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New York Times Bestselling Author Steve Hodel

“Professor X” Discovers a Seventy-Year-Old Major “Thoughtprint”- Man Ray 1948 Drawing Depicts A Couple Witnessing a Nude Woman Being Sexually Assaulted in the Courtyard of Dr. George Hodel’s Sowden/Franklin Residence (1947 Black Dahlia Crime Scene)

October 22, 2019
Los Angeles, California
BACKGROUND:

1948 Gift from Man Ray to Dr. George Hodel
Man Ray sculpture, “Objet de mon affection- L’oculiste” 13 ¼ x 8 x1 ½” created in 1944 and gifted to his good friend Dr. George Hill Hodel in 1948 just after the publication of Alphabet For Adults (Copley Galleries, Beverly Hills 1948) and just months after the 1947 Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short murder in Los Angeles.

Object of my affection – L’oculiste  Man Ray 1944. This sculpture was gifted by Man Ray to his good friend Dr. George Hill Hodel in 1948.

(Above) Dr. George Hodel seen with his Man Ray sculpture on wall in his Manila penthouse/office c. 1985. (Photo from Steve Hodel collection) Page from Exquistie Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder by Mark Nelson and Sarah Bayliss.

Page from Butterfield & Butterfield 2000 Auction Estimating value of George Hodel owned Man Ray sculpture “L’oculiste” at $30,000-$50,000.

PROFESSOR X – The Discovery of a Major Thoughtprint 

Several weeks back, I was contacted by email by a reader of my works who was quite familiar with my several investigations, and we engaged and exchanged several Q&A emails. The man has a strong intellect, and I was impressed with his thoroughness and knowledge in many areas of the investigation.
He is a highly educated professor, and I am aware of his identity as well as his educational background. He has requested that his name remain confidential, which of course, I will honor, and for the present, let’s just refer to him as- PROFESSOR X.
 In an email to me dated October 21, 2019, Professor X wrote:
Scotomization, inclusive or exclusive, aside: Does not “querelle” depict- not, merely present for interpretation but clearly depict-not just two profiles but woman’s hourglass figure formed by foreheads and balustrade with L’Oculiste as vagina intersecting with jagged phallic-spearpoint walkway?
What say say you, sir?

My initial reading of the Professor’s email left me confused. What the hell is he talking about? Where is this coming from? And then, after a few minutes of studying the Man Ray drawing- I SAW IT. Plain as day. ( And now I can no longer, not see it.)
That is exactly how the mind works- ambiguous and bi-stable.

Rubin’s Vase

                                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_vase

Man Ray’s 1948 Drawing “Q for Quarrel”

What are we seeing?

Above graphic prepared by my good friend and partner, Robert J. Sadler, author/artist/retired officer, Dallas Police Department.

First Look:

In my earlier investigations, I covered this territory and came up with a number of bullet points which I documented in my writings:
  • Yes, it is the interior courtyard of the Hodel/Sowden House c. 1947
  • A man and a woman are seen in profile, facing each other ostensibly “quarreling.”
  • Man Ray’s L’oculiste eye is seen looking down as a silent witness to the couple’s quarrel.
    I saw nothing more.

    The below graphic (again, courtesy of Robert Sadler) provides us with a much better understanding of the “multi lite window” which served as an entrance from the living room into the courtyard, which figures prominently in Man Ray’s original drawing.

 A Second Look using Professor X’s eyes:

Man Ray’s 1948  Alphabet For Adults “Quarrel” drawing with his Object of my Affection-L’oculiste ” included. In the above graphic (enlarged) I have removed the cursive “quarrel” writing.
What do we now see?
  • A woman’s  torso. (Head, shoulders, arms no visible.)
  • Man Ray’s L’oculiste sculpture inserted to represent her vagina. (It has now become both witness to and a part of her body.)
  • The woman’s legs are spread open
  • Her vagina is being penetrated (sexually assaulted) by a sphere-shaped object. (In the Professor X’s words, “a phallic spearpoint.”)

