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  • John 10:32 am on October 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Wonderland Screen Captures and Images 

    These pics are just some images that are “flashed” briefly on screen and found elsewhere from videos and documentaries. Might as well make photos of them and post them on the web. Some show blood. You’ve been warned.

    The photo of Nash in his county blues while in the holding pen are from his 1988 arrest when he and Diles were charged with the murders. Diles is beside him, but not shown. There is a black and white, bleached out newsprint photo showing both of them and it is on the blog somewhere.

    The news guy reprises his role 23 years later in the 2003 film. I scoured the cast credits but could not find his name. He’s older of course, but that’s him in the movie.

    The actor, George Leonardopolous, who plays Tracy McCourt in the film is credited in the cast as playing a character named “Tommy Conway”. That leads me to believe that McCourt did not want to have his name associated with the film. Heck I don’t know. I think it was a little bit of both fearing for his safety and not having his friends deaths glamorized in some movie.

    Does anybody know much about Nils Grevilius? He was a cop, I guess, and was involved with Souza and Lange’s book “Four on the Floor”? He is credited in the film as “Weapons Training”.

    I’m chasing another interview also. Stay tuned.

    • localarts 12:32 pm on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I may be off base here but I believe Nils Grevilius was a private investigator. Grevilius collaborated with Lange & Souza on four on the floor. John, it may be worth trying to get in touch with this guy. I would like to see if he had a chance to interview Paul Kelly. Other than Nash himself, Kelly probably knows who the other killer’s were that night. He did after all take the fifth in the Nash trial.

  • John 8:19 am on October 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    The Nash House Used In The Film “Wonderland” 

    The Nash house used for the robbery scene in the film, Wonderland, is located in Beverly Hills at 1400 Laurel Way. At least the exterior shots were filmed here. The backyard has a killer view of the city.

    However, when the getaway scene was filmed, the director moved filming further down the hill on that street, so as to catch a better view of the city in the background. James Cox may have even used a camera trick or special effect to make that skyline appear larger/closer than it is with the naked eye. See below.

    Don’t forget to check the captions!



    • Bonnie Brae 10:13 am on October 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      A beautiful view of West LA.

    • Bonnie Brae 7:50 pm on October 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Those guys shouldn’t have done that to the Nash.

      • criticextraordinaire 6:31 am on October 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah they definitely boned up. They should have had John set them up with Eddie so they could have worked together. Eddie and Ronnie would have been unstoppable.

      • John W 2:12 pm on October 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        A guy like Nash is hit with schemes every day. People trying to dupe him or get money, etc. He would have given Ron & company a job. The Nash was so mad at what they did to him according to what Tom Lange told Julia Densmore-Negron, that WTF did they expect??

        • criticextraordinaire 3:19 pm on October 20, 2013 Permalink

          I never had a problem with Eddie sending a crew over to Wonderland to kick some ass. They had it coming, what did they expect. Now that said, the crew took things too far. They should have simply broken a Ronnie’s and Billy’s arms and legs and of course taken all the stuff back. Hitting the women was definitely out of bounds though.

          If Eddie had done this, his life would have been a lot less complicated. However, since Ronnie was blabbing all over town that he did the hit on Nash, maybe the crew felt they had to make an example of these guys and show no mercy. One thing’s for sure… nobody launched a home invasion of Eddie after that.

    • Bonnie Brae 7:52 pm on October 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I’m guessing that like the Brady House they got their fair share of lookie lou’s and had to put up the iron gate.

      • John W 2:06 pm on October 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I think I live in a murder house. The cat will sit in the guest bathroom and meow his ass off while just staring at the shower. I’m like WTF and now I close the door.

        • Bobby 4:16 am on October 21, 2013 Permalink

          Have you noticed how the Nash house used in “Wonderland” is very similar to the exterior of Molina’s house in “Boogie Nights”? Even the street and the slant of the hill it’s on is almost the same too!

  • John 12:48 pm on October 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , james cox,   

    Director Works Actual Site Of Notorious L.A. Murders Into Creepy ‘Wonderland’ 

    Wow, this is such a great article full of stuff that I did not know. Also, don’t be afraid to email the blog, there are tons of things I’m finding everyday, but that doesn’t mean I have it all yet.

    I am very glad that I never sent any letters to the house. Not that I am not a “crime solving kook” :-) but I was tempted before in order to get some photos of the interior. I can’t believe they receive letters at the house, and that’s probably been going on for years, and probably still goes on.

    Also, I did not realize James Cox was only 28 when filming the movie. When I was 28, I was still living in my mother’s basement (not).

    The band that was living there during this interview was not “LMFAO”, the crazy rappers who made those YouTube videos and stuff. I Googled the guys mentioned and they are a real rock band, and not just bubblegum rappers like LMFAO. It’s cool that they let Cox use the house for parts of the movie. We had discussed that here on the blog before.

    Enjoy! Have a great weekend~

    Director Works Actual Site Of Notorious L.A. Murders Into Creepy ‘Wonderland’

    By Norma Meyer


    October 14, 2003

    HOLLYWOOD – Like a macabre tour guide, 28-year-old “Wonderland” director James Cox ambles through what he calls The Murder House, where the notorious L.A. multiple-slaying occurred that is the subject of his new true-crime film.

    It was in this hillside Laurel Canyon rental where four druggies died and a fifth was badly beaten in a 1981 revenge frenzy that involved porn star John Holmes. Cops compared it to the Manson bloodbath.

    “Ron was here,” says Cox, in blue flip-flops and cargo shorts, standing over the current resident’s twin bed with the gold throw spread. He raises his arms to simulate the vicious, lead-pipe bludgeoning that killed Ron Launius and severely injured his wife. “Susan gets hit there, and she flops over and survives.”

    One might think this would spook the guy who’s watching the mini-reenactment, since he now sleeps in the room every night. And especially since Mark Maher, 33, along with roommate and fellow band tour manager Mike Flynn, 27 – whose upstairs lair is where Billy DeVerell and Joy Miller were clubbed – didn’t know about the slaughter until after Flynn rented the infamous Wonderland Avenue white-stucco house two years ago.

    In the film that opens Friday, their home (the real exterior is shown, although the split-level interior, including the living room where 22-year-old Barbara Richardson died, was re-created on a Hollywood soundstage) is on the big screen, its corners crammed with drug partiers, its walls covered with blood.

    “It’s a little weird,” says Maher, noting that crime-solving kooks send letters and teenage girls recently knocked on the door and asked to come in.

    Cox understands the lure of wickedness. It’s why Val Kilmer, cast as cocaine-addicted, hard-core has-been Holmes, got so into his seamy character that he decorated his movie trailer with fake bloody palm prints and collages of the late porn king.

    It’s why Sharon Holmes, a now-retired, straight-laced R.N. who’s played by Lisa Kudrow and who was estranged from John after he became X-rated Johnny Wadd, gave Cox her wedding band before shooting began.

    “Everybody was creeped out,” recalls Sharon, 59, who was an adviser on the film. “I said, ‘I have something I believe is a good omen.’ “

    On and off-camera, Kilmer wore the ring, inscribed with the couple’s initials, around his neck on a chain.

