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© Larry Harnisch 1999-2004

"Black Dahlia Avenger" Update

I plan to respond to Steve Hodel's "Black Dahlia Avenger" once I've had time to read it thoroughly. In the mean time, decide for yourself what you think of his accusations against his father.

It is important, however, to point out that in his April 22, 2003, appearance on ABC's "The View," Hodel did not display either of the purported Elizabeth Short photos from his father's photo album. Instead they cut to a copy of her 1943 mug shot, taken by the Santa Barbara Police Department, as he said in a voiceover: "Yes, that's her," leaving the impression among viewers that this was his father's photo when it is nothing of the sort.

Time elapsed since New Line Cinema bought the rights to "Black Dahlia Avenger."

Years: Days: Hours: Mins: Secs:

Hortensia Starke, Dr. Hodel's ex-wife, responded to "Dahlia Avenger" in a Jan. 14, 2004, letter to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, saying: "I strongly deny any indication that Dr. Hodel was a sadomasochist." Protesting the book's false allegations, she calls Steve Hodel: "A writer of pure fiction."
Read the entire letter here.

One of the main claims in "Dahlia Avenger" (Page 428) is that Dr. George Hodel sent Elizabeth Short a telegram reading "A promise is a promise to a person of the world" in October-December 1945. But as can be seen from this enlarged scan, the telegram is actually dated 1944.

Did George Hodel kill his secretary to keep her from talking about the Black Dahlia case?
That's certainly the implication that is being drawn from a biased reading of the Hodel transcripts. "Dahlia Avenger" gives her name as Ruth Dennis (p. 221). But the answer is no. Why? Because her name was Ruth Frances Spaulding and she died in 1945. Read the Herald-Express article from May 10, 1945.

Read a 1999 message about Dr. George Hodel posted on the alt.true-crime news group by Janice Knowlton, author of "Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer"

Read a 1998 posting to alt.true-crime by Janice Knowlton about George Hodel. It is certainly interesting that Janice Knowlton knew of the Black Dahlia allegations made against George Hodel in 1998 while his son Steve says that he only learned of them after his father's death in 1999. One can only assume he wasn't reading the group.

Read a summary of news stories about Dr. George Hodel

Did Dr. George Hodel really have photos of Elizabeth Short? You be the judge.

Was the mutilation of Elizabeth Short inspired by a Man Ray photograph?

Click here to see a Dahlia Avenger letter.

Click here to see Armand Robles, the victim of the prankster sending Black Dahlia Avenger letters.

Newspaper clippings on Dr George Hodel in *.pdf format (WARNING! this file is 2.7 megabytes)

download the front page of the Los Angeles Herald-Express Jan. 31, 1947, for the original story of the Poison Pen Prankster. WARNING! This is a large file

download the continuation of the Poison Pen Prankster story. WARNING! This is a large file

Click here to search the Los Angeles Public Library database for other Black Dahlia-related photos

e-mail Larry Harnisch