1947 SANTA MONICA MURDER NOTE STRENGTHENS THEORY THAT CHICAGO, LA, RIVERSIDE AND SAN FRANCISCO CRIMES MAY BE CONNECTED
The heretofore, motiveless murder of Santa Monica teenager, Lillian Dominguez, is now believed linked to other 1940s “L.A. Lone Women Murders.” Her killer left a handwritten note which read:
”I killed that Santa Monica girl. I will kill others”
Based on my examination and review of the known facts surrounding the stabbing-murder of Santa Monica victim, Lillian Dominguez, age-15, which occurred on October 2, 1947, I am now adding her name to the list of Los Angeles crimes, I believe were committed by my father, Dr. George Hill Hodel, in the decade of the 1940s. What follows is a summary of the known facts, justifying my suspicions:
LILLIAN DOMINGUEZ – CRIME SUMMARY
On the night of October 2, 1947, 15-year-old high-school student, Lillian Dominguez was walking home from a school dance with her sister Angie and their friend, Andrea Marquez.
As the three girls approached the intersection of 17th Street & Michigan Ave., in Santa Monica, a man approached them in the darkness and walked by. Seconds later, Lillian told her sister, “That man touched me.” She took a few steps and yelled out, ”I can’t see.” Lillian staggered against the fence, collapsed and died.
An autopsy established that Lillian had been stabbed in the heart with a long thin bladed “stiletto-type” knife, or possibly an ice-pick. The 1/2″ wide blade penetrated 3 1/2″ directly into the heart. No real accurate description of her attacker was believed obtained other than the teenager’s initial description of him being, “a man.”
L.A. Times October 7, 1947, victim’s sister, Angie Dominguez & Andrea Marquez
After reading the info in the L.A. Times on the Coroner’s statements I queried an email to my friend, Dr. Doug Lyle. Here is my question along with his email response.
Trust all is well with you and yours!
I’m looking at an old/cold murder case from the 40s. The victim a teenager was walking home from a school dance
following her sister on the sidewalk. A man crossed the street, walked by her, and she said to her sister’s,
“That man touched me.” She then walked a few more feet, went blind, and said, “I can’t see anything.” She collapsed and died.
In reviewing a press article on the stabbing/murder the info from the coroner’s office printed in the paper reads:
“Dr. Frederick Newbarr, county autopsy surgeon, reported after performing an autopsy that the stab wound in the girl’s left breast is 3 3/4″ inches deep and a half inch wide and that it penetrated only the heart muscle, not the heart itself. Death, he said, apparently was caused by internal bleeding. Severance of nerves could have numbed pain and caused the blindness of which the girl complained, Dr. Newbarr said.”
1) Forgive my anatomical ignorance, but what is the distinction/difference between “the heart and the heart muscle?” What are they saying here?
2) Any thought on the blindness. Would that be unusual or common with the facts as stated?
This shows you how far behind they were 70 years ago. The heart muscle is the main part of the heart and the part that would be stabbed in such an injury as this. Severing of nerves–of which there are no major ones in that area—would NOT cause blindness. Either she had some other injury or the blindness could be the hysterical type. Some people under extreme stress go blind–it is all psychiatric—and is called hysterical blindness. Or in this case she could have been in shock or her blood pressure could have suddenly dropped from the heart injury and if so the low blood pressure could cause blurred and then dim vision just before losing consciousness and dying. I’d suspect this latter is what happened since she died almost immediately after her visual complaints.
On the evening of October 9, 1947, exactly one-week after the stabbing, her killer left a handwritten note under the door of an L.A. furniture store (location not identified). The note, written in pencil on the back of a business card of a “Mexican restaurant” read:
Neither the names nor locations of the Mexican restaurant, and the ”furniture store” were publicly identified so it not known if they were in the immediate area of the stabbing or at some distant location? (We recall that George Hodel left or mailed some of his notes Kern, Short, French (the cabbie note) just blocks away from his medical office in downtown, Los Angeles.)
LA LONE WOMAN MURDER LOCATIONS
First, let us observe that the 1947 Lillian Dominguez crime is just 2 miles west of the 1947, Jeanne French, “Red Lipstick Murder.” A crime that L.A. County Head Deputy D.A. believes was committed by Dr. George Hill Hodel three weeks after the Elizabeth Short murder, both of which also occurred in 1947. The second map shows ALL victim locations. Note that six of the eight victims’ (identified in red) all had taunting notes connected with their murders. This is an exceptionally unusual SIGNATURE and this fact alone would be sufficient cause for investigators to look at the crimes as all possibly being related and connected to the same suspect.
