Tag Archives: Books and Authors

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

James Ellroy: ‘This Storm’ — Racism and Anti-Semitism Masquerading as History

A historical aside to everybody gushing over James Ellroy’s latest, “This Storm,” which opens with a speech from Father Coughlin’s supposed bootleg radio station in Mexico. (Coughlin was a notorious right-wing radio broadcaster of the 1930s who was silenced by … Continue reading

Posted in 2019, Books and Authors, Radio | 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

‘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: 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: 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

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

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

Video: David Blight on ‘Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom’

I’m late to the party on this book, but I was pleased to run across a Q and A with historian David Blight of Yale on his new biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.” The session, with Princeton professor Eddie … Continue reading

Posted in 2018, African Americans, Books and Authors, History | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Victor Segno: ‘How to Live 100 Years’

A. Victor Segno is my favorite Los Angeles charlatan. I wrote a feature about him for The Times in 2012.. The entire Daily Mirror post appears on Archive.org.

Posted in 1903, 2009, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide: A Brief History of the Tom and Jerry

A recipe for the Tom and Jerry from the San Francisco Call, June 30, 1912. Note: This is an encore post from 2013. Over on Facebook, Christopher McPherson asked whether the Tom and Jerry was named for the MGM cartoon … Continue reading

Posted in 1862, Books and Authors, Food and Drink | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dec. 24, 1947: LAPD Seeks 700 Officers and L. Ron Hubbard Answers the Call

  Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. Dec. 24, 1947 One of the applicants appears to have been future Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Records show that he was fingerprinted Dec. 31, … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 6 No Connection

Elizabeth Short contrasted with the unidentified woman found in George Hodel’s photo album. Not at all the same. Here are six reasons Dr. George Hodel did not kill Elizabeth Short that you will need to know before watching the TNT … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Homicide, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Dahlia: 6 Reasons Dr. George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short — No. 4 Clinic Served Poor Blacks of Bronzeville

Los Angeles, May 25, 1944: At a Shinto shrine near City Hall, Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron, second from left, Dr. George M. Uhl and Nicola Giulli of the city housing authority talk to black residents of Bronzeville. Courtesy of the … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Homicide, LAPD, Medicine, Television, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment