The Wonderland Timeline
I have started this timeline of events because the Wonderland saga can get really confusing… especially when you are trying to figure out Eddie Nash’s legal woes, arrests, other crimes, etc. That guy could write a book on the legal system all by himself.
Please post anything missing in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
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Wonderland Timeline of Events
Adel Nasrallah arrives in Southern California from the middle east (Palestine). He was born near Ramallah in 1929 is of Palestinian Christian descent.
Eddie Nash stars in the Cisco Kid episode “Quarter Horse”. He is credited as “Eddie Nash”, and his character is called “Nash”.
Eddie owns Beef’s Chuck hot dog stand on Hollywood Blvd. Decades later during the 1980s, a woman with an autistic son whom Ed had known at this time, writes the judge a sympathetic letter regarding Eddie while he is awaiting sentencing for drug charges.
Ron Launius enters the US Air Force.
Early to mid 1960s
Eddie owns all or part of P.J.’s Night Club, along with Dominic Lucci in Hollywood.
Ron Launius marries Fay Wetzel. They will divorce in 1970, papers filed in San Bernadino, CA.
Singer and musician Bobby Fuller is found dead in his car, foul play is later alleged, but it is ruled a suicide. Bobby Fuller’s band was the house band at P.J.’s, where it has been said he romanced a waitress that either Lucci or Nash was sweet on.
Ron Launius serves during the Vietnam War at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in eastern Thailand.
Sometime in 1970
David Lind is convicted of three felonies: Receiving stolen property, forgery and assault with intent to commit rape.
Ron and Fay Wetzel get divorced.
April 4, 1971
Ron and Susan Annette Murphy are married at the Sunset Wedding Chapel in Carson City, NV. Witnesses/Friends of the bride and groom are Jerry White and Mary Yeaman from northern California.
January 1972 – Ron Launius leaves the US Air Force with an Honorable Discharge.
Sometime in 1972
Ron Launius is acquitted of gun and drug charges in Northern California.
At some point in 1972 or 1973, Ron Launius is involved in a messed up drug deal in Mexico, where he is set up by California dealers. The people in Mexico hold Susan hostage and demand more money from Ron. He allegedly saves her by coming back, killing the men, and he then returns to California where he kills others involved. This is a very elaborate story with lots of details and was shared with Wonderland investigator, Nils B. Grevillius by Susan Launius in the late 1990s. This is where the legend and the 27 homicides attributed to Launius seems to begin.
Ron Launius and Carroll Sherrill allegedly kill Gary Moore after he is suspected of being a narc or informant. Moore is found floating in a river near Yuba City, CA with a broken jaw, cuts and bruises on his corpse, and he had been shot a few times. Sherrill confessed from jail in 1982 that he killed Gary and Ron helped him dispose of the body and burn evidence, such as the bloodied backseat of Ron’s Scout truck or SUV.
Ron Launius, Carroll Sherill and Junior Ballard are busted trying to smuggle heroin and pills across the Mexican border into the USA. They all plead guilty.
Ron Launius is sentenced to 8 years in federal prison. He will serve most of his time at McNeil Island in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. Carroll Sherrill and Junior Ballard pull shorter sentences.
Mid to Late 1970s
P.J.’s has become the Starwood club.
Eddie Nash’s fortunes increase as he owns multiple businesses in and around L.A. and Hollywood.
Paul Revere and the Raiders live at Wonderland.
Adel Nasrallah has become known as Eddie Nash.
Sometime in 1978
Ron Launius is released from prison for his 1974 drug smuggling sentence.
Susan Launius attempts to or does marry another man while still married to Ron.
Joy Miller signs the lease at Wonderland.
Sports promoter and businessman Vic Weiss is murdered. Horace McKenna and Ron Launius are suspected, but there is no evidence to file charges or connect them to the crime. At this time, Ron is suspected of another murder or hit in San Pedro, CA.
William “Billy” Deverell moves in to Wonderland. The landlady said Billy was employed at this time.
Sometime in 1979 or 1980
John Holmes develops a friendship with Adel Nasrallah aka Eddie Nash.
June 4, 1980
Joy Miller’s home at Wonderland is raided by L.A. vice cops in a drug sting. She is the only one in the house charged with a crime. Billy Deverell is released when Joy takes full responsibility for the drugs found in the search. The alleged supplier, Bill Vlick, is arrested at his home a few blocks away with more than $59,000 in cash and drugs.
