Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 6 No Connection

Elizabeth Short contrasted with the unidentified woman found in George Hodel’s photo album. Not at all the same.

Here are six reasons Dr. George Hodel did not kill Elizabeth Short that you will need to know before watching the TNT mini-series “I Am the Night” or listening to the eight-part podcast accompanying the production.

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Saluting Marilyn Thomas — Miss Muscle Beach 1953

Marilyn Thomas
Marilyn Thomas in an undated photo on Muscle Beach.

In 2005, I did a blog post for the 1947project on Miss Muscle Beach of 1947. Back then, only the Los Angeles Times was online, so when I listed the winners, I couldn’t verify who took the title of Miss Muscle Beach 1953. I said: “Not recorded, possibly Marilyn Thomas.”

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

July 24, 2021, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1943 RKO Picture Gildersleeve’s Bad Day, with Harold Peary, Jane Darwell, Nancy Gates, Charles Arnt, Freddie Mercer, Russell Wade, Lillian Randolph, Frank Jenks, Douglas Fowley, Alan Carney, Grant Withers and Richard LeGrand.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights – Sweets for the Jazz Age at Paulais

Paulais 1925
The exterior of Paulais at Hollywood Boulevard and Las Palmas, c. 1925. Courtesy of the University of Southern California Libraries and the California Historical Society.

The 1920s Jazz Age brought high-spirited verve, flamboyance and progressivism in reaction to the haunting death and destruction of World War I. Blending eclectic cultural elements, eye-catching colors, and lavish ornamentation, design of virtually every type reflected the more optimistic and exuberant period.

Dessert shops and cafes combined lavish decoration and sweet treats, appealing to all the senses. Why just buy treats when one could enjoy luxurious and upscale furnishings suggesting plentiful times for everyone? Henry G. Mosler and Saul Magnus’ Hollywood branch of their Paulais Cafe did just that, reflecting the jazz-mad time in its lush and stylish interiors. Two years before the opening of the Pig’N Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard, Paulais brought high-end elegance to dessert just east of the Egyptian Theatre.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

The Leopard Man Main Title
This week’s mystery movie was the 1943 RKO picture The Leopard Man, with Dennis O’Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, James Bell, Margaret Landry, Abner Biberman, Tula Parma and Ben Bard.

Music by Roy Webb. Musical direction by C. Bakaleinikoff. Photography by Robert de Grasse. Art direction by Albert S. D’Agostino and Walter E. Keller. Set decorations by Darrell Silvera and Al Fields…

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Saving a Historic Hollywood Home, Thanks to Alice Harrod

Mission Revival House at 6831 De Longpre Avenue
The home at 6831 De Longpre Ave., via Google Street View, as shown in 2014.

Historic buildings tell as much about people and their eras as they do about architecture and usage. Preserving the actual structure celebrates the past and honors those who inhabited or worked in the building. Historic preservation can entail restoring and preserving in place, maintaining its original use or adapting it for new purposes, or by moving a structure.  Alice A. Harrod preserved what is now 6831 De Longpre Ave. by moving it a few blocks from its original Highland Avenue address, keeping its story alive.

Born March 18, 1858, as Alice Dixon, Harrod grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, with her family, loyal to her church and community. In 1877, she married fellow Waterloo resident Shelton R. Harrod and gave birth to three daughters. Along the way she became a nurse, serving homebound patients. Shelton Harrod raised and purchased horses as well as property, serving one term as tax assessor for their city. He died of cancer in 1893 in Illinois.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)



This week’s mystery movie was the 1943 MGM short “Inflation,” with Edward Arnold, Horace (Stephen) McNally, Esther Williams and Vicky Lane.

Original story by E. Maurice Adler and Julian Harmon. Screenplay by Gene Piller and Michael Simmons.

Photography by Henry Sharp, musical score by Max Terr and David Raksin.

Art direction by Richard Duce, edited by Adrienne Fazan.

Directed by Cyril Endfield.

“Inflation” is not commercially available. It airs on TCM every so often.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Emma Lazarus’ ‘The New Colossus’ Calls to All Immigrants

Jan. 19, 1884, Harper's Weekly
Construction of the Statue of Liberty, artwork by John Durkin, Harper’s Weekly, Jan. 19, 1884.

Note: This is an encore post from 2018.

