Updates from March, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • John 8:39 am on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Gary Fontenot, Manager Of The Starwood 

    Gary Fontenot was the manager of the Starwood during its heyday in the seventies and until the club closed in 1981. Although we heard a bit about Gary from Lee who worked at the Starwood (read those amazing posts here), not much else was really known about him. Gary was from a large family and he grew up in a very small town in southwestern Louisiana. Like so many others, he headed out west to Los Angeles to seek a better life.

    Gary passed away in Honduras in March of 1999. From the information available, it is easy to say that Gary Fontenot was a good man. I thank his brother, Patrick, for answering some of my questions and filling in the blanks.

    Rest in peace, Gary.

    In Memory of Gary Fontenot. Rest in Peace.

    In Memory of Gary Fontenot. Rest in Peace.

    Here is a start John…keeping in mind that I was living in Victorville California…stationed at George AFB.  I was in the Air Force and stationed there from 1977 – 1980/81.

    Did you ever visit your brother at his house in Studio City during the 70s or 80s? Did you meet any showbiz types?

    My family and I visited Gary as often as possible on the weekends.  I am not that familiar with Los Angeles and that area…but Gary lived in a rather nice little place that was pretty much walking distance to Sunset Blvd and it did not seem like it was a far drive from the Starwood.  I do not remember the street name.  He lived there with his friend Michael and Michael I believe was a nurse…doing private work if I recall.  They had been friends for some time.  I would also take some of my military friends to Gary’s home on Friday nights so they could experience the nightclub life at the Starwood.  He would give us the VIP treatment everytime we would visit.

    What exactly happened to Gary at the end of his life? Was he really living in central America? Retired?

    When things began to go downhill for Gary he decided to move to Honduras.  He actually drove there with some kid that I believe was from that area were they settled.  Gary opened his own place down there and seemed to be happy…always inviting me to visit.  However, by nature of my military job, I had to be very careful.  Gary experienced an attempted robbery one evening when closing and was shot in the stomach.  I don’t think he ever recovered, although his cause of death was attributed to prostate cancer.  My brother Dale, flew down to Honduras several times to visit Gary and the last time he flew down was to ensure Gary received a proper burial.

    Did Gary ever discuss Eddie Nash, who was his boss at the Starwood?

    Gary did in fact talk a little about Nash.  Lot of times it was in anger, however many times I believe the tone was respect.  Nash would provide Gary with new cars which Gary loved…he did like showing off a little.  I remember the last car given to Gary by Nash was a brand new Cadillac…we would drive to the Starwood in it and employees of the Starwood would jump in the car to park it when they recognized Gary in the car.

    What did Gary do for a living right after the Starwood closed?

    After the Starwood, Gary was not the same.  He moved into an apartment complex and dabbled a little in real estate…but was unemployed a lot of the time;although he would never tell me.  When at the Starwood, he was in control and afterward he seemed to lose that feeling.  The apartment complex was nothing fancy…about the only thing I remember about it was a visitor that came by one day while I was there.  Gary introduced him as an ex-FBI individual.  I assumed he was because he was carrying a gun.  They did not talk about anything specific and I guessed they had been acquaintances from way back.

    Did your brother ever tell you that his house was shot up by a dealer with a machine gun? He was looking for the soundman of the Starwood, who owed him some money? Gary allegedly let the soundman, Dom Fragomeli, stay at his house in Studio City for a few weeks in 1981.

    In 1981 I left California for Texas.  I don’t think Gary was living in the original home when I first got to California.  I am thinking he was still living in the apartment complex…is that what you meant as far as “home”.  Gary barely mentioned that happening…we would talk by phone…He did not go into detail.  But, knowing Gary, it would not surprise me that he had allowed someone to stay in his home.  He was just that type of person.  I believe he left California shortly after that incident.  Keep in mind, the Nash thing, the Starwood, coupled by him losing a lot of money in the stock market…Gary needed a change.  He had a hate/love relationship with California.  As a small town boy, Los Angeles and the Hollywood scene took its toll on Gary.  He was apparently good at what he did, managing nightclubs, but did rub elbows with some questionable people.

    Hope this helps…as you think of questions, let me know and I will answer them the best I can. Will try and dig up some photos of Gary.  You would really need to know where and how he grew up to understand the personal conflict he had with the whole Hollywood scene…

    Have a great day.

    • Bonnie Brae 4:41 pm on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Damn John. You are thorough.

    • John 6:46 pm on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thoroughly in love! I’d be offended if you weren’t so sexy.

      • Bonnie Brae 10:09 am on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I’d be offended if you thought I was anything else!

      • Gayle 10:07 pm on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        You are right about that John, she is a totally sexy! …and a fantastic person, I am grateful for her friendship.

    • Bonnie Brae 10:12 am on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      And yes. Your passion for this blog is part of your charm.

    • Mykal Fontenot 7:13 pm on March 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi john, my names mykal fontenot, and i am gary fontenots nephew and godson. It was as a result of my interest in my uncle, that i found your blog, and after questioning my father patrick about it, that he in turn contacted you…. i would just like to say thank you for sharing a mutual respect for my uncle, as well as for going out of your way to share his story, and keep his spirit alive…..much love, brother….rock n roll. Mykal

      • John 6:09 pm on March 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        It was my pleasure, Mykal. Thanks for the kind words. God bless.

      • david Gutiérrez 6:39 pm on March 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I remember gary fontenot from honduras very well i can give you more info my cell 615) 4031841

        • John 1:01 pm on March 18, 2015 Permalink

          David, I’ll be in touch with you!! Thanks.

        • joii resnick 5:48 pm on March 18, 2015 Permalink

          i wored at starwood since it opened with Gary and kathy. i was good friends with gary he was awesome, also i was with him right b4 he moved to honduras… i have a few pictures too.

    • Bonnie Brae 7:00 pm on March 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I am so jelly Gayle. You are one of very few people that actually grew up in LA.

    • Ken D. 5:00 pm on April 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Not heard anything out of you in awhile there bud. Hope everything is well!

    • joii 3:24 pm on July 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi I knew Gary very well in the Starwood days I lived worked and breathed it. was with Gary and Michael byard all the time…I have a couple of pics of him at the starwood, spent many a day at all his houses. and yes he was living on havenhurst here in w Hollywood right before he moved to Honduras. I am very sad to read he is gone…

      • david Gutiérrez 6:35 pm on March 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        That was a apartments get in contact with me my cell (615)4031841

      • david Gutiérrez 6:36 pm on March 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I remember gary fonteno from Honduras very well for many years

    • baby 1:39 pm on August 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That bouncers name was big eddie..He was nice at first. Seemed to have had a learning disability. Then one night he seemed very forceful to me and tried to kiss me. I found it odd. St eared clear of him after that..then also moved away from hollywood.

    • baby 6:20 pm on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That bouncer they called big eddie.

    • Gayle 11:20 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink

      So this was very interesting John. My friend and I were talking about the old Starwood days…she remembers a big black bouncer there, made me wonder if it was Diles! Ha!

    • Gayle 2:38 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink

      I always wondered who managed the Starwood. I hung out there from 78 to 81…it wasn’t an over 21 club so we could get in being so young.

