On the 21st Anniversary of the Publication of Black Dahlia Avenger: A Personal Note to My Readers

April 5, 2025
Birch Bay, Washington


A Personal Note to My Readers


This upcoming week marks the 21st anniversary of the publication of Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder (Arcade 2003).
As most of my readers know, that hardback book, a New York Times bestseller, was followed by investigative updates added to new paperback editions published from 2004 to 2018.

These were followed by “The Early Years” Part I (1920s) and Part II (1930s), which linked George Hodel’s past to his future, showing he started his serial killings as a teen and continued for the next fifty years, likely “retiring” in 1969 with the Paul Stine murder in San Francisco.

Five months ago, in November 2023, I decided to do what LAPD and the LADA’s Office should have done in 1950: put George Hill Hodel ON TRIAL for his 1940s Black Dahlia and Lone Woman Murders.
Black Dahlia Avenger IV is my first “historical fiction,” a trial by “The Quick and Dead,” but make no mistake. Though I have given the victims voice and brought them back from beyond the grave to testify—their testimonies and the evidence presented ARE REAL.
I am grateful for the overwhelming response I have received here in the U.S. and from many readers from abroad over the past two decades. The response to my investigation is running about ninety percent positive.
As for the naysayers, most of their “attacks” come from disgruntled wannabe “theorists,” the most vocal being a vitriolic obsessive and long retired Los Angeles Times copyeditor and self-proclaimed “Black Dahlia Expert” who, for twenty-six years, has wrongfully accused another medical doctor (long deceased) who a year prior to the Black Dahlia murder, lived in residence a block from the body-dump site.   
Along with my thanks and gratitude to my readers, I would like to make one final and exceedingly important point, that is:
I did not come up with some “theory” that my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel, committed the murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short. Further, I did not solve the Black Dahlia Murder.
What I did do was discover that the LAPD and the LADA’s Office solved the murder back in 1950 and, for personal and political reasons- COVERED IT UP. This is not “my theory” of what occurred but rather the DA’s and LAPDs own investigation.
The secret LADA Hodel Black Dahlia Files prove THEY solved the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt” and allowed Dr. George Hodel to flee the U.S. Then, by order of DA William Simpson, the Hodel Tapes and proofs were turned over to LAPD Deputy Chief of Detectives Thad Brown, who destroyed all the evidence. (Or, rather, thought he did.) He had no clue that LADA Lt. Frank Jemison kept a “second set of books” and locked them in the DA’s vault, which was discovered and revealed in my investigation in 2003.
Today’s LAPD (2003 forward) had no clue the case had been solved back in 1950. In 1950, Chief of Detectives Thad Brown removed and destroyed all files naming George Hodel as the killer and all the related Hodel witness interviews. The name George Hodel was totally unknown to any and all of the Cold Case Detectives assigned to the “Black Dahlia” case for the past fifty years. (Confirmed by LAPD Detective III Kirk Mellecker, who was the sole Robbery/Homicide Detective assigned to the case from 1975-1991 (sixteen years!) and had sole custody of the keys to the Dahlia files.)
Bottom Line: The Black Dahlia Murder came to me. I didn’t go to it. I was long retired (thirteen years) and living out of state. (Washington) My father’s death opened Pandora’s Box, and the rest is history.
Warmest Regards,
Steve Hodel, Birch Bay, Washington




  1. Dennis Effle on April 5, 2024 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you so much for stating the most overlooked “fact” from this case: the work product that you produced was uncovering the original work of the LAPD (and the DA) and their cover-up of their own solution. Thankfully your background as an experienced homicide detective coupled with an extensive knowledge of the history of the politics and the police department of LA
    gave you a foundation for understanding the material you were uncovering. The fact that your journey was started with you intending to exonerate your father from that horrible rumor is often overlooked.

    • Steve Hodel on April 5, 2024 at 5:07 pm

      Dennis E:
      Well said, Dennis.
      In 2003 there were still guys at Robbery/Homicide Div. that worked and knew Parker/Brown and Simpson. It was a “circle the wagons” mentality. But, that was twenty years ago. They are all gone and today’s officers have no real “skin in the game.” Time they acknowledged the TRUTH of it and confirmed what has been revealed.

