1949 Article in NY Daily News Provides Additional Details and Testimony on George Hodel Incest Trial

September 30, 2018
Los Angeles, California




Tamar’s mother, Dorothy Barbe testifies at 1949 trial.
(This is the first time I’ve seen a photo of Tamar’s mother from that time period.)


The caption above reads:
“Beautiful 22-year-old Barbara Sherman, above, denies 14-year-old
Tamar Hodel’s charges of Hollywood sex orgy, but admits intimacy
with Dr. George Hill Hodel, Tamar’s father.”

I recently discovered this October 30, 1949 article from the New York Daily News which contained additional details in their reportage on the Hodel Incest Trial.

  • Witness Barbara Sherman and GHH were intimate and she refused to testify against him at trial.
  • GHH and Barbara were naked in the bedroom when Tamar entered also present in the room were Fred Sexton and a second adult, Corinne (Connie) Tarin who was dressed.
  • Barbara helped Tamar disrobe.
  • Sexton and Tamar were kissing “then Fred and I had normal intimate relations on the bed, nude.”
  • George Hodel then later “arranged an abnormal act between her (Tamar) and Barbara.”
  • Tamar’s testimony was supported by Fred Sexton and Connie Tarin.
  • Tamar’s mother, Dorothy Barbe claimed her daughter was a “pathological liar.”
  • Tamar came to live with her father in June 1949 and claimed the sex acts occurred on “Father’s Day” of that year.
  • Tamar admitted, “being intimate with other boys and becoming pregnant.”
  • Tamar admitted staying out numerous times with boys after midnight.
  • When asked where she had been prior to coming home on the night of the sex acts Tamar responded, “Out in a hot-rod getting the hair blown off my head.” When asked, “With whom?” she replied, “I can’t remember.”
  • The article closes with naming Dr. Francis C. Ballard, 36 and an associate, Charles Smith 36, are being held in a connected case, charging them with performing an abortion on Tamar.

The newspaper includes the following trial testimony exchange between defense attorney Robert Neeb and Tamar:

NEEB:  ” Isn’t it a fact that you told your father you had intercourse with 40 boys in the month you had been in Hollywood? Didn’t you tell him you were pregnant and that you didn’t know who would be the father of your child?”

TAMAR:  “When I found out I was pregnant I wanted to call my mother and he didn’t want me to.”

NEED:  Had you ever had intercourse before?

TAMAR: Yes, with a roomer. I fancied myself in love with him.”   (This was likely Joseph Barrett, a roomer at the Hodel home then age 25. Barrett would later become an important Black Dahlia witness both with the DA’s office in 1950 (as their “mole” inside the castle) and then fifty-years later  in my investigation in 2000. During my interviews with him he admitted he had been intimate with Tamar in 1949.)

Complete Hodel TRIAL article attached as a PDF – HERE.   NEW YORK DAILY NEWS TamarTrial – Copy



The New York Daily News, officially titled Daily News was founded in 1919 and
was the first U.S. daily printed in tabloid format. It reached its peak circulation in 1947, at 2.4 million copies a day.


  1. Luigi Warren on September 30, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Steve: The hypnotism thing is yet another link to the CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND universe. Maybe that’s where the line “I am now in control of all things” comes from. -LW

    • MA borawick on October 9, 2018 at 7:10 pm

      What hypnosis are you referring to? Asked Steve re that before. Most people do not realize that hypnosis was used to commit /facilitate sex & other crimes for many decades.
      The public was given a spin that no one would ever do anything under hypnosis that they wouldn’t normally do, but that is totally false because hypnosis can be used to mislead people into doing things that are not what they think they’re doing. It was used by the military as a tool and probably still is. One of the earliest books on this from George Estabrooks (I believe Army Intelligence) and his book, Hypnosis. Anyone interested in this topic in the context of committing crimes against people should read the Encyclopedia of Hypnosis by a woman whose name I’m blanking on at the moment.

      • Luigi Warren on October 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm

        See the trial quotes in the Daily News article (“Dr. Hodel asked for volunteers and I volunteered… He began the hypnotism routine.”) Regarding the events at the sex party, Hodel told the DA, “I can’t figure out whether someone is hypnotizing me or I am hypnotizing them.” At the climax of CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND, Chan hypnotizes Rhadini/Zodiac’s beautiful assistant, Eve Cairo (“I am now your control — your lips will speak my thoughts as they come to you.”) -LW

  2. Mark Bujdos on October 3, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Steve, how do these additional details add to your understanding of the case?

