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MOST EVIL II Sequel Publishes - Presents Decryption of 1970 Zodiac Cipher in which San Francisco Killer Reveals His True Identity - Steve Hodel

MOST EVIL II Sequel Publishes – Presents Decryption of 1970 Zodiac Cipher in which San Francisco Killer Reveals His True Identity

Most Evil II Rev Cover Aug 2015 for SH_0001 - Copy

“Speaking as a veteran homicide detective with forty-six years experience, it is now my considered professional opinion that Dr. George Hill Hodel was, in fact, the San Francisco serial killer known as ZODIAC.  Further, the solving of the known 1970 Zodiac cipher,  as presented here for the first time, is George Hodel’s  signed admission and confession to having committed those crimes.”

Steve Hodel
Excerpt from Open Letter to Readers
September 15, 2015

Open Letter to my Readers

September 15, 2015

Dear Friends and Readers:

Today I present the latest evidence of what has now become a sixteen-year investigation into the life and crimes of my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel.

               Most Evil II is my fourth book.  Four books, but one investigation and one suspect.

               To date, I have examined and linked my father to twenty-five separate serial crimes spanning twenty-six years (1943-1969.)

As the LADA secret police files and the hard evidence and forensics continued to build over the years, most have become convinced, “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  Most recognize what law enforcement knew back then–that George Hodel was in truth the “Black Dahlia Avenger.”  That he was LA’s 1940s “Lone Woman Murderer,” and had sadistically slain a dozen women and taunted the police with his “catch me if you can” crime scene notes and mailings.

With the discovery of the LADA secret Hodel Black Dahlia Files, I was led into, darker deeper waters.  As I continued to examine those original 1940s secret police files, I discovered that not only did they confirm, that Elizabeth Short, the “Black Dahlia,” had  known and been a girlfriend of George Hodel, but, more.   They revealed that in 1946 (while George Hodel was temporarily doctoring for the United Nations in China) Elizabeth had traveled to Chicago. Why?  Official reports suggest her reason had been to obtain information on the recently headlined, “Lipstick Murders”; three horrific, sadistic killings that had been committed in Chicago in the months  immediately prior to George Hodel leaving the country.

As I followed the evidence, it led me first to Chicago, then, out of the U.S. to Asia, to Manila, Philippines where a copy-cat Black Dahlia murder occurred in 1967. A surgical/torture murder where the young woman’s body was posed in a vacant lot,  just one mile from my father’s then residence.  Information discovered in that crime directed me back stateside and pointed me north to the San Francisco Bay Area and to an examination of the serial crimes committed by a suspect calling himself, “Zodiac.”

All of that linkage was presented in Most Evil: The Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel.(Dutton, 2009)

While I believe  I had made a “compelling case” that George Hodel could very well have committed the San Francisco crimes and reinvented himself from “Avenger” in the 1940s to “Zodiac” in the 1960s,  I also knew, unlike the LA serial killings, I had not “made my case.” The known evidence while compelling still remained–circumstantial.

Unlike my BDA investigation, I could not make the claim, “Case Solved.”  In my closing chapter of Most Evil, I made a plea for law enforcement to obtain a confirmed sample of Zodiac’s DNA (still not done) and to make a comparison to my father’s DNA. (I am now in possession of his full DNA profile.)

I ended MOST EVIL by informing my readers that, “The Investigation Continues.”

Now, six years later, I present that follow-up Investigation to that book, along with a new claim.

Based on my new findings as revealed in Most Evil II,  supported by the  evidence, M.O., and crime signatures found in my previous three books, I offer the following:

Speaking as a veteran homicide detective with forty-six years experience, it is now my considered professional opinion that Dr. George Hill Hodel was, in fact, the San Francisco serial killer known as ZODIAC.  Further, the solving of the known 1970 Zodiac cipher,  as presented here for the first time, is George Hodel’s  signed admission and confession to having committed those crimes.

Throughout these many years, you, my readers, have always remained the triers of fact–my jury.  I ask you once again to resume that role and dispassionately review the new evidence and judge for yourself.

Most Respectfully Yours,

Steve Hodel
Los Angeles, California
September 15, 2015

See Rare Bird Books  MOST EVIL II Publication Announcement and currently scheduled Author Talks – HERE.

