Black Dahlia: A Personal Message to Steve Hodel

A short personal message to Steve Hodel. And have a cinnamon roll.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

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This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 Twentieth Century-Fox picture Blue Denim, with Carol Lynley, Brandon de Wilde, Macdonald Carey, Marsha Hunt, Warren Berlinger, Buck Class, Nina Shipman, Vaughn Taylor, Roberta Shore and Mary Young.

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Black Dahlia: Larry Harnisch Reviews Steve Hodel on ‘Black Dahlia Avenger’


I made a “reaction” video of me watching a Steve Hodel Zoom session sponsored by Sisters in Crime of Atlanta.

I have been fact-checking Steve Hodel since Black Dahlia Avenger was published in 2003 and even I was amazed by some of his lies. Notice that Elizabeth Short is barely mentioned in Steve’s presentation. It’s all about his “journey.”

Also: 6 Reasons George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short.

Steve is a skilled liar and in this video, he unintentionally gives a master class in how police officers lie: He is always confident, self-assured, if he sees an inconvenient fact coming his way, he sidesteps it. He gives out the minimal information and nothing extra. He never gets rattled or loses his cool. He is always in control of the narrative. When he cannot dispute the facts, he attacks the individual, which is what he does with me. I’m the “sour grapes” hardcore “naysayer” who dares to question the great LAPD homicide detective.

Part 1 runs 112 minutes. Part 2 in on the jump. Continue reading

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: San Francisco Silent Film Festival at 25

A painting of Erich von Stroheim from Foolish Wives
After a two-year absence, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary May 5 through 11 at the Castro Theatre with a melange of films providing a feast for the eyes and the emotions. Thoughtful programming toured the world as it highlighted relationships, reunions, and the messiness of life in its heady schedule. Energetic and evocative accompaniment provided a touching undergirding of the movies, highlighting their emotions without overwhelming the poetry. For a few hours each day, the visceral impact of these beautiful films washed over the audience and wiped away any feelings of disillusionment and despair over current headlines.

Unexpected themes and subjects popped up throughout the week, from attractive train journeys to putting on a show to spectacular and dangerous stunts and visual effects to lively little dogs and possible violence to said animals. Continue reading

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Norman Kerry, Preservationist

Norman Kerry Truth About the Movies 1924
Norman Kerry in 1924.

Note: This is an encore post from 2019.

Long before billionaire investor Ron Burkle purchased and restored such historic architectural properties as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis-Brown House, Harold Lloyd’s Greenacres, and Bob Hope’s Palm Springs and Toluca Lake houses, silent film star Norman Kerry became one of the first Los Angeles-area preservation angels by rescuing a doomed Greene and Greene Brothers Craftsman home in the Wilshire Boulevard district. The 109-year-old landmark still stands near the Beverly Hills Hotel, the only Greene and Greene home in that city.

Multi-talented Earle C. Anthony originally constructed the graceful home after becoming one of the West Coast’s most successful Packard dealers. An automotive pioneer, Anthony designed Los Angeles’ first electric car at the age of 17 before founding the Western Motor Car Company with his father in 1904. Diversifying his portfolio around transportation, Anthony created an intercity bus line and constructed a chain of gasoline stations which he sold to Standard Oil Company in 1913.

Mary Mallory’s latest book, Living With Grace: Life Lessons From America’s Princess,”  is now on sale.

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: New Books Examine Film Noir, the Mankiewicz Brothers and Women in the Movies

Dark City cover with John Garfield and Lana Turner
Over the last several months, a plethora of film books have been released, examining Golden Age Hollywood up close or at large, offering something for everyone from experienced cinephiles to new film fans. Some come from TCM hosts or others with close connections, providing context and education on classic Hollywood, its films and players.

TCM Noir Alley host and Czar of Noir Eddie Muller’s recently revised and updated Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir provides a lavishly illustrated expanded compendium of all things dark and dangerous in the gritty world of film noir. The book takes a mesmerizing journey into the backstabbing world of post-World War II Hollywood and the seamy and sinister underbelly of the genre, offering detailed analysis and history on its films, players, and themes.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

May 14, 2022, Phantom Lady, Main Title
This week’s mystery movie was the 1944 Universal picture Phantom Lady, with Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis, Thomas Gomez, Aurora, Elisha Cook Jr., Fay Helm, Regis Toomey, Joseph Crehan and Andrew Tombes.
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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

May 7, 2022, Chances Main Title

This week’s mystery movie was the 1931 First National picture Chances by A. Hamilton Gibbs, with Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rose Hobart, Anthony Bushell, Holmes Herbert, Mary Forbes, Edmond Breon and Harry Allen. Continue reading

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Ida May Park Finds Direction in Films

Ida May Park, Photoplay
Ida May Park
in Photoplay.