  • John 7:09 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Interview With Kevin Deverell & Photo Of Paul Kelly 

    Kevin Deverell and I spoke yesterday for 45 minutes. Kevin was serving in the US Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal when his father died.

    This is a true crime discussion forum. The whole point is to discuss details and find out the truth. The real story and the back-story so to speak. The visitors and posters at this blog feel compassion for the departed, because we have all had someone close to us lost to drugs, crime, or loved ones who got mixed up with the wrong crowd. In Wonderland, the truth about those involved was elusive in this case from the very beginning. It is nice to finally begin to find out the truth. In the decades since the 80s, some of the key figures (Thorson, Schiller) have even changed their stories somewhat. Erroneous details, exaggerations and accusations have consistently been thrown around by the media, sensationalized TV shows and so on. Thus, it is nice to start finding out the truth and setting the record straight. Thanks to Nils and Kevin, Jill Nelson and blog contributors for helping me out in this arena. The goal of this blog from the beginning was to gain exposure, through genuine discussion with key people, and possibly do a book or “real” documentary. If you’re new here, use the Search button because some of the highlights include contributions from Holmes author, Jill C. Nelson, Nils Grevillius, Julia Negron (ex-wife of Three Dog Night singer, Chuck), Lee who worked at the Starwood and knew Eddie Nash. There is also the close family friend of Tracy McCourt, the widow of Ron Launius’ friend, Carroll Evan Sherrill, among others. Go to Podcasts in the drop down menu if you want to listen to my interview from last year with Wonderland investigator and private eye, Nils Grevillius. Thanks for stopping by, but please don’t leave comments in anger or use curse words.

    Stream the interview here:

    Play or Download the mp3 audio file here:

    Also included is a photo of Billy Deverell and Paul Kelly, circa 1960s. Billy was 27 years old in this photo. Thanks again, Kevin!

    Billy Deverell and Paul Kelly

    Billy Deverell and Paul Kelly

    • criticextraordinaire 9:10 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      re: Billy’s 13 arrests. Would that not be public record? I’m pretty sure that info would be available to prove or disprove, at least the arrests and any possible convictions.

      • John 8:27 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        While this is possible if you know someone, it’s pretty impossible to walk in or phone a police station or Sheriff’s office and say you want someone’s criminal records. Even if they are deceased. Even if you are family. Basically in this case, I guarantee that one cop told a reporter this number, and it was said once, and then got reprinted over and over again by the newspapers.

        The Freedom of Information Act is a joke. Especially if the clerk is too lazy to even fulfill your request. I have numerous requests over a year old with the prison systems, military records people, a Sheriff’s dept, state police, etc. Civil service has gone downhill, worse than it ever was before. Even if you pay them their fee. Good luck.

        • Bonnie Brae 10:46 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink

          Hey Jenn – Friend me on Facebook – ask John how to find me.

        • Bonnie Brae 10:53 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink

          John – you make some damn good points.

        • dreamweaverjenn 5:47 pm on March 10, 2014 Permalink

          Oh no doubt…..I have personal experience with media taking one thing, blowing it waaaaaay out of proportion and spreading it everywhere…..

        • localarts 4:24 pm on March 12, 2014 Permalink

          Chris Cox statement somewhat dubunks Thorsons allegations about what happened to Holmes after Nash found out it was him who set up the robbery. I think Chris Cox said he heard that Nash had been robbed, and went up to Dona Lola to see Eddie. He said when he walked in the front door he saw John Holmes stand by the bar.

          That’s a big contrast from Thorson’s account. “Diles burst thru the front door with Holmes by the back of the neck and marched him straight to the bedroom. Thorson said they beat the hell out of Holmes and walked out of the bedroom an hour later with Holmes by the back of the neck with one hand and a pipe in the other.

          It’s like you were saying John, Thorson may have been just as big a liar as Holmes

        • John 5:54 pm on March 12, 2014 Permalink

          So according to Kevin and Nils, back in 2001 a 71 yr old Eddie Nash had a rough time at Terminal Island prison.

    • Bonnie Brae 9:50 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Nils is the Man.

    • criticextraordinaire 9:53 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Is Paul the guy who took a dump on Joy’s coffee table or something like that?

      • John 7:59 am on March 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I think that is what Kevin told me before, but it was a b-day cake. Paul must have been the life of the party.

    • Bonnie Brae 9:59 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Someone left a comment a while ago that we need to get a life. Could not agree more. At the same time it’s such a fascinating story.

      • dreamweaverjenn 11:21 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Ah, screw ’em! It is a fascinating story! There is so much more to these people then “they did drugs, they were bad criminals, they were murdered” the end. So, if we need to get a life, what were they doing on here as well??

      • Eric B 1:33 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Funny! :) I was just checking this story on Facebook and my girlfriend peers over my shoulder and says, “GOOD GOD ARE YOU STILL READING THAT STUFF!??! THEY’RE ALL DEAD…” haha

    • Bonnie Brae 10:05 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love the story about the Hawk. So sweet.

    • Bonnie Brae 10:15 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Cool interview. Thanks John. – I love when he asked why you were so interested in the story.

    • dreamweaverjenn 11:22 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome! Love this interview! Thanks John!

    • Bonnie Brae 11:43 am on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Final comment. I agree with Dream. We have heard all the speculation. The newspapers made sure we knew about all the dirt that sensationalized the story. Thank you Kevin for showing us the other side of your dad and letting us see the human guy that some people are unable to grasp. Why the fascination? hmmm good question. Why are people so fascinated with Jack the Ripper, or Dahlia?

      • swrworkingman 9:32 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        For me, the fascination has got to do with the lead pipes. Of course John’s double role and all, but the led pipes nails Nash as the stereotype godfather that he was, not only did he show no mercy, he wanted to send a message in the underworld of LA. Tom Lange points it out in the British documentary.

        • John 10:00 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink

          As bouncer at some of Nash’s clubs, Diles was known to wield a pipe fitted with a rubber bicycle handlebar grip to threaten unruly customers. He also chased a man from one of the clubs one time, emptying his gun at the man across 6 lanes of traffic at 2 in the afternoon. His brother, Sammy once pistol whipped the brother of a city councilman at the Kit Kat Club, for which he served 2 year I believe for assault.

        • dreamweaverjenn 9:14 am on March 13, 2014 Permalink

          Wow, these people were hard core. I can see Diles emptying his gun in broad daylight too and not EVEN worrying about it. Dang…..

        • localarts 10:16 am on March 13, 2014 Permalink

          I think Eddie Nash was the most dangerous person of all the people that been profiled on this blog. Eddie had a vast amount of resources available at his disposable. If I were to rank me:
          1) Eddie Nash
          2) Horace “Big Mac” McKenna
          3) Ron Launius
          4) John Curtis Holmes

      • localarts 9:27 pm on March 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        John Holmes did far worse than Billy ever did.

    • Nils Grevillius 12:21 pm on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Kevin is a good man and has my respect. I am glad the back story is included here, of real lives of real people. Good work, Weghorst.

    • localarts 3:11 pm on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Fantastic as always! Without John’s dedication and drive, some of the mysteries surrounding the people and events that led up to the murders would still be unknowns. It sounds like Billy was just a regular guy.
      Went to work, paid his bills, and raised a family then fell into drugs, unfortunately. The same thing can probably be said about Joy.

      Without going into alot of detail, if you remove John Curtis Homes from the equation, it changes the course of everyone’s life forever. Including, Eddie Nash. And that’s a fact.

      • dreamweaverjenn 4:21 pm on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I agree!

      • dreamweaverjenn 4:53 pm on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Some asshole started shit with me on Facebook because I didn’t like his comments and the fact that he referred to himself as John Holmes. I asked if was also a sorry piece of shit and then it was on, lol. Sometimes I can’t keep my comments to myself and it gets me in trouble……Most of the time I try to be a very nice lady (My daughter’s saying “yeah, right, Mom.”

    • Darlene 6:49 pm on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It was close to end of May I seen Billy a week before this all happened , Joy was the worse thing that ever happened to him

    • Darla 9:27 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      If Billy was under survallience , Why was that not a factor in catching his murderers?

      • John 9:33 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Darla. I think the police were aware of things at the house but it was not being watched 100% of the time.

        • Darla 9:47 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink

          I knew him all my life the Good,the Bad and the Ugly, Growing up he wasn’t like what ppl are saying and honestly, the Movie I call ” Bullshit”

      • localarts 5:47 pm on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I think the house was under surveillance not Billy specifically. The police were keeping tabs on who was coming and going in order to build a case. Joy was potentially looking at doing time already.

        • John 1:09 pm on March 11, 2014 Permalink

          Yeah, the fuzz were probably checking out the house once in a while, but I doubt a team of narc’s were on the case full time.

    • localarts 10:32 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder whatever became of those antique Colt dueling pistols? Even back in 81 they would have been worth a fortune.

    • Tori 11:42 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Does kevin live in Orange County? Didn’t u say garden grove ?

      • Tori 12:09 pm on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        My pops works for Bragg crane n rigging . They totally test randomly idk about back then. Like kevin said That kind of work there is no way you could be on drugs. Too dangerous.

      • John 12:36 pm on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not sure where.

        • Tori 2:08 pm on March 11, 2014 Permalink

          John I showed my dad ur blog he loves it. He’s on it as we speak. He’s just as fascinated in wonderland as we are!He loves that song . Who’s song is it?!

        • John 3:31 pm on March 11, 2014 Permalink

          Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes. It was the #1 song on the charts in June & July 1981.

    • dreamweaverjenn 5:53 pm on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Bonnie, sent him a message <3

    • swrworkingman 12:55 pm on March 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I kind of feel sorry for the actor who had the role as Tracy in Wonderland, if it is true they wrote him more or less out of the movie because of the real Tracy being a pain in the ass ;)

      • John 1:01 pm on March 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        You mean George Leonardopoulos? LOL. Yes, his career also took a nosedive after the movie. He appeared in very little and also suffered a setback LOL

        • swrworkingman 1:05 pm on March 11, 2014 Permalink

          Its all McCourts fault, haha

        • Bobby 4:34 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink

          ..And what a terrible line and delivery too! Doesn’t he say something like “Sure thing boss!” as if he’s in a damn James Cagney gangster flick after one of the gang tells him he’s the wheelman. Makes we cringe whenever I see it. Almost as bad as that extra slapping his thigh to the music when Lind enters the house for the first time during the party scene. When you see how badly that guy is overacting it can never be unseen! LOL!

        • dreamweaverjenn 5:36 am on March 12, 2014 Permalink

          Every time I watch it I notice something like that, the thigh slapping or someone saying something cheesy…..

    • John 4:41 pm on March 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      John Holmes died on this date in 1988. 3-13.

      • localarts 5:25 pm on March 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, and he took alot of secrets with him. Anyone willing to speculate where Holmes is spending his days now?

    • Mike 11:55 pm on March 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Interestingly you can hear a hawk calling loudly on one of the Wonderland walk-through vids on YouTube.

    • kdimmick 12:19 am on March 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Is Paul Kelly still alive?

      • John 5:49 am on March 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Ken, nobody really knows. He’s be about 70+ now if he was alive.

        • Ken D. 3:17 am on March 15, 2014 Permalink

          Here is a tidbit of information that I do not know if you are aware of if it is true…
          Back when the movie WONDERLAND came out Lions Gate had a discussion board that a lot of people used to post at but it eventually got shut down due to all the crap that went on there. Anyway…..There was a lady from Canada who posted there.She was a painter by the name of Denise LafFrance who was planning to write and illustrate with her portraits of porn people a coffee table type book about the golden age of porn. She went on a trip to L.A. in order to meet a lot of the old time porn performers. She was wired in pretty tight with Cass Paley and he was making introductions to of her to people like Bob Chinn,Bill Margold etc…. After she got back from her trip I asked her how it went and what all she did while she was there and she related an interesting visit that she took with Bill Amerson to Glickman’s bail bond office there in L.A.. Glickman regaled her with old stories about Eddie Nash and also mentioned that an old friend of Ron Launius’s worked there with him but was not in at the time…..that friend of Launius’s was Paul Kelly. She said that her and Bill Amerson waited awhile for Kelly to get back but they had to leave when he hadn’t shown up after awhile so she never did actually meet him.
          Do you by any chance know anything about a Hal Glickman/Paul Kelly connection?

        • John 7:26 am on March 15, 2014 Permalink

          I will ask Nils about Hal Glickman, if he is still around and such. In his investigation he found that Glickman’s wife may have given Holmes a ride home that fateful morning. Thanks for the lead, maybe it will open up some channels!

    • Jill C. Nelson 1:44 pm on March 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “In his investigation he found that Glickman’s wife may have given Holmes a ride home that fateful morning. Thanks for the lead, maybe it will open up some channels!”

      John, this is information Tom Lange touched on briefly when we spoke with him. We didn’t use it verbatim in the book because it couldn’t be confirmed. He said he believed they (LAPD) located the car eventually, that had dropped Holmes off at Sharon’s or at Bill Amerson’s since both claimed on the record that John arrived at their homes during the early hours on July 1st. The distance between Glenwood and Sherman Oaks is not exactly a hop, skip, and a jump away — it’s approximately eleven miles — so it’s hard to imagine that Holmes arrived at both doorsteps even if he’d had a lift, unless he cloned himself. We asked Lange about the car when it was found, did it have blood in the interior. Lange couldn’t recall or wasn’t certain. He couldn’t commit either way.

      The following are direct quotes from Tom Lange extracted from our September 2007 interview in which he references Dottie Glickman, Scott Thorson, Holmes and Nash. Some of it might be recycled information for readers, some of it not.

      Tom Lange: “We had other witnesses too. We had Hal Glickman’s wife, who is also deceased, who is the one that supposedly drove the killers to the house. She was in hiding, you know, and there was a big rigamarole over that. She was in hiding and she died, too. Dottie Glickman was her name. We looked for the car and we spent hundreds and hundreds of man hours over the years on this thing. We found phony leads. She never really gave us specifics.”