SKH Note: What Professor X terms a “walkway” I see/believe is actually the floor to ceiling multi lite windows at the south end of the courtyard, which slide open to the interior of the living room. My vision sees the body elevated to the roof line with the windows projecting upward and piercing her vagina. But, it matters not since either view, reveals Man Ray’s surreal artwork drawing to depict the following:
A man and a woman (George and Dorothy “Dorero” Hodel?) arguing in the courtyard of the Hollywood Franklin/Sowden home. (The roofline and architecture leave no doubt it is our 1947  Hodel residence.)
Present during the argument and seen at the south end of the courtyard is the naked body of a third woman.  Alive or dead?  Her legs are spread open and her vagina, is being sexually penetrated inside the very same courtyard as where the known torture/murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short, occurred on January 15, 1947.
Further, this drawing was created only months AFTER the crime and published by Man Ray and fellow artist, William Copley in their self-published book Alphabet for Adults in 1948.
At the same time of the book’s publication, Man Ray presented Dr. George Hill Hodel with his gift of L’oculiste,  the actual sculpture shown in the drawing which Man Ray represented as both an all-seeing eye-witness to “The Quarrel” (murder?) and as the physical, sexual part, the vagina, of the unknown woman.
In this drawing Man Ray’s,  Object of my affection”-L’oculiste is made to become both “witness to and victim of” a terrible secret hidden inside the courtyard of Dr. Hodel’s Mayan Temple.
In effect, Man Ray, by gifting the sculpture, was saying, “Here George take and keep them both.”

In closing, let me sincerely thank Professor X for his detecting and sharing of a seventy-year-old Man Ray/William Copley secret. Another outstanding example of the “team effort” involved in helping solve this “noirest of  the noir” murder mystery.

 

30 Comments

  1. Luigi Warren on October 23, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Steve: We know Dorero lied to Lt. Jemison about her relationship with Madi Comfort, whom she met through a Man Ray/modeling connection sometime around 1943. We have the recollections in the Root of Evil podcast implying that the menage a trois involving Madi Comfort was pretty typical of George and Dorero’s “swinging” lifestyle ca. 1943, when they lived in the big “purple” house in South Pasadena. We have the 1943 artworks that possibly depict Beth Short (the two versions of L’Equivoque and I would suggest also “Mug Drawing III.”) We have the possibility that Beth Short could easily have encountered any or all of Man Ray, Juliet Man Ray, GHH and Dorero during Man Ray’s September 1943 one man show in Santa Barbara, staged just a few minutes’ walk from the El Paseo nightclub. What are the chances that Dorero was also involved with Beth Short and this was the Maddie Comfort story again, without the happy ending? -LW

    • Steve Hodel on October 23, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      LW: Certainly think it is a possible scenario, and it cannot be ruled out.
      However, my gut feeling is that it would have had to have been something that was forced upon Short.
      Unlike, Mady Comfort, who was “all in” on the threesome lovemaking with George and Dorero, I don’t see Elizabeth Short (from the little that we really know of her) to be a “swinger.” Not really a “party girl” and I think she would come off with that crowd as a “total square”, “straight and unhip” in their minds. I also, don’t see Dorero sexually forcing herself on an “unwilling partner.” Re. “The Mug Drawing III” based on the 1943 date and it being Black and White Lovers, I think it is very possible it could have been Dorero and Mady. Or for that matter, Juliet and Mady? Or, possibly Dorero and Suzette Harbin, the LA dancer/actress who was friends with George and Dorero and introduced Mady Comfort to them c. 1943.

  2. Karen on October 23, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    I am trying really hard to see a torso but I can’t see it! I’ve been staring at it for 45 minutes turning it upside down, sideways and I see nothing. I love looking at illusions and can usually see them with no problem but not this. Help me see it, Steve 🥺

    • Steve Hodel on October 24, 2019 at 10:34 pm

      Karen: See updated addition with sketch adding/extending legs. Maybe that will help you see it.

