NOIRCON 2014 One of the Goodis Times I've Had in Years

Steve & Lou Boxer at NOIRCON 2014

October 29-November 2, 2014
Philadelphia, PA
Had a great four days at NOIRCON 2014 in Philly.

Met some interesting and very hip guys and gals, all of whom (about a hundred) were drawn together by their mutual love for that special magic that is NOIR.

NOIRCONITES meet in the City of Brotherly/Sisterly love every other year to talk about all things noir and share their experiences and thoughts by way of panels, handshakes and over a few (that’s more than two) stiff drinks.
The organizing/coordinating force behind NOIRCON is Dr. Lou Boxer, a Philadelphia anesthesiologist. (I did a little background check on the physician and discovered that while that is his stated specialty, in fact, the nervy doc spends most of his time specializing as a noirologist.)

Deen Kogan, “The First Lady of Philadelphia Theatre,” hosted the gathering at her Society Hill Playhouse.
Deen at eighty-four remains a literary-lioness and inspiration to all of her noir aficionados. A very cool lady.

Theatre Director Deen Kogan and her Society Hill Playhouse, two cultured pearls since 1959.

deen kogan


society hill playhouse


It was a privilege for me to be able to open the talks on Friday, October 31, with a two-hour PowerPoint presentation of my Black Dahlia Avenger investigation which included a lively Q&A. Then I gave a closing two-hour talk on my follow-up, MOST EVIL on Sunday, November 2nd.

Prior to my arrival in Philly, I was contacted by photographer-extraordinaire, Robert Juckett, a local Philadelphia boy, who offered to hook-up with me and take some photos of the event. (See below)

Bob and I found some “free-time” and were able to get over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he captured some terrific and quite difficult shots. (If you don’t believe me, try shooting through a door eye-hole the size of a small pen.)  See Bob’s photos of Man Ray’s artwork as well as Duchamp’s Etant Donnes, which has been on permanent display since 1969. (Duchamp’s strict orders were that it not be displayed until after his death. He died in 1968.)

Many kudos to Bob Juckett for his time and skill in taking the photographs both at the playhouse and the museum.


Steve and photographer, Bob Juckett






NoirCon 2014 presentation

etant donnes 2

IMG_4671 (2)IMG_4673 (3)

Duchamp’s Etant Donnes at Philadelphia Museum of Art (photographs by Robert Juckett)


man ray juckett photo


Man Ray’s Le beau temps (Fair Weather) Oil on canvas, 1939
On permanent display at Philadelphia Museum of Art (photo by Robert Juckett)
(Note the bisected figure with arm in the “Minotaur” position.)


  1. Eddie on November 14, 2014 at 11:55 am

    That Fair Weather art seems to be a feast for thought print fans. You have the Zodiac crosshairs in the sketch, A secret romance in the window as if the art was about the romance, etc. Even a map of sorts that reminds me of the left of the fork Degnan location..A stretch for sure, but interesting nonetheless..

  2. TorBaker on November 17, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Steve, is there any chance of you writing up a list of your favourite noir works? It would be really interesting to get your take on some of these, given your background as a trained investigator and writer of serious true crime.

    • Steve Hodel on November 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Tor: Just have a superficial knowledge when it comes to NOIR in both writing and films. (Though, guess I’ve got a PhD in living it these past ten years.) Have read very little of the actual authors from that time as I have always preferred non-fiction. As far as the films, most of my favorites are at the top of the conventional list and include: Asphalt Jungle, Double Indemnity, Maltese Falcon, The Prowler, The Hitchhiker, etc. In fact, being a noir-novice I asked one of the pro’s at NOIRCON for a suggested list to watch and he gave me the following (some I’d seen) but, which I’m working my way through now: “Gun Crazy, City of Industry, Friends of Eddie Coyle, Sexy Beast, Red Rock West, The Last Seduction, Night Into City, Go For Sisters, Across 110th Street, and Thief. All Best.

  3. TorBaker on November 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Thanks a lot, I was never a big reader of fiction myself, but a comment you made on a radio show to the effect that LA actually WAS like the portrayal in LA Confidential back in the days got me interested in these genre.

  4. Marie Flick on December 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    This should have been written over a month ago. I was so happy to meet you at Noircon. I was sorry that I didn’t get to see you for the Friday talk. It was great to meet you on Sunday morning and get to see and hear you. I’m reading your latest that you gave me. Wondering if you got a chance to check out The Franklin Scandal.

    Marie Flick

    • Steve Hodel on December 29, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Hi Marie: Yes, great to meet you at NoirCon. Thanks again for the book. It looks fascinating. Unfortunately, it remains 3rd from the top of my “to read’s” but hopefully will get to it early in the New Year. My ongoing investigation and writing have me stuck into it for the immediate future. Hope to get to it soon.
      Happy Holidays and may you and yours have a wonderful New Year. Steve

      • Marie Flick on December 29, 2014 at 11:51 pm

        I’m just glad your writing more! Like I said at the show, it’s a dark story, and I hinkley you are the perfect person to comment on its validity. I can wait…

        Hope to see you at Noircon 2016.

  5. Marie Flick on December 29, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Damn autocorrect. correction: and I think you are the perfect person to comment …..

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