Buster has a nose for human remains

Dostie and Buster

Dostie and Buster

Over the weekend, NBC National News aired a story that confirmed the accuracy of a local dog’s nose for cadavers.

Former Mammoth Police Officer Paul Dostie and his Cadaver Dog Buster were called in to sniff out evidence related to the Black Dahlia case in the 40s. Buster alerted on an area around the former house of a Dr. George Hodel. His son, Steve Hodel, is a retired LAPD detective. He believes his father was a serial killer and had buried bodies near their former home.

In 2012, Buster indicated a scent of human decomposition at several areas around that house. According to NBC, a soil sample was taken in the alley late last year and checked out. The forensic anthropologist, Arpad Vass, who analyzed the soil said it came up positive for human remains. He estimated the death occurred 20 to 100 years ago.

NBC’s report said the chemical analysis cannot help determine the cause of death or even if it were homicide. However, Vass was quoted as saying that his findings are consistent with Steve Hodel’s theory of homicide victims buried in shallow graves 70 to 80 years ago.

The NBC report said that an actress had gone missing near the Hodel home in 1949. The report also said that records long stored in the LA District Attorney’s office confirmed that Dr. Hodel “had come under suspicion in the Dahlia case.” His house had been bugged by police.

NBC reported that the LAPD has given the case a pass because it’s too old and cold.


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5 Responses to Buster has a nose for human remains

  1. Wayne Deja June 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    …Some people are still thinking of the decomposition alerted by Buster out in Death Valley at Charles Manson’s Barker Ranch could have led to more bodies and reported murders that allegedly took place out there..but something we’ll never know….The ranch house and out building is now burnt down,and the Golar wash road getting there is all but washed out from what I’ve heard..

  2. Waxlips June 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    I remember Arpad Vass from the Casey Anthony trial.

  3. Tinner June 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

    I remember when dogs weren’t as appreciated in our society as they are today.

    • RAM June 7, 2014 at 11:53 am #

      The more people I interact with the more I like animals

  4. Desert Tortoise June 10, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    The olefactory life of a dog is rich indeed I think. i have seen my dogs come to a halt while out walking and sniff the air. “What is it Karly” or Gunnar as the case may be but they can never tell me. There have been occasions where I will stop to yak with a neighbor and Gunnar will sniff something buried, and before I notice, he will dig up something long dead intending to eat it (note: Gunnar was a stray and some of his survival habits are taking a while to fade away). Of course I never let him, but it amazes me he can smell something dead under inches of dirt.

    And yes, Tinner, we do indeed appreciate and love our canine children a great deal more than was common in previous generations. Some places in the world, sadly, still do not appreciate the love a dog can give, or their intelligence.


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