Dr. George Hodel, the patriarch of the Hodel Family was in his late 30′s when this photo was taken. The rumors and stories surrounding this controversial physician, who died in 1999 at the age of 91, continue to spark the interest of anyone interested in the macabre.
In addition to being a physician, he was in the Navy, drove a limo, played the piano, and was an expert in venereal disease. He was mysterious, charming, manipulative with an IQ reported to be close to 200.
In 1949, he was accused by his 14 year old daughter, Tamar, of sexual intercourse. After a sensational incest trial in which he was acquitted of all charges, he stayed away from his daughter but kept a watchful eye from a distance on his family.
In addition to the incest accusation, Dr. Hodel was investigated for the murder in one of the most controversial unsolved mysteries of the Twentieth Century – the murder of Elizabeth Short, also known as The Black Dahlia.
In the book, The Black Dahlia Avenger, Dr. Hodel’s son, Steve Hodel, builds a very strong case against him as the alleged murderer. It is believed by many that the body of Elizabeth Short was dissected at the house on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood, California. The Sheriff’s department set up surveillance on Hodel at this location and taped his conversation during the investigation.
This is the home on Franklin in Hollywood that was previously owned by Dr. George Hodel. Tamar visited the home during her teen years and stayed with her father. It is also the site of the investigation into the gruesome murder of the Black Dahlia. The 17 room home was built in 1927 and designed by Lloyd Wright who is credited with many of the homes in the Hollywood Hills area. He was the eldest son of Frank Lloyd Wright, considered by many to be America’s most gifted architect. It is currently a private residence
In the meantime, his daughter, Tamar became pregnant at about 16 years of age and gave birth to a girl that she named, Fauna. Because of her young age and that fact that she declared on the birth certificate that the father was “Negro”, the child was quickly given away to avoid any controversy in a very conservative pre-civil rights California circa 1951. Tamar wanted her daughter to be raised with the kind of love she experienced in Juvenile Hall while awaiting trial just a year before. The kindness and caring exhibited by both her black jailers and black fellow inmates allowed the young beauty to commit her only child to be given away to a black restroom attendant in Reno, Nevada, hoping that her baby would be raised with the same qualities she so admired from her experience while incarcerated.
After the birth, Tamar was quietly whisked away to Mexico to avoid further controversy. The baby, however, remained in the charge of Jimmie Lee Stokes, a young black maid who had no desire to raise an alleged “mixed-race”, but only agreed to the arrangement after being convinced by her common law husband, Chris Greenwade, a powerful Pentecostal Minister that the baby was a sign from God.
When the baby arrived at the Greenwade home, there was no hint of mixed race, but instead the baby Fauna turned out to be a blue-eyed blond with fair skin. The contrast in skin color between Jimmie Lee and Fauna was outstanding and exceptionally controversial. Although resentful at first for being forced to care for what appeared to all to be a white child, the Black maid used every creative measure to conceal the bizarre relationship.