Author Publication of “Early Years” Crimes of Dr. George Hill Hodel Ends 2021- Adaptation of Black Dahlia and Lone Women Serial Crimes to Television Miniseries Resumes Filming In New Year 2022

December 18, 2021
Blaine, Washington
Dear Friends,
First, let me wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Let’s hope that 2022 will bring an end to the Coronavirus pandemic that has threatened our world since 2019—wishing all of you good health and happiness.
As for me personally, the closing of 2021 signifies something much more. For myself, it represents the end of what has now become a twenty-three-year-long personal and criminal investigation into the life and crimes of my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel.
More than two decades ago, I wrote in my first book, Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder, that I would begin a two-pronged investigation. One path would take me in search of a father I barely knew. What did his early life include? What had he done as a boy and young man? My knowledge consisted of just bits and pieces from his unknown past. I was determined to discover as much as I could of my father’s personal history through his living friends and relatives.
The second path would be down a professional road I knew well—that of a criminal investigator with twenty-four years of experience, seventeen of them as a homicide detective.  I thought I would follow the leads and most certainly be able to put to rest any suspicions that may have surfaced as slanderous rumors because of the 1949 incest trial. I suspected they were likely courtroom whispers coming from a fifty-year-old sexual molestation trial, attempting to upgrade a pedophile and make him into a murderer.
As stated in my early investigation circa 2000, while I was confident that my half-sister Tamar (fourteen years old in 1949) was telling the truth and that our father “beat the rap” on the incest charges—I was equally sure that he in no way could have committed the “Crime of the Century—Black Dahlia Murder.”
As then documented, I set out to follow the evidence that I believed would exonerate and free him from any further suspicions.
Realizing that I would not be able to conduct an “absentee investigation” from my then residence in Bellingham, Washington, I spent about six months “wrapping up” my ongoing P.I. investigations and by early 2000 made the relocation back to Los Angeles.
I anticipated that the background search into my father’s life might take six months and expected his exoneration of any criminal activity would take about the same.
I advised my friends and the half dozen attorneys that I regularly did investigative work for in Bellingham to expect my return no later than Christmas 2000.
Well, I am back in Whatcom County, Washington, and Christmas is just days away. Not bad. My timing was only off by about twenty-one years, ten books and one three-act-play later.
As I have said many times, all the published books as a collective are really just one ongoing investigation into the life and crimes of Dr. George Hill Hodel.
With the recent publication of “The Early Years,” we now have a total of forty-nine probable crimes committed over fifty years.
I say “probable” because while I am confident that the twenty-six (26) murder investigations (1943-1969, see victim chronology chart below) and their linkage to George Hodel as presented in the first six books meets the threshold of “beyond a reasonable doubt”—(I am not making that claim in “The Early Years” crimes.)
                                          (Below excerpt from a graphic chart prepared by author Robert J. Sadler)

In the Introduction to “The Early Years” editions, I write:
In the presentation of these crimes from long ago (the first one goes back one hundred years), I make no claim to a “solution.” I do not and am not saying that my father, George Hill Hodel, committed all of these crimes beyond a “reasonable doubt”—which would be the legal requirement to find him guilty.  Several of these crimes, without the Introduction of hard physical evidence or DNA, are not solvable. Other cases have been claimed to be “solved” by law enforcement, and each is considered “Case Closed.” In several of them, it is my position that 1) the wrong man was convicted or 2) the suspect committed the crime but had an unidentified accomplice(s) or 3) the suspect has never been identified, and the case remains an ice-cold whodunit that was filed and forgotten long ago.
That said, there exists no doubt in my mind that many, if not all, the crimes presented in The Early Years summaries (1921-1938) were committed by my father and his likely accomplice, Fred Sexton.
A number of the Early Years serial crimes do meet the threshold and present enough evidence to convict. Others are too old and cold, but based on the crime signatures and M.O., George Hodel is “the prime suspect.” I leave it for the individual reader to make the call on each separate investigation.
In just the few short weeks that The Early Years have been published, readers and “armchair detectives” have already developed additional “thoughtprints” and further evidentiary linkage to several of George’s early crimes.
As occurred in Black Dahlia Avenger, I fully expect many more links in the chain will come from astute readers as the new books reach a broader audience.          

As we enter the New Year of —2022, I am pleased to announce some personally rewarding and exciting news.
Beginning this coming spring, I will be assisting in adapting five of my books (Black Dahlia Avenger I, II, III, and Most Evil I and II) into a true-crime docu-miniseries for television.
Production began in 2021 and will continue after the Holidays.  I am working with some exceptionally talented, award-winning filmmakers and am confident the end product will be a true and accurate portrayal of my multi-year investigations.
So, stay tuned—a lot more to come.
Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Steve Hodel
Blaine, Washington


  1. Dennis Effle on December 19, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    What great news to start the new year with. Congratulations on finally getting this long series of George Hodel’s heinous crimes committed to film. At long last there will be available to the masses, and to history itself, the truthful record of one of the most prolific serial killers of the 20th century. And all of this is due to your dogged determination to investigate the facts in these cases instead of the myths. And all of that against the backdrop of a personal price of the discovery of family secrets unimagined. Congratulations on your long and fruitful journey. Everyone owes you a debt of gratitude for setting the record straight.

