The 1947 murder of 22-year-old actress Elizabeth Short who was later given the name ‘The Black Dahlia’, has become one of the most horrific unsolved crimes in the US, and one of Hollywoods most infamous cases. When Elizabeth Short was brutally killed in Los Angles, it gripped the entire country and over 70 years later, it still remains officially unsolved. However there is a very likeley suspect known, and The Root Of Evil podcast uncovers the story behind the supposed perpertrator and his dark family past.
Unlike many true crime podcasts, ‘Root Of Evil’ is not hosted by a sleuth or crime enthusiast but instead Rasha Pecoraro and Yvette Gentile – the great grand daughters of the suspected killer, George Hodel. Together they discuss the vicious murder and the dark secrets that have have been prevalant in their twisted family past.
When Elizabeth Short was discovered it was revealed she had been cut in half and appeared to have been drained of blood with precision, she had ciggarett burns and gashes into each corner of her mouth, creating a permenant clown-esque smile. In support of L.A. police, the FBI were involved in the case and helped look for suspects across the country.
Due to the victims injuries, the FBI suspected that the killer may have had particular expertise in dissection or operations that a medical professional would know. Unusually, over 19 people came forward claiming to be the killer, however all were later released citing lack of evidence. An anonymous letter was said to have been sent to authorities but the Bureau searched for a match to fingerprints found on, but nothing matched.
The unsolved murder has since spawned several movies, TV specials, books and finally, a podcast. As such, many now believe Los Angeles doctor George Hodel was the killer, and in big part thanks to an investigation by Hodel’s own son, Steve a former LAPD homicide investigator. Steve later penned New York Times best Selling book about the crime and features significantly throughout the story.
While the murder is enough on it’s own, its just one part of the Hodel family story. The eight-part podcast documentary series we hear horrifying secrets that have traversed across many generations and it features original audio and exclusive interviews through which the Hodel family reveal their shocking history.
Most crime series rely on second-hand testimony, police reports, news clippings, however this one features a trove of old cassette tape recordings of phone calls and diaries as the main source of evidence, and it brings a unique sense of authenticity and adds yet another layer to the cruious story of the podcast.