1949 LAPD Paid Police Informant Glenn Martin Letter Confirms Dr. George Hodel As Killer of Black Dahlia and LA Lone Woman Victim Louise Springer: Lead Dahlia Detective Harry Hansen Assigned to 1949 Springer Murder Suggests to Press ” the Two Crimes May Be Connected”

April 24, 2024
Birch Bay, Washington
Police informant Glenn Martin’s letter was never meant to be read. Written by Martin on October 25, 1949, while his acquaintance Dr. George Hodel was on trial for incest (Martin was confident Hodel would be convicted and sent to prison), he wrote the letter to be opened only “In case of Margaret Ellen or Glenna Jeans’ Death” and signed it with his initials WGM. Neither of his daughters was killed, and the letter remained unopened in his personal effects for the next sixty-nine years until it was found by his granddaughter, Sandi Nichols, in 2018.

I reproduced the entire Martin Letter  and detailed its contents in Black Dahlia Avenger III (Rare Bird Books 2018) 
In reading the letter, it becomes clear that Glenn Martin and “G.H.” (George Hodel) were acquainted, and both knew the victim, Louise Springer, prior to her murder in June 1949.  Below are verbatim extracts from the 1949 handwritten letter quoting Martin as implicating Hodel in both the Dahlia and Springer murders and confirming he was released based on his “connections and friendship” with LAPD officers.
Martin Letter Extracts: (My comments/clarification in bold red)
This is what happened. I or we Mother, G.H. & me were eating supper. St. McCawley of L.A. Police Dept (Lt. Kenneth McCauley IAD-Personnel Division) called me & said I have another one night job for you like before. Well you take it”? I said I’ll be down in AM and talk to you about it.” “I had worked on 2 different nights for him. I knew not what job was to be till I was with him & others officers those nights. Then it was to try to see if other officers could be invigled into crime. So, after supper G.H. got a call in which he answered OK. Ray, I’ll be down. Next A.M., I called McCawley (Lt. McCauley IAD) & told him I would not take the job. So he said “O.K. the job was over anyway.
SKH Note: LAPD’s IAD, The Bureau of Internal Affairs, was established on July 22, 1949, just one month after the Louise Springer murder.
The IAD was headed by Inspector William H. Parker (he would be appointed LAPD’s Chief of Police just one year later, in 1950), and Lt. Kenneth McCauley was in charge of operations supervising an eight-man team. I quote from the below article: …”The Bureau of Internal Affairs”–will handle complaints against Los Angeles policemen.”…The Bureau will receive complaints generated from external sources alleging improper conduct by officers.” (This is what Glenn Martin in his letter referred to when he worked under Lt. McCauley “to see if other officers could be inveigled into crime.” (Officers working IAD from its inception were known as “head hunters” and despised and feared by most of the sworn personnel because of their assigned duty to investigate “dirty cops.”)
                                          Citizen News July 23, 1949   CN Sept 3, 1949 

Just one month before George Hodel’s October 1949 arrest for Incest, Lt. McCauley is placed in charge of investigating the “Abortion racket” as well as allegations that LAPD officers were connected with payoffs etc. In 1952 McCauley is promoted and appt  LAPD Captain in charge of University Divison.
Martin Letter extracts continued:

“G.H. was grilled by police on Louise Springer death; he & I both knew her: The investigation officers became G.H. friend so matter dropped He threatened to get even with me. I had nothing to do with it. (the charge)* He bragged while drunk in a salloon. I believe Joe Choate (LA private attorney formerly a prosecuting attorney with the LA DA Office) who Margaret Ellen feared took her to the Hotel (Bizarrely the “hotel” was The Biltmore Hotel where Inspector William “Bill” Parker maintained a suite for IAD interrogation purposes for many years) where the police especially McCawley tried to make her admit that I, her father had committed the much famous Black Dalia. Of course she would not do that, as God & she knows I did not; her face (I believe Martin is referring to recent murder victim Louise Springer to whom both he and George Hodel were acquainted) was beaten so badly, hardly reconizable I have friends in Coroners office who in talking next AM. Let me see the body, as do a lot of those known on jury there, see. I near came sick at sight.

