Man Ray, Picasso, Dali & Hodel – an unholy collection

Lee Miller’s damaging childhood propelled her into adult life with an inclination towards risky, unstable though talented men. Man Ray, the photographer, 27 August 1890, who taught her and tried to control her, had a hair-raisingly difficult chart with Neptune Pluto in Gemini opposition Mars square Sun Saturn in Virgo – hard, angry, ruthless, unbalanced.

  Her Paris circle included Pablo Picasso, 25 October 1881 11.15 pm Malaga, Spain, who was a Scorpio Sun opposition Saturn with a pushily confident Jupiter Pluto and Neptune in Taurus opposition Mercury in Scorpio; with an insensitive Venus square Mars. A breaching whale of a personality.

 Salvador Dali, 11 May 1904 8.45am Figueras, Spain, was another Taurus with his Sun conjunct Mercury, Mars and Algol all squaring Saturn – cruel, stubborn, angry.  He also had a disruptive Pluto opposition Uranus.

   In Los Angeles she also mixed with physician George Hodel, thought to have been the Black Dahlia serial killer, who socialised with Man Ray and John Huston, the film director.

 Hodel, 10 October 1907 2pm Los Angeles, had an ego-centric Libra Sun on the focal point of a can-be-fanatical opposition of Uranus and Neptune. His Sun Venus were trine Pluto and his Venus was in an insensitive square to Mars in Capricorn; with his Pluto in a hard square to Saturn. Not an easy chart but less alarming than the three artists above.  

16 thoughts on “Man Ray, Picasso, Dali & Hodel – an unholy collection

  1. Harry Khan, a bigwig in I believe it was Colombia Pictures completely cut the scenes in the house of mirrors scene, of ‘The Lady From Shanghai’, which was supposed to be the nightmares of the main character. Those scenes were never shown commercially and were evidently destroyed. They were supposed to be exact reenactment of Elizabeth Short’s murder, which was supposed to mimic The Minotaur, by surreal artist Man Ray. Though many other artists did much the same thing.

    It does occur to me that, Harry Khan was in fact covering up real life images of Elizabeth Short. He cut an hour out of the film. And it seems to be pretty much accepted that he, Orson Welles took part. There have been many films and television films and series that give their own take on it.

    Evidently, Harry Khan was most upset that Welles had Rita Hayworth, his wife dye her hair blonde and cut it short. There is some mythological reason for it. But suffice it to say, she was the doppelganger to the sacrificial victim.

    Although all of Rita’s marriages were short lived and unhappy, and she contracted Alzheimer’s disease disease when she turned 40. She was very lucky to have not been murdered.

  2. There are 2 ways to look at Orson Welles:

    1) Orson Welles had been producing a play for his touring company that hadn’t been doing all that well. This resulted in creditors seizing the costumes which would only be released on the payment of $55 000.

    In order to get this paid off, Welles phoned Harry Cohn, that he would direct a film for free, provided that he (Harry Cohn) paid off the debt. Cohn agreed provided that Welles accepted that he had no artistic license over the film which was The Lady From Shanghai.

    (2) One of the main problems in trying to solve the murder of Elizabeth Short was the fact that her remains were so clean. This meant that whoever did it would have to dispose of all the blood and gore, making it an impossible task, unless you had access to a mortuary or a morgue. Which makes Orson Welles’s registration as a Mortuary Assistant, extremely suspicious.

    It should be pointed out that no investigation has uncovered any blood or gore; but disposing of such things would be far easier in a mortuary, than say in your own home.
    Now whether you believe that Welles might have needed the money. Or that he might have been researching a new project and I can find no evidence of that. It at least to me proves that he was involved in the murder of Elizabeth Short, at least by providing a place to dispose of the messy bits.

    Whether he chose willingly to do it or was blackmailed into it is debatable. And unless further evidence is recovered, we won’t really know. But it seems patently obvious that George Hodel being a doctor and a former surgeon would jnow this and that he couldn’t approach any of these facilities without compromising himself.

  3. Virgoflake,
    I’ve come across this blog on kikoshouse.blogspot.com
    L.A. Confidential For Real:
    The Twisted Tale of ‘Black Dahlia Avenger’
    By Shaun Mullen

    In it he tells about how the production of ‘The Lady From Shanghai’ was shut down on the day of the murder. The way that Short was murdered is similar to the way a woman character was mutilated in that film.

    Short’s body was found ion the spot where Welles used for The Mercury Wonder Show, a circus put on for the benefit of servicemen during the war. His act was cutting a woman in half.

