Dr. George Hill Hodel INRA-ASIA Becomes "Leading Market Research Authority" in Asia and the Far East –1966 GHH Sketch Compared to Zodiac Composites
July 25, 2018
Los Angeles, California
Sketch of GHH in preface to 1966 publication,
“The New Far East: Seven Nations of Asia”
“These surveys were directed in their entirety by Dr. George Hill Hodel. Dr. Hodel is an American social scientist and psychiatrist who is internationally known for his contributions in the field of attitude research, consumer and marketing analysis, and motivational research. He coordinates the activities of INRA organizations in Asia. Dr. Hodel has been active in research in the Pacific and Far East areas for the past 20 years.
The New Far East: Seven Nations of Asia Survey
(Book pub. by Readers Digest 1966)
After spending three years in Hawaii (1950-1953) Dr. George Hodel relocated with his new wife, Hortensia Laguda Hodel and their infant daughter to Manila, Philippines. They took up residence in a suburb known as “Forbes Park” in Makati Rizal, just a few miles from downtown Metro Manila. Forbes Park, a gated community was known as “the Beverly Hills of Manila.”
In the following four years Hortensia would give birth to three more children, a second daughter and two sons. A divorce (actually, a dispensation from the Pope) was granted to Hortensia in the late Fifties and George Hodel would go on to develop his Public Opinion Research and become President of INRA-ASIA.
By the mid-1960s he would become internationally renowned as the leading Market Research expert in Asia and throughout the Far East.
In 1965 GHH conducted a Seven Country Survey for Reader’s Digest, the results of which would be published the following year in a 169-page-book, “The New Far East.” The seven countries included: Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok and Singapore.
I quote from page 159:
THESE RESEARCH STUDIES were administered and interpreted by Dr. George Hill Hodel, Director-General of International Research Associates (Far East), who wrote the conclusions and analytic commentaries.
… More than two hundred INRA workers participated in collecting and processing the data. The team comprised a veritable cross-section of peoples in itself–Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Thai, Malayan, British and American. Field-work was supervised by Daphne Ko, and Data-processing was conducted by Dr. Frederic L. Ayer.
In Most Evil II (Rare Bird Books 2015) I explained and published the evolution of the three Zodiac composite drawings. Below are those three artist renditions based on witness statements from 1969, 1971 and 1974.
I find the 1966 “New Far East” GHH sketch to be an exceptionally close likeness to the Joe Barros sketch as seen below. (Barros composite was obtained by the artist/journalist’s interviews of Zodiac witnesses who stated it was a much more accurate depiction of the suspect. Naturally, SFPD brass disagreed stating they thought their composite was better.)
Steve: There’s a pretty striking likeness to the 1948 LAPD composite of the Gladys Kern murder suspect (BDA, Exhibit 57), too. -LW
LW: Yes, but that was 15+ years prior. I think dad’s younger pics from that period are close to it. Composite sketches are tricky and totally depend on the skill of the artist. Some are picture perfect and others are 180′ off and actually can interfere with an investigations forward progress. Seasoned detectives know to be wary of them as only a “tool” and something to be taken to the bank. I’ve had them right on and way off. Best, steve
Steve: As far as I can see the major Zodiac composites (not counting the totally inconsistent and crude drawings of an unidentified man seen at Lake Berryessa) all show someone with the same basic facial shape and proportions. Someone who strongly resembles GHH sans mustache and bears little resemblance to most of the other 10-20 purported Zodiac “suspects.” Given how little eyewitness testimony there is in this case, it’s surprising how good the fit is. -LW
LW: Yes, and a couple of the surviving witnesses/victims (Hartnell and Mageau) never saw his face so would not be able to say if he had or did not have a moustache. The teenagers on the Stine Cabdriver Murder saw him from across the street at night from a second story window, and while there was a streetlight nearby, still a moustache could be easily missed. That leaves officer Fouke as the main/best witness. GHH’s moustache could have been easily missed. (Happens frequently in eye-witness descriptions.) Again, it will come down to confirmed DNA, but circumstantially, when all facts are considered, I say the case is made.
