ROOT OF EVIL: The TRUE STORY of the HODEL FAMILY and the BLACK DAHLIA Eight Hour Podcast To Debut Wednesday Feb 13th

February 11, 2019
Los Angeles, California

Podcast debuts Wed, Feb 13th.

              The podcast will be hosted by Fauna Hodel’s two daughters (my great nieces) Rasha and Yvette 


I have had an opportunity to preview Emmy Award Winning Documentarian Zak Levitt’s, ROOT of EVIL (seven of the eight episodes).  After listening to them, I can confirm that the series of family interviews does in fact capture “The True Story.” My family members have in their separate interviews, been brutally honest in conveying their unique experiences (most of them totally new and profoundly shocking to me.)  I highly recommend the series which will present our family truths which are far-far stranger than fiction.

LAPD Homicide  Detective III Steve Hodel #11394 (Ret.)


“This is a story more than 70 years in the making. The Black Dahlia has generated incredible interest and attention through the years, but nothing has gotten to the heart of the incredibly painful, and ultimately triumphant story of the family that has had to carry the Hodel name – a name synonymous with the most brutal unsolved murder in American history. Through fresh interviews with the Hodel family and a trove of never-before-heard archival audio, we hope Root of Evil will be the most three-dimensional Black Dahlia story yet.”

Exec VP/Producer, Cadence 13


Rolling Stones Article on ROOT OF EVIL



  1. Tess on February 12, 2019 at 11:26 am

    I’m so excited for it to start!

  2. Ted on February 12, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I’m very much looking forward to this, especially having just read Sheila Weller’s recent piece on FaunaElizabeth. Very courageous of both you and your family to share your stories, however painful, with the public.

  3. Wilma Mendez on February 12, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    What time will this air on podcast

    • Steve Hodel on February 12, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Wilma M: I don’t think it has an actual airtime? I think it will become available to hear/play once it’s posted which will probably be sometime after midnight. So likely, anytime one goes to the podcast location of their choice they can just click and play. I think that’s how it works? Steve

    • Kerri on February 12, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      I’m new to podcast how do i get to hear this pod cast is there an app I can down load?

      • Steve Hodel on February 12, 2019 at 6:18 pm

        Kerri: So am I so we will have to figure it out tomorrow when it goes online. I think by just going to the below link and following the instructions we will be good to go and be able to play the audio. Steve

        • Emily on February 12, 2019 at 9:58 pm

          Can’t wait to listen!! I like the Overcast app . Just download any podcasting app and search for and subscribe to the podcast. When new episodes are released they will show up in your app.

  4. Dan Lackey on February 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Steve, I have been watching “I Am The Night”, mainly to see how it would be handled. It has been entertaining. There is a man named Seth, who has been following Fauna around, & last night he was shown doing a surrealist sculpture to show GHH. George wasn’t impressed & told Seth not to try to reach the height that he was at. I couldn’t help but wonder if Seth is supposed to represent Fred Sexton, just as Corinna is supposed to represent your Mother. Until now, I figured he was purely fictional. They are playing up the surrealistic aspect of the story, which I do like to see.

    • Steve Hodel on February 12, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Dan: Yes, sounds like a fictional version of Fred Sexton. My problem, as you know, is that the public will believe all this fictional stuff and remain unaware of the truths, but Cst La Vie, or rather Cst La Hollywood. I am a Chris Pine fan ever since he played a young Capt. Kirk. At least it’s raising the profile and introducing George Hodel to the world ti a much broader audience than my books have. Lot of articles out now as a result of the miniseries. Be sure to catch the eight-hour podcast, Root of Evil, which begins tomorrow Best, Steve

  5. Cleveland girl on February 13, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Is there some kind of website that follows the podcast? Pictures that the daughters mention in the podcast? Original pictures of the birth certificate or pictures of the real people?

    • Steve Hodel on February 13, 2019 at 11:17 am

      Cleveland girl:
      Not that I’m aware of. Sorry. My website has most of the investigative references and is searchable by keywords. Regards, Steve

  6. Emily on February 13, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    What did you think of episode 1?? I thought it was very interesting and well produced. It must have been weird for you to hear your sisters and nieces voices.

    • Steve Hodel on February 13, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      Yes, Well done. I’ve heard the first seven of eight. Very happy with the production. Gets way better as the story unfolds. A lot of their interviews were all new to me yes.

