Black Dahlia Tapes: Poet Kenneth Rexroth/George Hodel in Conversation and Beyond Baroque Video Rexroth “Signature Beyond All Things” 100th Year Ode to Rexroth

December 21. 2020
Los Angeles, California
Happy Winter Solstice!

I just had the great pleasure of watching Beyond Baroque’s 83-minute video “The Signature of All Things: A passionate ode to the artist Kenneth Rexroth.”  (It live streams free through the end of December 2020, do try to watch it.)  Or, if in the holiday gift mode, better yet, purchase a copy of the show for yourself or a friend.
The George and Dorothy Hodel/Kenneth Rexroth Connection

See related image detail 

George Hodel                      Kenneth Rexroth                       Dorothy Hodel
For those of you that are familiar with my ongoing series of books, Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder, you may recall that included in the LA DA Secret George Hodel Black Dahlia taped transcripts there is a recorded conversation between my father, George Hodel and his and my mother’s good friend, poet KENNETH REXROTH. Rexroth’s friend, author, Henry Miller, was also a regular friend/visitor to  the Hodel residence and the Hodel’s also regularly visited Miller in BIG SUR.)
Kenneth Rexroth  recorded at our then residence, the Sowden/Franklin House, 5121 Franklin Ave., Hollywood.)

                                                Dr. George Hill Hodel residence 1945-1950
My main interest in this blog is to present the aforementioned Beyond Baroque video documentary on Rexroth’s remarkable life and poetry, however, as a point of interest, I will here include the secretly recorded DA transcript between my father and Rexroth.
It was recorded as part of the Black Dahlia Surveillance of George Hodel which lasted six weeks (February 15, 1950-March 27, 1950).
The Rexroth/Hodel conversations begin just four days into the electronic stakeout. DA and LAPD officers are monitoring the conversations LIVE (not phone taps) and have broken into the residence and implanted microphones in the wall and have run a “hard line” to telephone wires outside and then to the basement of LAPD Hollywood Detectives (about two miles away) where 18 detectives monitor the conversations in six hour shifts 24/7 for the next six weeks.
SKH Note:  Remarkably this Kenneth Rexroth visit to the Hodel Franklin House occurs just two days after a probable “murder in progress” has occurred by GHH and an accomplice, Baron Harringa. Details of that assault of a “Jane Doe Female” in the basement are summarized in the transcript pages preceding this interview and include an extensive “confession” by GHH to the Black Dahlia murder and the forced overdose “staged suicide” of his personal secretary, Ruth Spaulding. (For those interested a full copy of the original 146 pages (print or Kindle) can be ordered HERE. 

Scanned pages from original LADA Hodel Black Dahlia Surveillance that occurred beginning Feb 15, 1950 and continued 24/7 for the next six weeks. Pages below include telephone call and then physical visit to residence by Kenneth Rexroth who stayed overnight then accompanied GHH to visit Dorothy Hodel in Santa Monica. Rexroth conversations begin on February 19, 1950. These pages appear as scanned from original LADA Secret Black Dahlia Files obtained as part of my investigation in 2003.
(Included below are jpeg scans as well as duplicate pages as a PDF.)

rexroth hodel conv final da file







  1. v on December 28, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Was George responsible for uniting Tamar with Gus Hall? Rexroth’s parents were communists, is this correct? And Rexroth, himself, was affiliated or ‘too extreme’ Do you feel your father. Via the UNRRA and Silvermaster files, friends, etc wss a communist? Maybe he was being bugged and talking to the FBI because he was affiliated and possibly saving his own but by naming names.

    • Steve Hodel on December 28, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      VV: I don’t know anything personal about Rexroth, just what has been documented in public writings.
      As far as the Sowden/Franklin House tapes that was totally coming from the LADA Lt. Jemison. LAPD was not very happy about the DA taking over the investigation and insisted they be allowed to have a LAPD detective partner with DA detectives. GHH mentions he was “contacted by the FBI” during that time period, but no indications it was related on the separate DA investigation, which would have objected to Feds involving themselves as they might well “burn the ongoing surveillance.” So, likely related to something else that FBI was interested in? No, I don’t think my dad was a communist. He was not a joiner of any ism. I think the Rexroth connection was more on my mother’s side, but?

  2. Tom Majumder, MBA, RPN on January 3, 2021 at 12:28 am


    It seems that American legal system does not punish serial murderers with death penalty whereas a person is put to death by lethal injection for the crime of murdering one or two victims!

    Dr. George Hill Hodel escaped American legal system by self-exiling himself to Asia and, later, died peacefully in his home as a nonagenarian.

    Brutal serial killer and rapist Samuel Little was let go by American legal system to continue his serial-killings even when Samuel Little confessed to have killed 93 females and, later, died peacefully at the age of 80.

    Compared with James Joseph de Angelo, Rodney Alcala and Samuel Little, I have to admit however that, Dr. George Hill Hodel was a man of class for practicing medical-surgical knowledge on his victims precisely to the perfection of art in surrealism!

    Best regards and wish you a happy new year,


    • Steve Hodel on January 3, 2021 at 6:17 am

      Well, I am sure that DE Quincey’s fictional “Connoisseurs of Murder as a Fine Art” considered themselves in your words “men of class” all. Likewise, I expect those surrealists “in the know” in their own twisted way considered their good friend, George Hodel, “a classy guy.” That said, the reality of his unique crime signature was not indicative of “a man of class” but rather that of a very sick and twisted psychopath.

  3. Marnie on January 5, 2021 at 12:33 am

    I’m so happy you keep updating us on this, I find this very interesting as it really is like going down the rabbit hole, there is so much evidence and more all pointing to your father. Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t ever change. Happy new year. Keep yourself safe in this confusing day and age.
    Love from the UK

    • Steve Hodel on January 7, 2021 at 8:12 pm


      Thanks. Will do. And best to your and yours in this New Year.

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