Category Archives: Books and Authors

Feb. 14, 1959: Matt Weinstock (Almost) All Bets Are Off at Raided Bookie Joint

Feb. 14, 1959: Matt Weinstock ends his week with an assortment of amusing stories, a poem and a bit of literature. Weinstock had an impressive number and variety of people feeding items to him. He made it look easy. Weinstock’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Books and Authors, Columnists, Matt Weinstock | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Dear Los Angeles’: 1,000 Quotes in Search of a Book

We have Edwin Mims, long-forgotten teacher, author and head of the English Department at Vanderbilt University, to thank for what may be the most famous quip about Los Angeles. Mims, who died in 1959 at the age of 87, was … Continue reading

Posted in 2018, Books and Authors, History | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Black Dahlia: George Hodel and Rachmaninoff – A Meeting That Never Occurred

So here we have a passing mention of piano prodigy George Hodel, age 9, meeting Sergei Rachmaninoff “accompanied by the Russian minister of culture.” I’m particularly interested in this line because Rachmaninoff (Kristof Konrad) shows up in “I Am the … Continue reading

Posted in 1917, 1919, 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: George Hodel Boy Genius, and Rachmaninoff

Do you love research? Of course you do or you wouldn’t be reading the Daily Mirror. But do you love research about the Hodel family? Possibly not.

Posted in 1917, 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts, Music | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Dahlia: Wikipedia, George Hodel and ‘I Am the Night’

If you’re watching “I Am the Night”  on TNT, you may be tempted to read the Wikipedia entry on “evil” Dr. George Hodel. Here are a few warnings:

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Gypsy Rose Lee and ‘The G-String Murders’

Photo: Barbara Stanwyck in “Lady of Burlesque.” This is an encore post from 2012. See note below for correction. While being tops in your field can be exciting, an ambitious or intellectually curious person always looks for new ways to … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Common Myths About the Black Dahlia and Their Origins

The FBI file perpetuates the error that Elizabeth Short’s middle name was “Ann.” She had no middle name. Note: This item was originally posted on lmharnisch.com in 2005. Here’s a quick guide to the most frequent errors made in writing … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Dahlia: Fauna Hodel’s Story in 1976 – and No Black Dahlia or George Hodel

Before TNT airs “I Am the Night,” (“inspired by a true story,”) I’m digging for references to Fauna Hodel, George Hodel and the Black Dahlia. So far, it’s not going well.. On June 2, 1976, the Nevada State Journal published … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1976, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Stephen Kay Says No LAPD Coverup in Black Dahlia Case

Retired LAPD Capt. Ed Jokisch , who was in the Homicide Division in the 1940s, fought back against the claims in Steve Hodel’s “Black Dahlia Avenger” franchise until his death in 2011. This letter from former Deputy Dist. Atty. Stephen … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2003, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: No Sign of George Hodel or the Black Dahlia in the Fauna Hodel Story 1990

If you’re curious about whether “I Am the Night” is indeed “inspired by a true story,” I did a bit more digging into the tale of Fauna Hodel and her unfinished film “Pretty Hattie’s Baby” (spoiler alert – there’s nothing … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1990, 1996, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Photos From Black Dahlia’s Scrapbook Sell on EBay for $7,611 in 2003

Back in 2003, a few photos from Elizabeth Short’s scrapbook were sold on EBay for $7,611.11 Perhaps they look familiar. I archived the page (it has vanished from EBay, of course) to keep anybody from claiming that they found them … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2003, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Found on EBay, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A. Victor Segno: How to Live 100 Years – Olive Oil and Distilled Water

More wisdom from A. Victor Segno, my favorite L.A. charlatan. Via Archive.org..

Posted in 1903, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: New ‘Evidence’ in George ‘Evil Genius’ Hodel Franchise

Black Dahlia breakthrough! Note: This is an encore post from 2013. Let us suppose that there was a mathematician. A retired mathematician who once taught at a major university, who published and received tenure, and retired as a well-regarded member … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Hollywood, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Dr. George Hodel, Janice Knowlton and the Black Dahlia Case

Aug. 8, 1998: A post on the old usenet alt.news-media by Janice Knowton was the first to publicly link Dr. George Hodel and the Black Dahlia case. At this point, George Hodel was alive but would die in a bit … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1998, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jan. 14, 1939: Thousands at St. Vibiana’s Hold Vigil for World Peace

Jan. 13, 1939: About 4,000 worshipers attend a Perpetual Novena for Our Sorrowful Mother at St. Vibiana’s Cathedral. People knelt in the aisles, in the doorways and outside praying for peace and for relief of the poor, The Times says.. … Continue reading

Posted in 1939, Books and Authors, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, Religion, Sports, World War II | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: ‘Definitely Not Betty’ Elizabeth Short’s Family Refutes Hodel Photos of ‘Black Dahlia’

  The Short family rarely speaks on the record, but in 2003, they were so incensed by Steve Hodel’s “Black Dahlia Avenger” and his bogus claims of photos purportedly showing Elizabeth Short that they issued a public statement through me. … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Are There Any Good Black Dahlia Sites on the Internet? Part 2

John Gilmore’s “Severed” was once the most popular book on the Black Dahlia case, although it was eclipsed by Steve Hodel’s seemingly endless series of “Black Dahlia Avenger” books. You may Google “Black Dahlia” while you’re watching “I Am the … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD, Wikipedia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Black Dahlia: Here’s Some More Bad Books on the Black Dahlia Case

In compiling my list of bad books about the Black Dahlia case, I neglected to mention William T. Rasmussen’s fringe publication “Corroborating Evidence,” which I had forgotten, mainly because it’s so nutty that I won’t even let it in the … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Are There Any Good Books on the Black Dahlia Case? Oh Dear!

“Severed”  by pathological liar John Gilmore (d. 2016) was once the go-to book on the Black Dahlia case, but it’s 25% mistakes and 50% fiction. Are there any good books on the Black Dahlia case? No. But there are a … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Jan. 9, 1945: The Making of ‘The Blue Dahlia’; Paramount Signs Raymond Chandler for Original Film

Jan. 9, 1945: The New York Times reports that Paramount signed Raymond Chandler to write a script. Contrast this with John Houseman’s account of making the film in “Lost Fortnight,” originally published in Harper’s magazine, August 1965, and reprinted with … Continue reading

Posted in 1945, Blue Dahlia, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, Raymond Chandler | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment