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Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  287 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Twenty Years after shocking the world in Los Angeles, could Dr. George Hill Hodel have returned to terrorize California as the killer known as Zodiac?

When veteran LAPD homicide detective Steve Hodel discovered that his late father had known the victim of the infamous Black Dahlia murder case in 1947 Los Angeles, the ensuing three-year investigation became the New York T
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Hardcover, 309 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Dutton Adult (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 505)
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fleegan
It helps if you've read Mr. Hodel's first true crime book where he blames his dad for the Black Dahlia murder (and several others), The Black Dahlia Avenger.

Now, how much of an evil douchebag asshole must his father have been for him to NOT ONLY accuse his pops of killing the Black Dahlia (and others) but to then, years later, also accuse him of the Zodiac murders (which took place 20 years after the BD)?

This book, like the last one, is filled with circumstantial evidence, but really, it's less
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Alicia
Although Hodel presents some compelling evidence and coincidences, I'm not altogether convinced that his father was such a prolific serial killer (especially since I think that Robert Graysmith and company hit the Zodiac nail on the head). I feel as though this is a situation of a child (and detective, and author) wanting to explain away far too much, and to be too close to history.

His book on the Black Dahlia Avenger, though, seems to have struck a chord with people involved in the investigatio
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Matt Evans
Steve Hodel was an LA homicide detective for 20+ years. In his first book, published about five years ago, The Black Dahlia Avenger, Hodel names his father, George Hill Hodel, as the killer. In this most recent book, Most Evil: The Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel, Steve Hodel names his father as the Chicago Lipstick Killer and as Zodiac, the infamous (and never caught) San Francisco serial killer of the 1960s and 1970s.

Oh but wait there's more: Dr. George Hodel was indeed and in fact
...more
Paige
A frightening book. Having just finished it, I'm still digesting some of Hodel's theories. It's hard to say, "Yes, I completely believe in his father's guilt" since as Hodel explains his evidence is circumstantial. That being said, it does feel like the author is onto something.
Yvonne Stegall
I was reading this book and had finally made it through to the halfway mark when I just had to give up on it. I am a huge fan of true crime, I even used to study it, on my own, in my spare time. What made me stop reading this book and give it such a low star rating is that there is no proof of anything that is written in it's pages. Sure, this guy thought his dad was a murderer and after some real investigations it was found that he was the culprit for the Black Dahlia murder... but how does tha ...more
Paul
Retired LAPD Detective Steve Hodel believes he has definitively solved the Black Dahlia murder AND determined the identity of the Zodiac Killer... and it's the same person... and it's his father. No spoiler here... Hodel is very upfront about this in the first few pages of the book.

Hodel makes connections that detectives couldn't have made decades ago. But are the connections too much of a stretch? There are some critical missing pieces of evidence. Most likely, those pieces are lost due to the
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Hillary
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
What the world?
This book started out fast and ended fast.
I picked it up in my local Dollar Tree book selection... sorry author.
I started reading it right there in the isle and when I realized I was into the 2nd chapter. I bought it and read it all night long. Very interesting and makes you wonder... could a serial killer really have come back as two different serial killers... even the ZODIAC??!!

4 stars!!!!

Licha
For some odd reason, I am fascinated by the story of George Hodel. I first read about him in Steve Hodel's first book about his father being the Black Dahlia's murderer. Same as with his first book, I don't know that I buy any of Steve's story about his father being a serial murderer. Why would the LAPD choose to cover up that George had killed Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia? In this book, Steve has come upon more information that now makes him believe his father is also the Zodiac killer ...more
Casey
I swear to god if Steve Hodel could have he would have accused his father of being Jack the Ripper he would have! but then again that could be in his next book...