      Tom Lange: “We had Thorson’s car up at Nash’s house right after the murders. He said he overheard Diles beat up John. There’s always a little bit of truth to what someone says. When they’re impeached how much of what they say is true? How much do they embellish their statement for this reason or that reason? Books are written on that subject.”

      Tom Lange: “The pressure was on John. We would have rather not filed a murder charge against John. We wanted him as a witness, but he would have to have been completely forthcoming. Say ‘Yes, I opened the door, I knew what they were going to do.’ And if you were in fear of your life, which he probably was, then that’s what you say. ‘I saw them go to the victims and I saw them beat the victims and they made me take some whacks, I had blood on me. I went to Sharon’s house and I went to Amerson’s house,’ wherever he went. ‘This is what I did and this is what I did with the clothing.’ He needed to make a bold confession, not little admissions where he ended up playing a game. If he did that, then he would have been a witness and given immunity. But instead he played the game. Therefore, we had to put this so-called domino theory into effect to pressure him.”

      Tom Lange: “Nash was a suspect and certainly the motive was very strong and we’d done a background on all these people. We were finding out that Nash had been very insulated in the city for all these years, like the Teflon Don thing. Nobody could ever nail him. And there was a reason for that. You had political corruption, and you had police corruption, and he was a very insulated individual. This was rampant. That’s why he walked for so many years, and basically, he got away with anything he wanted. So, he was a hard nut to crack.
      Of course, then we found out that the feds were investigating him and there were dirty feds involved. Corrupt feds. They had come to our department behind our back and said that we were dirty and we were in bed with Ed Nash — forcing our department to investigate us when they were the ones that were involved — thereby derailing the investigation for a number of years. Which is exactly what they wanted to do.”

      • localarts 3:06 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Nils Grevillius said Dottie Glickman gave Holmes a ride as well. You know you’re dealing with a very, very big fish (Nash) when everybody either goes into hiding or wants witness protection.

        I remember I once said on this blog, Nash’s power was far reaching and Jill’s quote from Lange would seem to support this plus Nils thought the more fascinating aspect about the whole thing was what appeared to be a cover up, it would sure seem that way.

        It would be interesting to know just how far up the ladder this went?

      • John 3:11 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Jill. Amazing. Those tapes belong in the Smithsonian right near the 75 Granada and John & Sharon’s Malibu. This seemingly soft corruption by the cops or powers that be is underrated / understated. I’m sure there was more payola floating around from Ed to some judges or cops. I doubt he was slipping under the radar because he buying drinks and dinner for these people.

    • John 8:51 am on March 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I just finished reading Chuck Negron’s book, 3 Dog Nightmare. Kevin sent me a copy. The Wonderland section is brief, but very telling. What Chuck says about Joy and Billy backs up what Kevin said in a way. Joy was owed by just about everyone, even Chuck and Julia Negron. Thus, Billy was collecting for her, shortly after they began dating. Kevin said to me this past weekend “You did not want to owe Billy Deverell money”. Before Billy was around, one of Joy’s suppliers named Jack had slapped around Joy because of money that Chuck and some others owed.

      Chuck would trade Joy for antique furniture, jewelry, etc. Chuck was also arrested twice while driving away from Joy’s apartment in Brentwood. She must have been watched for some time. One time, Julia picked up Chuck at Joy’s because Chuck was in no condition to drive. Julia fell asleep and they got into a bad car wreck. Chuck also says in the book that Fat Howard shot up his house over an unpaid drug debt. Chuck did a counter-threat to Fat Howard Cook, and I guess it scared him and Cook told Joy to tell Chuck that don’t worry, we’re all square. Although delinquent on debts, Chuck didn’t take any crap, and once burned up a dealer’s garage who had taken his Benz.

      The Wonderland chapter is very brief but awesome. The only mistake was saying Billy was an ex-con, which he was not. Chuck called Holmes a “worn out loser” or something like that and said he was friends with all 4 people who died that night. He would have been there but was sleeping off a dopesick day. The guys at the house must have thought he would stop by, thus the Three Dog Night album “Harmony” was out, and on the turntable, according to the crime scene.

      I was hoping Chuck would mention Bill “Ricco” Vlick but he never did.

      • localarts 10:42 am on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Great stuff. I wonder if Joy kept a ledger for accounts receivable & accounts payable? I’m only half kidding but you would think Joy or Billy would have kept some kind of record of who owed what. Even though what they were doing was illegal, it was in essence a business.

      • Kevin 5:42 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Wow John well I guess I could’ve got my question answered by coming to this blog site I didn’t realize this is going to take me days to go through I bet I could answer a lot of questions and get a lot of questions answered also good job

      • Bobby 2:14 am on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Would LOVE to read that Wonderland chapter! Any chance you could put a scan of it up on this here blog?.. or perhaps some of the highlights?… We love you long time..;)

    • mark c 6:24 pm on April 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Kevin Deverell sound’s like a very nice person.
      Been a pleasure just listen to him.

  • John 10:36 am on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Observations From “John Holmes, A Life Measured In Inches” 

    This is not a review, but 5 stars is not scoring it high enough in my opinion. A wealth of information.

    A few things to mention and then you’ll have to buy the book, if you have not already.

    • Eddie Nash sat in the back of the courtroom during Holmes’ trial. He just stared at Holmes most of the time. (Man, Nash had some balls). The intimidation factor in full effect. With David Lind there too, there must have been a lot of extra bailiffs on duty to keep everyone from killing each other.
    • Holmes and Det. Frank Tomlinson connected through Jesus Christ. Frank was just discovering God and the Bible, and even prayed with John. Surprisingly, John Holmes did not allow his attorneys to cross-examine Frank Tomlinson while on the stand. John respected Frank and did not want him put through the ringer or to get torn up by Mitchell Egers and Earl Hanson, I guess.
    • Earl Hanson lent John a Volkswagon van or bus after his trial and release from jail. I had read about that before, but I assumed it was a VW beetle. Other sources never stated that  it was a van.

    Not even the tip of the iceberg. Get the book!


    • localarts 10:50 am on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      David Lind was probably just as scared as Holmes. It’s obvious why he said he didn’t know it was Nash they were robbing. I bet Eddie affixed his stare squarely on Lind when he took the whiteness stand.

      • John 12:43 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Probably so. Lind was more cantankerous and moody, accusatory at the 1990-91 trials, even calling out Diles and Nash “I never killed anyone, they did!!” (pointing at the pair). I guess by then, Nash was not as scary to him.

        • Tori 1:52 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink

          What book john?

        • John 3:37 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink

          John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches by Jennifer Sugar and Jill C Nelson. Another book on my list to read is Golden Goddeses, which is about some of the early female porno stars.

    • Jill C. Nelson 5:41 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks so much, John, for the pub. You didn’t have to but it’s much appreciated. :)

    • criticextraordinaire 12:53 pm on March 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Those of us who were regs on the Lionsgate board, and then moved over to the IMDb-Wonderland board, were happy to see Jennifer and Jill put out this masterpiece, which started from humble beginnings. Not unlike its subject. :-D

    • Jill C. Nelson 8:26 pm on March 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Really appreciate your kind words, Critic. I was a bit late coming on board, but heard and read many stories about the old Lion’s Gate forum. From what I understand, it was epic. You might be interested to know that Jennifer and I have remained good friends. We plan to visit her and her family this summer. Jennifer is doing very well and will soon become a mother for the second time. I’ve told her often that her invitation to co-write “Inches” enhanced my life’s path. It changed both of our lives. We still laugh about how crazy some of that journey was. But it’s all good. ;-)

      • Tori 12:20 pm on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh yes. Got the book!