    “Wonderland” explores the homicides from several perspectives, including that of Holmes, the “Boogie Nights” inspiration who died in 1988 at age 43 of AIDS-related complications. After his death, Sharon said he had confessed his role. But a jury in 1982 acquitted him of any involvement in the killings, a payback for a $1 million robbery Holmes set up for his Wonderland pals at the home of nightclub owner and drug dealer Eddie Nash. (Nash was acquitted in the murders in a 1991 retrial after his first trial ended in a hung jury. He later admitted bribing the lone holdout with $50,000. In 2001, he pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges, including conspiracy to commit the Wonderland murders and served eight months in prison).

    The subplot of this depravity is the unlikely nurturing alliance between Sharon and Holmes’ teenage girlfriend, Dawn Schiller (played by Kate Bosworth). Still close, Sharon and Schiller, now 42, married and the mother of a 3-year-old, chat with each other almost daily on the phone.

    “My daughter calls her Nana Sharon,” says Schiller, a former L.A. legal secretary who lives in the Pacific Northwest and is pursuing her real estate license.

    The story of the women – one childlike and vulnerable, the other maternal but resolute – is the reason that Kilmer, after months of turning it down, took the role. About 20 other leading men, including Matt Dillon, Vince Vaughn and Willem Dafoe, rejected the part because “the character was less than admirable,” Cox says, putting it mildly.

    For a time, it seemed the Lions Gate indie, which Cox co-wrote from an existing script, might not get made. But then Cox, who with tousled, spiky hair and wire-rim glasses looks like a college kid, is one of those Hollywood stories. At 23, based on a 10-minute short, “Atomic Tabasco,” and before even graduating New York University film school, he was picked to direct the New Line movie, “Highway,” starring Jared Leto and Selma Blair. It went straight to video, and Cox went straight to “movie jail.”

    “Wonderland,” which Cox says shot in 23 days for under $5 million, was his next big chance.

    Raised in the Bay Area, he knew nothing about Holmes or the murders until he rented a documentary from a video store, which included LAPD footage of the crime scene. “The hair went up on the back of my neck,” says Cox, sipping coffee at a Sunset Boulevard cafe earlier in the afternoon. “Five minutes after I turned it off, I said, ‘I have to do this movie.’ “

    He recalls with awe how Kilmer early on took the script to Oscar-winning “Chinatown” screenwriter Robert Towne, who made some suggestions. And after it was shot, “Val brought the film up to Napa, which was incredible, and the Godfather took a look at it.” Cox means Francis Ford Coppola.

    The big coup was getting Schiller to participate. Crucial to the story was her relationship with Holmes, whom she met when she was 15 and he was 32 and with Sharon. In the movie, Holmes clearly loves his wife and Dawn, the latter who lets him physically abuse and prostitute her because she’s more addicted to him than drugs and believes he will turn around.

    What the film doesn’t show is what happened after the two fled to Florida, the movie’s last scene. The couple lived in a transient hotel, and Schiller, again subjected to beatings and prostitution, turned Holmes in. Fearful for her life, she moved to Thailand, where she lived for seven years, attending school and obtaining a degree in gemology.

    Cox e-mailed Schiller for two months before she agreed to meet him in a coffee shop near her home, then in Northern California. “For years, I tried to run from any connections to the past,” she says. “This was not the stuff I wanted people to hear about.”

    But Cox convinced her he only wanted to get their relationship right. “It meant more to me to discuss the love,” Schiller says.

    Schiller was on the set daily offering actors insight and reliving her past; Sharon, who had been awaiting Dawn’s decision to sign on, showed up during Kudrow’s scenes.

    In the meantime, Sharon, who lives in L.A., never remarried or had children, was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. Always the protector, she made sure that Kilmer returned her wedding ring, which Dawn wanted to keep for good karma. Cox brought it to Schiller the night of the movie’s premiere.

    The story’s darkness – which initially made it hard to find a lead – attracted the film’s other actors, says Cox, including Dylan McDermott, Josh Lucas, Carrie Fisher and Janeane Garofalo (who originally wanted to play Sharon). Christina Applegate, who is cast as Susan Launius, the survivor who couldn’t identify her assailants because of massive head injuries, wanted in because the case was L.A. lore.

    “She said, ‘I grew up around the corner from the murder house, and I remember driving by when I was 8 and seeing the bloody mattresses,’ ” Cox says.

    Finally, it got to him. Cox says he “bawled” when he added the guttural sound mix to the murder scene. He thought about the autopsy photos. And about Sharon and Dawn. He says, “in front of the camera, off-camera, during the filming, after the filming,” the immersed Kilmer also sobbed.

    It was lowbrow evil. It was two decades ago.

    But says Cox, as he winds up Wonderland Avenue in a car toward The Murder House, “This happened.”

    “That this was true Los Angeles-noir was like, ohhh,” he sighs. “Can you get much better than that?”

    • dreamweaverjenn 4:10 am on October 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome as always. This case has always affected me the same way that’s why I am fascinated by it, drawn to it, saddened by it, As a medium, I have felt the energy of 2 of the victims, the human side of them and the emotional pain that went with such a horrible, horrible death. Thank you for this blog. I always enjoy reading everything you post. Blessings, Jenn

      • John W 2:35 pm on October 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes Jenn, Kilmer did not want the role of Holmes… But his agent tricked him into trying for the Nash role, but he liked the story of Holmes so much that he didn’t want to pass it up! You wouldn’t believe the actors they offered Holmes role to– it’s crazy. Matt Dillon n shit. At least Kilmer sort of looks like him.

        • dreamweaverjenn 5:47 pm on October 20, 2013 Permalink

          Oh yeah, there’s NOBODY else that could have played that besides Val! No question!

    • Beth 3:07 pm on October 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      How could these people have not known about the murders?? Were they living under a rock?? That’s like when people moved into the Amityville house and said they’d never heard about those murders. Must have been to busy smoking crack to pay attention I guess.

    • Deb 8:55 pm on March 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting blog! I just happened to pick up Dawn’s book and was fascinated by this story. There wasn’t much in her book though about the actual murders and being a true crime buff I had to see what I could find. I just ordered Wonderland and Boogie Nights and can’t wait till they arrive. Thanks for the info!

  • John 11:08 am on October 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , jerry vann   

    1984 Article: Jerry Vann was Nash’s Right Hand Man 

    This article is about the criminal hijinx of L.A. and Vegas tough guy, Gerald Van Hoorelbeke, aka Jerry Vann, aka VAN, aka VANN.

    This really is a pretty crazy article. And it is merely posted for entertainment purposes, because Vann is full of shit and because it seemed that everyone wanted a piece of the Nash, or at least to point the finger at him. When necessary, a prosecutor could say “the defendant knew Eddie Nash!”. Big deal. Lots of people did. I don’t know if you could call Ed an Israeli mafia boss either. He was a wealthy club owner with connections, despite wearing his speedo around the house and doing lots and lots of drugs.

    US DoJ officials Henderson and Crane later sued the Arizona Republic over this article alleging slander/libel. I don’t know if they won their case.

    Hey, can anyone find me a photo of Jerry Vann? I had no luck.

    Van was found guilty in June 1979 of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault, attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion. He was identified in court records as the “right-hand man” of reputed Israeli Mafia boss Adel “Eddie Nash” Nasiallah.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *




    By Jerry Seper

    Republic Staff

    LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Justice Department is investigating allegations of corruption and misconduct by high-ranking officials of the federal Organized Crime Strike Force, The Arizona Republic has learned.

