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.

Reason No. 6: Dr. George Hodel had no connection to Elizabeth Short.


Reason No 1: George Hodel was never “a prime suspect” in the Black Dahlia case.

Reason No. 2: George Hodel was found not guilty of morals charges.

Reason No. 3: George Hodel was not pals with Man Ray.

Reason No. 4: George Hodel served the poor blacks of Bronzeville.

Reason No. 5: George Hodel had no surgical practice in Los Angeles.

Also: Why George Hodel didn’t kill his secretary.


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

May 31, 1947, L.A. Times

Note: 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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Memorial Day in Los Angeles — 1907

Note: This is an encore post from 2006.

May 31, 1907
Los Angeles

In one Memorial Day observance, Col. James H. Davidson of Pasadena addresses the crowd at Memorial Hall.

He says, in part: “Another decade or two and taps will have sounded and lights will be out for the entire muster roll of Civil War veterans. Let us see who made possible the perpetuity of the Union, who fought its battles and upheld the flag, who filled the ranks, who rushed to the rescue, who died on sea and land that our great nation might survive.

“It was the men behind the guns, the private soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. Their valor, their heroism, their endurance, made possible those brilliant names of generals and admirals that blaze on the pages of our country’s history.”

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Venice Miniature Railway, Tourist Attraction and Realty Estate Promotion

Venice Mini Railway
A postcard showing Venice’s miniature railway, courtesy of Mary Mallory.

Note: This is an encore post from 2015.

In the early 1900s, Los Angeles and environs were booming. Ballyhoo from groups like the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, railroads, the Automobile Club, realtors, and civic groups promoting Southern California as a promised land to Midwesterners and easterners stuck in cold climates drew thousands to the area. Slogans such as “the Land of Sunshine” and “Sunlit Skies of Glory” described the area as a new Eldorado for more than sixty years.

The expansion of streetcar lines by people like Henry Huntington, Eli P. Clark, and M. H. Sherman opened new areas of Los Angeles and environs to possible subdivision for all the new immigrants to the golden land. Real estate promoters rushed to fill these needs with multitudes of housing developments. One of these, New Jersey transplant Abbot Kinney, envisioned an elaborate recreation of romantic Venice, Italy, south of Ocean Park and Santa Monica as both theme park and community, from the Rancho La Ballona land he and partners had purchased.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.

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Movieland Mystery Photo

May 25, 2020, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have a mysterious maid. And as incredible as it may seem, she does not approve of such goings-on.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Knickerbocker Hotel – a Survivor

The Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel in an undated photo from the Security Pacific Collection, housed at the Los Angeles Public Library.

A little run-down today, the Knickerbocker Hotel at 1714 Ivar has survived scandal and notoriety to endure as one of Hollywood’s grand old hotels from the booming 1920s. Beginning life under another name, the Apartment Hotel stood as one of Hollywood’s grandest residences in its heyday.

Though known today as the Knickerbocker, the structure actually started life under the name Security Apartments. After a home was moved from the lot in early 1923, construction began on the project. The Los Angeles Times reported August 29, 1923, that B.E. Harrison and E.A. Powell, managers for the Hollywood-Own-Your-Own Company Inc. announced the day before that architect E.M. Frazier had drawn up plans for the Italian Renaissance-style building, with Richardson Building and Engineering Co. to serve as contractors.

Mary Mallory’s latest book, Living With Grace: Life Lessons from America’s Princess,”  is now on sale.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

May 23, 2020, Swiss Family Robinson
This week’s mystery movie was the 1940 RKO film “Swiss Family Robinson,” with Thomas Mitchell, Edna Best, Freddie Bartholomew, Terry Kilburn, Tim Holt and Baby (Barbara) Bobby Quillan.

Screenplay by Walter Ferris, Gene Towne and Graham Baker, from the novel by Johann David Wyss.

Musical setting conducted by Anthony Collins based on Franz Schubert’s Quartet in A Minor, Opus 29.

Associate producer Donald J Ehlers, photography by Nicholas Musuraca, special effects by Vernon L. Walker, montage by Douglas Travers.

Art direction by Van Nest Polglase and Perry Ferguson. Set decorations by Darrell Silvera, costumes by Edward Stevenson.

Recorded by John E. Tribby, edited by George Crone, assistant director Sam Ruman, technical advisor Maj. C.S. Ramsay-Hill.

Produced by Gene Towne and Graham Baker.

Directed by Edward Ludwig.

