A Reexamination of the Question: Why Did and Do LAPD and LADA High Ranking Officers Continue to Cover-Up Their Solution to the Black Dahlia and Other L.A. Lone Woman Murders?

October 10, 2022
Birch Bay, WA.
(Dr. George Hill Hodel’s birthday.)
While I did not consciously intend this blog to be written on this, my father’s birthday, how fitting that the subject be explored and examined TODAY.

Dr. George Hill Hodel was an international serial killer that evidence shows committed at least 8-12 Los Angeles Lone Woman Murders in the 1940s and was identified by LAPD and the LADA’s Office as the killer of victim Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short. 
In 1950, LAPD and the LADA’s Office conducted a joint investigation and a six-week stakeout (Feb-Mar.) of Dr. Hodel’s private residence at 5121 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, which resulted in his confessing to the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, the 1945 murder (forced overdose) of his personal secretary, Ruth Spaulding. Further tape-recorded confessions by Dr. Hodel included: “Personal payoffs to law enforcement, and performing abortions at his DTLA First Street Clinic.” Further, the tapes contained a police-recorded felony assault, or more probably an actual murder committed and recorded in the basement of the Hodel residence (in the company of Baron Ernst Harringa) at 8:00 p.m on the night of February 18, 1950, of an unknown female victim. (LAPD recorded the woman’s screams and assault with a pipe, but made no response from their stakeout position, just three miles away at Hollywood Police Station.) The crime or the victim was never publicly mentioned and the six weeks of tape recordings were given to LAPD Chief of Detectives Thad Brown and “disappeared”, (think destroyed). A copy of the full transcripts of these recordings was secretly locked away in a DA vault by OIC DA Lt. Frank Jemison and discovered during my investigation in 2003.

LADA OIC Lt. Frank Jemison suspected a body or bodies of multiple victims were buried in the Hodel residence basement and had his detectives interview a plumber who had recently been at the house and asked if “he saw any signs of digging?” See DA documentation found in Secret Hodel DA Black Dahlia Files below:

On March 31, 1950 LADA Lt. Frank Jemison and his partner, DA Det. Walter Morgan had prepared their case against Dr. George Hill Hodel and were just days away from presenting it and obtaining “formal murder complaints” when they were suddenly and unexpectedly removed from the investigation at the orders of DA Simpson.  Lt. Jemison was ordered to collect all his investigative reports, the tape recordings and personally hand them over to LAPD Chief of Detectives, Thad Brown. Both Lt. Jemison and Det. Morgan were immediately removed from the case and ordered to never discuss their findings.
In my most recent investigations/publications, The Early Years-Part II (The 1930s): The Further Serial Crimes of George Hill Hodel M.D. I document a Los Angeles 1937 triple child kidnap/murder in which I present evidence that then LAPD Detective Lt.Thad Brown and then LADA Prosecutor William Simpson worked together and prosecuted and convicted an innocent man (with an IQ of 65 who supposedly “confessed” to the child murders). As a result of  Brown and Simpson’s joint efforts, the man was executed for a crime that my evidence shows was very likely committed by Dr.George Hodel and his accomplice, Fred Sexton. Obviously, this factor alone, without considering any of the decades later crimes, would be sufficient reason for both men to allow Dr. Hodel to escape in order to ensure his SILENCE. 
In 2013 a court-certified “Cadaver Dog”, BUSTER, conducted a search of the Hodel residence and “alerted” to human remains in multiple locations in the basement. Subsequently, soil samples were recovered and submitted to Dr. Arpad Vass (formerly of “The Body Farm” and the soil samples were “positive for human remains.” (Analysis submitted to LAPD Cold Case homicide detectives, who responded, “we are too busy with current cases to conduct any follow-up on the Black Dahlia case.”