  • John 7:36 am on March 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , mike sager   

    June, 1989 – Rolling Stone Cover “The Devil & John Holmes” 

    Also, I am looking for this gem from High Society in 1984. Image censored by me. “I Was John Holmes Cellmate! – Insider Exposes the King of Porn” I wonder what that is all about. 

    August, 1984.

    August, 1984.

    The Devil and John Holmes by Mike Sager

    Click here to read the article. I only buy Playboy, High Society, and Rolling Stone for the articles ;-)



    • kdimmick 10:00 pm on March 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I remember that issue. As far as I know the Mike Sager article was the first time the whole story of the murders was told to the world.
      Damn……Uma Thurmon was young in that picture. LOL!

    • localarts 7:43 am on March 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I still have that issue, wish I had taken better care of it. It was actually the June issue of Rolling Stone. My copy has Paul McCartney on the cover dated June 15, 1989. On the left hand side of the cover it reads:
      “To Live And Die In LA The Tragic Story Of Porn Star John Holmes” Sager did a really nice job.

      • John 8:22 am on March 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks man, I found it and replaced the cover image. Good stuff.

      • John 9:26 am on March 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Mike also is the first writer to mention the baking soda rip-off for $250K. If they had that type of cash, the Gang would not have needed to rob Nash. Also, what type of drug deal goes down where nobody samples the goods? If a dealer shot up the outside of Gary Fontenot’s house over $3,000 worth of crack smoked up by Dom Fragomeli, then I can imagine what angry dealers would have done to Wonderland. That electronic gate would not have saved anybody.

        • criticextraordinaire 6:03 am on March 6, 2014 Permalink

          Hitting Nash was not about money, it was about power. Ronnie’s brazen robberies were about letting everybody know that he was top dog. The dope, money, and guns were just gravy.

          Unfortunately for him, there is ALWAYS somebody bigger than you and that was his downfall.

        • James 9:11 pm on December 16, 2014 Permalink

          I never believed that story. They ripped off $250k with baking soda? Although, I guess they could have had one sample bag and lots of baking soda. It doesn’t seem plausible. Has anyone checked that story? Where did that one originate? I will say that when you get into the drug world, especially back in the early 1980’s, dealers were ripping everyone off. There is so much fake drugs out there… You would be shocked to learn about how many drug dealers knock off drugs, sell fake drugs ect. Now the big thing is research drugs that are cheap being sold as real drugs. There is no honor in the drug world. I am so far removed from the party world that my only resource for this is the drug testing services available. Check this site out: https://www.ecstasydata.org/
          This site will give you an idea of what is out there now. It is pretty sad. If you take drugs now, you’re basically poisoning yourself. Although, Ron Launius got sold “Make you crazy dope”. So I guess this behavior comes with drug dealing generally. I guess it always did. There has to be a better way.

    • localarts 12:53 pm on March 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, this is where the contract on their lives originated from. Maybe it was really 2,500? who knows. Remember David Lind was invited down to Wonderland because they needed an extra hand, business was really booming.

      I doubt very seriously the gang was broke or hard up for cash.

    • Jill C.Nelson 9:48 am on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “On the afternoon of Wednesday, July 1st, 1981, Eddie Nash was again consuming drugs at an alarming rate. He’d been ripped off for eight pounds of cocaine, but the Wonderland Gang hadn’t found his private stash, and now he was bubbling his glass pipe furiously. He’d sent two of his minions out to score more drugs, but they hadn’t yet returned.Two customers waited. They did hits off Eddie’s pipe, eyed the door.”

      “Thursday, July 2nd, 3:30 a.m. Sharon Holmes switched on the porch light, spied through the peephole. Christ, she thought, John. She hadn’t seen him in three months.”

      Mike Sager is an extremely gifted writer and journalist. Many years ago, after I first read this piece, I purchased his book “Super Freaks” — many of you have probably also read the book. From cover to cover, it’s a riveting, excellent collection of infamous celebrity and crime stories. The only issue either one of us had with Sager’s reconstruction of the Nash robbery and the Wonderland murders in this article is that the timeline is inaccurate. On the afternoon of July 1st when Sager has Nash sucking on a crack pipe, the murders had already been committed. Lange was the first detective at the crime scene around 4:00pm that afternoon. Likewise, according to one of Sharon Holmes’ accounts, John arrived at their house early in the morning on July 1st after the murders, not on July 2nd. I realize I am being nitpicky, but I do feel that it’s important to have accuracy particularly with timelines. At least as much as is possible based upon the information that is available.

      Apart from that, John, you do a superb job with this website. :)

      • John 10:12 am on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Jill for contributing. There is always more to find out, and when peripheral characters show up in the story, often their stories are worthy of investigation too. So many characters!

    • localarts 10:37 am on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Here at the Wonderland Institute of Criminal Studies, there are never any graduates, because the learning never stops!

    • localarts 8:01 am on March 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Saw a bio on Mickey Cohen last night. I remember Roger Jacobs said Nash was the biggest gangster LA had seen sense the days of Cohen. If that’s the case, I don’t believe people realize how powerful Nash really was. Anyway, I found it interesting that Cohen served time at McNeil federal prison, the same place Launius served time. I guess all roads lead to Puget Sound…

    • That Guy 1:03 am on June 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi John, I recently ran across some photos taken from the crime scene video and re kindled my interest in the Wonderland story and I started searching the web and finding your stuff regularly/mostly. You’ve answered about any question anyone could have and even the mild curiosities that go along with it. One of the things bugs me and I haven’t seen any information on is what Nash might have recovered from Wonderland the other thing that bugs me is something that appears to be a contradiction. The gang is supposed to be a bunch of drug addicts that party hard all the time but in the crime scene video it appears that those people were in bed asleep or on the couch asleep. BD appears to have gotten up and put on his pants to go investigate noises. People who love coke don’t steal sacks full and do allot of sleeping in the next few days. Even if heroine was the drug of choice for Ron and BD it would take allot of discipline not to dabble in this free coke. It doesn’t match the statement that McCourt made about leaving because of everyone being fd up. Just wonderin if you have any theories on this or if I missed some info somewhere?

    • localarts 11:17 am on June 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Tracy McCourt left because he stated he saw a Lincoln Continental that looked just like the one parked at Eddie Nash’s place pull up outside of 8763 . He said he got nervous and tried to warn everybody but they were too wasted and wouldn’t list or something like that.

