Dr. George Hill Hodel Lineage: Who’s Who in “Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and The Black Dahlia?
March 1, 2019
Los Angeles, California
Here is a Hodel Lineage graphic put together by my good friend, mystery writer and retired Dallas P.D. police officer, Robert J. Sadler. This helps us (including myself) understand at a glance who’s who in the Hodel Family lineage. The following family members contributed by providing interviews in the Cadence 13 Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia eight-episode podcast currently airing on a station near you: Rasha, Yvette, Tamar, Fauna, Deborah (Fauna II), Peace, Love, Joy, Kelvin, and Steve.
Do you not believe that the first Fauna Hodel is the offspring of Tamar and your respective father George Hodel?
Jayne: No, not possible. My father was in Hawaii when Tamar became pregnant. Tamar was clear that Fauna’s father was an “Italian Male in San Francisco.”
Would you say more about why it’s not possible? We just heard on the podcast today that Fauna told her daughters that she felt like George was her father. I also remember hearing that Tamar told Fauna 1 that George was her father on the night she reunited with her in Hawaii.
Then again, Tamar’s credibility was described as colorful.
I’m interested if you know more.
KChap: Not only did Tamar remain clear and consistent that Fauna’s father was “A White Italian Male in San Francisco that gave her booze and took advantage of her” but our father was in Hawaii in November 1950 which would have been the time that Fauna was conceived so he would have been physically impossible of being the father with Tamar in Hawaii. Stay tuned. Steve
Have any of you done DNA testing just for kicks? I think the outcome would be very interesting.
CrimeJunky: New information out soon. Best, steve
And update us all! This has been a sad but intriguing story!
How come mother number 1, 2, and 5 aren’t mentioned or included in the podcast really?
I wasn’t involved in the production, just as an interviewee. But, so much material to cover only so much to be included. Producer really only focused on the one crime and its effects on the family.
I’ve been trying to look more into your family tree mainly being your other siblings and Tamar’s other children and I cannot find anything as it only comes up with yourself and Tamar as children of George and it only comes up with Tamars first child Fauna. I’m also confused on why her second born daughter also changed her name to fauna when it was Deborah Elizabeth.
Shania: Not sure what you are using for research but all my brothers are listed in Ancestry.com
Michael Paul Hodel, George Kelvin Hodel, I won’t go into it here but Deborah changed her name to Fauna as an adult for reasons explained by her in interviews etc.
It also says at the of this page (on the picture of your family tree) Tamar had Daughters called peace, love and Joy but it says Tamar only had Fauna (her first child) on the internet I am truly fascinated by all of this regarding the black dahlia Murder and in my opinion I agree with you that George did murder her. Did you become a detective because Of this happening?
As to your question, “Did I become a detective because of it?”
NO. I didn’t learn about and begin investigating the Black Dahlia Murder until long retired from LAPD. Fourteen years retired and my father died, which revealed some connections to and that he was dating Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short. I began my investigation in 1999 to show/prove he had nothing to do with the crime and to exonerate him. Sadly, I followed the evidence and it led me in the opposite direction to prove he in fact, actually did commit that and many other serial crimes.
Do we ever hear from your brother Michael in the pod cast?
I have read that George had a firs child born out of wed named Dunkin what happened to him?
My brother Michael passed away from cancer at age 47 in 1986.
My half-brother, Duncan is still living and in his early Nineties. No real communication with him.
I explained that I changed my name years before I nor Tamar ever dreamed we would meet my sister! My Grandmother Dorothy had told my Mother Tamar that this would never be possible, adoption was legal ( her name changed). My mother If you listened to my part of podcast of podcast you’d know Tamar abuse in every way possible and in more way then mentioned in podcast. Deborah died inside. I thought she love “Fauna” so I would become the child she loved….the abuse would then stop? It didn’t but in my mind at least Deborah died, “I” was reborn. I could put past abuse behind me and go on pretending I was Tamar’s savior. Could become Elizabeth after learning George was suggested I be Elizabeth. All so twisted.
Are you the one that had the Italian father or was it the other Fauna?
Deborah (Fauna II) was the daughter of the folk singer, Stan Wilson.
Fauna I was the daughter of the “Italian male in San Francisco” and has passed.
I am just now learning about Fauna, but had heard about the Black Dahlia murder awhile back. I know as retired law enforcement, you have to be objective and logical. But I cannot imagine what this must be doing to you on an emotional level. I intend to read your books and learn more. My heart just goes out to you and I feel you are very strong to not just know this information, but explaining it as well as you do so others can see what really happened.
I hope that wasn’t too off topic, if so, I apologize. I am inspired by your work and strength.
Julie: Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated. Best suggested reading order for books is: BDA (SkyHorse/Arcade 2015ed), then Most Evil I (Dutton 2009); then BDA II (Thoughtprint Press 2014 ed.); Most Evil II (2015 Rare Bird Books and finally BDA III (2018 Rare Bird Books). Best, Steve
I’ve been reading about your family tree but haven’t seen anything about June Hodel. I believe she was your dad’s last wife & is she still living? Where did they meet & live? Also, were you in contact with your dad growing up & what did he think about you being a detective? I found your story about being married to Kiyo quite strange & how you must have felt finding out about her affair with your dad in earlier years. I don’t understand why someone didn’t tell you about her. So many questions! GOD bless you for bringing so much information to all of us & please continue.
Judy: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Yes, Kiyo has her own chapter in my book, Black Dahlia Avenger. No word from June since I called and disclosed my findings to her way back in 2003 before the first book was published. Don’t know where she’s living? San Francisco? Japan? They met when she was just 22 he hired her to work in his Tokyo office, then they traveled and married in the Eighties.
