MOST EVIL II Sequel Publishes – Presents Decryption of 1970 Zodiac Cipher in which San Francisco Killer Reveals His True Identity

Most Evil II Rev Cover Aug 2015 for SH_0001 - Copy

“Speaking as a veteran homicide detective with forty-six years experience, it is now my considered professional opinion that Dr. George Hill Hodel was, in fact, the San Francisco serial killer known as ZODIAC.  Further, the solving of the known 1970 Zodiac cipher,  as presented here for the first time, is George Hodel’s  signed admission and confession to having committed those crimes.”

Steve Hodel
Excerpt from Open Letter to Readers
September 15, 2015

Open Letter to my Readers

September 15, 2015

Dear Friends and Readers:

Today I present the latest evidence of what has now become a sixteen-year investigation into the life and crimes of my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel.

               Most Evil II is my fourth book.  Four books, but one investigation and one suspect.

               To date, I have examined and linked my father to twenty-five separate serial crimes spanning twenty-six years (1943-1969.)

As the LADA secret police files and the hard evidence and forensics continued to build over the years, most have become convinced, “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  Most recognize what law enforcement knew back then–that George Hodel was in truth the “Black Dahlia Avenger.”  That he was LA’s 1940s “Lone Woman Murderer,” and had sadistically slain a dozen women and taunted the police with his “catch me if you can” crime scene notes and mailings.

With the discovery of the LADA secret Hodel Black Dahlia Files, I was led into, darker deeper waters.  As I continued to examine those original 1940s secret police files, I discovered that not only did they confirm, that Elizabeth Short, the “Black Dahlia,” had  known and been a girlfriend of George Hodel, but, more.   They revealed that in 1946 (while George Hodel was temporarily doctoring for the United Nations in China) Elizabeth had traveled to Chicago. Why?  Official reports suggest her reason had been to obtain information on the recently headlined, “Lipstick Murders”; three horrific, sadistic killings that had been committed in Chicago in the months  immediately prior to George Hodel leaving the country.

As I followed the evidence, it led me first to Chicago, then, out of the U.S. to Asia, to Manila, Philippines where a copy-cat Black Dahlia murder occurred in 1967. A surgical/torture murder where the young woman’s body was posed in a vacant lot,  just one mile from my father’s then residence.  Information discovered in that crime directed me back stateside and pointed me north to the San Francisco Bay Area and to an examination of the serial crimes committed by a suspect calling himself, “Zodiac.”

All of that linkage was presented in Most Evil: The Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel.(Dutton, 2009)

While I believe  I had made a “compelling case” that George Hodel could very well have committed the San Francisco crimes and reinvented himself from “Avenger” in the 1940s to “Zodiac” in the 1960s,  I also knew, unlike the LA serial killings, I had not “made my case.” The known evidence while compelling still remained–circumstantial.

Unlike my BDA investigation, I could not make the claim, “Case Solved.”  In my closing chapter of Most Evil, I made a plea for law enforcement to obtain a confirmed sample of Zodiac’s DNA (still not done) and to make a comparison to my father’s DNA. (I am now in possession of his full DNA profile.)

I ended MOST EVIL by informing my readers that, “The Investigation Continues.”

Now, six years later, I present that follow-up Investigation to that book, along with a new claim.

Based on my new findings as revealed in Most Evil II,  supported by the  evidence, M.O., and crime signatures found in my previous three books, I offer the following:

Speaking as a veteran homicide detective with forty-six years experience, it is now my considered professional opinion that Dr. George Hill Hodel was, in fact, the San Francisco serial killer known as ZODIAC.  Further, the solving of the known 1970 Zodiac cipher,  as presented here for the first time, is George Hodel’s  signed admission and confession to having committed those crimes.

Throughout these many years, you, my readers, have always remained the triers of fact–my jury.  I ask you once again to resume that role and dispassionately review the new evidence and judge for yourself.

Most Respectfully Yours,

Steve Hodel
Los Angeles, California
September 15, 2015

See Rare Bird Books  MOST EVIL II Publication Announcement and currently scheduled Author Talks – HERE.

