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Black Dahlia Avenger
Black Dahlia Avenger
$15.95
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Jul.25.2006
  • 9780061139611

Steve gives an overview of the book:

In 1947, California's infamous Black Dahlia murder inspired the largest manhunt in Los Angeles history. Despite an unprecendented allocation of money and manpower , police investigators failed to identify the psychopath responsible for the sadistic murder and mutilation of beautiful twenty-two-year-old Elizabeth Short. Decades later, former LAPD homicide detective turned private investigator Steve Hodel launched his own investigation into the grisly unsolved crime--and it led him to a shockingly unexpected perpetrator; Hodel's own father. A spellbinding tour de force of true-crime writing, this newly revised edition includes never-before-published forensic evidence, photographs, and previously unreleased documents, definitively closing the case that has often been called "the most notorious unsolved murder of the twentieth century."
Read full overview »

In 1947, California's infamous Black Dahlia murder inspired the largest manhunt in Los Angeles history. Despite an unprecendented allocation of money and manpower , police investigators failed to identify the psychopath responsible for the sadistic murder and mutilation of beautiful twenty-two-year-old Elizabeth Short. Decades later, former LAPD homicide detective turned private investigator Steve Hodel launched his own investigation into the grisly unsolved crime--and it led him to a shockingly unexpected perpetrator; Hodel's own father.

A spellbinding tour de force of true-crime writing, this newly revised edition includes never-before-published forensic evidence, photographs, and previously unreleased documents, definitively closing the case that has often been called "the most notorious unsolved murder of the twentieth century."

Read an excerpt »

 (From BDA Introduction)

For almost twenty-four years, from 1963 to 1986, I was a police officer, and later a detective-supervisor, with the Los Angeles Police Department, a period generally considered to be LAPD’s, “golden years.” I was one of Chief William H. Parker's “new breed,” part of his “thin blue line.”

My first years were in uniformed patrol. My initial assignment was to West Los Angeles Division, where as a young and aggressive rookie, I was, as Chief Parker had demanded of all his men, “proactive,” excelling in making felony arrests by stopping “anything that moved” on the early-morning streets and alleys of Los Angeles. Over the next five years, as a street cop, I worked in three divisions: Wilshire, Van Nuys, and finally Hollywood.

In 1969, I applied for and was accepted into the detective bureau at Hollywood. I was assigned to and worked all of the “tables”: Juvenile, Auto Theft, Sex Crimes, Crimes against Persons, Burglary, and Robbery.

My ratings within the detective bureau remained “upper ten,” and as the years flew by I was assigned to the more difficult and complex investigations, in charge of coordinating the various task force operations, which in some instances required the supervision and coordination of as many as seventy-five to one hundred field officers and plainclothes detectives in an effort to capture a particularly clever (or lucky) serial rapist or residential cat burglar working the Hollywood Hills.

Finally, I was selected to work what most detectives consider to be the elite table: Homicide. I did well on written exams and with my top ratings made detective I on the first exam ever given by LAPD in 1970. Several years later I was promoted to detective II, and finally, in 1983, I competed and was promoted to detective III.

During my career I conducted thousands of criminal investigations and was personally assigned to over three hundred separate murders. My career solve rate on those homicides was exceptionally high. I was privileged to work with some of the best patrol officers and detectives that LAPD has ever known. We believed in the department and we believed in ourselves. “To Protect and to Serve” was not just a motto, it was our credo. We were Jack Webb's “Sergeant Joe Friday” and Joseph Wambaugh's “New Centurions” rolled into one. The blood that pumped through our veins was blue, and in those decades, those “golden years,” we believed in our heart of hearts that LAPD was what the nation and the world thought it to be: “proud, professional, incorruptible, and without question the finest police department in the world.”

I was a real-life hero, born out of the imagination of Hollywood. When I stepped out of my black-and-white, in uniform with gun drawn, as I cautiously approached the front of a bank on a robbery-in-progress call, the citizens saw me exactly as they knew me from television: tall, trim, and handsome, with spit-shined shoes and a gleaming badge over my left breast. There was no difference between me and my actor-cop counterpart on Jack Webb's Dragnet or Adam-12. What they saw and what they believed—and what I believed in those early years—were one and the same. Fact and fiction morphed into “faction.” Neither I nor the citizenry could distinguish one from the other.

 ...

 

steve-hodel's picture

BDA I was my first Rabbit Hole. Little did I suspect that there were more to come.

About Steve

Steve Hodel is a 24-year veteran of the LAPD. [1963-1986] During 17 of those years, he was assigned to Hollywood Homicide Division where he investigated over 300 murders and had one of the highest "solve rates" on the Department. He is a licensed P.I. specializing in criminal...

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Published Reviews

Feb.24.2012

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"George Hodel, I think, is fit company for some of noir's most civilized villains--like Waldo Lydecker in "Laura", Harry Lime in "The Third Man" or ven Noah Cross in "Chinatown," the man who (...