Man Ray and Juliet Browner and Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning Have Double Wedding in October 1946 and Rays Take Trip To Paris in 1947 Just Months After Black Dahlia Murder

February 8, 2023
Birch Bay, Washington
Man Ray and Juliet Browner (top) and Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning (bottom)
celebrate October 25, 1946, double marriages in Beverly Hills, California.
The photo was taken on that date by famed portrait photographer Florence Homolka 
Los Angeles records show they were married on October 23, 1946.

Critics of my investigation have claimed for decades that Man Ray did not leave Los Angeles until 1951, some four years after the brutal murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short that occurred on January 15, 1947.
Recent documented records prove otherwise. While I have yet to discover their actual departure date from Los Angeles, travel records show that Man Ray and Juliet returned from Paris, France via TWA Flight 84717 arriving in New York on  September 17, 1947.  (Making an educated guess I would estimate the Rays left LA sometime in June 1947, likely for the expressed purpose of attending their good friend Marcel Duchamp’s “Le Surrealisme en 1947 Exhibition’ in Paris, France which was on display in July-August 1947. See below for further details.)

(Graphic by author Robert Sadler)

On January 15, 1947, LAPD detectives responded to the “dump site” (not actual original crime scene) and photographed the victim’s posed and tortured body, bisected at the waist. The right breast had been surgically removed and was not recovered at the location and its whereabouts was never discovered.
As detailed in Black Dahlia Avenger I, II, and III strong linkage and evidence that the crime was committed by Dr. George Hodel.  Further,  that these close friends Man Ray, Juliet Man Ray, William Copely, and most probably Marcel Duchamp all KNEW of the crime and that their friend, Dr. Hodel committed it as his ultimate “surreal masterpiece.”
A few months after the January 1947  “Black Dahlia” occurred Marcel Duchamp created his “Please Touch” art object, (a surgically bisected woman’s breast) and it became the cover piece for his exhibition in Paris in July/August of the same year.

Marcel Duchamp and Enrico Donati – Priere de toucher (Please Touch)
Paris Exhibition July-August 1947

Victim Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short

Coroner’s Office                                       Crime scene, Los Angeles
The 2023 asking price is $50,000 for the original 1947 publication with foam breast on the cover.
The volume includes contributions by: Dorothea Tanning, Max Ernst, and Henry Miller (all personal friends/acquaintances of Dr. George Hill Hodel)

This new documentation clearly shows that Man Ray and his new wife, Juliet traveled to Paris, France in the weeks or months preceding his good friend Marcel Duchamp’s exhibition and returned shortly after the exhibition closed in August 1947.  Included in the Duchamp exhibition were artworks created by both Dorothea Tanning and her new husband, Max Ernst. While it would seem likely that they also traveled to Paris to view the exhibit, documentation has yet to be found confirming my suspicions.
Author’s Note-
To be clear, I am not suggesting that Duchamp’s “Please Touch” was inspired by Dr. George Hill Hodel’s butchery of Elizabeth Short’s body in January 1947, quite the contrary. I am suggesting just the reverse–the possibility that GHH possibly through his good friend Man Ray was privileged to see Duchamp’s “work in progress” in the months preceding the murder and like the other preexisting surrealist artworks, included it as part of his own macabre surreal masterpiece, just six months before it was on display in Paris, France.
Additionally, documentation shows that artist Marcel Duchamp departed from France on the passenger ship, S.S. Washington on January 13, 1947 and arrived in New York on January 22nd, so he was “at sea” at the time of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short’s murder, on January 15, 1947.

S.S. Washington

Here is a short bio/obituary on Max Ernst’s death at age 85. Ernst was married four times, including to art collector, Peggy Guggenheim who helped Ernst come to America in 1940. (Same year  that Man Ray arrived in the United States.)



  1. Yolanda Camacho on February 11, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Steve, our Healing CIRCLE sends you a cleansing, centering breath and powerful VIBRATIONS for ancestral healing! Ancestral healing connects us to our forefathers and foreMothers to heal the injuries of the past! At the core of our lineages beneath the layers of conditioning, wounds and trauma, we have hearts of pure crystalline love.

    Peace now and always!
    Yolie 💎

  2. Amber on February 11, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Was the tattoo put inside the body from the incision from the navel through the pubic area

  3. Amber on February 11, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    Did they ever find any type of food In her stomach I wish they would of kept some of the samples from the autopsy and re test them

    • Steve Hodel on February 11, 2023 at 8:39 pm


      No, the piece of flesh cut from the left thigh that contained the rose tattoo was inserted in her vagina.
      Stomach contents contained feces and greenish substance. (I identify this as steer manure and fertilite, which were the large empty sacks used to transport body parts and left by the body at the vacant lot.)

