February 20, 2019
Los Angeles, California
It keeps happening! (It is what my dear brother Mike Hodel on his KPFK program ‘Hour 25’ used to call- “The Group Mind.”)
This email received from a reader, Todd Jaeger, on Jan 30, 2019:
Maybe I’m just seeing things after reading your books, the way one sees all the cars on the road that are the same as the one you just bought, but I was looking at a website about a Man Ray exhibition at the Copley Galleries in 1949 and one particular photograph stood out. About six images down the page (link below) is a photograph of two pieces, one is the well-known “The Lovers” piece and the other appears to depict a woman with arms over head and a surgeon’s scalpel cutting across the body with a stream of blood on the floor. I don’t remember if you made reference to this in your books, if so then I’m just late to the party.
Above we see Man Ray’s “Black Widow” (1915) painting on exhibition in Beverly Hills at his close friend, William Copley’s Gallery circa 1949. Man Ray’s painting depicts a woman posed with her hands above her head in the Minotaur position. A bloody surgeon’s scalpel is bisecting her body with blood flowing out of her lower left leg. On the adjacent gallery wall we see Man Ray’s Les Amoureux “The Lovers”
Is it mere coincidence that these two artworks (The Minotaur and The Lovers) would be paired and placed together by George Hodel’s two close friends?
As Todd Jaeger, correctly points out, in the gallery they are paired together, just as I believe my father had suggested in his macabre Black Dahlia crime signature, using a surgeon’s scalpel to carve the grotesque “Lover’s Lips” on the face of his victim, then posing her in the Minotaur position as an homage to his friend Man Ray?
Was the gallerist/artist William Copley and his good friend Man Ray, in the exhibition, just two years later, providing a very public yet secret homage back at George Hodel? Was this their way of saying, “We Know”?
Also, let’s keep in mind that just prior to this exhibit Man Ray and Bill Copley had published their “Alphabet for Adults” (1948) which included a drawing of the interior of the Sowden/Franklin House as the letter Q for quarrel with the “L’Occuliste, (as an eye-witness, to the quarrels in the Hodel courtyard.) Man Ray gifted his “Occuliste” (Witness) sculpture to George Hodel in 1948, which would have been just shortly prior to this Beverly Hills exhibition at Copley’s Gallery.
MAN RAY’S- EMAK BAKIA*
+ Emak Bakia translates from the Basque language as, “Leave me alone.”
On February 12, 2018 I received the following Email from a reader, “Alexander L”:
There is a 1926 Man Ray short film titled “Emak Bakia”. The film can be found on YouTube. The film does not seem related in any way to the subject of the Dahlia killing, but at about 8:14 into this film, there appears a silhouette of a body, posed similarly to how Short’s body was positioned. The silhouette also appears segmented or divided at the arms, leg, and between the legs. Maybe you have already seen this image from the Man Ray film I am referencing.
I thanked Alex for the reference and yes, I had seen the early (1926) Man Ray experimental film.
However, I had not reviewed it in many years and went to the 8:14 position identified by Alex.
Not only is the woman “segmented” but she is literally posed in the Minotaur position and physically bisected on screen.
See for yourself, I have edited the video to show just that section.
Thank you, Alex. I totally missed this in my earlier viewings. I am continually grateful to readers like you that keep adding to the mass of evidence.
For full viewing of Emak Bakia Man Ray film click HERE. (16 minutes)
MAN RAY’S “LABORATORY OF THE FUTURE”
Once again, a reader/friend comes through with a startling “new clew.”
This email came from a friend and fellow investigator, Karen Smith, retired Major Case Detective formerly with the Jacksonville Florida, Sheriff’s Office.
January 17, 2019
Don’t know if you’ve seen this before, but it’s a 1935 Man Ray photo titled “Laboratory of the Future”. If you zoom in, you’ll see the Zodiac symbol on the back wall, and it looks like the table below the sphere has painted symbols of the Zodiac constellations/animals on it. Thought you might find it interesting. 😉
Here’s the Man Ray photo image Karen sent me which I enlarged for clarity:
“Laboratory of Future (1935) Enlarged
The obvious question:
What is the Zodiac symbol (or rather, what would become the Zodiac symbol in 1968-9) doing in the background of a photograph taken by Man Ray in 1935?
Why would George Hodel choose that symbol, as his taunting crime signatory and call himself “Zodiac”?
What is his connection to that symbol pre-zodiac?
Well, as briefly mentioned in my book, MOST EVIL , Chapter 21, page 240, here is one possible answer:
(A talk was given on January 3, 2019 by Shaina Harkness, The Dali Museum Librarian. )
“I was going to succeed by having them come and lean on me”—Dali, discussing his Secret Society, the Zodiac Group. …The Zodiac Group. In 1932 Gala [Dali’s wife] concocted an ingenious marketing plan. She created a group of 12 society figures, artists and royalty, to provide Dali with a monthly stipend in exchange for work created during their given month. For this talk Harkness has unearthed new research, shedding light on just who these Zodiac collectors were, how they interacted with Dali, and which Dali works they acquired. Come and learn about this remarkable marketing plan, these famous members, and how Dali thrived amongst the elite.
The below excerpt is from an article, “Inside Art” by Carol Vogel from the New York Times, February 24, 1995. The article describes the discovery of an original Dali painting found and purchased in a Thrift-Shop for $40.00. The subject of the painting, “Portrait of the Marquis de Cuevas.”
“…Research turned up more information about the painting’s subject. “The Marquis was one of the Zodiac Group, which was started in France in 1932 and consisted of 12 collectors who paid a monthly sum to Dali and in return, each received one painting a year,” said David Norman, a vice president in Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art department. “Mr. de Cuevas was an elegant, cultured man who had a dance troupe and who was married to Mary Rockefeller Strong.”
The relevance to us, of course, is THE ZODIAC GROUP. Twelve patrons supporting Dali in Paris, 1930.
Man Ray, friend to fellow surrealist Dali and living in Paris in the 1930s certainly would have known, and likely photographed most of the secret members of The Zodiac Group.
In 1935 Man Ray took the below cover photograph of Dali that appeared on Time Magazine.
Man Ray Dali Cover Photo 1936 Dali and Man Ray “Hanging Out” 1945
“Art of Radio: It Reminds Dali of Wormy Apples and Dismembered Torsos”
Life Magazine, January 1, 1945
I believe that my father’s knowledge of this long forgotten “Zodiac Group” could well be the source for his choosing and naming himself, “ZODIAC.”
In resuming his macabre serial murders, and transforming his former 1940s self as “Black Dahlia Avenger” George Hodel reinvented himself in 1960s San Francisco selecting a new pseudonym, “Zodiac.” A renewed urban terrorist, continuing his serial crimes just as he had some twenty years prior. More secret taunts to new locations, using cryptic symbols again taken from surrealist’s art, this time he would honor and support Dali, his homage making himself the silent thirteenth member of the former Secret Society known as—The Zodiac Group.
Many thanks to my reader-super sleuth email contributors: Todd Jaeger ((“The Black Widow”), Alexander L. (Emak Bakia); and Karen Smith (“Laboratory of the Future”).