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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Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights — Ivan Mosjoukine, the Man With the Piercing Eyes

Ivan Mosjoukine

Ivan Mosjoukine, courtesy of Mary Mallory.

Note: This is an encore post from 2013 featuring the star of last week’s mystery movie.

Not as well known as other silent film stars like Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Buster Keaton or Rudolph Valentino, the recently rediscovered Russian motion picture actor Ivan Mosjoukine ranks among the greats for his charismatic star turns in several 1920s French silent films. While a superstar in Russia and France, Mosjoukine acted in only one Hollywood feature, which eventually helped push him into obscurity. But, as writer Liam O’Leary stated, “What Nijinksy was to dance in Russia, so Mosjoukine was to film.”

Born in Penza, Russia, Sept. 26, 1889, to wealthy parents, Ivan Ilich Mozhukhin attended private schools before studying law in Moscow. Quickly enthralled by the flamboyant world of the theater, Mosjoukine joined a touring theatrical troupe to learn his new trade. Within a few years, he returned to Moscow and entered the Dramatic Theatre for serious work.

Also by Mary Mallory
Keye Luke
Auction of Souls
Busch Gardens and Hogan’s Aristocratic Dreams

Mosjoukine began film acting in 1911 with the Khanzhonkov Company, starring in dramatic roles that emphasized his physical stage presence and sharp-featured good looks, finding time to occasionally write and produce films as well. Five years later, he studied and made films with Evgeni Bauer, learning to modulate his performing, to expertly apply makeup, and to fully inhabit his roles. Becoming one of Russia’s top romantic leads he frequently co-starred with his lovely, soon-to-be wife, Nathalie Lissenko, in such films as “Behind the Screen,” “Satan Triumphant” and “Father Sergius,” burying himself behind makeup, a Russian Lon Chaney.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights – Einar Petersen and His ‘Aladdin and His Lamp’ Murals

The Bridal Procession - Petersen

One of Einar Petersen’s murals at the Spring Street Guaranty Building and Loan Assn., courtesy of Mary Mallory

Note: This is an encore post from 2013. Curbed L.A. recently reported on the renovations at the building.

ame is fleeting. An individual might go unrecognized while creating great art while alive, only for the works to be considered masterpieces decades after their death, as with painter Vincent Van Gogh. Others slowly build a portfolio of work, gaining increasing recognition and respect with each new piece. They maintain fame for a long while, but see it disappear as times, styles and values change. Many become forgotten.

Unfortunately, this second scenario applies to Einar C. Petersen, recognized as one of Los Angeles’ and California’s greatest muralists in the 1920s. Achieving great reviews for his first Los Angeles mural at the New Rosslyn Hotel in 1915, Petersen would go on to craft murals for San Francisco’s Hunter-Dulin Building as well as downtown’s Mayflower Hotel, Beverly Hills Security-National Bank, and particularly, the forest mural for Clifton’s Cafeteria on Broadway Street in downtown Los Angeles. As new owners and developers came along, most either removed or painted over Petersen’s murals, save for the one in Clifton’s.

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

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Nov. 16, 2019, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1934 Vitaphone short “Art Trouble,” with Harry Gribbon, Shemp Howard, Beatric Blinn and Leni Sengel. Writted by Jack Henley and Dolph Singer, photographed by E.B. DuPar, directed by Ralph Staub. According to the trades, it was released June 23, 1934, in a package of 29 Vitaphone one- and two-reelers scheduled for June through August, 1934.

“Art Trouble” appears to be available from Warner Archive on the Vitaphone Comedy Collection, Vol. 1. Warner Archive doesn’t list the contents, but they are available elsewhere.

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Black L.A. 1947: Kiwanis Refuse to Give Lottery Winner a New Cadillac Because He’s Black

July 31, 1947, L.A. Sentinel

Note: This is an encore post from 2018 that is getting lots of interest on Reddit.

This is a story that involves a $1 lottery ticket, a new Cadillac and an incredible amount of stupidity by members of an ostensibly charitable organization who were determined to uphold racist attitudes. And it really happened.

The story, as told by the Associated Negro Press, begins with Harvey Jones, a black Navy veteran who was a tenant farmer near Ahoskie, N.C. Jones paid $1 (current value $11.72) for a ticket in a lottery held by the Ahoskie Kiwanis Club with the first prize of a new Cadillac, worth about $3,200 (current value $37,000.)

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – ‘I Lost My Girlish Laughter’


Note: This is an encore post from 2012. The book is being republished Nov. 5, 2019, by Vintage.