Joy Miller asks to Rachel Rybicki if she can buy the house at Wonderland. She is told no and that she should move out of the neighborhood. This is before her cancer diagnosis later in the year. She would have three surgeries.
Eddie Nash’s wife, Jeanna, of 10 years has already left him, and after death threats, she files a protection order against him.
May or June, 1981
Ron Launius and Billy Deverell travel to Sacramento on drug business. While there they meet up with David Lind but while there Ronnie is also busted driving a stolen car. He is given a court hearing date of July 1, 1981. He would not make it.
David Lind and Barbara Richardson arrive and stay at the Wonderland house.
Monday, June 29, 1981
8am – The Wonderland Gang commits the robbery of Eddie Nash’s house.
When the guys arrive back at Wonderland, Joy and Barbara go to the Canyon Store for party favors, cig’s, booze, beer, whatever. The guys are busy divee’ing the loot!
10am to Noon – Tracy McCourt gets frightened at the Wonderland house, and takes a cab back to the apartment on Lemp Ave. in North Hollywood, where he is staying with friends (allegedly Mr. Vegas – Jimmy Arias).
Afternoon – Billy Deverell takes the jewelry to Fat Howard Cook, their fence.
Tuesday, June 30, 1981
7am – Susan Launius arrives at Wonderland with Ron. They arrive in his vehicle.
9 or 10am – David Lind leaves the house to go transact several drug deals. He spends Tuesday night at a motel in the valley with a prostitute.
Day – Nash’s goons pick up John Holmes at his answering service office parking lot in L.A or Santa Monica. He is taken to Nash’s house for interrogation.
Tracy McCourt has a friend “Mike” and girlfriend Shelly take him to Wonderland so he can score some drugs off Ron & company. Tracy gives them $50 for the ride there and back.
Afternoon / Early Evening – Julia Negron and Chuck Negron (singer for Three Dog Night) are at Wonderland scoring or hanging out. They leave and go home. Joy contacts them later asking them to come back over, she has something for them. They decide to stay home.
Evening – Scott Thorson arrives at Nash’s house to buy cocaine and sees Holmes there getting roughed up by Diles, while Nash threatens Holmes. Thorson has eerie conversation with Holmes in the kitchen before they leave to murder the people at Wonderland.
David Lind is partying at a friend, James Fuller’s house in Monrovia. Later on, he gets a ride back to the San Fernando Valley with two women, Cindy and Terri. They stay up all night doing drugs.
Wednesday, July 1, 1981
Ron Launius is due in court today in Sacramento for driving a stolen car.
Early morning – The Wonderland Murders occur. Those murdered are Ron Launius, Joy Miller, William Deverell and Barbara Lee Richardson. Susan Launius survives.
After the murders, the assailants allegedly kick Holmes out of the car at the corner of Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon Blvd. Holmes then walks down to Ventura Blvd, where he calls Dottie Glickmann, wife of Hal Glickmann, businessman, bail bondsman and friend Holmes. Dottie gives John a ride to either his car at his answering service office or to Sharon Holmes’ house in Glendale.
5am – John Holmes arrives at Sharon Holmes’ house and is covered in dried blood. Years later she would state that he confessed to being at the crime scene and letting the killers inside the house.
Early morning to late afternoon
Jimmy Arias AKA Mr. Vegas and Paul Kelly arrive at Wonderland Ave to pick up Ron Launius and put him on a plane for his Sacramento court date. They walked through the house. David Lind first talks to Fat Howard (the fence) and is later told by Mr. Arias not to go to the house, that everyone is dead. Also, Paul Kelly had a thing for Maggie Coffman and bullshitted or bragged/made up a story to her that he had to take out her love interest, Ron Launius. This was the “red herring” by Nash’s defense via testimony of Maggie Coffman at Eddie Nash’s re-trial where he was fully acquitted because it cast reasonable doubt. One juror then explained after the trial: “We would really like to see Paul Kelly put on trial next for these murders”. On the stand, Paul Kelly plead the 5th Amendment. He was in county or state jail at the time of Nash’s second trial in 1990.
At least 6 to 8 drug customers venture into the house, either looking for the gang or to buy drugs. Nobody calls police about the dead bodies or to help Susan Launius, the sole survivor.
Afternoon – The bodies are discovered around 4pm after Julia Negron and a male friend “B” are leave the house and make a comment to mover’s next door about bodies inside the house. The mover looks inside the front door and sees Barbara Richardson’s body on the floor. The police are called.