This book was circumstantial at best and flat out accusations and pointing fingers at, no thats just what it was who am I kidding? Serial killers RARELY change their MO, and I can't imagine his father would go from chopping up women to (20 yrs. later when he would at least be in his 50's) shooting both men and women! talk about crying
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Neil Collins
Most Evil; author Steve Hodel picks up where he left off in his first book, Black Dahlia Avenger. In the first book he set out to prove conclusively that his father, Dr. George Hodel, was the perpetrator of one of Los Angeles’ most notorious unsolved murders. In Most Evil, the son sets out to prove that his father not only committed that heinous murder, but strings of seemingly unrelated serial murders in multiple states, as well as in the Philippines; most notably, the younger Hodel asserts tha ...more
Valerie
Having read "The Black Dahlia Avenger" prior to this follow-up book, I found the details very interesting although almost too much to believe. However, the author Steve Hodel, was a very experiened and successful homicide detective for many years and is now a private investigator. He is the son of Dr. George Hill Hodel, who was a suspect in Black Dahlia murder and several others in southern California. In this particular volume, Steve Hodel also linked his father (whom he loved) to the Zodiac mu ...more
Peacegal
Dear old Dad may have been the Black Dahlia murderer, the Zodiac serial killer, and the perpetrator behind a string of less-famous murders, the author posits.

If you can tolerate lots and lots of references to the author’s previous book, Black Dahlia Avenger, Most Evil is an interesting look at some very famous unsolved murders, even if you don’t buy the argument that they were all the work of a single man.

Of personal interest to me, as a vegetarian, were the investigating officers’ thoughts ab
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John
Several years ago Steve Hodel, a former LA cop, wrote a book in which he tried to prove that his father George Hill Hodel was the Black Dahlia killer. It was a well-written, interesting book, but it didn't close the case. Now in Most Evil Steve Hodel tries to prove that his father was also Chicago's Lipstick Killer of the 40s, San Francisco's Zodiac Killer of the 60s, and a murderer in the Philippines in 1967.

Hodel presents a lot of circumstantial evidence but doesn't come close to proving his c
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Heather
Hodel provides incredible evidence to prove that his father was the Black Dahlia, Zodiac, Lipstick, and Jigsaw killer. I opened this book slightly rolling my eyes--I had read his previous work, "The Black Dahlia Avenger" which provided hard-to-ignore proof that his father was the Black Dahlia's murderer, but to me it seemed a tad far-fetched that Dr. Hodel could be so many serial killers in one. I came away a believer after seeing the physical and circumstantial evidence the author provides. The ...more
Chandler
Though its debatable whether the author's father did commit any of the crimes that he purports that he did commit, Hodel does make some convincing cases, tying in the various modus operandis of the Black Dahlia Murderer and the Zodiac killer. This book had a fast paced flow which hooked me early. Granted, it is choppy in that each chapter is quick and the sentence/paragraph structure leans more towards the short and bite sized factual nuggets, but that works for this type of novel. At times I wo ...more
Rob
basically, the early chapters of book reiterate everything the author said re the black dahlia case in his first book. what follows is an occasionally interesting, often tedious, parade of well-known facts regarding the lipstick killer murders and the zodiac case, with sketchy, tenuous (at best) connections to dr. hodel. an interesting quick read, but hardly convincing.
Sue
Try to imagine how you would feel if you discovered that your father was in fact not just a serial killer but in all likelihood responsible for SEVERAL infamous series of killings (from the lipstick killings in Chicago to the Black Dahlia and Avenger killings to the Zodiac killer)? Now imagine the painful irony if your career was criminal investigation. This book is the second by Hodel about his father, someone who clearly lived a double life from the evidence Hodel provides. In this book, he di ...more
Ali
After reading Hodel's first book, Black Dahlia Avenger, I am convinced of his case that his father was, in fact, responsible for the Black Dahlia murder as well as several others in the L.A. area. This book, while interesting - even intriguing in some parts - falls extremely flat in trying to convince the reader of Hodel Senior's guilt in the Zodiac killings. The DRASTIC change in M.O. makes zero sense, and the author can't even prove his father was even in the country during the Zodiac murders. ...more
Erik
I liked his original book The Black Dahlia Avenger mostly for its awesome late-40s Los Angeles noir conspiracy theory (accurate or not), but this book is a bit of a stretch. At least his father actually was a suspect in the Dahlia body dump at one point, as DA's records have proven, and he may have been the killer (though I prefer Larry Harnisch's theory myself). Trying to link him to the Zodiac and Lipstick Murderer killings isn't even circumstantial, it's-to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes-twisting ...more
Donovan
Probably the best serial killer/mystery/psychological book I've read in a long time. Well worth the read. SOOO good.
Kate Diamond
Worst book ever. Unresearched, the only 'evidence' he presents are circumstantial - or perceived circumstantial i.e. 'my Father COULD have been in San Francisco on those dates ...' , - and handwriting analysis, which is all but de-bunked, and he compares writing with writing that has be determined to have been written differently purposely to disguise writing.
Hasn't even googled basic questions - 'I'm sure they could get DNA from his gloves, because hands sweat' - instead preferring to leave qu
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Mike
I was on an extended trip and ran out of reading material, and came across this in the book section of the Marine Corps Exchange. Being a fan of mysteries, the claim the author made in solving the Black Dahlia Murder, The Chicago Lipstick Murders, The Zodiac Killings, and several other murders around the world was intriguing. His assertion that they were all committed by the same man was fantastic. That the killer was his father was incredulous. The writing and storytelling wasn't my favorite, b ...more
Jennie
Much of his evidence is highly circumstantial, maybe even a big stretch in a few places, however...