Reading your first book. Very interesting. What do you think of the new mini series ‘I Am the Night’ although obviously fictionalized, how much is actually accurate?
Jeffrey. About 95% fiction the podcast root of evil however is about 95% fact so I do recommend the cadence 13 show
I have listened to the podcast and appreciate the work that you have done as well as your great nieces… I do have one question that was not really addressed in the podcast… I understand your father was a physician. I have listened to the podcast and appreciate the work that you have done as well as your great nieces… I do have one question that was not really addressed in the podcast. If it’s not too personal could you explain how your father made his money? I know he was a physician for Los Angeles County but it seems that he had much more wealth than that position would have compensated. Thank you in advance. Best, Randy
Randy: Well, actually his “wealth” has been much exaggerated, mainly by family members speculations and myths told them by both my half-sister, Tamar and my niece, Fauna. The fact is that my father never had any great sums of money and while certainly very comfortable and enjoying the finer things in life, good food, good lodgings was never really “RICH.” He spent it as soon as he made it so never accumulated any real fortune. (I know, as I saw all the numbers as assistant executor of his property at his death.) In fact, back in the late Forties and during the incest trial he was basically “broke” and fled the country with almost no money in his pocket. Of course, he married a very wealthy Filipina in 1952 which got him started so to speak in Hawaii, then in 1953 they moved and lived in Manila, which became the Home Office for his venture into Market Research.
Uncle Steve I hope you refer to my adopted sister Fauna. Her adopted *mother implied to *Fauna called *Pat as a child ( shame on her *mother for that *insult)! She told Fauna/Pat that she came from a very wealthy family! When Fauna discovered her Birth Certificate ( with her real name, realized she was not legally adopted after all ) she was told to Never to change her name from Hodel because she will rich one day. While I, was afraid of money…it seemed Evil, because of the misery when I went through because of it. Love you Uncle 😍
I just finished watching I Am the Night and was left wondering if George really is the father of Fauna. My first thought was DNA. Have they both been DNA tested to verify this? How much DNA testing has been done in relation to this case?
I was left with so many questions after watching. I look forward to reading your book and listening to the podcast to learn more.
Bernadette: The I Am The Night is a fictional dramatization, which is about 95% invented. No, George Hodel was NOT Fauna’s father. My half sister Tamar, Fauna’s mother was very clear that the father was a Male White Italian American living in San Francisco. My father had left the country to Hawaii so could not have been the father. I haven’t seen the IATN miniseries, but if that is what they are saying that George fathered Fauna it’s an abolute NO. Best, Steve
Is it possible that Fauna is the product of the incestuous relationship between Tamar and her brother?
Jen: No. He had just turned eights-year of age when Fauna was conceived and still eight at her birth. The father was as Tamar informed everyone, “An older White Male Italian in San Franciso.”
I am Tamar’s 2nd daughter., a very reliable DNA test which concluded George Hodel was NOT my sisters father but only her Grandfather ( whom she did know or grow up with (as implied in “I Am The Night”). I did) During the taping of THE ROOT OF EVIL but TNT demanded that the result of the test read on air with all family, present including Rasha and Yvette stating DNA rules out George Hodel as my sister’s father. So they already knew when doing their other interviews and podcasts implying George might still be their Mother’s father!! Until just last week because so many have called out on this! Thank goodness. All we want is truth, good ,bad just truth. Our truth is all we have.
Fauna EH Simon: You said in the above …”but only her Grandfather (whom she did know or grow up with.) I think you meant to say.. who she did NOT KNOW or grow up with.) I made the correction here. Uncle Steve
I have not seen anything mentioned about Duncan lately. Is he still alive. How does he feel about all this focus on George of late?
Yes, Duncan Hodel is still alive and in his Nineties.
He remains moot on the subject of our father.
No real contact with him in over a decade.
I recently found out about George Hodel. I did know of the Black Dahlia Murder but didn’t know anything about him. He seems like a very interesting character but what was he like in real life. Was he anything like how they betrayed him in the TV Show I am the Night
ShaLonte D Jordan: I didn’t see the miniseries episodes, just the trailer. But, from what I saw and from what friends have told me, NO, the actor did NOT capture my father’s character/personality/or mannerisms.
Steve, did you ever find out how Tamar knew that her father was the Black Dahlia murderer? What did she see/hear to lead her to make that announcement during the incest trial? Thanks very much.
Olivia: No, but I suspect she heard it at the house prior to the 1949 arrest for incest. Possibly from my mother, “Dorero” who after learning of the sex crimes/molestation in October 1949 told Tamar to “runaway, your life is in danger.” Tamar didn’t bring it up during the trial, the defense attorney Robert Neeb did to discredit her to the jury as making up outrageous stories.
The irony of this is rich – the ‘preposterous’ notion of George Hodel being the Black Dahlia killer helped get him acquitted in the incest trial. Can’t imagine what was going through his head when this came up in the trial.
Ted S: Exactly so. I’m sure that the defense attorney, Robert Neeb brought it up because it was so preposterous without dad knowing he was going to ask it. Dad must have almost peed his pants when he heard it, or maybe he did ?
I believe in the podcast it is revealed that during the incest trial, as Tamar was being shuttled between juvenile detention and the courthouse, the officers who were transporting Tamar had mentioned that George had been a suspect in the Black Dahlia murder.
Yes, you are correct.
Just listened to episode 5 of Root of Evil podcast. It is terrible the cycle of abuse that George initiated. But despite this, it seems that hopefully it has stopped with Tamar’s children? Anyway, no need to answer that question. However, in regards to your younger half-siblings by Hortencia, I’m going to assume they’re half-Filipino? Also, have you met them? And what was their upbringing like?
