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1949 Article in NY Daily News Provides Additional Details and Testimony on George Hodel Incest Trial - Steve Hodel

1949 Article in NY Daily News Provides Additional Details and Testimony on George Hodel Incest Trial

September 30, 2018
Los Angeles, California




Tamar’s mother, Dorothy Barbe testifies at 1949 trial.
(This is the first time I’ve seen a photo of Tamar’s mother from that time period.)


The caption above reads:
“Beautiful 22-year-old Barbara Sherman, above, denies 14-year-old
Tamar Hodel’s charges of Hollywood sex orgy, but admits intimacy
with Dr. George Hill Hodel, Tamar’s father.”

I recently discovered this October 30, 1949 article from the New York Daily News which contained additional details in their reportage on the Hodel Incest Trial.

  • Witness Barbara Sherman and GHH were intimate and she refused to testify against him at trial.
  • GHH and Barbara were naked in the bedroom when Tamar entered also present in the room were Fred Sexton and a second adult, Corinne (Connie) Tarin who was dressed.
  • Barbara helped Tamar disrobe.
  • Sexton and Tamar were kissing “then Fred and I had normal intimate relations on the bed, nude.”
  • George Hodel then later “arranged an abnormal act between her (Tamar) and Barbara.”
  • Tamar’s testimony was supported by Fred Sexton and Connie Tarin.
  • Tamar’s mother, Dorothy Barbe claimed her daughter was a “pathological liar.”
  • Tamar came to live with her father in June 1949 and claimed the sex acts occurred on “Father’s Day” of that year.
  • Tamar admitted, “being intimate with other boys and becoming pregnant.”
  • Tamar admitted staying out numerous times with boys after midnight.
  • When asked where she had been prior to coming home on the night of the sex acts Tamar responded, “Out in a hot-rod getting the hair blown off my head.” When asked, “With whom?” she replied, “I can’t remember.”
  • The article closes with naming Dr. Francis C. Ballard, 36 and an associate, Charles Smith 36, are being held in a connected case, charging them with performing an abortion on Tamar.

The newspaper includes the following trial testimony exchange between defense attorney Robert Neeb and Tamar:

NEEB:  ” Isn’t it a fact that you told your father you had intercourse with 40 boys in the month you had been in Hollywood? Didn’t you tell him you were pregnant and that you didn’t know who would be the father of your child?”

TAMAR:  “When I found out I was pregnant I wanted to call my mother and he didn’t want me to.”

NEED:  Had you ever had intercourse before?

TAMAR: Yes, with a roomer. I fancied myself in love with him.”   (This was likely Joseph Barrett, a roomer at the Hodel home then age 25. Barrett would later become an important Black Dahlia witness both with the DA’s office in 1950 (as their “mole” inside the castle) and then fifty-years later  in my investigation in 2000. During my interviews with him he admitted he had been intimate with Tamar in 1949.)

Complete Hodel TRIAL article attached as a PDF – HERE.   NEW YORK DAILY NEWS TamarTrial – Copy



The New York Daily News, officially titled Daily News was founded in 1919 and
was the first U.S. daily printed in tabloid format. It reached its peak circulation in 1947, at 2.4 million copies a day.


  1. Luigi Warren says:

    Steve: The hypnotism thing is yet another link to the CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND universe. Maybe that’s where the line “I am now in control of all things” comes from. -LW

    • MA borawick says:

      What hypnosis are you referring to? Asked Steve re that before. Most people do not realize that hypnosis was used to commit /facilitate sex & other crimes for many decades.
      The public was given a spin that no one would ever do anything under hypnosis that they wouldn’t normally do, but that is totally false because hypnosis can be used to mislead people into doing things that are not what they think they’re doing. It was used by the military as a tool and probably still is. One of the earliest books on this from George Estabrooks (I believe Army Intelligence) and his book, Hypnosis. Anyone interested in this topic in the context of committing crimes against people should read the Encyclopedia of Hypnosis by a woman whose name I’m blanking on at the moment.

      • Luigi Warren says:

        See the trial quotes in the Daily News article (“Dr. Hodel asked for volunteers and I volunteered… He began the hypnotism routine.”) Regarding the events at the sex party, Hodel told the DA, “I can’t figure out whether someone is hypnotizing me or I am hypnotizing them.” At the climax of CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND, Chan hypnotizes Rhadini/Zodiac’s beautiful assistant, Eve Cairo (“I am now your control — your lips will speak my thoughts as they come to you.”) -LW

  2. Mark Bujdos says:

    Steve, how do these additional details add to your understanding of the case?

  3. Steve Hodel says:

    Mark B:

    No transcripts exist (that I am aware of?) from the preliminary hearing or actual trial, so the details of Tamar’s testimony are few, only coming from newspaper reportage.

    Many readers were under the belief that Tamar was impregnated by her father. Here we learn she was pregnant BEFORE the sex acts with him. We also learn that she had sexual intercourse with Fred Sexton “on the night of” the “party.” (Sexton claimed he only attempted to have sex, but did not complete the act.) This account also confirms that both percipient witnesses Fred Sexton and Corrine Tarin confirm Tamar’s account. Also, we learn that Barbara Shearman was intimate with GHH which is new to me. ( We do know that she recanted her earlier statements to police which confirmed she observed the sex acts between father/daughter and was charged with perjury for her reversal of earlier allegations. (I’m sure like other witnesses she was threatened and terrified not to testify against GHH.) In January, post-verdict, Barbara received a sentence of “probation” after GHH was acquited. This was the same time that witness Lillian Lenorak attempted to come forward and change her previous perjured testimony wanting to “tell the truth” about being present during Tamar’s abortion and was subsequently assaulted, drugged, and GHH “staged her attempted suicide” by superficially cutting then bandaging her wrists per the Santa Barbara Police Officer Mary Unkefer Letter. ( Discovered in 2003 in the DA Secret Files.) skh

  4. barry guerrero says:


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