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

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting read, but not very plausible.

    The book was interesting and well written, but not the best book. While it had a lot of information which was very useful and fun to read, I am unconvinced that George Hodel was really what this book says he is. Those strings of murders were unrelated and had different MO's and signatures, and I doubt it was the doing of the same man. But if you want to check it out, it does for an interesting read. I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone, because I'm sure lots of people would find this book ridiculous. However, I would recommend it to someone who just wants information on the murders, although it wouldn't be my first choice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting, if not fully convincing

    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 that Dr. George Hodel was the serial killer who called himself The Zodiac.

    Steve Hodel, a veteran LAPD homicide detective, applies his expertise and intimate knowledge to draw a line connecting several murders in California in the 1940's to the "Lipstick murders" in Chicago (also in the '40's), then to another series in Manila, and finally to the highly publicized Zodiac killings in and around San Francisco in the '60's.

    Decidedly, an interesting read to any students of the psychology and investigation of serial criminals, Most Evil does manage to draw some tenuous connections. In a purely surface sort of way, I can see where one could be convinced that each and every one of these dozens of grisly murders and attacks could have been committed by Dr. Hodel. By all description, he was a medical practitioner, brilliant and charismatic, a world traveler and suspected (arrested and charged, but not convicted) of molesting and even impregnating his own daughter.

    However, in reading Detective Hodel's recounting of the "evidence", I found myself having to step back and ask if the "May haves" and "Could possiblys" weren't almost as likely to point in other directions. Like the UFO and Bigfoot "proofs" I enjoyed in my childhood, I see nearly as many holes in the story as there "facts". I lost count of the times the author wrote, "If there is any DNA on the missing item it might well prove."

    Likewise, I found it disconcerting the way he continually misstated his own credentials; an LAPD Homicide Detective for 24 years. While I'm sure Detective Hodel was an active member of LAPD for 24 years, at least the first 5 to 10 of those would have been as a street cop, and only later would he have been promoted to the lofty rank of Detective. That he retired after 24 years and not 25 or 30 raises the question in my mind of "Why?" All of which only added to my doubt and unwillingness to take the information presented at face value.

    In the end though, I have to admit that the seemingly overwhelming too coincidental to be coincidental details do paint quite a case against the late Dr. Hodel.

    For buffs of this genre, Most Evil presents a lot to think about and a rare glimpse into the murky world of serial murderers. I may just have to reread John Douglas' book, "The Cases That Haunt Us", wherein he examines the actual Zodiac case and compare it to Hodel's observations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 16, 2012

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    Posted June 10, 2011

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    Posted January 31, 2011

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