Stories about Hollywood have always been popular among American readers. Early fan magazines included fictional stories about the crazy and glamorous life in Tinsel Town, on into novels. Most of these were written for women, but many also appealed to men. One with appeal to young girls was titled “Ruth Fielding and Her Great Scenario: or Striving for the Motion Picture Prize,” written by Alice B. Emerson in 1927. An early forerunner to Nancy Drew or Cherry Ames, Ruth was an orphan living with her miserly uncle and getting into all types of travels and adventures.

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Posted in Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Radio | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Nov. 9, 2019, Mystery Movie

This week’s mystery movie was the 1926 Albatros Cinegraphic film “Feu Mathias Pascal” (“The Late Mathias Pascal”), story by Luigi Pirandello, directed by Marcel l’Herbier, interpreted by Ivan Mosjoukine, Marcelle Pradot, Lois Moran, Marthe Belot, Pauline Carton, Irma Perrot, M. Barsac, Michel Simon, Isaure Douvane, Pierre Batcheff, Georges Terof, Philippe Heriat and Jean Herve.

Sets by d’Alberto Cavalcanti, photography by Guichard, Letort, Bourgassof and Berliet.

Music for restored version composed and conducted by Timothy Brock

A restored version of “Feu Mathias Pascal” released by Flicker Alley is available on Blu-ray from

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Fernridge Row Pays Homage to Tam O’Shanter

Quaint Village Bungalows LAT 7-5-23

In the 1920s, housing developments sprang up all around the Los Angeles area as real estate developers purchased small farms to subdivide into housing tracts holding everything from small homes to apartments to bungalow courts. Fernridge Row, stylish Hollywood bungalow complex, was built by A.B. Zwebell, who later built designed apartment complexes around the city with his wife, Nina.

Stylish but comfortable, these complexes offered individual units that functioned as mini-homes, with multiple rooms, special amenities, and porches looking out at greenery and gardens providing their residents bang for their buck. In the 1910s to the 1930s, bungalow courts served as popular housing for new, middle-class residents of Hollywood and Los Angeles. Popular with entertainment industry professionals and wanna-bes, these mini-bungalows made a comfortable dwelling in which to nest.

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

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A Reminder From Pier Angeli and Friend

Nov. 3, 2016, Pier Angeli

Pier Angeli and her little friend remind Daily Mirror readers to turn back their clocks this Sunday.

Posted in Animals, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights — Spooky, Ooky Witch’s House Haunts Beverly Hills

Willat-Lescalle House

A sketch of the “The Witch’s House” by Charles Owens from “Nuestro Pueblo,” courtesy of Mary Mallory

Note: This is an encore post from 2013.


Once upon a time, home design and architecture saluted fantasy and make-believe, and not just in fiction. Bilbo Baggins and lucky leprechauns resided in twee little bungalows, short, off-kilter, hutch-like, but so did imaginative and childlike Los Angeles residents of the 1920s. Storybook architecture, dreamed up and promoted by film industry veterans, flourished near movie studios, magical little Brigadoon-like structures.

A strong proponent of storybook design was Hollywood art director Harry Oliver. Noted for his work as art director on films “7th Heaven” (1927) and “Street Angel” (1928). Oliver merrily dreamed up colorful structures on the side, like the famous Van de Kamp’s windmills and Los Feliz’s Tam-o-Shanter restaurant. Another whimsical structure, however, remains his most famous design, the Witch’s House in Beverly Hills.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland:Tales Lost and Found” is available as an ebook.

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Black Dahlia: Who Can Spot the Mistake?

Spot the mistake

Every so often, a Black Dahlia researcher cites Morgan Korzik’s, presumably on the theory that any source ending in edu is somehow reliable.

It’s not. See if you can spot the mistake.

ps. You cannot trust anything on the Black Dahlia that uses Wikipedia, as Korzik did.

Posted in 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Sixth Street Chocolate Shop Offers Sweet Treats

Hope Chest Chocolate Shop

A still from “The Hope Chest,” courtesy of Mary Mallory.

Note: This is an encore post from 2014

erving both sweet and medicinal purposes, chocolate has been served up as a special treat since at least 1900 BC and continues as a favored gift and treat today. As it became more mass produced, it gained a wide following in Europe and America. By the early 1910s, the chocolate craze overtook Los Angeles. A gorgeous chocolate shop would be designed and constructed at 217 W. Sixth Street in 1914 to feed this mania. In business for less than a decade, the striking artwork still survives, though somewhat hidden away in downtown Los Angeles.

Los Angeles businessman Gerhard Eshman bought and sold property in the downtown area from the late 1890s into the 1900s, “a firm believer in the future greatness of this city…,” per his 1915 obituary in the Los Angeles Times. He purchased land on West Sixth Street in 1903 and hired the architectural firm of Morgan and Walls to design a building at 217-219 W. Sixth St. A Sept. 6, 1903, Times article stated he would spend $25,000 to construct a four-story building on the site. Little is known of its earliest tenants, save for ads for the high-class Davis Massage Parlor listed in the Los Angeles Herald from 1906-1909. The Meyberg Co., designers and manufacturers of fixtures, occupied the building from 1910-1913.

