« Root of Evil: The True Story of the Hodel Family and the Black Dahlia

You Only Have One Family

For the first time in decades, the Hodels gather together in one room to confront their difficult family secrets. They try to collectively make sense of their story and answer the question of how to move forward, knowing they can never escape their past.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Root of evil is a production of sea thirteen originals, a division of cadence thirteen in partnership with tee. And This story contains strong language in graphic and potential. Disturbing content. Discretion is advised. russian even of a super tight relationship, a good one. This is our anthem, love who doubt there really love each other and they got each other's back and I admire it to the end of time. I wish I had their connection with my brother's. If I I want something in desire and maybe even something,
often my heart and made me cry would be the fact of being that close with my brother's words, I had one has really really young but Dennis You know everybody changed people change, you know people more from the whoever they are my relationship with both my brothers Thank you. It would be a lot different. We ve been raised differently. Raising the normal hassle, that's uncle joy, a lot more. The bill. My love ya. On communication, I love my brothers, but I am. I don't go out of my way to express it. Growing up, geese and loved in talk now the fund has been talk now the brother.
And talk to the sisters and nieces there's always I'm distance down. Resentment, but less of it MAX answered times with one family member another. The wedge really worked because of Denmark. Everybody in the family has some secret and I don't think they're all bad learners. Elephants, but there are some deep rooted stuff that might make us sad to hear or what they might have gone through, or what secret that, as you know, but Families are ya know I mean so model. Stick together, ass. He read the story where so much is still unwritten.
After generations of pain the hotel, I have tried to address our family dysfunction head on. It's been cathartic, but now we all have to begin the slow process of putting our family back together. And that could take the rest of our lives. Before Why. This is rooted people to choose the story of the hotel family and the black dahlia, I mean that and I'm Russia
and we're your house many that night began during this podcast, the very first We did was go terminal storage container to see what we could find to help tell her story, but in the process this became something much bigger. It be my whole family story, one by one, slowly the hotels, agree to go on this journey and try to make sense. Our collective family trauma. Fauna to set an episode five. You can't bury it, no matter how hard you try, its burying yourself. This True for all of us, and just speaking for that, and I, although though it's been, really hard to learn such painful things about our aunts and uncles.
Want to know more do we all agreed to meet in LOS Angeles, it's one thing to tell our story separately. It's a whole. Different thing to do at all. In one room face to face and speak about things we never told each other were hoping it This grow closer as a family. Unfortunately, our uncle joy couldn't make it from Hawaii, but I men from San Francisco and Russia's here from Portland love, flew in from Hawaii and peace Havana to live here and allay none of us, could figure out how long it's been since we were all together in one room. But it's somewhere between twenty five and thirty five years. Many myths, Russia,
pecoraro, I'm, the youngest daughter, fauna, hotel and I'm sitting next to my only sister, my name imagine delay- and I am the oldest daughter of fund a hotel- and I am sitting next to my uncle love. My name is love hotel and I am the last of the siblings, the youngest too timid, a hotel and I'm sitting next to my sister, funnel is worth Deborah hotel However, so I dont know yes, I am another is the best I was born Deborah. I am the second of the audio family of Tamar who deal with second daughter and I'm sitting next to my brother. I this is peace, hotel, peace on earth, hotel, I say: if we want to see the whole thing on the bridge.