      • Karen on October 25, 2019 at 9:56 pm

        Yes I see it now! Thank you.

  3. Luigi Warren on October 23, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Steve:

    In ’43 ES would have been just 19 — practically the same age as Madi Comfort. Fast forward to ’46 and we learn that she apparently seduced or slept with several different men while trying to find out about the Degnan murders during a week-long stopover in Chicago on the way to LA. I suspect that this “nice small-town girl, just looking for Mr. Right” idea might be as reductive and misleading as portrayals of ES as a club-hopping lipstick lesbian or a call-girl working for the mob. Naive maybe, but I’m not so sure about “square.”

    Regarding the Mug Drawing, it recalls Noire et Blanche, which connects to the (lost) Dorero/Harbin pictures, and also The Kiss (1930). But I also see a potential connection to ES’s El Paseo arrest mugshot in the combining of frontal and side perspectives, in the naming of the work, and in some of the stylized facial features. It makes me wonder if Man Ray could somehow have seen that mugshot.

    Very speculative, admittedly, but there’s something when you line up “Mug Drawing” next to the famous mugshot that makes me think there could be a connection. E.g., Man/Julie/GHH/Dorero were at El Paseo at the time of the arrest, maybe getting loaded/rowdy with ES, and Man Ray actually accompanied Unkefer to the station across the street and maybe was involved with taking the shot (see Gretchen Wenner’s article, “The Black Dahlia Never Dies”). Or, perhaps GHH assumed the role of “responsible adult”/”distinguished public health official”/white knight, offered to check her out and straighten her out in LA before her return to MA, and somehow he winds up with a copy of the arrest report with the mugshot. Or, the contact happened a few days before the arrest but either Man Ray or GHH gave ES a card and became a point person for a modeling job and/or a medical checkup when she passes through LA on her way back East. If this were a movie script, I’d roll it all into one scene, though…

    -LW

    • Steve Hodel on October 24, 2019 at 2:03 am

      LW: Well “square” in the sense of not open to trying anything “different” ie. sex with a woman. Quite a few references in my research that she did not like lesbians and reacted strongly to any “come-ons” by them. Whether that is true or not who knows? I think journalist/editor James Richardson had it right re. Elizabeth. He described her as, “Not good and not bad, just lost and lonely in wartime LA.” (Or words to that effect.) I think that she was somewhere in the middle. Certainly, not a prostitute druggie as depicted by hack writers nor was she a “Virgin Tramp” as portrayed in “True Confessions.” Just a young woman looking for “Lt. Right” wanting to fall in love and live happily ever after.

      • Lucas Pickford on October 24, 2019 at 5:29 pm

        I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Elizabeth Short by the way Steve.

  4. Lucas Pickford on October 24, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Yes, I see what you’re pointing out here in the drawing and it comes as absolutely no surprise to me at this point. For what I’ve termed the “George Hodel Mutual Admiration Society” (GHMAS), made up of his fellow sadistic pederasts like Man Ray and William Copley, loved nothing more than to endlessly depict their hero’s “masterpiece of surrealism,” the brutal torture/murder of Elizabeth Short. The overt glee and sense of overwhelming smirking satisfaction on their faces at being able to openly pay homage to Hodel through their cleverly disguised “works of art” is truly remarkable both in its level of utter depravity and in its viciousness.

    The female vagina always on display in some vile and perverted way, something the Surrealists all thought was so “avant garde” and “libertine”, was really nothing more than a testament to their completely and utterly stunted, sophomoric , retarded, and juvenile sense of sexuality. Unless a woman (or better yet an underage child) was bound, restrained, drugged, or unconscious (preferably all three) and in no position to reject them, the aforementioned experienced no sense of sexual arousal at all. Just the constant, frustrated, seething hatred and disdain at their own impotence and inadequacies.

