31 May 2019
Los Angeles, California
“…George Hodel, was likely the Black Dahlia killer and, it is widely believed, her [Fauna Hodel’s]
biological father (after raping her mother). Carlita Rizzo
“How ‘When They See Us,’ ‘Dirty John’ Depicted Notorious Crimes for TV” (May 30, 2019)
“You’re not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?”
“No Sir. When the legend becomes fact. Print the legend.”
Following in the footsteps of the old adage from the classic film, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962) it would seem HOLLYWOOD is determined to perpetuate the myth that George Hodel is the biological father of his granddaughter, Fauna Hodel. “Print the Legend.”
In writing today’s article for the Hollywood Reporter, I can only assume that Ms. Rizzo in interviewing the screenwriter, Samuel Sheridan (married to the IATN miniseries executive producer, Patty Jenkins) was not informed that TNT had requested and obtained a DNA analysis comparing George Hodel’s DNA to his granddaughter, Fauna Hodel and the results proved “to a scientific certainty” that she is NOT HIS DAUGHTER.
These dramatic results were presented for the first time, in person to Tamar and Fauna’s children in a taped sit-down interview which was included in of “Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia”- Episode 8, “You Only Have One Family.”
Despite the fact that the companion miniseries, “I Am The Night” had completed airing the powers that be decided they wanted the DNA results removed from the podcast, and kept secret.
Consequently, other than my blog site announcements articles such as today’s in the Hollywood Reporter continue to “Print the Legend.”
Excerpt from HR Carlita Rizzo’s article addressing the miniseries, “I Am the Night” (Bolded emphasis mine):
There are also occasions when using the source material only as inspiration serves the narrative best. Such was the case with I Am the Night, the dark coming-of-age story of author and motivational speaker Fauna Hodel’s search for her birth parents. Hodel discovered that her maternal grandfather, George Hodel, was likely the Black Dahlia killer and, it is widely believed, her biological father (after raping her mother). In the TNT series (which debuted Jan. 28), Fauna and George face off at his iconic residence, Los Angeles’ Sowden House, to dramatic consequences. “The true story is incredibly complicated and [wouldn’t be] as satisfying [onscreen], because in reality Fauna never came face to face with George Hodel,” says writer Samuel Sheridan, who was also wary of turning the story into another Black Dahlia murder mystery. “Our central truth was about this girl who set out to find who she was and discovered the worst things were true and found a way to come through that.”
Sheridan and his wife, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, who executive produced and partially directed the limited series, had for years discussed how to turn this fascinating character study into a narratively cohesive story. With the resurgence of the miniseries format and the invention of Jay Singletary, a fictional Korean War veteran and disgraced reporter (played by Chris Pine) who helped the narrative move forward more efficiently, the story started taking shape.
“I thought there was an interesting parallel to work with between Jay and George Hodel in that they both have killed people and felt some of the things you don’t ever want to talk about in killing people — the kind of surge of power and joy and thrill that might come to a certain kind of person,” says Sheridan. “Whereas Jay is tormented by it, Hodel has embraced it.”
It’s this exploration of moral complexity in the people who commit horrible acts that makes true crime such a draw, the writers believe. “In my life, I’ve never really known a pure good guy or a pure bad guy, and I think that when you have a true story, it gives you license to tell something that’s more truthful and honest about who people really are,” says Johnson. “I think people want those adult stories that are complicated and ambiguous and resemble a world that we’re familiar with.”
UPDATE JUNE 3:
I have been asked the same question (below) by a number of readers.
“Why did TNT remove the DNA results from the final episode of the podcast, “Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia?”
The most recent query was today from Kim Shinabery on Facebook. My answer below:
For those that haven’t seen my earlier May 11th blog on this subject. Here it is.