felt pain just as we do now. They suffered horribly.
    I just wanted to thank you for caring about them and working tirelessly on their behalf.

    • Steve Hodel on June 25, 2015 at 11:21 am

      Hi Denise: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, it is shameful that LAPD has turned their back on these many victims. High probability that DNA could be obtained in many of the “Lone Woman Murders” providing they haven’t disposed of the original evidence. Stay tuned, new information out soon. Best, Steve

  8. John Dumont on August 8, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    I recently read your book “Black Dahlia Avenger. I read all 564 pages in about 4 days because I was so riveted and was kept on my toes by the way you laid out your case. Unfortunately, your family rates among the highest levels of what would be considered a “dysfunctional family” to say the least.

    As a kid, my mother told us about the “Black Dahlia” case around the early 1950’s.
    Our family had lived in the Culver City area in that time and my mother was petrified by that murder. It did have an impact on daily life much like what a modern “terrorist’ would create.

    I believe your story even if the LAPD does not want to put their seal of approval on your findings.I am fascinated about the history of the Franklin House and what stories those walls could tell. I hope you stay on this in an ongoing way and perhaps some of these other open murder case could be solved. What excitement could be created by a DNA match. Great job!


    • Steve Hodel on August 8, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Hi John: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.
      My sequels: Black Dahlia Avenger II and MOST EVIL that followed BDA give many more answers to what is a huge puzzle that spans many decades.
      Stay tuned, new information soon. Best Regards, Steve

  9. Valerie Preter on August 8, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Steve, I have to admit that this case is definitely a weird one. I remember after I moved here to California in 2004, as we stopped at the Way Side Cafe in Rosamond, there was a newspaper in the paper box, with Elizabeth’s photo on the front cover. I thought the murder had just happened. I don’t remember why she was even mentioned at that time. My question is why? I mean how sick does a person have to be to just cut her up like that? Why go to the extreme like that? I will have to look for your books on Amazon and have my daughter buy them for me for Christmas. I don’t know what fascinates me about this girl. She was gorgeous, could have been an actress, and then to just lose her life like that is unbelievable.

    I wish you luck and hope that someday Laura Prepon changes her mind about checking out her property.


    • Steve Hodel on August 8, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Hi Valerie: The answer to your WHY is offered, butm unfortunately it has taken three/four books (so far) to state the many reasons. He was a serial killer and Elizabeth was just one of at least twenty-five, so it is complex. Best Regards, Steve

  10. Lauren Adamson on August 9, 2015 at 2:26 am

    I’ve just finished Black Dahlia Avenger and haven’t yet started BDA II, so I’m not sure if this was already discussed, but have you ever looked into murders that may have been committed in the other places your father resided once he left California or where he spent his youth? From what I know of serial killers I believe its rare that they simply stop killing, so I would reason there must be more somewhere.
    Also, considering your thoughts as to why Elizabeth Short’s body was posed and the symbolism behind it, what is your theory of why she was dumped in that specific location? Do you think it was just the easiest or most convenient area or do you think it was thought out beforehand and picked specifically and symbolically?

    lastly, since it appears the LAPD isn’t going to be much help in your continued investigation,the only way I can see you being able to search for Spangler’s body on the adjacent lot is if you owned the land. knowing how many people are interested and follow the case, perhaps you could start a kickstarter campaign to purchase the property next time it is for sale? It might also attract more publicity to the fact that LAPD is pretty much ignoring direct evidence in an open case.


    • Steve Hodel on August 9, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Hi Lauren: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.
      Yes, there was a definite reason he posed the body where he did and you will discover it in reading my follow-up books.
      Would suggest to read MOST EVIL (Dutton hardback 2009) next which goes into my linkage to other serial crimes, then read Black Dahlia Avenger II (Amazon Ebook or print) after MOST EVIL. They all tie together by MO and Crime Signatures.
      Stay tuned. More investigation to follow. Best, Steve

  11. Mark Urban on October 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm


    There are two items that you discussed in an interview with Ed Opperman:
    1. After your father was thrown out of university for having an affair with a professor’s wife, he, at one point, drove a taxi at the same time that the future LA chief of police drove a taxi. Is it possible they struck up a friendship that later resulted in “protection” and looking the other way when evidence of suspicious activity came up ( I refer here to the bugging of the Aztec house that indicated a woman was possibly drugged, beaten, murdered and buried)?
    2. I believe you said that Short was possibly investigating Hodel as the killer of a child in her hometown in Massachusetts. I believe that would provide a very strong motive for what your father did to Short.