    I suspect GHH really only felt truly “virile and alive” when he was plunging a 10in jungle knife into some defenseless woman’s abdomen and tearing her to ribbons. Ah yes, how “libertine” of him indeed. For all his intellectual prowess, exceedingly high IQ, and authoritative “This is the Zodiac speaking” voice, George Hodel was in reality a deeply stunted, sexuality unsophisticated, and pathetic individual as were Man Ray and Bill Copley in my opinion.

    Normal, healthy, emotionally stable women were repulsed by them and despised them and they knew it. Unfortunately for the women who weren’t as stable mentally or emotionally, either because of youth or circumstance or abuse, like Dorero, Ruth Spalding, Elizabeth Short and others, also came to the same conclusion about George Hodel but by then… it was far too late.

    • Steve Hodel on October 24, 2019 at 2:29 am

      Lucas: With great sadness and reluctance, I have to agree with your observations.

      • Lucas Pickford on October 24, 2019 at 5:36 pm

        You’re a good man Steven K Hodel. You always go towards the truth and the light . And for a man in your most unusual and unenviable position in this life, it truly makes you a man among men. I’m glad to know you brother.

        L

        • Steve Hodel on October 24, 2019 at 6:07 pm

          Lucas P: Thanks. Back at you bro.

  5. Dan Lackey on October 25, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Steve,
    Mr. Pickford’s observation about GHH being “deeply stunted” despite his intellect hits on a point that has always struck me about him. Seeing the interior of his childhood home reinforced it all the more so. It had a fairy-tale atmosphere that went along with the little prince treatment he lived under. Somewhere along the way his world view was twisted. The elitism was understandable, but the sexual perversion came from something far darker. You have always said that he was likely sexually abused either by his mother or a relative, or even an associate of his parents. The Marquis de Sade was likewise abused, so that fits his obsession. The early exposure to crime scenes as a young reporter added to all of his other twisted adult influences. He grew up fast and had a lot of freedom to do as he pleased, with a separate house facing a separate street at the age of 15. His parents likely had no idea where he was or who he was with most of the time. Quite a combination for trouble

    • Lucas Pickford on October 25, 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Hello Mr. Lackey, I appreciate your comments. While I agree with you (and Steve) that GHH was undoubtedly sexually abused I must strongly disagree with the idea that said abuse is in any way whatever connected to the obvious psychopathology that GHH displayed. And to say that the notorious Marquis De Sade was also the way he was due in any part to being sexually abused is a leap I simply can not make.

      Untold numbers of people are regularly sexually and physically abused and do not in any way display the hallmark traits of a psychopath. Complete lack of empathy, grandiose sense of self, inveterate lying, fake personas, and so on. I personally believe that all psychopaths are born and not made and that it matters not whether their childhoods were good, bad, or indifferent. Dr. Robert Hare’s description of psychopaths as “intra species predators of human beings” is one I think is very accurate.

      While we may disagree on this particular point, it also matters little because the psychopath and his/her actions and the results of those actions speak for themselves. In the case of GHH those results were the spreading of human misery, destruction, sadness and death in every direction to anyone they ever encountered. The same cannot be said of those who were simply (but unfortunately) sexually abused. You just can’t get there from here.

      • Steve Hodel on October 25, 2019 at 12:43 pm

        Lucas P:

        I think you are BOTH correct. I am a believer in BOTH nature and nurture playing a role. I would as Lucas indicates attribute the lion’s share to congenital insanity (80%?) but one cannot discount the absolute hatred of his dominating/controlling mother and the rejection of his school years peers as having “an influence” at least to some degree. Certainly not to the degree of causation, but …

    • Steve Hodel on October 25, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Dan: Exactly so. A perfect storm that would result in a crime tsunami, unlike any others. Steve