Gabi Y. Hi Gabi. Yes, I met my four half-brothers and sisters when they were small children living in Manila when I was stationed in the Navy at Subic Bay, P.I. Saw them on weekend leaves when they were small, 4,5,6,7 ish. Yes, they are half Filipino/Filipina. My father was married to their mother for a short time, maybe four or five years? Two of my half brothers have passed away and the two half-sisters are still living. The children grew up in lives of wealth and privilege. None of them believe their father was a serial killer, though I doubt they have read my books. Best, Steve
Hello, Mr. Hodel. I’ve long been riveted by the tragic story of Elizabeth Short, have watched documentaries and read articles and blogs about her, and visited her forlorn little grave in Oakland. I have read your first book about the case, and seen you on various shows and podcasts, and more recently watched I Am the Nignt and am now listening to The Root of Evil.
I’m haunted by the additional tragedies I now know your family has experienced, and am amazed by the astonishing bravery so many Hodels have mustered up to share their stories.
What is your opinion of the book Severed and John Gilmore’s completely different explanation of the Black Dahlia murder and the culprit? In his book, it seemed like he got a confession from some else.
Savvy Dora: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the read. Gilmore like the “I Am The Night” is mostly fictional. The evidence against Dr. George Hill Hodel is way beyond a reasonable doubt now. Suggest you read the follow-up books which add a massive amount of linkage and evidence. Regards, Steve
I’m currently listening to Root of Evil. I can remember reading about the Black Dahlia almost 2o years ago & seeing the name Hodel. Never knew of your book. Can’t wait to read it. What a journey you’ve had! I’m sure I will come to it eventually, but was there ever a warrant for George’s arrest??
Shannon: Well, we don’t really know for sure. My guess is NO. Sounds like when Lt. Jemison was going to the DA to get one after dad split the country the powers that be “shut it down” and we know in writing Lt. Jemison was ordered by his boss to give all the reports and the original tapes directly to then LAPD Chief of Detectives Thad Brown and “never resume the investigation again.” Lt. Jemison’s one saving grace was to lock away “the second set of books” in the DA safe, unbeknownst to LAPD and I would find them (thanks to LA Times reporter Steve Lopez), some fifty-three years later. See below for details. Best, skh
I just watched the Dr. Phil show and I’m kinder confused. How could Rasha and Yvette be blood line if Tamar was adopted. Unless I missed something.
Teresa: Not Tamar adopted. Fauna her daughter was adopted by a Black family and she was raised thinking she was half Black, but in fact her father was White. Tamar her mother was White.
Fauna would not discover this until adulthood and meeting Tamar her biological mother in the Early Seventies. Fauna had two children, Yvette who is half Black and Rasha who is all White. Half sisters.
I watched the Dr. Phil program today. I am curious as to why he married so many times and did he initiate the divorces or did the wives? Having lived with a narcissist I know how abusive they are after the initial charm and they think they have you hooked.
Janel M: Not really sure on the Why other than difficult to imagine living with a man with such complex mental problems for too long? At least in his “early years.” I think its mostly a “spider and fly” thing. Captures the victim, stings her to death (emotionally speaking) and moves on to the next unsuspecting fly. ???
Steve, when George was talking to someone about his secretary’s death, etc. on the police tapes from the home, who do you think that second man was?
I was able to identify him. His name was Baron Ernst Harringa. He was a longtime friend of my father’s going back to the 1920s. He is literally an accomplice in the assault and or murder of the unknown woman in the basement and possibly to other crimes. He left the country to India and didn’t return for many years. Police never took action on him? All detailed in BDA II.
Thanks so much for answering all these questions.
Regarding the killing in the basement of the Franklin house, I thought I remember hearing allusions or speculations to people being buried at the house. Is there any evidence that suggests that? Has the house ever been properly searched (mainly in the basement, etc)?
Thanks Steve 🙏🏼
Kenny; All covered in my books. “Buster” a Cadaver Dog “alerted” to the scent of human remains in the basement and at the rear of the residence. Soil samples collected that came back positive for human remains. Reports submitted to LAPD but their response was, “Don’t have time to look at it. Too busy with other unsolved murders.” Original DA investigators reported interviewing a plumber who had been to the basement shortly after the record screams and asked him “Did you see any graves or digging while you were there?” His response, “I wasn’t looking for digging, I just repaired the plumbing and left.” They documented their report in 1950. You can search the Key Words, “Buster” and other references at my blog site in the Search Box for further.
Hi there. Thanks for sharing your story with the world. I’m wondering what George’s (the monster) other families, children, wives think about everything and if there are any publications where we can see pictures of everyone in the family tree?
In other news, it’s really gross how much incest and rape apology occurs…in my reading came across Mackenzie Phillips and her rape by her father John Phillips and her step mom Michelle Phillips (Tamar’s best friend) dismissal of Mackenzies claims. And this drug addled destructive behavior was glamorized as hippie dippy rock n roll new age lifestyle. The same gross stuff that occurred at George’s house with rape, incest and probably the psychological abuse of your mother. PSwhere were you guys when the cops wire tapped the house?
CAM: Yes definitely dysfunction city for sure. As you say, incest/child molestation is a much LARGER PROBLEM than the public can imagine.
Ditto rape. Just a small portion are reported. I’d guess 40%? Lot of dark dark stories in many families that never come to light.
