Classic Quotes From Tracy McCourt’s Testimony
Well, when I walked in the house, you know, after I had been there a little while, John was rattling off about “long time money and lots of cocaine,” you know.
So McCourt and the guys(?) would go with John and case the place…wait in the car like Dawn for hours.
Well, we planned it. We made a couple of dry runs. We had to call it off a couple of times. One time everybody was going to forget it and me and Billy were going to do it and John kept going in the house and doing so much cocaine he wouldn’t come out for 45 minutes, three or four hours later, sometimes.
We stopped and he told us to get him. He went like this (shaking his fist out the window): “Get him!” So we went to the house and did, you know.
Tucking guns away when they came out of Nash’s. What a sight!
Well, they were carrying a shower curtain with something in it and a briefcase and everybody was tucking guns in their pants ad what have you.
And then Holmes’ attorney Earl Hanson chimes in and Tracy confuses him with his answers:
Q: Mr. McCourt, prior to the time that this robbery took place in the home of Mr. Nash had you been living, sir, at the Wonderland address?
A: Not on a regular basis. No. I just had been staying there about five days and when that happened, no, I wasn’t living there.
Q: But you had been staying there? Is that correct?
A: Yes. But not living there. No. I had no clothes there. I had no personal items there. No, I was not living there.
Q: I understand that but what I am asking you is: Were you spending your nights there?
A: Well, I spent three nights there. If that is spending my nights there, yes, I spent three nights there in the house.
Q: By that –
A: No, I wasn’t living there.
Q: I understand that.
Q: But you had gone there and you had spent at least three nights there? Is that correct?
Q: Were you sleeping on the couch or the bed?
A: On the couch. Yes. On the bed.
Tracy had met Susan Launius before, or on the day of June 30, when she arrived and before the murders?
Q: Who did you know at that house on Wonderland?
A: Bill, Joy, Ronnie – I didn’t – I hardly barely knew his ex-wife and I didn’t know –well – I met Barbara.
Devastated, Tracy had to force the thoughts of his friends being murdered out of his mind.
A: I believe it was two days and I – I – I had a bit of a hassle trying to forget some of this so I have to, you know, search in my head to remember it.
Q: I understand.
A: It was a shock.
So Lind called him “Titmouse Tracy”. Probably to his face, so he does not seem fond of Lind at all.
Q: With regard to those two days and nights, I think you said, of constant planning, who was present during that planning?
A: John, me, Ronnie, Billy and Joy and the girls, but they didn’t get involved, really. They were just there. It was just us fellows but then, all of a sudden, David Lind pops up from nowhere. I don’t know where he came from.
Q: Did he more or less show up at the last –
A: Yes. He did.
Q: And he kind of somehow invited himself into the group?
A: Yes. Right. Exactly.
Lind states in his testimony that Tracy had a gun. Tracy says he never had a gun.
Q: Is there any particular reason you were designated as the driver?
A: Well, I was originally supposed to – before this other party took his gun back – I was supposed to go in the house. It just turned out, you know. I was going to go in there with a gun.
Q: Suddenly you ended up without a gun?
Liquid Band-Aid. I didn’t even know that stuff was around back then.
Q: I see. Was anything done, for instance, with regard to putting some substance on the fingertips?
A: Yes there was.
Q: When was that done?
A: Ron put some crap on my hands. I don’t know what it was.
When there at Nash’s with Holmes or casing the place with the others. He was at both doors?
Q: You never went into the Nash residence?
A: I just made it to the back door one time. The front door another time. But I never had been in it, no.
Reading the newspaper. That never looks suspicious. I once asked a guy why he was parked in front of my house reading a newspaper all day. He said he was a private investigator trying to catch some guy cheating on his wife.
Q: At some point did you hear a shot?
A: Yes, I did. I was reading the newspaper.
He did something. He got nervous! stayed right there.
Q: As a result of that shot did you do anything?
A: Yeah. I got nervous but I didn’t do anything else because I stayed right there.
Tracy got nervous/frightened upon seeing a car that looked like Nash’s out on Wonderland, so he left in a cab back to North Hollywood…
Q: When you came back to the Wonderland address and after the loot was divided up did you stay there for some period of time before you left?
A: Not too long. As soon as the money was divided up I left, about five minutes later.
They were supposed to move out but never did. The coroner’s report lists Ronnie’s hair as brown or dark brown, so I think he may have died his hair. Speculation… Nash lived 5 minutes away and had seen their faces.
A: Me and Billy and Ronnie promised each other we were all going to move the same, next day, and it didn’t happen.
Q: Were you all going to move?
Q: Move out of the residence?
Q: Were you going to move out?
A: We were all going to move out.
Q: Well, did you all move out?
If Bill Vlick was the supplier for Joy, then this statement confuses me. Vlick was caught with heroin in June, 1980 so I think by 1981 he had quit dealing in heroin and the gang was forced to go to other dealers. Also, maybe Vlick would not accept trade or collateral for drugs. Maybe he wanted cash, so the gang had to go to Nash and others. I’m really confused by the gang’s money situation. I think they were really broke, it was the end of the month, and rent was due.
Q: That residence was used as a location for sale of narcotics. Isn’t that correct?
A: It was also used as a place to live.
Q: I understand that. But was it a place where narcotics were being sold?
A: Not that much narcotics. Most of the narcotics was – did prior to that robbery we had to go out and get somewhere.
And then Earl Hanson is mad at him again…
Q: All I’m asking you –
A: No. There wasn’t that much sales going on there. That I saw.
Only the “niche” would be allowed in. Like Chuck Negron, people who knew Joy, or Ronnie’s dealer buddies:
Q: Would anybody have any trouble, to your knowledge, getting into that house?
A: Sure, they would. Definitely. Ronnie, the people that did come and go were all of a certain, shall we say, niche, or whatever, you know? I mean, if you weren’t in that little clique you didn’t just walk in that house or you were not even around none of those people.
Who is Mike? Ron knew him.
Q: After the robbery did you have an occasion to go back to that residence?
A: Yes. One time.
Q: To your knowledge did someone named Mike go?
A: Yes, but Mike had been up there before. That is the only reason he ever was able to, and that is the only reason I even took him up there, because he had been up there before, you know.
Q: But, in any event –
A: And Ron knew him.
Q: Do you recall telling Tom Lange on the next day which was Tuesday you were staying in an apartment over on Lemp Street?
A: Yes. I was staying there.
Q: Did you see someone named Jimmy Vegas?
A: Yes, I saw Jimmy Vegas there.
Q: Do you recall telling that to Tom Lange?
A: Yes, I think I did.
Ron Coen objects to a question by Hanson, and Tracy fires this off before the judge can respond to the objection:
THE WITNESS: I said there was no heavy dope. There was a little bit of weed being sold there but there wasn’t no China White traffic. That is hard enough to find in the first place.
Hanson has no more questions, but Coen asks a few more, including this one:
Q: When you mentioned you have to be a particular type of clique to enter that residence, based upon staying there and knowing the residents as you did, was John Holmes the type of person that Ron Launius would allow inside the house?