      • Dan Lackey on October 25, 2019 at 1:27 pm

        Hello Mr. Pickford,
        I agree about psychopaths being born. A certain percentage of the population are psychopaths. They are in all walks of life & professions, but not all are killers. Most are likely control freaks who are difficult to live with, since they lack empathy, and have the elitist attitude. Think of it though. To be born a psychopath and to be an only child of adoring parents with 186 IQ, given free reign at the age of 15 to come & go as he pleases & hang out with whoever he pleases. His parents helped to feed the grandiose view of himself. The sick twisted sexual obsession may have come from being a psychopath and not having anything to do with abuse..
        I don’t know what percentage of psychopaths are misogynists. We know that GHH hated his mother. I doubt he would hate her just because she was obsessed with him becoming a concert pianist. Something other than that fed his misogyny. As Steve said, it was a perfect storm.

  6. Dan Lackey on October 25, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Steve & Lucas;
    The odd thing about de Sade was that he was sent to live with an aunt & female cousins who treated him like as sex toy. He was later sent to live with an uncle who was an abusive priest who both sexually abused him & whipped him. The sexual pain/pleasure twist comes to my mind. The way de Sade reacted to this abuse was likely due his inborn nature. He may have been twisted without the abuse, but the fact that his perversion was mixture of what happened with the cousins & with the uncle makes me wonder otherwise.

  7. Maggie Tracy on October 29, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Hi Steve, your investigation into this is something of legends. My question for you though is based upon your interpretation that the crosshatch in the “Quarrel” image is indeed the multi-lite window as opposed to the courtyard. Could it at all be possible that Elizabeth Short was hung from the top of the architectural feature above the window to facilitate her draining of blood? Something in the Man Ray Quarrel drawing just speaks to me as though she was hung up. The Root of Evil podcast mentions the use of many ligatures. And the surrealist nature of this killing and the connections between GHH and all of these artists, I can just picture them witnessing her draining of her blood. Thank you for your time and please don’t ever stop what you are doing.

    • Steve Hodel on October 29, 2019 at 1:49 am

      Maggie T: I also wondered about the positioning of the nude body in the Man Ray drawing. Almost felt like a crucifixion of sorts. However, while the crime photographs taken at the LA County Coroner’s office do show both neck, wrist and ankle ligature marks they are quite faint and not of a type or degree that were consistent with suspending her weight. Had that been the case they would show much deeper markings. There are also additional factors that led authorities (and myself) to believe she was surgically bisected in a bathtub where the body would have been drained of blood. Also, the background tiles in William Copley’s “It is Midnight Dr. ____” are identical to the tiles in George Hodel’s master bathroom, which is where I believe the actual bisection and washdown of the body occurred. Best, Steve.

  8. MA Borawick on October 30, 2019 at 6:20 am

    I once read a study (in the 90s or 00s?) on the statistics re murderers who had been sexually abused by their mothers. It was very high.

  9. Nathan Bell on October 30, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I don’t know if someone already pointed this out, but doesn’t the word “quarrel” in the picture bisect the women’s body at the waist, and couldn’t the two wall tops above the man and woman’s (?) heads also double as hands raised in the Minotaur position?

    It is also my suspicion that the word “quarrel” was chosen as the name of the drawing because of its graphic (printing) characteristics (the print leaving rough edges, akin to cuts, on the body of the woman), rather than for its meaning.

    I think that the two profiles might be the profiles of the two (male) murderers (GHH and Fred Sexton (?)) who “coauthored” the “art piece” (Elizabeth Short’s murder), and that the word “quarrel” might be hiding their signatures (initials?). On the left the lower case “q” might be interpreted as a “g” for “George”, but I don’t know what the right head’s (murderer’s (?)) initial might be if one chooses to follow this logic.

    It also occurred to me that the word “quarrel” as the name of the drawing might actually signify the complete opposite, as the drawing rather seems to depict “alliance”, the two men’s heads joining to make the spear that penetrates the woman’s body. This thought of “quarrel” perhaps meaning the opposite, led me to see the word “quarrel” in a mirror. It does look somewhat like the Greek Μίνωας (Minos), or some abbreviation of Μινώταυρος (Minotaur), but I might be completely wrong about this and reading too much into it.

