April 28, 2015
Los Angeles, California

steve roberta final canvasRoberta 2005

Hero (noun) – Somebody who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character.

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Roberta circa 2001

I want to take time to give a special blog-out and public recognition to my good friend and Black Dahlia researcher extraordinaire, Roberta McCreary.

Roberta and I have been together for more than twenty years and not only did she do most of the initial historical research on the Black Dahlia investigation by spending months on end at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Library, in their newspaper archives (L.A. had six major newspapers in the 1940s) but, also she was the wind beneath my wings when it came to the much needed emotional support.

Since my investigation was completely sub-rosa (including my family) in those early months and years before publication, there was no one else, and from Day One–Roberta was there for me and has remained constant and true at my side, through the thick of it.

Roberta met my father (and June) in the final decade of his life.  She was able to share a number of short vacations with me to San Francisco for visits, during which the four of us would take day-trips around the Bay Area, and then enjoy some fine dining with dad regaling us with endless stories of his and June’s life abroad–and their adventures while working and traveling throughout Southeast Asia, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Europe.

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Photo of George Hodel taken by Roberta at lunch in San Francisco in 1997.
She took this picture just a few weeks short of his 90th Birthday.
(Father died in May, 1999 at age 91)

During those visits, Roberta saw in my father, exactly what I saw.  A brilliant and sophisticated bon vivant. A man who had lived an exceptional life. Then, in his late-Eighties, had chosen to come full circle, and return to the city he loved, to spend and close out his final years with the woman he loved–June.

Neither Roberta nor I had the slightest hint of what was to unfold in just a few short years. No dark premonitions. No sense of foreboding. With George and June during that time we shared only fair weather and fun.

The dark clouds that were forming in 1996 were still far out to sea and would not pass over the Golden Gate and into the harbor for another three years.

Thank you Roberta for always BEING THERE. You are my true HERO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Patricia O'Neill on April 28, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Steve,
    Reading your 4/28/15 blog on “My Hero” brought to my mind the Edmund Burke quote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing….” ! How very brave of you and Roberta to pursue the truth even in the face of severe criticism, personal disappointment in a loved one and facing the truth of a life that was a complete facade. I have read your books, Steve, and admire your ability to control your anger and expose the horrors of the victims. Of course you have looked at yourself and said….if this is my father, my God, who am I? Well, keep Burke’s quote in mind, Steve. You were abruptly faced with a horrible truth and by god you did not shrink from it. Your first thought was for the victims and their families. That speaks to your core personality and your professionalism as a detective. Will you see the correct outcomes in your lifetime? Maybe not, but you can be sure you will walk proudly with much joy into whatever lies ahead, knowing you had the courage to do the right thing and doggedly pursue the truth…..that’s what heroes do!
    Best Regards, Pat O’Neill, Tucson AZ

    • Steve Hodel on April 28, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Pat:
      Thanks for the kind words. Very much appreciated.
      Interesting synchronicity re. your quote from Edmund Burke. I found that exact quote about two months ago and have used it to underscore my message in something I just recently wrote.

      Stay tuned. More to come.

      Best,

      Steve

  2. Mehnaz M. on May 4, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Steve,

    I think what you are doing is remarkable, for me you have solved the most mysterious,haunting, and heinous crimes of the modern time. I am in the process of reading “Most Evil,” will read the “Black Dahlia Avenger,” after that, I just got into reading True Crime, after learning about the Jodi Arias case, I am an avid reader but this case haunted me until I started reading about the “Black Dahlia,” and ran into the titles of your books I applaud you for seeking the truth and doing the right thing even after facing such adversities. Thanks for your insight and knowledge in these cases your books are very well -written.

    Mehnaz

    • Steve Hodel on May 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Mehnaz M: Thank you for the kind words. Very much appreciated. Glad to hear you are going to continue the investigations. All three books are really part of one large investigation. Many different pieces to one large (very large) puzzle. Hope you enjoy the reads and stay tuned. Some major new develops just down the road a piece. Best Regards, Steve

  3. jim mcCullough on July 4, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Always enjoy your writing on the Dahlia Steve, Just looking through some old material on the case, I noticed a weird and interesting fact on Red Manley, last known person with Elizabeth Short, he took his own life exactly 39 years to the day Elizabeth Short probably died, Jan 9 1947, this ex-soldier dying 1986, of course as you know the number 39 is very relevant as her body was found on 39 th street!. Suppose Elizabeth Short never made it to the Biltmore, as James Ellroy has stated, the doorman at the hotel seen waving is pure fiction, and Manley’s then new wife would alibi him wouldn’t she? He passed a lie detector but so what, he maybe was convincing taking it. What do you think Steve? Did he take his secret to the grave with him? Best, Jim.

    • Steve Hodel on July 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Jim: If James Ellroy has claimed that the Biltmore incident was “pure fiction” well ,then he’s full of fiction. No, the Elizabeth Short seen at the Biltmore on Jan 9th is accurate, and includes the name and statements of the employee who saw her there, as well as seeing a male approach and wait for her outside the glass door. Also, well documented in the Secret DA Files as is Red Manley’s alibi as “being in San Francisco” which was confirmed by Lt. Frank Jemison’s investigators who went to S.F. and interviewed multiple witnesses who confirmed it. Regards, Steve

  4. Linda Whitman on March 5, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Thank you for your lovely acknowledgement of Roberta. To know that you have been blessed with a relationship with an exceptional women such as she is gratifying. You deserve good in this life and she is good. ?

    • Steve Hodel on March 5, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Linda W. Thanks. Yes she is. Been my support from the getgo.

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