July 11, 2021
William Heirens: His Day In Court, (Bonus Books 1991), written by Dolores Kennedy is the seminal book presenting a great deal of exculpatory evidence and proofs supporting the actual innocence and wrongful imprisonment of William Heirens, (arrested in 1946 at age 17, and known to the public as “The Chicago Lipstick Killer.”)
Based on Dolores’s investigation and her decades of work to prove Heiren’s innocent, in 2004 I began my own separate investigation which ultimately led to my own additional discoveries of new evidence which I believe connected and identified the real killer as my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel. (See updated reportage in Black Dahlia Avenger and the three Chicago Lipstick Murders chapters in Most Evil I.)
It was not until July 2021, (just a few weeks past) that I became aware of another book written on the Bill Heirens arrest, which supported both my and Dolores claims that Bill Heirens was in fact innocent of all three “Lipstick Murders.”
The book, CONFESS OR DIE, (Minerva Press London, 1999) was written by author Lauri E. Kallio and much to my amazement had remained unknown to me for the past seventeen years. The book published some eight-years after Dolores Kennedy’s.
How did author Kallio come to write about the Heirens investigation? Here is an excerpt from the Foreward of the book:
“When I initially met with Dolores Kennedy to outline the work I had done on the confessions and to get benefit of her more extensive knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the three murders, she told me that she was putting together a team to investigate whether or not Bill Heirens could actually have done the three murders to which he confessed. She asked me if I would be willing to be the confession analyst on the team and I agreed.”
In the foreword author, Kallio goes on to name the additional Heirens Defense Team members and the role each played in attempting to get to the truth of Heirens guilt or innocence. Those individuals were:
Jeb Stone, Chicago attorney who led the Heirens Defense Team.
Dolores Kennedy, journalist and Heirens victim advocate
Patricia Vader-Former director of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty.
Elizabeth Biestek, Handwriting expert.
Art O’Donnell, attorney, legal expert.
Steven R. Schachte, Fingerprint Identification Expert
Ed McManus, a former journalist with The Chicago Tribune, media relations.
Laurie Kallio’s CONFESS OR DIE presents the defense team’s forensic and factual findings all of which point to the exoneration of teenager William Heirens as the “Chicago Lipstick Killer.”
I will not attempt to present all of the evidence in this blog and would recommend my readers obtain a copy of the book, if available? It appears to be out-of-print and may be difficult to locate.
The book’s focus is mainly on the many inconsistencies in Heiren’s “confession” showing that his statements were vague and in most instances completely contradicted the actual known facts. He simply did not know the answers and it becomes apparent that the questioners had to “fill in the blanks” and have him respond to “yes” or “no” questions. Despite the aid from detectives, much of what Heirens “confessed” to totally contradicted the known facts of the three separate murders.
Of particular interest to me was the author’s reporting of the Lipstick Killer in the other two murders (Ross and Brown) as described by eye-witnesses who saw him leaving the crime scenes.
In both of those separate 1945 murders, the suspect is described similarly as, “A Male 35-40, dark complexion, well dressed.” (Heirens, age seventeen, could not be mistaken for a man twice his age.)
In 1945 George Hodel fit the description perfectly and was: Male 37 years, dark complexion always well dressed.
Below are a few diagrams and original press articles from author Lauri Kallio’s excellent book:
(Chicago Coroner later confirmed had to have been skilled surgeon)
The daughter of victim Josephine Ross does not believe Heiren’s murdered her mother.