1947 “Heartaches” First Big Screen Film (PRC Pictures) To Reference Black Dahlia Murder Just Five Months After Crime Occurred

December 8, 2019
Los Angeles

I recently received this “heads up” email from an astute reader, “Bill S.”

              Here’s an oddity, Steve:
A long-forgotten 1947 PRC murder mystery, “Heartaches” from 1947.
Take a look beginning at around 13:38 in.
Is this the first movie reference to the Dahlia killing?
I checked it out and Bill S. is absolutely correct. My response to Bill:

Here is a clip from the film mentioning the murder that occurred just five months prior to “Heartaches” release in June 1947:

Heartaches clip 1947FNL

KUDOS to Bill S. for identifying this source, which to my knowledge is the first public identification of the reference in 72-years!

File the following under “More Weird Synchronicities”:

Below is a partial listing for the cast of the above referenced 1947 film “Heartaches”:

Note that one of the actors in the film is “Lash La Rue” who plays the part of Delong, aka Trigger Malone.  “Lash”  was better known for his many cowboy roles in Westerns of that day, wearing all black he was credited as being “the fastest whip in the West.” Lash reportedly would later teach actor Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip for his role as “Indiana Jones” in the 1980s franchise.

As happenstance would have it, some sixteen years later, my new bride, Kiyo Hodel and I would buy Lash LaRue’s Laurel Canyon home, a mansion on Utica Drive, for the then astonishing price of $37,500.  (How was I ever going to manage the $184.00 monthly mortgage payment on a cop’s salary?)

Hodel Laurel Canyon Residence

The Utica Drive residence was originally built by famed film screenwriter/director Tay Garnett.

Tay Garnett circa 1937

Garnett was one of Hollywood’s best and most viewers would agree with Wikipedia’s assessment that he “…had  some big hits with two Greer Garson films, Mrs. Parkington (1944), The Valley of Decision (1945), then made The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), starring John Garfield and Lana Turner, which is probably his best-known film.”

Here’s an aerial and street view of the Garnett/LaRue/Hodel residence estate.

The property had several rental units on it that my ex-wife, KIYO, an “Astrologer to the stars”, after our divorce, then rented out in the 1960s to a few struggling singers and their bands. Kiyo’s tenants on the property included a then-unknown singer by the name of Jim Morrison and his band, “The Doors” who rented the streetside property.

The upper cabin rental on the property she rented out to another struggling musician by the name of Neil Young and his new band, Buffalo Springfield.

Kiyo and a young Young photo for Time Magazine taken at Utica Dr. property 1969

See related blog, Kiyo Hodel, Laurel Canyon Astrologer to the Stars and the Black Dahlia investigation.  HERE.


  1. Lucas Pickford on December 22, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    It’s really fascinating all the tie-ins you have with that whole Laurel Canyon/Hollywood scene Steve even though you were squarely in the day to day world of being a cop and trying not to get killed every day. That you were married to Kiyo for a brief time is kind of surreal in and of itself as I’m sure you’d agree (lol) and again as we’ve already discussed at length the GHH Mutual Admiration Society (heretofore referred to by me as the GHHMAS) is truly staggering in it’s scope and scale amongst the cognoscenti within elite Hollywood circles. They never missed (or continue to miss) an opportunity to pay homage to GHH and the Black Dahlia murder whether it be real or in fiction.

    George must have been so god damn proud of himself that monster. Well you know what George? Your admirers are a special kind of human low life that are only outdone in their utter moral bankruptcy by murderous psychopathic demons like yourself. You’ll have no Slaves in Paradice George…you know why? Because they’re all still here on earth.
    Suzanne Degnan
    Francis Browne
    Josephine Ross
    Bill Heirens (who you also murdered for all intents and purposes)
    Elizabeth Short
    Jeanne French
    Mimi Boomhower
    Georgette Bauerdorf
    Gladys Kern
    Ora Murray
    Jean Spangler
    Lillian Domingez
    Lara Trelstad
    Louise Springer
    Marion Newton
    Cheri Jo Bates
    Lucila Lalu
    Betty Jenson
    David faraday
    Darlene Ferrin
    Cecelia Shepard
    Paul Stine
    and all the other unknown victims you viciously and cowardly murdered. They are all in the light now George with God. You’ll have no slaves George and no Paradice. Only Darkness.

    Your friend Steve,

  2. Steve Hodel on December 23, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Lucas P:

    Thanks Lucas. Much appreciated. So many victims. (And I’m only about halfway there with “The Early Years” yet to come.)
    Let’s add his secretary, Ruth Spaulding and the Jane Doe in the Franklin House basement (1950 DA transcripts) to the List of Victims. Just posted a new article a few minutes ago of Spaulding and Mrs. X.
    I know this is a super tough time for you with your personal loss. My thoughts of support are with you now. Steve

    • Lucas Pickford on December 23, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Love ya Steve. Thank you.

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