      McCourt’s testimony is solid with the facts as we know them. Launius was already making arrangements for the sale of dope they stole from Nash and the jewelry had already been fenced. They were all addicts as you say but at the same time, this was a drug operation they were running. Everything is open to speculation but if you read McCourt’s account very carefully, everything starts to fall into place. You can even tell when David Lind is lying by referencing McCourt’s Testimony. Both McCourt & Lind were given full immunity. The difference being, Tracy was a bit naive and really had no reason to lie about anything.
      Just my opinion but I would say Launius, Deverell, Miller & Lind were all getting juiced up on that veil of heroin they stole.

      Remember, they were all passed out prior to the Nash robbery except Lind and they all partied after the robbery. If there’s anybody that would have more insight, it’s John!

  • John 7:53 am on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Neighbors Ignore Victims’ Screams 

    Notice Detective Tom Lange just in front of the fire rescue man. The cop back there in casual clothes… well, it must have been his day off. To quote Bob Sousa “Is this gonna ruin my 4th of July weekend?”

    UPI. July 2, 1981.

    UPI. July 2, 1981.

    • localarts 2:38 pm on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like the UPI has placed the wrong pic with the story. The Wonderland victims were not carried out on gurneys, more like body bags. Two people carried out the women while four individuals carried out the men.

      • John 3:22 pm on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t know, but I’ve seen video of a gurney wheeling out the bodies. It was in that XXXL The John Holmes Story video.

    • localarts 9:03 pm on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2N5WTeggnw at 2:27 two men are caring either Joy Miller or Barbara Richardson. I’m just say’in…

    • dreamweaverjenn 3:45 am on March 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Watching Wonderland as we speak. It’s 4:45 a.m. here and it’s on IFC….

  • John 11:26 am on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: death of john holmes   

    John C. Holmes, ‘King’ of 1,000 Porno Films, Dies at 43 

    This bio/death announcement article ran in the L.A. Times on March 14, 1988.

    John C. Holmes, ‘King’ of 1,000 Porno Films, Dies at 43

    March 14, 1988| RONALD L. SOBLE | Times Staff Writer

    John C. Holmes, the pornographic film star who became a central figure in the unsolved 1981 Laurel Canyon murders, died Saturday night at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sepulveda, associates said Sunday. He was 43.

    A hospital administrator refused to comment on the cause of death. Reports had been circulating that Holmes was suffering from AIDS and that he had been hospitalized for an extended period.

    Last June, pornographic film producer and distributor William Amerson, who had a long-term business relationship with Holmes, said Holmes was suffering from colon cancer, not AIDS, and that the actor underwent surgery in October, 1986, for removal of a malignant tumor.

    Confirming that Holmes had died, Amerson declined further comment, declaring “I can’t talk. It’s kind of an emotional time.”

    Called “the King” of X-rated films, Holmes appeared in more than 1,000 sexually explicit movies and peep show loops between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, said his longtime associate, Bill Margold of West Hollywood, who appeared in several Holmes films.

    “He was the pioneer in X-rated films,” Margold said. “There’s only one king.”

    On the screen, Holmes appeared as an inexhaustible virility symbol who claimed to have had sex with thousands of women. An early 1980s sex film, “Exhausted,” was supposed to be a biography of his life. Holmes’ last film, “Hollywood Confidential,” was made two years ago.

    Holmes, said Los Angeles writer and film critic Kenneth Turan, “was very much proud of his work. He liked what he was doing.”

    In Turan’s 1974 book, “Cinema,” Holmes told the writer that well-produced pornography had a more lasting impact than most films produced for the general public. “No emotion is stronger,” he said. “It’s a lasting thing.”

    Off the screen, said his former wife, Sharon Holmes of Glendale, Holmes kept to himself about his film exploits.

    The couple was divorced in 1984, after almost 20 years of marriage. During that time, Sharon Holmes said, she never saw any of his films. “He knew it was not something I was particularly happy about,” she said. “But he said the money was good.”

    Holmes commanded $2,000 a day at the height of his career.

    In the late 1970s, Sharon Holmes said, her husband “got into drugs heavily. He lost control of what he’d been doing–lost control over his films, his life.”

    Holmes was born in Ashville, Ohio, and joined the Army before his high school graduation, serving three years in West Germany. After he left the service, he held several jobs in Southern California, including ambulance driver, warehouseman and door-to-door salesman.

    His start in pornographic films probably occurred when, to make ends meet, he was posing for nude photographs which caught the attention of a producer of sex films. By the 1970s, he had become an established X-rated star, making films here and in Europe.

    Although he worked with most of films’ top sex stars during his career, Holmes apparently had few friends in the industry and, associates said, did not socialize with the women with whom he had sex.

    “He was virtually friendless by his own decision,” said Margold.

    A few weeks ago, Los Angeles police reinterviewed Holmes in his hospital bed about the 1981 murders of four people on Wonderland Drive in Laurel Canyon. Although police have declined to discuss the interview, it was believed to have been triggered by the emergence of a new witness in the case.

    Holmes, after several months in hiding, was arrested in Florida and charged in December, 1981, with the killings. Although the prosecutor argued that Holmes actually committed one of the slayings, a jury acquitted him. Holmes then spent 111 days in jail on contempt charges for refusing to identify the killers, saying he feared for his life.

    The murders, believes Sharon Holmes, “will remain unsolved. He told me he could have told (police) everything. But he wanted to stay alive.”

    Holmes, she said, is survived by his mother, Mary, who lives in Ohio; two brothers, Edward and Dale; a sister, Anna, and a stepbrother, David.

    • John 11:46 am on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Porn addiction, but of course. Very prolific statement.

      In Turan’s 1974 book, “Cinema,” Holmes told the writer that well-produced pornography had a more lasting impact than most films produced for the general public. “No emotion is stronger,” he said. “It’s a lasting thing.”

      • Jill C. Nelson 5:34 pm on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        This statement sort of ties in with John’s statement to Julia St. Vincent at the end of “Exhausted” when she asked him where he envisioned himself in twenty years. John replied, “On the late – late show.” Porn isn’t on cable but it’s certainly available on pay tv.

    • criticextraordinaire 12:50 pm on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      A buddy of mine lived in the Baltimore area when Mr. Holmes passed away. Apparently the newslady read out the story about John’s death. Then she paused for a few seconds, sighed, and said “What a waste”. I always wondered exactly what she meant by that.

      • John 1:39 pm on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Interesting. Porn was still very taboo to be discussed in public, even in the late 80s. But, by the early 90s, if John’s trial had occurred then, it would have been a worldwide media circus!

    • Jill C. Nelson 5:29 pm on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “Although he worked with most of films’ top sex stars during his career, Holmes apparently had few friends in the industry and, associates said, did not socialize with the women with whom he had sex.”

      This statement is a good one, though, to be fair, John would have kept his liasons with women in the adult industry private. He had brief and longterm affairs with several women within the industry such as Ginger Lynn, Laurien Dominique, Lesllie Bovee, Sandy Dempsey, Gilda Grant — not to mention, he married “Misty Dawn.” There were several others. Sandy Dempsey (who introduced John to nudist films in ’65 — the two worked for Kirdy Stevens) and Gilda Grant were both long term relationships.

      • criticextraordinaire 7:49 pm on March 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Jill, did Sharon know about all these women John had on the side?

