Recommended Reading: Reader’s Digest April 2020 Cover Story “UNSOLVED MURDERS That Still Shock the Nation” ‘Black Dahlia’ + Four

March 15, 2020
Los Angeles, California


My compliments to Reader’s Digest writers Bill Hangley Jr., Andy Simmons, and Marc Peyser for their cover story on UNSOLVED MURDERS That Still Shock the Nation (April 2020). It is a pleasure to read an article that presents most of the facts correctly sans hype and hyperbole. Well done!  I am excerpting their article below to include their reportage of my investigation and recommend you obtain a copy of this month’s Readers Digest and read their additional four murders that cover:

Here is their reportage on the Black Dahlia Murder:





  1. Robert Sadler on March 16, 2020 at 8:07 am

    A rare article on Elizabeth Short aka, The Black Dahlia that seems to demonstrate that the writers actually read Steve Hodel’s books and followed the clues uncovered by Steve’s dogged investigation. Kudos to Mr. Bill Hagley, Jr., Mr. Andy Simmons, and Mr. Marc Peyser!

    • Steve Hodel on March 16, 2020 at 10:58 am

      Robert S.
      Hi Robert. Thanks for acknowledging the three writer’s here. I agree.
      Nice to see and credit journalists who get it right for a change. Especially when the readership is 2.5 million as is the case here with the Reader’s Digest.

  2. Tom on March 24, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Hi Steve,

    The Reader’s Digest incorrectly wrote: LAPD bugging a Laurel Canyon Mansion.

    Instead, this should be the bugging of the most infamous Franklin House aka the most famous “Mayan Temple” in the City of Los Angeles!

    Please tell the Reader’s Digest to correct in the next edition.

    Also, the Reader’s Digest should have included the most important surrealist masterpiece “It’s Midnight, Dr. Hodel” on its cover, which deeply, accurately and artistically portrays the master-surgeon — George Hill Hodel, M.D. — performing life-ending surgical procedure(s) on a naked young girl after midnight.

    Best regards,


    • Steve Hodel on March 24, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Tom:
      Yes, you are correct, it was not Laurel Canyon, which is some four miles west of the actual murder location, the Sowden House, 5121 Franklin Ave in the Los Feliz district of Hollywood. (They may have confused this in their reading of my books with the fact that when I married Kiyo in 1962 we bought film director Tay Garnett’s old home, “a mansion in Laurel Canyon”?)

  3. eloris roussell on March 28, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    who won reader digest caption contest

    • Steve Hodel on March 28, 2020 at 9:48 pm

      Eloris R:
      Well Congrats. What was the caption for and what was the photo of-the cover story design? Steve

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