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Steve Hodel

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Detective Steve Hodel, LAPD (ret.) “was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He served four years as a medic in the U.S. Navy, and then joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1963. After six years in uniform patrol, he transferred to Hollywood Division Detectives where he worked all of the "tables": Burglary, Robbery, Auto-Theft, Juvenile, Crimes against Persons and was then permanently assigned to the Homicide Detail. During his career at Hollywood Homicide, Steve promoted to Detective II and in 1983 was the senior field homicide detective. During his years of service he received more than 75 commendations and handled over 300 separate murder investigations and had one of the departments highest "solve rates. " Steve promoted to Detective III (the highest attainable rank in detectives) and retired from LAPD in 1986.”  Detective Steve Hodel is the author of Black Dahlia Avenger II: Presenting the Follow-Up Investigation and Further Evidence Linking Dr. George Hill Hodel to Los Angeles's Black Dahlia and other 1940s- LONE WOMAN MURDERS, Black Dahlia Avenger: The True Story, Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel and Thicker' N Thieves: The 1950 Factual Expose of Police Pay-Offs, Graft, Political Corruption and Prostitution In Los Angeles and Hollywood.

According 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.

One 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.'"

This 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.

I, 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.”

Amazon.com 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.

Hodel 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.

Despite 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

Another reader of Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder said, “I knew nothing about The Black Dahlia murder when I picked this book up. I made the mistake of reading the first chapter when I got home, and ended up compelled to read this cover to cover over the next 36 hours. As Hodel peels back the many layers of this tale of mid-century LAPD corruption, Hollywood lust and glamour, personal family drama and serial murder, he balances the explication of rigorous detective and forensic work with a true storyteller's sense of drama. This expose sheds light on the many dark corners of our justice system, the underside of Los Angeles and indeed the human psyche - and makes the stuff of Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy nearly pale by comparison. Like a true crime cross between Silence of the Lambs and L.A. Confidential. Strongly recommend. Be warned however - the material here is gruesome at times, and not for the faint of heart.”

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