French High School Teacher Solves 1970 Zodiac Halloween Card Cipher- Identifies Killer

Excerpts from Most Evil II – Chapter 10

Just as I was closing down my computer, it happened.
The sound of an incoming email. I glanced at my inbox and noted it was from France. I clicked on the new message:

 Dear Sir,

 Have you ever noticed that Zodiac’s signature was acompound of two ogham “letters”? The letter on the leftside is for “H” and the letter on the right side is for “L.” The Irish name of the first “letter” is “beithe,” that means “flash,” “flame,” and the other is called “uath,” the old-Irish word for “scare.” The dots remain mysterious.

I read your first book shortly after it was published, and it deeply changed my mind upon the real meaning of XXth century (namely, in the fields of ideology and culture).

Best regards from France.
—Y. P.

Zodiac Halloween Card Deciphered (See decryption details in Chapter 10)


 Fig. 10.8

The credit for this remarkable discovery must go to “Y. P.” in Paris, France. I recently wrote and asked him if I might have permission to credit and use his real name, which he has just granted. “Y. P.” is M. Yves Person, and to add a further ironic twist to our ongoing investigation, he teaches literature at a high school in the suburbs of Paris.*

 Yves Person, Paris, France 2015 10.9

 Fig 10.9

Note- *Many readers will recall that after the US military and intelligence experts were unable to solve Zodiac’s original 1969 three-part cryptogram, a married couple, Donald and Bettye Harden,“cracked the code” after studying it for just one weekend. Their solution was confirmed by the Vallejo Police Department and published in the San Francisco newspapers. Donald Harden, like Yves Person, was also a high school teacher. Harden taught history and economics at North Salinas High School in Salinas, California.

Most Evil II presents two major headlines click here for headlines


zodiac avenger composites compare 49 to 69 FNL


  1. Brian Weatherby on September 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Where can I find this in the la basin? Must read immediately!

    • Steve Hodel on September 15, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Amazon can probably get it to you in two days, or call your local bookstore? Just launched today so could take a few days? Best, Steve

      • Karen Hoy on September 15, 2015 at 10:07 pm

        Amazon had a few copies available for about a day and now has Most Evil II listed as a pre-order.

        Abebooks and Alibris appear to have available copies.

        It will be worth the wait, but hopefully it arrives quickly!

  2. Marvina on September 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I can’t wait to read this new book. I just ordered it from Amazon.

    • Steve Hodel on September 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Marvina: Great. Hope you enjoy it. Best, Steve

  3. Steve Daniels on September 15, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Steve, I would still like you to present at our annual homicide conference. This makes it more inviting. I will buy martinis.
    Steve Daniels

    • Steve Hodel on September 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks Steve. Sounds good, but unfortunately these days I have to hold the gin or vodka. Just the olives. Sad, but true. Best, steve

  4. Marc Goldberg on September 15, 2015 at 9:40 pm


    Having read every word and book written from Black Dahlia to Most Evil, I am thrilled to close it out with one more book which I have already pre-ordered. Much success and blessings with the book, and looking forward in making this a major motion picture as we have discussed years ago. 🙂


    • Steve Hodel on September 16, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Marc G: Thanks much for the kind words. Much appreciated. Be great to present the full story on the Big or Little screen. Trying to make it happen. Best, Steve

  5. Robert Sadler on September 16, 2015 at 2:39 am

    Dear Steve,

    Congratulations. Once again you have brought six more years of insight and information to culmination. You are an amazing, dogged, intrepid investigator/detective! It is so very difficult to stay on the trail for so long without muddying the water. Your methods are demonstrably curious, objective, fact-based, and accurate. MEII is a great read with one hell-of-a conclusion! A conclusion with which I agree!


    • Steve Hodel on September 16, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Thanks Robert. Appreciate your unselfish and “dogged” assist in helping me to ferret out so many of the “small details” that together give us the big picture. You’ve been a good friend. Constant and True. A real life “Dr. Watson.”

  6. Andrea Whiteman on September 16, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Will your book be available in the Kindle format?

  7. John Ayers on September 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Amazon and Barnes & Noble say the paperback publication date is September 29. However, nothing is mentioned about a Kindle or Nook edition. Do you know if these versions will be made available?