    I do not get the impression that he was completely random in his choice of victims. He seemed to eliminate people who got in the way, such as the secretary who could have provided evidence against him.

    Your story is fascinating; however, it can’t be easy on you psychologically to uncover such ghastly history that was apparently being made while you were living in that house.

    • Steve Hodel on October 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Mark: As to your questions:

      1. No way of knowing if they formed a close friendship “early on” or not? My guess is no, but…? However, dad would have developed some friendships with LAPD Vice and Homicide officedrs early on due to his job as a young crime reporter for the LA RECORD in the mid-Twenties. Then, later as a MD and V.D. Control officer, he eventually became “untouchable.” In BDA II and in my three act play, “A Genius for Murder” I go into all the details as to the WHY of the cover-up by both the DA Office and LAPD.

      2. The secret DA Hodel/Black Dahlia Files reveal that Elizabeth Short was investigating the LIPSTICK MURDERS on her own in Chicago, while GHH was away in China. And, yes, I now believe she discovered potential linkage to him and may have asked him about it (Joking or not?), which effectively “signed her death warrant.” What we know is that GHH suddenly returned from China in Sept 1946, she began running and hiding in fear of her life, and within a few months, was murdered. I do suspect she discovered something that made the link to the Chicago murders. It and the linkage is detailed in my later books. Best, Steve

  12. Marita on June 14, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Dear Steve, all the different threads of this story are so fascinating.

    Have you written about what it was like from your perspective as a child, growing up in that house and what your father was like as a dad to you and your brothers?

    If Laura Prepon still owns the house, maybe you could pitch her people a new screenplay of the real Black Dahlia story, that she could star in and it could be filmed at the actual location, which she owns. That would be $ incentive for her, and perhaps she would be motivated to allow the dog to inspect the property if it was to generate a lot of interest in the film : )

    Just a thought.

    • Steve Hodel on June 15, 2016 at 6:59 am

      Marita: No, have not gone into any great detail re. living at the Franklin House other than to describe it as a positive “magic time” for my brothers and I. Lots of fond memories from age 5-10 there. Laura Prepon actually owns the home on the hill behind our property, not the actual Franklin House. That’s where we wanted to search. Up the hillside at the rear. But, don’t see that happening, at least in the immediate future. Am working on trying to get the books to film or TV as episodes. Best, Steve

      • Nic on April 2, 2019 at 7:05 am

        I am surprised that Ms. Laura Prepon won’t let you search the property. If someone told me (or most people I assume???) that I could easily help solve a case, put a lot of loved ones minds at peace and oh, I dunno, get rid of a likely dead body on my property I’d be pretty easy going about it! I wonder what her reasoning is. Hopefully she will have a change of heart after the podcast comes to her attention..

        • Steve Hodel on April 2, 2019 at 11:20 am

          Nic: Yes, I agree. Surprising since we didn’t really want to do anything “invasive” at that point. Just see if “Buster” would alert to the possibility of human remains in the back lot, which back then was accessible to us as kids and was open and directly behind our Sowden/Franklin House. She had or has the home up for sale, so maybe she figured it would impact the sale price? Not to mention that the possible victim was a young aspiring actress like herself. Go figure?

  13. Margaret Schermerhorn on March 15, 2023 at 1:01 am

    Dear Steve, I grew up in South Pasadena many years ago, and when I learned about you and the gripping story of your father, I soon sought out his family home and used to park above it and think about all of it. I attended your talk some years back at the SP Library. My heart goes out to you… As a kid I used to wander the Monterey Hills before any homes were built up there, , around the late 50s. I lived on the opposite side of the Hills from his house. It is surreal to find out what lurks beneath the veneer of a sweet little town!! Best to you always, Margaret

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