G.H. got credit at “Starr”** 949 S Brdway. On it he says his wife’s name is Ellen. (This further corroborates “GH” is George Hodel as his then full service-live-in housemaid and sexual partner (as verified on 1950 surveillance recordings “George got another headjob from Ellen” was named Ellen.)
I believe Chaote (attorney Joe Choate) Framed this with McCawley (Lt. McCauley) to make M.E. (Mary Ellen?) mistake (or mistate) or accuse another so the real killer would continue free. Choate always knew and was paid off as att. First and then blackmail. Now $$ have stopped & Grand Jury is pressing, Not Grand Jury bribe, but Choate to a Police Officer, ether Jack Donohue (LAPD Captain Donahue, originally in charge of Black Dahlia murder in 1947) or McCawley.(Lt. Kenneth McCauley)
Los Angeles Daily News 
June 16, 1949, Louse Springer Murder
I quote from the below article:
…”Pretty Mrs. Louise Springer, 28, was found strangled to death today in the rear seat of an automobile, which had been abandoned on a side street  about the time she was reported missing Monday night.”
“The face, neck and chest were black with discoloration induced by the agony of strangulation. “The husband was to be spared the ordeal of viewing the remains until tomorrow.”
…”Evidence of sexual abuse and location of the death car, at once suggested to detectives a possible relationship to the unsolved slaying here more than two years ago of Elizabeth Short, the “Black Dahlia.” The Short girl’s bisected body was found in a vacant lot within a few blocks of the place where Mrs. Springer was last seen alive. She, likewise, had been subjected to sexual abuse.

The above photos show Detective Harry Hansen, LAPD Homicide, at the scene on June 16, 1949, and assigned to investigate the Louise Springer murder. (Det. Hansen, along with his partner, Sgt. Finis Brown (brother of Chief of Detectives Thad Brown) was the lead detective on the Elizabeth Short “Black Dahlia” murder in 1947, and statements in this article indicate LAPD thought “that the two crimes might be connected to the same killer.”
We know from additional reports that LAPD detectives conducted a follow-up investigation to San Francisco,  where the victim and her husband had recently relocated after moving their business (hair salon)  to Los Angeles. There were also issues raised as to the questionable paternity of Louise’s young son.
      Los Angeles Daily New
June 16, 1949 (Same paper, as above on the same day
LAPD Lt. McCauley, in addition to attempting to identify doctors in the abortion ring, was also investigating corrupt Vice Squad officers involved in payoffs in the Brenda Allen Scandal 


Summary of the Importance of the Glenn Martin Letter

The Glenn Martin Letter was never intended to be read. It was a father’s “insurance” in case either of his two young daughters, Margret Ellen or Glenna Jeans, came to harm. (It remained hidden and unopened for 68 years.) Martin obviously feared that George Hodel might kill one or both due to the fact that he (Hodel) believed Glenn Martin informed on him, causing Hodel to be picked up and taken in and “grilled” by LAPD detectives from the IAD Division. (Lt. McCauley et al.) Martin then tells us that both he and George Hodel knew the victim, Louise Springer, and named Dr. Hodel as her killer as well as the killer of “The Black Dahlia.” He further corroborates the “GH” by naming his “wife” as “Ellen” George Hodel’s 1949 known housemaid and sexual partner. Martin confirms that George had plenty of “juice” and was “let go” because of friendly detectives who allowed him to go free and attempted to blame his crimes on Martin.  Further, detectives in 1949, as documented in the dailies,  suspected the Elizabeth Short and Louise Springer murders both may have been committed by the “Black Dahlia Avenger.” Detective Harry Hansen was assigned the Springer murder to simultaneously investigate along with his  Black Dahlia investigation.

Update April 28, 2024

Below are articles showing that McCauley was promoted to LAPD Commander and was serving in the Valley in 1971, which means he and I were “on the job” for at least eight years, as I joined LAPD in 1963. We never had contact, but I am confident he was aware that I joined the Department considering the role he played as described above in “the grilling of Dr. George Hodel” in 1949.
Dep. Chief Thad Brown was also still the Chief of Detectives when I joined the Department, so “if walls had ears.” Below are two articles showing Cmdr. McCauley serving in the Valley Divisions in 1971 and his obituary showing he died in December 1993.


  1. Patricia ONeill on April 25, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    Steve, here is where the “thin blue line” is brought forth (to those willing to acknowledge it) as a really a thick cadre of officers who know how and when to keep their mouths shut! I’ve seen and witnessed the strength of this loyalty between police and (IMO) it is something “peculiar” to police communities! They are serving to uphold the law and protect but let no one doubt the fierce devotion police hold for their fellow officers! And this is good……..but when exercised to exclude the oath they take as a policeman when dealing with “their own”, then law becomes
    lawlessness😔. It encompasses acts of murder, prostitution, thievery…..you name it when crimes committed are swept under the rug for maintaining the “good name of your city’s PD”! But there remain “the few” who do desire the admiration & fellowship but cannot abide being part of or looking the other way when the law is broken! A very high price is paid to keep the integrity of a police officer’s oath but as I have personally witnessed that price is worth every penny when life can be lived/fulfilled free of guilt knowing you spoke out and spoke the truth with firsthand knowledge of that truth👍! 😨🌵

