to the book description of Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder, “In 1947, California's
infamous Black Dahlia murder inspired the largest manhunt in Los Angeles history. Despite an unprecedented allocation of money
and manpower, police investigators failed to identify the psychopath responsible for the sadistic murder and mutilation of
beautiful twenty-two-year-old Elizabeth Short. Decades later, former LAPD homicide detective-turned-private investigator Steve
Hodel launched his own investigation into the grisly unsolved crime -- and it led him to a shockingly unexpected perpetrator:
Hodel's own father.
reader of Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder said, “Quoting from AP reporter Linda
Deutsch's review of this book as published in Denver's Rocky Mountain News on April 15, 2003: "When District Attorney
Steven Cooley decided recently to release the long-secret files on the [Black Dahlia] case, Steve Hodel's theory gained substance.
His father's photograph was in the file, along with transcripts of electronic surveillance on his home for three weeks in
1950. The reports on onionskin paper that is yellowed make clear that Dr. Hodel was a prime suspect in the investigation of
Short's murder. . . . The transcripts of overheard conversations include a statement in Hodel's voice saying, 'Supposin' I
did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn't prove it now. They can't talk to my secretary anymore because she's dead.'"
may not be conclusive (and may well be to obscure for anyone who has not read the book) but it does prove that Dr. Hodel was
the wealthy and influential Hollywood resident referred to by the grand jury and it proves that the LAPD or the DA's investigators
zeroed in on Dr. Hodel without benefit of the two pictures that may or may not be Short that began the author's investigation.
of course, do not know whether the author's theory is wrong or right. I found this book to be highly entertaining and I think
that it may have lit a fuse that may solve the case once and for all. At the very least, it has caused previously secret files
to be released. I see a film all right, but not an Oliver Stone film, this should be a film by somebody who cares whether
a story is true or false. This theory deserves to be taken seriously.”
said of Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder, “For 56 years, the Black Dahlia murder
case remained one of the most notorious and high-profile unsolved crimes of the 20th century. Now, Steve Hodel, a 24-year
veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, believes he has finally solved the case. On January 15, 1947, 22-year-old Elizabeth
Short—"The Black Dahlia"—was found dead in a vacant lot in Los Angeles, her body horribly mutilated,
bisected at the waist, and posed in a bizarre manner. The horrific crime shocked the country and commanded headlines for months
as the killer taunted the police with notes and phone calls. Despite the massive manhunt, the murderer was never found.
began working on the case after he retired from the LAPD when he chanced upon an intriguing piece of evidence that led him
on trail that he had no choice but to follow since it pertained directly to him. As he dug deeper, he came to believe that
the killer was also responsible for over a dozen other unsolved murders in the Los Angeles area around the same time. He also
found copious evidence of corruption at the LAPD, leading him to accuse the department top brass of covering up the Black
Dahlia murder in order to conceal a deeper conspiracy involving crooked politicians and gangsters.
a lack of physical evidence (which had been destroyed), Hodel is able to connect numerous dots and make a plausible case,
complete with lurid tales of wild orgies that were attended by celebrities such as the artist Man Ray, the director John Huston,
and a host of other Hollywood elites. He also discloses his killer’s obsession with the Marquis de Sade and Jack the
Ripper and how he modeled his own crimes on their behavior. In particular, there is a disturbing connection between the work
of Man Ray and the horrific circumstances of Short’s murder. It is doubtful that this will be the final word on the
Black Dahlia murder—too much myth surrounds it and much of his evidence is circumstantial--but Hodel’s labyrinthine
tale adds much to this intriguing case