    The probe, which is being conducted amid extraordinary secrecy, is aimed at James D. Henderson and Richard Crane, the current and former heads, respectively, of the strike force based in Los Angeles.

    The Justice Department investigation was requested by a congressional committee in the wake of its own secret, four-month probe, and it was outlined in a confidential letter to Attorney General William French Smith from Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control.

    “This committee recently received information concerning allegations of official corruption and dereliction of duty relating to narcotics enforcement in the Southwest area of the United States,” Rangel wrote in the Nov. 15, 1983 letter, a copy of which has been obtained by The Republic.

    “I bring this matter to your attention and strongly urge you to undertake a vigorous investigation.”

    The allegations of wrongdoing and misconduct involving strike-force officials were brought to the committee in September by a protected federal witness, Jerry Van, who is a former lieutenant of the Israeli Mafia in the Los Angeles area. This crime syndicate specializes in murder, arson, narcotics and pornography. The allegations are described in several confidential reports from committee investigators to Rangel and others.

    Van told the committee that Henderson and Crane were “unusually soft on organized crime and corruption” and testified that he knew of instances in which the two men avoided prosecuting certain organized-crime figures operating in the strike force’s five-state region, which encompasses Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii and New Mexico.

    The strike force, which is within the Justice Department, coordinates federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies in cases against racketeers and mobsters, and prosecutes.

    Van described the crime figures, including high-profile drug dealers and members of the Israeli Mafia, as “friends or associates” of the two prosecutors. He said Crane, who retired in 1977 after 13 years as head of the strike force, currently works for “the Las Vegas mob” and is involved in gambling interests in Nevada.



    “Crane’s clients are organized-crime figures,” Van told committee investigator Sterling Johnson, according to a confidential memo. “When Crane’s clients have problems with the Los Angeles strike force, they are rarely touched because the current chief, Jim Henderson, is a friend and former subordinate (of Crane).”



    John T. Cusack, the committee’s chief of staff, confirmed this week that the panel had requested the investigation. He described the allegations as “very serious and very comprehensive” but declined to be specific.

    “We wouldn’t have taken the trouble to write the letter if we didn’t think there was a problem,” Cusack said. “We just don’t write letters like that every day.”

    Crane, who is in private practice in Los Angeles, said he was aware of the Justice Department’s investigation but denounced the allegations as “untrue, unfounded and unfair.”

    “I never met Jerry Van, never had any (expletive) dealings with him and have no idea what he’s (expletive) talking about,” Crane said. “I have never represented any organized-crime figures, and I never asked Henderson to do a (expletive) favor for me or any of my clients.”

    He denied being actively involved in Nevada’s gaming industry but acknowledged he is a part owner of the Barbary Coast Casino in Las Vegas. Nevada Gaming Commission records show Crane owns a 5 percent interest.

    Crane said he attempted to find out about the Justice Department investigation when he learned of it a few weeks ago but was unable to get satisfactory answers from department officials or the House committee.

    “This is no way to run a (expletive) investigation,” Crane said. “I have a good reputation. Let’s get it over with and get the results of it out.”

    Crane said he and Henderson talked about the allegations, the House request for an investigation and the Justice Department probe of them. He said Henderson told him Van is “a kook.”

    Henderson, however, told The Republic he was not aware that specific allegations have been made against him, Crane or the strike force, that he had not talked to Crane about them and that he did not know that the House committee had requested an investigation by the Justice Department.

    “This is all news to me,” he said.

    Henderson denied any wrongdoing and accused Van of having a “personal vendetta” against him. He said Van, who is serving a 16-year prison sentence for assault, is not a credible witness.

    “If the committee is listening to Jerry Van, they ought to consider whether or not he is a credible witness,” Henderson said. “And I can tell you that he is not.”

    Van, located at a federal prison where he is being held in the government’s witnessprotectionprogram, challenged Henderson’s claim that he is not credible.

    “I testified several times for Jim Henderson,” Van said. “I was his star witness more than once. I guess you could say I am credible only when it is convenient for the government.”

    Records show that Van has been used by strike-force prosecutors and others in numerous cases as a witness during trials and before various grand juries. His testimony has been instrumental in winning 10 convictions of organized-crime figures in cases ranging from murder to racketeering, the records show.

    During a September 1982 hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, strike-force prosecutor Paul Corridini testified that Van had been used often as a witness, and that he was “100 percent truthful and had a unique amount of knowledge about the criminal activities” of the Israeli Mafia and other crime groups.

    Cusack said Van’s allegations, along with information his staff was able to gather, indicate that “much more than just narcotics enforcement is involved” in the alleged improprieties.

    Cusack said he learned “unofficially” last month that Justice Department investigators “are talking to people now,” but he said he doesn’t know who has been questioned because no one from the department has discussed the case with the committee.

    Department officials refused to comment.

    A confidential letter to Rangel from Michael E. Shaheen, an attorney in the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, however, said an investigation was begun Nov. 28, 1983, and that the committee would be advised of the results once it was concluded.

    Shaheen failed to respond to several telephone inquiries. Rangel has not returned repeated telephone calls.

    The request for a Justice Department investigation came after the House committee began its own inquiry into the allegations, committee records show. That investigation, according to the records, continued for at least four months.

    A confidential memo dated Jan. 30 said many of Van’s allegations had been “substantiated” during the committee’s secret inquiry. The memo, a copy of which has been obtained by The Republic, outlined an interview with a law-enforcement official in Hawaii, who was described as being knowledgeable about the activities of the Los Angeles-based strike force.

    The official, Donald Cartensen, an investigator with the Honolulu city prosecuting attorney’s office, was quoted by committee investigators as saying he was “concerned and shocked” by the number of “strong cases” that had been dismissed by strike-force attorneys in Los Angeles.

    Cartensen told the committee’s chief counsel, Richard B. Lowe, and investigator John Capers, that cases involving well-known, high-profile drug traffickers working with entertainers and organized-crime figures either had been dismissed or never brought to trial and that he did not know why.

    A September memo from committee investigator Johnson to Cusack, chief of staff for the House committee, also described an interview with Hal Glickman, a Los Angeles bail bondsman who recently completed a prison term for attempting to bribe a federal judge.

    Glickman, according to the memo, claimed that strike-force prosecutors had been paid bribes by Los Angeles-area mobsters, but he refused to cooperate with the committee’s investigation. He said that if he cooperated with the government, “a lot of people would get hurt.”

    Glickman was not available for comment.

    Van was found guilty in June 1979 of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault, attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion. He was identified in court records as the “right-hand man” of reputed Israeli Mafia boss Adel “Eddie Nash” Nasiallah.

    Van agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in cases against other organized-crimefigures in return for a reduction in his 16-year sentence. He is scheduled to be paroled in June 1985.

    Shortly after Van appeared before the committee, he was transferred from the government’s witness-protection program into the prison’s general population, a move that some — including Rangel — felt had placed Van’s life in jeopardy.

    The protected-witness unit houses prisoners who have testified against others, often high-ranking organized-crime figures, and are considered at risk of being killed in reprisal for their testimony.

    “Shortly after Mr. Van made these allegations, he was transferred from protective custody into the general prison population,” Rangel wrote in his confidential letter to Smith. “While I do not want to draw conclusions from this act, it raises certain questions, particularly, what conditions have changed that would diminish the need for Mr. Van to be under witness protection.”