    A few days before the murder he had applied to register as an assistant with a local mortuary.

    A few days after the murder he applied for a passport.

    • John Huston’s chart has some quite unsettling transits at the time of Elizabeth’s death. As I mentioned his Mars conjuncts her Sun in Leo. He also nasally has Mars conjunct Sun conjunct North Node in Leo. That can be seen as a leadership marker. Like Sexton, Huston has a Mars Uranus contact, only his is inconjunct. Mars Uranus carries with it a sort of danger, high risk, impulsive nature. Huston also has Jupiter on ES’s Venus in Cancer and Neptune on her Moon/Pluto. Huston’s Saturn is exact midpoint to Short’s Mars/Uranus in Pisces.

      Huston has more connections to Elizabeth’s chart than there are with Hodel and Sexton, though Elizabeth’s Saturn squares Hodel’s Nodal axis. At the time of the murder Saturn was at 6 degrees of Leo and in conjunction to Pluto, a heavyweight conjunction in astrology. Saturn was on Huston’s Mars and Pluto was on his Sun/North Node. The Saturn Pluto conjunction in Leo of the late 1940s was also conjunct Hodel’s Jupiter. The Sun/Mars/Mercury conjunction on the day Elizabeth’s remains were found was conjunct both Sexton’s and Hodel’s South Node.

  4. Virgoflake,

    Steven Hodel has also said that his father tricked his mother in helping to remove documents from his secretary’s home. He then told her that she was now accessory to murder, and if he goes down, so does she.

  5. Virgoflake,

    Thanks for your research, especially with regard to Marcel Duchamp. John Huston warned his ex wife and evidently she took enough notice to remove her kids and herself so they weren’t in the vicinity at that time. But she was soon back.

    I find it difficult to understand how you bring your children back to a place where horrendous torture and murder took place. But then she was probably really afraid of what he would do, and she didn’t know where to go.

    So the concensus being that Fred Sexton, Man Ray Marcel Duchamp and John Huston were complicit if not directly involved. And apparently got away with it. How sad that Elizabeth Short’s young life was taken from her in such a way. I bet they photographed or filmed it.

    • I don’t really feel I’m qualified to state whether or not any of these individuals participated in the murder of Elizabeth, plus you have to take into account that I’m a mere amateur as an astrologer – I don’t believe astrology can definitively tell you whether someone is a murderer or not. Re, the Huston connection, Hollywood itself seems to be and to have always been a magnet for abused, damaged people and it is quite jaw-dropping if not downright disturbing that the number of well-known actors, producers and directors who were either abused in childhood, abused their own children or went on to abuse others is legion.

      I looked at Huston’s chart and again, he has an emphasis along the Gemini/Cancer/Leo part of the zodiac. His Jupiter is conjunct Elizabeth’s Venus in Cancer and his Neptune is conjunct her Moon/Pluto. Moreover his Mars in Leo conjuncts her Sun and his Mercury in Leo conjuncts her North Node – her North Node which conjuncts the ‘degree of murder’ no less. I don’t know an awful lot about him, but I know his daughter Angelica has continued to support both Polanski and Allen.

      Most of the characters involved with Hodel and who are roughly the same age as him, seem to have Uranus in Capricorn which is a generational marker – it takes 7 years to go through a sign – but you can read Uranus in Capricorn as breaking through conventionally held boundaries – familial, (Sexton abused his own children), social and sexual and that is precisely what Dada and Surrealist artists were about. Their aim was to achieve just this. I would say that Sexton has his Uranus in Capricorn emphasised in particular, because his Mars conjuncts it. With this conjunction you would be drawn to sexual daring and excitement, you would want to smash taboos, you would be unconventional and unpredictable.

      Elizabeth’s body was found at about 10 am on the 15th January by a mother and her young child. On that morning, the Moon was in the sign of its detriment, Scorpio and in a wideish conjunction to Chiron. The Moon is dark and intense in this sign. The Moon was also in square to the bleak conjunction of Saturn/Pluto in Leo. Pluto is the planet of death, rebirth, the underworld. Poor Elizabeth had that awful conjunction on her Leo Sun at the time of her death. John Huston had that same conjunction on his natal Mars.

      What is interesting about this chart of the discovery of her body is that right at the top of the chart, at the Midheaven was Black Moon Lilith – that lunar point I spoke about earlier which kept cropping up in the Hodel/Man Ray/Sexton synastry. The myth of Lilith was that she was Adam’s first wife who was rejected because she was too wild, too untameable and this is interesting because when the media got hold of the ‘Black Dahlia’ story they portrayed Elizabeth as a wild, out-of-control young woman and they used her tragic story to warn other young girls with Hollywood ambitions of the dangers of seeking their fortunes there. Classic bit of victim-blaming, but so in keeping with BML in Sagittarius at the very top of the chart.

