Black Dahlia Avenger – The True Story – Book Comment

BlackDahliaAvengerby: Steve Hodel

Publisher: Arcade Publishing, Inc, AOL Time Warner Book Group

Copyright: 2003, ISBPN: [0061139610]

Cover: GTC Art & Design

Type: Hardcover

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, May 5, 2003

 Summary: Excellent crime story writing. The story itself??                 

This is the second of what I call tag-the-killer books I’ve read. Right off the top of my head I place these type works in the same category as recovered memory experiences. Unfair perhaps, but look at the mechanics.

Christopher Columbus could have been following a Viking map when he discovered America; Lee Harvey Oswald could have been at the theater when President Kennedy was shot; Alexander Haig could have been deep throat; and Dr. George Hodel could have been the killer of Elizabeth Short, aka, the Black Dahlia. This later could-have-been, thanks to who Steve Hodel is rather than what he says, is worth consideration.

Steve Hodel retired from the Los Angeles Police Department. He apparently has plenty of experience investigating murders. The problem with his summation of the Black Dahlia murder is that there is absolutely nothing that points to George Hodel, his father (whom he refers to as “father” in the book–odd) as the culprit. Circumstantial stuff? Yeah. Plenty. Too much, in fact. And that’s the trouble with this book. That’s the trouble with recovered anything. After the kitchen sink is heaped on the pile, you start getting the mineral deposits of the water that was in the sink, then the toxic stuff that was in the clouds that produced the water that was in the sink. There is no end to the circumstantial. Nothing conclusive except opinions and second guesses.