At the time of the electronic surveillance (Feb 1950) we were out of Page Military Academy (placed there about Oct 1949-Feb 50) by mom to avoid the scandal of the trial etc. Then by Feb 1950 we were living with our mom on Santa Monica pier and totally loving it. Fishing until late at night, swimming, climbing under the pier exploring, KID HEAVEN. Lt. Jemison in March 1950 conducted his interview with mom at our apt at the pier. Obviously, we were not presnt. Probably in school or out fishing and playing in the surf. skh
Mr. Hodel, do you have anything in the works that can explain Dr. Hodel’s monstrous behavior. When coming out?
Also, how do you pronounceyour last name?
Lastly, are your brothers behind you on all of this?
Patricia S: Yes, I go into many of the potential “triggers” that I believe led to his reasons for becoming a serial killer. My name is pronounced HO DEL. Like Hotel with a D. My older brother Michael died at the young age, 47 in 1986, so long before I ever began investigation my father which did not start until after his death in 1999. My younger brother, Kelvin (Kelly) is totally behind it as was my half-sister Tamar. The Philippino side of the family is NOT. They can not/will not believe that their father could have been a serial killer. I do not believe they have read my five books on the subject. Best, Steve
Hi Mr. Hodel,
This is my first post here on your site. I’m hoping this finds you well!
I’ve been reading your books the past few months, and I’m currently about midway through Avenger III, after having read Avenger I & II just prior. I see that you also have some other books not part of your Avenger series, and I’d like to ask you what order you’d recommend to read them all. I want to get the most out of them, I’m so riveted by your investigations. Also, could you tell me where you’d place Fauna’s book in the reading order? I wasn’t aware of a podcast, so I’ll have to give that a go.
I remember when I was reading the first Avenger book, I kept thinking how the facts of your family, the Short case, and the connection with your father are so unbelievable (but I believe to be true, as I feel you’ve provided thorough sources and references) that I figured it would be made into a movie, if it hasn’t already. I haven’t viewed the Tv series, but in reading your posts here, you state it’s 95% fiction. That baffles me because surely if there’s ever been a case of fact being stranger than fiction, this is it! I mean no disrespect, but I don’t believe I could make up a more bizarre characterization or plot if I tried, so I find it puzzling why they wouldn’t just stick to the facts, since they’re so interesting without any embellishment whatsoever. I want to ask if there’s now, or have ever been any talks of producing a movie or series based on your book(s)?
Please forgive me, I’ve loads of questions and thoughts since I’m currently reading your books and my mind is therefore swimming in that world at the moment! I shall have to read more of your posts here and bring myself up to speed as I’m sure I’m asking questions already asked of you repeatedly. I can tell how much work you put into investigating. And I can imagine that forming a coherent explanation of all the facts, along with the backstories of many people and complicated organizations such as the LAPD, in order to publish not just one book, but several, must’ve been both an arduous and satisfying experience…also heartbreaking as well, due to the very personal nature of the connections you’ve discovered. My heart goes out to you and your family as I read what you’ve shared with the world.
Very impressive to see that you seem to be continuing with your investigations. Are you still working on the book about your father’s early years? That would be the tip of the proverbial iceberg! All my best to you, Steve.
Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.
As far as the “I Am The Night” television series, I had no clue it was being made and first became aware when the trailer for it was posted on YouTube. It was opportunistic and they merely used Fauna’s book as a “hook” to get to the GHH/Black Dahlia story, which had no part in her book, which was about being raised Black and discovering she was White. Fauna never met my father in life nor did she ever go to the Sowden/Franklin House during his lifetime. Only after his death in 1999 did she visit our former home. (I did not watch the fictional miniseries.)
I do not recommend her book, “One Day She’ll Darken” as it contains numerous untruths as relates to my mother and our family. For example, Fauna presents “three letters” claiming they were written by my mother that relate to hiding her (Fauna’s) identity etc. Pure fiction. My mother never wrote them. When I asked Fauna “Why did you made up and wrote these letters?” Her response was, “Well all authors need to take some creative license.” That was my last conversation with my niece, Fauna. (My mother never knew about the adoption and racial issues until it was published in a newspaper article after Fauna became an adult. She was shocked like the rest of the family.)
My suggested reading order for my books see below.
Am currently in production on a documentary miniseries adapting five of my books for television. (BDA I,II, and III. Most Evil I and II.) So, hopefully, that will air in 2022 or 23.
Yes, am working on “The Early Years” so stand by much more to come. Best, Steve.
I’m on the last two episodes of Root of Evil. I’d read about Black Dahlia over the years and found your evidence to be compelling. The connection with Man Ray seemed especially telling. After what I’ve learned about GH I think you’re right. He wanted to be a famous Artist and what better way than to pose a dead woman? The fact he must have had so much dirt on people kept him out of jail.
I’ve done research on the Missing Kenneth Martin family here in Portland, OR. This case is 60 years and like yours its circumstantial and word of mouth. It will never be solved. My friend is writing the non-fiction version to be published in Aug. My fictional version will be out any time now.
I get that some people will not think you’re telling the truth. That’s what’s tough. When you KNOW what happened but can’t get the powers that be to actually process it. The police today aren’t much different than they were all those years ago. Money and power talks. Still the podcast, your books (on my reading list) as well as the movies (95% fiction) open the public’s eye to what real life is like behind closed doors..
Thank you for sharing your story. I’d love to thank all your family for their part in this. Note: I doubt they read this. I found listening to Fauna2/Deborah, that she’s the most like Tamar. Not just in the voice, but in her personality. Her responses the the beginning of the segment on the family gave me the shivers. She responded to the siblings much the way her mother would have in that situation. She was truthful, but it was the WAY she responded that freaked me out.
I hope you post more.
