Elizabeth”Black Dahlia” Short Jacksonville, Florida Photos and Handwriting Revisited- More “Thoughtprints”

February 8, 2020
Los Angeles, California

A big thank you to one of my readers, Max Martin from Jacksonville, Florida.  His email yesterday reads:

Mr. Hodel,
I want to start off by saying that I am a huge fan of all of your novels and I enjoy keeping up with your blog posts.
Inspired by Black Dahlia Avenger, I made a point to seek out locations Elizabeth Short had visited and see what they looked like in modern-day.
I was recently in Jacksonville, FL and managed to find the exact spot where the “JAX FL” picture was taken (I think the B in Beth is definitive proof that your father’s handwriting is on the photo!) and I was amazed at how little things had changed in the decades since Beth Short was standing near these pillars.
Thought you would find this interesting! Enjoy and keep up the excellent work!
Thank you.

Attached to his email were the following photographs:


    Max Martin photo 2020                 Beth Short photo circa 1945


I agree with Max’s assessment that the “B” in the handwriting on the photo closely matches my father’s known handwriting and will here include additional linkage for those who are not familiar with my earlier findings in Most Evil (Dutton 2009) which greatly underscore Max’s belief in the authorship of that photo.

A Little Background 

Excerpt from updated Black Dahlia Avenger (Skyhorse 2015 ed.):

Here is the handwriting on the four photographs originally obtained from Elizabeth Short’s personal photo album:

Finally, I here attached the complete Chapter 15 from Most Evil (Dutton 2009) which provides additional handwriting linkage/analysis.

(Attached below as PDF and JPEG versions)

Most Evil Chap 15 (click for PDF version)


Again, my thanks to Max Martin for sending the updated Jacksonville, Florida photo.

(Click on JPEG to enlarge)


2/9/2020 Update:

One of my readers familiar with Jacksonville, FL asked, “Is the Elizabeth Short photo taken at the entrance to Riverside Park?”

I queried Max Martin and here is his reply and marking of location on map.













  1. Heinz Kampel on February 11, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Steve, did you ever locate your fathers address on Hawaii via google maps? Was it maybe even near to Doris Duke‘s estate!? I sent you a photo from my Errol Flynn FB site Lock, stock and Errol via Messanger of Flynn and Duke on location in her „ Shangri La“ villa. As I recall Dr. Hodel advertised the Sowden house under the same name when he put it up for sale. Do you think there is a connection or was it just a name association? And where was his hideaway in Hawaii…? Greets, Heinz

    • Steve Hodel on February 11, 2020 at 12:56 pm

      Heinz K:
      Don’t know the exact address, but did locate on map and the article indicated that George and Hortensia “lived on Black Point Rd” which looks to be less than one mile from the Doris Duke estate. Both residences being in the “Black Point Estates” section.

      • Luigi Warren on February 11, 2020 at 2:28 pm

        Steve: There’s an interesting web of connections between Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton (see “Inside the World’s Richest Rivalry: Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton” in Town & Country magazine), the Troubetzkoy “princes” Igor and Youcca, race driver Lance Reventlow, Errol Flynn and “King of Torts” Mel Belli. Prince Igor married Hutton and inspired his stepson Reventlow to take up racing. Looks like Reventlow attended the Can-Am event at the Riverside Raceway on 10/30/66 (Chicago Tribune, 11/15/66). Errol Flynn ran with Youcca and was represented by Mel Belli. Igor, too, was represented by Belli when Hutton divorced him as a fortune hunter. Igor was born in Paris just before GHH arrived there to stay with members of the Troubetzkoy family. Despite his marriage to Hutton, I am not clear if Igor ever set foot in the United States, but his brother Youcca (1905 – 1992) grew up in Los Angeles. -LW

        • Steve Hodel on February 11, 2020 at 2:40 pm

          LW: Yes, I am pretty sure GHH’s links were to just Paul Troubetzkoy and his wife by way of his mother, Esther Leov Hodel while in Paris. Haven’t yet figured out the possible relationships of Esther to the Troubetzkoys, but think the LEOV family may have had royalty too? We know that GHH and Hortensia lived nearby the Doris Duke Estate in Honolulu in early Fifties, just a mile or so away from her “Shangri La” Estate. (Yes, same name GHH used in advertising the sale of the Sowden/Franklin House in 1950).

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