2003 LAPD “Black Dahlia” Briefing – Attending Cold Case Detectives Remain Frigid- Head Deputy DA and Chief of Detectives say, “It’s Solved!”

April 11, 2023
Birch Bay, Washington
A decade prior to my father’s death, after retiring from Hollywood Homicide, in 1986, I obtained my California State Private Investigators license and began conducting criminal defense investigations in Los Angeles.  After three years I then moved my family (wife and two young sons)  to Bellingham, Washington in the Pacific Northwest.
In Bellingham (Whatcom County) I obtained a WA State P.I. license and remained active in criminal defense investigations. I served as a court-appointed defense investigator for  Whatcom County as well as local private attorneys.
In 1992 I received a telephone call from Los Angeles Attorney Gerson Horn, who was considered one to the top defense attorneys in Los Angeles and whom I had worked for prior to moving to Bellingham, WA.

LA Attorney Gerson Horn
Gerson wanted me to “come down for a few months to help him on a murder case.” He was representing Yoshikuni Okubo, a Japanese businessman, who had been accused along with Miura (Miura was not represented by attorney Horn) of the 1981 murder of Miura’s wife, Kazumi Miura, age 28.

Above 1981 photo showing Miura allegedly wounded in a “street robbery” while his wife, Kazumi (photo left)
remained ‘critical’ and comatose and after being air-evacuated back to Japan, would later die from her head wound.
Facts would later indicate her husband likely committed the “murder for hire” for insurance purposes.
Absent a “shooter” LAPD Cold Case detectives focused on Miura’s “business partner” Yoshikuni Okubo.
Detectives attempted to get a felony filing and warrant on Okubo in Los Angeles, but “the evidence” linking him to the crime was so thin and absent that the local LADA’s office rejected any complaint against Okubo.
Consequently, when Okubo returned to Japan authorities there charged him as an “accomplice” and he was jailed in Japan with “no bail” in 1988. (The conviction rate in Japan is “99.7%” so basically our legal system of “presumed innocent” is non-existent in Japan.  It would appear that in Japan, if you are arrested/you’re GUILTY.
When attorney Gerson Horn contacted me, in 1992, Okubo had been incarcerated in prison for four years while ‘awaiting trial.”
My defense investigation on behalf of Okibo required I temporarily return to Los Angeles and ultimately, I was able to PROVE OKUBO’S INNOCENCE, which resulted in the Japanese tribunal ordering his release from custody and his return to his family and young children in Osaka, Japan.
The assigned Cold Case detectives (Jackson, Lambkin, and Carr) were obviously not happy with the fact I had established that their “alleged accomplice Okubo” was innocent and not the shooter, which resulted in his release from custody.
The Miura/Okubo investigation by LAPD had been deemed “The Los Angeles Suspicions Case” by the Japanese newspapers and was headline news both in Tokyo and Los Angeles for years. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on scores of investigators from LAPD and Tokyo 5-0 flying back and forth and conducting “crime scene reenactments” in DTLA. The investigation by them continued for nearly three decades and ultimately resulted in the arrest and extradition of MIURA to Los Angeles where on October 10, 2008*.   Miura allegedly hung himself while in LAPD custody prior to his trial in Los Angeles. (An independent pathologist hired by the defense attorney stated the evidence showed Miura was murdered while in jail, the LA County coroner ruled the cause of death was suicide.)
Kazuyoshi Miura Wikipedia Summary HERE. 
*October 10, is the birthdate of Dr. George Hill Hodel. (File under, “you can’t make this shi* up.”) In the early/mid-2000s my father was “fascinated” by my ongoing investigation into  the Okubo/Miura case and wanted me to write a book about it called, “Murder Across the Pacific.” (His title, not mine.)  Miura was born in 1947, the year Dr. George Hodel murdered Elizabeth Short. His birthdate was July 27, just two days before that of victim Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short.)
Imagine their thoughts a decade later when these same detectives were confronted with my “solving of the Black Dahlia Murder” and being ordered by “the brass’ to attend my and Head DDA Steve Kay’s “briefing” at Parker Center in 2003.
There can be no doubt that these three detectives were angry and hostile and viewed me just as the fictional character, Det. III Harry Bosch.  In their minds, Detective III Hodel, as a criminal defense investigator,  had “gone to the dark side.”




RICK JACKSON (now ret.)
Assigned to the Cold Case Unit. Worked on the “Miura/Okubo” unsolved murder.
“LAPD detective in Miura probe a cold case expert”
(The Japan Times newspaper photo)
BRIAN CARR-Cold Case Detective (now retired)
DAVID LAMBKIN Cold Case Unit Supervisor (now retired)
 COMMANDER JIM TATREAU (retired and deceased. See obit below)
(Former Capt. Robb/Homicide Div. Established Cold Case Unit 2001)



A White Hat.  One of the good guys- Commander Jim Tatreau.
SKH Note- After the presentation of the briefing by myself and Head DDA Kay,  Cmdr. Tatreau, who just a year earlier was Captain of the LAPDs Robbery/Homicide Division, compliment us and felt the evidence was strongly compelling and looked forward to the follow-up by the Cold Case Unit, which he had established just a few years earlier. (Sadly, the ‘follow-up” by Brian Carr never happened.)

lapd tatreau obit 2007

LAPD/Japan 500 1991 Crime Scene Recreation in DTLA
(LA Times January 1213, 1991)

Det. Rick Jackson extradited Miura in 2008 from Saipan and booked him in custody at LAPD  where just 12 hours later Miura was found dead hanging from his neck in his jail cell.  Mark Geragos, a lawyer for Miura, said, ” his client did not commit suicide. He said a pathologist he hired found evidence indicating Miura was beaten and choked. He said the pathologist concluded the marks on Miura’s neck could NOT have been caused by a self-indicated hanging.” Defense pathologist claimed it was a “homicide”
LA Coroner ruled it a “suicide”.