    Van was returned to the protected-witness unit shortly after the letter was received by the Justice Department.



    • criticextraordinaire 6:39 pm on October 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Most “Israeli mob bosses” these days, and I have had occasion to do straight business with two of their foot dogs, are usually Jewish criminals from former Soviet republics, oftentimes because their home countries have warrants out for their arrest. My guys were from Uzbekistan and Georgia but there are plenty from the other republics, increasingly holing up in Israel.

    • justme 4:13 pm on December 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      If you still want that picture of jerry vann let me know

    • jimmy---chicago 1:29 pm on December 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I am confused about the nash being an israeli mobster I thought he is a PLO they hate the Israeli’s with a passion and I read someware that eddie’s brother was killed by an israeli soldier before eddie came to the states so how could this be i’m sure he had to kiss jew ass to operate a buisness in hollywood or even just to get by but I cant see him joining any type of israeli gang or mob

  • John 8:16 am on October 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fountainhead inn, , miami beach,   

    An Eyewitness At The Fountainhead Inn? 

    Nearly two weeks after the Wonderland murders, John and Dawn fled east, and eventually they made it all the way to the Fountainhead Inn in North Miami Beach, Florida. During the 1960s, this area was booming economically and up sprang a lot of nice, yet inexpensive motels. Families could afford a nice beach vacation and still stay at a decent place. As these postcards show, it was pretty sweet. However, during the mid to late 1970s the motels became run down, the clientele changed, and the beach in this area suffered a lot of erosion. It was simply not as great as before, and business died off as tourists preferred to stay at newer digs elsewhere in Miami.

    The red arrow is the Fountainhead Inn.

    Fabulous Motel Row! 1960s.

    The Fountainhead Motel

    The Fountainhead Motel. 1960s.

    If you walked out of the front office of the Fountainhead and looked to your left, you would have seen the Aztec Motel next door, just across the parking lot:

    The Aztec Motel

    The Aztec Motel

    Let’s move on to the alleged eyewitness who posted this on a true crime discussion forum. He says that he met John while at the Fountainhead and while the two were in hiding. This is from 2012:

    John Holmes fled to the Fountainhead Hotel in North Miami Beach where he was going to be arrested. He left Miami shortly after they busted him in his hotel. I lived one block away at the time … we met him at a small party at the Fountainhead and he was asked about it at the party. He said no comment and snickered about it. Everyone there knew he had a hand in it for sure, if I or anyone there was asked we would have said he did it under oath. He was kind of a prick, nice, but still that I’m better than you attitude and the I got away with something b.s. made him look like an ass ……. p.s. a lot of the younger ones like myself at the time worried a wee bit about it, after all, in the same room with someone you know murdered people.

    The girl he was with was woof woof, beat up looking like a street urchin……cant believe its been that many years already. He did smoke weed and was doing blow when we left the party. Two other people were left in the room, it had 2 queen beds and the room was on the second floor facing Haulover Beach South.

    For what it’s worth.

    • criticextraordinaire 9:38 am on October 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That story sounds like BS, somebody who wanted to make a snarky comment about Dawn. I wonder if Big Rosie or Joe from the snack shop are still around. They’d probably give the straight scoop.

      • John W 3:09 pm on October 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        They were by no means exclusive as a couple. It may have been some other woman. There’s still a lot of gray areas for their time in Florida because Dawn states in Legs O’Neil’s book a bunch of conflicting stuff as opposed to what is in her official Road to Wonderland book, in which she sugar coats her stripping job and omits things.

      • localarts 9:53 pm on October 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, the story seems somewhat embellished.

      • Beth 3:11 pm on October 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I think it’s funny that everyone seems to claim they lived “right around the corner” from where a lot of this stuff happened! Must have been pretty crowded!

        • criticextraordinaire 6:35 am on October 20, 2013 Permalink

          Well I did have this one buddy in college in the 70’s who claimed to know a porn actress who knew John C. Holmes. At the time he told us that Johnny was married and managed an apartment complex as his “day job”. We thought my buddy was totally full of baloney. Then years later I saw “Wadd” and what do you know, my buddy had it right all along.

    • kdimmick 6:07 pm on October 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      LOL! I had my own POSSIBLE close encounter with John and Dawn in Hollywood in November 1980. At the time I was an 18 year old Marine stationed at Camp Pendelton about 60 miles down the coast from LA and many a weekend was spent by us in the LA/Hollywood area getting into stuff and partying.

      Ok…….. In her book “The Road Through Wonderland” Dawn relates an incident that took place at the then Holiday Inn” hotel where she and Holmes were staying sometime during “Thanksgiving Week” 1980. It’s been awhile since I read the book but as well as I recall she and Holmes had some sort of big argument in their room and Hotel security showed up and kicked them out.
      The Hollywood Holiday Inn Hotel was a large,multi-story building about 1/4 block up Highland street from Hollywood blvd and for myself and my buddies was always the hotel of choice to stay at as it was right in the middle of everything. Anyway……….The night of Thanksgiving Day 1980 myself and 3 friends were in that hotel having a very raucous party that long about 1 am hotel Security came and broke up in our room. We had been yelling at people down on the street from out 7th floor window inviting them to “come on up” LOL! and there was probably about 6 others from the street who were there. There were 4 secuity people and they were pretty cool though. They made all the street people leave and despite the fact there was only supposed to be two of us drunken Jarheads in the room they let the other two stay so long as we quieted down. One of them said he was a former Marine so that probably had a lot to do with it.

      Well, I know it is not much of a *POSSIBLE* close encounter with John and Dawn but I bet nobody else here has got a better one though! LOL!

      BTW: John,you got an OUTSTANDING blog here and you really seem to know how to root out the old information on all the WONDERLAND participants…….

      ALSO……..A big hello to Critic and Jill,some of the old timers from the old IMDB WONDERLAND board

      • John 7:39 am on October 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        That is great. I need to look up that Holiday Inn and get a picture.

      • Jill C. Nelson 8:06 am on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t recall that story from before, kdimmick, it’s a good one. Hello to you! ;-)

    • kdimmick 9:43 am on October 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Here is a picture of the building itself. It is no longer a “Holiday Inn” though but is now “The Renaissance” Hotel .


      That circular part at the upper left hand side of the building at the time was a rotating restaurant that had one of the best views of the surrounding area in all of Hollywood. I’m not sure but I think that they have built a section of rotating rooms in that part of the building now.

      LOL…..had some good times there and all over Hollywood itself back in 80-81. Would love to be able to get in a time machine with my buddies from back then and go do it all again just one more time!

  • John 2:25 pm on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Holmes Fried (2003 Article) 

    Just another scathing review. 10 years ago this week! Tomorrow, there is a great alternative city magazine article coming…stay tuned! “Gunning For Eddie!” is the title.

    Some critics have a really bad taste for the characters and the real people in Wonderland, and I can understand that. Similarly, I never understood Truman Capote’s love or fascination for that family murderer from In Cold Blood. But, I guess that if I spent six years interviewing Eddie Nash, then we too might become bro’s. Hell, Greg Diles could drive us to SONIC in one of Ed’s convertibles for some brown bag specials.

