Wonderland Actors Talk About The Era, The Real People


During the making of the 2003 film, Wonderland, the scenes where David Lind is telling his stories in the interrogation room to the cops were filmed at the old L.A. Herald-Examiner newspaper office building. A fire broke out during this part of filming and made some of the people involved feel quite superstitious, as if Lind or Holmes were nearby. Strangely enough, that old newspaper produced some of the best articles and photos of the Wonderland story, initially and also throughout the various court trials over the next decade.

The people we know the least about are of course the most mysterious. Now all of the ‘gang’ minus Holmes and Billy were middle-class kids growing up and from good, loving families, even David Lind. Very little is known about Ron and Barbara because their families have not spoken much at all to the media. As Nils Grevillius said, these murders devastated people, so why should they. It is just a missed opportunity that most of the info gleaned about the characters were from retired cops telling the actors this or that. Barbara and Joy are pretty much just extras in this film. In his video below, Tim Blake Nelson makes some good cultural observations about the eras in question, but he really did not know anything about Billy Deverell at all. That’s a shame really. A good 3+ hour remake would be awesome. Where is Scorsese when you need him.

Josh Lucas talks about Launius. He says Ron is the victim of his own lack of discipline and not drugs. But, those two things sort of go hand in hand. There is also the lure of easy money. When my dad got out of the Navy in 1970, the best job he could get was $75 a week ($450 today). Not terrible, but I think Ron was facing the same prospects for work when he got out of the Air Force. Dealing in narcotics meant easy money and easy access to drugs for Ron, and so it goes.

Jeanine Garofalo makes a few good points about drugs and how they stunt emotional and social development of users.

Billy was the only person who had ever worked for a living for most of his life.

Sinister? C’mon.

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