A New York Times Notable Book
An Edgar Award Finalist
In this startling tour-de-force, a professional homicide detective finally solves the case of one of the most shocking murders of the twentieth century in this true-crime page-turner.
"Supposin' I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn't prove it now. They can't talk to my secretary anymore because she's dead."
-- Dr. George Hodel, February 18, 1950, from residential electronic surveillance transcripts in the L.A. District Attorney's files, released to the public for the first time on April 11, 2003
In 1947, the sadistic murder of a beautiful young woman, twenty-two-year-old Elizabeth Short, led to the largest manhunt in Los Angeles history and came to be known as the Black Dahlia murder. In the film noir streets of Los Angeles, the killer teased and taunted the police and public alike through notes written to L.A. papers, much like Jack the Ripper had done in London sixty years earlier. When the LAPD failed to solve the crime, it was passed down from year to year to crack homicide detectives, but none could ever bring the killer to justice -- until now. Even more startling -- a twist worthy of any great mystery novel -- is the identity of the murderer: the author's own father, George Hodel, a real-life Jekyll and Hyde, a man who by day was a highly respected member of society and by night a mad, sadistic killer. Black Dahlia Avenger is the result of more than three years of meticulous investigation by Steve Hodel. At long last, he closes what has often been called "the most notorious unsolved murder of the twentieth century."