    Holmes Fried

    Wonderland’s tale of a porn star’s decline might have had resonance if any of it felt real

    by Jean Oppenheimer | Phoenix New Times | Thursday, October 16, 2003

    If you lie down with dogs, you’ve got to expect to get up with fleas. And when you go to a movie about a coked-out former porn star who was implicated in the grisly murders of four lowlife drug-dealers — a case which remains “officially” unsolved to this day — well, you’d better figure on a full medicated bath afterwards because a flea collar just ain’t going to do it.

    In fact, a shower is exactly what you’ll want to take after watching this fact-based crime drama about the brutal 1981 slaying of four people who were bludgeoned to death inside a home on Wonderland Avenue in a well-to-do section of Los Angeles. (Given the LaLa Land setting, the title is obviously a play on words — and worlds). Adult film star John Holmes (Val Kilmer), the king of 1970’s porn flicks, was suspected in the murders and, while he was eventually charged (which occurs after the film ends and is alluded to merely in a postscript), he was also acquitted.

    Director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s 1997 film Boogie Nights might seem the obvious comparison (the fictional character of Dirk Diggler in that picture was loosely based on Holmes), but Wonderland is not interested in the big man’s porn activities. Rather, it focuses on the murders and the events leading up to them.

    The film opens after Holmes’ “acting” career has ended. A coke addict and petty criminal, he has burned most of his friends but is never above hatching one more plot. Hoping to share in the spoils, he tells scumbag Ron Launius (Josh Lucas, once again an unnervingly convincing hedonist and sociopath) about a stash of drugs and money that reptilian drug dealer Eddie Nash (Eric Bogosian), another Holmes associate, has hidden in his house. With his partners in crime, Billy Deverell (Tim Blake Nelson) and biker David Lind (an unrecognizable Dylan McDermott in a nice change of pace for him), Launius stages a home invasion.

    The cocky Launius makes the mistake of humiliating but not killing Nash, and it doesn’t take Eddie long to get Holmes to rat out his friends. Whether Holmes joined in the revenge killings of Launius, Deverell and two women (Lind wasn’t home at the time) could never be proven.

    Director and co-writer James Cox goes for a highly stylized look: hyper-active hand-held camera, quick cuts, split screens, blown-out whites and a preponderance of in-your-face close-ups shot from every conceivable angle. There is a dishwater brown tint to the film, which has been shot and/or processed to give it a grainy, textured look. It’s so treated it looks fake. Certain scenes play out as if shot under a strobe black light — dark, indistinct, and slightly hallucinatory. The violence is visceral and graphic.

    Cox’s approach to the material is understandable; he wants to convey the moral ugliness of this world and the hopped-up frenzy of its permanently high inhabitants. But while this may be exactly the way to tell the story, at times it feels as if Cox is just showing off what he can do: lots of style but not much else. One thing is certain: he has carried off his particular vision with aplomb.

    The problem is that the characters are such creepy, despicable vermin that you can’t connect with any of them (not even Lisa Kudrow, who does a nice turn as Holmes’ estranged wife, or a dark-haired Kate Bosworth as his girlfriend). As good as all the actors are — Kilmer excels at just this sort of scuzzy creature — they are basically given just one dimension to play. Some people really are that irredeemable, of course, but presenting a film in which the viewer ends up recoiling from (or being completely indifferent to) everybody makes for a flat film. Not that psychological insight would redeem any of these sleaze balls, but it might help the viewer get drawn into their story, much as audiences were able to see the characters in Boogie Nights as flawed, morally questionable, even pathetic — but nonetheless real — people.

    • criticextraordinaire 5:57 pm on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The writer of that article seems just a tad judgmental. :-(

      • scabiesoftherat 1:29 am on October 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I suppose it’s his job to do that. All I know is that I watched that movie, straight, without so much as a pause for a bathroom break,….then, when it ended and went to the DVD main menu, I hit play and did the same exact thing again. I believe that, over Boogie Nights, THIS is truer to the story than anything. I mean, you could just feel 1981 in this flick and you could just feel the characters. They were one dimensional because they WERE one dimensional. How can he criticize Cox for that?

        • John 8:24 am on October 18, 2013 Permalink

          Yes, nothing wrong with being one dimensional. In movies like Blow and a few other classics, there’s time for a love story and raising kids. That would have been anti-Wonderland and boring as shit.

      • James DelCol 11:51 am on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        He’s a bit backed up. He needs to get laid. Has he ever gotten laid? He knows nothing of art that is for sure. If serving our country for ten years during a war is not redeemable, I don’t know what is. Every life is redeemable according to every religious theory on the planet. Even Ron could have been redeemed if given a proper place to go to clean out.

        Wonderland and LA during this period is a culture study. During this time was the birth of modern day heavy metal. So you could go hear Motley Crue, an 80’s new wave band or The Runaways and Joan Jett. Then you could go up to the Canyon Store and get some Seconal and hang out at the Wonderland house. Can’t do that anymore. It is a much more underground scene and far more inglorious now. People used to party for a purpose. Their music was more politically charged than the rest of LA during this time. Motley Crue was not going to sing an anti-war song.
        According to this guy’s article, everyone who parties up is a “sleaze ball”. Is that really how it is? Sometimes people who venture out of their traditional landscape become more creative. So, stop going to church and go get some “Goddamn mutha….. SMACK!!!!” I’m joking, that is the wrong drug.

        Most drugs are considered no good. Marijuana is gaining some strength out there. People are ok with herb. Drinking and just about any other drug will screw up your life. I think MDMA will gain in acceptance over the years. They are treating Iraqi and Afghani Vets with PTSD with MDMA. It will be available to the public in the next 10 years. Ron Launius and other people who became addicted had to show us all and we had to learn the lessons of how not to party. Dealers never seem to learn because they are rewarded until they are put in jail.

        End WOT and War on Drugs. Legalize. Neither war are going to work. They will not prevent one terrorist attack or save one life from drug overdose until the US changes course politically and legally. We’re in an awful mess right now. We are creating enemies to hold onto our huge military and police forces. We seem to have a need to keep cops and soldiers busy.

        We are currently making terrorists and enemies all over the world with our drone strikes and secret spy tactics. We need to change course politically and legally. Restore the 4th amendment and let the ACLU argue its cases in the Supreme Court. Abolish FISA court. Treatment instead of jail time for addicts.

        I would have given Ron Launius a chance to get it right. Introduce him to some sober people and connect him with sober people. Maybe he would turn around. Addicts can get this done, if they try. Either way, locking them up does nothing. In fact, an addict if so inclined can get drugs in jail as they do on the street. They worsen in jail. I would call for extended rehab instead of jail time. We have to use reason and our intellect to understand that it isn’t eye for an eye that works best.

  • John 12:46 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Photo Gallery For National Boss Day 

    Is there a day to celebrate everything now.

    What I do know is that tomorrow is Barbara Easton Richardson’s birthday and this Friday is the 7th anniversary of Tracy McCourt’s passing. It seems just like yesterday when we were running through the fields.

    Enjoy the photos~

    • Bonnie Brae 5:24 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      love the pics!!!!!!!

      • criticextraordinaire 5:34 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I love “The Big D” drive-in picture. Back where I grew up, there was a local drive-in called The Dependable Drive Inn. It was strictly 100% porn. They would run a “Johnny Wadd Film Festival” and serve free coffee and donuts at dawn. We always called the place “The Big D”. :-D

        • John 9:07 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink

          Good times! When I turned 11, my older bro and his buddy with a license took me to see some softcore porn at our local drive in. Best birthday ever!! We saw Flesh Gordon and some summer camp T&A flick. Ridiculous! I had to hide in the trunk to get in.

