A First for California Institute of Technology-“Just Fingered” ‘Dahlia’ Killer A CIT Dropout

March 26, 2022
Birch Bay, Washington

Here’s a short article published in CalTech University’s campus paper, “The California Tech.”

“He is the only known serial killer to have attended Caltech.”
The California Tech, April 28, 2003


The editor at Caltech got the dates wrong.  George Hodel entered Caltech in 1923 (not 1939) at age 15. The second correction he dropped out in 1924. (not 1942)

And here’s another interesting article from the 1940s where gangster Mickey Cohen and George Hodel share the same page in the Daily News, October 17, 1949:
     Micky Cohen                                                                                                         George Hodel

“In today’s hearing, Police Officer R.H. Morrisey testified
Smith admitted to him he and Dr. Ballard had performed the abortion
on the girl.”  (Tamar Hodel age 14)

File under “You can’t make this stuff up.”

Both of these cases were heard on the same day in the same court by the same prosecutor and judge.  Tamar Hodel testified on the circumstances of her abortion and both Dr. Francis Ballard were “held to answer” and bound over to Superior Court. Then the Cohen case was heard and his attorneys argued before the same prosecutor and same judge (Ambrose) fighting to get Cohen’s $50,000 bail money which he put up for his friend, “missing pal” and fellow gangster, Frank Niccoli.
SKH Note- Niccoli never showed for court on this day because he was kidnapped and murdered. (See below link.)



  1. Luigi Warren on March 27, 2022 at 3:58 am


    I see several news articles from April 1951 concerning the bust of an upscale, Brenda Allen/Heidi Fleiss-style madam-to-the-stars, Barrie Benson, possibly linked to Mickey Cohen, which mention a Mattie Comfort — I think probably the Dahlia case witness — being arrested as one of her girls. The stories even feature a “purple room,” like the one Tamar recalls at the South Pasadena residence.


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