The extensive Wonderland Timeline has been updated with all kinds of stuff.
The extensive Wonderland Timeline has been updated with all kinds of stuff.
Just like John Holmes at one point, they were housed in the “High Profile” section of the jail, so they were well taken care of and no other inmates could mess with them. This book looks pretty good, I just don’t know how full of shit Todd Bridges is. With a story like his though, he’s bound to drop some names. I like the part about Lyle Menendez’s wig. Classic, I had heard about that before, including how at their parents funeral, Lyle delayed the service for like an hour, so a wig guy could come make the necessary adjustments to that squirrel on his head.
The “Johnnie” at the beginning is Johnnie Cochran. But of course.
During the making of the 2003 film, Wonderland, the scenes where David Lind is telling his stories in the interrogation room to the cops were filmed at the old L.A. Herald-Examiner newspaper office building. A fire broke out during this part of filming and made some of the people involved feel quite superstitious, as if Lind or Holmes were nearby. Strangely enough, that old newspaper produced some of the best articles and photos of the Wonderland story, initially and also throughout the various court trials over the next decade.
The people we know the least about are of course the most mysterious. Now all of the ‘gang’ minus Holmes and Billy were middle-class kids growing up and from good, loving families, even David Lind. Very little is known about Ron and Barbara because their families have not spoken much at all to the media. As Nils Grevillius said, these murders devastated people, so why should they. It is just a missed opportunity that most of the info gleaned about the characters were from retired cops telling the actors this or that. Barbara and Joy are pretty much just extras in this film. In his video below, Tim Blake Nelson makes some good cultural observations about the eras in question, but he really did not know anything about Billy Deverell at all. That’s a shame really. A good 3+ hour remake would be awesome. Where is Scorsese when you need him.
Josh Lucas talks about Launius. He says Ron is the victim of his own lack of discipline and not drugs. But, those two things sort of go hand in hand. There is also the lure of easy money. When my dad got out of the Navy in 1970, the best job he could get was $75 a week ($450 today). Not terrible, but I think Ron was facing the same prospects for work when he got out of the Air Force. Dealing in narcotics meant easy money and easy access to drugs for Ron, and so it goes.
Jeanine Garofalo makes a few good points about drugs and how they stunt emotional and social development of users.
Billy was the only person who had ever worked for a living for most of his life.
This is a classic article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It is great and worth archiving here on the blog. I would like to go to one of these conventions one day, walk around and people watch. I’m sure it’s fascinating. I bet Screech from Saved By The Bell has his own autograph-signing booth.
I wonder what happened in Rio Rancho that made Laurie want to move? Maybe Jill can tell us. Val Kilmer lives in New Mexico also.
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Sunday, July 12, 1998
Holmes shares story of her famous husband in book `Porn King’
By Joan Patterson
It was not a saint’s life, but Laurie Holmes believes it’s time to get the story straight.
Holmes was in town last week during the Video Software Dealers Association convention with copies of a new book detailing the life of her late husband, John Holmes, the star of adult films during the 1970s and early ’80s. Holmes appeared in more than 2,000 productions, such as “Insatiable” and “Tropic of Passion.”
The book, “Porn King: Autobiography of John C. Holmes,” is based on tape-recorded interviews between John Holmes and author Fred Basten beginning in 1985. The recordings, Laurie Holmes says, tell the real story of a man often misunderstood by the public and those in the pornography industry. Her own recollections of her husband’s final months are written in the book’s epilogue as told to Basten.
“(Holmes) was a very interesting man, without a doubt one of the most intelligent human beings I ever met. … Not to say he was perfect. He made a lot of mistakes, but he faces what he did,” says Holmes, a former adult film actress.
She says she held onto the book manuscript for several years, believing the public was not ready to hear the frank story of a college student who enters the world of pornography in the 1960s, becomes addicted to cocaine and eventually dies at age 43 after contracting the AIDS virus. But the 1997 release of the film “Boogie Nights,” which she says is “very loosely” based on her husband’s life, has stirred public interest in John Holmes’ career. She sees the movie as a chance to set the record straight about her husband.
“People have been real curious about his story so it’s time to release (the book). … He was not the villain people made him out to be. He wasn’t a saint, but I’ve heard so many wrongs about him over the years,” she says. “He wasn’t gay. He wasn’t a snitch. He wasn’t a junkie.”
Holmes also wants the public to be aware of the current “outbreak” of AIDS within the adult entertainment industry because of unprotected sex. John Holmes’ death from the AIDS virus in 1988 is detailed in the biography and linked to his work in the adult film industry. Rumors that he contracted the virus through intravenous drug use are wrong, she says.
Despite the death of such a well-known adult film star, the heterosexual pornography industry was slow to institute safe sex requirements such as condom use. It was not until April, according to an Associated Press report, that several major producers of adult films started requiring actors to wear condoms. The action was taken after three actresses in the industry tested positive for AIDS earlier this year, the report states.
Laurie Holmes, who is 35, lived in Boulder City from 1976 to 1980. She made her first X-rated film in Las Vegas at the age of 18. It was called “The Greatest Little Cathouse in Las Vegas.”
She met John Holmes in San Francisco about one year later while they were working on a film together called “Marathon.” They remained close for five years, then married in 1987 at Las Vegas’ Little Chapel of the Flowers.
The marriage was kept secret, Laurie Holmes says, by her husband who was “a very private person.” When he died, many acquaintances in the industry and journalists reporting on his death were surprised to hear about Laurie Holmes, the wife.
She stopped making adult films in the early ’80s. After her husband’s death, Holmes moved back to her home state of New Mexico. After what she considers an unwelcome stay in Rio Rancho, she moved to nearby Albuquerque and worked as an exotic dancer.
Holmes, who still lives in Albuquerque, is now devoting herself full time to a company she created earlier this year, Johnny Wadd Inc. It is named after the alias used in several of her husband’s films. The company distributes videos of his films and published the recently released biography.
This article from July 2, 1981 does not mention movers finding the bodies, but rather “friends stopping by”. If only so many authors and writers over the years had dug a bit deeper, then the movers thing would not have been publicized so much.
A few neighbors also talk about the house and that night. But, when you talk to neighbors about a crime they always say different stuff, whether it’s time-stamping a scream, or making vague comments about the victims. One lady awoke, and actually walked out on her balcony, but did not see anything and went back to bed. The man taken from the scene was Julia Negron’s friend, “B”. He was released at the scene after sitting in a squad car for a few minutes.
Also, LAPD Sgt. Michael Butler needs to make up his mind on the cause of death.
In tomorrow’s post, you get to hear from a neighbor who says “police have been there before because of all of the violence”. (?) I have read about the partying, but did the cops really come for fighting and violence. I would suspect it was men fighting (i.e., Ron blew his lid with some guy and beat ‘em up).