3:55pm – A fire crew arrives quickly followed by paramedics.
4:05pm – Paramedics leave with Susan Launius. They take her to Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
4:10pm – Police arrive and find yet another person or drug customer wandering around inside the home. They would briefly detain the man, then let him go. Police then videotape the scene and investigate the house for the rest of the night. In the crime scene video, the phone line seen ringing via the ringer light was Larry “Cherokee” Hershman, one of Ron’s drug buddies and dealers, who had been constantly calling the house all day.
Thursday, July 2, 1981
Morning – The bodies are removed from the home by the coroner.
10am – David Lind and a childhood friend, James Fuller, a musician in L.A., walk into the Hollywood police station to tell detectives what he knows.
July 10, 1981
Police raid Eddie Nash’s house. He and Diles are arrested. Diles has brief shootout with police; his defense would later be that he thought they were burglars. He would be charged with drug possession and I believe attempted murder for firing at police officers.
July 11, 1981
John Holmes and Dawn Schiller are arrested at a seedy motel in Los Angeles and taken into police custody. They are held in protective custody at two different fancy hotels in Los Angeles.
July 15, 1981
Police release John Holmes from protective custody after he does not give them the information they need to implicate Nash and Diles in the murders.
July 16 or 17, 1981
Police spot John’s Malibu at Eddie Nash’s house. John and Dawn meet Sharon Holmes twice in a grocery store parking lot to say goodbye and get some money from her.
July 18, 1981
John Holmes disappears. Over the next 5 months, he and Dawn head east thru Arizona, up to Montana and eventually down to Florida.
Early August, 1981
Eddie Nash’s divorce from Jeanna is finalized. Fellow club owner, Chris Cox, stated to Legs McNeil that he spoke to Ed many times in the late 70s, trying to get Ed to leave his philandering ways and drug use behind, go back home at night to your wife and kids. Eddie would not take his advice.
August 21, 1981
Fearing for his safety and needing him as a witness, police arrest David Lind in North Hollywood and put him in custody. He may have also been with McCourt since North Hollywood was Tracy McCourt’s last address when living in L.A.
Susan Launius released from hospital. She stated in her testimony that she was in the hospital for 2.5 months.
September 20, 1981
Sharon Holmes has interview with Los Angeles Times, but she only says that John was at the Wonderland house a few days before the killings. She would not come clean about what John told her and his involvement until after his death in 1988.
November 25, 1981
Police search Nash’s home for a second time after the drug overdose death of a guest (24 yr old Dominic Fragomell who had been living at the home for 5 months). Cops find more than 2 lbs. of cocaine, heroin, Quaaludes, and opium. Nash and Diles are arrested on narcotics charges. Both men had been on bail from the July 10 raid and arrest.
Friday 8:45pm, December 4, 1981
John Holmes is arrested at his motel room in North Miami Beach, FL. He and Dawn would never see each other again.
Saturday, 10:30am, December 5, 1981
Holmes appears in Florida’s Dade County Circuit Court. He waives extradition and flies back to California with Lange and Tomlinson.
December 7, 1981
John Holmes is booked for murder in the Wonderland slayings.
December 8, 1981
Greg Diles is arrested at the Seven Seas Supper Club in Hollywood. He is jailed and saliva, blood and hair samples are collected in an attempt to match samples taken from the house.
Late 1981 or early 1982
David Lind is sentenced to 7 months in county jail in Sacramento for possession of a controlled substance.
February 1-2, 1982
John Holmes preliminary trial. He is ordered to stand trial for murder/attempted murder. Many witnesses testify at this hearing including Susan Launius, David Lind, Tracy McCourt, and Det. Frank Tomlinson, among others. They provide enough evidence and the judge sends this case to trial.
February 21, 1982
Eddie Nash is linked to several arson cases from 1977-78 surrounding properties that he owns and he is charged with 3 other men by the Feds with arson, mail fraud, racketeering and conspiracy.
Ron’s buddy, Carroll Evan Sherrill, confesses while in Folsom Prison to the 1973 murder of Gary Moore. According to Sherrill’s widow, Carroll would die in prison by hanging a few months later under “suspicious circumstances”.
March 24, 1982
Greg Diles is denied bail at hearing regarding his murder charge. Murder charges are dropped but he is still jailed facing drug charges.