  6. I had a look at Fred Sexton’s chart as well as that of Elizabeth Short. I also looked at the chart of Marcel Duchamp who was a close associate of Man Ray and who was also intrigued by Elizabeth’s murder and the reason for his inclusion will become clear later. There is some startling synastry and much of it takes place in Cardinal signs, in particular a Cancer emphasis and much of it involving Black Moon Lilith which is a lunar point.

    First of all, Sexton’s Gemini Sun conjuncts Elizabeth Short’s Black Moon Lilith within a degree. Man Ray’s Neptune/Pluto conjunction in Gemini conjuncts Sexton’s Sun and Short’s BML. Sexton’s unpleasant Mars/Uranus conjunction in Capricorn conjuncts Hodel’s South Node.

    Elizabeth Short has a Moon/Pluto conjunction in Cancer. Sexton has a Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Cancer which conjuncts Short’s Moon/Pluto. His BML is also conjunct in these degrees. Marcel Duchamp’s Mars in Cancer is conjunct Short’s Moon/Pluto and Sexton’s Jupiter/Neptune/BML. Hodel also has BML in Cancer at the same degree! So, the coming together of planets and Lunar points in Cancer for all these individuals is marked. George Hodel’s North Node is also in Cancer and it conjuncts his Neptune and BML and is also close to Short’s Moon/Pluto. Duchamp’s Sun in Leo is conjunct Short’s Sun.

    ‘Étant donnés‘, a sculpture installation was Marcel Duchamp’s final artwork. He began working on it in 1946 in his Greenwich Village studio and it was only completed in 1966. Elizabeth Short’s body was found in January 1947. Duchamp stipulated that it was only to be exhibited after his death. “Duchamp prepared a “Manual of Instructions” in a 4-ring binder explaining and illustrating how to assemble and disassemble the piece.” (Wiki). It’s a particularly nasty work to my eyes. I don’t recommend anyone look it up. It resembles a crime scene with a headless nude female torso, holding a lamp. If anyone is in any doubt, it uncannily echos the positioning and location of Short’s body when it was found, the one arm that is visible is raised, as in Man Ray’s notorious ‘Minotaur’ photograph.

    I think Steve Hodel himself has said that you can go down a rabbit hole when you start looking at how Surrealist painting and artworks correlate with sundry serial murders and it’s true – the are literally 100s of similarities in surrealist painting because the world of dreams and nightmare inspired the movement and it’s imagery. Nevertheless there are some intriguing parallels.

    • Just one other point that struck me about Elizabeth Short’s natal chart. She has her Leo north node conjunct Neptune on one side and Mercury on the other. This is very sad because she would naturally have been drawn towards glamour and the film industry with that combination. But it’s worth noting that her north node is conjunct the degree which CEO Carter calls the ‘degree of murder’.

  7. Marjorie,

    In my research I found that Salvador Dali’s wife Gala found a way of making an income for her husband. She basically created The Zodiac Group which invited 12 investors to invest with promise of a painting in the future. George Hodel was one of the members. He apparently made full use of The Zodiac logo and of course it was used in the Bay Area where The Zodiac murders took place. I realise it was not exactly original, but I would appreciate your take on it.

    I would also be interested if the charts for Huston, Sexton, Man Ray and Welles and of course Hodel pointed to involvement in Elizabeth Short’s murder on the day itself and days leading up to it. I notice to it. I notice that Dali seemed to have left in 1948 to return to Spain. He was there in LA doing work for Disney.

  8. Virgoflake,

    It seems that Hodel had relationships with several of the women who lived in the same house as Elizabeth Short otherwise known as the Black Dahlia.

    There were 2 investigations going on much the same time. One by the homicide department of LAPD, and the other by the District Attorney’s Office, who were brought in at the request of the grand jury. As you can imagine, there was mass panic about these murders, which was why a grand jury was formed.

    The DA investigators developed a sting operation using Mattie Comfort, a singer who often with her husband worked with Duke Ellington. I don’t know the full details except that nude photography of Mattie Comfort with George Hodel was shown to Dorothy Hodel to rattle her cage.

    It worked as she immediately told her ex husband about the photos, which caused him to panic, because he thought he had destroyed all photographic evidence.

    According to Steven Hodel, his mother continually lied to the police to protect her ex husband.