      • M. Cooke 1:14 am on October 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Just myself but I always thought Elizabeth Montgomery who happen be in 1 of the photos was the sharpest woman in Hollywood if not world wide. She just had wonderful face plus body to go with it.. That was photo I not seen of her before.. Too late because of her untimely dead but I sure allow her eat crackers in bed with myself.

        • John 9:57 am on October 20, 2013 Permalink

          She was always my favorite too. A beautiful, talented lady.

    • Bobby 3:32 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Anyone here played Grand Theft Auto 5? With this version of the game they’ve recreated L.A replete with a Laurel Canyon/Hollywood Hills -esque area. I cruised around looking for the Wonderland house but couldn’t find it. LOL!!

      • John 8:18 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        No but it sounds awesome if it has that in it. One could easily create a Wonderland video game.

      • Tori 1:26 pm on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes gta 5!!!! Totally think of laurel canyon when cruising the hills!!! It’s a wonderland thing!!! Lol

  • John 6:47 am on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: colorado prison, ,   

    Tracy McCourt Photograph – Circa 2006 

    Special thanks to SteelAddict for sharing this incredible find. This is what he had to say:

    Attached is a pic of Tracy not too long before he died.  I pulled this from the Colorado prison system inmate locator a few months before he passed.  I think he was out of jail when he died though.

    Tracy’s Find-A-Grave Memorial

    Read EVERY post about Tracy that is on this blog – Thanks to Bonnie, you can even take a video drive down Lemp Street, where he was living at the time of the robbery and murders. You can also read his testimony from 1982, see the other places he lived, check his criminal past and of course read about his love life. I simply cannot believe that more authors did not try to track him down for quotes in books and articles. Hell, maybe they did and he told them to get lost. So many questions.

    If I’m reading that height chart correctly, Tracy was about 5’7″ tall. When I zoomed in on the original bmp file, I could read his prison ID tag: MCCOURT, then TRACY below it, while the rest was too hard to decipher.

    Colorado Prison System

    Colorado Prison System. Tracy is about 57 years old here.

    Bonus!  John Holmes defense attorney, Earl Hansen, in high school:


    • John 7:08 am on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Oh Lord, I just noticed he’s probably one of those pony tail guys.

      • Bobby 3:26 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        What a great find guys! No doubt about it that’s Tracy.. the eyes and nose are a dead giveaway. The whole Wonderland debacle would’ve taken its toll on the guy. He was damn lucky to have had the foresight to hightail it outta there after the money was split.
        So this would mean there are prison photos of Eddie Nash floating around too? Betcha there ain’t anyone who visits this blog who wouldn’t want to get a gander at those! ;)

    • Bonnie Brae 10:03 am on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Mr. Sensitive man with a pony tail. ha ha
      Great find.

    • localarts 12:37 pm on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That’s McCourt, has the same eyes. I think Wonderland took its toll on Tracy as well, he looks more like 67. It still amazes me that McCourt & Deverell were still going to rob Nash after Launius and Lind backed out. A prison interview with McCourt right after the movie premier would have been nice. I think Tracy McCourt had a bigger ax to grind with David Lind than Holmes.

      • John W 3:51 pm on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        If Tracy McCourt was still kickin, he is just a vague enough person to be on Dancin With The Stars, same goes for Dawn and Susan… And most of all Eddie!! And Laurie Holmes.

        • criticextraordinaire 5:56 pm on October 15, 2013 Permalink

          Well I definitely could see Dawn signing up for DWTS. She could use it as a platform for the E.S.T.E.A.M. effort she promotes.

          And team Laurie up with Ron Jeremy. Dancing with the Porn Stars! Unfortunately Susan would not be able to participate since her injuries I am pretty sure preclude her from a dance competition. Eddie could be guest judge on “Empire Night”… each couple dances a routine that fits with one of Eddie’s famous venues like the Seven Seas, Soul’d Out, Kit Kat, Odyssey, etc… I’d tune in and watch that.

      • criticextraordinaire 6:02 pm on October 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Problem is, much like he was cheated out of his cut of the Nash loot, Tracy was largely left on the cutting room floor when the movie was produced. Such a shame too. He could have really added perspective to the story of the planning of the Nash hit.

        You can pretty much figure that right after the Wonderland murders, Tracy was crapping his pants and wondering if he was gonna be next. :-O

        • John 8:26 am on October 16, 2013 Permalink

          Indeed! Some great observations about Tracy. The murders were so awful and shocking, that in his testimony, Tracy says he forgot a lot of details because he had to basically push things out of his mind, as to forget, or at best try to forget these horrible images of his friends and their demise. That trauma will leave anyone with a few screws loose.

      • John 12:11 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I saw this post on the forum at Dawn’s blog.
        Tracy certainly did live there, and was married twice there in Kentucky. He’s kind of old to be going back to school but that span is when he moved back to KY from California. But, if he was a veteran, he could’ve have swung the GI Bill for free schooling. I just don’t see someone making up a story like this:

        “Back in the mid/late 1980s, I was finishing up at Eastern Kentucky University, and we had a guy on our floor who claimed to be Tracy Ray McCourt – and claimed to have been a part of this… Had a bunch of jailhouse tats, including some sort of Beatles thing on his chest (IIRC – might have been a different band). Had a serious rap for the (considerably younger than he was) ladies, and laid it on pretty thick… Could this have been the same guy?

        If so… Can’t say as I overly mourn him, but he did make life around him interesting…”

        • John 12:13 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink

          and he did marry girls that were 12-15 years younger than he was… all 3 of his marriages are posted on this blog.

    • localarts 11:16 am on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Very true. I don’t think McCourt was too surprised by what happened. If you’ll remember right after the Nash hit McCourt said he went out to the balcony and saw a Lincoln Continental pull up, just like the one at Nash’s place. McCourt said he tried to warn everybody but they were too high to care and he got “really nervous” and left. At least Tracy was smart enough to split!

    • John 11:40 am on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I like how in the prelim testimony at Holmes trial, David Lind is very articulate and quite intelligent sounding, but 10 years later with the Nash/Diles trials he is a sorry sight, and can barely keep it together, quite emotional, etc. He was carrying some major baggage too, for unlike Tracy, he got a girl killed by his actions. That’s a truckload of guilt to have on your shoulders.

      • criticextraordinaire 2:45 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Interesting to see David progress from his high school years as a dude who looked like he would be “accountant of the year”… To a streetwise biker/drug dealing, prostitute hanging badass… To Mort Downey… To an out of control witness… To a broken down drug statistic.

        He coulda been a contender. Maybe we’ll see somebody come forward and do a biography of David.

    • localarts 2:09 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I followed Eddie’s trial back in 90; I wish I had saved those newspapers. Carrying that kind of guilt for nearly ten years wore on Lind, it had to. I honestly believe Lind didn’t care whether he lived or died and that may have explained why he acted the way he did.

      John Holmes was also listed in the indictment. They may have been going after Holmes on conspiracy to commit murder, not sure though. It really didn’t make any sense, the guy had been dead for nearly two years.

      • criticextraordinaire 2:42 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        They added Holmes to the bill simply to be able to file RICO charges. You need 5 accused conspirators (dead or alive) in order to file on RICO.

