Debunking “Black Dahlia Theorists” Claims That Dr. George Hill Hodel “Had a Heart Condition So Severe That It Eliminated Him From Being Able to Commit Serial Murders”

October 23, 2023
Birch Bay, Washington
Recently several Black Dahlia “theorists” and longtime naysayers raised the issue of my father’s financial and health conditions in the mid-1940s. They claimed that Dr. George Hill Hodel “was in financial straights and was not wealthy” and refer readers to my posted UNRRA application to document he had a “heart condition” that left him incapable of committing any serial assaults and crimes, thus eliminating him as the “Black Dahlia Avenger.”
These claims are false and once again, let me set the record straight.
First as to his financial condition in the mid-1940s. On his 1945 application he provides and claims his annual income from his private practice is-“$21,000.”  That translates in 2023 dollars to an annual salary of approximately $340,000. (Hardly what one would consider “financial straights”) SKH Note- While it is true that George Hodel spent money as fast as he earned it, always living an upscale lifestyle, traveling First Class, staying at the finest hotels and eating at the best restaurants, however, his was never a lifestyle of “the rich and famous.”

As to his health and “heart condition.” Question 13 on his UNRRA application asks, “Have you any physical disabilities or defects?”  GHH replies in section #31 below:

“…The condition is not incapacitating.”
“In the spring of 1943 I passed my physical examination for reserve commission in the U.S. Public Health Service.”
G. Hill Hodel M.D.

George Hodel was accepted into UNRRA and assigned to Hankow, China in February 1946. He was given the title of Chief Regional Medical Officer along with the honorary title of “Lt. General” and provided a jeep, a driver, a staff assistant and a personal cook. He describes his extremely active seven-month UNRRA tour-of-duty in “The China Letter.”

The truth of it as relates to my father’s physical health is that in the following years and decades he would go on to live the lifestyle of ten men. After leaving Los Angeles to avoid prosecution in 1950 to my knowledge my father was never hospitalized until late in life (in his late Eighties/early Nineties when his heart condition did eventually become severe.) From his UNRRA years he would go on to engage in multiple affairs with women,  marry twice more and father four more children. He led an extremely active lifestyle and traveled the world (he became a “million miler” flight airline passenger thrice over, hardly an achievement for one who supposedly suffered from a “heart condition.” ) He opened and oversaw a dozen Market Research offices throughout Asia for the next forty-years. The fact is, few men could have kept up with the active life George Hodel lived for the first seventy-years of his life.


  1. Luigi Warren on October 23, 2023 at 8:11 pm


    Pretty absurd that you would even have to spell this out. Oh well…



    • Steve Hodel on October 23, 2023 at 8:32 pm

      Agreed. Pathetic. It came from “the usual sources” and was going to ignore it, but then decided WTF, might as well step on it before it tries to “get halfway around the world.” skh

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