DARK HOUSE-HOUSE BEAUTIFUL PODCAST- PARTII The Sowden/Franklin House-Dr. George Hill Hodel

October 4, 2023
Birch Bay, Washington
Happy Birthday, brother Kelly!
I just finished listening to Part II of Dark House-House Beautiful.  The podcast focuses on the history of the Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. (Lloyd Wright), Sowden/George Hodel “Franklin House” at 5121 Franklin Ave.  It provides the listeners with a sketchy overview/bio of my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel, as well as Hadley Mendelsohn’s attempt to summarize much of the evidence and linkage of George Hodel to the murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short.
Hadley had a difficult (or, more correctly, an impossible task) trying to summarize my now twenty-three-years and eight books investigation into a 90-minute podcast.
To her credit, she gave it “the old Harvard try” and was able to include some of the linkage and get’s an “A” for effort.
That said, it was a bit of a bumpy ride as she had to try and select pieces (juicy morsels) from my investigation, which made the narrative a bit disjointed, and because of the time restraints, she wound up only telling half the story. (Consequently, creating occasional half-truths.)
I am not going to go into the omissions or attempt to make corrections to or explanations for some of the half-truths.
However, I will make one important addition here that, for some reason, the show omitted. That was the confirmation by law enforcement that “the case was solved,” and the killer was named by the top cops of that day and identified as Dr. George Hill Hodel.

For those unfamiliar with my books and investigation, I do recommend listening to Part II, Alyssa Fiorentino and Hadley Mendelsohn’s podcast which has just gone live today. See the link below.
BLACK DAHLIA PART 2: The John Sowden House (Los Angeles, CA)
Link to the 90-minute podcast HERE.



  1. Luigi Warren on October 5, 2023 at 4:58 pm


    Off-topic, but I wanted to pass along observations from a recent deep dive into the Mimi Boomhower case.

    1. It’s striking to me that Mimi Boomhower had been a serious big game hunter. Her Bel-Air home contained one of the world’s largest collections of wild game trophies (a bull elephant, lions, tigers, etc.), which she had amassed on safaris with her late husband. Her gentleman caller and presumptive killer probably knew this about her going in –- under financial stress, she was trying to sell both the mansion and the trophy collection. Her exploits as a huntress would have been well known in society circles and had received press coverage (e.g., SF Examiner, 2/15/30). In any case, it seems her killer got a grand tour of the mansion before spiriting her away, and the big game hunter aspect of her background got plenty of press, with photos, after her disappearance. In that light, it seems to me that the July 1969 z408 cipher contains a strong hint about this August 1949 crime, just as the November 1966 Bates Confession letter has a strong hint linking the author to the January 1947 Black Dahlia murder.

    2. Whoever the gentleman caller was, he must have had a pretty slick “line” to talk his way into the mansion and keep Boomhower from disclosing his name to her friends, realtor, or business manager. Whatever they were to discuss, Mimi thought it could “change the whole picture.” The press variously described Boomhower as French, as born in France, or as having a French accent. In fact, she was born in New York, the daughter of a physician who immigrated from Bohemia. I can only guess she might have been educated in France — I do see that she had a brother who moved to Paris. Of note, one of the exonerated suspects in the case, Van Nuys businessman Frank Carre, was a French immigrant. He was alleged to have conned Boomhower into backing a Mexican goods import venture. Given GHH’s own “French connection,” there might be he hint there as to how he talked himself into her good graces.

    Best regards,


  2. Steve Hodel on October 5, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    Yes. Agreed.
    Also the connection to “Tom Evans”, Cornero’s and GHH’s thug friendly was suspicious. When picked up and taken in by LAPD he denied knowing her but may have been more to it than that? And the “secretly married” thing was strange too. May have been nothing to it, but??

    • Luigi Warren on October 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm


      I tend to think the Tom Evans thing was just GHH planting a fake clew as busywork for the blue meanies to run all over town with. Obviously, the anonymous tipster did see Evans at the Roosevelt Hotel and recognized him, because Evans admitted to that part of the story.

