Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Zodiac Killer: New Technology, New Leads?

If you’ve ever read about the Zodiac killer, you’ll know it remains one of the most well-known cold cases in the US, if not the world.  The murderer has never been identified.  For an overview of the cases please check out the Wikipedia entry, primarily written by Ed Neil.  You can find it here:  Zodiac Killer on Wikipedia

zodiac killer

(Zodiac letter to the San Francisco Chronicle)

Several new tidbits of news are percolating and will be fully announced between now and September 30.  First, former LAPD Supervising Detective Steve Hodel, the author of Black Dahlia Avenger, has released his second book about his father.  Steve built a case against his father – a case believed by many readers of his first book, including me ; and the case was strong enough that the Head Deputy District Attorney issued a ten page memo indicating that were Steve Hodel’s father, George H. Hodel still alive, he would feel confident in bringing him to trial and seeking the death penalty.  That telling opinion, by one of the most experienced prosecutors in the country, based on the investigation conducted by Steve Hodel – himself a veteran homicide investigator for the LAPD, and with  over three hundred homicide investigations and a very high solve rate on his resume, convinced many people that Steve’s father George Hodel did indeed kill Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia.

Beginning with the knowledge (opinion, really) that the elder Hodel was a serial murderer, and he had fled the country to live in Asia for forty years, it was a natural thing for Steve to think:  ‘I wonder if this was his first…or his last’?  And so he began a new investigation which has spanned six years and has brought Steve to the conclusions in his books.  Released this week,Steve’s second book focuses on the trails Steve has found that appear to be the very paths that his father walked.  Steve believes that he has found a series of murders that took place – were committed I ought to say – by his father, George Hodel both before the Black Dahlia series and after it as well.  Steve’s book can be found at the link below, as can links to Tom Voigt’s excellent  website, which has more data, accessible to any researcher with an internet connection, than all other Zodiac sites combined.  I have just finished Hodel’s new book: Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac and the Further Serial Murders of George Hill Hodel.  It is a fascinating book and I highly recommend to true crime readers. 

Finally, the episode of the History Channel’s new series MysteryQuest which deals with Zodiac.  The promotional ad that is running now in advance of the September 30th episode says:  “Years later, new technology, a new suspect…one step closer to solving the mystery/” 

All together, these events add up to a flurry of activity that brings new attention, and hopefully, new leads to the people still working to see this case solved. 

Most Evil and othe Zodiac books available at Amazon, through

Steve Hodel webpages, blogs, exhibits

For a group of amateur sleuths, retired law enforcement, and researchers around the world, these events are eagerly anticipated in that they stir the pot, and provide the possibility of new clues, and possibly new evidence – perhaps even DNA results that could exclude someone.  Quite a week from 22nd to the 30th. 

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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