The peace on earth? Goodwill towards man, hotel, TAT, Mars, oldest son, joy on earth? Hotel is not here to be part of the podcast as a group, but tat will be here in spirit or is it here. Instead, Joy to the world is actually mean towards the world, our old, his head on his person. The right to join Tita be nicer, absolutely right away to the world, but I always thought you we love to all mankind. No love issues, love all United love wicked, always both remove school. My are. They know that you're, a girl, I was scared getting bully by all the monks. Growing is gonna made up a middle name of Stephen Untiring ruinously, meaning there I don t. Remember it didn't stick to lock is love was killer, better surfer levy. Only joy,
I really had a connection to all of us individually, especially if there's anything nitty gritty yeah he was step. Is that bear up he would lay solid Salazar. Sending me was diners. He major he was, he filled the gap. He heard he's. Gonna he's been a good father was the good. That's. I'm still I've been in It is worrying to our sister, who is not here in our time to processing had spent a year, and you know I haven't sat in the same room with these folks together in years and then you know, father was always there, so the I'm still processing in Ireland. Heard by them, because my mother made sure that I was unusually large phenomenal. I just want to clarify then my mom, our mother made sure that I was not think that is very laugh. All of us, though, and for two nights I've had nightmare. So bad
I haven't made very large rolling all on this either real everybody'd ass. The only thing and reason that I'm here I want to Bonn the sphere I wouldn't be pardoned insanely. Liar you not felt that it was because term are kept. My soul. She, then damage is long, since God were in the room together here. Yes, so let's do one thing sounds to finally make his fill a brighter you gotta be one of the toughest woman. I know you didn't you. Turn when a breakdown, but I'll. Let you know you your fucking, and all this shit that you are very old and we Molina you just want you to know that steadily I believe come on. We love each other in our Europe. This family, you always, but I know, item are worse than she did it all of us
and it took joy. I mean talk about joy. He was the guy that filled the gap that would cause Our people make you feel uncomfortable and say I was gonna. Let mom I was not at home. Are you know just die I was okay with you just accepting the fact that I was going to see her wasn't having any closure. Not that I did have a whole lot of closure. He said you should be here, be the I always was which now she never would acknowledge knowledge. You know so, but I didn't get that closure or anything like that like for me, You know if the same thing with my dad. I never met him once in person I thought you may remember. I met my brother, brother? Who is your dad? We called him bill, we don't ya. I just was the larger point as I do. I was there in his life. Had the end for him not for me. That's been the case for both parents, I'm totally.
I'm in my nerves, have been all over the place Today a joining up this everybody's, I comin out yea, I am holding onto old, share and from where experience between all of us or yeah yeah name. What's the most that came to you, tat cause they're, gonna, say say what I just bring it l, ok The time I saw her here. You want hurt? You won't hurt anyone, you're, not hurting anybody. You gonna, adjust he'll leave me so. Losing our mom them with the single most devastating thing that happened, of course, in my entire life in people, they do weird shit. Can people die his unknown, but
you- and I am you know you and I we talked about at lake but when you lie and what it is doing you when you were calling so I had mom cell phone near, european mom self when after she died in thy, but we don't know- and I didn't know- you were listening more of the wire, the phone, your enemy late. I didn't think about nine o bed, you know a new and I have had an outer yeah and adjust it. Just there was just heavy. You know hearing you talk to your dead sister sisterhood dead, mom. You know, and I saw no no no enemy. Then you and I like her celebration of life unite, talked about it near like Russia. Anything bothered you just tell me all day. I mean yes and no. No, I know I know by hearing you leave the voice smells for mom. I was like it just was serving to see me you know knowing that you are leaving her voice. I honestly like it's out of,
like. I don't remember what you said. I hold it in your heart. I see you know em, but that's new and I too, about guy. I feel safe with that. Thank you down I mean cuz. You know like. I never meant to cause you any harm. Told me that I have seen what has happened. Is that. As much as you love her it's hard for you to realise how much we worked hard to, but to us, because we didn't have family and with you and each other and finer. You were real family. You guys are a real firmly I waited and have that we find it came in and bad.
Even though the one thing between our names was the one. The one thing that kept us. It was the only thing that was a problem. You know the bond of the sister born they never had a sister, and so we miss Sir- and I called all of those reasons- was why and our insensitivity was not because of our insensitivity. I know you scientists and it was because of our love of her. That's what all that pointing out of us and because you're in your grief, I just felt like more burden and it was Never you know it wasn't intended. You know that mentally yeah But let me hurry now get hurt you virtually. I want to tell you the psychology of it all is because we loved to soul and because
you're, not family, of family knowing and having that call in this connection. We couldn't see that it was an intrusion unknown. Add we been family like that, We would have seen the social races and said oh gosh wish, didn't do all raised by tomorrow. See me didn't marry without reservation. We shouldn't comprehend survivors. We just reached out towards the light. So that's what happened. I gotta be honest. I have in mind sleep fond memories from everybody, my nieces, my brothers and sisters. Everything was usually fond. There is a lot a shitty times in our life such as moving a lot.
Something that really sucked in our life could have been thirty. Four, I was mad at my brother peace when he moved away. You had to get out. I was mad at my brother peace when he moved away. You had to get it I had two guys suck because has really close. With my brother's, specially at a young age, I adore them so much, even though they beat up on me. So much It may really tough, but one he's left as I shall never really clung on a joy, like I'm getting the hell out of here, and he
He had his own reasons and most likely was mom, possibly wanted an education. I understand that, but when you're young, you, don't you just think about selfish I want to, but it is life There's one thing about me: I understand with your mom if you can't stop. It is what it is. I was passing, I understand his life and that's what happens Shit happens in life. You can't stop. It is what it is, but it really destroyed them when he left, because it stuck with tomorrow running my life at your fucking, a bit like a populist sucks. And when you left it was like, communication was lost a lot.
We're all survivors were taught to survive the end mom. You know no matter what it would take, so I'm like well, my brother is gone. That's all. I could think. In a jar, a freaking he still hard to figure out honestly I know where you are in, I never feel like. I know the way I looked at it as somebody who I didn't know Of any guidance growing up because of tomorrow in terms of decision, in making, but I went I'm sleeping on other people's couches in high school. I almost didn't graduate. I mean it If it wasn't for fauna, making sure that I showed and I was at graduation- it was something to be proud of. I probably would have now graduated, and so for me. I mean the last year my senior year.
Junior year two senior year I was in the house. I was living out. A retreat yeah busily and it was a mutual acceptance of I don't know with crazy. I love I loved you guys. I felt because you know we were so close closely Ryan and I felt like your protector and- I always felt that way I felt like it was there You know to have You know I understand what the dynamics of dealing with Tamar, even though you knew dealing with her yourself. I had a man, I was in a wheelchair and she wouldn't even let me leave the apartment there were, Like I literally GINO, on the police in I'm going to do in a hollow wheelchair now is like this. Doesn't you know I need help noble helping me. I just have to international. Was your help yet well, it was just Need something.
I need to fortify myself. I need to give myself something that no one's giving me I have to take it and in life is about share bringing about carrying, but it also is, if you don't have anything to give and it's not coming from a place of abundance you're running to trust me- it was an idea- was really hard. It was this really do. So without you guys there it's not like back, then I was like you know. I wish they were here to help me do it. I didn't even know that I was doing it, but I was right. You know right and I kept talking to her let you be like when you are of an age that you could get out she. I know she kept cap, If you know- and I would we would fight all the time I would get on the phone and you can hear my wife going okay this here it is you talk to your mom, it's going to be me not being able to talk to you for a couple of hours, because I would be in earth about. You know what about your sons needs from across the ocean. Saying look he needs is. She needs to figure.
But he is another, can give any of that hell yeah. She was incapable of AIDS for trying. All the time it wasn't. Just like a one off conversation, I was constantly like can how can you be still having him in the house? Is not even there and you're still having him be in this? or hell of like I could get in trouble with the state over and I was writing her half of my job. I was catching my check and giving her haven't much. I I when I was I get as aside from my disability when I was old enough to get it. It was before I was She would cash the check this is me living on the streets, her cash. Having me money to say here his food money- and it's like, I need rent, I need you know. It's not going to high school trying to figure it out. So I mean that's, not something I ever wanted to talk to you guys about in a moment. I just wasn't. I do so, wasn't there you know. So
of course, at enormous you knew what it was in a regardless of his heart, was denied. I agree. Thanks for sharing in only dear that everything I did was convoluted I was fifteen and I have my own son and I told- the story about how that came to be how she switched out my birth control song. She could get another check for welfare. I wasn't gonna cried. Is time always got real? You are a grave aviary verrier unnecessary. It's ok, there's no apology needed. I dont know how much detail peace knows them most line on the list of everybody Jihad me for I thought she was literally a god My mother never had to me. In doing that,
No, she did a lot of fucked up stuff, but I mean now. Maybe there's one picture where a minor lab I serve the purpose. She was coming to me. Then retainers thing so start falling apart. You didn't have an income any more than I became her income, And things just kept getting worse than she was getting violent, so much stirred. Throwing things at me the hot water on me in and she would hit me all the time I did I had her back to. Finally, I was after it had made certainly was almost- near old and she was pregnant with you love. I felt so bad about fishing or deal, but he couldn't stand it anymore. More. It put.
You're back at the last time. She here was because he knows I got older and I start cooperating after my son is barely be very prudent. In every picture when he was little. She didn't. Have you guys embraced like a cocoon up every picture? I had him embraced in protection like that right, that's how I saw my brothers had either you guys with each other here. Not that she was looking like she. We didn't get the abuse that you got, but we are attracted each other in some way, shape or form lied for each other, who that's what I was hoping for when I finally had to run when we were so young. I remember there were times were in and out I bring them we're being in really its situations with people died. I didn't know on drugs and Saxon.
I'll be touching me in people. Doing stuff to me that you know, I know, anything compared to beast, sent off to look for the weak then somewhere ridiculous for some new money, but I remember Money changing hands for the four different; things and relief too little to even know what is going on and but in a way, Do you remember what happened to you? I mean I just it's in bits and pieces that I can you know it's not like it's not a fluid memory. It's good luck at the out, there's a lot of is a lot of stuff that I just know. Don't really talk about that. No I mean it's not you don't blame yourself for that. It's not anything! You were twenty years old. I don't know. Sometimes you think like that. I thought through sheer cause. You were boys.
Three. You view on the need to help it did help and I was still help, but in the big. Younger years. It was difficult there and You know. It is a sign of I waited long enough to. You were old enough to be able to fight each other. We we gave that doesn't matter Mama such a demanding commanding controlling person and persuasive that you there Work, I would almost be activated, he didn't live in. I know that's what I'm saying is Winslet irrationally with a mind control she was take. You know you guys were at school. I thought she took me out of school. I was around anybody, my eight other times. You too said you're not going to school. This is it she would do you know I went from being this little kid who she'd have me, get on the phone and ask people, money and right scripts that I had in my army, be they re writing my own. No, please!
the EU money. That. I had to write in my own words and she will be corrected in studio. Make sure who is the way she wanted didn't make a list of people to ask. It sounds like you enjoy, got the worst of it. We did everything we could despair, love of any add stuff. I I was just fine with him being love, you know if anything I just I just do is predictive as I could be didn't matter, animals out in Alice out. Partly why I got such a care free added did Thanos. I was like so protected that I was allowed to live and play a note and joke around about you, the surfer mentality, but I'm glad for that. I think they've been makes me feel so good that you have that you know and that you are able to give that you give your son freely. You know it. So I did you have to fly I would steal away play. I would think that's why I was out of the house so much because I just
I didn't care what people thought I didn't care. You know anything. There was no. If, if there is any Good out of town Mars experience if the film Nothing ever may be socially, it's not ok to have a filter about your life, but I would like it me from worrying about judgment or killed or I'm just going. Do what I need to do I to take care of me, because I need to take care of me and that something I learn really early in life, like I know who I am. You know what I'm not afraid to be, who I am you know yeah so, but at the same time I felt obligated to make sure to always look after Joe Look after love, regardless in our family, so you know to hear him talk about. It is good to hear you say that, like is honesty I knew that in her me to leave too, but I She was out of pure survival, get their leave to enable Selfish of me. I know honestly, if I could have not left for gas
when he had just been in a way knew that I would be safe. I always felt like shit. Every friendship, corrosive If I she killed every chance of real intimacy with people- and I said a struggle with some of that to this day. Just because I had the building blocks are there I mean go there with my wife, then that's why I'm so protective of my family, beyond that. Like out, you know, I feel, like those tools in I know some white, but I'd, there's gaps because it's like she carried every chance I got to be of real friend anybody or for them to know who I was she would kill. She would call incessantly she would make sure that they didn't want to hang out with you cheesy ruins many relationships we could have had yeah. Oh, my mom was saved by the ghetto actually. I think she was I kind of wonder if, if Vana had been born to Tamar, if Tamar would have been just so
happy that she had a beautiful child is she would have been for an hour. She would is screwed her over to review angle. To I to think that was so. Her face like. Ah, I obviously family, I remember That look is a kid. How kind of like? Oh, my god, could have looked like startled. Look on her face like Latvia's Langley looked define. You know. I was in total shod unlike where's, my sister going, you know like she just got stage: Really I mean sitting here right now with all of you, it so deep so many different levels, because we all have that stigma behind,