Steve: Or he could have just trimmed off his mustache before end-of-trip R&R activities and taking the China Clipper back to Manila. A brilliant “descise” rendering his appearance “entirle different,” so as not to “slow down or stop” his collecting of slaves for his afterlife. Only Berryessa was in daylight, and for that he prepared the executioner’s hood with clip-on sunglasses. In regards Berryessa, I wonder if Bryan Hartnell has ever heard GHH’s “meticulous speech” reciting English romantic poetry (ENDYMION and ZIRA: IN CAPTIVITY). in the 2007 documentary THIS IS THE ZODIAC SPEAKING, Hartnell describes Zodiac’s voice: “He had a very precise cadence … not an accent but slow and measured … real distinctive … very unique sound.” -LW
LW: I attempted to contact Hartnell back in 2009 when Most Evil was about to publish. I prepared a “voice lineup” and requested he contact me, but he never responded to my query. I guess he figured I was just another “Zodiac theorist” and ignored the request. Understandable after what he’s been through. I didn’t pursue it any further because even if he had said, “Yes, that’s the voice I heard” and ID’d GHH still wouldn’t advance the cause much. All always, comes down to the DNA. skh
Steve: BTW, GHH’s selection of poems for the readings is characteristic. ZIRA: IN CAPTIVITY (1901) is written from the point of view of a girl whose village has been burned to the ground, who finds herself captive in a sultan’s harem. She’s near-suicidal, not because she’s a slave, but because she has to wait in a long line for the attentions of the handsome, dynamic, all-conquering sultan. Keats’ ENDYMION (1818) concerns a shepherd-prince of great beauty who is pursued and ultimately won by the Moon Goddess, Cynthia. Along the way there are references to hamadryads (nymphs that live inside trees) and the hero liberates a fellow who’s been imprisoned by the spell of the “cruel enchantress” Circe. All grist for the mill. -LW
Steve: I read that Hartnell pulled back from speaking publicly about Berryessa after doing the documentary linked to the Fincher movie, which is too bad. Still, I wonder how many people are aware that those recordings of your father exist. It’s a distinctive voice — accentless, enunciated, sort of British-literary-theatrical, in the Richard Burton mold. -LW
LW: Yes, my guess is Hartnell was/is suffering from a PTSD which is certainly understandable. In ME II I make that exact connection to a Richard Burton type voice based on officer Fouke’s Memo where he describes the suspect as “possibly being of Welch origin.” Though he denies speaking to the suspect that “Welch” had to come from him hearing his voice. (As supported by his partner and other detectives) GHH had as you say, a very “Welch”/Burton sounding voice. Including that in his Memo was a real “tell” for me confirming they had stopped and talked with Zodiac and not just a five second “driveby at night”.
Steve: In the 2008 documentary Hartnell (an attorney, I believe) comes across as very professional and cogent. I recommend the documentary if you haven’t seen it, BTW. Even in his hospital TV interview in 1969 after the attack, Hartnell was calm and collected. I think it’s probably more of an issue of publicity and having been involved in “voice identification” efforts for certain “suspects” before than PTSD. -LW
LW: You’re probably correct on that. Mageau I think was definitely suffering PTSD but probably Hartnell was OD’d on all the publicity and exposure from the film which he did involve himself in. Anyway, water under the bridge at this point.
Steve: Mageau, who is also in the documentary, obviously bears the scars. The interview with Officer Fouke is interesting for his surprise revelation that the person he saw, presumably Zodiac, entered the grounds of a certain nearby house right after Fouke spotted him. The implication is that, not only was the suspect not a Black Male (as per the APB) but he also gave the impression of being a resident of this upscale SF neighborhood. Thus, Fouke might reasonably have concluded that he hadn’t just robbed and murdered a cab driver, to his later embarrassment. Whether Fouke’s revised account is accurate is another question… -LW.
LW: I don’t buy Fouke’s later statement that he “entered the grounds of a certain house”.
When Zodiac told the cops he “saw a man with a gun and he went thataway” they took off peeling rubber after him leaving Zodiac standing there. I doubt the officers saw where he went period. And, the fact that his revised statement came out years (decades) later is very suspect.
