October 16, 2023
Birch Bay, Washington
One of George Hodel’s friends who was “in the know” (and apparently even more than that?) was photographer EDMUND TESKE. (His artwork is now prominently displayed in the Getty Museum)
Strange that Edmund Teske and my paths never crossed during the more than three decades we both spent living in the West Hollywood hills of Laurel Canyon and on the streets of Hollywood.
My attention was directed to the surrealist artist/photographer, Edmund Teske some six years after his death and more than a decade into my father’s serial murder investigations.
It was another”happenstance” meeting as documented in Black Dahlia Avenger II (Thoughtprint Press 2014).
On the spur of the moment, I decided to go to a luncheon in DTLA which announced the closing of the historic Clifton’s Restaurant, at 7th & Broadway. I went and met with a small group all of whom, like myself, wanted to honor the memory of the famous eatery that served so many servicemen during the WWII years.
I ordered the “Blue Plate Special”, turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes and while enjoying my meal, was approached by the organizer of the event, Steven Lamb, a residential architect from Altadena.
Steve informed me that he had read my published writings on my investigation and was confident that I had correctly identified the killer (my father) and went on to inform me of his independent confirmations and then related the story of Edmund Teske approaching him in front of the Sowden/Hodel residence back in 1978 while he (Lamb) was taking photographs of the structure. Astounded, I asked Steve Lamb if he could fully document the meeting with Teske in a letter, which he did and which I published in the updated 2014 edition of BDA II.
The only mention of the name Teske that I had ever heard came from the former tenant/roomer, Joe Barrett. In a conversation, I had shown the below set of childhood photos taken in the courtyard of our home, which I informed him I believed were taken by our family photographer, Man Ray. Joe immediately corrected me by saying, “No, those pictures were taken by a photographer named Teske, a friend of your dad’s and Man Ray. I know that because I was there when he took them.”
I never gave it another thought until the name resurfaced a decade later coming from the architect, Steve Lamb at the Clifton’s cafeteria luncheon.
Architect Steven Lamb letter received in 2011:
Edmund Teske was an acquaintance of Aline Barnsdall and resided in Studio B residence in Barnsdall Park just a half-mile and a two-minute drive from the Sowden/Hodel residence. Aline Barnsdall’s residence at the park was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, father of Lloyd Wright who designed the Sowden/Hodel residence at 5121 Franklin Avenue, the actual crime location of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short and other L.A. Lone Woman murder victims.