1947 Unique Printer’s “Proof Sheet Paper” Used By “Black Dahlia Avenger” Identical To “Proof Paper” Owned and Used by Dr. George Hill Hodel

June 9, 2021
Los Angeles, California
“Among the anonymous notes sent to police in the ‘Black Dahlia’ case,” said Donahoe, “there was one which was obviously prepared in a print shop. At the time we discounted its importance. Now, however, it may take on new significance.”
                                                                                 Captain Jack Donahoe, LAPD Homicide
Los Angeles Times, Feb 17, 1947
           
In January 1947, the “Black Dahlia Avenger” mailed notes to the police and newspapers using “proof sheet paper” an unusual stock of paper-primarily found in print shops.  
Sample of unique “proof sheet paper” used by “Black Dahlia Avenger”
A Printer/Killer?
One month after the “Black Dahlia and Red Lipstick Murders” a printer/linotype operator, Otto Parzyjegia, was arrested in Los Angeles for assaulting and killing his employer.
Based on his physical description and the fact that he had slain and dismembered his employer and was connected to “proof sheet papers” as a linotype operator at a print shop, LAPD Captain Jack Donahoe ordered a live-show-up be conducted on Feb. 19, 1947.

Los Angeles Times, February 17, 1947 (Capt. Donahoe quote)

Attending this show-up were witnesses from the Elizabeth Short, Black Dahlia murder, the Jeanne French, Red Lipstick Murder, and additional females victim’s who had been kidnapped, assaulted, and raped by the “Avenger”, but had survived. (Several of these witnesses were named in BDA::Sylvia Horan, Ica M’Grew, Christine Studnicka, and Toni Manalatos. All witnesses attending the Otto Parzyjeglia show-up eliminated him as being the man they saw connected to the separate crimes.
LAPD forensic criminalist, Ray Pinker compared samples of the proof sheet paper mailed in by the Black Dahlia Avenger to samples obtained from the printing shop where  Otto Parzyjeglia worked and found they were from different proof sheet stocks.

 Dr. George Hill Hodel- The Printer


1920s printing press of type owned and used by George Hodel to print his own literary magazine, “Fantasia.” This same press was stored in the basement of the Sowden/Franklin House in the 1940s and used by George Hodel to print the labels on his “Five Dynasty Tea” as well as the sales pamphlet for the sale of his home in 1950, “For Sale Shangri-LA in Los Angeles.”  (All three shown below)

Samples of printed materials created by George Hodel on his home printing press
The Proof Sheet Paper
From 1945-1950 this printing press along with reams of “proof sheet paper” was set up in the basement of the Franklin House. In the late 1940s, this same printing press along with the proof sheet paper was used to reproduce George Hodel’s sales brochure in marketing the sale of the Franklin House. The proof sheet paper was frequently used by my brothers and me to make our childhood drawings. My father kept several of my original drawings (I was then 7-years-old) and after saving them for over 45-years, returned them to me circa 1995, after his permanent relocation to San Francisco.
In 2001, after two years of full time investigation, I came to realize that these original proof sheet papers could well be important forensic evidence, potentially directly linking the stock proof sheet papers mailed in by the Dahlia killer to these original papers now in my possession. I was confident that a spectrographic comparison of the size, texture, and fiber content, could establish and link them as coming from the same unusual stock. (In my 2003 post-publication briefing to LAPD “brass” this was one of the first forensic comparisons I suggested be made. (Both I and the senior staff officers were unaware at that time that “all the Dahlia evidence including all the original Avenger mailings had disappeared from the locked evidence room.”)
Below are my original child drawings on proof sheet paper from the basement of the Franklin House. All of the hand printing on the drawings, including: “Chinese Chicken and “Little Me” were written by my father, George Hodel and would become an important forensic exhibit in linking his 1949 handwriting to that of the 1947 samples from the, “Black Dahlia Avenger.
Author drawings on “proof sheet paper” from the basement (printing room) of our residence, the Sowden/Franklin House. Drawn in 1948-1949 at age 7 years. This unique paper stock was identical to that used in taunting mailings sent to newspapers and police in 1947 by the “Black Dahlia Avenger.”