Written in 1883 to help raise money for building the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty would stand, Emma Lazarus’ 14-line poem “The New Colossus” would take on a life of its own: becoming enshrined on the statue as a memorial to the poet and as a statement of welcome to those seeking refuge in our country. As we approach Independence Day, the meaning behind its words rings even clearer today.

Born July 22, 1849, in New York City as the fourth of seven children to wealthy merchant Moses Lazarus, Emma received a strong private education, learning to speak at least four languages and becoming an excellent writer, especially in poetry. Ralph Waldo Emerson mentored her. She translated works of literature as well as setting down her own odes, many based on romantic literature and others on troubling historic events regarding her fellow Jews, receiving much praise upon their publication. She also worked to alleviate the suffering of women and the poor.

Mary Mallory’s “Living With Grace” is now on sale.

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Black Dahlia: ‘Bosch’ Author Michael Connelly Says Dahlia Case Is Unsolved

Michael Connelly: Black Dahlia Still Unsolved

Former L.A. Times reporter and Valley Edition colleague Michael Connelly, author of the “Bosch” novels and TV series, among many other achievements, talks to Tai Freligh of the Wonderland Murders podcast. Mike ends with the kicker that he considers the Black Dahlia case unsolved. Which is remarkable since Steve Hodel likes to brag that Mike endorses his claims that his father, Dr. George Hodel, killed the Black Dahlia.

I wonder if Steve Hodel will have to recalibrate.

March 7, 2019, LAPD statement on allegations that George Hodel killed the Black Dahlia

Mike’s offhand remark follows the LAPD’s response to the “Today” show in 2019 about allegations in the TV series “I Am the Night” and podcast “Root of Evil” that Dr. George Hodel killed Elizabeth Short.


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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: John George, Small but Powerful Character Actor

Miami Herald, Sept. 28, 1922, John George
A publicity photo of John George in the Miami Herald, Sept. 28, 1922.

Unknown by most classic film fans, character actor John George achieved minor success in moving pictures through sheer determination. Immigrating to the United States in 1912, George spoke little to no English and suffered from a physical deformity. Always seizing an opportunity, he exhibited courage in fitting in, surviving, finding a career, and making a home for himself during a time when Americans denigrated and turned away from those who traveled from the very shores from which they and their families had themselves come.

Born January 20, 1898, in Aleppo, Syria, under either the name Tewfia Fathella or Tufei Fithela, George survived under the Ottoman Empire. Each area ruled itself, with religious enclaves breaking down the population still further. George struggled to fit in, suffering from a physical deformity that led to a hunched back and short height, a little person.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

July 3, 2021, Mystery Photo, Title against a background of clouds

This week’s mystery movie was the 1940 Warner Bros. film “ ’Til We Meet Again,” with Merle Oberon, George Brent, Pat O’Brien, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Binnie Barnes and Frank McHugh.

Screenplay by Warren Duff, from an original story by Robert Lord.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: How Hollywood’s Streets Got Their Names

H.H. Wilcox 1887 tract map of Hollywood
H.H. Wilcox’s 1887 map of Hollywood courtesy of USC digital collections.

Street names provide a telling story of an area’s development, growth, and history. Real estate promoters and developers give tract streets aspirational titles, monikers that salute subjects or places, or as is often the case, name them after themselves, their friends, and family. Early Hollywood pioneers looking to leave a powerful statement of their accomplishments and importance followed suit, giving the roads and streets through their burgeoning land tracts the names of their closest family members. In this way they provide a telling history of those who built a dusty little farming town into a flourishing entertainment and commercial district, one recognized and celebrated around the world.

The following list describes the history of the majority of streets in Hollywood’s original land tracts that surround major thoroughfares like Hollywood, Sunset, and Santa Monica Boulevards, some of which gained their names in late 1912 after the city of Los Angeles changed some of the street names around the metropolis.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

June 26, 2021, In Old Chicago

This week’s mystery movie was the 1938 Twentieth Century-Fox film “In Old Chicago,” with Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Alice Brady, Andy Devine, Brian Donlevy, Phyllis Brooks, Tom Brown, Sidney Blackmer, Berton Churchill, June Storey and Paul Hurst.

Directed by Henry King.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)


This week’s mystery movie was the 1932 Universal picture “The Old Dark House,” with Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Lillian Bond, Ernest Thesiger, Eva Moore, Raymond Massey, Gloria Stuart, John Dudgeon and Brember Wills.

From the novel by J.B. Priestly. Screenplay by Benn W. Levy (additional dialogue R.C. Sherriff).

