June 16, 2020
Los Angeles, California
A number of readers have asked what were my years of service at LAPD and what was my rank when I retired. Here’s a short history of my career assignments during my nearly twenty-four-years with LAPD.
I joined the Department in February 1963 and after graduating from the academy worked four separate patrol divisions: WLA, Wilshire, Van Nuys and Hollywood. In August 1965, I along with the rest of the LAPD was assigned to, “The Watts Riots” in South Central Los Angeles.
After six-years in uniform patrol, I promoted and was assigned to Hollywood Detectives where I worked all of the “tables” which included Juvenile, Auto-Theft, Sex Crimes, Robbery, Burglary, and then eventually was assigned to the Hollywood Homicide detail, where I remained and investigated over three hundred murders over the next fourteen years. I promoted from officer to Detective I, II, and then achieved the highest rank (Detective III, me and Harry Bosch) in 1983.
( Gift (autographed photo) from “Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) to Dirty Steve” received by me at my Detective III promotion party celebration at a local bar.
In the summer of 1983, I was assigned to Rampart Detectives where I coordinated the Burglary Detail and worked on unsolved homicides until my retirement in July 1986. (The reason for my retirement was basically due to the unexpected death of my brother, Mike Hodel at the young age of 47 from lung cancer. I was planning to remain until my twenty-fifth year, which grants extra retirement benefits, but Mike’s unexpected and sudden death made me realize, “life is short” and I “pulled the pin.”As fates would have it, my retirement date, totally random, was on July 29, 1986, which, unbeknownst to me was the shared birthday of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short as well as, Finis Brown, the lead investigator on her unsolved murder. I would not have any awareness of any connections to that crime and my father until his death in 1999, some fourteen-years into my retirement.)