Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder

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Harper Collins, Jun 1, 2004 - True Crime - 560 pages
5 Reviews

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."

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User Review  - andrearules - LibraryThing

This was a book that someone left in the hallway of an apartment bldg I lived in, when I first moved to Philadelphia. It is so addicting and very fascinating. A quick read and makes a good case for the writers claim that his father was the killer. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jlbattis - LibraryThing

This is so much more than a solution to a sixty-year-old mystery. Yes, the crime has, in my estimation, been solved. Even James Ellroy, whose mother may have been one of the perpetrator's victims ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Steve Hodel spent nearly twenty-five years with the LAPD, where, as a homicide detective, he worked on more than three hundred murder cases and achieved one of the highest "solve rates" in the force. He lives in Los Angeles.

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