  7. Lyn on February 14, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Hi, George,
    You are an amazing man to have worked so hard to find answers. I just listened to the podcast and am trying to square away all the family members. Who was Tamar’s real mother? Did Tamar live with her Dad? At the beginning of the podcast, an 11 year old breaks into Geotge’s house with her mother. Who is that? The sisters said their Aunt.

    Thank you.

    • Steve Hodel on February 14, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      Lyn: Hi Lyn. Actually, I’m not “George” that was my father. I’m Steve. Tamar’s real mother was Dorothy Anthony Barbe. Tamar came down from her permanent home with her mother in San Francisco and lived with us at several homes “off and on” just for a few months at a time when she was 11 and again at 14. That was Tamar’s second daughter, Deborah Elizabeth aka Fauna II, my niece other niece. The house was vacant for a decade back in the Sixties and my sister and Fauna II broke inside and “checked it out.” Regards, Steve

  8. Lyn on February 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    So sorry, Steve! I knew you weren’t George (thank goodness)! My apologies for the error.

    • Steve Hodel on February 15, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      Lyn: Well, we do share some genes, and I do have to thank him for the “persistence genes” He kept doing his thing because of them, and so did I! *s*

  9. Ted on February 15, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    [Potential podcast spoilers]

    Hi Steve – I really enjoyed the first episode of the podcast! There are a couple of events that your niece Fauna describes in her memoir that I was curious about, and that I haven’t seen you comment on in any of your books. One is Fauna coming face-to-face with GHH in San Diego (if I recall correctly), even though they didn’t ‘meet’ and she had no idea who he was until later meeting the rest of her birth family. Fauna also describes her phone lines being tapped, hints that your cousin Marion had been afraid to talk to her (she says she was told by GHH not to speak to him), and strongly suggests George was responsible for the brutal murder of her adoptive cousin (this was referenced in the TNT fictionalization as well, but with a different character). This all would have been in the mid- to late-sixties. I’m curious as to your take on these, or if you have any direct knowledge of any of it. And will they be brought up in the podcast? Looking forward to the next episode!

    Regards, Ted

    • Steve Hodel on March 21, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Ted: No, these will probably be discussed by me at a later time. I do not believe they were touched on in the podcast. After the podcast completes its final two episodes.

  10. Dawn Samuels on March 1, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Just finished listening to the last podcast episode “George’s gift”. Was fascinated when they talked about where Tamar’s name came from but I think that the history goes back even further than the poems cited. In 2 Samuel, Tamar is the daughter of King David. Tamar was lusted-after, tricked, and raped by her half-brother, Amnon. Perhaps that is where the author of the poems got the name Tamar from?

    • Steve Hodel on March 1, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      Dawn S. Yes, exactly so. The poet, Robinson Jeffers source for his poem was the Bible.

  11. EM Sanders on March 11, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Has “George’s Gift” been pulled? I can’t get it to play on any platform.

    • Steve Hodel on March 11, 2019 at 8:42 pm

      EM Sanders: Not sure whats up with it? I’ve sent a query to the exec/producer asking for info on it. Will let you know when I hear back.

    • Steve Hodel on March 11, 2019 at 9:55 pm

      EM Sanders: This just back from the RofE producer:
      “Hmmm. Our tech guy just checked it on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, TuneIn, and All good there.

      Are they using a different platform?”

      So, maybe check again? Should be OK. Steve

  12. Jennifer M. on March 12, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Steve, I have been bingeing the podcast all day (currently on The Minotaur). Having your family on board telling this story makes it even more impactful. Moving onto the doc series next!

  13. Jess on March 20, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Can anyone tell me what the intro song to the podcast is that’s something like “hike up that radio…let me tell you a story?” Is it a real song, or something put together for the podcast.
    I love the podcast, by the way, and I just started reading Black Dahlia Avenger.


    • Steve Hodel on March 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      David Lynch’s, STAR DREAM GIRL. Glad you like the podcast and my book. steve

      • Jess on March 20, 2019 at 8:42 pm

        Thank you for the info and such a speedy response! -Jess

  14. Mel on March 20, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Steve. I’m enjoying the podcast. I’ve especially enjoyed hearing about evidence not included in your previous podcasts and interviews I’ve heard, such as the statement about Lillian.
    I am wondering, can you answer whatever happened to the child George Hodel fathered while at CalTech? And do you know your half siblings that George had in the Phillipines? Do they have knowledge of the info that has come out about him after his death? Will these questions be answered in the podcast?