and, as you know, that I mean that tomorrow, the George Bailey from listening to every single one of you. It's like I couldn't be more proud to be a part of it. Italy has wearisome bad as people strong protectors latest listening to you were used about what you did for me and how you get that lie heaped you protected, Yeah you're still standing here still I don't know who you are. I think you Then leave yourself will listen to me. You are a beautiful, strong woman know that. Oh it's you
I remember I take that away here. Take that away! No, you cannot get away from blind ever knows. I hadn't tab it taken away SAM, I'm learning yeah. I think the right Isn't that we pulled through is theirs. There's like a threefold. One we all want to do the opposite of what happens if we want to be the opposite parent and the that I learned it says wall. The first thing is that this do everything. Ah and here this evening is that I don't know what I'm doing, but I'm gonna just laughed RAP Adam. I cared rape and- everything was that love love, love of a that's. What that's? What's fixes dysfunction, love, even if you don't know what you doing, if you sincerely love that's what breaks the dysfunction and bonds, the family.
Our mom brought the Aloha to each of us. Yes, she did that brown hollow you out and see where she brought that to all the issues before she died. MOM, and I we we moved her from her, but you to the mainland to take care of her when she was going through breast cancer, and we kept saying or Hannah means everything in here I was saying for a long time. Thought images me moment event, but I know that not less a true hurry. I know that going on this journey we knew that the look of a happy- and we knew we knew- is gonna, get dirty and ugly and scary by it We are choosing to be here in just a few days before she died when she was still in denial. Issue is dying and my mom. What do you mean? What do you want from me? I know not going anywhere. But what do you want from me- and I want you to be more positive than I ever could be, for
We can choose to live a life of love. I mean we're and hating amateur pay it forward. Yeah Elden inspire other people to do that, because everybody I mean honour, not every. By only that this muddle, yes every family secrets, choose to live a life of love. I mean where and hating amateur pay it forward yeah and inspire other people to do that, because everybody I mean honour, not everybody. Without this muddle, yes, every family Everybody will that's. What I was saying in my interview was that I only know how to deal at this day was forced into having to grow up faster than anyone that I knew you know we all had to be forced to be put in situations. We Didn't deserve being in, but how to cope with that an end how to see a brighter so to whatever situation were an, and you know
you can call it a law, have you one or whatever, but you know she was affirmation of that, and then thankfully she was in my life to be of my mother figure. In my life, that is, fauna, but I knew from an early age. I was a survivor and that we all have a burden did. Did you have to s and deal with an, and in spite of that, migrants and this in that it was like- I want to do more than survive. I wanted in this hall situation I'm in a fine fine. It sounds crazy, but I'm gonna make sure that no myself and I can be happy with who I am despite all this stuff and despite Workpeople project on mere it gives me an appealing onion as I as a move to California like this, is in me this is Tamar. This is this. This sort, my Calvin realise where Power is and where my love comes from and that you know
took some time to process I'm still processing. We may never be over some of this stuff and end. Ok I'm up for the task. You know I'm here and bring in it. You know every day, try to be a real family member. You know I'm here We know my daughter, my wife is a sure you want to do. This is really you note is enough. This for themselves the only thing that I can remember my mom saying be you talk about closer than I got me she said whatever life gives you don't be afraid she was security is scary, cat of any one that I knew she was cheap hid behind. In an email you go out and be the brave one, but I did It was ok. That was a lesson word learning you know, even from someone that I despised. It was something I actually add some wisdom in in that, so in open
daughter, my wife, her nervous for me and nervous for us for doing this because of what it may bring, or wit you know, knowing whether it's good or bad. Is it good? This is important and not to be afraid, not to run away from family. You know not do we're condition to do with TAT are telling us one since good one person's bad and win, you know, must fight and, and and and hold onto it. Be no final was all about that love. You know, I'm glad we're talking. At the start, because as important, we need to be able to give them message to other people too that so anyone that's listening, understands that sure we ve done with our stuff. We're still do. Our stuff, but we're here for each other and for me, Will that really want to learn from what we ve gone through Yeah, I'm really good, for the opportunity to be express love for you find it Elizabeth.
