Black Dahlia Avenger

  • by Steve Hodel
  • Narrated by Kevin Pierce
  • 19 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For 56 years, the Black Dahlia murder case remained one of the most notorious and high-profile unsolved crimes of the 20th century. Now, Steve Hodel, a 24-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, believes he has finally solved the case. On January 15, 1947, 22-year-old Elizabeth Short - "The Black Dahlia" - was found dead in a vacant lot in Los Angeles, her body horribly mutilated, bisected at the waist, and posed in a bizarre manner. The horrific crime shocked the country and commanded headlines for months as the killer taunted the police with notes and phone calls. Despite the massive manhunt, the murderer was never found.
Hodel began working on the case after he retired from the LAPD when he chanced upon an intriguing piece of evidence that led him on a trail that he had no choice but to follow - since it pertained directly to him. As he dug deeper, he came to believe that the killer was also responsible for over a dozen other unsolved murders in the Los Angeles area around the same time. He also found copious evidence of corruption at the LAPD, leading him to accuse the department top brass of covering up the Black Dahlia murder in order to conceal a deeper conspiracy involving crooked politicians and gangsters.
Despite a lack of physical evidence (which had been destroyed), Hodel is able to connect numerous dots and make a plausible case, complete with lurid tales of wild orgies that were attended by celebrities such as the artist Man Ray, the director John Huston, and a host of other Hollywood elites. He also discloses his killer’s obsession with the Marquis de Sade and Jack the Ripper and how he modeled his own crimes on their behavior. In particular, there is a disturbing connection between the work of Man Ray and the horrific circumstances of Short’s murder. It is doubtful that this will be the final word on the Black Dahlia murder - too much myth surrounds it and much of his evidence is circumstantial - but Hodel’s labyrinthine tale adds much to this intriguing case.


Audible Editor Reviews

The 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short led to an exhaustive and fruitless manhunt in Southern California, and the Black Dahlia case still stands as one of the most famous unsolved murders in American history. Retired LAPD detective Steve Hodel, however, has uncovered evidence that may reveal the mysterious killer's identity: his father George.
Kevin Pierce gives a striking edge to Black Dahlia Avenger, evoking the no-nonsense style of classic LA noirs like Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard. But Hodel's work is all too real, even as the gory and byzantine details of this riveting case seem like a Hollywood tall tale.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wow that's 20 hours I will never get back

What would have made Black Dahlia Avenger better?

The author/detective interjected too much of his own opinion and conclusions, which he tries to back up with weakly linked evidence.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Black Dahlia Avenger?

The only actual evidence presented is the writing analysis, which is suspect.

Any additional comments?

I really was excited to listen to this initially. The author is a reputable detective with an impressive and why he ever came to these conclusions and assumptions are simply baffling.

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- James Ciotti

Fantasy simply put...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Evidence for any of his statements. This is a classic example of a cop who picks a favorite suspect and twists everything to fit his idea. This is literally thought police. And I'm sorry but that isn't enough for me.

Would you ever listen to anything by Steve Hodel again?


What three words best describe Kevin Pierce’s performance?

Good performance with bad material.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. This man knows his father was evil and without any hard evidence he can't prove it, so he'll tell anyone who will listen that his father is responsible for every notable crime of the last 70+ years. Yes, you read the correctly.

Any additional comments?


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- K. Swinford "Kissander"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-28-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios