A Search for Serial Killer George Hodel’s First Born Child Update – Possible Identification of Mother
Update 7/28/22 to original post (7/12/22)
Original post at below link.
“What’s In a Name? A Search for the Identity of Serial Killer Dr. George Hodel’s First Born Child.
I am (name deleted for privacy.) Someone from Ancestry.com emailed me your latest blog regarding the search for your possible half-sister “Folly”. George Bishop Pulsifer was my paternal grandfather. Unfortunately, I never got to meet or know him. Five years ago, at the age of 62, I found out the man that brought me up was not my biological father! My mom is living today and had confessed to this affair with George Bishop Pulsifer’s son (name deleted) back in 1953. My biological father (name deleted) was murdered at the age of forty and George died in 1967 and his wife (my paternal grandmother) passed in 1997. So, my chances of meeting my biological parents and grandparents were lost.
My story is long but, because of DNA through Ancestry.com and tests for an ill sister, I finally get some answers. Anyhow, getting back to your search, I know through two genealogy websites I subscribe to, the free genealogy site FamilySearch.org and a couple of newspaper websites, I have found biological cousins and lots of information to fill in some gaps regarding my family. I found on FamilySearch.org a marriage license for a George B. Pulsifer age 21 from Maine and living in Los Angeles to a Hazel Rosetta Stevens age 23 also from Maine and residing in Los Angeles dated March 24, 1923. I know my grandfather was in Los Angeles attending school and working as a photographer after his Navy service around 1921 and came back to Maine in 1925. I asked my newly found paternal cousins if George had been married before my grandmother ___ and no one seemed to be able to answer me. There are other George B. Pulsifer’s out there but not with the same middle name “Bishop”. In my discoveries, there were two George B. Pulsifer’s in Maine and two in the Boston area. My grandfather moved from Maine to Norwood, Massachusetts in 1950s. I’ve had to really scrutinize any information I’ve found. I actually thought I might have had another aunt or uncle out there through George Bishop Pulsifer. If your theory is correct, that changes everything.
I’ve researched Hazel Rosetta Stevens and she did indeed move back to Maine and remarried. I can dig out that information for you later if you wish. Maybe “Roberta” is actually “Rosetta”? My family was visiting and staying with me these last few weeks and I watch my grandkids today. I’m willing to help out in any way possible in your search. I can surely relate to how you feel regarding this matter. I’ll attach a screenshot of this Marriage License I found in a separate email.
Thank you so much _____for the above information!
So, was teenager George Hodel’s “fling” with the “older woman” in fact Hazel Rosetta Stevens? (As ____ points out “Rosetta instead of Roberta”?) Was her daughter my half-sister?
Unquestionably, a lot of the pieces appear to fit. She was not a professor’s wife, but rather the wife of his good friend and co-editor on George’s home, Fantasia Magazine. As seven years his senior, Hazel was definitely, “an older woman.” Assuming the “affair” occurred during her courtship, or after her marriage to G.Bishop Pulsifer (Married in Los Angeles on March 24, 1923) then Hazel would have been age 23 and George just 16.
Was the pregnancy the reason that broke up her marriage and caused her to go East and have the child?
This age difference would definitely qualify in her attributed statement, when George sought her out back East, “Go away George. This has been a terrible mistake. You’re just a child. Get out of my life.”
1923 Los Angeles Marriage Certificate G. Bishop Pulsifer to Hazel Rosetta Stevens
Stay tuned. I’m sure there is a lot more to come.
7.29.22- It took a whole day but here is that “more to come”:
The granddaughter of G. Bishop Pulsifer and provider of this information is Deborah Douglas, who has permitted me to use her name and here is her second email from this morning:
Good morning Steve,
You may use my name and email in your updated blog. I have been researching further regarding George Bishop Pulsifer and Hazel Rosetta Stone. I spent time over the last few days browsing through the subscription newspaper websites I belong to and found proof through articles that George (my grandfather) was indeed married to Hazel. I will send you these articles separately through email. Hazel’s maiden name was “Morrill” and married three times. Her first husband was Harold Elwood Stevens and he died while in the service on 17 February 1923. Hazel then married George in Los Angeles, California on 24 March 1923. This was a short period of time after losing her first husband unless they divorced before Harold died. Why did Hazel go to Los Angeles is my question? Hazel returns home in August 1925 to Minot, Maine. George also came home in 1925 to Minot, Maine. I have an article I need to find for the exact dates regarding George’s return. I found after many hours of searching, a newspaper article dated 4 July & 5 July 1929 a divorce notice that was finalized between George B. Pulsifer of Minot, Maine from Hazel R. Pulsifer from Worcester, Massachusetts.