Me and, of course, joy in love, and I wish to was here to be expressly to love, of course, so lovely then, and we need to be closer together. I love you. Birth defects, Russia, of course, and with this work on being closer, and work on that wherever it takes. Let's do it we're here for each other, sounds good to me now. There's all two reasons I mean here. The first was this: it is our words. It was this and the second is hoped to help others move forward through whatever happened to them. What was it is not who we are that's right right, I'm doing the hotel legacy of past it changes with
said already has just with absolutely no absolute, I mean the terror has ended, yeah how it's done. This is the line. This is the light right here and I want to commend every family men we're here acknowledge everything that you ve. Given today. I just I acknowledge everyone with your strength, getting together. Their exceeded expectations and it was good Clear, the air after so much time it would be ideal be able to say that we had a sense of closure. Clean. Our story is only the beginning. It doesn't arrays how we got here. doesn't arrays two things to MAR was subjected to by George and what had put into motion
and it definitely doesn't erased pain. We feel for Elisabeth shorts, family. And the families of any of Georgia's other victims. You should know by now. Nothing in this story is neat we ve learned things along the way that have changed all of us there's no way to put a pretty bo on it. It's always been hard to move forward when we all been stuck in the past and figure out what's happened and why and how much guilt or shame should we feel about things that we weren't even alive for trying to answer these questions hasn't gotten. Thus far, but now our stories been told and the my question, left for us is type of family. Will we be
Here's Uncle Steve so in general, as a hotel Our family has been in many respects with We ve been a strange I have never been. Close to or a part of TAT Mars family. Adam The story has an individual impact on each one of us was completely different, but recently certainly got us talking is certainly stirred the pot. That's for sure. I think it's brought us. Closer together on a philosophical. Or a psychological level in that we ve been able to share this. thirdly, I am a firm believer in the truth, shall make you free
here care how bad it is. Every family out there has hidden secrets back at the beginning of episode, one you never know how much family baggage you have until you start taking here, Steve's brother, our great uncle Kelly You only have one family, and I wouldn't trade with anybody. When I think about the whole family reprieve good bunch revolve accomplish and help society I can't really think of any bad guys except Joe So I am proud of the hotels and
you know I'm in a like Steve's. Those were a little crazy, but everybody is. You know when you, when you think about it, to open a couple, a closet. Go back a generation or two and you're gonna find some pretty shocking things. Thank you. So much for listening to root of evil, the true story of the hotel family and the black diet, route of evil was executive, produced, written and directed by me, Zack Levin, produced by Lloyd, Lock, ridge, exact producers, Chris Corcoran, Spencer Brown, SAM Linsky and Sarah Aubrey episodes were it is by Perry, growled, bill shorts and me sound design, mixing in mastering by bill. Shots The theme song for route of evil is STAR dream, girl, written and composed by David Lynch, indeed Hurley, puddle,
by universal music group in downtown music, courtesy of sacred bones records original music provided by Curtis Classy production management by Terence well known. Working designed by Kurt Courtney Onlooker vision, audio recorded by Vinny Furtado, Eric Link, Alpo and burner technical operations and management by Sean Cherry Edition, studio, recording by one union recording and San Francisco California? These audio in Portland Oregon production support by John Mccain Sage, Milgram, Serena, Regan, molester, Providence and Lucas and public city by Hilary Shaath, Scott Rad laugh. And corny brown marketing by Kay, Em Kramer, Josephine Francis Corina Cohen, What was the chalice Whitney Portman PAMELA Creation and christian Booze legal the by current Andrews, Archival audio was provided by false media and pass daily,
Thank you, too Jenny, Landers and the historic sound in house, and thank you to all of this so guests and of course, my deepest ground, two to Russia and that Steve Kelly Fauna, Elizabeth? Peace, loving joy for telling their story
Transcript generated on 2020-01-12.