French High School Teacher Solves 1970 Zodiac Halloween Card Cipher- Identifies Killer

Excerpts from Most Evil II – Chapter 10

Just as I was closing down my computer, it happened.
The sound of an incoming email. I glanced at my inbox and noted it was from France. I clicked on the new message:

 Dear Sir,

 Have you ever noticed that Zodiac’s signature was acompound of two ogham “letters”? The letter on the leftside is for “H” and the letter on the right side is for “L.” The Irish name of the first “letter” is “beithe,” that means “flash,” “flame,” and the other is called “uath,” the old-Irish word for “scare.” The dots remain mysterious.

I read your first book shortly after it was published, and it deeply changed my mind upon the real meaning of XXth century (namely, in the fields of ideology and culture).

Best regards from France.
—Y. P.

Zodiac Halloween Card Deciphered (See decryption details in Chapter 10)


 Fig. 10.8

The credit for this remarkable discovery must go to “Y. P.” in Paris, France. I recently wrote and asked him if I might have permission to credit and use his real name, which he has just granted. “Y. P.” is M. Yves Person, and to add a further ironic twist to our ongoing investigation, he teaches literature at a high school in the suburbs of Paris.*

 Yves Person, Paris, France 2015 10.9

 Fig 10.9

Note- *Many readers will recall that after the US military and intelligence experts were unable to solve Zodiac’s original 1969 three-part cryptogram, a married couple, Donald and Bettye Harden,“cracked the code” after studying it for just one weekend. Their solution was confirmed by the Vallejo Police Department and published in the San Francisco newspapers. Donald Harden, like Yves Person, was also a high school teacher. Harden taught history and economics at North Salinas High School in Salinas, California.

Most Evil II presents two major headlines click here for headlines


zodiac avenger composites compare 49 to 69 FNL


  1. Brian Weatherby says:

    Where can I find this in the la basin? Must read immediately!

    • Steve Hodel says:

      Amazon can probably get it to you in two days, or call your local bookstore? Just launched today so could take a few days? Best, Steve

      • Amazon had a few copies available for about a day and now has Most Evil II listed as a pre-order.

        Abebooks and Alibris appear to have available copies.

        It will be worth the wait, but hopefully it arrives quickly!

  2. I can’t wait to read this new book. I just ordered it from Amazon.

  3. Steve Daniels says:

    Steve, I would still like you to present at our annual homicide conference. This makes it more inviting. I will buy martinis.
    Steve Daniels

    • Steve Hodel says:

      Thanks Steve. Sounds good, but unfortunately these days I have to hold the gin or vodka. Just the olives. Sad, but true. Best, steve

  4. Steve,

    Having read every word and book written from Black Dahlia to Most Evil, I am thrilled to close it out with one more book which I have already pre-ordered. Much success and blessings with the book, and looking forward in making this a major motion picture as we have discussed years ago. 🙂


    • Steve Hodel says:

      Marc G: Thanks much for the kind words. Much appreciated. Be great to present the full story on the Big or Little screen. Trying to make it happen. Best, Steve

  5. Dear Steve,

    Congratulations. Once again you have brought six more years of insight and information to culmination. You are an amazing, dogged, intrepid investigator/detective! It is so very difficult to stay on the trail for so long without muddying the water. Your methods are demonstrably curious, objective, fact-based, and accurate. MEII is a great read with one hell-of-a conclusion! A conclusion with which I agree!


    • Steve Hodel says:

      Thanks Robert. Appreciate your unselfish and “dogged” assist in helping me to ferret out so many of the “small details” that together give us the big picture. You’ve been a good friend. Constant and True. A real life “Dr. Watson.”

  6. Andrea Whiteman says:

    Will your book be available in the Kindle format?

  7. Amazon and Barnes & Noble say the paperback publication date is September 29. However, nothing is mentioned about a Kindle or Nook edition. Do you know if these versions will be made available?