      More notes to save time for anyone revisiting this:

      1. Here are a few minor points of interest on Frank (Franck) Henri Carre (1908-1977) which took me a while to piece together. His age as given by newspapers is several years on the low side (also true for Mrs. Boomhower and her late husband.) He immigrated from France with his parents in 1913. Carre’s LA attorney was S. S. “Sammy” Hahn (a very popular attorney.) He seems to have been a small-time wheeler-dealer businessman, and also a trainer of polo horses. I’ve seen nothing to indicate Boomhower was interested in equestrianism, although likely she knew society people who were. Oddly, Carre’s profession is given as investigator/detective on a 1940 census. Moved out to California (Van Nuys, later Resada) from Palm Beach, FL in the mid-forties after a messy divorce. My guess is the informant’s story about a sketchy business connection to Mimi was at least partially true, although that is not confirmed.

      2. One correction to your summary of the case in BDA — it seems the purse didn’t show up at the Beverly Hills Ralphs until immediately after the story broke, almost a week after the disappearance. Makes it less clearcut that it was a “fake clew,” although I think that is still very likely. Several stories mention that the torn half of a dollar bill was in the purse — maybe the idea was to hint that an authenticated ransom demand might follow?

      3. A third named suspect was one Hyman Bernstein, a Russian-born “four flusher” who posed as a Spanish count/millionaire rancher/FBI man (the usual, IOW) and robbed rich old ladies of money and jewels. I see he wound up in prison but evidently they couldn’t link him to the case. Perhaps unsurprising, given the theatrical, staged aspect of the planted purse.

      4. Another slightly weird angle — a 1941 British mystery novel entitled “She Vanished into Air” by Ethel Lina White (best known for “The Lady Vanishes”) was reportedly found on a table near Boomhower’s bed. Could be a coincidence or even a journalistic invention, although I doubt the latter.

      5. Mimi’s sister flew out from the East to take part in the investigation. Slightly reminiscent of what happened in the Donna Lass disappearance — which possibly prompted GHH to needle Donna’s sister with the “St. Donna & Guardian of the Pines” card.

      6. Comparisons to the Gladys Kern murder of Valentine’s Day, 1948 and references to rumors of a link to the Black Dahlia among police investigators come up quite a bit in coverage. I note that the Gladys Kern coverage trailed off after a couple of weeks with stories focused on three non-fatal attacks on realtors by a man with a hunting knife in Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Long Beach. The Redondo Beach case happened a week before the Kern murder, the other two afterwards. I cannot tell if they ever caught the guy, but it is interesting that this line was not revived for the Boomhower case – that might suggest it was dead-end. The LA Times’ coverage of Kern seems to imply that there was some publicity given to the Redondo Beach incident, so I wonder if this was something GHH saw in a local beach paper and used as raw material for his Los Feliz fantasy. By analogy, it has been shown that there was a recent Deer Lodge prison break story covered in Montana and Washington papers which probably got folded into Zodiac’s Lake Berryessa role-playing fantasy.

      7. Although I saw at least one story that says the Boomhowers lived in San Francisco in the 1930s, on further inquiry it looks like they made their home in Monterey/Pebble Beach. However, GHH could easily have seen the SF Examiner story about Mimi’s big game hunting exploits in 1930 and filed it away in his photographic memory.

      8. Several stories mention a lead involving a reported attempt to sell Boomhower’s personal jewelry after her disappearance. This was ultimately debunked.

  3. Yolie💎 on October 7, 2023 at 9:56 am

    Oh Steve!
    Kristel, Rap’cha and I join in the Healing CIRCLE of the Sacred WombSpace to send to you a cleansing, centering breath and powerful VIBRATIONS for ancestral healing! Ancestral healing is an ancient practice that HEALS the wounds of past generations. Ancestral healing connects us to our foreFathers and ForeMOTHERS to dispel the negative energy of past generations and replace it with purest LOVE. The message of Ancestral HEALING is timeless. It is ageless. It never grows old. Never!
    Peace to you, Steve!
    Peace to Brother Kel! 🎂
    Peace to FaunaElizabeth!
    Peace to powerful Dorero of the Sacred WombSpace!
    Peace to noble Rima, earthly Guardian of Steve!
    Peace always!
    Rap’cha 💎💎💎
    Come Back to Whittier!

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