      • Amber on February 12, 2023 at 1:41 am

        Those two marks on her nose are weird what do you think made those marks

        • Amber on February 12, 2023 at 1:48 am

          It seems like the torture was done in the basement because the soles of her feet was stained

          • Steve Hodel on February 12, 2023 at 2:16 am

            No, I believe that extended torture was performed in the center courtyard which was dirt and grass back then. The large swimming pool was only added in 2004 or 5. The marks of the nose are trauma. She was beaten about the head and face.

  4. Laura on February 11, 2023 at 9:55 pm

    I can’t imagine that either Max Ernst nor Dorothea Tanning, who were both such gentle, innocent people by all accounts (and two of my favorite artists) could ever have had any idea of how perverse and criminal Man Ray really was, or for that matter. Since they spent most of their time in Paris or on the Sedona desert and were not known to be big party-hounds, I doubt it.

    It’s so easy to find yourself in the company of people you’d move to another city to escape, but who you like and trust because they share a lot of surface traits with you and they’re fascinating companions, and it’s very upsetting and as you know as well as anyone, it’s very disturbing if not traumatic, to discover that they’re criminal psychopaths. Other surrealists in NY and Paris most likely went to their graves never having the first idea.

  5. Steve Hodel on February 11, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    For the most part, I tend to agree with you. I haven’t done any serious research on Max Ernst, but I’m sure he had his own demons to deal with as suggested in some of his “Week of Kindness” artworks.
    The surrealists like their good friend George Hodel were certainly multifaceted personalities, some much more obvious than others.

    • Laura on February 14, 2023 at 9:02 pm

      I believe that the most traumatic events of Ernst’s life, and surely the ones that haunted him the most and had the greatest influence on his outlook, were the horrors of the first WW1 , and the even greater nightmare of the fascist era and WW2, which also affected his entire generation of artists who, like he himself, not only fought in one or another of these two wars, but experienced the horrors of the totalitarian regimes that dominated Europe at that time in a way that only people living under them could understand.. Ernst never recovered emotionally from what he saw and lived through for nearly 3 decades there.

  6. Nani on March 19, 2023 at 2:43 am

    Hello, sir

    I am a big fan of your research and books. The ins-and-outs of the Hodel story unfold like a thriller, but also in the broader historical context, GHH’s life and connections are of note, and historians should pay heed to your investigations and revise the historical record especially with regards to the Black Dahlia case that I feel you’ve solved entirely.

    Speaking of GHH’s connections and the subject of this blog, i.e. the surrealist artists mentioned therein (and of course John Huston), I think that your work begs a very important question: how organized (in a social sense, as an organization between people) were GHH’s crimes? I must be honest, and not to be an unhinged conspiracy theorist, but it would not surprise me if people within GHH’s social circles (upper crust elite) were involved with the occult, with the extreme fringes of psychic research (hypnotism and mind control) and with perhaps cults and secret societies. Depending on one’s historical orientation, its a known fact that the rich and powerful participate widely in such activities. Someone such as your father, with his wide-ranging intellectual interests and brilliance, would fit the build precisely for the sort of individual to participate as well. One cannot also deny the seeming ritualistic nature of the crimes, and the pervading sense that GHH is protected by powerful, invisible interests who, at least, protect his movements, if not guide him. The coverups, the international business life handed to him as he flees America…

    Such secret societies, or secret associations between people, can operate without a trace through cut-outs, private and public. Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

    • Steve Hodel on March 19, 2023 at 9:10 am

      I totally agree with you and one would think that as you say, based on the rather unique ritualistic nature of the crime signatures, this could well have been the work of a cultist with a number of individuals involved. I have wrestled with this question for decades, wondering if others involved?
      I am forced to weigh GHH’s loner/egotistical persona against what we know in the hours preceding the crime. I now believe that Fred Sexton was very likely present and participated. Was my mother present? (We know that “two men and a woman” were involved in the kidnap just hours earlier. (Certainly George, also Sexton and Dorothy?) I tend to think the three were present based on the earlier 1938 “In The Mesquite” kidnap torture murders of the Fromes (mother and daughter). Were there others present that watched a ritualistic torture/murder? Possible, and likely we will never know for sure at this late stage with all the potential witnesses deceased. I still tend to believe that George Hodel committed his “masterpiece” as his own individual statement to out-surreal his fellow surrealists. “You talk the talk, I alone walk the walk.” Hence their later homage to GHH in their separate artworks. There is also the “Avenger” confession and “Divine Retribution” so he clearly saw his act (as in so many other of his murders) as gaining revenge for some imagined personal wrong, which was usually based on personal rejection by the woman. As we know from “The Early Years” GHH had many horrific torture murders “under his belt” so to speak by 1947. Many of them taunting “catch me if you can” types.
      Playing with the police and press through the Twenties and Thirties. One early crime in imitation of the Leopold and Loeb murder to prove he was smarter than the two “genius murderers”. Consequently, with the exception of Fred Sexton as an accomplice to many of his crimes, I believe George conceived and executed his crimes not as a cultist, or for any organized or psychic group-think, but to establish himself as a Master Criminal–a real-life Moriarty. That’s my personal take for now.

Leave a Comment