    • Steve Hodel on March 20, 2019 at 4:33 pm

      Melissa P: Glad your enjoying the podcast. Have no knowledge on “Folly” my dad’s first child born circa 1925 in the East Coast. Don’t know what became of her? I have met my half-siblings in the P.I. As fate would have it I was stationed in Subic Bay, Philippines in the Navy and visited them when they were quite young back in the early 1960s. The two boys, my half brothers, Mark and Ramon have passed on, as has their mother, Hortensia. The two half-sisters are living. None of the Filipino family ever accepted that “George did it.” The marriage to Hortensia was short lived. About five years? But, I do not believe the immediate family ever read my book(s) with the possible exception of Hortensia? Of course, much more evidence has developed since the first publication back in 2003, as you have heard from the podcast. Best, Steve.

  15. DAWN SAMUELS on March 21, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Just finished listening to the “Supposin’ I Did Kill the Black Dahlia” episode. Oh, my word. I literally got goosebumps several times at the end of the episode as you disclosed your finding about the letter and, most frighteningly, the fact that you have evidence that your father may have killed as many as 50 women. You continue to amaze me with how well grounded you are and how you are able to still love your father while hating what he did.

    I have an incredibly hard time getting past the fact that those cops sat back and most likely listened to a women being killed … and did absolutely nothing to stop it.

  16. Meagan O'Neal on March 21, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I stumbled onto the podcast randomly and absolutely devoured it. You said it best-no one would believe how insane this story is. I just wanted to drop you a line to congratulate you on working so insanely hard chasing down leads and getting all this info. It must’ve been so difficult to continue chasing answers that were so painful. That is some serious grit. And, even more impressive, being such and incredible, honest, stand-up guy by bringing closure to the victims family. After growing up with quite a bit of turmoil (to put it lightly) it is a testament to you and your brothers that y’all didn’t follow in your father’s footsteps or perpetuate abuse. You all ended the cycle. To me, that’s the real heart of this story. Hoping you and your family can live out the peace and joy of knowing answers. You definitely deserve it. All the best, Meagan.

    • Steve Hodel on March 21, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Megan O: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Yes, hopefully, the cycles of abuse in the House of Hodel ends now.
      My older brother Mike was a true journalist and seeker of the truth as a radio reporter for FM station KPFK. Had his own show, a SciFi “Mike Hodel’s Hour 25”. Lots of fans in t he LA and CA. He died young at age 47, so he never knew all that was buried below the surface.
      Maybe it was for the best he never learned the real story? Far surpassed anything his love and SciFi writings could conjure up. Best, Steve

  17. robb sush on March 29, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Enjoy the Root of Evil podcast. Point of clarification; Your Father must have had some serious vision. The last podcast mentioned he lived in San Francisco “Overlooking” Elizabeth Shorts burial sight. Impossible as she is in Oakland at one of the finest cemeteries in all of the US designed by Frederick Law Olmsted; Mtn View Cemetery. Do you knowwhat he paid for the Sowden House back in the 40’s and what was it sold for by your family? Shame that they put a pool in the entry. Cheers,Rob

    • Steve Hodel on March 29, 2019 at 5:54 pm

      Robb S: Actually, it was accurate. (Well almost) Dad lived on the 39th Floor in a penthouse suite with a view from the Golden Gate to the Oakland Bay. He had a high powered telescope and could look across the Bay at Mountain View Cemetery. Could he see her actual gravesite? Seriously doubt it, but could come close. Dad bought the house for $37,000. It sold recently for 4.8 Million. Yes, in my opinion “the magic is long gone” from when we lived there in the Forties. Best, Steve

  18. Andrea RAyner on April 4, 2019 at 1:49 am

    Your family did an incredible job on the podcast. There are skeletons in all families. The girls (or woman) did an awesome job of allowing everyone to tell their perspective with minimal spin. Great job on sticking to what’s right too, Steve. I love that you can see justice through regardless of the dynamic between you and the criminal.

    • Steve Hodel on April 4, 2019 at 2:18 am

      Andrea R: Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated. Yes, Cadence 13 Exec. Producer Zak Levitt also did a masterful job of writing and editing and pulling all the separate interviews together. Best, Steve

  19. Carol on May 12, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Steve! I just finished the Root of Evil podcast. I want to thank and commend you and your family for being so open and honest. I am in awe of all of you. I’d also appreciate itif you could clear something up for me. I know the matter was fully explained in the podcast, but I’m not clear on how Lillian Lenorak was involved with Tamar Hodel’s abortion. Could you clear that up for me? I tried Google, but could not find an answer. Thanks and again, kudos!