“Swiss Family Robinson” has never been commercially released on VHS or DVD. It is available for streaming on Disney Plus.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Tell No Tales

This week’s mystery movie was the 1939 MGM picture “Tell No Tales,” with Melvyn Douglas, Louise Platt, Gene Lockhart, Douglass Dumbrille, Florence George, Halliwell Hobbes, Zeffie Tilbury, Harlan Briggs, Sara Haden, Hobart Cavanagh, Oscar O’Shea, Theresa Harris, Jean Fenwick, Esther Dale, Joseph Crehan and Tom Collins.

Screenplay by Lionel Houser, based on a story by Pauline London and Alfred Taylor.

Musical score by Dr. William Axt, recording director Douglas Shearer, art direction by Cedric Gibbons and Daniel B. Cathcart, set decorations by Edwin B. Willis, wardrobe by Dolly Tree, photography by Joseph Ruttenberg, montage by Peter Ballbusch, edited by W. Donn Hayes.

Produced by Edward Chodorov.

Directed by Leslie Fenton.

“Tell No Tales” has never been commercially released. It airs occasionally on TCM and there is a funky print on YouTube.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Oviatt’s

Oviatt Clock
Photo: An Oviatt clock, listed on EBay in 2010.

Note: This is an encore post from 2012.

Thanks to the motion picture industry here in Los Angeles, fine haberdashers and designers have sold elegant, tailored clothing to the rich and famous, while also existing in stylish surroundings themselves. Bullock’s Wilshire is one such establishment, Adrian’s another. Alexander and Oviatt, a fine men’s haberdasher in downtown Los Angeles, constructed a beautiful Art Deco sales room in the late 1920s, one which exists to this day.

James Oviatt helped found Alexander and Oviatt in 1912, to provide fine tailored clothing and furnishings for a male clientele. Located in downtown Los Angeles at Hill and Sixth Streets, the firm offered elegant, European cuts and styles, discovered during Oviatt’s travels overseas to offices in London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

May 9, 2020, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1948 RKO picture “Fighting Father Dunne,” with Pat O’Brien, Darryl Hickman, Charles Kemper, Una O’Connor, Arthur Shields, Harry Shannon, Joe Sawyer, Anna Q. Nilsson, Donn Gift, Myrna Dell, Ruth Donnelly, Jim Nolan, Billy Cummings, Billy Gray, Eric Roberts, Gene Collins, Lester Matthews, Griff Barnett, Jason Robards (Sr.), and Rudy Whistler.

Executive producer Jack J. Gross. Screenplay by Martin Rackin and Frank Davis, story by William Rankin.

Photography by George E. Diskant, art direction by Albert S. D’Agostino and Walter E. Keller, special effects by Russell A. Cully, set decorations by Darrell Silvera and Adolph Kuri, makeup by Gordon Bau.

Music by Roy Webb, musical director C. Bakaleinikoff, edited by Frederic Kundtson, sound by Frank Sarver and Terry Kellum, assistant director John Pommer, dialogue director Eugene Busch.

Produced by Phil L. Ryan.

Directed by Ted Tetzlaff.

“Fighting Father Dunne” has never been commercially released on DVD. It was issued on VHS and occasionally airs on TCM.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Dick Grace, Hollywood’s Daredevil Sky Pilot


Dick Grace in action.

Note: This is an encore post from 2014.

ollywood and aviation took off at about the same points in history, helping to put each other on the map. Early American aviators inaugurated the fledgling field in the early 1900s, just as early filmmakers were introducing short motion pictures to the American public. These film directors and producers sought out the magical sport of flying, capturing it with their cameras and screening it for astonished audiences. The Wright brothers’ first flight, the Dominguez 1909 Air Rally, as well as several others, were shot as moving pictures and shown to the public. Soon, stars themselves took to the air, with actress Mabel Normand possibly the first celebrity aloft in the 1914 Keystone short, “A Dash Through the Clouds.” Aviation really took off when it helped win the Great War in 1918.

Air thrills excited audiences, particularly those tricks performed by former war pilots barnstorming the country, so the movie industry quickly turned their cameras to the skies. Early films captured flying stunts by building large stands atop high hills and shooting angles that made it appear stars were aloft in the area. By the early 1920s, studios hired veteran aerialists to devise spectacular air stunts to energize moviegoers, stunts which also goosed the adrenaline of the thrill-seeking pilots. Mostly forgotten today, except by dedicated aviation fans, Richard “Dick” Grace stands out as perhaps Hollywood’s top daredevil sky pilot, intentionally diving and crashing planes for movies, living to tell the tale. Grace’s life and flying career rival any daring adventure concocted by film studios.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Deja Vu All Over Again With COVID-19


For more than a month, most of the world has lived in a state of suspended animation as we all deal with the effects of COVID-19. Many are not following guidelines or procedures, griping about the situation, etc., seeming to forget that their grandparents or great-grandparents dealt with the exact same things during the 1918-1919 global flu pandemic which killed more than 50 million people worldwide. They had no vaccines, specialized medicine, or procedures for dealing with such things.

