TAMAR HODEL: In Her Own Words: Relates Details of the Pregnacy, Birth and Adoption of Her First Daughter, Fauna Hodel

June 7, 2019
Los Angeles

( Below portion excerpted verbatim as typed and presented from a lengthy original email written to me by  my sister on 1/13/2004 and  published in author’s Black Dahlia Avenger III (Rare Bird Books 2018) Chapter 6 Tamar Nais Hodel 1935-2015)


Life as I knew it… totally shattered.
My father was defended shamelessly by Attorney Jerry Giesler and Robert Neeb…”All a Fantasy of a young girl”! A smear campaign was created, and I was labeled inaccurately as a liar and a “bad seed”.
At the close of the court trial and my father’s acquittal…I was transferred from the Los Angeles Juvenile Hall to San Francisco Juvenile Hall as a Ward of the Court…suddenly I had become the criminal…without committing a crime!
I was incarcerated for almost one year. The system had no idea where to place me…In the end…I was released to my Mother in San Francisco…the first day home I walked across the street to see my childhood friend David age 15, and as I approached…I was startled to hear his Mother call out to him not to speak to me…telling me “to get away from her son…You Whore…You Whore”!!! He did not even speak…I returned home…shocked and confused…later that day David slipped away from his Mother’s watchful eye to tell me that the case had been in all the newspapers and Sex Magazines…that I was a Scandal!! Considered to be a Very BAAAAAD Girl…He asked me to meet him at his friends home nearby that evening so that he might show me the newsclippings and magazines…I arrived at his friends house…(a bachelor, about 25 years of age)…who kept me supplied with good tasting drinks (I learned later that I was being given Sloe Gin in mixed drinks)…I drank and waited…no David…finally I passed out and awakened to being raped by his friend…as soon as I could walk…I went home..and soon discovered that I was pregnant!!!
Still a ward of the court….a Baaaaad Girl.
And pregnant….I asked my Mother for help…She refused to help saying “she would not help…not after what I had done to my Father!!”
That I should take care of it on my own!
A long series of painful attempts “to handle my pregnancy on my own” followed…all unsuccessful. That is a whole chapter to itself…
My Mother turned me into the court as a runaway…I had not…I was simply trying “to take care of it myself as instructed.” At the final point of this effort…too many people were becoming involved that could be hurt for helping me…including Gus Hall the distinguished leader of The Communist Party.
Rather than endanger any others…I turned myself into the Juvenile Court.
A very kind and loving Black man tried to help me…offered to marry me…which he thought would…give me my freedom as an adult…the court said no…it was actually illegal at that time in California!
By the time that I was about two months pregnant…I was placed in an Unwed Mother’s Home…and although my pregnancy was truly an unwanted one…my baby became the only family that I had in the world…and I wanted so very much to keep her…I was informed that would not be possible…unless my Mother agreed to be responsible…As they
Assumed that the father of my child was black (due to my friend who asked permission to marry me) …and…All my heroes were black…(I was not favorably impressed with the white race…I had been very shocked by the way I saw blacks being treated at Juvenile Hall..(I was embarrassed to be white) and I was also surprised by the fact that most of the beautiful black girls…had no idea that they were beautiful) Soooooo as they thought that the baby’s father was black, I continued to allow them to think so. Understanding that I would not be allowed to keep her…I wanted her to be in a loving environment. At that time (1950) I naively thought just being in a black family would accomplish this…
When she was born, I did not get to hold her…I was only allowed to see her through a glass window in the arms of a nun…and as I looked at her trying to project my absolute helplessness at the whole turn of events…she flashed an accusing look of betrayal.
I was not to look into her eyes again until 20 years later when we were reunited in Honolulu…She (Fauna) has made a film about her long search for her mother…and growing up white in a black family, called “Pretty Hattie’s Baby” with Alfre Woodard, Charles Dutton, Jill Clayburgh, Tess Harper, Bobby Hosea and Allison Elliot.
After Fauna’s birth, I was whisked away to Mexico City “to forget”. I was told that I must never attempt to find my daughter, that she had been adopted by two wealthy Interracial Artists…and that I must never interfere.
At the time I believed my Mother…however as it turned out my Mother actually had her given to a maid at the Silver Dollar Hotel in Reno Nevada!!

