Black Dahlia Murder Case: Breakthrough By Black Dog?
News came out this week that a break in the 1947 Black Dahlia murdery case may be imminent, thanks to a black lab cadaver dog named Buster.
Although no one's ever been charged with the grotesque slaying of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, who was found in a Los Angeles parking lot severed from the waist, her throat and mouth slit, and her entire body drained of blood, former LAPD detective Steve Hodel believes he knows who murdered her: his own father.
Hodel, who's authored two books on the case, believes his surgeon father, George Hodel, mutilated Short in the basement of their Hollywood home after their relationship had soured. Although he was considered a suspect, George was never charged with her murder since, according to Hodel, the detective work was shoddy and his father had friends in high places within law enforcement. Hodel also believes George killed dozens of other women and splayed their bodies all across the city.
After his father died in 1999, Hodel began researching old case files and learned that the LAPD had bugged the house for several weeks in early 1950. Of the conversations they picked up, one had been of George speaking to an unidentified person.
"Supposin' I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn't prove it now. They can't talk to my secretary because she's dead," George had said. (Although he was suspected to have poisoned his secretary, the case was dropped.).
Last November, Hodel invited a former police detective and his cadaver dog Buster to conduct the first forensic search of his father's historical home. After letting the black lab sniff the premises, it alerted the men to human decomposition on the front steps and in the basement. Results of the soil samples taken from the areas are expected to come in next week.
Until those findings come in, many questions remain on what Buster's nose actually detected since it's trained to pick up any form of human decomposition—from dead fetuses (George performed abortions) to blood to old human remains.
Regardless, Hodel hopes that Buster will be the key to unlocking this almost 70-year murder mystery.
Source: The Daily Beast
1924 - 1947
Nicknamed "the Black Dahlia," Elizabeth Short was brutally murdered in Los Angeles in 1947, her body cut in half and severely mutilated. The Black Dahlia's killer was never found, making her murder one of the oldest cold case files in L.A. to date, and the city's most famous.
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