This past Thursday, Steve Hodel, author of “Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder” and “Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel”, spoke at the public library in South Pasadena, California. In the former book, Hodel makes the case that his deceased father, George Hodel, was the elusive killer responsible for L.A.’s most infamous unsolved murder, that of Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia. In the latter book, the author continued his speculation to suggest, among other things, that his father was the Zodiac. During the event on Thursday, Steve Hodel discussed the content of his two books and participated in a question and answer session. The venue of the library was especially apropos in that the location was mere miles from the house in which the accused father had grown up.

I haven’t read Steve Hodel’s books. I don’t know if his father likely was Elizabeth Short’s murderer or not. What I can say is that it is highly improbable that his father was the Zodiac. Age alone makes it highly improbable – George Hodel was approximately 60 during the Zodiac’s heyday. Contemporaneous eyewitness age estimates put the Zodiac in the age range of 35-40 at the time. Certainly, the actual age could be outside of the range by some number of years in either direction, but 60 is a real stretch.

Perhaps I will get around to reading one or both of these books at some point. If you’ve read them or attended Steve Hodel’s talk on Thursday (or any other time) perhaps you’d like to tell us about it in the comments.