Dr. George Hill Hodel, tipped as to his pending arrest in 1950 fled Los Angeles and relocated to the Territory of Hawaii. There he would doctor to the criminally insane at the territorial prison after obtaining his degree in psychiatry, marry a Wealthy Filipina, move on to Manila, Philippines, and start a new family and life as a Market Researcher. Dr. Hodel would become the leading Market Research expert throughout Asia and regularly travel to the U.S. and Europe for nearly four decades (multiple trips to the U.S. each year). In 1990 Dr. Hodel relocated to San Francisco and resided with his new wife, June Hirano Hodel until his death in 1999 age the advanced age of 91.
Dr. George Hill Hodel in his San Francisco penthouse suite circa 1997


In separate conversations in the years following the Black Dahlia Murder the top original law enforcement officers in charge of the investigation (LAPD Chief Parker, LAPD Chief of Detectives Thad Brown, DA OIC Lt. Frank Jemison and LA Undersheriff James Downey) all indicated that “they identified the killer and the case was solved and identified that individual as Dr. George Hill Hodel, 5121 Franklin Ave, Hollywood.” See their separate statements below:

In 2003 active LA Head DDA Steve Kay reviewed my entire investigation and publicly declared “Case Solved” and that were witnesses and Dr. Hodel still alive he would have filed multiple counts of murder on him including that of victim Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short” and stated “he would have won the cases in a jury trial.”
In 2004 after I and Head DA Kay presented the case to high-ranking LAPD officers, then  active LAPD Chief of Detectives, James McMurray, (Chief Thad Brown’s modern-day counterpart) ordered his men as follows, “unless you find some major holes in Hodel’s investigation, go ahead and clear the Black Dahlia case.” (Homicide detectives, knowing Chief McMurray was going to retire in six months, ignored his order and did nothing.

In the following two decades (2003-2023) despite a massive amount of additional new findings and linkage (including hard physical evidence connecting the Hodel residence (the original crime scene) to physical evidence found next to the body of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short at the vacant lot where her nude, tortured body was posed. LAPD Chiefs (Brattan, Beck, Moore) knowing they can’t defeat the evidence have maintained “LAPD is too busy with current cases to take time to look at the cold case.”

All of the forgoing (backgrounding) brings me now to the real reason for this blog.
To ask WHY?  Why does LAPD continue to refuse to even look at the evidence? Why do they continue to ignore the statements “Case was Solved” coming from the mouths of their most respected commanders who actually were in charge of the 1947 investigation?
For decades my answer was along the lines of “LAPD doesn’t want to throw dirt on the reputations of its two greatest heroes: Chief William H. Parker and Chief of Detectives Thad Brown.”  Also, I factored in the obvious coverup of the tape-recorded murder at Dr. Hodel’s residence, and his confessions to “other crimes and payoffs.”
For twenty-three years I have been thinking as a criminal homicide detective-strictly criminal. 
Not until TODAY (which happens to be my father’s birthday) did it dawn on me that maybe I’m completely off base about the WHY of the cover-up. Maybe it’s not the criminal, the obvious documented corruption, and damaged reputations LAPD fears, revealing. But rather maybe it’s the CIVIL?  Civil Litigations-and the consequential Reparations for Wrongdoing and Obstruction of Justice?
The LAPD and LADA coverup can be pinpointed to almost the exact month and day. That would be April, 1950. The date LADA Lt. Jemison and Det. Morgan were stopped from seeking the indictment on Dr. George Hodel and ordered to return all evidence to LAPD Chief of Detectives, Thad Brown. That was the effective date of the coverup.
On that date, the powers within both Departments decided to lock away the evidence and allow Dr. Hodel to flee the country rather than expose themselves to corruption. Dr. Hodel, as Head of the LA County Health Department, was untouchable. He knew and had files on all the top brass and power brokers in LA and had performed many abortions for the rich and famous in Hollywood filmdom. “He’s gone. Lock away the files. Let’s clean up Dodge and come back to it in the future.”