(SKH Note- Email continues describing later events in Tamar’s life.  See BDA III for full Tamar Hodel narrative.)




  1. Olivia on July 30, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Steve, thank you so much for your research. I know it has helped Tamar, her children, and her grandchildren so much even though a few of them are no longer with us. If this question is too much I completely understand. I definitely do not want to make anyone uncomfortable in this already tough situation. But I have to ask, is it possible that Peace, Love, Joy, Rasha, or Yvette would get a DNA test to find out who Fauna’s biological father is? Do they already know but want to keep it private? Thanks again.

  2. Steve Hodel on July 30, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Olivia:

    Yes, we all know the truth. DNA testing was done for the Root of Evil podcast and the results were included in the final episode 8 but then TNT producers/management insisted they be removed from the podcast. The results established “beyond a scientific certainty” that George Hodel was not the father of Fauna Hodel. The “I Am The Night” producers did not want the truth told becuase in their fictionalized version they suggested that he was her father. They have a new release coming up in the U.K. and did not want the truth to get in the way of their fiction. I have spoken out clearly on the subject and Peace, Love and Joy Tamar’s sons are all aware of the results which were presented to them back at their gathering/interview in FEB for the final episode. Fauna’s two daughters, Rasha and Yvette are close to the producers of the “I Am The Night” production and though they indicated they would be acknowledging the truth that my and their grandmother’s father, George Hodel was not their mother’s biological father, to date, six months now, both have chosen to remain silent on the subject. Not sure why, other than perhaps they are acquiescing to the wishes of director/producer Patty Jenkins and TNT management? If that is the case, it is diappointing, as TRUTH always trumps POWER. See below blog I did back in April.
    Best, Steve


  3. Teri McMinn on July 9, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Steve,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how beautiful and intelligent Tamar was and how much you meant to one another. How wonderful that out of all the chaos you could connect with one another in such a deep and powerful way. Her story has always haunted me. I felt fortunate to have been able to speak with Tamar several times in 2008 and get to know her even slightly. I was sorry I lost touch with her. Life can take so many twists and turns.

    You write beautifully about Tamar and about your mother. I loved reading your mother’s letter to you, Birthday 1974, describing her deep love and affection, and how proud she was of you. Also, her poem at 67 – To grow old. It was stunning re-reading it after 12 years. How telling the poem was, as with your dad’s mysterious writings, always leaving clues. Her poem felt like another enigma wrapped in an enigma… It’s clear she was not only beautiful but also incredibly talented. If only they could have both been better protected from George. I sincerely hope they’re both finally resting in peace.

    All of your stories and those of your family can and should be cautionary tales for all of us, to better understand that there are consequences in our choices, sometimes dire, and to choose ever so wisely.

    I’m still hoping you get BDA to the screen! I gave away my copy and need to order another one. Time for a re-read. All the hundreds of characters and thousands of details… they pull me right back in.

    I trust this finds you well and staying safe in these trying times, Steve.

    All the very best,
    Teri McMinn

    • Steve Hodel on July 9, 2020 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Teri:
      Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated.
      Yes, mother was a beautiful soul who lived a tortured life bound and gagged to dad for so many decades. And, taking all her knowledge of his many crimes with her to her grave. So sad. Here’s a link to the list of the updated books which are all really just one ongoing investigation and their suggested reading order.
      Best to you and yours. Stay safe and well. Steve

  4. Sholmes on January 18, 2021 at 12:50 am

    Hi. I wonder…did Fauna ever reconnect with her adoptive parents?

    • Steve Hodel on January 18, 2021 at 1:24 am

      S. Holmes:
      Sorry I don’t know the answer to your question. I only met Fauna a very few times.

  5. A.Geros on March 8, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    when was she born?

    • Steve Hodel on March 8, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      Tamar was born in San Francisco on March 24, 1935.

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