Black Dahlia: George Hodel, Soil Analysis and Sweeps Month


Look it’s an “update” on the Buster the Wonder Dog saga, via L.A. Observed.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

For those of you (that would be most of the world) who haven’t followed the saga of “Buster the Wonder Dog proves Dr. George Hodel killed the Black Dahlia at the Sowden house,” let me give you some crucial background information.

Soil Samples at the Sowden House: FAIL
George ‘Evil Genius’ Hodel and the Black Dahlia: Another Good Story Ruined

The George Hodel files Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 |Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 | Part 34 | Part 35 | Part 36 | Part 37


Christine Pelisek in the Daily Beast writes one of the “cute animal story meets Jack the Ripper” items that flourished last year over Buster’s frolic at the Sowden house.

In February 2013, KNBC-TV Channel 4 was all over the story that retired Police Sgt. Paul Dostie and his miracle cadaver dog, Buster, had found “something” at the Sowden house in Hollywood that sort of, kind of, maybe proved that onetime occupant Dr. George Hodel killed someone, possibly Elizabeth Short, as claimed by retired LAPD Detective Steve Hodel. Steve Hodel has written extensively about how his father was an evil genius who committed virtually every unsolved murder in Los Angeles, invented the Edsel and Classic Coke. Oh, yes, and in his spare time he was Zodiac.  Soil samples were collected from the vicinity of the Sowden house and purportedly sent off for analysis.

If you read the fine print on the Buster the Wonder Dog stories, you discovered that the video that aired on Channel 4 was outtakes shot in November 2012 for the Syfy show “Ghost Hunters.” Syfy never aired the video. But February, after all, is a sweeps month, when TV stations  go on hyperdrive (emphasis on hype) to boost their Nielsen ratings because they determine ad rates and KNBC jumped all over the story.

So Buster’s cavorting at the Sowden house was all over the pop media and one-source news outlets a year ago.

To her credit, Pelisek was the only writer who had the smarts to ask Steve Hodel  when the results of the soil tests were going to be announced.


Notice: “Soil samples were taken and results are expected next week.”

Those who pay attention to such things waited.

And waited.

And waited.

A week went by. Then two. Then a month. Then six months.

Finally on “Darkness Radio” on Nov. 5, 2013, on its “True Crime Tuesday” program,  Dostie said:

At that point we sent the samples off, and unfortunately we’ll probably not get analysis on that. (slight laugh) It’s been almost a year now. And it’s really unfortunate. But we can get some from outside…

When Steve Hodel says “soil analysis of dirt near a Hollywood home once occupied by his father contains markers of human remains,” I can’t imagine what he’s talking about. As far as I know, he and Dostie never got the results.

Another good story ruined.


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Black Dahlia: George Hodel, Soil Analysis and Sweeps Month

  1. Lee Rivas says:

    Gosh…and I was so hoping…..


  2. Duane Laible says:

    Please stop all this! I did it, I did it, PLEASE STOP ME BEFORE I KILL AGAIN!


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