CrimeJunky: Thanks for the kind words. Best Regards, Steve
According to the American Left, like what’s-his-name who wrote The Grapes of Wrath, I thought everybody was broke during the Depression. Interesting that George Hodel was able to graduate from Berkeley in 1932 and then continue on to medical school afterwards.
Such a sad story from a family.
I’m sure the lion’s share of his tuition came from his parents during those Depression Years. He as we know, did work as a reporter/columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and drove Yellow Cab during his school years too, but that would have been minimal income.
Dear CrimeJunky, “circumstantial and word of mouth”???!!? If you are on the last two episodes you have definitely missed something. Steve, after watching IATN I wanted to know more and just finished the podcast. Listening to Episode 8 was heart wrenching – if my family were to come together like that I can’t imagine that they would be so civilized and we didn’t have a minutiae of the issues these people have experienced. Also can not imagine the range of emotions you have experienced going through this experience. Just wondering – why did you and Kelly not attend the session with the children? PS Thank you for your service!
Yes, heart-wrenching for me too. That was about 90% “new information” for me listening to my nieces and nephews describe “growing up” with my half-sister, Tamar.
As I’ve said here in other responses, my brothers and I had it rough growing up in the “Gypsy Years” with an alcoholic mother, and placed in multiple times in Juvenile Hall for “Child Neglect/Unfit Home” but at least our mother loved us and kept getting us back until we were old enough to go it alone. Tamar’s children suffered so much more than us. I’d never heard it detailed until the episode. It wouldn’t have really been appropriate for my brother and I to have been in that interview really. Separate household, etc. Also, they shared the DNA results which was supposed to be the BIG FINALE and was included and recorded at that sitting. Totally unexpected that TNT would have Exec. Producer Zak Levitt remove it and that discussion which was all in place. Very disappointing. Regards, Steve
Steve — what DNA results?
These results. See blog link. https://stevehodel.com/2019/04/08/anatomy-of-a-podcast-root-of-evil-the-true-story-of-the-hodel-family-and-the-black-dahlia-dna-test-answers-question-of-fauna-hodels-paternity/
Hello, this is FaunaEliz, Deborah
Please, explain your comments…perhaps clarify?
“I’d love to thank all your family for their part in this. Note: I doubt they read this. I found listening to Fauna2/Deborah, that she’s the most like Tamar. Not just in the voice, but in her personality. Her responses the the beginning of the segment on the family gave me the shivers. She responded to the siblings much the way her mother would have in that situation. She was truthful, but it was the WAY she responded that freaked me out.”
Hi Steve, I’ve been incredibly moved by the story of you and your family. I’ve been aware of your investigation for quite a while, but only superficially. After listening to the root of evil podcast I’m now amazed and horrified that everything was handled the way it was. What’s your belief of the resistance that the current LAPD regime seems to have regarding looking into the Black Dahlia homicide? Do they really think it’s a waste of time or do you think they’re afraid to turn those stones over?
Carl B: Thanks Carl. Yes, exactly so. “Afraid to turn over any rocks.” But, those rocks were turned over long long ago then the material found underneath them was taken and locked in the DA vault for fifty-three years until first journalist Steve Lopez, then I found them as the DA Black Dahlia Hodel Files. Today’s LAPD has no investigation to conduct, the case according to their own Chief of Detectives, James McMurray “Is Solved” along with four commanders from back then. They know they can’t defeat the evidence so all they can do is what they are doing now, “We don’t have time to prove or disprove Hodel’s investigation. We are too busy with ongoing investigations that are solvable.” That’s the party line for the past twenty-years and doubt they will change it. I think once a different LE agency comes up with DNA and it matches GHH then it will basically force them to conduct their own DNA, but who knows? As far as I’m concerned, the Public Gets It and that’s good enough for me. (Well, almost. *s*) Best, Steve
Just finished Root of Evil podcast. I feel like I want to thank the Hodel Family for sharing. It was so touching to hear the conversations at the end. If I were around them, I would hug them all. Bless their hearts. I pray for each one to have peace. I simply cannot imagine coming up as they did. Thank you for sharing.
Connie B: Thank you Connie. We, as family appreciate your kind words. Steve
Thank you both….
Hello, Steve. I was fascinated by the podcast and the story of the Hodel family. Next, I plan to read your book. I was wondering if you have done any digging into your father’s time overseas and what he may have done there re: his other children or other crimes?
Yes, it is covered in MOST EVIL. A Black Dahlia copycat crime he committed in Manila and posted on a vacant lot in 1967. Victim Lucila Lalu.
Hello Steve, I hope you are living a peaceful and happy life throughout this chaotic journey you have been blessed with. It is an experience to be apart of it through your words and family sharings.
Willie R: Thanks for the kind words and thoughts. Much appreciated.
Steve! I feel like i know you! My Grandmother was a dispatcher for the LAPD in the 40’s i remember her speaking of black dahlia.. I listened to the Pod Cast and Can’t wait to read your book! I watched the show and as a Location Manager myself i figured that 95% of the project was fiction it usually is.. I worked on the movie gangster squad and same thing… If they turn your book into a film let me know 3rd generation native here… LA is in our blood! BIG Fan of your work!
Hi Kris: Wow, your grandmother dispatching for LAPD in the Forties, what an exciting time for her. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Working on trying to get an eight-part miniseries together on the REAL INVESTIGATION and try and capture the true history of LA, LAPD, and my father’s dramatic role as a city mover-and-shaker as a sideline of his serial killings. Whole lot of history there and as you say, “in the blood.” Best, Steve
I listened to the Root of Evil podcast Steve and am amazed at the strength of yourself and subsequent members of George’s & Tamars’ family, people can choose to change their path, and their past does not have to define them- you are all insprirational!