  3. Steve Hodel on October 3, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Mark B:

    No transcripts exist (that I am aware of?) from the preliminary hearing or actual trial, so the details of Tamar’s testimony are few, only coming from newspaper reportage.

    Many readers were under the belief that Tamar was impregnated by her father. Here we learn she was pregnant BEFORE the sex acts with him. We also learn that she had sexual intercourse with Fred Sexton “on the night of” the “party.” (Sexton claimed he only attempted to have sex, but did not complete the act.) This account also confirms that both percipient witnesses Fred Sexton and Corrine Tarin confirm Tamar’s account. Also, we learn that Barbara Shearman was intimate with GHH which is new to me. ( We do know that she recanted her earlier statements to police which confirmed she observed the sex acts between father/daughter and was charged with perjury for her reversal of earlier allegations. (I’m sure like other witnesses she was threatened and terrified not to testify against GHH.) In January, post-verdict, Barbara received a sentence of “probation” after GHH was acquited. This was the same time that witness Lillian Lenorak attempted to come forward and change her previous perjured testimony wanting to “tell the truth” about being present during Tamar’s abortion and was subsequently assaulted, drugged, and GHH “staged her attempted suicide” by superficially cutting then bandaging her wrists per the Santa Barbara Police Officer Mary Unkefer Letter. ( Discovered in 2003 in the DA Secret Files.) skh

  4. barry guerrero on October 11, 2018 at 3:47 am


  5. Sarah Woolrich on February 19, 2019 at 1:02 am

    There are so many articles, especially as of late I have not been able to finish them all. I still am trying to find out if Tamar’s daughter Fauna was of mixed race, and did she ever know who her father was? I also read a short piece that named Tamar’s children, only one being Fauna but then it added Fauna ll. I’m confused, can you please elaborate?

    • Steve Hodel on February 19, 2019 at 1:16 am

      Sarah W: No, Tamar’s daughter Fauna born in 1951 was not of mixed race. According to her mother, my half-sister Tamar, Fauna’s father was A White Italian from San Francisco. Never named. Tamar had a second daughter, born Deborah Wilson whose father, Stan Wilson was a Black folksinger. Deoborah later changed her name to Fauna II and goes by that name to this day. Yes, confusing.

  6. Diana G Caracciolo on March 11, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Steve, would you consider buying the house on Franklin?

    • Steve Hodel on March 11, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      Diana G C: Nope, Been there done that. Had a lot of magic to me as an eight-year-old, but NO MAS.

  7. D. Paige Holloway on March 29, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Dear Steve, Thank you and plz thank your nieces who were on Dr. Phil, lovely sitsters..

    My first husband, 25 years my senior, was an LAPD, worked on the Black Dahlia case, alluded he knew who did it. Now of course, everybody did, thank you, thank you, 🙏

    What corruption, post WWII, WOW, not a very safe time for children. I will get your book, I watched Into the Night and had 💯% clarity on my first husband lack of morals, the level of corruption in LA, pretty amazing…You are such a great defender🤗🤗🤗

    • Steve Hodel on March 29, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      D. Paige H: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Yes, LAPD and LA’s “Bad Old Days” Real life “LA Confidential”.
      Best, Steve

      • J on February 17, 2021 at 7:39 pm

        Steve, are there really no court records/stenographer transcriptions of this 1949 “morals”/incest trial? What about the allegation that John Huston attempted some type of sexual thing when She was 11?
        It also seems like there had to have been many similar “sex” parties ( even if Tamar was only involved in one) like described above.
        it seems to me like GHH had a group of friends into erotica sex and another group of friends into murder. What about when the skinny photographer / homeless dude referenced doing/seeing MANY bad things happen in that evil house?
        Also, the 1961 painting to me clearly says he did that savage killing and dismembering in front of his “murder friends”.

        • Steve Hodel on February 17, 2021 at 8:18 pm

          The court reporter’s transcript would have been given to his attorney Jerry Giesler, but since there was a “not guilty” verdict no need to transcribe it, so its long gone. The court record would never have been transcribed for same reason. The skinny photographer (Edmund Teske) was not homeless and went on to become a very famous photographer with his works hanging in the Getty etc. His clearly was at some of GHH’s “erotic parties” and was aware of the torture murder and possibly other crimes, but again, I believe in the case of the Black Dahlia murder his knowledge came after the fact from the “inner circle” of surrealists WHO KNEW. I do believe that Fred Sexton likely participated, but we will never know for sure.

  8. flow on September 23, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

  9. Eve on November 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Could Dorothy be “the woman in the pictures?” She’d probably be too young at 22 for when the photos were taken but she looks kinda like her, more like her than Short IMO.

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