        • Jill C. Nelson 8:15 am on March 2, 2014 Permalink

          It seems that Sharon would have to have known about John having women on the side. Wives generally do. He might have told her that the women he worked with had meant nothing to him and possibly, she accepted that to be the truth in order to maintain or uphold their unique relationship and marriage. Sharon was an old fashioned girl and she loved John.

          In “Inches,” there is a passage/quote in which Sharon mentions how John had been away in Hawaii for approximately six months during the early ’70s. She doesn’t elaborate but she does say that John had told her he was working in Hawaii as a dancer. We asked Bob Chinn about that (Bob writes the specifics of this story in his own forthcoming autobio) and he said that John was invited by friends of Bob’s to headline/dance at their club after they’d wrapped a film shoot. It’s the same club that is shown in a scene in ‘Tropic of Passion,’ the Johnny Wadd movie filmed in Hawaii. John danced there for six months with Cassandra (the stripper shown in the club scene in the movie). He lived with Cassandra for the period of time he was in Hawaii and had a relationship with her. Sharon must have wondered why John was away for such a long time. It might seem strange to many people, but despite his philandering, I believe John had loved Sharon. It’s just that John had loved a lot of women.

        • criticextraordinaire 10:32 am on March 2, 2014 Permalink

          Man, John sure did see lots of action. I wonder what they all saw in him. Certainly does not square with the “John was a monster” image that some would like to portray.

    • localarts 10:05 am on March 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You know, had John Holmes been convicted back in 82 and received the death penalty, he would have actually lived longer LOL. Probably two decades worth of appeals before he would face the gas chamber.

  • John 3:07 pm on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

    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.
    A: Uh-huh.

    Q: But you had gone there and you had spent at least three nights there? Is that correct?
    A: Yeah.

    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?
    A: Right.

    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?
    A: Yeah.

    Q: Move out of the residence?
    A: Right.

    Q: Were you going to move out?
    A: We were all going to move out.

    Q: Well, did you all move out?
    A: No.

    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.

    Jimmy Vegas…

    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?
    A: Yeah.

    • localarts 7:00 pm on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “he told us to get him. He went like this (shaking his fist out the window)” WTF was Holmes thinking!! The whole idea boarded on shear madness. The most accurate picture of what went down is within McCourt testimony & Lind in 1990. I think Tracy wanted to be respected and treated like the others.

      • criticextraordinaire 10:28 pm on February 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Johnny was thinking “we’re gonna score some dope”. If you think of this caper in terms of The Godfather, Tracy was Fredo, Ronnie was Sonny, and John was Hyman Roth. He played his part beautifully. Eddie was Michael Corleone, ruthless.

      • Bobby 3:03 am on February 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yup, pretty dumb. John was short sighted and only had his eye on the dope prize. How did he for a moment think he was gonna get away with it? It’s utterly confounding to say the least! Nash & Diles would’ve taken all of 2 seconds to work out who the “genius” behind the robbery was.. even if Ron never actually yelled out “Johnny Wadd says hello” on the way out…

        • criticextraordinaire 12:55 pm on February 28, 2014 Permalink

          This is why your typical drug addict does not live a long life. All they think about is the dope, it blinds them to everything else and that includes logic.

          I’ve dealt with addicts in the past who… in the pursuit of their next hit, will be incredibly creative, thoughtful, and industrious. But all of those qualities are solely focused on the immediate issue at hand – getting high. After that, nothing else gets consideration. Not dying from an OD, not getting killed by the dealer they want to rip off, not losing their families. On the Nash hit, John, Ronnie, David, and Billy were equally stupid.

          As odd as it seems, the most “challenged” player in this scene was Tracy, who had the good sense to “make like Gretzky and get the puck out of there” after the Nash home invasion. Which made him the smartest member of the gang, at least on that day.

    • Battle Nations Cheats 10:23 pm on March 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in
      penning this blog. I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you
      later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities
      has encouraged me to get my own, personal website now ;)

    • traditional cigarettes 5:48 am on August 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
      I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had
      problems with hackers and I’m looking at options
      for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of
      a good platform.

  • John 1:01 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , james fuller, jim fuller, surfaris,   

    Day After Nash Robbery, Lind Visits Old Rock Star Friend 

    Wonderland investigator, Nils Grevillius, interviewed David Lind’s brother and it’s also in the Lind preliminary testimony, that the day before the murders, Lind left Wonderland to go and visit his old buddy, James Fuller, in Monrovia, CA. That’s a good 30 miles away from Wonderland. Jim Fuller was lead guitarist for The Surfaris:

    While there at James’ house, Dave says in his testimony that he met a few girls (Cindy and Terri) who gave him a ride back to the San Fernando Valley, where he partied with them all night. The valley is much closer to Wonderland so Dave was working his way back I guess. In the prelim testimony for Holmes’ trial, he does not say they were prostitutes. It does not really matter, but he may have told cops that, or mentioned it at the Nash/Diles trials. The “spending the night with prostitutes in the Valley” thing could be an embellishment by a writer. I don’t know if they were or not. If they were, Big Dave was being tag-teamed while poor Barbara was alone on the couch.

    The next morning, Wednesday, July 1, David spoke with the fence, Fat Howard Cook, who knew about the killings and put Dave in touch with Jimmy Arias AKA Mr. Vegas. Then, Mr. Vegas spoke with David and said “Don’t go to the house, everyone is dead”. Mr. Vegas also had a fellow with him named “Paul” (most likely Paul Kelly?). They were to take Ron to the airport for a court date in Sacramento. In the prelim testimony, David never mentions Fat Howard, but Nils says Dave spoke to Fat Howard first, just like in the movie Wonderland.

    Anyhow, Nils said that Jim Fuller was in the Surfaris, the surf rock band who did “Wipe Out”. Jim is known as the Godfather of Surf Music:


    His name is on the “Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame”.

    • Bonnie Brae 7:02 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this information John! Great blog.

    • kdimmick 11:33 pm on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Man, you sure do know how to dig up all those unknown nuggets of info on this… Fuller is still alive too. You ought to see if you could get an interview from him.

    • Gayle 9:46 pm on August 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting!

  • John 9:59 am on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Porno Star To Stand Trial In Laurel Canyon Killings 

    My apologies for the bleached out old news photo but it was the best I could find. Now I have been in court a few times, but when I do, I button my shirt up. Outstanding. I’m pretty sure that John wore that same borrowed tan jacket for most of the trial. I read that somewhere. It is nice to have a good attorney like Earl Hanson, who attacks the system (and for free!). If something like this happened today, or even the early 90s, the cable news shows would go nuts. It would be like O.J. or Menendez all over again.

    John Holmes stated in his audio tapes with Porn King writer, Fred E. Basten, that he had slept in that house several times, and also in that back bedroom. Just having been in that house before would provide reasonable doubt. The “bloody hand print” on the bed rail that has so often been discussed in articles were prints that were overlaid with blood spatter or drops. Most likely the prints were there before the murders. Without that so-called evidence, the prosecution only had Tomlinson or Lange to provide testimony that John was even there. The jury needed more, and although they may have thought Holmes was involved, it was not enough to convict (according to Nils Grevillius). As one juror stated, “We needed more than Detective Tomlinson saying Holmes told him he was there. We did not have that”.