Scott Thorson is forcibly removed from Liberace’s penthouse apartment by 4 of Liberace’s goons. In the settlement, Scott receives his clothing, two dogs, three automobiles (Rolls Royce, a sedan and Chevy van) and $75,000 in cash. The Rolls Royce is later traded to Eddie Nash for cocaine.
Week of June 4, 1982
The murder/attempted murder trial of John Holmes begins in Los Angeles.
June 8, 1982
Jurors see the grisly crime scene video played in court.
June 11, 1982
The judge in the Holmes trial rules that the defense cannot contend Holmes was forced to help the killers because they threatened he and his family. This is called the “under duress defense” argument and would later be cited in legal textbooks.
June 12, 1982
Nash is acquitted in his arson and mail fraud trial. However, his 3 cohorts are convicted.
Week of June 23, 1982
The 8 man, 4 woman jury deliberates in the John Holmes Trial.
June 25, 1982
John Holmes is found Not Guilty in the trial of the century but is not released from jail pending the 1981 charge of receiving a stolen IBM typewriter. He had stolen it from a car in Santa Monica and was caught at the scene.
August 4, 1982
A judge rules that Holmes be kept in county jail for contempt of court and for not answering the Grand Jury’s questions.
August 26, 1982
John Holmes begins his “hunger strike” while in jail. He would cheat by eating cookies and candy bars given to him by other inmates, even two candy bars by Dr. Vonda Pelto, jail psychologist. Barbara Wilkins, a freelance journalist (hired by Hustler to write a piece for their magazine) who would eventually become one of Holmes’s girlfriends, organized a petition to free Holmes.
Sept 23, 1982
Holmes eats food again (burger, broccoli, potatoes, bread, cookies and coffee). John loses 11 lbs. from his hunger strike.
Sept 28, 1982
Eddie Nash drug trial begins.
Eddie Nash convicted of 7 drug counts (and possession of 2 lbs of cocaine).
November 5, 1982
Nash is sentenced to 8 years in state prison, of which he serves a few years.
November 20, 1982
The Studio City home of jailed nightclub owner Adel Nasrallah was burglarized and a 60-pound floor safe with undetermined contents was stolen.
November 23, 1982
Holmes is freed from jail on contempt charges after spending 111 days in lock up. He resumes his porn acting and porno business career.
Sometime in 1983
Samuel Diles, 31 at the time, had been a bouncer at one of Nash’s clubs, the Kit Kat in Hollywood. In 1983, he was arrested after police said he hit Michael Nolan, the brother of Assemblyman Patrick Nolan, in the head with a gun. Diles went to prison on an assault conviction for a few years.
January 6, 1983
Nash is denied bail during a court hearing pending his appeal.
Sometime in 1984
John Holmes and Bill Amerson are hired by VCX porn company, where Holmes works part-time as line producer and film director.
Due to health problems, Eddie Nash’s prison term is slashed and he is scheduled for release.
September 6 or 7, 1984
Eddie Nash’s illegitimate young teenage son, Telesforo, and his mother, Maureen (Nash’s ex-girlfriend) are stabbed to death by a Hells Angel biker/drug dealer (Robert Garceau) who is later put on death row but dies of cancer in 2004. Garceau knew both Nash and Bautista, and having failed to perform a hit for Nash, was worried that Bautista might alarm Nash to his whereabouts. Thus, he killed her and her son to silence them.
November 17, 1984
Eddie Nash released for good behavior from Soledad State Prison and given parole for the drug conviction in 1982.
After prison, a bony tumor was removed from Nash’s sinus cavity between his brain and eyes. It turned out to be benign.
February 7, 1985
John Holmes is honored by the industry and is asked to leave his autograph, hand prints and shoe prints in wet cement outside the Pussy Kat Theater in Los Angeles. The star’s concrete memorial is still there today.
John Holmes is privately diagnosed with AIDS.
Holmes is offered big money and travels to Italy to make a few big budget porn films.
Wonderland driver, Tracy Ray McCourt, moves to Kentucky and enrolls in college at Eastern Kentucky University. He will be married twice while living in Kentucky.
January 23, 1987
John Holmes marries Laurie Rose, the anal porn queen. They met in 1983. She knew he had AIDS when they got married.
Dawn Schiller arrives back in L.A. from living overseas with her father.
March 2, 1988
John Holmes’ friend and producer announces that John has AIDS.