Miura was found dead in his cell 12 hours after arrival from Saipan.


  1. Luigi Warren on April 12, 2023 at 2:11 am


    Pretty wild that GHH wanted to get you into the “true crime” writing business (in the 1990s I assume, rather than the 2000s!) I suppose that would have been the cherry on the cake for the puppet master.



    • Steve Hodel on April 12, 2023 at 10:26 am

      Actually, it was MY IDEA to write up the investigation in book form once the results were finally in and Okubo was a free man. In the mid-Nineties, June assisted in helping translate a book written and published in Japan. A fictional “novel” based on the Miura/Okubo investigation. I thought it would be of service to present the public with the truth and lay out the actual evidence proving Okubo’s innocence. That is when Dad jumped in with the insistence that I name it, “Murder Across the Pacific.’ It would be another five years, until his death in 1999 before I had my first “clew” and began the BDA investigation. (Obviously, with HIS “murder across the pacific” (Lucila Lalu, Manila 1967) have to wonder if that was his impetus for insisting I name it so? In the end, out of respect for Okubo and his need for privacy, I decided not to write the book and obviously, got caught in the multiple rabbit holes that would become the separate eight true crime books.

  2. Luigi Warren on April 12, 2023 at 11:30 am


    Given his “in and out” modus, would not “Murder Across the Pacific” be the perfect title for a book about George Hodel, Zodiac Killer?


  3. Patricia ONeill on April 12, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    Steve: Statement by Brian Carr, LAPD Cold Case Detective again says it all! “I don’t have time to prove or disprove what he (Hodel) is saying…….” ! You don’t have time, Detective Carr, for solving a long time cold case which undoubtedly could lead to the solving of multiple murders in CA and other areas frequented by GHH!? Add to that the description of Detective 111 Hodel’s investigation of the Miura/Okubo case by Cold Case detectives Jackson,Lambkin & Carr as Detective Hodel “going to the ‘dark side’ “! And there you have the bold big flaw in, no doubt, many police departments! Stating that you had gone to the dark side…..WHOA! Not only is that a very frightening sentence for any police department member to hear it also demonstrates how low that department will go to hide its own responsibilities in the LE community! Accusing a police department member of crossing the THIN BLUE LINE is truly an emotional death knell for that police department member😔! And throughout your writings these many years, Steve, I have seen the ignoring of facts & truths by LE. Quoting your line about Brian Carr: “Sadly that ‘follow up’ never happened”…….as an example and referenced in your paragraph in “A White Hat”. Yes, and sadly a too common occurrence in my memories with my father & uncles police careers! Far reaching effects not only on the men but their families😔. So take pride in the fact that the “powers that be” couldn’t stop Steve Hodel from outing the facts & stating truths……JOB WELL DONE!!👍

    • Steve Hodel on April 12, 2023 at 5:43 pm

      Patricia O:
      Thanks for your longtime ongoing support of my investigations. Much appreciated.
      To be clear, “the boys” (Carr, Lambkin, and Rick Jackson) didn’t actually SAY “he’s gone to the Dark Side” but I’m sure that’s what they thought in their minds. Sadly, it’s been my experience that about 90% of sworn police view both defense attorneys and their investigators as “the enemy”. They assume that anyone arrested “is guilty as charged.” The “LA Suspicions Miura/Okugo Case” got as much publicity and front-page coverage in Japan as the OJ case did here in the U.S. When I first started working defense investigations it was a real eye-opener for me. I assumed all cops or at least most “followed the rules” and lawful procedures. Well, boy was I in for an awakening. Now, in thinking about the fact that so many on LAPD were out to get Miura for his horrific murder for hire of his wife, Kazumi, and how much expense and hatred had been built up over the decades, I have to wonder about his immediate “suicide” after being extradited and in LAPD Jail custody for just a day or two. Coupled with the defense attorney’s pathologist saying, “It was a homicide.” That’s a strong statement and had to have been backed up with some powerful evidence which of course, I’m sure was never pursued by our Department’s Internal Affairs Division.

  4. Luigi Warren on April 13, 2023 at 10:36 am

    Minor point of interest: John Huston made a movie called ACROSS THE PACIFIC in 1942. It concerns espionage activities during the runup to the raid on Pearl Harbor. Victor Sen Yung, Charlie’s “number two son” in CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND, plays a “nice guy” who is not what he seems.


    • Steve Hodel on April 13, 2023 at 12:04 pm

      Yes, I recall seeing the movie years ago. (Have seen all things “Bogie’- not to be missed.) And, get this, going back to GHH’s “Early Years” there was a movie called “Across the Pacific” (1926) written by a new guy called, Darryl F. Zanuck and starring Monte Blue and Myrna Loy that was to quote IMDB: “Following the Spanish-American War, a soldier is given the assignment of finding the leader of a band of rebels in the PHILLIPINES. Knowing GHH as his being a cinephile, I’m sure he would have seen this back then and according to my count he already had FOUR MURDERS under his belt by then. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0016575/?ref_=fn_al_tt_5

  5. George A on April 16, 2023 at 9:42 am

    Detective Hodel
    Sir, do you think your father was the killer?
    George A

    • Steve Hodel on April 16, 2023 at 10:24 am

      George A:
      The evidence takes us to “beyond any reasonable doubt” he was the serial killer. YES.

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