George Hodel Funeral Instructions Inspired/Plagiarized from His Hero, the Marquis de Sade: Hodel Ashes Cast at Sea on Sade's Birthday, 2, June 1999- A Burial Day Letter to June

September 19, 2017
Los Angeles, California
“Finally, I absolutely forbid that my body be opened upon any pretext whatsoever.  I would have it laid to rest, without ceremony of any kind.”
Marquis de Sade
“I do not wish to have funeral services of any kind. There is to be no meeting or speeches or music and no gravestone or tablet. I direct that my physical remains be cremated and that my ashes be scattered over the ocean.”
Dr. George Hill Hodel
Above are the handwritten funeral instructions of  both
Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade (2 June 1740 – 2 December 1814) and George Hill Hodel M.D. (10 October 1907-17 May 1999)
Sade, of course, was the noted French Libertine for whom the term Sadism was coined and his erotic writings on sexual depravity and torture (Justine, Juliette, The 120 Days of Sodom etc.) made him the champion/anti-hero of the later, Surrealist Movement.

Chief among the surrealists was George Hodel’s good friend and our family photographer, Man Ray,  who praised Sade in both word and art as “One of the freest thinkers ever born.” Here are three of Man Ray’s homages to “The Divine Marquis” from the mid-1930s.

George Hodel’s Ashes Scattered at Sea on Sade’s Birthday- 


June 2, 1999
June Hodel holding urn containing father’s ashes being transported out under Golden Gate Bridge to Point Bonita for dispersal.  At his request “no words were spoken, no family attended, no meetings, no speeches, no music, no gravestone, no tablet.”



I took this surreal looking photo in July 1999.  June is standing above the lighthouse at Pt. Bonita. She had me drive her to The Point numerous time in the following months so she could be in the presence of her husband of thirty years.
June was suicidal for a long time after George’s passing and planned to “join him” by taking her own life. I kept in regular close contact for the critical six months after his death and was able to give her encouragement and support to “go on with life.”
I chanced upon the below letter which I had written and faxed to June from my home in Bellingham, Washington on 2 June 1999, the day of my father’s burial at sea.
Obviously, the curtain was yet to rise on the Greek Tragedy that would become the House of Hodel in five acts.












A few family photos


  1. Dan Lackey on September 20, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Hi. Steve,

    I assume that the color photo of your Dad and June was taken at the Bush St residence. GHH looks very relaxed. One would never dream that he harbored such dark secrets. I also like the bookends photos. Such a complicated man…


    • Steve Hodel on September 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Dan: Yes, he was one cool customer alright. Especially post 1990 after their return from Asia. Perched high above with “no worries.” s.

  2. Dan Lackey on September 20, 2017 at 4:18 pm


    GHH knew he would never be caught by that time. He left enough clues & still had eluded capture. He did like the penthouse apartments, didn’t he. Perched high above in more ways than one — An elevation to match his ego.


  3. Samuel on September 26, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Was his super high IQ a symptom of high functioning autism? That could explain the arrogance and lack of emotion perhaps.

    • Steve Hodel on September 26, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      Samuel: Don’t think so. In looking at the “symptoms” as described/summarized in the definition of high autism they don’t seem to fit. Regards, skh

    • Jen on January 12, 2021 at 1:54 am

      I saw some parallels between GH & High Functioning ASD as well, from him being a child prodigy, lack of obvious and/or inappropriate emotions, saying inappropriate things on multiple occasions (ie – that stuff he said “about exploring ….. with Tamar to the cops (he clearly couldn’t read the room, displaying a complete lack of self awareness). George also had his obsessions (which Aspies like myself prefer to call ” special interests, ” & a keen ability to hyperfocus. (I could give more examples, bit BDA is a big book & I’m way too sleepy to crack it open right now, lol) We’ll never know if he actually had ASD or not & my interpretation is based strictly on Steve’s account of his father’s behavior, but I would NOT disclude the possibility of GH having ASD.

      • Steve Hodel on January 12, 2021 at 8:39 am

        Jen: Thanks for you input and observations.

        • L.A. Nichlos on April 16, 2021 at 9:43 am

          I have read all I could find on Elizabeth Shorts murder and as I now have heard that the cement bags were link to your father also. I’m sure that this case would be opened back up if there wasn’t so much corruption that all the evidence was also thrown out or taken off to some private collector where do you think all of her evidence did go have you been able to find any evidence circulate or is it all just missing from the police case lockers

          • Steve Hodel on April 20, 2021 at 11:31 am

            L.A. Nichlos:
            I think some of the missing physical evidence may well be in an LAPD Property warehouse storage and just “lost in time.”

  4. L.A.Nichols on April 16, 2021 at 9:57 am

    My Questions for Steve are .. what do you think happened to the evidence of Elizabeth shortcase her purse the belongings mailed back and the direct tissue samples all that would be needed for a DNA test comparisons they had to be high up to know to get rid of certain evidence.
    I also am curious if you think Marcel ducamp and Man Ray participated in her murder or or just coincidence for Marcel ducamps art pieces later that year the breast cover of the book or the (gas lighting) nude woman’s torso with gash exposed .
    Answered question is I believe and am I looking for an opinion as to what you think in what secured and bound her face before she died I’ve heard of a thing called the the Skol bridal a face cage harness that controls the female who has been an outspoken gossip or disobeyer to her husband or town she is punished by wearing this there’s many different types and shapes depending on the maker and how bad you want to punish they were meant to hush and quiet the disobeying female and also keep her under control her injuries look as if one was used on her and the slices to her mouth or possibly do to being strung up with one attached to her head

    • Steve Hodel on April 20, 2021 at 11:28 am

      L.A. Nichlos
      I think some of the missing physical evidence may well be in an LAPD Property warehouse storage and just “lost in time.”
      I think Duchamp/Man Ray’s “Please Touch” could well have been in “inspiration” and sourced from possibly seeing the original crime scene photographs of the “Black Dahlia” posing. That “artwork” came just weeks after the crime. No, I do not think that Man Ray and Duchamp were actually involved in the original crime just became aware of it ex post facto.
      I don’t think the bindings were anything “elaborate” just rope ties to her wrists/neck and feet.

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