  8. Christina M says:

    Hi Steve,
    Just ordered your latest book through your publisher and can’t wait to read it. I have read the first 3 and totally believe you have solved these “cold cases”. What concerns me most is what impact all of your research and discoveries have on you and the psyches of all of your family? It has to be devastating to find that your father was a monster in every sense of the word. How do you reconcile yourself to realize that what he did has no barring on you or your family? Please tell me to mind my own business if what I wonder is too personal for you to answer! Thanks, and keep on fighting the good fight. You give hope to many people that someday someone may solve a crime involving their loved ones.

  9. Steve Hodel says:

    Hi Christina M:
    Thanks for the kind words and support.
    Well, yes, having one of the world’s “Most Evil” misanthropes as one’s father can be hazardous to one’s mental health for sure. Not to mention the genetic potentials etc. That said, each family member has to respond with his or her own responsibility. (Ability to respond) Many families come from very difficult environments, physical and sexual abuse, alcoholism, etc. Some are survivors, some are not. But, all one can do is deal with the hand they are dealt and strive to make their own life constructive and honorable. Most of my family has done that. Naturally, none of us knew about the serial killings until our father was gone. Best, Steve

  10. Hi Steve,

    Just finished reading ME II. Thanks once again for digging and digging until the truth is finally revealed. If only we were all so tenacious. Do you still plan on publishing a book on your father’s early years as a serial killer?


  11. Steve Hodel says:

    Hi Ryan: Thanks for the kind words.

    Yes. After I decompress for a bit, I will resume my pursuit of ferreting out the crimes fro his “Early Years.” Every time I begin to pursue something comes along to divert my headlights. First it was Most Evil, then BDA II and then Most Evil II. Frustrating, but it is only after I completed those investigations that I could see how they were needed to be done before pursuing the final book.

    After a few deep breathes, I will get back on it and resume my investigation. Expect this will be the last book on my father’s life and crimes. I sure hope so! Best Regards, Steve

  12. When tpu look back you may also have the snswer to the jean apangler case

  13. Bryan Reeves says:

    Steve-Just recently discovered this amazing (and disturbing) series, and have a question: Do BD AVENGER II and MOST EVIL II reprint the entirety of the first volumes?
    Bryan Reeves

    • Hi Bryan: No, not repetitive. Both BDA II and Most Evil II contain all new updated investigations. Massive amount of new findings and linkage. In the case of BDA II be sure to order the 2014 edition which contains five new chapters added to the 2012 printing. Best Regards, Steve

  14. Jo Gratziano says:

    Wow. I tell this story to anyone that will listen. Just reread “Most Evil” because that’s where I lose the most people. The Zodiac angle leaves most people in the dust. It’s all there, though. I’m going to now order “Most Evil 2”.
    I live at Normandie and Melrose and can’t resist looking at your old house when I drive by Franklin and Normandie.
    I want you to know I respect what you have done and I believe you. This couldn’t have been easy. Thank you for standing up for the victims and setting this story to paper so eloquently.
    Jo Gratziano

    • Hi Jo. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. I think you will find in reading ME II how it all comes together and validates his personal madness and crime signature as, “Murder as a Fine Art” theme. All my best, Steve.

  15. What did the police and investigators said about your evidence proved in your books? Is there any official development in the case thanks to you?

    • Richard: LAPD’s “official” position is “they don’t have time to review the investigation due to needing to attempt to solve more recent cases.” That said, four of LA’s top brass in LE (LAPD Chiefs Parker and Thad Brown, DA Lt. Frank Jemison, Undersheriff James Downey) all privately and independently confirmed back then that the “case was solved and the killer was Dr. George Hill Hodel.” Subsequent to my publication, both Head DDA Steve Kay and then active LAPD Chief of Detectives, James MacMurray declared “case solved” and Chief MacMurray ordered his detectives to “Go ahead and clear the case.” (His order was ignored by detectives, knowing he would retire in 9 months.) In regards to the Northern California Zodiac investigation I have offered to personally present the “new evidence” but so far as indicated in Most Evil II, none of the LE agencies are open to hearing it and no confirmed DNA evidence on Zodiac has yet been obtained by LE. California DOJ (Dept of Justice) handwriting expert has reviewed George Hodel’s handwriting and stated, “I am unable to eliminate Dr. Hodel’s handwriting as being “Zodiac” but unable to confirm authorship without additional “lower case HW samples”. (So far they are non-existent, as my father normally wrote in upper case.) Regards, skh.

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