Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder

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9780060589950: Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder

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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Product Description:

In 1947, the brutal, sadistic murder of a beautiful young woman named Elizabeth Short led to the largest manhunt in LA history. The killer teased and taunted the police and public for weeks, but his identity stayed a mystery, and the murder remained the most tantalizing unsolved case of the last century, until this book revealed the bizarre solution.

Steve Hodel, a retired LAPD detective who was a private investigator, took up the case, reviewing the original evidence and records as well as those of a separate grand jury investigation into a series of murders of single women in LA at the time. The prime suspect had in fact been identified, but never indicted. Why? And who was he? In an account that partakes both of LA Confidential and Zodiac, for the corruption it exposes and the insight it offers into a serial killer’s mind, Hodel demonstrates that there was a massive police cover-up. Even more shocking, he proves that the murderer, a true-life Jekyll and Hyde who was a highly respected member of society by day and a psychopathic killer by night, was his own father. This edition of the book includes new findings and photographs added after the original publication, together with a new postscript by the author.

Product Description:

More than fifty years after what has been called "the most notorious unsolved murder of the 20th century," the case has finally been solved.

On January 15, 1947, the body of beautiful 22-year-old Elizabeth Short—dubbed the Black Dahlia because of her black clothing and the dahlia she wore in her hair—was discovered on a vacant lot in downtown Los Angeles, her body surgically bisected, horribly mutilated, and posed as if for display. Even the most hardened homicide detectives were shocked and sickened by the sadistic murder. Thus began the largest manhunt in LA history. For weeks the killer taunted the police—and public—much as his infamous English counterpart Jack the Ripper had done in London 60 years before, sending tantalizing notes, urging them to "catch me if you can." And for weeks and months the LAPD came up empty. Charges of police ineptitude soon gave way to rumors of corruption and cover-up at the highest levels. Meanwhile, a rash of lone women in LA were brutally murdered, and their cases also remained mysteriously unsolved. Could the Black Dahlia Avenger be, in fact, a serial killer stalking the city streets?

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