Category Archives: Cold Cases

Black Dahlia: Who Can Spot the Mistake?

Every so often, a Black Dahlia researcher cites Morgan Korzik’s blackdahlia.web.unc.edu, presumably on the theory that any source ending in edu is somehow reliable. It’s not. See if you can spot the mistake. ps. You cannot trust anything on the … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Black Dahlia: Halloween Is Coming – Rethink Your Choices

Seriously. Dressing up like the victim of a grotesque murder doesn’t honor Elizabeth Short – or you.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Halloween Costumes – Rethink Your Choices

Time for my annual reminder: Dressing up like the victim of a gruesome murder isn’t cool. It isn’t hip, not even ironically. Reconsider your choices; you still have time to be Harley Quinn or Mad Moxxi. Or for a change, … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Dahlia: Asshats on South Norton Avenue — No. 4

Still another person thinks it’s fun to sprawl in the grass near the Black Dahlia crime scene, demonstrating a remarkable lack of taste but also complete lack of information: She’s in the wrong spot. Previously: Asshats on South Norton Avenue … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Black Dahlia: Seriously, People? I Mean Really?

  This item is listed on EBay. I’m going to report it. EBay usually ignores me because anything goes on EBay. But even so I’ll give it a try.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Found on EBay, LAPD | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Suspect’ Dr. Adam Fairall — Another Wikipedia Prank

Here we have a purported list of “Black Dahlia Suspects” from Wikipedia. At least as it was of May 20, 2019. Wikipedia, being Wikipedia, this could change at any moment. This list is allegedly the 25 suspects named by Lt. … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD, Wikipedia | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: ‘Suspect’ Jacob Edward Fisk — Wikipedia Prank Takes on a Life of Its Own

Let’s see what happens when Wikipedia vandalism takes on a life of its own. That would be Black Dahlia “suspect” Jacob Edward Fisk. Never a suspect. It was all just a prank.

Posted in 1947, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD, Wikipedia | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Dahlia: Why Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill His Secretary

Here’s the May 9, 1945, death certificate of Ruth Frances Spaulding. Notice that the Los Angeles County coroner determined that Spaulding committed suicide at the age of 27. If you have listened to Steve Hodel at all, you will have … Continue reading

Posted in 1945, 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Black Dahlia: Newsweek Mangles the George Hodel Story Beyond All Recognition

About 1980, when I was in journalism school, one of my classes heard guest speaker Martin Kasindorf, who impressed the room of aspiring reporters with his tales of being a Newsweek correspondent. (He was later the magazine’s New York bureau … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2019, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Dahlia: Now on Wikipedia — Hodel vs. Hodel Family Feud!

OK, I admit it. I love that this is happening. This is Steve Hodel vs. Fauna Hodel’s daughter Rasha Pecoraro on the question of the Hodel family DNA and whether it shows that George Hodel was Fauna Hodel’s father. (Spoiler … Continue reading

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

March 1977: Body of Boxing Manager Howard Steindler Found on Ventura Freeway

Note: I’m still catching up with posts from the blog when it was at latimes.com. This post about the unsolved killing of Howard Steindler originally appeared in 2009 and is available via Archive.org.  

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Black Dahlia: Steve Hodel’s Lies on ‘Dr. Phil’; A Case Study

Would you like to see how Steve Hodel lies about things that can be easily checked? Of course you would. This is a graphic that appeared during Steve Hodel’s appearance on “Dr. Phil.” It’s helpful, at least for me, for … Continue reading

Posted in 1950, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Black Dahlia: Did George Hodel Kill His Secretary? Another Steve Hodel Lie

Steve Hodel claims repeatedly in his “Black Dahlia Avenger” franchise that his father, George Hodel, killed his secretary, Ruth Spaulding. It’s even in Wikipedia.

Posted in 1945, 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD, Suicide | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Feb. 12, 1959: Matt Weinstock and ‘The Last Days of Lincoln’

It’s a worthwhile experience to put down whatever you’re doing for half an hour today and read something about one of the world’s great men. It doesn’t matter which of the books about him you read. His wisdom and humor … Continue reading

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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

Jan. 23, 1959: Paul Coates — A Plethora of Ceremonial Plaques

Jan. 23, 1959: Paul Coates is all (or mostly) in favor of ceremonial honors. On the jump, Bobbie Long is found strangled with a nylon stocking a few feet off a dirt road that runs off Don Julian Road between … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Cold Cases, Columnists, Crime and Courts, Homicide, Paul Coates | 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

Jan. 21, 1959: Paul Coates on the Porn Trade of the 1950s

Jan. 21, 1959: Paul Coates takes a look at the way pornography (and pretty light stuff at that) was peddled in the 1950s, when it was illegal to send such things through the mail. Coates’ column was originally published in … Continue reading

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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: 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