    There are supposed to be 9 other women that the police think were murdered by the same person. I personally don’t think all of them were by him. And the lists seem to vary as to who is on it.

    Some are obviously committed by the husbands One was really obvious, he evidently told his young daughter not to tell anyone about the lone shoe they had buried in the back garden. He split his family up and sent his daughters to different relatives. Neither really ever saw their father again. They only found each other in the 80s, and that was when they realised that Daddy had probably murdered their mum.

    But if you are looking for similarities between The Black Dahlia and any of the others, you won’t find it except for the letters that he seemed to like to write. Although you might consider one that had her mouth slashed at the corners which would in time form The Glasgow Kiss, as the only similarity between the two.
    George Hodel would have considered The Black Dahlia as his homage to Man Ray’s disturbing photographic art. So other murders wouldn’t necessarily take that form, except for the violence inflicted on the victims

    On the tapes he admitted murdering his secretary. It seemed she was going to report him for performing unnecessary medical procedures and unnecessary prescriptions and dodgy billing practice.

    Nobody has brought this up, but I wonder if he was competing with others in the group for a sort of murder contest, and maybe the police should have considered that line of inquiry. I only suggest this as he was the only one in that group that wasn’t considered an artist, so maybe he was egged on by the others and maybe he wanted to prove his artistic merit.

    One thing that points to him having murdered Elizabeth Short was the surgical method that was taught at his medical school at the particular time he was there, but not before or afterwards. Or so I’m given to understand.

  9. George Hodel, John Huston and Fred Sexton were friends during their teenage years along with Hodel’s wife who was first married to John Huston before becoming wife number 2 for George Hodel.

    Fred Sexton was the man who designed the Maltese falcon for the film, “The Maltese Falcon” directed by John Huston.

    Man Ray and Salvador Dali were also part of this group along with Orson Welles and others who attended Hodel’s sex parties where he passed around his own daughter to be abused by all and sundry having already abused her himself.

    It is difficult to know how complicit any of them were in the murders that Hodel almost certainly committed. Some certainly knew about them, but whether before or after or even during is as yet to be determined.

    Sexton himself is thought to have committed incest with his step-daughter in the sixties and is considered to be implicated in the murder of Jean Ellroy, although there is only circumstantial evidence. Steven Hodel is convinced that Sexton was his father’s accomplice as well as Jean Ellroy’s murderer.

    But once George Hodel fled, the others jumped ship as well, with Man Ray ending up in Paris, and John Huston settling in Ireland. I always thought the inordinate length of time it took to make The African Queen, was more to do with tax evasion, but I suppose, trying to evade the course of justice in a murder investigation could be a viable explanation as well. As far as I can tell, the only decent thing he ever did was to warn his ex wife that she and her children were in danger and to leave ASAP.

    George Hodel first went to Hawaii and then to The Philippines, where he married again and is thought to be behind a series of murders. He evidently visited the USA regularly and even visited The UK and France. He eventually settled in San Francisco, where he died aged 91.

    He is thought to have been involved in The Zodiac Murders, although you have to remember he was in his mid 60s when they started. I think because his handwriting matched the letters that The Zodiac Killer sent, at least the uppercase letters: there is no record of his lower-case handwriting. Nevertheless the police refuse to rule him out.

    Personally, I just think he wrote the letters. He might have known the murderer and helped in the planning, but I don’t think he actually did them. Although I suppose he could have changed his modus operandi in using a gun. Which would make sense given his age.

    I don’t believe he had anything to do with any murders in Chicago. And especially not with the little girl who’s father was implementing policy with regard to the meat-packers, who were very violently opposed, and took it out on the little girl. It is quite obvious that the girl’s family were terrified. It is just unfortunate that a local petty thief had to pay the price.

    George Hodel got away with his crimes because the homicide detectives were thwarted every step of the way by corrupt cops, who Hodel knew very well.

    • Thank you for this, Linda – I didn’t know about Orson Welles attending these parties. I had a look at Welles’s astrology and he is yet another Taurean, 12th house Sun square Moon/Uranus in Aquarius. Like Picasso, he has a Moon/North Node conjunction. I remember Marjorie writing about how the Venus/Mars conjunction kept cropping up in the charts of Epstein’s associates, well there is a Venus/Mars conjunction in Aries in OW’s 11th house. Welles’s Ascendant is in Gemini but he has a tight Saturn/Pluto conjunction rising in the 1st house. I always felt Welles had a certain dark energy about him and this rising conjunction with its bleak, dark heaviness could explain why.

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