        • John 2:45 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink

          I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at these trials. Especially the hung jury at 11-1. Eddie was sweating bullets and was lucky to get out of that scrape. Luckily, a poor young kid was on the jury with a craving for quick cash. She’s not talking to me, so she must know that Eddie is still alive, and she’s scared.

        • John 10:01 am on October 18, 2013 Permalink

          Here’s the 5 conspirators:

          Five of Nash’s associates, including two now dead, were named as
          unindicted co-conspirators:
          * Hovsep Mikaelian, also known as Joe McLean, 49, of North
          Hollywood, accused of supervising the storage, distribution and sale of
          illicit drugs for Nash. Mikaelian is serving a 14-year federal prison
          term on a 1997 conviction for narcotics trafficking, wire fraud and tax
          * Mikaelian’s brother, Hrant, 45, also of North Hollywood, accused
          in the indictment of drug trafficking, wire fraud and money laundering.
          He pleaded guilty last year in an unrelated international money
          laundering case and is to be sentenced later this year.
          * Harry Diramarian, 58, of Pasadena, an accountant who worked for
          Nash and the Mikaelians. He was alleged to have been involved in the
          drug ring’s money laundering and bribery activities. Diramarian is
          awaiting sentencing in an unrelated $600,000 tax evasion scheme.
          * Gregory DeWitt Diles, Nash’s 300-pound bodyguard, who was
          described in the indictment as a participant in the Laurel Canyon
          murders. He died in 1995.
          * John Curtis Holmes, a pornographic film star, accused in the
          indictment of trafficking drugs and taking part in the killings. Holmes
          was tried in the slayings in 1982 and was acquitted. He died in 1988 of
          AIDS complications.

      • Beth 4:01 pm on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Apparently people are still scared of Eddie even though he’s so old. I asked Dawn several questions on FB, about her dad, Susan, etc and she said she can’t answer anything because it wouldn’t be “safe”. Would really love to see someone do a news story on him and try to get an interview. Someone call Dateline!! :P

    • localarts 3:03 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      From what I understand Eddie slept through most of the trial. Mike Sager said Eddie would go out to the parking lot during recess and pop Quaaludes and his attorneys had to stick him with an ink pen to wake him up.

      Attorney: Wake up Ed you’re innocent
      Eddie: Huh? What? Oh, that’s great. Hey let me borrow that pen, I need to sign a check for juror number 3

      • scabiesoftherat 11:21 pm on October 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hell, Phil Spector was pretty much asleep when they sentenced him. Nerves of steel on Nash and Spector,…nerves of steel. (Or lots of Xanax)

        • John 9:06 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink

          I guess Phil’s first trial was a mistrial. That’s the one that featured all of his outlandish hairstyles. For the second time around, I saw in an interview where his lawyer said “Please Phil, limit it to one hairdo this time dude you’re killing it with the jury man!” LOL

    • Tori 1:20 pm on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is great! Wish we could’ve had more on McCourt !

      • Tori 1:21 pm on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        John do u know what Tracy was in for at that time?

        • John 2:28 pm on October 17, 2013 Permalink

          Drugs and beating up his brother and mom. Actually, I think he stabbed or cut his bro with a knife. Click on that link at the top I shared, it lists his crimes in Colorado. I think he was mostly in there for drugs though. He was busted for forging prescriptions in the 1970s.

    • Betty Boop 8:27 am on November 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I knew Tracy very well while he attended EKU. I was a den mother of sorts to him & his college roomates. He loved to come to our house to be a part of a southern, country style family. When Tracy first spoke of his involvement in the Eddie Nash caper we thought he was really full of it only to find he was telling the truth. He repeatedly landed in jail in Madison County, but was always released to our amazement. I later learned it was because the LA police told Madison Co. to let him go. I guess when they arrested him here & ran his name his record came up which prompted them to contact Orange Co They eventually came to EKU pulled out of class & offered him money & a new identity to testify in the trial against Nash. They flew him & wife Joni out to LA. Put them up during the trial. When it was over he got nothing thye promised him. That was when the family packed up & moved to Colorado. He was always looking over his shoulder & justifiably so, He spoke rarely of the murders, it pained him deeply. He did speak of the ordeal in depth on more then one occasion. I knew the name of his daughter & have been in contact with her. We talked about the movie & I commented on the very small acclaim they gave his character. She replied w/ information that sounded so Tracy McCourt. She told me that her dad couldn’t leave well enough alone & kept buggin’ the crap out of them for more money for his part or information he could give. He called them so much that he pissed them off and cut his recognition of involvement to what we saw on the screen. So typical Tracy never being satisfied, always wanting more. Those of us who knew him here had a genuine fondness for him & his crazy ways. He could be extreme with his desire for drugs & alcohol, but I reckon’ that’s what addicts do.
      I used to take him to his grandmother’s house several counties over where I met his family on more then 1 occasion. His mother made stained glass. I saw several beautiful pieces she had made. His grandmother was wonderful!!! His brother was there as well but his name slips my memory. Last time I heard from Tracy was in ’97. He called from Colorado wanting to stop & visit on his way to Florida. He never showed. I wondered about him from time to time. It was only when I made contact w/ his daughter that I learned of his passing. She told me it was HepC. That was no surprise to me. RIP TRACY. LOL He loved to think he looked like Huey Lewis!!!!

  • John 7:19 am on October 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , amerson,   

    Specter of AIDS Triggers Deathly Fear in Porn Industry 

    Thanks to steeladdict for sharing.

    Here’s an article related to the LA porn industry in 1987. A couple interesting quotes from Amerson including (words to the effect) “AIDS might be a good thing for the porn business” and “Gay porn actors would be better off robbing liquor stores”.

    Bill Amerson at the 6th annual Erotica Awards. Early 80s.

    Specter of AIDS Triggers Deathly Fear in Pornography Industry
    RUSSELL KISHI. Los Angeles Times. Aug 16, 1987.

    The perennially controversial and perennially lucrative pornography industry, which tends to shrug off the bruises it receives from government and moral activists, is deathly afraid of the latest threat against it.

    Insiders have generally viewed government studies and the occasional publicity from underage actresses as something of a nuisance rather than a threat. The government itself, after all, estimates porn profits last year at between $8 billion and $10 billion. And the industry estimates that Americans rented 104 million X-rated videocassettes from video retailers last year in spite of the negative publicity.

    New, More Serious Threat

    But the specter of the sexually transmitted disease AIDS could very possibly damage the X-rated film industry in ways that legislation and law enforcement could never hope to achieve.

    It is an alarming prospect, perhaps, but a logical conclusion based on conversations about the acquired immune deficiency syndrome with people who produce hard-core films and a law enforcement officer who has spent 15 years studying the phenomenon in Southern California-generally considered the capital of the porn industry.

    “There have been people in the pornographic business who have been diagnosed with AIDS,” said Sgt. Don Smith of the Los Angeles Police Department’s vice division.

    “Now the scare is in and the industry is absolutely afraid of AIDS.”

    “Because of that, it’s harder to get people to come into the industry. I know of two sources who have reportedly got AIDS in the industry. By sources (I’m referring to) performers. I really can’t comment any further on it, but (details will be) coming out shortly.”

    Sharon Mitchell, a 12-year veteran of pornographic films, disagrees.

    “That’s a rumor,” she said of the reports of AIDS among porn actors. “It’s not so. It’s hearsay.”
    Mitchell, who estimates she has performed sexual acts in approximately 700 films, said: “A lot of people seem to love the gossip factor. Those two people who have been accused do not have AIDS. I have been with them and they both deny it.”

    It is difficult to elaborate or speculate on Smith’s statements because of the very nature of the business itself-a business that prides itself in its ability to protect its performers under a First Amendment umbrella.

    Beyond that, Bill Amerson’s 20 years in the pornographic trade tell him that if any performer had indeed tested positive for AIDS, they would not necessarily be willing to disclose the finding to their co-workers.

    Carrying Tales Out of School

    “I don’t think anyone would tell anybody,” Amerson said matter-of-factly.
    Amerson’s position in hard-core films might be comparable to the so-called moguls who established and reigned over the major movie studios during Hollywood’s most prolific era.

    He moved away from conventional film production and gravitated toward pornographic features during the late 1960s as it became clear that the nation’s moral standards were becoming more liberal and a huge profit could be made as hard-core films moved from peep shows to big screens.
    He still maintains a production and distribution facility in the San Fernando Valley, but complains that the porn trade is “no longer fun,” in large part because of the AIDS crisis. Despite accumulating a fortune of several million dollars he is looking to abandon the business entirely.

    “It’s not a good thing for the country that people are getting AIDS,” Amerson said, “but as far as the pornography thing goes, maybe it is a good thing.

    “To me, porno is getting worse. It’s getting sleazier, more disgusting. I haven’t shot a picture for six, eight months. I probably will not shoot any more X-rated films. I just don’t have the heart, the feeling for it anymore.

    “I’m tired of dealing with the dregs of humanity.”

    And those sentiments, he insisted, are shared by many porn performers.

    “I talked to Jamie Gillis the other night,” Amerson said of a former leading man who might be described as a B-grade John Holmes in the hierarchy of porno stars.

    “He called me from New York. Jamie’s driving a taxi. He said he’s waiting for some R-rated work. He said he will never make another X-rated film.

    “These are the smart people. I was with Amber (former queen of X-rated films) last week. I had lunch with her. She said, `You can’t get me in front of a camera with somebody else.’

    “The people who don’t have a lot of intelligence, people who think it (AIDS) can’t, it’s never going to happen to them” will continue to work in hard-core films, Amerson said.

    “And there are people who just don’t care. Most of the time they’re jacked up on drugs. Unfortunately our industry is full of it.”

    Estimates are that an unknown performer can earn between $500 and $750 per day working in hard-core films. A proven moneymaker can earn between $1,500 and $2,000 a day.

    But, “It’s usually a very short-lived career,” Smith said.

    “A lot of girls are what we call `six-monthers.’ After that, they get burned out. Some of the big stars are completely burned out after two or three years.”

    Although the careers are short, the risk of AIDS is intense.

    “You’ve got numerous sexual partners,” Smith said. “You have sodomy. . . . The majority of the people that I’ve talked to have been involved in drugs, and by that I mean intravenous drug use. So you’ve got to say there are two strikes against them (in terms of AIDS risk).”

    Performing in hard-core homosexual films, Amerson said, “is like playing Russian roulette with six bullets.

    “If I were gay, instead of making a gay film I would rather rob a liquor store if I needed money that badly,” he said.

    “The worst thing that could happen would be you’d go to jail.”

    The overall risk has been further complicated, Smith added, with the advent of bisexual, or “crossover” films.

    “You have homosexual males and females involved in the same film,” Smith said. “Many performers who have been involved in sexually explicit male films have made the crossover and are now doing the bisexual films.

    “Because of that you would think there would be a greater possibility that someone within the industry would contract (AIDS) and end up giving the disease to someone in the heterosexual industry as a result.”

    John H. Weston, legal counsel for the Adult Film and Video Assn. of America, said it has become commonplace for producers he represents to demand AIDS testing of all performers before a single frame is shot.

    “Many of the actors and actresses themselves are utilizing safe sex techniques,” Weston said. “Some women are using a particular spermicide which has apparently been medically sanctioned as being protective against AIDS. Many of the men are increasingly using condoms.

    “I think AIDS at the production level is a factor. It’s a phenomenon. People are going to have to function in a very careful, protective way. I think they should. Nothing is worth a human life.”
    One person who sees no reason to change is Mitchell.

    “I don’t participate in any high-risk sex,” she said. “Since the AIDS crisis we have outlawed anal scenes by our own choice.

    “I don’t feel pressured by (the AIDS epidemic). I like the people. I’ve found my niche.”

  • John 9:51 am on October 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , eric bogosian, freddy molina   

    Bogosian: My Eddie Nash Has Nothing To Do With Molina’s 

    I enjoyed both movies, but Alfred Molina’s Nash really creeped me out. This is mostly because I didn’t know what the Asian houseboy lighting firecrackers was doing there. If it was a pedo thing, then even THE NASH does not deserve that liberal interpretation of his character. He was a family man for pete’s sake!

    Have a great weekend!

    You got the touch!!

    Yea, whatever!

    Another Eddie

    In James Cox’s film ”Wonderland,” the writer and performance artist Eric Bogosian plays Eddie Nash, a Los Angeles nightclub entrepreneur whose testy, drug-fueled friendship with the adult film star John Holmes (Val Kilmer) led to the grisly deaths of four people in a revenge killing.

    The real-life Mr. Nash was also the basis for one of the most memorable characters in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 ”Boogie Nights”: Alfred Molina’s Rahad Jackson, a dissolute club owner whom the film’s Holmes-like protagonist (Mark Wahlberg) ill-advisedly tries to rob. Comparisons are inevitable, all the more so because Mr. Bogosian, like Mr. Molina, spends most of his performance in a loosely tied bathrobe.

    ”Freddie Molina doing that Eddie Nash — which isn’t really Eddie Nash, but something inspired by him — is one of the great performances of the last decade,” said Mr. Bogosian, talking over a drink at the Toronto International Film Festival where ”Wonderland” had its premiere. ”And I came in knowing that. But once we started on this, we were in such a different place that it was never an issue. My Eddie Nash has nothing to do with Freddie Molina’s Eddie Nash. We’re dressed almost exactly the same, but you can’t even think of the two characters in the same place — it’s like they’re in two different worlds.”

    Source: NY Times. 10-08-2003.


    • Bobby 3:42 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I recall PT Anderson stating in an interview that he was attracted to the myth that surrounded the Eddie Nash character and Molina’s character was born from this. He liked the idea of a the guy getting about in his bathers, coated in a thin film of sweat, smoking freebase. It sure is an intriguing yet slightly repulsive portrait.

      • John 9:00 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        He is an awesome character. 2 movies were made about him pretty much. Makes a great Hollywood story.

        • Bobby 10:26 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink

          If I’m not mistaken the French film “La Haine” has a scene with a drugged out character in a robe (or maybe just in jocks… kinda foggy on this as it’s been ages since I’ve watched it) playing Russian roulette and freaking out the main protagonists. I always thought “Boogie Nights” was ripping off or at least homaging this film. The Molina scene is so similar it’s ridiculous!

        • Bobby 10:33 am on October 17, 2013 Permalink

          Found it!
          Scene with the crazy Asterix character begins at the 1:50 mark:

          Tell me this isn’t pretty damn close to “Boogie Nights”!

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