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Studio City Nightlife

Feb. 10, 1940, Ching Howe


Feb. 10, 1940: Ching Howe is opening in the Valley.

Photo: The 11380 block of Ventura Boulevard. Credit: Google street view.

Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Studio City seemed to blossom into an entertainment-related town after the opening of the Mack Sennett Studios in 1928.  Many of the businesses along Ventura Boulevard catered to performers or were owned by celebrities, especially restaurants and nightclubs.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Sallah Title

This week’s movie was the 1964 Israeli film “Sallah” or “Sallah Shabati,” with Topol, Geula Nuni, Gila Almagor, Albert Cohen, Shraga Friedman, Zaharira Harifai, Shaike Levi, Nathan Meisler, Esther Greenberg and Mordecai Arnon.

“Salah” is available on DVD from TCM.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Fred Hartsook

Child in Sailor Outfit, Hartsook Studio
Photo: Child in sailor suit by Hartsook studios, for sale on EBay. Bidding starts at $74.95.

Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Patience is a prerequisite for being a stills photographer, and it is also important for those who dairy farm. Both require long waiting periods and preparation for that all important moment when the right image is shot or a dairy cow gives milk. Fred Hartsook practiced fortitude and patience as both one of the most important California photographers in the late 1910s and early 1920s and as one of the top Los Angeles area dairy cow farmers of the 1920s.

Hartsook descended from a long line of photographers. His grandfather supposedly created the first photograph mounted on a card in the United States, and his father also successfully practiced the art in the late 1800s. Hartsook entered the business in 1904, with a studio in downtown Los Angeles at 542 S. Broadway.  By 1916, he owned and operated 11 photography studios across the United States.

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ALLIES INVADE FRANCE! JUNE 6, 1944; Complete Radio Coverage

June 7, 1944, D-day

June 7, 1944, D-Day Map

The headline and map by Charles Owens from The Times.

Note: This is an encore post from 2014. Reposting to fix some broken links.

June 6, 1944: Complete radio coverage of the D-Day Invasion. This was pool coverage using correspondents from various news organizations. By 10 a.m., CBS had resumed regular programming with news bulletins, so I’ll only post up to noon. The full day is at

It’s worth noting that German radio was the source for most of the information in the early hours of the invasion. The eyewitness accounts are vivid and it’s worth listening to Quentin Reynolds’ analysis on how the Allies learned from disastrous surprise invasion at Dieppe in 1942.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

June 5, 2021, Main Title Card of The Fighting Sullivans

This week’s mystery movie was the 1944 film “The Sullivans” or “The Fighting Sullivans,” with Anne Baxter, Thomas Mitchell, Selena Royle, Edward Ryan, Trudy Marshall, John Campbell, James Cardwell, John Alvin, George Offerman Jr., Roy Roberts and Ward Bond.

Screenplay by Mary C. McCall Jr. Story by Edward Doherty and Jules Schermer.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Carmel Myers Pioneers TV Talk Shows

Carmel Myers
Carmel Myers in a show from 1951 that featured Jeanette MacDonald.

Long before Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, or Ellen DeGeneres came on the scene, former silent film star Carmel Myers premiered the celebrity talk show with her self-titled “The Carmel Myers Show” in the early 1950s. Following in the footsteps of the “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” Myers allowed nothing to diminish or destroy her, surviving tragedy as well as failure. Reinventing herself several times, Myers pioneered in television as well as consumerism…

Born April 9, 1899, in San Francisco to rabbi and lecturer Isadore Myers, Carmel and her older brother Zion, later a screenwriter, were raised in Los Angeles after the family moved south in the early 1900s. Father Isadore ardently preached Zionism, returning the Jewish disaspora to their original home in the Holy Land, as well as acknowledging that the Talmud gave women equal rights.

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May 31, 1947: Los Angeles Marks First Memorial Day Without a Civil War Veteran at Ceremony

1947_0531_memorial_dayNote: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.

Memorial Day, 1947, was a spectacle marked with a parade from Westwood to the veterans cemetery, services for Spanish-American veterans in Pershing Square and even a tribute at Hollywood Memorial Park to 21 Times employees killed in the 1910 bombing, as well as those who died in World War II (Tommy Treanor, RIP).

The largest gathering was at the Coliseum, where the multitudes sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” recited the Pledge of Allegiance and listened to Ronald Reagan read the Gettysburg Address.

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