    Also, Julia Negron and her kids stayed at Joy’s and used that back bedroom, before Ron Launius moved in. I bet that 50+ sets of different prints were pulled from that house.

    Associated Press. February 3, 1982.




    • jimmy---chicago 5:35 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Too bad sharon kept her mouth shut. She had to be a screwball putting up with that situation with dawn and john

    • localarts 5:55 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not an attorney but I believe a spouse cannot be compelled to testify against the other. They can however volunteer to testify. As much as I hate to say this, Sharon has only herself to blame for all the
      hurt and upheaval Holmes caused her. She should have kicked his ass to the curb.

      Sharon might have been traumatized by the whole thing, you just never know.

    • criticextraordinaire 7:26 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I believe Ronnie’s name was indeed “Ronnie” and not “Ronald”.

    • jimmy---chicago 7:33 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That is the law . The whole thing is im liberal (not obama liberal) and I can’t wrap my head around sharon,john and dawn the whole situation sharon never seemed to ever want john back after he decided to choose porn over her but she knew he was a pedofile due to dawns age and that whole dynamic between them ,well I don’t know it’s desgusting how decreped does it have to get.At least she should have opened her mouth to the right authorities after holmes died .

      • criticextraordinaire 8:09 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Sharon didn’t know that John and Dawn were getting it on. At least while she (Dawn) was underage. Besides, Sharon was Italian and knew better than to rat anybody out to the cops. The only time she ever called the cops was to dispose of that dead guy who ill-advisedly tried to break in to Sharon’s place.

    • Jill C. Nelson 8:19 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The tan jacket and the entire wardrobe (including shoes) that Holmes wore during his trial were purchased by his girlfriend, director Julia St. Vincent who was present every single day of his trial.

      Once again, the left palm print was not bloody. Erroneously, reports at the time stated that it was. Earl Hanson clarified that mistake when he was interviewed for WADD.

      • Jill C. Nelson 8:51 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Correction: It was Hanson’s partner, Mitchell Egers who stated in his interview for WADD: “I remember very clearly that the prosecutor, now Judge Ron Coen stated in his closing argument that there was a bloody fingerprint I believe, on the headboard near one of the victims. That was not correct. It had to be corrected before the jury. There was no bloody fingerprints. I remember quite clearly, that was the impression that some had in the courtroom before it was clarified by the defense.” – Mitchell Egers

        • John 11:04 am on February 26, 2014 Permalink

          Thanks for that quote. Geez, Coen had a weak case. Would love to have the real trial transcript.

    • Mike 9:37 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “Sharon was Italian and knew better than to rat anybody out to the cops.” C’mon – no offense but that’s way off base.

      “The only time she ever called the cops was to dispose of that dead guy who ill-advisedly tried to break in to Sharon’s place.” That’s an absurd story she concocted and it doesn’t hold water. I presume she made it up, and not Dawn; who knows. Again, no offense meant.

      • criticextraordinaire 3:38 pm on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hey, Sharon herself said that she told John that if he raised a hand against her (words to the effect) “I’m Italian and you’re gonna have to go to sleep some time.” She knew how that game was played.

        Sharon has always been seen as a very credible source, so I don’t have much reason to doubt the dead body. Or the gold-encrusted foot locker story either.

  • John 9:50 am on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: timeline, wonderland murders events   

    Wonderland Timeline Has Been Updated 

    The extensive Wonderland Timeline has been updated with all kinds of stuff.

    Check it out.


    • Jill C. Nelson 2:51 pm on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The only minor thing I noticed is that Holmes was arrested at approximately 8:45pm on Friday December 4th rather than November 30th. He appeared in Florida’s Dade County Circuit Court on Saturday December 5th at 10:30am and was flown back to L.A. the same day accompanied by homicide detectives Tom Lange and Frank Tomlinson.

      The staged hunger strike during Holmes being jailed for contempt took on a life of its own as people from the outside in addition to inmates also snuck candy and food in to John. Psychologist Dr. Vonda Pelto smuggled two candy bars to Holmes concealed inside of a newspaper. John had told her that if she brought him a couple of chocolate bars he would marry her. 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. I’m not sure if that’s included in your timeline or if it needs to be.

    • localarts 3:50 pm on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      .Yes, this should be added. Ron Launius may have been the alpha male of the bunch but Holmes played both sides like a violin probably better than anyone could have suspected or wanted to admit.

      • jimmy---chicago 6:29 pm on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I thought billy ran the show I think on a recent post his son said billy could smack ronnie around

        • localarts 9:04 am on February 25, 2014 Permalink

          I think Billy ran the house or laid down some rules for Ronnie living there. Obviously, Kevin knows more about what went on than any of us will ever know. With that said, when it comes to the Nash hit, I believe Launius was the deciding factor.

          If you’ll recall, in the initial stages of the planning to rob Eddie Nash, Tracy McCourt said everybody backed out (meaning Launius & Lind) but Tracy and Billy still wanted to go through with the robbery! It’s just my opinion but I think Ronnie ultimate gave the green light on this project thanks to the advice of John Holmes, a man Billy did not trust.

        • John 10:06 am on February 25, 2014 Permalink

          Yes, and when Lind showed up with his added muscle, that put the wheels in motion. They even took away Tracy’s gun and gave it to Lind. That’s what they thought of Tracy’s physical prowess. Holmes states in his audio tapes with author Fred Basten that “Lind was a big scary fucker”. That he was. Also, in court, Lind gave Holmes the “throat slash” gesture, which I guess you can do in court, but is banned in the NFL. LOL!

    • localarts 5:18 pm on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      John, any details on the San Pedro murder Launius was suspected in? Was not aware of this.

      • John 7:58 am on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Nils Grevillius mentioned this. I believe the detective he spoke to was Sgt. Orozco who investigated the murder of Weiss. Nothing could be done however with the leads or witness(es) because it did not matter, Launius was already dead.

    • criticextraordinaire 6:55 pm on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think I read where Dawn said that she got to see John when she came back from Thailand. So would 11-30-1981 really be the last time Dawn and John saw each other?

      • John 7:53 am on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        That’s it, bro. Never saw him again.

    • Jill C. Nelson 8:42 pm on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Dawn did not see John when she got back from Thailand. In the early years of her blog, she posted that she had seen him just before he passed away. In her book she stated that she’d seen him in a dream.

      • John 7:54 am on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh geez. I did not know that. Good stuff.

      • criticextraordinaire 7:22 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh yeah, now I remember that. Wasn’t John in the middle of flames or something like that?

        • John 10:45 am on February 26, 2014 Permalink

          Need a timeline or Excel spreadsheet just to keep all of Dawn’s stories straight.

        • Jill C. Nelson 11:55 am on February 26, 2014 Permalink

          Actually, I think Dawn said that Sharon had had a dream of John in flames “at the precise time of his death” or something to that effect. In her book, Dawn claimed to have had a vision/dream of John, and that it had also occurred at the exact time of his passing — on March 13. The irony of the two claims is that Holmes actually passed away on March 12 but the coroner didn’t arrive until the 13th. The13th was recorded as his official time of death. — It makes for great drama.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 164 other followers