The world then as now found itself quarantined and forced to follow rules and procedures trying to halt the spread of the disease and save lives. Movie theatres in particular seemed to feel the brunt of the situation in 1918, but perhaps it is good to be reminded of how people endured them to show that we can survive now.

Mary Mallory’s latest book,
Living With Grace: Life Lessons from America’s Princess,”  is now on sale.


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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

May 2, 2020, The Dude Goes West
This week’s mystery movie was the 1948 King Bros. movie “The Dude Goes West,” with Eddie Albert, Gale Storm, James Gleason, Gilbert Roland, Binnie Barnes and Barton MacLane.

Original screenplay by Mary Loos and Richard Sale. Music score composed and conducted by Dimitri Tiomkin.

Arthur Gardner, assistant to producers, photography by Karl Struss, production manager Herman E. Webber, set decoration by Sidney Moore, edited by Richard Heermance, dialogue direction by Jo Graham.

Special effects by Ray Mercer, sound engineer Tom Lambert, assistant director Frank S. Heath, technical advisor, Herman King.

Produced by Maurice King and Frank King. Directed by Kurt Neumann.

“The Dude Goes West” is available on DVD from Warner Archive.

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Black Dahlia: Zoom Sessions on the Black Dahlia Case


Because so many people are using Zoom to connect in these uncertain times, I thought it would be interesting to host a series of Zoom sessions on the Black Dahlia.

I envision weekly meetings with a fairly small group, maybe five or six to keep it manageable, intended primarily for people in law enforcement or teaching police science, working in the justice system, working in or teaching forensics, and that kind of thing.

The goal is a serious discussion and evaluation of all aspects of the murder, based on original news accounts, various public documents and that sort of thing. The one thing it will not be is a festival of snuff pictures or juicy tidbits for crime show producers, tour operators and podcast hosts (especially the ones who rip off my voice without permission – you know who you are).

The sessions are tentatively planned for Wednesday afternoons or evenings starting April 29. Email me if you are interested.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + + +)

April 25, 2020, Hell Harbor
This week’s mystery movie was Henry King’s  1930 picture “Hell Harbor,” with Lupe Velez, Jean Hersholt, John Holland, Gibson Gowland, Harry Allen, Al. St. John, Paul Burns, George Bookasta and Ulysses Williams.

Adapted by Fred DeGresac, from the novel “Out of the Night” by Rida Johnson Young. Dialogue and screenplay by Clark Silvernail.

Edited by Lloyd Nosler, scenario by N. Brewster Morse, photography by John Fulton, Max Stengler and Robert M. Hass (Haas), art direction by Robert M. Hass (Haas). Production staff Harry Ham, Louis King and Richard Harlan, settings by Tec-Art Studios, sound by Ernest Rovere. Music by Gene Berten, Harvey Allen, Sextetto Habanero and Ernesto Lecuona.

“Hell Harbor” is available on DVD from TCM and is on YouTube in multiple versions.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – George Hurrell

Glenn Ford and Evelyn Keyes in a George Hurrell portrait for “The Desperadoes” listed on EBay at $149.95.

Note: This is an encore post from 2012.

Recognized for his gorgeously lit, glamorous images of movie icons, photographer George Hurrell is considered one of the masters of Hollywood’s still portrait photography. An innovator as well as craftsman, Hurrell moved between studios, his independent galleries, and fashion work as the mood hit him. In fact, he could be said to suffer from attention deficit disorder, as he couldn’t sit still, and when bored, moved on to newer pastures. He remained active for decades, and his work attracts high demand, selling for high prices.

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Zoom on Fridays With the Daily Mirror Brain Trust


Our first session was most enjoyable. I got to meet Brain Trust members from across the U.S. We shared our experiences with the quarantine, discussed mystery movies and learned the “Perry Mason Drinking Game” (Thanks, Earl!). There will be another session this Friday at 4 p.m. PDT. Email me if you are interested in joining.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

The Fugitive Kind
This week’s mystery movie was the 1960 United Artists film “The Fugitive Kind,” with Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward, Maureen Stapleton, Victory Jory, R.G. Armstrong, Virgilia Chew, Ben Yaffee, Joe Brown Jr., Mary Perry, Spivy, John Baragrey, Sally Gracie, Lucille Benson, Emory Richardson, Nell Harrison and Janice Mars.