    • Steve Hodel on September 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      John A: My publisher is offering a great “bundled deal”: Signed paperback, E-Book with immediate delivery and Free Mailing of print book in U.S. See their link below:

      • John Ayers on September 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        Done. I’ll take that martini from Steve Daniels before reading because these books aren’t for the faint of heart. You can have the olive
        Looking forward to reading. Nice offer from the publisher!

  8. Christina M on September 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Steve,
    Just ordered your latest book through your publisher and can’t wait to read it. I have read the first 3 and totally believe you have solved these “cold cases”. What concerns me most is what impact all of your research and discoveries have on you and the psyches of all of your family? It has to be devastating to find that your father was a monster in every sense of the word. How do you reconcile yourself to realize that what he did has no barring on you or your family? Please tell me to mind my own business if what I wonder is too personal for you to answer! Thanks, and keep on fighting the good fight. You give hope to many people that someday someone may solve a crime involving their loved ones.

  9. Steve Hodel on September 16, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Christina M:
    Thanks for the kind words and support.
    Well, yes, having one of the world’s “Most Evil” misanthropes as one’s father can be hazardous to one’s mental health for sure. Not to mention the genetic potentials etc. That said, each family member has to respond with his or her own responsibility. (Ability to respond) Many families come from very difficult environments, physical and sexual abuse, alcoholism, etc. Some are survivors, some are not. But, all one can do is deal with the hand they are dealt and strive to make their own life constructive and honorable. Most of my family has done that. Naturally, none of us knew about the serial killings until our father was gone. Best, Steve

  10. Ryan on September 22, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Just finished reading ME II. Thanks once again for digging and digging until the truth is finally revealed. If only we were all so tenacious. Do you still plan on publishing a book on your father’s early years as a serial killer?


  11. Steve Hodel on September 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Hi Ryan: Thanks for the kind words.

    Yes. After I decompress for a bit, I will resume my pursuit of ferreting out the crimes fro his “Early Years.” Every time I begin to pursue something comes along to divert my headlights. First it was Most Evil, then BDA II and then Most Evil II. Frustrating, but it is only after I completed those investigations that I could see how they were needed to be done before pursuing the final book.

    After a few deep breathes, I will get back on it and resume my investigation. Expect this will be the last book on my father’s life and crimes. I sure hope so! Best Regards, Steve

  12. Rick on December 15, 2015 at 10:41 am

    When tpu look back you may also have the snswer to the jean apangler case

    • Steve Hodel on December 15, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Rick: Jean Spangler is included as one of my LA Lone Woman Murders committed by my father and that investigation is summarized in BDA II. Regards, Steve

  13. Bryan Reeves on May 14, 2016 at 2:10 am

    Steve-Just recently discovered this amazing (and disturbing) series, and have a question: Do BD AVENGER II and MOST EVIL II reprint the entirety of the first volumes?
    Bryan Reeves

    • Steve Hodel on May 14, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Hi Bryan: No, not repetitive. Both BDA II and Most Evil II contain all new updated investigations. Massive amount of new findings and linkage. In the case of BDA II be sure to order the 2014 edition which contains five new chapters added to the 2012 printing. Best Regards, Steve

      • Bryan Reeves on May 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm

        Thank you, I’ll be reading.

  14. Jo Gratziano on June 9, 2016 at 2:58 am

    Wow. I tell this story to anyone that will listen. Just reread “Most Evil” because that’s where I lose the most people. The Zodiac angle leaves most people in the dust. It’s all there, though. I’m going to now order “Most Evil 2”.
    I live at Normandie and Melrose and can’t resist looking at your old house when I drive by Franklin and Normandie.
    I want you to know I respect what you have done and I believe you. This couldn’t have been easy. Thank you for standing up for the victims and setting this story to paper so eloquently.
    Jo Gratziano

    • Steve Hodel on June 9, 2016 at 9:49 am

      Hi Jo. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. I think you will find in reading ME II how it all comes together and validates his personal madness and crime signature as, “Murder as a Fine Art” theme. All my best, Steve.

  15. Richard on August 17, 2017 at 3:22 am

    What did the police and investigators said about your evidence proved in your books? Is there any official development in the case thanks to you?