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


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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Nov. 2, 2019, mystery photo, title

This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 film “The Devil’s Disciple,” with Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Janette Scott, Eva Le Gallienne, Harry Andrews, Basil Sydney, George Rose, Neil McCallum, Mervyn Johns, David Horne, Erik Chitty, Allan Cuthbertson, Percy Herbert, Phyllis Morris and Brian Oulton.

Screenplay by John Dighton and Roland Kibbee, based on the play by Bernard Shaw, by special arrangement with the estate of Gabriel Pascal.

Photography by Jack Hildyard, music by Richard Rodney Bennett, music director John Hollingsworth, executive production manager Gilbert Kurland, costumes by Mary Grant, supervising editor Alan Osbiston, art direction by Terrence Verity and Edward Carrere.

Unit production manager John Palmer, assistant director Adrian Pryce-Jones, costume supervision Emma Selby Walker, set decorations by Scott Slimon, camera operator Gerald Eisher, chief makeup artist Paul Rabiger, hairstylist A.G. Scottilan, sound by Leslie Hammond, technical adviser Alan Binns.

Made at Associated British Elstree Studios, England.

Produced by Harold Hecht.
Directed by Guy Hamilton.

“The Devil’s Disciple” is available on Blu-ray from TCM and on DVD and Blu-ray from Amazon.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Oct. 26, 2019, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1956 film “The King and Four Queens,” with Clark Gable, Eleanor Parker, Jean Willes, Barbara Nichols, Sara Shane, Roy Roberts, Arthur Shields and Jay C. Flippen. Also starring Jo Van Fleet.

Photographed in CinemaScope, color by DeLuxe, editorial supervision by Louis R. Loeffler, screenplay by Margaret Fitts and Richard Alan Simmons, based on a story by Margaret Fitts,  music composed and conducted by Alex North, photographed by Lucien Ballard.

Production designer Wiard Ihnen, production manager Joseph G. Behm, assistant director Tom Connors Jr., film editor Howard Bretherton, sound by Jack Solomon, sound effects by Bill Naylor, orchestrations by Hershy Kay, costume design by Renie, men’s wardrobe by Oscar Rodriguez, ladies’ wardrobe by Marjorie Henderson.

Music editor Robert Tracy, makeup Don Roberson and Frank Prehoda, hairstylists Kay Shea and Helene Parrish, set decorator Victor A. Gangelin, master property man William Sittel.

Russ-Field Corp. Gabco Productions, a joint venture.

Executive producer Robert Waterfield. Produced by David Hempstead. Directed by Raoul Walsh.

“The King and Four Queens” is available on DVD and Blu-ray from

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: David O. Selznick and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek

Madame Chiang in a film clip at the Hollywood Bowl, beginning at the 4:22 mark on a newsreel posted on YouTube.

Note: This is an encore post from 2013.

Seventy years ago, film producer David O. Selznick staged an over-the-top extravaganza April 4, 1943, at the Hollywood Bowl honoring Madame Chiang Kai-Shek and China Relief, the likes of which will probably never be seen again. Featuring high showmanship and a cast of thousands, this stage show celebrated a woman as beautiful and tough as Selznick’s Scarlett O’Hara.

Selznick served as one of Hollywood’s most prominent supporters of China Relief, a cause championed by his friends Henry and Clare Luce. He agreed to organize two prominent Los Angeles events to publicize and raise funds in support, desperately needed after the vicious attacks by Japanese soldiers for more than six years. These events would occur near the end of Madame Chiang’s 1943 tour of the United States.

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Scotty Bowers 1923 – 2019 | Liar to the Stars

Full Service

Scotty Bowers has left the building. Reminder: Everything he said is a lie.

An encore post from 2018.

Scotty Bowers’ mountain of lies is not the hill I care to die on. But be assured that he has told a mountain of lies. Have you seen even one photograph of him with one of his alleged amours? Scotty and Spencer Tracy? Scotty and Katharine Hepburn? Scotty and, well, any A-list celebrity, really? Rin-Tin-Tin? Trigger? Flipper? Nellybelle?

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Posted in Another Good Story Ruined, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Villa Elaine Courts Tenants

Google Street View The Villa Elaine via Google Street View.

Still stylish after 94 years, Villa Elaine has reigned as one of Hollywood’s most popular apartment/hotels in its location on Vine Street just blocks from Sunset Boulevard. Courtly and regal, the building has attracted tenants whether known as the St. George Court or under its current name, Villa Elaine.