My question is, what alerted you to 50 odd other potential murders committed by your father?
I am guessing you address these in one of your books, if so which one?
Have you been able to definitively say that he was the murderer in any of these 50+ cases?
Antoinette: Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated.
As to your question. Yes, in the Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short murder we are way beyond “a reasonable doubt” and far beyond what would be required to convict him in front of a jury. Ditto on many of the other “LA Lone Woman Murders” that occurred during the 1940s. As far as the other crimes, in Chicago, Manila and in the San Francisco Bay Area the evidence is extremely compelling and the thirty-one separate unique “crime signatures” make a powerful and compelling case. I have written five books on the now twenty-five murders, which is a lot of reading. Would suggest you start with the Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder (Skyhorse 2015 ed.) which is available in print, or ebook or audible book. If you get “hooked” then would suggest the following reading order: Most Evil (Dutton 2009); BDA II (Thoughtprint Press 2014); Most Evil II (Rare Bird Books 2015); Most Evil III (Rare Bird Books 2018). Best Wishes to you and yours, Steve
Thanks for taking the time to reply & for your information Steve.
Best wishes and all the best also to your supportive (and very tolerant) family 🙂
Antoinette , Australia!
As has been said numerous times here, you all are quite brave and I applaude you for sharing this with the world and bringing to light the injustice for Elizabeth Short and many others. It is completely heartbreaking, the horror and trauma George brought to so many. As said in Root of Evil, the hope is that now the cycle has been broken.
All my best.
Kelli K: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. steve
Steve, your investigative work is incredible, especially under such challenging emotional circumstances.
1. How did George H. come to know Elizabeth Short?
2. What were the screams and sobbing in the recording from George H’s home? Was there actually a woman there in distress or was your father listening to a recording that he made?
3. Why didn’t the police enter his home when they heard the screams?
Lisa K: Thanks for the kind words Lisa. Much appreciated. As to your questions.
1) Either as a patient as his First Street Clinic circa 1943 or through his good friend surrealist Man Ray who painted her picture in 1943. GHH either introduced her to Man Ray or Man Ray introduced her to George?
2) Live realtime assault and probable murder of an unknown female victim by George Hodel and Baron Ernst Harringa as recorded by DA/LAPD detectives on real time stakeout. They took no action. Victim’s body never found.
3) Good question. Don’t have an answer as they were only five minutes away listening to the assault/and or murder in the basement of Hollywood Police Station. But, this no response was the reason for the “coverup” and allowing GHH to flee the country. They could not allow the public to KNOW they were listening in to a realtime murder and took no action. Best, Steve
That’s terrifying. Do you have a theory as to who that person may have been on the tape? I imagine that missing person reports were examined to try and make a possible connection, but that would be an uphill battle without anything but the tape to work from.
I believe that you have written about GHH possibly having an accomplice for one or more of his killings. Do you believe that Baron EH assisted your father in his , their, crimes, other than the one recorded on the tape? I apologize if that wasn’t a theory of yours. I’m purchasing your books so that I have more information and a better understanding of events.
I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but all this is fascinating, How does a person become a George H Hodel. I think that there is an organic misfire in brain chemistry that causes anyone to murder without provocation. Your father looked paranoid, suspicious and even sad in the photos posted. He reeked hell in the world. I believe he had a hell inside of him.
Thank you for your bravery and strength, Lisa
Just finishing up on your podcast. I have questions. Regarding the ‘Franklin House ‘ parties in which depravity reigned, were there no hired help(i.e. housekeepers, cook, groundsmen,etc) to corroborate some of these events? Curious…
Has it been possible to go back further, into the personal lives of Dr. Hodels’ father and, more importantly, his mother Esther. Monsters are rarely born, they are more often ‘made’ and I feel certain a very dark connection goes even further back, where “gifts” were given and special “comforting” may have been passed on.
Wendy PC: We had just a single maid in service at our home during this period. The public’s imagination re. these “parties” is much exaggerated and overactive. There was no overt, blatant sex it was discrete and private. These were mainly cocktail parties as was common to the Forties which included a lot of intellectual exchanges on film, art etc. And yes, I have examined my father’s early years in a number of my books and am confident he too was the victim of either incest with his mother, or possibly another close family friend along with other triggers (rejected my peers and an older woman whom he had a teenage sexual liaison with, so a lot of factors at play. Clearly, his psychopathology was a combination of both Nature and Nuture. Regards, Steve
I listened to the Root Of Evil podcast. I stumbled acrossed it and quickly found myself intrigued and hooked. 8 episodes and 12ish hours later even sheded tears during some of the interviews. Your family is filled with so many great survivors! I am glad you chose to dig deep into this it is amazing the evidence you found.
I am wondering do you belive that Elizabeth Short was his first murder or was she just the most artistic? Do you think he acted alone?
Also does she have any family around that have oppinions on your research?
Mollie M: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the podcast. I was very well done and quite accurate. As to your questions.
I have written five books on my investigation documenting my father’s serial crimes from 1940-1970. Twenty-five victims in thirty years.
No, Elizabeth Short was not his first. There were a dozen other “LA Lone Woman Murders” from 1943 until he fled the country to avoid arrest in 1950.
He did not act alone. On many of his crimes, he had an accomplice. Likely it was Fred Sexton on some and we know he had an accomplice on one, as LAPD tape recorded the crime
that occurred in the basement of our home on Franklin Avenue in Feb, 1950. All detailed in my books. Elizabeth Short’s family, her sisters I believe have all passed on now.
