Hollywood Black Dahlia Sowden House Featured In Veranda Magazine: Back on the Market For 4.8M

Los Angeles, California
October 9, 2016

Below article by journalist Brie Dyas, featuring the Sowden/Franklin appeared in Veranda Magazine’s October 7, 2016 edition.

Peek Inside The “Mayan” Home Where Old Hollywood Loved To Party
The unusual house also played a part in a real-life mystery.







Sowden/Hodel Franklin House, 5121 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA
“…The home’s later owner, Dr. George Hodel, became a prime suspect in the Black Dahlia murder. Though there was no proof to support the claim against the surgeon, the rumor was enough to lend the propriety an air of notoriety.”
Brie Dyas, Veranda Magazine
7 October 2016
Author Note to journalist and self-professed “Vintage Addict” Brie DyasFor a cursory documentation of “proofs,” which included Dr. Hodel’s own 1950 tape-recorded confession to the Black Dahlia Murder and other crimes as alleged by the DA and LAPD, see Dr. George Hill Hodel.  (For more extensive summary my website: www.stevehodel.com
 The Sowden/Franklin House is currently (October 2016) listed on the market with an asking price of $4,795.000.00 See link to listing agent for additional photos of residence. (George Hodel purchased the home in 1945 for the outlandish asking price of $37,500.)

Here is a “Then and Now” photo showing library area of the home.

      THEN (Dr. George Hill Hodel at his desk, 1950)   NOW (2016)







See link HERE for additional photographs provided by Real Estate Broker


  1. Ryan on October 9, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Do you think there’s a chance whomever buys the house will be more accommodating to searching/digging for more evidence of George Hodel’s crimes? Let’s hope so!

    • Steve Hodel on October 9, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      Ryan: Hard to say? Based on the forensic anthropologist and Sgt. Paul Dosti/Buster’s findings I’m really more interested in checking out the upslope behind the house, which I think is a more likely burial location.
      As a side note, many journalists and self-professed “Dahlia experts” claim there is no possibility of finding Elizabeth Short’s DNA at the Sowden House, because her body was recovered from the vacant lot. That is actually not the case in that her right breast was removed and never recovered. Not out of the realm of possibility that George Hodel, like many other serial killers, buried it at or near his home as a “trophy.” Regards, Steve

      Man Ray/Duchamp’s “Please Touch” which they presented to the public in 1948, certainly points to a strong possibility that they KNEW or at the very least had seen the crime scene photos just months earlier.
      See “Please Touch” link HERE.

  2. Jerry Lentz on October 10, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Steve, Let’s say there was a crowdfunding campaign to purchase the house for you; You could do all the research and testing on the grounds you’d ever want to do. Do you think you could live there inside the house again? I personally would love for there to be a way to get you that house so you could do all the testing you could ever want to do. I know I would back a project like that!

    • Steve Hodel on October 10, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Jerry L: Hi Jerry. Kind thought, but my gut feeling is that the likelihood of there being forensic DNA evidence on the actual property is slim. (Maybe 80/20 against it?) Interestingly, in columnist Steve Lopez’s original LA Times, “Points West” articles he mentions that an LAPD source called him and informed him that “Dr. Hodel was involved in a noted case in 1947 and had poisoned his secretary…going on to say “The caller claimed Hodel had buried something in the yard of his Los Feliz Home.” If anything was actually buried I suspect it would have been in the interior courtyard as opposed to the basement, which is primarily decomposed granite, though no question that BUSTER, the cadaver dog did alert in the basement too. One of the problems is that a massive amount of excavation and soil removal occurred in 2002 when they dug the courtyard to put in the swimming pool, so very likely that if something like a breast was buried there, it was unknowingly removed and disposed of? As far as living there again, no desire to revisit that past. Best, Someday we may get a chance to check out the property at the rear and upslope, which could provide more answers and forensics? But, I suspect DNA linkage will come from other sources at some point down the road. Best, Steve

  3. Bo on October 16, 2016 at 5:17 am

    What was the concrete used for that came from the bags near Short’s body?

    • Steve Hodel on October 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Bo: Used to repair the Sowden/Franklin House structure which was made entirely out of cement blocks. Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. had been commissioned by GHH to repair some of the twenty-year-old foundations and sidings and the receipt found at UCLA archives from FLW Jr. showed the work had been completed three days prior to the body being discovered on January 15, 1947.

      • Bo on October 17, 2016 at 3:10 am

        Thanks… I’m trying right now to track down a copy of BDA… everybody seems to be out without info on when they will get it back in stock…. pretty weird for a Bestseller… anyways, looking forward to reading it!

        • Steve Hodel on October 17, 2016 at 9:27 am

          Bo: It is available on AMAZON as both an Ebook and in print at the below link. You will want to be sure to get the updated 2015 edition that contains all the new chapters from BDA I. BDA II expands on the investigation, but that is a separate book.

          • Bo on October 22, 2016 at 5:40 am

            Thanks, I have the older version… I will get the updated one after this…. ebook is a good idea because I find I have to stop and look things up all the time (120 Days of Sodom had me sidetracked for a while) so being on a device will help with that. I’m just over half way through, and maybe it will come up later but I find it interesting that Kiyo was so persistant about you becoming a cop…. maybe money wasn’t the real motivation. Or is that your point?

          • Bo on October 22, 2016 at 5:47 am

            Also, how is this book not a movie yet?! Please tell me that is in the works…

          • Steve Hodel on October 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

            Bo: Kiyo’s pushing me into becoming a cop I’m sure had multiple motivations on her part. More income, yes, but also, had to be centered around “a woman scorned.” What could be better revenge than saying, to her former lover, “Look George, I talked your son into becoming a policeman.”

            Trying to get the four books adapted to maybe a television series? Too much to try and tell the full story in a two hour film, but ????

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