December 4, 2015
Each of the three above named individuals contributed a major piece of evidence which helped solve the serial crimes now collectively known as the Black Dahlia Avenger: LA Lone Woman Murders and the San Francisco Zodiac Murders.
While each one has been previously recognized for their invaluable contributions in my past writings, I would like to take the opportunity to again identify the critical role each played in contributing to the overall investigation.
Working LAPD Hollywood Homicide in the 1970s and 80s our unit established what became known as the “Inspector Clouseau Award.” It was a prized honor, named after the bumbling detective, Jacques Clouseau, in the Pink Panther films played by actor Peter Sellers. The award was given out on occasion to a detective(s) who had solved a particularly difficult “Hollywood Whodunit” that required a lot of legwork, and some special sleuthing skills.
I am reinstating that forgotten honor and here announce the three winners of the 2015 Inspector Clouseau Award.
The envelope, please…
Dan “The Man” Lackey
Dan Lackey is an electrical engineer from Mississippi nearing retirement, who enjoys internet research, history, and music.
Dan has been in touch with me by email for many years and had read and was very familiar with my investigations as presented in BDA, Most Evil. And BDA II (2012).
In the summer of 2013 Dan forwarded to me a new discovery. He had located a 1943 Man Ray painting entitled, L’Equivoque, which he suspected could well be the source of the “crosshatch” surgical markings which the killer had carved into the right hip of victim Elizabeth Short. His initial findings and my follow-up investigation are summarized in BDA II (2014 ed.) in Chapter 26- Murder as a Fine Art: The Hodel/Man Ray Nexus
Dan’s discovery not only resulted in an additional proof that George Hodel used his close friend, Man Ray’s art as part of his crime signature but also helped establish the high probability that the victim actually personally posed for Man Ray as the model in his original L’Equivoque artwork in Hollywood in 1943.
For this and his other ongoing contributions Dan “The Man” Lackey is presented with the 2015 Inspector Clouseau Award.
Inspector Clouseau Award No. 2 goes to:
Ms. Susan Wilshire
Susan Wilshire resides in the United Kingdom. She attended art school and was trained in designing, and is currently a Deputy Chief Inspector with the police force.
Ms. Wilshire had read and was thoroughly familiar with my first publication, Black Dahlia Avenger and at the time she contacted me, was just finishing reading the new evidence provided in its sequel, Black Dahlia Avenger II. She was aware of the Surrealists, Man Ray and William Copley and their connections to my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel and his “Murder as a Fine Art” crime signatures as identified in both books.
Her initial e-mail contact came on 5 September 2014 where I was provided with information and photographs she had found in a rare art book that had been authored by Man Ray and published in 1948 in Beverly Hills by his close friend and gallerist, William Copley. The book, Alphabet for Adults, was an Abecedaire and contained whimsical alphabet letters drawn by Man Ray.
ABC Book, a primer (after the first four letters of the Latin alphabet: A, B, C, D) is a visual medium (paper, poster, embroidery) with all the symbols of the alphabet, almost always listed in the alphabetical order.) The primers were a medium of instruction for children.
Man Ray’s Alphabet for Adults (1948)
In the below photograph we see three samples from Man Ray’s adult alphabet: A for anchor, E for Elephant and K for kimono, with each drawing containing the shape of the letter concealed within the object; the anchor, the elephant, and the kimono. He is whimsically playing with the letters as words.
Our earlier review and analysis of the separate artwork contributions of Man Ray, William Copley, and Marcel Duchamp (post-Black Dahlia) were without benefit of this new information.
As we add this new knowledge to the former, let us consider the fact that Alphabet for Adults was a 1948, Man Ray /William Copley collaboration. Created and published by the two surrealists in Hollywood, less than one year after the Black Dahlia murder (January 15, 1947). The book was first offered for sale at the Copley Gallery in Beverly Hills in a limited edition of 500 copies.
Was this collaborative book of whimsical anagrams and word play the inspiration for William Copley’s 1961 drawing, “It is Midnight Dr. ____.”? Did Copley, as we have previously speculated, disguise the letters: H O D E L, as surgical tools, and place them in his drawing, as a variation on the theme that he and Man Ray presented some thirteen years earlier?
Another word play?
Alphabet for Adult lettering compared to Copley’s 1961 “It is Midnight Dr. _____.”
Ms. Wilshire’s e-mail communication included the additional comment:
More interestingly if you seek out the image he has drawn which relates to the letter Q which he denotes as “quarrel” the drawing albeit simple, depicts two people face to face and looks like a view of courtyard looking South toward living room of Sowden House. Some other images I also think are interesting.
Man Ray’s Letter “Q” for querelle (quarrel)
Man Ray’s Alphabet for Adults, contains the above drawing of the interior of the Sowden/Hodel residence showing a man and woman “quarreling” as represented by the letter “Q” for quarrel. At the time of publication Man Ray was Dr. George Hodel’s family photographer and was close friends with George and his wife, Dorothy. (Dorero) The eye-shaped object included in the drawing is a Man Ray sculpture entitled “Le Occuliste” gifted by Man Ray to George Hodel in 1948, the same year it appeared in his art book.
A more complete detailing of her remarkable discoveries can be found in Chapter 9 of Most Evil II.
For these and other ongoing contributions, Ms. Susan Wilshire is here presented with the 2015 Inspector Clouseau Award.
Yves Person is a high school teacher who works and resides in France. He teaches literature in a Paris suburb. Yves is also an artist and is extremely familiar with my previous Black Dahlia and Zodiac investigations as presented in my three previous books.
On 2 July 2014 Yves contacted me by e-mail with the following message:
Have you ever noticed that Zodiac’s signature was a compound of two ogham « letters »? The letter on the left side 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.
I had never heard of the Ogham language or its alphabet and after a quick review of its origins I immediately contacted Yves and within two days discovered that he had in fact solved the authenticated Zodiac cipher signed by Zodiac in 1970.
This mysterious cipher had been written by Zodiac on both the “return address” portion of the envelope and then reproduced as a signatory on the inside, “You Ache to know my name” Halloween Card mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Yves Person’s solution (along with additional connecting evidence as provided in Chapter 10 of Most Evil II) leaves no doubt that the serial killer known as Zodiac, who taunted the press and police claiming he was “crackproof,” actually signed his real name, disguising it as an obscure 4th century Ogham anagram.
Ogham /ˈɒɡəm/ (Modern Irish [ˈoːm] or[ˈoːəm]; Old Irish: ogam [ˈɔɣam]) is an Early Medieval alphabet used primarily to write the early Irish language (in the so-called “orthodox” inscriptions, 4th to 6th centuries), and later the Old Irish language (so-called scholastic ogham, 6th to 9th centuries).
In Scotland, a number of inscriptions using the Ogham writing system are known, but their language is still the subject of debate. It has been argued by Richard Cox in The Language of Ogham Inscriptions in Scotland (1999) that the language of these is Old Norse… [Emphasis mine.]
Ogham writing on standing stone (Photo courtesy of Jessica Spengler)
1970 Zodiac Card
Yves Person Zodiac Cipher Solution
Yves Person’s cracking of the Zodiac cipher is what I describe in Chapter 10 of Most Evil II as, the Rosetta Stone.
(Rosetta Stone (noun) A key to some previously undecipherable mystery or unattainable knowledge. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary)
His discovery and revealing of the five concealed Ogham letters that spell out the killer’s signature as H O D E L is irrefutable. There is no other logical alternative explanation.
For this and other ongoing contributions, M. Yves Person is here presented with the 2015 Inspector Clouseau Award.