1950 Los Angeles Census Names Guests Staying at “Surgeon” George Hodel’s Sowden/Franklin House
January 27, 2023
Birch Bay, Washington
Once again my many thanks to a reader for forwarding new information on our ongoing investigation into the life and crimes of my father, George Hill Hodel, M.D.
I received the below email message from Charles D, yesterday:
Thought you might find this interesting. I found the 1950 census entry for you dad. Lots of “guests” in Franklin house. This seems to have been collected on March 12th but it is hard to read (upper right-hand corner).
Hope all is well up North!
1950 Census for 5121 Franklin Ave, Hollywood CA.
SKH Note: Since 1930 the U.S. Census collection date began on April 1 of each decade. I read the date as “April 12, 1950, and “Checked by Crew Leader on April 13, 1950.” This would have been just two weeks after the final entry in the “LADA Hodel-Black Dahlia Bugging Tape Recordings on March 27, 1950.” (The LADA/LAPD stakeout likely continued, for some time after this date, but apparently pages were missing from the original DA file as to any “after action” ie. removal of hard microphones from the residence.)
Many thanks to Chuck for finding and forwarding this fascinating document.
Let’s take a closer look and see what it might reveal.
The named residents at our family home on the date the census was taken in April 1950 and their identifying information as reported in the census. His “house guests” were five woman ranging in ages from 15-42.
George H. Hodel (Head of household) White, Male, age 42, divorced, born in California, showed ‘worked 20 hours the previous week, profession listed as “surgeon”, a medical doctor.”
Shirley F. Rappaport “Guest” White, Female, age 23, born in Illinois.
(This “guest’s” name I believe was mentioned somewhere in the 3000+ pages of my ongoing twenty-three-year investigation, but darned if I can find it at this time.)
Goodee Montgomery, “Guest”, White, Female, age 35, divorced, born in Missouri, worked 30 hours the previous week, profession artist. (While Goodee gave her stated age as “35” official records show she was born on March 28, 1906, which would mean she had just celebrated her 44th birthday.)
Chagud, Alicia C. “Guest” White, Female, age 42, separated, born in Costa Rica, profession seamstress, clothing factory.
Chagud, Wilma T., “Guest”, White, Female, 18, never married, born in Costa Rica, worked 40 hours the previous week, profession file clerk, Insurance company.
Chagud, Sonia “Guest”, White Female, 15, never married, born in Costa Rica.
Interestingly, “Guest No. 3” was a Hollywood film actress and watercolor artist, Ms. Goodee Montgomery. She was active in the 1930s. Goodee was married to American film and television director, Frank Burgess McDonald, who directed over 100 films, mostly Westerns starring film legends, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.
Actress, painter, and author Goodee Montgomery
Goodee Montgomery (American actress and artist, Dr. Hodel “guest” at 5121 Franklin Ave in April 1950 census
Goodee Montgomery IMDB HERE.
Goodee’s husband, famed film director, Frank McDonald
Frank McDonald’s IMBD HERE. (147 films)
I would like to here include “Charles D’s” further observations due to the fact that they add additional valuable thoughts and insights re. GHH’s listing of himself on the 1950 Census as “Surgeon.” I quote him verbatim, with minor editing to respect his privacy:
What is interesting to me is there are several neighbors who are also doctors who describe themselves as ” Physician Medical Doctor” on the same page, so this wasn’t the census taker inserting their prefered term.
The hand wringing over the term “Surgeon” is specious at best–a great example of presentism as they say in the history profession.
The term “Physician and Surgeon” is still used in the California Business and Professions Code and MDs are still given a “Physicians and Surgeons license”. More importantly, most people today have no idea how medicine was practiced in the era before antibiotics. Remember people with mastoid scars? You don’t see them anymore, and most people have never seen them, because of antibiotics.
As you demonstrated through your dad’s UCSF transcripts, everyone who attended medical school in the first half of the 20th century had way more surgical training than in the last 40 years because even family doctors were doing way, way more cutting. This changed when minor ailments could be treated with antibiotics instead of being drained or excised.