    • Steve Hodel on April 25, 2024 at 3:27 pm

      Patricia O:
      Yes, You are 100% correct. One of the biggest problems I have found is generational.
      I’d like to think most of today’s officers are on the straight and narrow. With a few exceptions, most
      are honest and professional. Hard for them or the general public to grasp just how corrupt police were back in the 1940s and 50s. I joined LAPD in 1963 as one of the “New Breed”. So, most of the “oldtimers” from the 40s and 50s were about to retire or had been promoted to Commanders and Deputy Chiefs.
      An honest cop, like Sgt. Charles Stoker, who testified to the corruption, was drummed out of the Department on false charges. Sadly, he and honesty were the exception to the rule. To really understand how it was, one needs to put oneself in the shoes of 1940, walk the streets, and live it. They need to be the cop/bagman and get their weekly payoffs in Chinatown, free cigarettes, and a bottle of booze from the liquor store owner. Place the throwaway gun under the victim’s body in the police shootout to make it “a clean shooting.” If the reader goes there and does that, then they can understand ‘how it was’ and recognize that the coverup was for “the good of the Department” and “to protect their fellow officers”. Police actions that today seem impossible to comprehend in 1945 were “No big thing. :Shit happens”.

      • Thia on April 26, 2024 at 4:51 am

        I am completely enthralled by your insight!

        • Steve Hodel on April 26, 2024 at 7:55 am

          Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.

      • Yolie 💎 on April 27, 2024 at 10:13 am

        Kristel (and Boogers the Rescue Cat), Rap’cha and I unite in the Sisterhood of the Sacred WombSpace to send you a cleansing, centering breath and powerful VIBRATIONS for ancestral HEALING! Ancestral HEALING is the ancient practice of connecting to our forefathers and foreMOTHERS to dispel the negative energy of past generations and replace it with purest LOVE 💖💖💖💖 Yes the love of our ancestors!💖💖🙏 How beautiful it is Steve!💖 The message of Ancestral HEALING never grows old. It never ages. It is timeless! Can you feel the river of ancestral HEALING flow! How beautiful!💖💖
        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 always🙏
        Kristel💎 (Thank you for your prayers for Boogers the Rescue Cat who is here!)💎

      • Kris Horton on May 25, 2024 at 1:53 pm

        Ironically, the video game LA Noire covers a lot of this era. You start out as a beat cop, work your way up through homicide, arson, vice. You see the corruption in LAPD. The trailer for the game is below. It might bring back a few memories!


  2. Mike Halasi on April 25, 2024 at 11:40 pm

    Were you, or are you, able to obtain to gain access to the original case reports from these 187’s? I’m an LAPD Historical Society member and am curious how much of the original reports remain and where they are.

    Thank you.


    • Steve Hodel on April 26, 2024 at 7:58 am

      Mike H:
      No, nada from LAPD. Zero cooperation. But, huge amount of details on most of the LA Lone Woman murders from the six dailies from that time period.

  3. Mark Sauer on May 9, 2024 at 10:46 pm

    Hello Steve, I would have guessed that corruption was worse now than at any time in the past. Do you pay any attention to notable cases in more recent times? Elisa Lam for example, or Elaine Park possibly? Just wondered if you had any thoughts. Thanks.

    • Steve Hodel on May 9, 2024 at 11:13 pm

      Mark S:
      No, I haven’t kept up on recent LAPD investigations. I’ve just been caught up in so many investigations in the 1940s, then came the Manila Jigsaw Murder in the Sixties along with the Zodiac crimes, and then way back into “The Early Years” of the 1920s and 1930s. So, I have no time for anything current.
      You may well be right. The idealistic part of me would like to think things improved as we entered the new century, but???? Though if Michael Connelly’s fictional depiction of current conditions ala BOSCH holds any truth, then he certainly does show the “political” and “image protection” strategies along with the occasional “bad cop.” Best, Steve

      • George Ervin Hrabovsky on May 30, 2024 at 9:14 am

        Steve, it seems odd to me that someone so clearly addicted to murder would fail to kill for 15 years in the 50s and the early 60s only to pick it up again in the mid 60s. Especially since his flight exhibited the intense stress he felt, and it is clear from the wire recordings that he couldn’t resist killing even when under scrutiny from the DA investigators, this acting as a kind of stressor. With so much travel is there any way to check on unsolved murders in the places he visited? There should be business records for places he traveled to, unless those were all destroyed. Even so, are there still cutting services that could go back over those years?

        • Steve Hodel on May 30, 2024 at 9:53 am

          George E. H:
          I agree that there have to be numerous murders yet to be discovered or never to be found. So far I have found nothing in Hawaii for those few years he doctored, married and had his first child there. Then on to Manila as his base of operations, we have the Cheri Jo Bates murder in 1966, the Lucila Lalu murder in Manila in 1967 and the additional Zodiac murders in ’68 and ’69. I once saw dad’s passports which were wrapped and bound with rubber bands. They were about 5″ thick which indicated a massive amount of international travel. I’m sure June destroyed them long ago. I’ve presented fifty murders in fifty years starting in 1922. I suspect there were crimes in Europe during his travels to England, France and ?? At this stage about the only way to discover new crimes would be to use his DNA and not seeing any LE agencies willing to enter the data I’ve provided, so???

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