    Also, all the best to you, Steve. You seem like a good man and I do think you’re doing the right thing. I enjoyed all your books and learned a lot from them.

    • Steve Hodel on October 30, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      Nathan B:
      Thank you for your kind words and insights/observations re. Man Ray’s drawing.

  10. Daniel Raskin on October 31, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Hi Steve,

    Im in the middle of your first book and listened to Root of Evil in full. Fascinating stuff, and truly impressed with the amount of work you’ve put into this case. Bravo.

    I may not have come far enough yet for you to discuss it, but do you have any thoughts about Leslie Dillon as the potential suspect? This is the only individual in my mind that comes closest as a valid suspect to your Father. There seems to be very little public information about Dillon so wanted to know if you had insights, or had considered him at any point as a potential suspect.

    • Steve Hodel on October 31, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      Daniel R:
      Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.
      As far as Leslie Dillon, no, total Red Herring dreamt up by Dr. De River LAPD shrink who actually attempted to entrap Dillon after talking him to come out to LA and provide his “theories” on the case. Too much to go into here, but the DA investigators established he was in San Francisco at the time of the murder. Major fiasco created by Dr. De River who was himself a major phony and was shortly after Dillon’s arrest and quick released, himself fired from LAPD. The Dr. DeRiver story has never been told in full , but suffice it to say he had his own agenda’s and not based in fact or reality. De River had prior claims on LAPD suspects “whodunit” in regards to other murders. He even set up a child for the murder of her mother and sister but fortunately, it was later proven the mother was the actual suspect and it was a murder/suicide. The judge, in that case, was so concerned with De River’s actions he ordered that he never again be allowed to interview any juveniles in regards to crimes.

      • Daniel Raskin on October 31, 2019 at 2:16 pm

        Thank you so much for the insight, Steve! Had no idea about De River, but that totally makes sense. As I was reading the transcripts for his conversations with Dillon, I found him to be incredibly unprofessional as a psychologist.

        One last question – any thoughts on the Aster hotel, and the claims that the owners found one of their rooms covered in blood and feces the morning that Smart was discovered? Was this ever corroborated by any law enforcement?

  11. Dawn on November 12, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Steve- I’ve been reading BDA II for the past few days, just blown away by all the synchronicities in the storyline. I also have been looking at the Sowden house floorplan and was curious about some things you probably could answer. This relates to the layout of the house, shared rooms, etc. Did your family have live in servants at the time of the murder or were those rooms used as guest rooms before your father took borders later. After the date of the murder, did the numerous boarders stay on the kitchen side of the house in the servant’s rooms? I counted two of those on the floorplan. Was your chartreuse room the little room with the “court” outside? Did the other brothers share the room next to yours? The master suite seemed to be two rooms that shared the large bathroom where you think the dismemberment took place. Do you know if that was a design that was meant to separate husband and wife at night as was the European custom of a wife having her own private sleeping quarters? How did those arrangements change after the divorce, and with visits from other family members like Tamar and her mother? The change of behavior and lifestyle after the date of the murder is very marked. Almost like a smokescreen… It seems to me that there were always a ton of people in that house afterwards (sharing bathrooms and hallways). Carol Foreman, Ellen Taylor, Dorothy Bowman, Gladys Nordenstrom- Krenek, Fuji and son… where did your father put them all?In a way, it was almost as though he decided to turn the house into an artist’s commune. I know you guys were gone from the house on Jan. 15th, 1947 when ES was killed. Do you recall if that was at your father’s suggestion or if he just took advantage of the fact that there was no one around? I would have to imagine that he orchestrated everyone (Dorero, you boys and any servants) being out of the house that night if he was intending to take ES’ body through the courtyard.