    • Steve Hodel on December 19, 2021 at 4:54 pm

      Dennis E:
      Hi Dennis. Thanks for the kind words and support through the years. (Make that decades!)
      Yes, a real feeling of the end of one huge cycle and the beginning of another. Very excited about
      the upcoming making of the miniseries. Great team of filmmakers and expect it will not be your
      normal doc but will capture the mind and twisted soul of one of our nation’s most prolific serial killers. Best to you and yours.

    • Julie Follman on December 22, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Steve, I just found you and after listening to the podcast. It was amazing! I just ordered your first tow books. Can’t wait read them all! Congratulations on all your incredible work and so
      Happy for you that it will be coming to TV!!!!! Yay! I’m a victims advocate in Florida and just wondering if Elizabeth Short’s family has ever requested the DNA testing. Or if there’s a way we can contact LAPD and request the testing. But now that your books are coming to TV that will also help
      Put pressure on the LAPD. Congratulations again. So happy for you.

  2. Patricia ONeill on December 19, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    Looking forward to this miniseries, Steve👍. Check your email as I had further CA memories and names included as I finished TEY. PI-II. Merry Christmas, Happy ‘22 to you & yours….stay well, stay safe! 🤗🌵

    • Steve Hodel on December 19, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      Patricia O:
      Thanks Patricia. And to your family and friends too. Hopefully, ’22 will be a healthier year for all of us.

      • Patricia ONeill on December 20, 2021 at 3:25 pm

        ADDED THOUGHT, Steve: Watch YELLOWSTONE….four great seasons, hopefully a fifth coming up. “The Brady Bunch” it ain’t 😱………Montana, Calif. Ariz., its all the same murder, mayhem, family feuds🤣!! You’ll love it. Hope your moving van finally arrived too👍!

  3. Barry Guerrero on December 19, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Whether you’re in WA or CA, I have a strong feeling that you work is anything but finished. I think more ‘coincidences’ and circumstantial evidence will continue to present itself.

    • Steve Hodel on December 19, 2021 at 11:21 pm

      Barry G:
      Absolutely. I am definitely not considering my work finished. Counting on my friends and readers to keep them “thoughtprints” and pieces of the many puzzles coming in. Have had two readers already provide major linkage in their “Early Years” readings in just a few weeks. Expect many more to surface in the New Year. Will be regularly posting my and their findings as well as getting stuck into the doc miniseries production. Expect 2022 to be a very productive year. Just basically have changed roofs. Great to be near family now.

  4. Edith Vendel on December 20, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as well! Thanks for updating us on the progress of the mini-series. I am very much looking forward to finally watching a non-fictionalized story of GHH’s crimes. I believe you, with your tenacity and conviction, have laid out your case of why GHH committed the 49 murders with all the evidence you have uncovered over so many years–even if some may consider it miniscule. However, I have a question that you may be able to answer: How GHH obtained a gun and bullets in 1921 when he was only 14 years old to shoot Fr. Heslin? Perhaps he grabbed one of his father’s guns if he owned a collection or if he was friends with Fred Sexton at that time, perhaps he lend the gun to him? I know this happened a 100 years ago so if you’re not sure, you have plenty of evidence pointing towards GHH. Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

    • Steve Hodel on December 20, 2021 at 5:49 pm

      Edith V:

      Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Merry Christmas to you and yours too.
      As far as obtaining a gun in 1921, I’m guessing it was a lot easier than even today. I doubt
      George Hodel Sr. had a gun, but? Then like now, $$$ talks. It would have been quite easy to get
      a get a handgun from any underworld source. With WWI just over, would have been plenty of .45cal handguns out there and easily obtainable.

  5. Heinz Kampel on January 18, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    Hallo again Steve,

    I just finished The Early Years 1+2 and must congratulate you on your tenacity as well as your ongoing courage to face your family history. In the foursome photo with your father, it seems as if your bigger half brother Duncan is wearing a uniform. Am I mistaken or did he go to sea too? Did you two connect in later life and do you know if he inherited some of Dr. Hodel‘s brilliance in a certain job field?

    Greets from Vienna,
    Heinz (writer in the EF Blog)

  6. Christian Espinal on January 20, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    Congratulations Steve, as a person fascinated with your fathers distrubing crimes, and an old fan of true crime series (i actually learned about the B.D. case and GHH after watching you, years ago, in true crime series Most Evil hosted by Dr Michael Stone) i can say that im truely looking forward to watch this series.
    Of the many serial killer cases i have read, GHH is one of the most chocking and unusual, the closest thing to a real life Hannibal Lecter.

    • Steve Hodel on January 20, 2022 at 5:28 pm

      Christian E:
      Thanks for the kind words Christian. Yes, I am looking forward to the production
      and getting the information out to a larger audience. To be able to present his many
      crime signatures visually will be a big step forward in understanding how his psychopathic
      mind actually worked. Regards.

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