Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 5 Not a Practicing Surgeon

George Hodel

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. 5: Dr. George Hodel had no surgical practice in Los Angeles. He had no admitting privileges as a surgeon at any Los Angeles hospital.


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.


Steve Hodel perpetually claims that his father was a skilled surgeon. According to the original investigators, the skill with which Elizabeth Short was cut in half showed advanced medical knowledge. At the heart of Steve Hodel’s purported “case” against his father is the claim that Dr. Hodel was a skilled surgeon. As noted earlier, Steve Hodel claims that his father’s skillful bisection of the body – and mutilation – was done “in homage” to the surrealist art of Man Ray.

In truth, Dr. Hodel never practiced surgery in Los Angeles. (Nor was he a “Hollywood gynecologist,” as portrayed in “I Am the Night.”)

Dr. Hodel did not practice surgery in Los Angeles because he couldn’t. Dr. Hodel lacked the essential accreditation awarded by the American College of Surgeons, the surgeons professional  association. Without that credential, no hospital would let him operate.

In fact, Dr. Hodel had no admitting privileges as a surgeon at any Los Angeles hospital, a matter that Steve Hodel refuses to address because it’s inconvenient to his “Black Dahlia Avenger” narrative. Dr. Hodel’s practice was public health.

Dr. Hodel was not a practicing surgeon in Los Angeles.

To be continued.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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