There are some bits of evidence and theories that fit pretty damn well...just not sure if they fit well because once a pattern is sought, the mind will make anything bend to fit.

George Hodel is a fascinating psychopath to read about and just as with Black Dahlia Avenger, I want Steve Hodel's theories to be true. George Hodel would be the most intellectually satisfying serial killer.

If this were a n
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Vince
Wow. The author, an ex LA police detective, lays out a compeling case that his father was a serial killer spanning 30 years. He lays the blame for the Black Dahlia, Zodiac, killings in Chicago and Asia all at his father's doorstep. I have no way of verifying much of his information and I'm never impressed with hand writing analysis which takes up way to much of this book but the rest of the coincidences seem plausible and unexpalainable unless his father really was the killer. A must read book i ...more
Lisette
Very good book, with a good argument. I feel like a lot of the evidence is circumstantial even speculative. The author himself admits to not knowing where his father was for long periods of time. I can believe his father is the Black Dahlia Avenger, and responsible for the crimes in Manila, but linking him to the Zodiac? I think that's stretching it, plus there's a major change in MO.The author does a good job of making the pieces fit, but anyone slick enough can do that. Hodel's theory is inter ...more
Brittany
The author only accomplished casting doubt upon his first book, which was surprising well written and convincing. Hodel had a difficult childhood, but this book only proves that he is hellbent on blaming his father for every murder he possibly can. This book is so circumstantial that the author can't even confirm whether his father was in the United States at the time of several of the murders.

For a proper reading of San Francisco's Zodiac murders, do yourself a favor and read Zodiac by Robert
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Alicia
The author is the son of this Dr. George Hodel and he is convinced that his father is the man behind some of the most famous murders in all of California.

His ideas and evidence are compelling, but not concrete. He's hoping for some DNA evidence to prove him right. However until that happens he just has to assume.

The book is scary and dark. But if he is right, he would bring a lot of people peace to know that the killer of their loved ones have finally been named.
Ange Brown
I usually hate non-fiction, but this had me hooked the entire time.
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Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder Black Dahlia Avenger II: Presenting the Follow-Up Investigation and Further Evidence Linking Dr. George Hill Hodel to Los Angeles's Black Dahlia and Other 1940s Lone Woman Murders Most Evil Most Evil Hodel-Black Dahlia Case File No. 30-1268

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