By their actions, these corrupt lawmen and prosecutors allowed a serial killer to remain free and permitted him to kill and kill again and again for the next twenty years.  Here is a list of his victims, ALL believed committed AFTER LAPD, and LADA brass let him escape with no follow-up or obtaining an arrest warrant. By THEIR ACTIONS, it is my belief that all of the following victims were slain by Dr. Hodel. Had they done their duty, all of these victims would very likely have lived full and productive lives. (The evidence connecting him to their crimes found in my follow-up investigations is: BDA II, BDA III, Most Evil I, and Most Evil II.
The Victims post-1950:

Additionally, many of the surviving relatives and families of the victims of the L.A. Lone Woman Murder victims killed by Dr. Hodel after the Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” murder, but before he fled the country in April 1950, could well have a right to civil claims due to the ongoing cover-up and obstructions of justice. (Also, to include the relatives of Elizabeth Short.)  Here are the names of those victims:

I’m no civil lawyer, but could this ongoing refusal by LAPD to look at the evidence and admit the case was solved actually be an ongoing cover-up out of fear of potential civil suits coming from the many victims living relatives?
We have statutes of limitations on criminal acts (though not for murder.) Are there statutes of limitations for civil wrongdoing by government officials? If so, when does the clock start running? When the wrongdoings are discovered? I’ll leave the legality to the trained lawyers out there, but though slow in coming to this possibility, it is certainly something to consider. If the two Departments were found civilly liable, imagine what the restitutions might be to the wronged family members of the many victims?
What price do you put on official city employees LE officers all intentionally covering up a serial killer’s crimes and allowing him to remain free to kill again and again? What do you say to the grieving relatives and families?
Author Note-  Criminal vs. Civil
While in the instant case, the facts in the coverup are “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is the requirement to find a person(s) legally criminally guilty; the requirement for finding them civilly guilty is: Do the facts prove “more probably than not” that the coverup occurred? (Say 51% proof).



  1. Patricia ONeill on October 11, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Steve, one line jumps out at me! “We have statutes of limitations for civil wrongdoing on criminal acts (though not for murder).” If those civil wrongdoings…..LE officers intentionally covering up investigation after investigation explicitly showing proof of murders…..,then without a doubt (IMO) the civil wrongdoings become part of the criminal act of murder! So many times in reading about the murders committed by George Hodel the “dual personalities” of LE officials (Lt. Jemison, Thad Brown, Chief Parker, Martin Lee) blatantly presented itself to me like a cold hard slap in the face! If standing before these men speaking my opinions I can imagine a fierce look as they say to me: “ Keep your goddamn mouth shut”! Yes, knowing a fair amount of policemen throughout my life, both as family & friends, the tide can turn quickly from friendship & laughter to “don’t cross that line”! In many ways that fierce loyalty is necessary in police work but Law Enforcement sometimes blurs the line between that loyalty and doing what is right. You have crossed that line repeatedly Steve! And it is not just an act of bravery with you……no, it is simply a case of doing what is right along with logic & intelligence that propels you. To quote a now favorite line from Beatle George Harrison: “And That’s The Way It Goes”!
    Amen. 😞🌵

    • Steve Hodel on October 11, 2022 at 12:20 pm

      Patricia O:
      As always, your insights and support are greatly valued. Especially with your long close family ties to LE through the years. Gives you a profound understanding of “The Way It Goes.” See my just added additional text (in red) to this blog, which reveals the closer ties of Thad Brown and William Simpson to their “Early Years” (1937)connections to GHH and their critical need to allow him to remain free a decade later when they both had promoted to become “The Brass” and had the power to see to it that that was “The Way It Goes.” Had GHH been arrested, he would have publicly revealed the truth of then Lt. Brown and DDA Simpson’s wrongful conviction and execution of an innocent man for a crime HE COMMITTED.

      • Tom Sullivan on October 12, 2022 at 6:21 am

        Hello Steve, thank you for your tireless dedication to bring justice and closure for victims’ families. I have a question that you may have already addressed but the answer is eluding me. You say that the DA transcribed recording on February 18th indicate a “woman screaming” at 8:25pm and again at 8:27pm but I am unable to find that in Addendum A of BDA II. Is there a missing page or paragraphs that reflect a woman screaming? Thanks and best regards from central Illinois.