Note: This is an encore post from 2018.

Virtually forgotten today, Los Angeles-born Ida May Park earned the distinction of being one of the first women to direct feature films in early Hollywood, as well as write and produce, before being pushed aside as Wall Street money took over film production. Her long career acting on stage enhanced her film career, one in which she focused on creating strong women characters around which stories revolved.

Born December 28, 1879, to laborers Charles and Martha Park in Los Angeles, Ida seemed drawn to entertainment at a young age, appearing with the Alcazar Acting Company in San Francisco by 1897, perhaps after her family moved to Sacramento, where her father later served as a postman. Within a few years, Ida became an itinerant actor, performing with troupes around the United States.

Mary Mallory’s latest book, “Living With Grace: Life Lessons from America’s Princess,” will be released June 1.
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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: TCM Classic Film Festival Salutes Hollywood’s Golden Age

After a two-year absence due to the Covid pandemic, the TCM Classic Film Festival triumphantly returned to Hollywood, four-day nirvana for vintage film fans. The festival joyfully celebrated classic cinema, screening mostly 35-millimeter film prints on the big screen the way they were meant to be seen and happily reunited long-missed friends. Overloaded with films, special programming, and celebrity appearances, the event offered the opportunity to immerse oneself in the glamour of Golden Age Hollywood.

For my weekend, I mostly focused on Pre-Code films and special programming. My festival kicked off with a rare screening of the 1933 Columbia film Cocktail Hour starring Bebe Daniels and Randolph Scott, a dashing light aperitif to start off a frantic film weekend. While only slightly risque, the movie revolved around the effervescent, independent artist Daniels, celebrating life and a career on her terms and surrounded by men. Daniels sketches magazine covers for her dandy boss Scott while trading flirty repartee. Chasing excitement she embarks on an Atlantic cruise, pursued by men along the way. Composer/director Victor Schertzinger keeps the film uptempo and energetic, a heady little cocktail featuring an entertaining performance from Daniels, promising early work from Scott, and sprinkled with cameos by character actors like Willie Fung, Sam McDaniel, and Rolfe Sedan. Film historian Cari Beauchamp offered background and history before the film with guest Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of silent film great Harold Lloyd, who met Daniels several times.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title. A brick wall with a menacing shadow
This week’s mystery movie was the 1943 picture Hangmen Also Die! with Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee, Gene Lockhart, Dennis O’Keefe, Alexander Granach, Margaret Wycherly, Tonio Selwart, Jonathan Hale, H.H. v. Twardowski, Billy Roy, Reinhold Schuenzel, Louis Donath, Arno Frey, Sarah Padden, Byron Foulger, Edmund MacDonald, Lionel Stander, Lester Sharpe, Arthur Loft, George Irving and James Bush.

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – ‘Auction of Souls’

Jue 23, 1919, Auction of Souls
Photo: June 23, 1919, “Auction of Souls.” Credit: Los Angeles Times


Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Los Angeles has long been a haven for refugees and artists, particularly those fleeing political and militaristic struggles.  As early as 1915, Armenians began arriving in Southern California after fleeing from the massacres and pogroms inflicted on them by Kurds and Turks.  By December of that year, 1,500 Armenians lived here without knowing the whereabouts of many members of their families back home.

Many continued to come, as the papers warned of massacres, imprisonment, torture, and murder of innocent men, women, and children. Genocide.  An article’s headline in the September 27, 1915, Los Angeles Times read, “Massacre of Armenians at Height of Its Fury, … Report States that Five Hundred Thousand Men, Women, and Children Have Either Been Killed by the Turks or Driven to the Desert to Perish of Starvation – Extermination of Non-Moslems is Programme Decided Upon.”  850,000 were reported killed by late October, nearly three quarters of the population of the entire country.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

William A. Wellman's Track of the Cat. A snowy background with trees

This week’s mystery movie was the 1954 Warner Bros. film Track of the Cat, with Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright, Diana Lynn, Tab Hunter, Beulah Bondi, Philip Tonge, William Hopper and Carl Switzer.
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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: TCM Classic Film Festival Returns to the Big Screen

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The TCM Classic Film Festival welcomes movie fans as it returns to Hollywood after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The festival features something for everyone, whether it’s star appearances, new film restorations, classics films, and even special programming. Based at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, the festival will hold screenings April 21 through 24 at such theaters as the El Capitan, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre IMAX, and the Hollywood American Legion Theater.

