Black Dahlia obsessives, take note — TNT’s new drama series, I Am the Night (which debuted on January 28th), is getting a companion podcast that will dig into the true events which inspired the series and made George Hodel a primary suspect in Elizabeth Short’s 1947 unsolved murder. Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia, produced in partnership with Cadence13, will premiere the first of eight episodes on February 13th.
I Am the Night, directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), tells the story of Fauna Hodel (India Eisley), a teenage girl born and abandoned in a casino bathroom, who enlists a struggling reporter (Chris Pine) to help unravel the mystery of her own life. Their investigation takes them to Los Angeles where they’re introduced to her grandfather, Dr. George Hodel (Jefferson Mays), an infamous Hollywood gynecologist with a taste for debauchery — and suspected by many, including his own family, of committing one of history’s most gruesome unsolved murders.
The real Fauna Hodel was closely involved in the production of I Am the Night up until her death in 2017. Her daughters, Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro, picked up when she left off, working with Jenkins to ensure the project was completed. Now the sisters will co-host Root of Evil, going even deeper down the rabbit hole of their scandalous family history, interviewing other Hodel relatives, like great-uncle Steve Hodel, a former LAPD detective who publicly accused his father George of the Black Dahlia murder and several other killings.
“This is a story more than 70 years in the making,” the podcast’s producer, Zak Levitt, said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Root of Evil will premiere on February 13th, with new episodes released every Wednesday.