July 5, 2016
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles Evening Herald: July 14, 1917
…”This little French boy to is declared to be a genius along several lines. At the age of 9 he is in the seventh grade at school and has already written many poems. Recently his verses have been on the European war. One of them, written a short time before the fall of the Russian Czar reads:
Armies; scattered; withered–what for?
What has Europe gained by war?
When will cannon’s mouth be cold
From killing by the hundredfold?
German’s strength and England’s flower
Ruthlessly destroyed for lust and power!
Rulers’ jealousy, monarchs’ hate;
Not the sudden turns of fate,
Has made this murderous field!
When will kaiser, king, and Tzar
Be no more, human lives to mar?
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SKH Note: As one of the many investigative ironies note that immediately adjacent to this “George Hodel Boy Genius” article the Evening Herald reports a Los Angeles murder. “Man Beaten To Death At Own Doorstep” which goes on to describe, “Angeleno’s Skull is Crushed by Gas Pipe: Finger Print is Clew.” As we know, George, the young genius will grow up not to become a concert pianist or poet, but rather a serial killer, with one of his favorite MO’s being to crush his victim’s skulls by way of blunt force trauma. (Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short, Jeanne French etc.) Also, note the then common spelling of the word “Clew” which would be regularly used in GHH’s later articles as a crime reporter for the LA Record newspaper in the Twenties. He would also continue to use this unique spelling in his letters to the press in the Sixties and Seventies, as Zodiac.
PPS. The Evening Herald’s reference to “this little French boy…” is due to the fact that French was the Hodel family’s first language for George growing up. Both of his parents, though from Russia, spoke fluent French from living in France before coming to the U.S. through Ellis Island in 1901. (Recall on the Jeanne French murder in 1947, the suspect is reported to be speaking French with the victim just prior to their leaving a restaurant and her being murdered.)