Film historian and author Leonard Maltin receives highly deserved praise for his dedication to celebrating and recognizing the history of film with the Robert L. Osborne Award. Maltin will receive his prize before the presentation of Universal’s 1933 Pre-Code Counsellor at Law.

Note: Patrons are strongly encouraged to purchase festival passes  ($399-$2,549) to ensure entry to screenings. Individual tickets are sometimes available at each individual theater’s box office on a first-come, first-served, standby basis prior to the start of a film. Individual tickets are $20 and students with valid student ID receive 50% off.

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Correction: A previous version of this post referred to the movie Spy Smasher as Spymaster.
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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Noir City Packs a Modern Punch

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Noir City Hollywood, with hosts Eddie Muller and Alan K. Rode, is back, hitting town with a vengeance Friday with stunning photochemical restorations and 35-millimeter prints after an almost two-year absence due to the pandemic. The hard-boiled, driving lineup features themes seemingly ripped from today’s headlines, offering a powerful examination of social issues while providing riveting entertainment. The festival also highlights the work of several insightful, daring filmmakers caught in the often duplicitous, backstabbing, and treacherous underbelly of Hollywood, with a mini focus on blacklisted writer/director Cy Enfield, who offered a pessimistic, messy look at repressive policies.

Kicking the festival into high gear is Enfield’s engrossing Try and Get Me (1951), based on the true story of a 1934 kidnapping and murder in San Jose that sparked mob violence. Slick criminal Jerry Slocum (Lloyd Bridges) manipulates gullible, struggling ex-GI Howard Tyler (Frank Lovejoy) into profitable criminal activities that quickly take a calamitous turn before offering a searing indictment against vigilante justice.

Tickets and information on Noir City Hollywood, Friday through Sunday at Hollywood’s American Legion Post 43 Theater, 2035 N Highland Ave.

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Black Dahlia: BethShort.com Domain Listed for $5,499

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BethShort.com c. 1998, platform for the late, lying John Gilmore and many graphic crime scene photos.


If you were on the Infobahn in the dial-up modem days and were interested in the Black Dahlia case, you may recall Pamela Hazleton’s now-defunct website BethShort.com, with its color scheme of black backgrounds, white type and bright yellow links. The website launched in the late 1990s and had a curious affiliation (always denied) with the late, lying John Gilmore (d. 2017). Continue reading

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title for Double Door with credits superimposed on a pair of doors.
This week’s mystery movie was the 1934 Paramount picture Double Door, “The play that made Broadway gasp,” with Evelyn Venable, Sir Guy Standing, Kent Taylor, Mary Morris, Anne Revere, Colin Tapley, Virginia Howell, Halliwell Hobbes, Frank Dawson, Helen Shipman and Leonard Carey.
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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Hollywoodland Opens March 31, 1923

Hollywoodland Ad 10-23 Hollywood Citizen
An ad for Hollywoodland, October 1923.


On March 31, 1923, owners of a new hillside development in the Hollywood Hills called Hollywoodland announced the opening of their elaborate new tract in stories run in Los Angeles and Hollywood newspapers. For all the syndicate partners, it represented the pinnacle of their real estate careers in hyperbole as well as class, the first tract to sell a lifestyle of glamour and success. Hollywoodland would be as much about selling ambition and making it as it would be in promoting a humble family home location.

Hollywoodland perfectly encapsulated the lives and careers of its five owners, men who had risen from modest means to achieve wealth and power. Savvy in real estate and business promotion, all were as shrewd in crafting career personas to build their empires. Behind the scenes, these dreamers and schemers plotted their rise up the ladders of success, achieving renown and respect from other hard-nosed businessmen.

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

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This week’s mystery movie was the 1927 silent picture Rubber Tires, with Bessie Love, Harrison Ford, Erwin Connelly, May Robson, Frank Coghlan Jr., John Patrick and Clarence Burton. Continue reading

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

April 2, 2022, Main Title of House by the River, showing a wide river

This week’s mystery movie was the 1950 Republic film House by the River, with Louis Hayward, Lee Bowman, Jane Wyatt, Dorothy Patrick, Ann Shoemaker, Jody Gilbert, Peter Brocco, Howland Chamberlin, Margaret Seddon, Sarah Padden, Kathleen Freeman, Will Wright, Leslie Kimmell and Effie Laird. Continue reading

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