1990 L.A. Times Article (Nash Trial). Man Screaming “Don’t Kill Me” Had To Be Deverell


Ron Launius was lying in bed covered by a blanket. He was killed in his sleep while in a heroin slumber, as he was probably out of it. He had no defense wounds. Billy was the only other guy in the house that night, so it must have been him screaming “Don’t kill me”. I think the movie had that right, that he let the killers in, and was forced back up the stairs. I also think it was correct that after the robbery, Billy was in charge of the front door, deciding who came and went… as told by David Lind. Billy would have let Holmes into the house. The movie had it right.

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The grisly killings–punctuated by the screams of a man pleading, “Don’t kill me!” which awakened at least one resident of the rustic canyon neighborhood in the pre-dawn hours of July 1, 1981–took place in a house on Wonderland Avenue once occupied by members of the rock ‘n’ roll band Paul Revere and the Raiders. Just down the block was a home owned by then-Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.

There was no evidence of forced entry into the house. The bodies were discovered several hours after the killings by a professional mover working next door who entered through an open front door after hearing a woman moaning.

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