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Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel Hardcover – September 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951322
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Steve Hodel's relentless and compelling investigation, detailed in MOST EVIL, revolutionizes the way we think about some of the most brutal and previously unconnected murders in American history--and may change our understanding of serial killers altogether. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Twenty years after shocking the world with the Black Dahlia murder, could Dr. George Hill Hodel have returned as a killer unlike anyone had ever known?

Former LAPD detective Steve Hodel has devoted the last decade to examining the
fascinating and mysterious life of his father, Dr. George Hill Hodel. His findings indicate
that Hodel was one of the most prolific serial killers in history, beginning as a young man
and continuing to kill undetected throughout his life, including his possible involvement in
Chicago's "Lipstick Murders" and the series of killings in 1960s California by the man who
called himself Zodiac.

In Most Evil, Hodel compiles never-before-seen visual, cirucumstantial, and forensic evidence that reveals his father as a serial killer who may have been responsible for some of the most infamous murders of the last century. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

This book is worth reading for those summaries alone.
R. Schultz
It's too bad that the author grabbed onto this theory, as it really reduces his credibility.
Alison A. Shurtleff
I read Steve Hodel's original book linking his father to the Black Dahlia murder.
David Lenker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Alison A. Shurtleff on December 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I just finished this book, and while it is interesting and at times fascinating, you are left thinking, Ok, that was an intriguing theory, but we are no more certain that George Hodel was the Zodiac killer than when we started the book. Not only that, but two glaring issues stand out that the author did not address: From what we know of Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, she was oftentimes nearly destitute. How, then, was she able to travel to Chicago to investigate the Degnan murder? Second, and even more glaring, the author never addresses the extremely disimilar modus operandi between the Black Dahlia murder and the Zodiac killings. This, to me, is almost laughable if you stop to think about it. George Hodel goes from a killer who likes to pose his victims to match the perverse art of Man Ray to someone who just stands outside a car and shoots victims through a window, not even coming into physical contact with at least four of his victims. These types of killings bear absolutely no resemblance to one another. Yet the author never addresses this in his book. As a senior homicide detective with 20 years on the force, did the thought not occur to him that the killing of Elizabeth Short and David Arthur Faraday/Betty Lou Jensen bear absolutely no commonalities? While I am almost convinced (without the lack of irrefutable physical evidence) that George Hodel killed Elizabeth Short, that he was also the Zodiac killer is a theory based on a series of interesting coincidences and nothing more. It's too bad that the author grabbed onto this theory, as it really reduces his credibility. A much stronger case could be made that any of the original Zodiac suspects, including Arthur Leigh Allen, was the real thing.Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Regal One on July 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a quick and interesting read about several unsolved (or incorrectly "solved") murders that the author strings together and lays at the feet of his father. While I did not read his first book, this book's retelling of the Black Dahlia murder convinces me that his father very likely was the murderer of Elizabeth Short. On the other hand I found very little in this book to convince me his father committed any of the other murders the author fingers him for. I would have expected a thorough time line showing where George Hodel was when each crime was committed and how the author(s) know that. Absent any real proof that his Dad was in Chicago during the crimes the author attributes to his Dad or in San Francisco during the Zodiac killings, the rest of the crimes remain unsolved in my mind. There are some interesting coincidences, (i.e. letters to various newspapers that bear some resemblance to each other) that may point to the same person as killer...and that person may be his father....but then again it could all just be coincidences tied together with "facts" that the author wants to use to prove his point, while discarding any other "facts" that would point in a different direction. The most obvious "fact" that S. Hodel seems to constantly skim over is that the murder victims and the method of killing vary so widely, and that is not usually the case with serial killers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Steven Hodel wasn't just an ordinary homicide detective in Los Angeles, California. He was the son of a prominent doctor, Dr. George Hill Hodel. It wasn't until after his death that Steven began to research his father's secret life and the possible secrets he held until his death. Steven was an experienced homicide detective in Los Angeles, California and retired by the time of his father's death.

Dr. George Hill Hodel's life was of contradiction. He was a family man who fathered about ten children but also performed abortions before it was finally legalized in 1973. He was tested as a genius but he was diabolical and totally lacking empathy for those around him including his own children and wives.

This book offers some compelling facts about crimes that went unsolved such as the Black Dahlia killing which he was considered a viable suspect but left the country before he could be arrested. If he had been arrested, Dr. Hodel could have revealed some damaging secrets about the famous and powerful in Hollywood. He was friends with director, John Huston, and photographer, Man Ray, and author Henry Miller among them.

If he had been arrested for Elizabeth Short's murder in 1950, there could have possibly been so many people's lives affected forever including his children. Dr. Hodel was in fact brought up on charges of molesting his own daughter, Tamar Hodel, and even his own granddaughter years later.

Dr. Hodel's evil knew no bounds. He lacked a conscience and empathy towards his own children, wives, and loved ones. He was somebody who was lacking a moral compass if he ever had one. He was sadistic, misogynistic, and a male chauvinist that his own son would reveal.
Read more ›
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By anon on October 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for closure for all the questions you have from Avenger, this book isn't for you. It feels like there should have been a book in between because to are going to learn a grocery list of circumstantial evidence to tie him to the Degnan and Lipstick killings in Chicago and the Zodiac murders in Northern California. The basis of much of his claims hinge on the fact that his father was the Black Dahlia Avenger and we have no clue if he is or isn't. Mr.Hodel writes with a lot of supposition and many simple things haven't even been researched at all. The composite on the back of the book is NOT an official SFPD composite. A reader did some amateur sleuthing and discovered that the drawing on the back was done for another book by a comic book illustrator. For people studying the Black Dahlia case, there's nothing for you in this book. If you follow the Zodiac case, you may be interested but you need to fact check the info. Save your money.
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