February 10, 2017
Los Angeles, California
Rookie LAPD Detective Steve Hodel circa 1969
Sleepless in Seattle? How about Clewless in LA.
A friend of mine just sent me a fifty-year-old photograph his brother took of me driving us on a day trip somewhere in LA.
The irony of the photo is the fact that when it was taken, I had just transferred from LAPD uniform patrol to detectives. A new “Big City Detective” soon to be handling my first homicide investigations.
At about the same time this photo was taken, our Department was attempting to solve two horrific crimes with multiple victims, which would soon become known as “The Manson Murders.” At the same time, up north in the San Francisco Bay Area, that community was being terrorized with serial murders committed by an urban terrorist calling himself, “ZODIAC.”
I often indicate in my writings that “I can hear the gods laughing” and it is not without good reason. This photo is Exhibit No. 1:
My father having just killed at least five victims as “Zodiac” and wounded two more, within months of when this photo was taken, will be “passing through” LA on his way to New York. On this quick visit, his big city detective son will take him to lunch at the LAPD Police Academy, then give him an hour tour through “Parker Center” and show him the SID (Scientific Investigation Division) laborotory, Communications Division and proudly inform him “I’m now working homicide dad.”