My post on last Sunday's story about the Black Dahlia case in the L.A. Times Magazine prompted the following email from Elisabeth Reynolds. Other thoughts are welcome, as are signed comments about any L.A. Observed post. More skepticism about Steve Hodel's book appeared last year in the LA Weekly and on the website of Larry Harnisch, a Black Dahlia case researcher who is also a copy editor at the L.A. Times.
First, Steven Kay is not a new convert to Hodel's case. Kay made a laudatory contribution to Hodel's book before it published and help promoted it when in came out, over a year and a half ago. Kay would hardly be the only public official having trouble admitting he made a mistake these days.
And what make you think it's true that Man Ray attended "wild sex parties" at the Hodel home? Steve Hodel's source for that is Joe Barrett, the guy who says he talked to Man Ray on the very day the artist fled the country in the winter on 1949/1950, to escape justice for his own unspecified involvement in George Hodel's evil deeds. Too bad Man Ray actually lived in LA until 1951, as any biographical overview of the man will tell you.
I'd also like to know how George Hodel managed to base the posing of the Black Dahlia's body on a then little-known Man Ray photograph that he almost surely could not have seen prior to 1947. Man Ray couldn't have shown it to him, because it was still stashed away in Paris with the rest of his stuff.
Moreover, why should we believe anything Steve Hodel says after we've caught him in so many whoppers?
Gary Indiana got it right. Hodel's book is a mass of revolting, meretricious twaddle and an extended exercises in litigation-proof slander.