1949 Incest Trial Court Judge Thomas Ambrose Unwittingly (?) Makes Reference to 1937 Murder Believed Committed by George Hodel and Fred Sexton
August 29, 2022
Birch Bay, Washington
Here is a follow-up to the previous August 23rd post, “The Additional WHY of the LAPD/DA Coverup of the Black Dahlia Murder: DA William Simpson and LAPD Chief of Detectives Thad Brown”.
The amount of irony in this discovery equals that of about a 100 lb barbell. I came across this 1949 article just yesterday:
Daily News, December 6, 1949
It clearly was a motion by Dr. Hodel’s defense attorneys to have his felony charges of incest and child molestation delayed requesting a continuance of the trial into 1950. The presiding Superior Court Judge, Thomas Ambrose denied the request, and the trial was set for the following week.
Defense attorney Neeb in presenting his request argued, “It would be impossible for his client (Hodel) to get an impartial verdict from any 12 jurors during this time due to the public clamor and hysteria over sex offenses.” Further arguing that “it was unsafe for a man to simply pat a child on the head.”
Judge Thomas Ambrose
Judge Ambrose, while denying the motion to delay the trial stated, “he tended to sympathize with attorney Neeb and “he recalled an incident after the sensational DYER CASE (1937) in which a man who did pat a child was taken to trial on a morals offense charge.”
IRONY- 1. the humorous or mildly sarcastic use of words to imply the opposite of what they normally mean ·
In my 2021 publications, The Early Years: The Further Serial Crimes of George Hill Hodel M.D. Part I (the 1920s) and Part II (the 1930s) I present twenty-three crimes that I believe were likely committed by my father during those two decades.
One of those crimes was the horrific 1937 Los Angeles kidnap/murder of three children. The crime became to be known as, “The Inglewood Babes.” (Briefly summarized in last week’s blog. See link above.)
The “Dyer” referred to by Judge Ambrose was Albert Dyer. Judge Ambrose presided over the 1937 Dyer trial.
The arresting officer who “played a hunch” was then LAPD Lt. Thad Brown.
The prosecuting attorney who wrongfully convicted Dyer was then DDA William Simpson.
The “hysteria” referenced by Judge Ambrose during that trial can be seen in the below headlines and yellow journalism from 1937 that caused and followed Dyer’s arrest.
Albert Dyer, a crossing guard with an IQ of 65 and a “mental age of 8 years” while being held in custody at the Inglewood station was told by LAPD Lt. Thad Brown, “if he didn’t tell the truth and confess to murdering the three children that he (Lt. Brown) would release him to the mob outside who were clamoring “to hang him.” The childlike Dyer, fearful for his life-“confessed.” (He was unable to provide any details, just nodded yes when asked questions related to how the crime occurred.)
The “Trial” was a farce and as can be seen below Dyer was convicted in the newspapers before any jury verdict was received.
The Daily News
The complete Dyer case and my investigation showing his wrongful conviction and execution and linking Dr. George Hodel and Fred Sexton as the probable actual killers of the three “Inglewood Babes” can be found in The Early Years-Part II (the 1930s)- Chapter 4 “The Inglewood Babes.”
Fascinating! Your research and writings pay dividends once more. It also points out the most disturbing aspects your work has uncovered: The false convictions of innocent people by a corrupt Police and city government establishment. May your work bring some sort of closure and justice to the family’s of those wrongfully convicted. Great work by an undaunted public servant and an Ex-detective that just won’t retire.
Yes, so much blood on LE hands. The Innocent are executed and the Guilty go free. And LE KNEW IT. No wonder a number of the “top cops and prosecutors” drank themselves to death or committed suicide. (Maybe just one more book, then retire.) Hell, Judge Ambrose while still on the bench, ran against Evelle Younger in the 1950s when the judge was 86! So, I still got some float.
The Inglewood Babes crime was horrifying to read but in retrospect the Albert Dyer trial shows us that the emotional impact of how the Inglewood murders blinded so many to turn away from seeking the truth & justice. Parents of young children were frantic to find that killer, return Los Angeles to a safe place to raise their families😓…….I would have been one of those parents! Today hopefully we could diagnose Dyer more intelligently & thoroughly. So many factors relating to Dyer could now be named…..traumatic brain injury, dyslexia, dissociative disorder to name a few. These are imperative factors to be considered when a case
is closed and/or the death penalty is the ultimate verdict. The guilty verdict for Dyer, I’m sure, left many in LE feeling “not right” but unable to speak their doubts & feelings for fear of disastrous “retribution” on them. So Albert Dyer is “expunged” from the earth! And the GHH’s & Fred Sextons still roam our world with so many murders, crimes still to come. Not a pretty picture Steve, and that is why your revelations are so important and needed!! I really think after your docuseries airs you should consider speaking to groups…..medical, educational, law enforcement etc. on how to recognize & ultimately stop predators!! SPEAKING OUT……..easier said than done but so needed!!😓. Stay well and keep going Steve!💪😎🌵
Thanks as always for your continuing support. As I move through my Eighties I am hoping that the docuseries, hopefully, followed by a visual presentation of “The Early Years” will speak for me and get many of those points you mention across to a larger audience. It is why I am so opposed to the death penalty. The thought of how many more Albert Dyers were and will be put to death by the State demands an end to that barbaric practice. There seems to be a slow conversion to that realization, so maybe I will see an end to it in my lifetime. I hope so.