Also, medical specialization was much less formal or rigid than it is now. Doctors could change specialties much more easily (like your dad moving to psych) than they can today. Modern practice requires that you complete a residency and then pass boards for a specialty. In the early 20th century these things were more fluid. A good example of this was Dr. Sam Sheppard, who was doing neurosurgery at the family hospital in the 1950s with training that today might qualify a doctor to be a general surgeon.
Thanks again to “Charles D” for his in-depth comments and observations.
Dr. George Hill Hodel at 5121 Franklin Ave, 1950 at the time Census was taken
Steve, our HEALING CIRCLE sends you a cleansing, centering breath and powerful VIBRATIONS for ancestral healing. Ancestral healing heals the wounds of our forefathers and foremothers. Ancestral HEALING links us to our chain of ancestors. You have the power to heal yourself and create a lineage of love on this planet!
Very, very scary and sad…….that’s the way I see this “guest” list! The women of varying ages could be performing various “duties” for their host, Dr. Hodel. GHH in turn provides a roof over their heads and perhaps, along with some health care, the opportunities to “socialize” with his close male friends…….be they doctors, lawyers, cops etc.!😓 The list reads to me as women alone and emotionally isolated. So this is the bachelor lifestyle of divorced Dr. George Hodel in 1950 and ……..where was his ex-wife, children? Where were his three sons at this time…….. in MacLaren Hall? Not a pretty story, Steve! And unfortunately Law Enforcement in Los Angeles, San Francisco, & cities all along that Pacific coast pathetically let it happen!😡🌵
Yeh. I see it more as all about “the money”. He’s blown his wad on having Jerry Giesler defend him at the Jury trial and paint Tamar with a “pathological liar” brush, which worked. The jury swallowed the BS bait hook, line, and sinker. He is renting the rooms out to the girls at $50 each and on the Bugging tapes he makes calls trying to get a roommate for the older 22-year-old girl. After just going through the trial for incest with his 14-year-old daughter, he’s not about to risk anything with the 15-year-old teen at the house.
We are at Santa Monica pier until mom moves us back in the summer and sends the August 4th telegram to John Huston at MGM saying, “YOUR HUNCH ABOUT GEORGE TRUE. CAN YOU GET ME AND THE CHILDREN OUT OF HIS HOUSE TODAY IF POSSIBLE?” (Apparently, he did so, and we are out of there for two weeks.) But, then mom’s letter to John on Aug 23, 1950, indicates we are back at the Franklin House. She writes to him, “Back at George’s after two weeks. Nothing to eat. Nowhere to go. Acutely dangerous for the children to be here… and goes on to detail the psychological and physical dangers we are all in from George’s mental state. Going to do a followup on the “guests” and the DA bugging tape mentions.
As I said in past, I stayed on the Santa Monica pier for 3-4 days as my parents & I drove home from Las Vegas in my early teens from a synchronized swimming event I & team from Crystal Plunge, SF performed at the Flamingo Hotel. With 3 active boys in rather small confines (we had 1 double bed & a couch….my bed) can imagine your mom was exhausted & cold…..you are right on top of the water! Thank god for John Huston! Credit good genes & brains for you & brothers turning out so well, Steve! The George Hodel life is truly a tragedy and points (IMO) directly to the sexual abuse suffered by your father within his family as a young boy & teen. And to add, while I know there is no existing proof, do not discount his connection to Father Heslin😔. Truly overwhelming for this young boy and his feelings of hatred & revenge for his predators was heightened by a hefty intelligence & good looks…..he never had a chance to pull out of the mess his predators laid before him! We are pulling out of a cold spell here…..5 days of freezing nites….and see where you are having quite a bit of snow!! The 3 mass shootings these past days in CA……Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay and Beverly Hills plus the Memphis beating and as we see the Paul Pelosi attack is all mentally overwhelming………PARADISE LOST😨🌵
Hi Steve, I haven’t been on your site for a while and just checking in to catch up on the latest. Is this scenario you’re describing with you mom’s correspondence written in more detail in one of your recent books? I’ve bought your most recent but haven’t read it yet.
Hi Kimberly. Yes, the correspondences can be found in “Black Dahlia Avenger II (2014 revised ed.) in Chapter 8, “The Huston Letters”. In that chapter, I reproduce in full a dozen letters that mother wrote to John which I found in the Huston File at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills.
All Best, Steve