Using 21st Century Geographic Profiling Software To Investigate the Black Dahlia and Other 1940s "LA Lone Woman Murders"

March 20, 2017
Los Angeles, California


“In conclusion, Dragnet (Geographic profiling software) successfully identified both the Hodel residence and the Hodel medical practice as being in areas considered highest probability for the base of the killer(s).
Dr. Evan R. Harrington
Professor of Psychology
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
August 2003
                                                                  Red areas on street map (below) mark location of Dr. Hodel home and medical practice which Geographic Profiling showed to be as locations of “highest probability” for the base of the killer(s).






J. Mori in my “Comments” Section writes:

“I read Black Dahlia Avenger.  Very compelling evidence.  Have not read Most Evil yet, but I have no doubt it is equally compelling.   I grew up with one of the 1977 Hillside Strangler victims.  The LAPD during this case tried to do some geographic mapping of the both where the victims were abducted and where the bodies were dumped.   I am wondering if you have had someone like Dr Kim Rossmo run any geographical analysis of both the Dahlia evidence and Zodiac – and anything else your father may have been suspected to be involved with.   There has been a lot of work lately on geographical profiling and the visualization of crime patterns.”
JM:   Thank you for your kind words and question regarding whether I had thought to use Geographic Profiling?
The answer is Yes, I was fortunate to be contacted early on (2003) by Professor Evan Harrington then working and teaching at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in New York.
Dr. Harrington after receiving and verifying all of the “LA Lone Woman Murder” crime locations used “Dragnet” software to analyze and attempt to predict where the suspect might work or reside.
His dramatic results were then published in my updated edition of BDA in “The Aftermath” chapter, in 2004.
Here is that section on Geographic Profiling as originally published in BDA.

geographic profiling_pdf






  1. T Martinez on March 21, 2017 at 12:39 am

    and yet there are still some non-believers…

    • Steve Hodel on March 21, 2017 at 1:07 am

      Teresa M: Yes, always will be. Some, who simply cannot admit they hitched up with the wrong suspect, and unable to say, “I was wrong” and others have a “Don’t mess with my myth” attitude. In love with the myth and mystery and don’t want it ever to be solved. Fearful that a solution takes away from the magic and mystique. Best, Steve.

  2. J Mori on March 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Seems to me if you re-ran Dragnet on your father’s residence and work locations during the murders overseas, during the lipstick murders and during zodiac, it would be very illuminating. I have seen several me very interesting geographical analysis of the Hillside Strangler cases in some of the criminology and forensic crime forums. One of the experts notices patterns of traffic by the killers forming patterns like crosses and very complex geometric shapes. I would wonder if George’s traffic patterns f abduction and dumping formed something bizarre like shapes and diagrams seen in the modern art he seems to have loved. He did this with positioning the bodies of victims. Maybe he extended this metaphor to where he dumped the bodies?

  3. Lucas on March 23, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Great info Steve. There was a 2006 documentary on Jack The Ripper whereby Dr. Canter ran his geographic profile and interestingly my favorite JTR suspect (Charles Allen Lechemere) lived only one street over from where the sofware predicted the killer lived. No doubt whatsoever in my mind that GHH did all the “Lone Women” murders, BD, and was the Zodiac. A real monster of the 20th century.

    • Steve Hodel on March 23, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Lucas: Thanks. Haven’t seen that documentary. Have to check it out. Best, Steve

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