Dr. George Hodel was found not guilty. The psychiatrist established the daughter as being a pathological liar.
If your father was so influential within the LAPD, why would they charge him at all? The LAPD looked the other way on multiple murders but arrested him on incest? Doesn’t make a lot of sense.
No, actually Judge Ambrose reversed his ruling to “allow Tamar to be examined by a psychiatrist” and no “examination” was conducted. Tamar’s mother claimed that years earlier Tamar saw a psychiatrist in San Francisco. This would have likely been about the time she was 11 and may have disclosed to her mother the oral sex allegations with her father. “He had me do oral sex when I was 11.” Apparently, that psychiatrist didn’t believe her and may have told her mother that she was “fantasizing”? Very common in the 1940s for adults to not believe children’s sexual allegations/disclosures. It was Tamar’s mother, Dorothy Barbe that thought her daughter was a “pathological liar” and didn’t believe her allegations. As far as the arrest, you need to read my book. As I detailed the arrest was made by Juvenile Detectives who filed the case with the DA. GHH’s “friendlies” knew nothing about it until after the fact. At that point, the legal process was in motion, and nothing they could do to stop it. The fact is, Tamar at a very young age was highly sexualized and sexually active. As I indicate in my book, she was very much of a “Lolita” and promiscuous at fourteen. Her father gave her a “green light” at eleven and she was “off and running” so to speak. That was the reason “nineteen separate teenage boys” (mostly classmates with Tamar at Hollywood HS) were interviewed by Juvenile detectives re. involvement with Tamar. (Oral sex in the Hollywood hills). She became pregnant from having sex with Joe Barrett, the then 25-year-old roomer at the Franklin House, and went to her father and demanded “he get her an abortion.” George initially gave her Ergot pills, which failed to abort, so then he went to Beverly Hills Dr. Francis Ballard who performed the abortion.
Steve, My healing circle sends you a deep cleansing, centering breath and thoughts for a week of peace and ancestral healing. Good that you are connecting with the distant members of your DNA chain. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 We are all linked to our forefathers and foremothers. Ancestral healing heals the wounds of ancient generations. They will thank you.
Steve, my Healing Circle sends you a week of serenity and peace. There is a full moon in Pisces, a meaningful time for ancestral healing. Connect to your DNA chain! Your forefathers and foremothers will thank you!
One of the things that always struck me about the Lipstick Killings was the age of 7 year old Suzanne Degnan (I’m sure I am misspelling her last name). All of the Lone Women murder victims were in their early 20s. If George Hodel (and likely Fred Sexton) did in fact commit the Inglewood Babes killings, it would definitely prove that he was capable of committing a crime like the Degnan one. William Heirens was forced to confess for those crimes much like how Albert Dyer was.
Keep up the great work
Exactly so. It bothered me that there was just that one isolated child murder. But, then once I got into the weeds of “The Early Years” and saw that he and Sexton likely kidnaped and murdered children in the 1920s and 1930s then it became apparent as their crime signature and MO.
By my count prior to and not including Suzanne Degnan they had committed FIVE child murders.
In terms of potential child murders by GHH, I would look closely at the unsolved 1962 kidnap-murder of 14-year-old babysitter Donna Marie Frislie in Antelope Valley, northeast of LA. This could well be a proto-Zodiac crime, based on the reported “I am not afraid of death” phraseology in strange newspaper scribblings left by an unidentified suspect, a TWA passenger observed en route from LA to Las Vegas the day after the murder. Zodiac linkage is also hinted at by similarities to the 1966 Cheri Jo Bates murder and associated “Confession,” and by the fact that the Oceanside murder of Ray Davis occurred just a couple of months later.
Unusually, we have a good description of the mystery flyer, who resembled GHH in age (about 50), dress (well-dressed, check sport coat), ethnic background (resembled Rumanian-born actor Edward G. Robinson), facial features (the most detailed composite looks virtually identical to the 1961-62 photo of GHH, sans mustache), manner (looks right through you) and quirks (given to writing cryptic notes to self.)