On January 4, 1925, the Los Angeles Times announced that Mrs. Edna Henderson had purchased 1241-1249 Vine Street to construct a five-story, Class C arcade store and apartment building in Spanish Revival style featuring four stores and sixteen studio shops beyond its 64 apartments. Some papers estimated the structure to cost $250,000, with architect Lewis (L.A.) Smith designing the building and the Arthur Bard Co. to serve as contractor.

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

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Oct. 19, 2019, Mystery Photo

This week’s mystery movie was the 1942 Twentieth Century-Fox film “The Man Who Wouldn’t Die,” with Lloyd Nolan, Marjorie Weaver, Helen Reynolds, Henry Wilcoxon and Richard Derr.

Executive Producer Sol M. Wurtzel. Screenplay by Arnaud d’Usseau, based on a novel by Clayton Rawson and the character Michael Shayne created by Brett Halliday. Director of photography Joseph P. MacDonald, art direction by Richard Day and Lewis Creber, set decorations by Thomas Little, edited by Fred Allen, costumes by Herschel, sound by Joseph E. Aiken and Harry M. Leonard, technical advisor Detective Lt. Frank L. James, musical  direction by Emil Newman. Directed by Herbert I. Leeds.

“The Man Who Wouldn’t Die” is available on DVD from Amazon as part of a Michael Shayne set. It will air on the Fox Movie Channel on Oct. 28-29.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Bryson Apartments ‘The Finest Apartment Building West of New York City’

The Bryson Apartments, via Google Street View.

Note: This is an encore post from 2014.

onsidered by many to be one of the most attractive apartment buildings in Los Angeles, the regal Bryson Apartment Building at 2701 Wilshire Blvd. stands as a lovely example of 1910s high end apartment living, a stately survivor reflecting the optimistic, go-getter attitude of early Los Angeles residents. Combining superb construction, elegant looks, and luxurious decoration, the Bryson stands as a glorious monument to its builder, Hugh W. Bryson.

Community leader Bryson believed in constructing affordable large scale residential developments filled with beauty and taste. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, August 1, 1868, ambitious Bryson strove for excellence from a young age. After graduating from high school, he worked as clerk for a cotton brokers, working in banking, and selling real estate, before arriving in Los Angeles in 1902. Bryson joined leading contractor, F. O. Engstrum Co., and within a few years, married the owner’s daughter, Blanche. He was named a general manager and director of the company in 104, focusing on major projects. Recognizing the large migration of East Coast and Midwest residents to sunny LA, Bryson began financing and his own projects under his Concrete Appliances Company.

Mary Mallory’s “Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found” is available for the Kindle.
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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 Twentieth Century-Fox film “The Man Who Understood Women,” with Leslie Caron, Henry Fonda, Cesare Danova, Myron McCormick, Marcel Dalio, Conrad Nagel, Edwin Jerome, Harry Ellerbe, Frank Cady, Bern Hoffman and Ben Astar.

Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson, from the novel “The Colors of the Day” by Romain Gary. Music by Robert Emmett Dolan, photography by Milton Krasner, art direction by Lyle R. Wheeler and Maurice Ransford, set decorations by Walter M. Scott and Paul S. Fox, special photographic effects by L.B. Abbott, edited by Marjorie Fowler, executive wardrobe designer Charles LeMaire, makeup by Ben Nye, hairstyles by Helen Turpin, assistant director Hal Herman, sound by Charles Peck and Harry M. Leonard. Song “A Paris Valentine” by Paul Francis Webster and Robert Emmett Dolan, orchestration by Earle Hagen. Color by De Luxe, color consultant Leonard Doss, CinemaScope lenses by Bausch and Lomb.

Produced and directed by Nunnally Johnson.

“The Man Who Understood Women” has never been commercially released on VHS or DVD. Gray market copies are listed on the Internet.

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L.A. Philharmonic Opens 2019 Season With Some Modern American Chestnuts

Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall

The Los Angeles Philharmonic warms up for its 2019-2020 season. Photograph by Larry Harnisch /

Under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic opened the 2019-20 season last night with a concert of familiar light classics. The music was all sufficiently modern, if mostly last century, but also sufficiently nonthreatening to audiences intimidated by more angular, dissonant, less accessible works. This was an all-American concert, though a meal of side dishes without a main course.

Correction: The Philharmonic, founded in 1919, began its centennial season in September 2018 and ends the celebration this month. A previous version of this review said last week’s concert opened the centennial season.

I went in part because Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times keeps cheering about the Philharmonic as “the world’s leading orchestra.” (Spoiler: It’s not). And because The New York Times recently referred to “the orchestra’s daring programming.” (Spoiler: It’s not, at least not last night.)

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