Historic Hollywood Sowden House Former Home of Dr. George Hill Hodel and Black Dahlia Crime Scene Listed for Sale by Sotheby's for $4.875 Million

September 17, 2014 Los Angeles, California

Below video interview with Sotheby’s listing real estate agent, Troy Gregory, appeared in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times Real Estate section. Asking price- $4.875 million. (Dr. George Hill Hodel purchased  the home in 1945 for $38,000.)

sowden house


Click photo to view LAT interview





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Los Angeles Times  “Hot Property columnist,” Lauren Beale, in an on-line/ off-hand reference had this to say about the “Black Dahlia” connection to the Sowden House:

“Suspicions that the house might hold the key to the so-called “Black Dahlia” murder case from 1947 have brought reality shows such as “Paranormal America” and “Ghost Hunters.”

Clearly, to the business mind, “Hot Properties” and “Cold Cases” just don’t mix.  (Or, do they? Maybe only in  H O L L Y W O O D?)   As many of my readers know, not only has hard physical evidence connected  the Hodel/Sowden House to the Black Dahlia vacant lot, but recent forensics (soil analysis tests) have established that the residence is, “positive for human remains.”  In 1950, when Dr. George Hodel was considered the “prime suspect” DA investigative reports show that detectives believed that a body or bodies were buried in the basement of the Sowden House. Additionally, law enforcement is in possession of tape-recorded transcripts from 1950, which record George Hodel and an accomplice, Baron Ernst Harringa, assaulting a woman in the basement of the home. (Probable homicide) For those interested in the history and detailed investigative linkage of the Sowden House to the Black Dahlia and other 1940s L.A. Lone Woman murders click on below links which will direct you to the separate blogs in my FAQ section under “Sowden House.” Additional and more recent findings are presented in Black Dahlia Avenger II Chapter 5, Scene of the Crime and the May 2014 updated  Chapter 24, Odor Mortis: The Smell of Death. (May 2014 updated edition.)

Sowden/”Franklin House”
Franklin House 1.33
Original photos 1.44
As crime scene 2.2
As film location 6.1
Distances 11.2
Family photos 24.1
In Commercial 25.2
Spider Woman 26.1
Crime scene 37.1
Valentine House 39.1
Original house photos 50.1
As crime scene 59.2
Elizabeth Short visit? 62.1
Cement Bags 75.1
Fertilizer Bags 76.1
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  1. Ryan Carr on September 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm


    Hopefully the new owner will be more open to a search of the property for any human remains.


  2. Anona on October 4, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Steve, thank you for your work. What do the surviving family members of the victims want? Have any of them collaborated with you on appealing to close the case? What do you want to happen the most? I can imagine everyone, including you, wants closure.

  3. Victoria on February 18, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Beautiful house. I’m sure it was a great place to be a little kid.

    • Steve Hodel on February 18, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Yes, it was magic time for we three brothers.

  4. Victoria on February 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I think your father meant for you to get that picture book. Being the egomaniac he was and knowing your mind, he insured himself front billing even in death. Kind of creepy but the whole thing is creepy. I’m sure that all the investigation keeps you sane.
    When I was little in Denver my mother kept a very close eye on me. I remember the name Black Dahlia even though I was born in 1952. The whole country was afraid and he got off on that.

  5. Victoria Allen on February 19, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Watched Charlie Chan on Treasure Island. Wow. That whole movie is about your dad, from my reading. He was waiting for Charlie Chan and It happened to be you. He left all the clues. What a bizarre story. As the fellow said, he wasn’t creative but he took what he could to the outer limits. I’m hooked.

    • Steve Hodel on February 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      VA: Yes, and the kicker being GHH was working/doctoring at T.I. during the filming of the movie during the fair in ’39. All fits. skh

      • Victoria Allen on February 20, 2015 at 10:52 am

        Exactly Steve,
        He was one of the characters and certainly got some ideas that he used in the future.

  6. Victoria Allen on February 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    I live alone with my horses and I got so scared at first I could only get to the barn with my Beretta

  7. Rita Salazar on October 13, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Steve, did you ever live on Oxnard street in the valley?

    • Steve Hodel on October 13, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Rita S: Hard to recall. Growing up we bounced all over LA including The Valley. Maybe 6-8 different rentals in and around Van Nuys, North Hwd, and I joined the Navy right after turning 17. Best, Steve

  8. Ronda on January 31, 2016 at 2:01 am


    I’m deaf lady, so I would like to know and curious to ask you, What the Black Dahlia who the real name was? How your father kill black dahlia, What happen and Why?

    • Steve Hodel on January 31, 2016 at 2:09 am


      Here real name was Elizabeth Short. She was murdered in Los Angeles in 1947. See my website for details: stevehodel.com

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