May 28, 2022
Birch Bay, Washington
Ten days ago, on May 17, 2022, I reached the twenty-third anniversary of my investigation into the Black Dahlia and other serial crimes committed by my father, George Hill Hodel M.D.
As many of my readers know, my investigation began with my father’s death on May 17, 1999. A few days later I had the phone call with my half-sister, Tamar Hodel, in which in talking about our father’s passing and what a remarkable life he had, Tamar said, “Well, you know he was a suspect in the Black Dahlia Murder. I’m sure he didn’t do it, but the police thought he killed her.”
Eight books (which are really just one ongoing investigation) crime summary lectures at Pompidou Centre, Paris, France, FBI National Academy Association, LAPD Historical Society, Adventurers Club of Los Angeles, Pepperdine Law School, South Bay Bar Association, California Association of Licensed Investigators, Jonathan Club, California Association of Criminalists, and dozens of Public Library lectures throughout Southern California. In addition, my findings have been presented in about a dozen documentaries (48 Hours, Court TV, Dateline, The View, A&E Bill Kurtis-Cold Case Files, CNN-Anderson Cooper, Discovery ID Channel, NBC Universal, NBC News-Patrick Healy, Univision, KMEX-Leon Krauze Special Investigation, The Travel Channel, U.K. Channel 5-“The Hollywood Files”, Buzzfeed “The Chilling Mystery of the BlackDahlia Murder”, etc.)
Through the decades my investigations as presented in my books have received scores of congratulations and commendations from my readers. I am proud to say that my book has been reviewed by over 900 readers on Amazon with a current overall ranking of 4.5 stars:
Many of my readers as “armchair detectives” have contributed to major evidential linkage in various individual crimes. I have done my best to credit them individually, in the various chapters in BDA I, II, II, and Most Evil I and II.
I would also like to thank and credit those individuals who have weighed in and acknowledged my findings. Here are a few that I would like to expressly thank for their past reviews and professional comments. To name a few:
“The most haunting murder mystery in Los Angeles country during the 20th century has finally been solved in the 21st century.”
—Stephen R. Kay, L.A. County Head Deputy District Attorney (July 2001)
“Steve Hodel has a well-known track record of thorough investigation and relentless pursuit of the truth. I hold him in high esteem as a man of great skill, persistence and imagination, and honor. I would work with him anywhere any time. “
LAPD Deputy Chief Mark Kroeker (a 32-year veteran)
(Former Chief of Police, Portland, Oregon)
“Los Angeles is the construct of its mythologies good and bad, fact and fiction. The legend of Elizabeth Short is one of the most enduring. But now Steve Hodel has come to put the Black Dahlia painfully to rest. With the tenacity and patience of the veteran homicide detective he once was, Hodel goes from odd coincidence to rock-solid conclusion. Taking us on the intriguing and unsettling journey every step of the way. Hodel’s investigation is thoroughly and completely convincing. So too is this book. As far as I am concerned, this case is closed. Elizabeth Short’s legend is now shared with a killer who has been pulled from the shadows of time and into the light. Everybody counts or nobody counts, and that includes the people shrouded in our myths. Steve Hodel knows this. And now we do, too.”
Michael Connelly, —New York Times Bestselling author of The Harry Bosch Series
“From this distance, there is no doubt that George Hodel committed/performed theatrical murders in several cities over several decades. That a mad doctor’s son grew up to be a detective and solved a master criminal’s surrealist crimes—and it was his father—is mind-blowing. But, there it is. My deepest and sincerest respect for [Steve’s] fearless and brilliant investigation into a profound darkness that [he has] brought into a penetrating light.”
T BONE BURNETT, Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe Award-winning musician-songwriter; Music Director, True Detective
“Steve Hodel’s hunt for the Black Dahlia murderer and the Zodiac killer is the grand cinemascope version of every unsolved serial murder case. Now, in his new nonfiction thriller, he delves into codes and ciphers, the world of the kinky avant-garde, and new and shocking secrets about the investigation of the Zodiac killer. Most Evil II is as compelling as his other books and adds to the body of work that is, without a doubt, both the strangest and the most compelling investigation of our day.”
GERALD PETIEVICH, author of The Sentinel and To Live and Die in L.A.
“A whodunit masterpiece that solves one of the most infamous series of murders of the last century. Shockingly, but sans a shadow of doubt, former Hollywood homicide detective Steve Hodel fingers a man he well knew: his own father. For fans of true crime and police procedurals, Most Evil II is a must read.”
BRUCE HENDERSON, coauthor of the NYT Times bestseller
And the Sea Will Tell
“[Hodel] gives us a fascinating family psychodrama; we watch his image of his father morph from flawed-but-lovable ladies’ man to monster.”
“BLACK DAHLIA” BOOK A MUST-READ . . . A BLOCKBUSTER.”
LIZ SMITH, New York Post
“The gruesome slaying transfixed postwar Los Angeles the way the double homicides of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman did a generation later. It was film noir come to life, a glimpse into a shadow world of macabre kink and psychosis and corruption that ripped up the sunny postcards of suburban idylls and Hollywood dreams. It was the Manson murders before the invention of television.”
“This is an amazing story. . . Readers that appreciate the mind and style of presentation of a seasoned professional will really enjoy this book. . . This book is worth the read just for the incredible facts presented, the descriptions of L.A. in that era and the startling conclusion reached. . . Perhaps Black Dahlia Avenger is most important for its psychological profiles of defiant behavior.”
—St. Augustine Record
“This remarkable book solves one of California’s most baffling murder cases. . . It is must reading, especially for those who appreciate true-crime writing.”
…”Crime was as rampant as musicals in Los Angeles in the postwar years — this is the age of Bugsy Siegel, the founding of Las Vegas, Mickey Cohen and gun battles on Sunset Boulevard loud enough to wake Norma Desmond herself. And it’s the age of film noir, which is often assessed as the result of German Expressionism being crossed with American B pictures. But noir went deeper than that; it was also the mood of idle, affluent, talented guys après orgy mulling over dreams of actes gratuits, and worse. George Hodel, I think, is fit company for some of noir’s most civilized villains — like Waldo Lydecker in “Laura,” Harry Lime in “The Third Man” or even Noah Cross in “Chinatown,” the man who (thanks to the screenwriter, Robert Towne) warned us, “Most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and right place, they’re capable of anything.” And what had Cross done? Raped his daughter, and his city, and lived into old age.
—David Thomson, New York Times Book Review
Again, my thanks to all of the above-named individuals as well as my thousands of readers who have taken the time to thank me via email and their letters.
While not actually “retiring” I have as many of you know, relocated from my hometown of Los Angeles to beautiful Birch Bay, Washington in the NW corner of the United States. (Only a 35minute drive to downtown Vancouver, B.C.) This puts me close to my two sons and two grandchildren. Son Matt in Bellingham and Michael, his wife Joyce, and their children, Tucker and Ella in Seattle.
I am currently working with filmmakers and “in production” adapting some of my books into a docuseries which hopefully will be aired next year. So stay tuned for something exceptional, as it is in the extremely talented hands of the documentarian, Robb Bindler, who has been working with me for the past four years and totally “gets it.” With Robb’s vision and abilities, I expect his documentary will follow in the wake of his other award-winning productions.
But, don’t take my word for it, let’s hear from one of Robb’s own, filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino:
“Hands on a Hardbody (Bindler’s film) is the greatest documentary ever made.”
Quentin Tarantino on Jimmy Fallon Show
January 9, 2020
Click below for 30sec clip
So, STAY TUNED. LOT MORE TO COME.
Birch Bay, Washington