The Infamous Sowden House Goes from Pot to Pot Thanks to a Marijuana Millionaire
But its most famous guest may have been The Black Dahlia.
The John Sowden house, a Los Feliz home on Franklin Avenue built by architect Lloyd Wright (son of Frank) in 1926 has an illustrious, if potentially ominous history. Built for its namesake, the concrete block structure resembles a Mayan temple, with a mouth-like opening that has given it the nickname “Jaws House.” Though at first panned for its use of inexpensive materials, the home has since been lauded for its innovation and striking appearance.
But beyond those recognizable walls lies a darker past. From 1945 through 1950, the home was owned by Dr. George Hodel, a Los Angeles physician and one of the prime suspects in the Black Dahlia murder. In a 2003 book, Hodel’s son Steve claims the Black Dahlia victim, actress Elizabeth Short, was tortured, murdered and dissected by his father in the basement of the house. The book also says the elder Hodel murdered other victims and buried them on the property. Though cadaver dogs have indicated the presence of human remains on the grounds, no excavations have been done to date.
The current owner is Dan Goldfarb, a millionaire who made his fortune selling cannabis products for pets. He first tested the product on his rescue cat Mariano, who suffered from a myriad of medical issues.
According to The Cannifornian, “Canna-Pet capsules, oils and dog treats don’t have any THC, the compound in marijuana that makes people high and pets uncomfortable. Instead, his products are made from Kentucky-grown industrial hemp, a strain of the cannabis plant that’s heavy on CBD, the chemical thought to have the most therapeutic benefits.
“Since Canna-Pet products aren’t psychoactive, people don’t need a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana to purchase them, and they don’t have to worry that they’re making their animals stoned. The products can be sold outside marijuana dispensaries, even in states that haven’t legalized cannabis for any human uses.”
Now the home plays host to marijuana-friendly events and fundraisers, and of course, several of Dan and wife Jenny Lander’s happy cats.
You can read more about the home and it’s dark history here.
The effort is part of the state’s push to wean off fossil fuels and combat climate change.