Q: Do you have any thoughts on the strange symbol that Zodiac wrote at the bottom of his Exorcist Letter?
A: I do have some thoughts. I did not include them in MOST EVIL but will here as - “food for thought” so to speak.
Hollywood, California 1949
We know that George Hodel in 1947, as “The Black Dahlia Avenger” was at the top of his “GAME” in marketing HIMSELF to the press. His taunts and letter writing ”campaign” achieved his goal- NATIONAL HEADLINES.
But, he didn’t stop there. In the late 1940s, as a side-business to his medical practice, he introduced California to a new product – FIVE DYNASTY TEA. And with the introduction he also invented a legend to market his product and then placed it in many of the state’s major restaurants, food and high-end Department stores in both the Bay Area and Southern California.
George Hodel did it all! Created the marketing brochures and advertising, and even designed his own labels for the tea tins and boxes. His marketing campaign ad read:
”As served and sold in the world’s leading restaurants, hotels, and exclusive shops.”
(See Impressive List of Retail Distributors below.)
When I first saw the EXORCIST LETTER SYMBOL, my initial thought and impression was that it resembled a Chinese character. Further, it is not unlike the one seen on my father’s FIVE DYNASTY LABELS from the 1940s. (I and my brother’s spent many long hours in the basement putting these very same labels on tins and boxes for father.) Perhaps there is a secret message in ZODIAC’s symbol that someone familiar with the Chinese language might be able to “crack.” Remember also that George Hodel studied Chinese “taking a crash course back east” in preparation for his trip to Hankow, China with UNRRA in 1946. (His widow June informed me of this after my father’s death and added, “George had a difficult time with trying to learn Chinese and never really learned the language.”)
Just five days before George Hodel’s arrest for incest and child-molestation the below article appeared in the Los Angeles Times which mentions Dr. Hodel by name and provides readers with the “LEGEND OF THE FIVE DYNASTY TEA” which was obviously narrated (and invented) by Dr. George Hodel. I recommend reading it to get a deeper understanding of how his mind worked. No wonder his later endeavors would focus on the world of MARKETING. He was a natural. (Also note in the article that the rare shipment of tea was purchased by George Hodel after he discovered it stored in San Francisco. In his promo material in addition to our Franklin House address, 5121 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, we see listed a second address of: 735 Stockton St., San Francisco.)
THE LEGEND OF DR. HODEL’S FIVE DYNASTY TEA
Los Angeles Times, Oct 1, 1949
LIST OF RETAIL DISTRIBUTORS OF DR. HODEL’S FIVE DYNASTY TEA: (SKH- Note the date in the lower left corner 1/3/50, just 45 days before the DA/LAPD would install the electronic surveillance in the Franklin House and assigned 18 detectives to an around the clock, 24/7 five-week stakeout of George Hodel as the prime-suspect in the murder of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short.)
Was Zodiac’s mysterious Exorcist symbol a Chinese character cryptogram or will it link to something else? We may never know. It is a riddle, an enigma. But, I for one am confident that like everything that ZODIAC did or said- IT HAS A MEANING.
THE FOLLOWING THOUGHTFUL COMMENT AND IMAGE REC’D FROM VIEWER “T.A. SCOTT” ON 10/06/09 which I am posting here for all to see/read:
I was aware of the Zodiac Exorcist symbol but somehow missed your father’s Five Dynasty Tea marketing graphic. Here is my interpretation which is based on surrealism. The Zodiac Exorcist symbol appears to be a deconstructed version of your father’s earlier ad image. Such disintegration is a well known surrealist technique used extensively by Salvador Dali during his Atomic Phase in the 1950s, a period when he was exploring advances in science, especially quantum physics. This scientific decomposition derives from earlier themes of decay and death found in earlier works featuring insects, mainly flies and ants. His painting process breaks subject matter down into atomic particles, and Dali often re-interpreted his past material. I do emphasize this last observation, because it appears the Zodiac Exorcist symbol is a surreal re-interpretation of your father’s earlier Five Dynasty ad graphic. I think both Zodiac and Dali are creating a variation on earlier themes o!
f decay and death. I have emailed you an image that depicts two famous paintings by Dali that illustrate this clearly.