They did not believe the case was solved, but neither did they read my investigation. Best, Steve
I’ve been listening to Root of Evil. If there is anything that has destroyed the belief that incest can be ignored, tolerated, somehow accept by too many in this society, it is this podcast. Root of Evil made very clear how much damage it causes. It shows how cult behavior can damage and destroy a lot of people in the process of the leader’s justification for cruel and sadistic behavior. The case illustrated here is not an isolated case and I would hope this becomes a requirement in curriculums in colleges, seminaries, medical schools, police departments, treatment centers…. It is a very, very tough podcast to listen too, like the Keepers was to watch, but it is a lot easier to listen to than it had to have to live through.
Jeanne S: Agreed. steve
I am so confused after reading this thread, consecutively with the podcast. It was confirmed in episode 3 that Fauna’s birth father was George? or am I missing something?
Don’t recall Episode 3. Might have been suggested by someone as a possibility? But, the bottom line is DNA has been conducted and George Hodel IS NOT Fauna’s birth father. He has been eliminated to “a scientific certainty.” End of story.
I am curious about George’s upbringing. I’m a professional counselor and know how early development/ attachment can potentially affect a person. I know in one of the podcasts it was mentioned that he was discouraged from playing with his peers. Could you give some more insight into his childhood and relationship to his parents? Also, what was George’s family’s line of work.
Sarah: Too much to try and go into here. I cover it extensively in BDA I (Skyhorse/Arcade 2015 ed.)
His father was a banker/insurance/real estate salesman. Mother a dentist in Paris. Originally both parents were from Russia and escaped to Paris then came through Ellis Island at turn of the century. Mother very controlling and overly protective. Likely he was the victim of sexual abuse from her or another family member. Because of his high IQ (186) he was advanced several grades and that caused rejection from classmates because he was much younger than them. Impregnated his professor’s wife at Cal Tech at age 15, which broke up her marriage. On and on but you get the picture. Treated very much by his mother as a “Little Lord Fauntleroy”.
Dear Hodel Family,
Thank you for being so brave in sharing your traumatic story. The fact you all were able to come together after such horrific events is a miracle in of itself. I just wanted to say thank you foe opening up your lives to the public. When I first started listening to the podcast, i went into looking for entertainment. But quickly realized there was a lesson to be learned here. I think the biggest one was when either you or Love said “you just have to be brave”. That really struck a chord with me. Anyways, thanks again and I hope you and your family continue to grow in healing.
Elijah M: Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Yes, Truth like Sunshine dispels the fog created by Abuse and Dysfunction. So many listeners have responded to the airing of our family secrets, like you, with positive thoughts, empathy, and appreciation. Stay tuned. More to come. Best, Steve Hodel, Los Angeles.
Thanks for responding to everyone. I understand that Fauna Elizabeth suffered extreme sexual abuse at the hands of Tamar and her facilitating it with others. Where was Fauna Elizabeth’s father during this time? Did he just allow it to happen?
Alyssa D: Tamar and her husband, folksinger, Stan Wilson were separated/divorced. I don’t think Stan was involved at all but I have very little information or specific knowledge other than what Fauna Elizabeth has revealed publicly.
My father Stan Wilson was not…and NEVER abused me…I am so very grateful ❤
Hi Steve. Was just reading some of your posts and saw that your father lived in San Francisco around the late 90’s. I moved to SF in ‘95, and now I’m a little creeped out to think I lived in the vicinity of the Black Dahlia killer for maybe 4 years! Can you tell me what neighborhood he lived in? I’m fascinated by the story and have seen the IATN series, and just watched the Black Dahlia 2006 movie with Josh Hartnett. I would love to read your book series!
Eve: He and his wife June lived downtown in the Financial District at 333 Bush St. West on the 39th floor. He was there from 1990 until his death in 1999. IATN of course is alll fictional as Fauna never met her grandfather in life nor ever visited our Sowden/Franklin House until long after her grandfather’s death. Would recommend you listen to the eight-part Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia podcast. Very accurate. Best, Steve
Thank you Uncle Steve for Your Truth, Love & Support, love You Always. FaunaEliz
XXOO It’s taken a while (twenty years and six books and counting) But, we’re getting there. Uncle Steve
Dear Steve i am deeply saddened by this story there is just so much damage intertwined that Hodel did. I’m curious if anyone knows how his other not mentioned wives or kids are doing? Does anyone know if they suffered abuse etc? Thank you I commend you for the strength and determination in uncovering the truth about your family.
All of GHH’s former wives have now passed with the death of Hortensia Laguda Starke Hodel a a decade ago.
The “effects” are inestimable really. I think that Fauna Elizabeth (Deborah) was impacted the most as the result of her mother’s dysfunctionality and abuse to her. I really have no direct insight into how the Filipino side of our family was effected as my contact with them has been minimal. It is my belief that they all pretty much assumed that none of my investigative findings could be true and left it at that. Thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated.
This is a story almost too horrible to believe. Does anybody know what happened to George in his early life that might have led to such horrifying, deviant behavior, aside from the affair with a married woman?
Yes, I examine many of the “triggers” that likely led to the perfect storm. Too many to list here but most various forms of “rejection” because he just didn’t fit in or walk like the rest of the ducks. Probably incest with his mother and or a close relative, and on and on.
Just finished the podcast, hearing everyone’s truths and stories was gut wrenching to put it mildly but I agree that how you move on from these kinds of horrific events is to deal with them head on.. I was curious if your family has done a better job at staying in touch since the podcast and if any new facts have came to surface since podcast wrapped? For example fauna’s dad Stan ever reaching out to grand daughters? LAPD opening back up case? Tamar an if after her death they ran any psychiatric tests or her?? Thank you for sharing and god bless to all your family an loved ones.