Below map shows all 1940s ”Category I” L.A. Lone Woman Murders
THE NEWLY DISCOVERED LILLIAN DOMINGUEZ NOTE REINFORCES MY THEORY PRESENTED IN THE SEQUEL, MOST EVIL, THAT CHICAGO, LOS ANGELES, RIVERSIDE, AND SAN FRANCISCO CRIMES ARE ALL CONNECTED.
The discovery and connection of the SMPD Dominguez case is important not just as a possible new link to the Los Angeles serial killings, but also to “the bigger picture.” Why?
In MOST EVIL, one of my most important signature links was the fact that the killer in Chicago, Riverside, and the San Francisco Bay Area was an “urban terrorist” and left notes in each of those cities, threatening to ”KILL MORE.” If this was an accurate assessment, then (playing Devil’s Advocate) why had he excluded this important signature in his many L.A. crimes in the 1940s? He had threatened the citizenry before and after, so why would he choose to exclude them in Los Angeles? Until now, we had no answer and the absence of a Los Angeles “urban terrorist threat” weakened my hypothesis. However, with the recent discovery of the Dominguez Note, we now have an answer. Fact is, HE DIDN”T EXCLUDE LA. The threat was always there. It was just overlooked. I didn’t make the connection until discovering the note in my recent review of the facts surrounding the Dominguez Cold Case..
Let’s examine all the Avenger Notes in all four cities in chronological order. ALL PUBLICLY DIRECTED BY THE KILLER TO THE CITIZENRY –AS A MEANS OF INFLICTING TERROR THROUGHOUT THE RESPECTIVE CITIES.
1946 Chicago- “For heavens sake catch me Before I kill more I cannot control myself”
1947 Los Angeles- “I killed that Santa Monica girl. I will kill others.”
1966 Riverside- “Bates had to die there will be more.”
1969 San Francisco- “I will loose control again and take my nineth and posibly tenth victom.” ” … I will cruse around killing people…”
NOTES FROM CHICAGO, LOS ANGELES, RIVERSIDE, & SAN FRANCISCO
A closing thought. In the 1966 Cheri Jo Bates murder, Riverside PD investigated the possibility that her killer was a high school classmate. They followed this lead based on a literal interpretation of a second typed note mailed in by the suspect on the six-month anniversary of the Bates crime. In that lengthy note, he refers to his next victim and speculates on who it might be, a babysitter, or:
…”MAYBE SHE WILL BE THE SHAPELY BLUE-EYED BROWNETT THAT SAID NO WHEN I ASKED HER FOR A DATE IN HIGH SCHOOL….”
SFPD later, through handwriting, connected the Riverside Cheri Jo Bates murder to the San Francisco Bay Area killer, known as ZODIAC. Six of their seven victims were either teenagers in high-school, or recently graduated. All these victims were parked in “lover’s lane” type locations. This too reinforced the possibility of a serial killer, an Avenger exacting revenge for being rejected in his high-school days by some young “shapely blue-eyed brownett.” (I hypothesize that George Hodel; the “super nerd” could well have been rejected numerous times by girls both in high-school and or college, since he was one of the few 15-year-olds at Cal Tech. He would very likely have been rejected by many college” classmates” because of his youth.
The apparent totally unmotivated and cold-bloodedness of the 1947 attack and murder of 15-year-old high school student, Lillian Dominguez fits in quite well with what we know about these later crimes against high-school students as well as ZODIAC’s stated need for revenge for being rejected by a teen sweetheart.
Based on the ”hit and run” nature of the crime, I doubt the Dominguez murder is solvable. No real witnesses for a positive ID. If they were, they are certainly long gone now. Doubtful there exists any crime scene evidence for potential DNA connection. It would be interesting to see the original note and compare it to GHH’s known handwriting. Also, I am curious as to where the Mexican restaurant and the Furniture company were located? But, regardless, I do think this crime plays an important role in providing the missing piece to the larger puzzle.
REPOSAR EN PAZ, LILLIAN DOMINGUEZ
5.11.10 update- Here is the original Santa Monica Evening Outlook article referencing the “note” as requested by a reader. It was printed on 10.10.47, which coinicidentally was George Hodel’s 40th birthday.