Hazel married a third time to L. Warner Stone. Mr. Stone died 10 December 1955. Hazel R. (Morrill) Stone died 2 April 1991. I have yet to find any mention of a child or children from Hazel. Hazel’s mother’s obituary of 1991 mentions she had five grandchildren. Hazel had a brother Harold W. Morrill from Mechanic Falls, Maine; and a sister Eva Donahue from Rockland, Maine. The next goal is to find out which grandchildren belonged to what parents.
Will send newspaper articles and keep you posted. Thank you for prompting me to research further regarding my grandfather George and get some answers I had for a few years now.
Again, a huge thank you to Debbie Douglas for this additional information. I am feeling more and more confident that Hazel R. Morrill (Stevens/Pulsifer/Stone) is very likely the “older woman” that teenager George Hodel impregnated.
My own follow-up on Ancestry.com shows her born in 1898, which makes her actually nine years older than George. Also, when my father had me search her name back in 1996 he gave me the search city as “Worcester, Mass” which multiple newspaper articles list as Hazel’s 1920s residence. Further, one of the newspaper articles provided by Debbie Douglas shows her divorce from G. Bishop Pulsifer in 1929- reason- DESERTION.
The next step now is to see if we can find any mention of Hazel having any children.
SKH Note: No mention of children. Just “nieces and nephews.” If she was the mother of George Hodel’s child, she may have put her child up for adoption at an early age?
And the plot thickens. A very tantalizing lead, indeed.
And the beat goes on and on and on…
Yeh, bro, who knew? Well, best I can tell besides our dear old mom, a hell of a lot of others did TOO.
I’m sure they were all terrified of dad and feared his wrath and revenge. Glad he was out of our life and allowed Mike and you and I to be the “Three Muskateers” with mom. Best thing that ever happened to us.
Yes indeed the plot darkens to a frightening degree and sadly the horrendous plot does go on and on! Not every family is fortunate to have (to put it ever so bluntly & in the Hodel scenario SO necessary!) a s*** disturber!! And that is you, Steve!😉. I wish I could speak with your detractors & followers and relate the many similar professional experiences I’ve had with law enforcement agencies, school districts, medical groups as well as societal, cultural & family situations contributing to the Hodel family situations!😓. It takes brains, ability & yes, talent Steve, to bring forth the tragedies laid upon our world by one man……but no it is not one man here!! Believe me this all started with one talented, tall dark & handsome & earnest young boy…..and I’m stressing “earnest” & adding looking for love😞………..how did it all come to such evil? And that, Steve, is what you are revealing …….,.quite an accomplishment!!👍 Not everyone will see it but you’ve given it one helluva good shot!😎🌵
What a discovery!!! Adding branches to the Hodel tree could be the push you need to explore ancestral healing!! Think about a deep cleansing, centering breath to connect with your forefathers and foremothers. They would thank you!!
Doe this conflict with George’s expulsion from Caltech for having an affair with a professor’s wife ? Why would he have left, them ?
It would be nice to have an updated, detailed timeline here — the Zelenko house, Caltech, the Record, the art classes, the Sexton connection, the photography show, Fantasia, the East Coast trip and the return to LA, to see how Pulsifer’s movements, the affair and the child fit into all this. Seems like Pulsifer was friendly enough with GHH to be putting out a magazine with him until right before he and his wife headed back to Maine. GHH even has poetry about an avenging angel love-child written under the pen name Morel — a bit close for comfort to Hazel’s birth name of Morrill. Also, the whimsical name “Folly” seems close to “Flora Polly,” the name of Pulsifer’s sister, who might be the “F. Pulsifer” in Worcester, MA whose name you pulled up for GHH on the computer in 1997. Maybe Pulsifer suggested the name? Perhaps this was another “Bohemian” menage a trois type setup that ran afoul of practical considerations or jealousies once the child entered the picture.
Yes, all good points.
If Hazel was the mother of GHH’s child she may have given her up for adoption before moving on to a new marriage? The “desertion” decree/divorce from G. Bishop Pulsifer wasn’t granted until 1929.
The child would have been four or five by then? All these new facts point to the probability that the mother was Hazel, but still lot more mysteries.
Next step is reaching out to the family of Hazel to see if they know she put a child up for adoption. Upon looking into this Hazel later worked as a hairdresser but had no children that she appears to have raised herself. Her brother had 3 and her sister seems to have had 2 which makes 5 known to Hazel’s mother per her obituary. I think child of her younger sister might be someone with a tree on ancestry.com to see if they have any info to point you in the right direction. Good luck
Yes, thanks. Hopefully, if “the word gets out” someone from her family might contact me with additional information. So many families have “secrets” that are never disclosed. Just look at my own “half-brother” Duncan Hodel. Born in 1928 and lived for 90 years thinking his father was same as mine and only knew “our dad” as George Hill Hodel.
