Fauna Hodel

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Fauna Hodel
BornFauna Hodel
August 1, 1951
San Francisco, California, United States
DiedSeptember 30, 2017(2017-09-30) (aged 66)
California, United States
OccupationAuthor, Motivational Speaker
GenreMemoir, True Crime
Notable worksOne Day She'll Darken: The Mysterious Beginnings of Fauna Hodel
ChildrenYvette Gentile, Rasha Pecoraro

Fauna Hodel (August 1, 1951 – September 30, 2017) was an American author and motivational speaker, who wrote the true-crime memoir One Day She'll Darken: The Mysterious Beginnings of Fauna Hodel, documenting her unusual beginnings and the connection to her grandfather, George Hodel, a prime suspect in the infamous Black Dahlia murder mystery.

Early life[edit]

Born August 1, 1951, in San Francisco, Hodel was the first child of 16-year-old Tamar Hodel, the daughter of Los Angeles doctor and socialite George Hodel.[1] Fauna's birth father was unknown, and the troubled Tamar gave up Fauna for adoption. Because her father was listed on her birth certificate as an "unknown Negro," Fauna ended up with an African-American family in Reno, Nevada.[1] Told she was multiracial, Fauna was raised by Jimmie Lee Greenwade (later Faison)[2] and given the name "Patricia Ann Greenwade".[3] She spent her formative years not knowing her real name or parentage.[4][1]

Fauna later learned her true origins, which revealed her connection to the controversial 1949 incest trial of George Hodel on accusations by Tamar; as well as George Hodel's connection to the still-unsolved Black Dahlia case.


Hodel's unique perspective on adoption, race relations, and her family history led her to write the unreleased 1991 film Pretty Hattie's Baby, directed by Ivan Passer and starring Alfre Woodard.[5][6] Hodel served as the film's executive producer and creative consultant.[7]

Her memoir One Day She'll Darken: The Mysterious Beginnings of Fauna Hodel[1] (written with J. R. Briamonte) was published by Outskirts Press in 2008. It was re-published in 2019 by Graymalkin Media, including an eight-page photo insert from Hodel's personal collection. The book inspired I Am the Night, a 2018 six-episode limited television series starring Chris Pine and India Eisley, directed by Patty Jenkins.[8]

Hodel spent much of the 2000s as a motivational speaker, talking about racial equality and human rights.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Hodel had two children, Yvette Gentile and Rasha Pecoraro.[4] In February 2019, it was announced that Gentile and Pecoraro are producing a podcast, Root of Evil, which delves further into the book, the miniseries adaptation, and their family history.[9][10]


Hodel died of breast cancer at age 66 on September 30, 2017.[4]



  1. ^ a b c d Chambers, Hannah. "The Wild, True Story That Inspired 'I Am the Night': So. Many. Plot. Twists," Cosmopolitan (January 25, 2019).
  2. ^ "Jimmie Lee," One Day She'll Darken website. Accessed Feb. 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "I am the Night (2019)," History vs. Hollywood. Accessed Feb. 13, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Reilly, Phoebe. "‘I Am the Night’: Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine Explore the Black Dahlia Mystery," New York Times (Jan. 24, 2019).
  5. ^ Dubner, Stephen. "WOMAN OF STEAL," Washington Post (September 26, 1993).
  6. ^ "Pretty Hattie's Baby," Internet Move Database. Accessed Feb. 13, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Reviews," One Day She'll Darken website. Accessed Feb. 13. 2019.
  8. ^ Hoai-Tran Bui (July 2, 2018). "Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine Reunite in a Thrilling Limited Series". Slash Film.
  9. ^ Gallagher, Caitlin. "What Does The Hodel Family Think Of 'I Am The Night'? Fauna's Daughters Have Given Their Stamp Of Approval," Bustle February 4, 2019.
  10. ^ McDonnell-Parry, Amelia. "New Podcast Explores Black Dahlia Murder: ‘Root of Evil’ dives into the story of George Hodel, a primary suspect in Elizabeth Short’s 1947 unsolved murder — and it’s told by his great-granddaughters," Rolling Stone (Feb. 8, 2019).

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