        • Steve Hodel on October 12, 2022 at 9:29 am

          Tom S:
          Tom. I just checked BDA II Addendum, and you are correct. There is a missing page. Actually, the page preceding that entry showing the 8:20P dialogue has been printed twice and the 8:25-8:50P page has been accidentally omitted. My apologies. You are the first to catch this omission. Because of the small scanned type in that Addendum, I did reprint the entire tape-recorded DA transcripts and publish them separately in a much larger 8 1/2 x 11″ format. That can be found and purchased on Amazon as a large print edition or Kindle ($4.99) HODEL-BLACK DAHLIA CASE FILE NO. 30-1268 CONFIDENTIAL TRANSCRIPTS. https://www.amazon.com/Hodel-Black-Dahlia-Case-File-30-1268/dp/0983074461/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3UZJUSSN7WM25&keywords=Hodel+Black+Dahlia+case+files&qid=1665580731&sprefix=hodel+black+dahlia+case+files%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-1

          The critical text can be found in that edition on page 27 and reads as follows:

          “8:20P Sounded as though the two men went down steps and entered the basement and began digging. Something was referred to “Not a trace”. It also appeared as though a pipe was being hit.
          8:25P Woman screamed.
          8:27P Woman screamed again. It should be noted that a woman was not heard before the time of screaming since 6:50 PM. She was not in any conversation and not heard of again until the time of letting out these two screams. “

      • Patricia ONeill on October 12, 2022 at 12:26 pm

        This additional statement on the “reasoning/thinking” of “The Brass” on wrongful conviction is a much argued point between LE & family of victims of predators. And in every case I’ve ardently argued for a death penalty, my arguing deteriorates to an emotional rant to obliterate! Husband Phil has always pointed this out to me, stating logically that my rant is based on some fact(s), but basically promoted by fear. Must admit the truth to that! There is no difference really between me & “The Brass” as their propellant is first & foremost POWER! Yes, some fear of perhaps ruining a facade of “happy family man” too😡! Definitely “The Brass” have their victims…..those wrongfully convicted & families hurt or destroyed! A conflict that will not be solved in our lifetime, but Steve you’ve made a good dent in the present day facades sometimes presented by LE! 👍

  2. Steve Hodel on October 12, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    Patricia O:
    Personally, I am against the death penalty for one simple reason–wrongful convictions.
    I think the last statistic I heard on the number of wrongfully convicted was a “conservative” ” 1% of the prison population. There are currently 2 Million persons in prison, so that means approximately 20,000 are wrongfully convicted. The current stats on wrongfully convicted prisoners on death row is 4%. Currently, there are 2200 inmates on death row in the U.S., so statistically, 88 of those inmates are innocent.

    • Patricia ONeill on October 12, 2022 at 4:28 pm

      So right! The death penalty is wrong….no two ways about it due to IMO a fairly high rate of error in final judgements/verdicts. That statement comes from my head which MUST override the emotions! Sometime lookup the murder here in Tucson of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson committed by Frank Atwood in 1984. My girls were then 12 & 16. Atwood was executed in 2022. Then in 1994 the murder of Esther Galaz and disappearance of Karen Grajeda in 1996 was more of a personal nature for which I contacted police. Over the years, I have been contacted two more times by detectives but with no results. Perhaps this is a pretty normal response resulting from motherhood😓. And then comes grandchildren and fear doubles, maybe triples !! I think its time to go to my easel & listen to Eric, Billy, Paul, Ringo singing George’s beautiful music! Namaste 🙏🌵

      • Steve Hodel on October 12, 2022 at 5:03 pm

        Patricia O:
        Yep, and knowing that at least three men each served decades in prison for crimes my dad did and a fourth was executed, definitely impacts my feelings about it on a very personal level.