I knew twenty years ago (thanks to DNA) that we were not related and of course didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth at that stage. Would have destroyed him as he loved our dad. So many families have similar “secrets.”
I’d be interested to see I know you didn’t seem interested (or maybe his family isn’t?) in finding out who his biological father is through DNA and family tree analysis. Do you think GHH knew he was not the biological father?
I’m still stumped by this Folly situation. Wondering if there are any other clues. I don’t think that the F Pulsifer you found listed in Worcester was G Bishop Pulsifer’s sister Flora because she seems to have gone by her married names at that point in time so it seems unlikely she would have a public listing with her maiden name
.I wonder if your dad kept tabs on Hazel or whoever this woman that he had an affair with in the intervening years.
Yes, love to know who Duncan’s biological father was as and I’m sure his son Ken would too.
I suspect George did know he was not the father because on Duncan’s birth certificate (born in Los Angeles) his mother stated that, “father, George Hodel going to school in New York” It gave an address, but not finding it now.
Thank you for sharing this recent development – I hope everyone involved can find some satisfying answers. US census records are a great resource for insight about people’s living situations. The 1930 census record lists Hazel R Pulsifer as a divorced “roomer” in the Griffin household. The 1940 census lists her as head of household, living with her mother Grace Morrill and a lodger. In both cases she was working as a hairdresser, in Worcester, Mass, and no “Folly” or other relevant names appear. I also looked up her parents’ household and her brother’s in the 1930 census to see if they had perhaps taken in a child for her, but again, no leads there. I had hoped to dig up something more exciting, but maybe this will help in some way.
Thanks for your efforts. Much appreciated.
I know where you’re coming from. My mom was raised in an orphanage by nuns from the day she was born. She was never adopted, the nuns couldn’t let her go. Also, from what I was fortunately able to find out from one of the nuns was that her dad was actually visiting the orphanage bringing fruit and gifts to all the kids. He was married to someone else and a vaudeville actor and opera singer. She passed at age 46 and never knew that I was able to find her birth certificate and found out she actually knew her dad without knowing this information. Her mom was sent to a place for unwed mothers and her mom was only able to hold her a couple times. As it turns out, she was the only child her dad had according to his death certificate. My mom and dad had thirteen children.
I guess what I’m saying is don’t give up you’ll find your answers. I’m comforted in know that my mom was truly blessed to have been loved by the Sisters of Charity. She was blessed with many “moms” who thought of her as “their” child. I’m still searching for answers and her family.
P.S. I found a cousin who wrote a book called Bartram Branches and after providing her birth certificate she was added to his book. She finally has a place in her family. I hope you find your place Steve.
Thanks. Yes, very possible that the child was placed up for adoption or into an orphanage. I think the possibility of Hazel Rosetta Pulsifer being the mother is quite strong, but until I get more confirmation still keeping open the possibility that another woman could have been the mother?
But, Pulsifer’s actions sure all fall in place. Thanks for the encouragement. Best, Steve
Hazel Frome was 10 yrs older than Hazel Morrill. When GHH murdered Hazel Frome in Texas, back in 1938, it had been roughly 14 to 15 yrs since Hazel Morril Stevens Pulsifer told young GHH to leave her alone and go home. I don’t know how common of a name Hazel was then, but it’s not that common now. A name being a trigger of rage? Maybe, maybe not.
Hi Dan. I’m pretty sure GHH’s rage in the Fromes murders was because he likely was rejected by Nancy at some point. Considering they graduated together in Memorial Stadium and he lived a short distance from the Frome residence. But, to include killing her mother too, just added to his satisfaction for “revenge.” If Hazel Pulsifer was in fact the mother of his first child (I have mixed feelings on this. Not confident we have the right woman?) then yes, the same name would have probably been a factor in a twisted psychopathic way.
If Hazel Frome had been the daughter, it may have been a more likely trigger. GHH had given you the name Pulsifer, & the town of Worcester as a place to search. The thing that doesn’t fit is the Caltech connection. G.B. Pulsifer wasn’t a professor at Caltech. Maybe the Caltech connection was a story to cover up another reason he left Caltech. Just a thought.
Yeh, dad just gave me the name and location. The “professor’s wife” came from either my mom long long ago as part of the “Folly rumor” or from June, so very IF’y. He may have just chosen to leave Caltech on his own to go back to “marry the mother of his child”?