L.A. detectives arrive at the VA Hospital in Sepulveda, CA in a final attempt to question Holmes and get some answers in the 1981 Wonderland Murders. They leave empty handed.
March 13, 1988
John Holmes dies from encephalitis complicated by AIDS at the VA hospital in Sepulveda, CA.
John Holmes ashes are spread off the coast of Oxnard, CA.
September 7, 1988
Diles and Nash are charged in the Wonderland murders.
Tracy Ray McCourt is pulled out of college and offered a witness protection deal to testify in the new Nash/Diles trials. He and wife are put up in hotels in L.A. during the trial. After Nash and Diles are acquitted, the authorities do not follow through on protecting him and he moves to Colorado.
September 19, 1988
Nash and Diles enter Innocent pleas.
During a preliminary hearing, Scott Thorson testifies about what he knows about the Wonderland killings.
June 15, 1989
Rolling Stone article “The Devil and John Holmes” by Mike Sager is published.
Eddie Nash’s first trial ends in hung jury. Nash later admitted to bribing a young female juror with $50,000. Diles and Nash were tried together with two juries. Diles dual-jury trial then ends in mistrial.
August 2, 1990
Adel Nasrallah, also known as Eddie Nash, had his day in someone else’s court on Wednesday. Nash, held without bail and wearing jail blues, testified during the penalty phase for Linell Dumas, convicted of murdering the mother of a sheriff’s deputy. Nash appeared as a character witness.
January 18, 1991
Nash and Diles are acquitted of the Wonderland Murders. DA announces “This is the end of it”. Nash and Diles had been in jail since August, 1988.
Scott Thorson, aka Jess Marlow, is shot three times and badly injured by a drug dealer/burglar at a motel in Jacksonville, FL. He makes a full recovery.
September 12, 1995
Nash is arrested on suspicion of drug dealing. The cops find a mothball. Nash is released a few days later.
November 16, 1995
David Clay Lind dies of a heroin overdose in Eureka, CA. He was 55 years old.
January 16, 1997
Gregory Dewitt Diles dies. He had struggled with obesity problems for most of his life. Cause of death is liver failure.
May 7, 2000
Eddie Nash appears on local L.A. news program. When asked if he had ordered the killings, he stated: “No, I did not. All I can say is what I’ve said for the last 20 years. I really did not kill anyone or have anything to do” (with Wonderland).
May 19, 2000
Extensive RICO charges thrown at Eddie Nash. He is arrested at his condo in Tarzana, CA. The charges include orchestrating the Wonderland Murders, for which he does not admit too. He later accepts the plea bargain to serve 37 months in federal prison.
May 22, 2000
Nash has a bail hearing, and it is announced that he has tuberculosis. He is released shortly afterwards.
June 18, 2000
E True Hollywood Story airs “John Holmes and the Wonderland Murders” episode.
January 7, 2001
Nash is arrested and jailed for violating bail conditions of his $1.5M bond. He had been in touch with bad guys, allegedly.
February 13, 2001
Judge orders Nash to forfeit $75K of his bond for violating terms of his bail. Nash was allegedly in contact with people who were not on the list approved of by prosecutors.
September 10, 2001
Nash pleads guilty to RICO charges.
October 11, 2001
Nash is sentenced to serve 37 months in federal prison for RICO violations. He will serve a few years of this sentence at Terminal Island Federal Prison in southern California.
Samuel Lawton Diles, brother of Greg Diles and alleged conspirator in the Wonderland murders, dies at 50. Sam was a bouncer at some of Eddie’s clubs, including the Kit Kat Club in Hollywood, and Sam also struggled with obesity problems for most of his life.
Oct. 3, 2003
The James Cox film, “Wonderland”, with its all-star cast, graces theaters with its presence. It would gross a few million dollars during its run, but later become a cult classic on DVD/Blu-Ray.
Oct. 18, 2006
Tracy Ray McCourt, the getaway driver during the Nash robbery, dies in Colorado of complications from Hepatitis C.
The Wonderland1981 Blog is launched… because why the fuck not! 🙂
October 28, 2012
Sharon Holmes passes away at age 69 in Haines, Oregon. Towards the end of her life, she was ill and had been living in Oregon close to Dawn Schiller.
Scott Thorson arrested in Vegas for using stolen credit cards. He is given probation.
The HBO movie, Behind The Candelabra, based on Scott Thorson’s book is aired. It stars Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott.
Scott Thorson heads to prison for probation violation (failed drug tests)