Screenplay by Tennessee Williams and Meade Roberts, based on the play “Orpheus Descending” by Tennessee Williams, as produced on Broadway by Robert Whitehead for Producers Theatre.

Photography by Boris Kaufman, music composed and conducted by Kenyon Hopkins. Song “Blanket Roll Blues,” music by Kenyon Hopkins, lyrics by Tennessee Williams.

Art direction by Richard Sylbert, edited by Carl Lerner.

Assistant director Charles H. Maguire, costume designer Frank Thompson, wardrobe by George Newman and Flo Transfield. Makeup by Robert Jiras and Philip Rhodes. Hairstyles by Mary Roche. Set decorations by Eugene Callahan. Camera operator Saul Midwall. Sound recording by James Gleason, re-recording by Richard Vorisek.

Dialogue supervisors Mickey Knox and Jud Taylor, script supervisor Marguerite James, production coordinator Stephen Bono, sound editor Frank Lewin. Head gaffer Howard Fortune. Head grip Edward Knott. Production secretary Helen Burta. Unit photography Muky Munkacsi.

Associate producer George Justin. Produced by Martin Jurow and Richard A. Shepherd. Directed by Sidney Lumet.

Filmed at Gold Medal Studios, New York (and on location in Milton, N.Y.).

“The Fugitive Kind” was released on Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection and available from TCM.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: William Pereira, Entertainment Architect

Pereira_boxofficejulsep137unse_0478 Elmer Balaban, left, Mary Martin and William L. Pereira, Boxoffice, Aug. 3, 1940.

Almost a year to the day after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved funding to construct a new Peter Zumthor-designed building for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wilshire Boulevard, demolition began on the William L. Pereira three-building campus for the museum erected in the 1960s. Academy Award winners Brad Pitt and Diane Keaton lauded the work of Zumthor and praised the number of awards he had received, without realizing that original architect Pereira had not only had won architectural awards, but also served as an academy member and had shared the 1942 Oscar for special effects for the film “Reap the Wild Wind.” Pereira began his architecture career with a focus on entertainment, and over the next 20 years, he made a major impact on the field through both architecture, charitable efforts, and films.

Born April 25, 1909, in Chicago,  Pereira graduated from the University of Illinois School of Architecture in 1931, joining the firm of Holabird and Root. He contributed to the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair master plan before helping found his own film with his brother Hal called Pereira, Senseney and Pereira, quickly gaining recognition for their design of Chicago’s Esquire Theatre for Balaban and Katz. Within seven years, the film designed 74 other motion picture theatres and contributed buildings to the San Francisco World’s Fair before the Pereira brothers moved to Los Angeles in search of bigger challenges.

Mary Mallory’s latest book, Living With Grace: Life Lessons from America’s Princess,”  is now on sale.

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Black Dahlia: Beware Faked Black Dahlia Picture

April 7, 2020, Fake Dahlia Photo

Warning: Some clown is circulating a photo on social media that he says shows Elizabeth Short wearing a cameo brooch. And of course, he then produces a brooch just like it. Gosh. Imagine that! At left, the bogus photo and at right, the authentic image. Just what the world needs, another Black Dahlia fraudster.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

April 11, 2020, It Happened on Fifth Avenue

This week’s mystery movie was the 1947 Allied Artists picture “It Happened on Fifth Avenue,” with Don DeFore, Ann Harding, Charlie Ruggles, Gale Storm, Grant Mitchell, Edward Brophy, Alan Hale Jr., Dorothea Kent, Edward Ryan Jr. and Cathy Carter.

Screenplay by Everett Freeman, additional dialogue by Vick Knight, original story by Herbert Clyde Lewis and Frederick Stephani.

“It’s a Wonderful Wonderful Feeling,” “That’s What Christmas Means to Me” and “Speak — My Heart” by Harry Revel. “You’re Everywhere” by Paul Webster and Harry Revel, vocals by The King’s Men.

Photography by Henry Sharp, production manager Glenn Cook, assistant director Frank Fox, edited by Richard Heermance, music editor G.K. Wood, art direction by Lewis Creber, set decorations by Ray Boltz.

Recording by Corson Jowett, chief electrician John Lee, makeup by Harry Ross, furs by Willard George, fashion supervision by Lorraine MacLean, assistant to the producer Clarence Bricker.

Associate producer Joe Kaufman.

Produced and directed by Roy Del Ruth.

“It Happened on Fifth Avenue” is available on DVD from TCM.

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