    • Steve Hodel on August 17, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Richard: LAPD’s “official” position is “they don’t have time to review the investigation due to needing to attempt to solve more recent cases.” That said, four of LA’s top brass in LE (LAPD Chiefs Parker and Thad Brown, DA Lt. Frank Jemison, Undersheriff James Downey) all privately and independently confirmed back then that the “case was solved and the killer was Dr. George Hill Hodel.” Subsequent to my publication, both Head DDA Steve Kay and then active LAPD Chief of Detectives, James MacMurray declared “case solved” and Chief MacMurray ordered his detectives to “Go ahead and clear the case.” (His order was ignored by detectives, knowing he would retire in 9 months.) In regards to the Northern California Zodiac investigation I have offered to personally present the “new evidence” but so far as indicated in Most Evil II, none of the LE agencies are open to hearing it and no confirmed DNA evidence on Zodiac has yet been obtained by LE. California DOJ (Dept of Justice) handwriting expert has reviewed George Hodel’s handwriting and stated, “I am unable to eliminate Dr. Hodel’s handwriting as being “Zodiac” but unable to confirm authorship without additional “lower case HW samples”. (So far they are non-existent, as my father normally wrote in upper case.) Regards, skh.

  16. Jos Servis on February 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Hello. I wanted to write a bit of information regarding the ogham characters. The name of the first ogham character is Beithe, which refers to the letter “B”. The character shown on the right IS the letter L and does mean flame or herb, as well as having other meanings related to cattle — but it’s name is Luis not Beithe, (The ogham characters in order begin BLFSN and are called the Beith-luis-nin; this word’s construction compares to our own word, derived from the Greek, for our collective letters, alphabet — alpha, beta). Also, wanted to add to Monsieur Person’s meaning for the character H (on the left), which means horror as well as fear.

    There is also the Ogham of Bricrenn wherein dots represent the 20 characters of the Beith-luis-nin. (This code was named for a brilliant but trouble mongering poet named Briciu.) But perhaps the dots are Morse Code. Four dots do represent H, and one dot is the E.

    The symbol used for the Zodiac is reminiscent of the wheel ogham of Roigne Roscadach, though the crossed lines do not extend beyond the circumference of the circle.

    I was interested in the seemingly rare occurrence of ten suicides within a three day period mentioned in “Black Dahlia Avenger” (2015) which events included the suicide of Ruth Spalding, the surrender of Nazi Germany, and the reappearance of Elizabeth Short in L.A. I wondered about the suicides in conjunction with your father’s interest in poisons, which you pointed out earlier in this book as a notation in his 1943 calendar, Were any of the other suicides by overdose, or connected to your father or his close associates? Perhaps you revisited this unusual cluster of suicides in a later edition I have yet to read and you can direct me to it. One other question that may require similar direction is on the subject of your father’s secretaries and that is: What became of Marion Keyes?

    Thank you for your excellent books. Though the subject matter was gruesome, I was completely engrossed by your investigative skill, fortitude, and compassion for the victims and their families that you demonstrated,

    Kindest regards.

    • Steve Hodel on February 16, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Joe S: Thank you for your comments and additional information re. the Ogham characters. Of particular interest to me was your reference to the Zodiac symbol similarity to the Wheel of Ogham of Roigne Roscadach. (Not all of Zodiac’s lines crossed beyond the circumference of his circles.) Below is a link further describing the Roigne Roscadach Wheel, from the Book of Ballymote, and goes on to describe the mandala, among other things as being “…the will of the Gods.” Fascinating. See link here-
      The theme of “suicides” does repeat and is mentioned by GHH (and referenced by me in sequels) and by the suspect in: The Chicago Lipstick Murders, The Black Dahlia investigation, and in the Zodiac murders. Because he repeats it in all three serial crime locations, yes, his reference is definitely part of his MO. I believe his drug of choice was SECONAL which was used in the Ruth Spaulding overdose and in the taking of his own life by writing prescriptions for it to his wife June until he had accumulated a sufficient lethal dose. His documented interest in poisons as found in the 1943 calendar book I suspect was mainly part of his educating himself in the field. Again, my thanks. skh

      p.s. Re. Marion Keyes, remarkably after marrying and moving to the Great Northwest she lived to the age of 105! Had no idea she was still alive when the book published, so never made contact with her. Wished I’d known she was still living. What an interview that would have been.

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