    • Steve Hodel on May 12, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Carol: Hi Carol. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. As to your question.
      Yes, Lillian Lenorak testilied at dad’s incest trial that she was present with Tamar at Dr. Ballard’s Office and he “just performed an examination, but no abortion was performed.” She then again a month later, testilied at Dr. Ballard and Charles Smith’s trial the same “she was present, no abortion.” Then a week later she got perjurer’s remorse and went to George Hodel’s home, got the rifle out of his closet and awaited his return claiming she was “going to shoot him for what he had done.” House roomer, Joe Barret claimed they disarmed her and then from the DA secret tapes we learn that George returned home, drugged her, staged her “attempt suicide” by superficially cutting her wrists, bandaged her and she was later transported to Santa Barbara by officer Mary Unkefer, who then wrote her letter documenting all of it. Best, Steve

  20. Justin Glazier on May 18, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    I thought the podcast was very interesting, although it is portrayed by the authors that they are these poor victims, when really they are super well off, never suffered the abuse, and doing just fine. The poor people that are abused, are somewhat minimilised I feel, this podcast should be about the Hodels that are direct repercussions of this.

  21. Terry Smith on June 25, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    After bingeing the entire podcast yesterday, I remain both astonished and moved by it. I want to tell all of the survivors of this saga that you have my unending empathy and sincere admiration–you people are Vikings! You did not “just survive” severely abusive and neglectful childhoods. You made decisions to be healthier adults and better parents. You did what you could to support and protect each other when you were still only children yourselves! Both as individuals and as a family you shared your story, giving other survivors heroes to look up to. You have given hope to others that they can get through it too. Steve you are a fantastic detective, and because of everyone’s willingness to reach out and share information, you all helped solve a brutal murder (I can NOT see how any one can deny the Black Dahlia murder has been solved by Steve Hodel). You all deserve medals and statues in your honor. At minimum. One of Tamar’s sons said that he wanted people to remember how badly abused his mother was, to remember that she was a victim herself. He is right. She was raped and abused for decades, if I understand correctly. She deserved better. Elizabeth Short deserved better. And Fauna-Elizabeth: you deserved better and you still do. I hope you know that. Tamar would have treated Fauna 1 the same; any child in her care at that time would have received the same ill treatment. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not the lesser of two daughters. Also, you are apparently ageless because there is no way you are 63 years old (I read a Next Tribe article) Clearly you are doing something right. You look 35. Anyway, you are all Viking heroes, thank you so much for sharing your story. Vallhalla!

    • Steve Hodel on June 25, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      Terry S:
      Thanks for the kind words to all of the family members. Much appreciated.
      Clearly, the podcast has reached out and touched a lot of other victims of sexual and child abuse and will assist them to know that they too need not live at the effect of their abuse, but can themselves, move forward to live positive and constructive lives. Best, Steve

  22. Chris on July 31, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Hi. Loving the podcast here in the UK. However, it seems that episodes 4 and 5 don’t work across multiple platforms; iTunes, Stitcher etc. Anyone else encountering these issues?

    • Steve Hodel on July 31, 2019 at 10:24 am

      I will forward your question to Cadence 13 who produced the podcast since I’m no techie. Steve

    • Steve Hodel on July 31, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      Chris: Cadence 13 just got back to me now and it should be OK and good to go? Steve

  23. Holly Davidson on February 14, 2024 at 2:01 pm

    A friend recommended this podcast. I couldnt stop listening…..
    I’m still in shock that your family had to endure all of this sadness and manipulation. I’m just happy Fauna 1 was adopted, what a blessing in disguise. Steve, I’m so proud of your continued efforts regarding your family and all of the drama and evil. It was so hard for me to try and find glimpses of goodness, I’m hoping it was in there somewhere, maybe I missed it but you all seem to be on a better path (I’m hopeful) and I wish you nothing but goodness moving foreward.
    I have so many questions and will probably listen to this podcast again (which I never do). I’m angry your father got to live out his life unscathed and died peacefully, it didnt even seem the life he lived tortured him. God bless all of you precious people. I wish I could have protected all of you from all of the evils that lurked in your family & home. Thank you for your service to the people of LA and your continued curiosity in to the Black Dahlia case. Godspeed……

  24. Steve Hodel on February 14, 2024 at 3:39 pm

    Holly D:
    Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated. Stay tuned. Lot more to come. Nine books and counting. Just published BDA IV. You might want to check it out. Something a little different. In print, ebook and audiobook. Best, Steve

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