 

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11 Comments

  1. Babs on June 9, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Oh wow very interesting!!! What do you think they would’ve done with the ‘lost” evidence? Do you think they would have destroyed it or possibly someone kept some of it & it could possibly resurface at a later time?

    • Steve Hodel on June 9, 2021 at 2:52 pm

      Babs:
      I’m not convinced that the mailings are truly “lost.” Maybe just misplaced and are sitting in some LAPD Property warehouse somewhere in DTLA. LAPD has no interest in confirming my findings of corruption and coverups by their two greatest heroes, Chief William H. Parker and Chief of Detectives Thad Brown, so they have no desire to search for the evidence.

  2. Luigi Warren on June 9, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Steve:

    The “China-International Exports” script bears a family resemblance to the writing on the “Guardian of the Pines” and Degnan severed ear notes, while being very different from exemplars of GHH’s everyday handwriting. In general, that promotional material with all it’s curlicues (the Chinese writing, the stylized dragon, etc.) makes an interesting comparison to the body of Zodiac correspondence.

    Regards,

    LW

    • Luigi Warren on June 10, 2021 at 11:30 pm

      Steve:

      I’ll add that if the figure with the handwritten names of the luxury stores in the “Five Dynasty” brochure was made by GHH, then I’d guess he had training in calligraphy at some point. That’s not “clip art” — it’s done by someone with a skilled hand.

      Best,

      LW

      • Steve Hodel on June 11, 2021 at 1:36 am

        LW:
        Agreed. I have a faint recollection that it might have been done by dad’s good buddy, artist Fred Sexton.
        Seems to me that in my early talks with Joe Barrett that when he reminded me that my brothers Mike and Kelvin and I
        had the job of pasting on the Tea Labels in the basement on large round tins that the subject of the labels came up.
        (Or I showed him the labels?) I think he said the dragon and designs were done by Sexton, but if not it was dad. One of the two of them for sure. Don’t know if it was Sexton or GHH on the script handwriting but, guess we will never know for sure. S.

  3. Patricia ONeill on June 10, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Steve, know it is a stretch and many years later, but have any of the Zodiac notes written in to SF newspapers, police depts. been compared to the proof sheet paper used by GHH as described in “Black Dahlia Avenger”? Also interesting, as noted by LW, is the physical comparison to the promotional writings on the China International Exports to the Zodiac’s taunting correspondence to police and newspapers during the ‘60’s Zodiac rampage in northern CA. Knowing & hearing many police conversations during my youth in CA, the statement you make about PC Parker having no desire to search for or pursue the evidence is by no means a stretch…….far from it unfortunately😏! Keep on digging!!👍🌵

    • Steve Hodel on June 10, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Patricia O:
      No, no real reason for GHH to keep that stock of proof sheet paper from the 1940s and take it with him when he fled the country. It was a cheap rough stock paper of no real value. But, stay tuned, will be presenting some more dramatic linkage in “The Early Years” investigations. Yes, I can dig it. *s*teve

  4. Joakim on June 11, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Somebody with a “receptive mind” told me he finds the Man Ray Yamantaka photograph mysterious & vibrant. Has it been properly understood, is it about a man gazing at an exotic statue? He described the impression as if he looked but did not see. Maybe his oddball imagination played tricks on him..

    • Steve Hodel on June 11, 2021 at 10:17 am

      Joakim:
      Well, GHH is gazing at the statue in which Yamantaka is having sexual intercourse with his concubine, so not sure there is much more to it than the obvious?

      • Joakim on June 11, 2021 at 12:21 pm

        But what if the photo plays with symbolism, showing a place where the supernatural is nearby? Or a tribute to art/fiction with surrealistic content?

  5. Jess on June 14, 2021 at 11:05 am

    This reminds me of something I learned about one of the more controversial Jack the Ripper suspects, Walter Sickert. The evidence points to him being just a weird super fan rather than the actual Ripper, but it was discovered he used the same rare paper as some of the Ripper letters and there was supposedly a DNA match, only those particular letters have always been considered hoaxes. He actually reminds me a little of Man Ray, in that he was a painter (an Impressionist though, I think) and a couple of his paintings were Ripper related. I think there’s theories that he was an accomplice too.

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