There are other interesting points about this story, such as the way the crime recapitulates aspects of the Heslin case (suspected kidnapping leading to massive, citywide publicity building up to the discovery of body in a sandy, shallow grave a week later.) I would suggest that the Zodiac’s teasing of a Donna Lass kidnapping and burial site could be a mind game hinting at this crime, in much the same way as his previous, long-running tease about the “death machine” might have been a “clew” to his authorship of the Heslin murder.
Took a quick look at the newspaper articles from that time period. Well, they do (did?) apparently have slides confirming rape, so DNA could match if they still exist? The HW doesn’t really fit with one unusual exception, that jumped out at me. If they can or did locate the passenger list on the TWA flight and if either GHH or Fred Sexton’s name was on it, that would of course be HUGE. The stew that described the man as “50” fits. Both George and Fred were 54 in 1962.
The victim was found fully clothed, wearing capri pants, and initially was assumed not to have been sexually assaulted. Later, the coroner’s report concluded the girl had been sexually molested — I saw one report saying detectives were surprised by that finding. About the same time as the coroner’s report came out, papers reported that the killer might have sought treatment for a groin injury. Reading between the lines, that perhaps indicates the autopsy showed the victim was forced to perform oral sex, and bit her assailant, drawing blood. I wonder if this could be referred to in the later “Bleeding Knife of Zodiac” drawing. (Note also that the murder was on the thirteenth of the month — “it’s just one big thirteenth” — and that the babysitter victim was “4-TEEN” years old.)
It looks like they never managed to chase down most of the people who got off that New York-bound plane at the Vegas stop. In any case, flying on false ID was easy in those days, as the subsequent D. B. Cooper case shows. I agree the cursive handwriting might be a bit of a contraindication. But note that the Zodiac would have to avoid this script in subsequent missives — his goose would have been cooked if this cold case had been revisited in the late sixties. The height estimate reported based on the stewardess interview — 5’8″, i.e., average height — is also off, but I wouldn’t give much weight to that at all. Overall, this case looks to me suspiciously like a real missing link, especially once you plug in GHH as the Zodiac.
There’s a few other things in the Zodiac letters that are interesting if you plug in the Frislie case as a proto-Zodiac crime. Another example, from the April 20, 1970 bus bomb letter: “But there is more glory in killing a cop than a cid because a cop can shoot back. I have killed ten people to date. It would have been a lot more except that my bus bomb was a dud. I was swamped out by the rain we had a while back.” Of course, the “bus bomb” was fantasy, a goof. Meanwhile, freak February rains in the desert exposed Donna Frislie’s body while her story was still headline news, otherwise the trail would have gone even colder. Perhaps the Frislie and Davis murders — which occurred not long after GHH separated from his wife in Manila – were the start of an abortive US terror campaign, and GHH was deterred from highly public crimes for a few years.
Here’s another interesting one. Nobody has ever come up with a convincing rationale for the Zodiac’s choice of greeting card for the April 28, 1970 “Dragon Card” missive. The card depicts two gold prospectors, one old, one younger. Donna Frislie’s body was discovered near an abandoned mine by two gold prospectors, one an old-timer, one a younger man.
I’m guessing that the mind games over a buried body, or treasure, or a bomb/death machine go back to the Heslin “Flapjack Murder” of 1921 and play into GHH’s early enthusiasm for Poe and “The Gold Bug.”
There is a chance the coroner identified the blood type of Frislie’s killer, assuming his report was the basis for the “groin injury” notice. I’ve checked news reports from that era and it seems forensic blood typing from small samples was routine, although perhaps not very reliable. For example, it comes up in the famous Sam Sheppard case. Presumably, you know GHH’s blood type?
Mr Hodel: I have admired your spirit for a long time; you have kept up your fight and your story is VERY compelling and VERY believable. Seeing as how you are a detective, it adds to the believability since you would, of course, know how to conduct such an investigation. I have no doubt you have found the true identity of the Zodiac Killer, and I make sure to say so in every Youtube video comment section, and recommend people check out your books. Wish I could have met your brother; I too am a Sherlock Holmes fan.
I strongly believe at least one body is buried in the Franklin house basement. Possibly Jean Spangler. Based on the wire tapping transcripts. Where the two men were heard to go down into the basement, were digging and a mention of “no trace”, then soon after two screams from a woman.
Possible that a body is buried in the basement. Spangler was murdered 4 1/2 months before in October 7, 1949, and her purse was found just a mile away in Griffith Park. The most likely victim is the unknown woman being beaten in the basement on Feb.. 18, 1950. But, could also be multiple victims buried in the basement?