        • Patricia ONeill on October 12, 2022 at 8:35 pm

          There’s a lot of justice going on right now…..just watching the results of the Alex Jones trial & while the dollar amount can never replace what these families lost we have shown here in America that there are people who always will speak out fiercely & clearly when basic humanity is spit upon😡! You are part of those fierce fighters Steve! The sins of the father did not visit the sons here! I remember about 1955 I met Jimmy Stewart at Badger Pass ski lodge and I asked him “where’s Harvey?” That was I guess the latest movie I’d seen him in. He smiled tenderly looking at me and clenching his fist he gently pounded his breast…..to me meaning “in my heart”!…..he met him on the movie set maybe? Or met the man they fashioned Harvey’s personna after! I swear there were tears in his eyes. So many years later reading your books I learned that the author was a resident at the hotel & your grandfather, Dorero’s father, was the doorman & her friend whom she fashioned Harvey after! Life & death are really meshed together & in your case the best men won out!
          Be happy, Steve! 🥰🌵

  3. Ryan Carr on October 12, 2022 at 2:18 pm


    Do you think there’s any chance the current owners of the Franklin house would be open to letting you and Buster search for human remains again?


    • Steve Hodel on October 12, 2022 at 3:35 pm

      Doubtful, but????? Personally, I think if there are any bodies buried the more likely location would be behind the house up on the hill which was all open when we lived there. But, the owner of that property also refused access.

      • Cristi Richardville-White Eagle on October 27, 2022 at 10:08 am

        Hey, Steve! I remember how angry it made me that you were blocked from collecting some soil samples even after writing a personal request. I think it was That 70s Show actor Laura Prepon…? If so, it’s probably has a different owner now. She also left Scientology so it might be worth trying again!

        • Steve Hodel on October 27, 2022 at 12:18 pm

          Cristi R:
          Thanks Cristi. Have moved up to the Great Northwest to be close to my sons and grandkids. With zero support/interest from LAPD even with the “positive for human remains” soil samples, not much more I can do. If they are not willing to pursue anything coming from “the horses mouth” (the Sowden/Franklin House) then even if I had “positive for human remains” samples from up the hill won’t change anything. Clearly, the Department has zero interest in confirming the coverup and implicating their two greatest “heroes”. (Chiefs Bill Parker and Thad Brown.)

  4. Yolanda Camacho on October 15, 2022 at 10:41 am

    Steve, our Healing Circle sends you a deep cleansing, centering breath and POWERFUL vibrations of serenity and peace. Wishing Ancestral Healing to you and your forefathers and foremothers.

    Peace and serenity always
    Yolie 💎

  5. Chrys nelson on July 6, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    To Steve Hodel: I was a teacher at Santee high School around the corner from a building your father allegedly performed abortions on Washington Blvd. It is next to a Mexican restaurant. The white building has HUGE Greek columns and had been an apartment building for low income residents. I last saw it in March 2020 before the pandemic. I met you at the Whittier library but didn’t bring it up. Are you aware of this connection between this property and your father? I read about it and your fathers connection in an old newspaper article from the 1980s. Also while you worked at lapd( Hollywood) do you remember an officer named Gerald (Jerry) C. Jackson? He worked there from early 1950s to 1980s? I see a Gerald Jerry Jackson but he’s black and young when I googled his name and lapd. This was a white police officer moonlighting as security for Lucille ball’s property. Also did you know Sargeant Amos Newton division late 70s? He was bonking the dispatch lady. Did you ever work at the Newton station? How could I get a list and photos of all the lapd police officers I served as a waitress in a coffee shop in late 70s. I realize most have died but they were very kind to me and I had crushes on some of them. I need their names to Google them. tikas77sunsetstrip@gmail.com

    • Steve Hodel on July 29, 2023 at 10:20 pm

      Chrys: Not familiar with the building on Washington Blvd, unles you are referring to the hotel that GHH and Elizabeth checked into in DTLA as “Mr. and Mrs. Barnes” just a few days before her murder? It was a White Building on the south side of Washington Bl. east of Figueroa.
      Officers names not ringing a bell. Never worked Newton. No clue as to how to research unknown officers from the wayback. Best, Steve

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