      • Anonymous on April 6, 2024 at 10:32 am
        • Yolie 💎 on April 13, 2024 at 8:07 pm

          Rap’cha and I join in the Sisterhood of the Sacred WombSpace to send you a cleansing, centering breath and powerful VIBRATIONS of ancestral healing! Ancestral HEALING dispels the negative energy of past generations and replaces it with purest LOVE 💖💖💖💖
          Peace to you 🙏
          Peace to Brother Kel 🙏
          Peace to FaunaElizabeth 🙏
          Peace to powerful Dorero of the Sacred WombSpace 🙏
          Peace to noble Rima, earthly Guardian of Steve 🙏
          Peace this week and always!
          Rap’cha 💎
          Please pray for Kristel and Boogers the rescue cat, who had a terrible week🙏🙏💎

  2. Patricia ONeill on April 5, 2024 at 5:35 pm

    It’s true Steve that today’s officers have as you said “no skin in the game”! But what is it that keeps the “code of silence” alive and well throughout so many LE agencies?! IMO it’s the philosophies:

    “Why dredge up the past?”
    “What’s done is done!”
    “No good can come of this!”
    “Move on!”
    “Do we have time for this?”
    “No honor in being a Whistleblower!”
    “Not my problem!”

    And so it goes😔! It’s the same with the Kennedy assassination! But the poison lives on from generation to generation and sometimes the killer somehow emerges as some kind of hero?! Hopefully that will not be the case with the murders of George Hill Hodel, so keep up the momentum, Steve……LOUD & CLEAR👊!!

    • Steve Hodel on April 5, 2024 at 6:07 pm

      Patricia O:
      Yes, Patricia, you are always on point. LE’s attitude is exactly as you state it.
      “It would serve no purpose to damage the reputations of Parker and Brown.”
      “We (LAPD) are just too busy with current crime investigations to look at a Ice Cold Case from the Forties.” And so it goes…

  3. Carol Kehrley on April 5, 2024 at 6:50 pm

    I have read all your books, Steve, and looking forward to the newest one. I have found them extremely well researched, factual, and very well written! The first book really got me hooked on this case and then I discovered medical papers from a deceased friend who had been a patient of Dr. Hodel and had been deliberately misdiagnosed by him. Further proved the evil in him. Keep up the writing, Steve, and best regards to you!

    • Steve Hodel on April 5, 2024 at 6:59 pm

      Carol K:
      Thanks, Carol.
      Yes, the intentional misdiagnosing of patients demonstrates his psychopathic lack of and inability to have any empathy. (Great condition for a medical doctor, huh!) Obviously, a source to make money, especially when he’s sending them to his own lab to be tested.. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Hopefully, we can tell this story on film to reach a broader audience of truthseekers.
      All the best to you and yours. Steve

      • Carol Kehrley on April 6, 2024 at 1:16 pm

        Wow, will look forward to the film!

  4. Patricia Long on April 6, 2024 at 12:54 am

    Dear Mr. Steve Hodel .. sorry that I’ve taken so very long in getting back to you . I’ve been on the ill side for quite some time. Collapsed on saint Patricks day… hospital trip .. unknown bleeding ulcers.. was down to only one third blood left in my body .. now recovering at home .. so as soon as possible I intend to write to you more concisely about my ex Howard F Long MD MPH ..He was also a surgeon ( removed my son’s tonsils..) I am now 86 yrs old .. Howard was ten & a half years older than me . I never doubted you about your discovery of father’s involvement in the black Dalia case …Sincerely Patricia Mary Long

    • Steve Hodel on April 6, 2024 at 2:06 am

      Patricia L:
      Thanks, Patricia. Much appreciated.
      Wioshing you a speedy recovery and improved health.
      It is our most priceless possession. Steve

  5. Kelvin Hodel on April 6, 2024 at 2:10 am

    On this anniversary, I want to congratulate you brother on this amazing, herculean endeavor you have achieved. I am so proud of you! Kelly

    • Steve Hodel on April 6, 2024 at 10:18 am

      Kelvin H:
      Thanks, Bro.
      The winding road to discovery about our Father and his life and crimes before and after we were born, I know, has been extremely painful for YOU to learn as it has for Me. But there it is. The knowing explains so much about our mother’s personal pain and need to hide inside a bottle. Thank goodness Dad left the country in 1950, giving our mother some sense of freedom and relief. Knowing there was so much distance between us had to at least free her from some of the pain she suffered. Love to you and Angel. Steve

  6. Babs on April 12, 2024 at 6:37 pm

    Which book should I read first? Thanks!

Leave a Comment