Black Dahlia: Wondering About Buster the Wonder Dog


Then there are the sites that throw out any pretense of skepticism and flatly state that “Buster the Wonder Dog” is solving the Black Dahlia case.

Like this one by Debbie Emery for

George ‘Evil Genius’ Hodel on the L.A. Daily Mirror

Hollywood’s most notorious and infamous cold case, the Black Dahlia mystery, is close to finally being solved, thanks to the detective abilities of none other than a Black Labrador dog, and in an exclusive interview with, his owner/trainer explains exactly how the pooch’s canine crime solving skills are going to sniff out the identity of the murderer.

No hedging here. The Black Dahlia case is nearly solved. Wow.

Dubbed ‘Buster The Wonder Dog,’ the nine-year-old hound “is without doubt the most scientifically validated dog in the world,” Paul Dostie boasts. “He is backed up with the best science in the world, in pretty much everything he does, by renowned Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Arpad Vass.”

Dr. Arpad Vass? And who might that be? Oh that’s right. Dostie and Vass were at the Manson family HQ at Barker Ranch when Buster the Wonder Dog’s purported finding of human remains – went bust.

And then there’s the Casey Anthony case:

“Arguably, the most disputed testimony came from Dr. Arpad Vass, the inventor of a new method of testing air for chemicals indicative of decomposition.”

Much of what follows is the usual George “Evil Genius” Hodel boilerplate about killing lots of women. And then I saw this:

“Steve’s father suddenly upped and moved to the Philippines in 1950, shortly after police discovered the corpse of a lady who had been cut in half in a park that was located about half a mile from his home,” Dostie claims, further alleging that the LAPD had bugged George Hodel’s home before he moved overseas, and that their recordings provide very compelling evidence of his guilt.

Let’s run that again:

in 1950, shortly after police discovered the corpse of a lady who had been cut in half in a park that was located about half a mile from his home,”

Wow! A totally new murder case has just been added into the George “Evil Genius” Hodel lore. A woman cut in half in 1950 and left in a Hollywood park? This didn’t happen. It never occurred. In fact, there are no other killings of women in Los Angeles in which the body was cut in half. None. Dismemberments, yes. But cut in half and left in a park? No way.


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, 1950, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Hollywood and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Black Dahlia: Wondering About Buster the Wonder Dog

  1. I at first thought the article was a put-on. The name Arpad Vass sounded like a W.C. Fields character. Then I remembered: he’s the one who introduced smell-o-vision into the Casey Anthony trial. He has also proposed the idea of finding cadavers by means of houseflies affixed with tracking chips, but has had trouble getting funding. It is a novel concept, the efficacy of which, one suspects, would only be confounded by the proximity of dog parks and garbage cans.


  2. They will need to prove that any evidence is directly related to Elizabeth Short.
    Without that, this story means nothing.
    It will just add to the speculation that George Hill Hodel was the killer.
    Also, they would need to tie any evidence if proven to be from Short, to Hodel.
    This case is not being solved any time soon.

    George Vreeland Hill


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