A number of new links/evidence has developed since the February 2019 podcast. I have mostly included these in blogs here at my website. One of the most dramatic being the discovery of the “Glenn Martin Letter” which I also included in the publication of BDA III. Also, new linkage to a Fred Sexton formerly undiscovered artwork, “The Death of Monalita” and other connections.
No, LAPD continues their stated position that “they are too busy to look at the investigation” and I don’t see this changing they simply do not want to have to confirm that two of their/our greatest heroes were complicit in a 1947 coverup which consequently allowed to serial killer to remain free and kill and kill again.
Stan Wilson Deborah Elizabeth (Fauna II) father, died in 2005.
The only “psychiatric test” that was ever conducted on Tamar, as far as I know, was the “court-ordered exam” during the incest trial, in 1949, which in itself was a miscarriage of justice. (Can you imagine in today’s legal world ordering psychiatric exams on all sexual assault victims?) Just hugely WRONG.
I think “the family connections” remain pretty much as they were pre “Root of Evil” not aware of any major changes.
Steve, I am so fascinated by this and just finished the podcast and am about to start your books. Was your father in Ohio during the time of the Lady of the Lake and torso killings? Also, do you believe he was responsible for the Chop Chop murders in the Philippines? So much for retirement, I guess, huh? Thank you for your tireless commitment to researching this.
Cynthia F: Don’t believe that he is connected with the Cleveland Torso Murders.
Would require too much time in Ohio and I don’t see any indication he was there.
Yes, I list the Manila, Lucila Lalu “Jigsaw Murder” as his. Here’s the suggested reading order on the books. All Best, Steve
This story is absolutely heart breaking, all of it. Thanks to all of you for being strong and sharing.
Thanks for the kind words.
Hi, Mr. Hodel,
I’ve just in the past few days discovered this podcast and, subsequently, your books on the Elizabeth Short case. I suppose I’ll just finish the podcast before diving into the books, though I’m sure the other way around might’ve been best. I also look forward to reading your book on the Zodiac cipher.
In the podcast so far, you briefly mention your struggle to remain objective once you embarked on attempting to solve the case because of your father having been a suspect. At the same time, you say that your original aim was to exonerate your father and I’m sure that did challenge your objectivity. I’m sure you go into greater depth about this in the book, but for the time being, I’m wondering, as you proceeded with your investigation did you have someone completely detached from the case to bounce your findings off of?
No, it was a singular and silent investigation basically from the getgo.
But, truth is that I had been prepared to make the journey thanks to 24-years of police investigations 17 of which were in homicide. (Over 300 murder investigations.) In every one of them, one has to be “objective” and train themself not to react. You walked in to the interrogation room where a father has just beat his 8-year-old son to death and you cannot bring your hatred and rage at the act, into the room with you. You offer him a coffee and a cigarette, and in a calm, non accusative, and detached manner, say, “Well tell me what happened.? Must be an explantion?
So, with my dad. I just followed the evidence, and it took me 180′ in the opposite of where I thought it would. The “detached someone” in fact was the LA Head DDA Steve Kay who I took my case to in secret and he reviewed it for three months then said, “Based on the evidence I would file two counts of murder on Dr. George Hill Hodel, one for the Black Dahlia and a second for the three-week later and murder of nurse Jeanne French. With that independent confirmation, I went ahead and wrote the book and published my investigation. Below is the suggested reading order on the series of books, (see numbers above each book) which are really just one ongoing investigation. Regards, Steve
It says in the Podcast that he started another family over seas. I am curious if his children over seas has the same experience as your family had with him. I can’t imagine him all of the sudden deciding to stop behaving as he has.
Well, yes and no. My half brothers and sisters grew up with a life of wealth and privilege thanks to their mother, Hortensia. George and Hortensia were married about five years and had four children during that time. Then she got a dispensation from the Pope and marriage dissolved. But, like our family, their father was an unknown presence and went on the multiple affairs with women and constant travel throughout Asia and Europe just using Manila as a “home base.” Fortunately, for them, their mother was independently wealthy, politically connected, owned sugar plantation in Negroes, and became a Congresswoman. So comfort, good schools, good colleges as opposed to my mother and our “Gypsy Years” as presented in BDA. Different lives but still like us, strangers to their father.
Steve, have you thought about writing your own story? You are a living embodiment of 20th century LA — from your mother’s marriage to John Huston and growing up in the Sowden House to your work on the Manson, Night Stalker, and virtually all the big LA murders. You’re an incarnation of LA Noir that far surpasses James Ellroy.
As a very successful homicide detective, it would be interesting to get your opinion on the Golden State Killer and if there are any possible LA connections because it seems very odd DeAngelo would murder in SB, Ventura, and Orange counties while completely skipping LA. I very much appreciate your work.
Hi Christine. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.
Well, I think ‘my life” is pretty much revealed in the now eight books. Very few memories from the Franklin House years which I’m guessing I “blocked out” and I don’t do/believe in, or trust “recovered memories.” I didn’t work on the Manson or Night Stalker as those serial crimes were handled by downtown Robbery/Homicide Major Crimes Detail. I had many offers to go downtown, but always “passed” because of the “politics” and just loved working Hollywood and the independence that comes with working a Divisional Homicide Detail. Over three hundred murder investigations at Hollywood during my 17-years there. Loved it. Haven’t really looked into the Golden State Killer crimes. Just too busy trying to figure out my father’s crimes from the 20s and 30s, which I have just completed investigating and published last month in a two-volume set: The Early Years Part I-1920s and The Early Years Part II-1930s. Best Regards and Happy New Year.