The Criminal History of Ron Launius – Part 3
This snippet is from the Jacobs book. It is dubious as to where this info comes from, or if it is even true at all… what do you think?
The character for Who’ll Stop The Rain and Dog Soldiers was based on a friend of Jack Kerouac’s, a counter-culture guy named Neal Cassidy. Also, Jacobs says Ron was in the Army. Hogwash!
Ron Launius was an interesting and compellingly dangerous man. The character of Ray Hicks in the film “Who’ll Stop The Rain?” (as well as the Robert Stone novel “Dog Soldiers” that the film is adapted from) is reportedly based on Launius. When he was serving in the Army during the Vietnam War in the 70s, Launius was arrested and served time for transporting heroin back to the States in the cadavers of fallen U.S. soldiers. Once he was released from the stockade, Launius returned home to Northern California where he immediately fell in with a biker gang. The bikers gave Launius a large sum of cash – some say it was $100,000 – to travel to Mexico to procure heroin. Ron Launius and his wife crossed the border and met with the drug contacts he had been referred to. Instead of handing over the heroin, the Mexican thugs grabbed Launius’ wife, kept the heroin, and demanded that he return with another $100,00 or they would kill his wife. At this point Launius drove back to Northern California, robbed two banks and an armored car to procure the ransom money, and returned to Mexico, at which time he handed over the cash and the Mexicans returned his wife. According to reports, Launius secured his wife in a motel in Calexico, crossed back across the border again and murdered the Mexicans. Upon returning to Northern California, Launius reportedly killed the bikers who arranged the set-up in the first place.