Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD – Part 2


“The Sexual Criminal,” by Dr. Joseph Paul De River, in a revised edition with an introduction by Brian King published in 2000. More about this book later. It will be important.

Where does one start in telling the curious story of Dr. Joseph Paul De River?

Certainly not with the Black Dahlia case.

As nearly as we can determine, De River was born Nov. 6, 1893, and died in April 12, 1977.

Beyond that, it’s complicated.

The Black Dahlia: Leslie Dillon, Paul De River and the LAPD: Part 1


Joseph Paul Israel draft registration

Research shows that Dr. Joseph Paul De River registered for the draft in World War I as Joseph Paul Israel. Well actually, the card reads “IsrEAl” but he signed it “IsrAEl.” Notice that he is listed as a physician, having graduated from Tulane University.

He’s in the 1900 census at the age of 7, living in New Orleans with his parents, listed as Paul and Helen “Isreal,” and an older brother, Sidney, age 13, born in 1886.

In the 1910 census, he is 17 and going by Joe, with the family name of “Isreal” (which some records unhelpfully list as “Isrial.”)

The 1920 census lists his brother Sidney Isreal as a physician in Houston. But where is Joseph Paul De River? For that matter, where is Joseph Isreal? Oh dear. I suspect this isn’t going to be easy.

To be continued as time permits.

About lmharnisch

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

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