Steve: Thinking about it, even if the story were true it probably doesn’t tell us much: (a) seems very unlikely Zodiac would confirm the encounter with Fouke in his correspondence if he had any connection to that house; (b) if it was just a smooth dodge, it only tells us that Zodiac was a cool customer, which we already know from multiple lines of evidence. Speaking of cool customers, a thing that impressed me in the Sowden bugging transcripts was the bit where GHH is discussing a scheme to take some girls on a road trip to Mexico to do light opera performances, and how he’s confident he can con their parents into providing the necessary releases (“I have a way about me.”) Mind you, this is after he’s just recently been tried for incest and child molestation and linked in headlines to the bisection torture-murder of Elizabeth Short. That’s four Zodiac tropes for the price of one: talking young girls into a ride, going down to Mexico, light opera and extreme chutzpah. -LW
At least one of GHH’s main collaborators was Tokyo-based while the Reader’s Digest book was in development, so there’s a good chance GHH traveled there in 1965. The multi-part ghost story KWAIDAN, with the WOMAN OF THE SNOW chapter suspected of influencing Zodiac and deleted from the US release, came out in 1965.
The book comprises wall-to-wall comparisons of numeric scores, the analysis reveals a high degree of numeracy in its discussion of statistical methods, and the quadrille-style backgrounds to the charts suggest grid paper was the author’s stock-in-trade. Significant in that the Zodiac seems to have used squared paper to prep his ciphers.
On the last point, the z340 & z408 seem to conform too closely to a square grid to be accidental, and the 17-character lines suggest use of 1/2″ letter-size quadrille in their preparation. I can’t relate the square size in the final z340 to any common imperial or metric scheme — perhaps it was traced over genkō yōshi paper or something of that nature.
LW: Interesting. I saw the KWAIDAN – WOMAN OF THE SNOW chapter in the film years ago, but was unaware of any references to it “influencing Zodiac.” (I will have to get and read that chapter in the book.) There is no question about GHH’s presence in Tokyo, Japan in ’65. He had a branch office there and four years later in ’69 would hire June as his Tokyo office manager and they would spend the next thirty-years together. I visited him there in the early 70s when I was considering leaving LAPD to join him in the Far East. (Thankfully, I passed on his offer to “come work with me in Asia.”)
Speaking of “paper” to my mind one of the most important “clews” related to Zodiac was the fact that the killer sent in a note to press/police written on teletype paper. While uncommon to your average joe serial killer, it was something that GHH used multiple times every day. This really jumped out at me, because teletype paper was his main mode of communication. Much like we use emails today.
The SF Examiner ‘Datebook’ of Sunday, Oct 25, 1970 contains a large ad for a Japanese film classic season at the SURF Theatre (a well-known foreign/art house near Golden Gate Park) featuring KWAIDAN – specifically, the “Complete version including the fourth episode, WOMAN OF THE SNOW.” Looks like this may have been the first showing of the full film in the continental US since the July 1965 premier in Los Angeles. The screening wasn’t until November, but it’s noteworthy that the Halloween Card was postmarked two days after this ad appeared.
In addition to the floating eyes, WOMAN IN THE SNOW features lips floating in the sky in a scene reminiscent of LES AMOUREUX. Speaking of which, I note that LES AMOUREUX heads up an LA Times story of Sunday, Oct 30, 1966 entitled “Man Ray: The Dada of Them All at Art Museum,” about the big retrospective at LACMA that started on Oct 25th. Man Ray and Juliet came to LA for the opening. Interesting timing because 10/30/66 is the date of the Riverside murder. Did somebody’s buttons get pushed?
LW: Interesting. I’m fairly sure dad would have caught KWAIDAN and likely taken June to see it in San Francisco if they hadn’t already seen it in Tokyo with its release in December 1964? They loved going to movies on a very regular basis. I’ve seen Kwaidan of course and there is a hell of a lot of imagery in the film to as you say, “push George’s buttons.”
hi Steve,i’m curious about your father’s company, is there any way to find more information about INRA and its researchs done in Asia or could you post more information on the subject?
Christian E: You have probably searched on my website using keywords on the various blog references I’ve done through the years.
I do not have any additional information on UNRA (Asia) other than what I’ve posted. The main UNRA office was located in New York and my father was president of UNRA (Asia).
I think he left UNRA (Asia) in the late Eighties, a few years prior to relocating to San Francisco in 1990. Regards, Steve
It’s absolutely unnerving, how much that picture in the book looks like the refined Zodiac composite sketch. Gotta wonder, is there any Zodiac or BDA like unsolved murders that happened in Japan and Asia at large(aside from the murder you mention in the Phillipines), while GHH was out and about at his various offices? Sorry if you have answered this before, I am new to the site.