    Just a note- I have an intense admiration and sorrow for your mother after reading her letters. Like a beautiful moth that flew to close to the flame.

  12. Steve Hodel on November 12, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Steve- I’ve been reading BDA II for the past few days, just blown away by all the synchronicities in the storyline. I also have been looking at the Sowden house floorplan and was curious about some things you probably could answer. This relates to the layout of the house, shared rooms, etc. Did your family have live in servants at the time of the murder or were those rooms used as guest rooms before your father took borders later.

    1. Ellen, our maid was a live in at the West side of the house. Tamar also had her bedroom on that side of the house during her time with us in ’49. (servant’s room)

    After the date of the murder, did the numerous boarders stay on the kitchen side of the house in the servant’s rooms? I counted two of those on the floorplan. Was your chartreuse room the little room with the “court” outside?
    2. I don’t think dad took in any “boarders” until 1948 which would have been after the murder. My chartreuse room was the furthest north bedroom on the East wing with the courtyard to the rear of it.

    Did the other brothers share the room next to yours? 3. Yes.

    The master suite seemed to be two rooms that shared the large bathroom where you think the dismemberment took place. Do you know if that was a design that was meant to separate husband and wife at night as was the European custom of a wife having her own private sleeping quarters?

    4. Don’t know if it was an intentional separation by design or not? Doubt it.

    How did those arrangements change after the divorce, and with visits from other family members like Tamar and her mother? The change of behavior and lifestyle after the date of the murder is very marked. Almost like a smokescreen… It seems to me that there were always a ton of people in that house afterwards (sharing bathrooms and hallways). Carol Foreman, Ellen Taylor, Dorothy Bowman, Gladys Nordenstrom- Krenek, Fuji and son… where did your father put them all?In a way, it was almost as though he decided to turn the house into an artist’s commune.

    5. I don’t recall who had which rooms after the tenants moved in but the rooms had to have been shared in some cases. Joe Barret and his artist friend Chris rented the large studio as their residence at the north end of the home.

    I know you guys were gone from the house on Jan. 15th, 1947 when ES was killed. Do you recall if that was at your father’s suggestion or if he just took advantage of the fact that there was no one around? I would have to imagine that he orchestrated everyone (Dorero, you boys and any servants) being out of the house that night if he was intending to take ES’ body through the courtyard.

    6. We were gone with mother staying at her brother’s home three miles away for several weeks or more during that Christmas/New Year period. Not just a few days. So, this was prior to any “roomers” so he would have had the entire home at his disposal.

    Just a note- I have an intense admiration and sorrow for your mother after reading her letters. Like a beautiful moth that flew to close to the flame.

    6. Yes, a tragic life indeed, compounded with her heavy drinking as an attempt to escape the many horrors she was experiencing.

    • Luigi Warren on November 16, 2019 at 9:30 pm

      Steve:

      Searching on the OL-3476 number in the LA Times, it looks like GHH’s first classified ad seeking roomers using that number was two months after the Dahlia murder, on March 9, 1947 (“DELUXE suite, for 1 or 2 only, on M.D.’s exclusive estate. OL-3476.”) One of his subsequent ads specifically calls out artists & writers. He might have been influenced by the communal scene at Rudolph Schindler’s Kings Road house in the mid-twenties (“Genius and Jealousy,” Vanity Fair, April 1999) as Sadakichi Hartmann was a regular there and GHH evidently knew Hartmann at that time.

      Best regards,

      -LW

  13. Steve Hodel on November 16, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    LW: Yes, Good find. Hadn’t seen that. That would have been an advertisement for the large “Deluxe Suite” at the north side of the residence which was rented by artists Joe Barrett and his good friend “Chris.” I think Joe and Chris were the first “roomers” but not sure when they moved into our home? But, they did live in that “Suite” which was very large and provided great light for their painting. And, we know that Joe Barrett was still living there during/through the secret DA Hodel/Black Dahlia tapings in the spring (Feb and March) of 1950. )

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