Los Angeles, California
In a new chapter, A Surrealist Signature written in Black Dahlia Avenger II, I review the previously stated links and include several new findings supporting my belief that the carnage performed on and carved into Elizabeth Short's body was my father's deliberate signature as a "surreal artist."
In 2002, I wrote:
The killer had to make her death extraordinary both in planning and in execution.In his role as a surreal artist, he determined that his work would be a masterpiece of the macabre, a crime so shocking and horrible it would endure, be immortalized through the annals of crime lore. As Avenger, he would use her body as his canvas, and his surgeon's scalpel as his paintbrush.
In the past decade, much new evidence has been discovered to support my original hypothesis and can be found in my own and other writer's books on the subject. ( See the Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss book, Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder).(Bulfinch Press, Hachette Group 2006) I will not here attempt to restate those many references and links which most of my readers are probably already quite familiar with.However, here is a new observation that has previously gone unnoticed and offered here for the first time.
Elizabeth "Black Dahlia" Short right hip (Enlarged showing "crosshatching" incisions
SKH Note: I am in possession of another original autopsy photograph (not shown) revealing that similar crosshatching incisions were performed on the victim's pubic area. Additionally, the autopsy surgeon describes a third crisscross pattern cut into the surface of the piece of flesh which was removed from the left thigh and then inserted into the victim's vagina and discovered during the postmortem examination. Here are the Coroner's original 1947 notations referencing and describing the trauma to all three locations:
...There is a square pattern of superficial criss-cross lacerations in the skin of the right hip. ... There are multiple criss-cross lacerations in the suprapubic area. Which extend through the skin and soft tissue. ....Within the vagina and higher up there is lying loose a piece of skin with fat and subcutaneous tissues attached. On this piece of loose skin there are several criss-crossing lacerations. ( SKH- As an unrelated side note on this same page the coroner states, "The uterus is small and no pregnancy is apparent.")
Below shows a page 4 scan of the original Elizabeth Short autopsy summary copied by me from the DA Investigative File in 2004 which references the three separate "crisscross incisions" and "no pregnancy."
Below is a 2013 Email message I received from Steve Lamb in which he states his belief that Elizabeth Short's killer "signed his work with crosshatching", an art term I was not familiar with until his recent communication.
Steve- The Autopsy lists "Tick Tac Toe" marks. I looked at the photos. That's not what those are. Those are CROSSHATCHING. It's how pencil and engravings are traditionally shaded. Every artist develops his own and it's more difficult to forge by far than a signature or most other technique. For an art appraiser or critic the crosshatching is AS GOOD AS A SIGNATURE. Elizabeth Short was signed by her killer.
Sample of crosshatching from YouTube explanation of Crosshatching for Beginners
Local Altadena architect Steven Lamb, originally contacted me back in 2011 and provided a fascinating and significant contribution and corroboration to my ongoing investigation by way of a chance conversation he (Lamb) had with famed Hollywood Surrealist photographer, Edmund Teske back in the late 1970s. (Edmund Teske was a friend to both my father, George Hodel and Man Ray during our residency at the Sowden/Franklin House,
Teske, along with Man Ray, had also taken several Hodel family photographs during his frequent visits. Teske at that time he maintained a friendship with George Hodel was residing at the Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House (Studio B) which had been designed and built by, Frank Lloyd Wright, father to Lloyd Wright, who built the Sowden/Hodel House in 1926.)
Steve Lamb's account of his meeting and conversation with Edmund Teske is reported in full in Black Dahlia Avenger II in the Chapter, "Hollywood Roomers."
Below is a copy of Steve Lamb's letter, "Meeting Ed Teske", which he sent to me, and is reproduced in my 2012 edition of BDA II:
Hodel Boy's photo by Edmund Teske circa 1948.
Taken inside Soweden/Hodel House courtyard.