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  • John 1:20 pm on November 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , john gilmore,   

    Author John Gilmore Talks “Nash” With VICE Magazine 

    So according to Gilmore, Eddie Nash was in some pornos? I read that paragraph 4 times. What. The. Hell. Actually, I just checked the book, and he is talking about Holmes there and the dead girl. Read more quotes from Gilmore’s web site at the bottom of this post.

    From the original article:

    VICE: Your most recent true-crime book, LA Despair, centers on five separate, equally tantalizing stories. The first is about John Holmes, the donkey-dicked 70s porn star involved in the Wonderland Avenue “Four-on-the-Floor” murders. But you focus on the guy who most likely pulled the strings, an oily creep named Eddie Nash. Was Nash a born psycho, or was it just the 24/7 freebasing?

    John Gilmore: That certainly helped. Eddie was a guy who just wanted to make as much money as he could and live the ultimate cool life in Hollywood. And that’s what he did. He opened a little hamburger stand on Hollywood Boulevard in 1959. I remember going there a couple of times with [actress] Susan Oliver. He got increasingly involved in the porno thing in the Valley, and it got bad. There was a producer-director guy shooting a movie for him, and the girl OD’d in the middle of screwing him. He was only concerned about the footage. “Turn her around, we can finish it with an over-the-shoulder shot. We won’t show her face.” As the years went by I accumulated bits and pieces of things that interested me. I thought, “I’m just going to write about all of these things as short pieces.” That’s how LA Despair came into existence.

    What’s weird is that Eddie Nash wasn’t busted for the Wonderland murders at first. He was busted for cocaine possession and got out early because he bribed a judge. Then later, when he was under the gun again for another aspect of the killings, he got off by bribing a juror. Did he ever do any hard time?

    He only served 30 months or something.

    Any idea what he’s doing now?

    Nobody knows what Eddie Nash is up to these days. He bought a home for his mother.

    Do you think John Holmes had a criminal mind? Or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

    John wanted fame. He wanted to be admired and respected, not simply because he had a big dick. He started getting into porno and getting heavily into dope. He’d go through thousands of dollars of coke in one weekend.

    Which seems like the wrong drug to take if you’re trying to maintain an erection.

    Yeah, that bothered him a lot. And then people just took advantage of him. He got himself in way over his head. Basically he was a nice guy. The first time I met him was on Santa Monica Boulevard. It was a vacant lot and they used to have swap meets there. He was selling some kind of Indian jewelry and leather jackets. This was way back, before he was famous.

    Q&A from John Gilmore’s web site:

    Let’s talk about the John Holmes piece. What do Holmes and Eddie Nash mean or symbolise to you?
    John Holmes is like an LA Frankenstein monster. He comes here. He prospers. And then through drugs and sex and the whole scene, he becomes a Frankenstein. To me, that section, Bad Eddie, represents the core, the basis of what LA is all about. It’s a whole other world. The whole Laurel Canyon scene. The hip Hollywood world of the cheesy nightclubs and dope. Nash owned this club called Starwood, and all the kids went there because all the major rock groups went there. It was a major disco place, and they’d give kids dope as they walked inside. They’d actually dish out coke. It was their policy. Nash was a major crime figure. You could not touch Eddie Nash. He was too fucking smart. There were murders and everything going on all the time, but they could never pin anything on Eddie.
    Holmes comes to LA almost innocent, and is then corrupted, but Nash comes to LA on the make, and thrives…

    Well, if you’re evil, you can come to LA and you can do your thing. From day one, Eddie Nash was like a hungry wolf. I don’t think Eddie Nash ever did anything for anyone where he could not exploit it or benefit from it. His whole raison d’être was to get what he could out of everything and be on top. He always felt like he was on the run. So he had to keep running, and grab things as he went, like nightclubs. He bought judges, jurors, people downtown [in city government]. Have murders going on. Pay people off. LA is the place where you can do your thing. The city doesn’t care what you do. You couldn’t pull off what Eddie Nash did in New York, it’d be of a whole different structure. But out here it’s the West. And there’s still kind of a shoot-’em-up mentality.

    John Holmes, though, mutated from that innocent thing you mention. He liked to work with his hands. He loved thrift shops and buying old furniture and fixing it up. Even in the porn scene, he was kind of an outsider. But drugs took him to the other extreme. He was a lost cause with drugs. It destroyed him. And drugs were available. It was part of everything out here. It’s interesting that the juries trying the Wonderland murder cases [where four members of a drug den were bludgeoned to death] hated everyone who got killed. They felt it was good all these people got killed because they were rotten people anyway.

    I’m not interested in making a historical document. I recreate these things. My presentation is a very clear portrait of the city. The only part that drifts from the city, although it starts there, is the Billy Cook case. This is a book about the way things are, not the way Hollywood wants to see them.

    Considering your view of LA, why do you live there?

    Put it this way, you come here and you write your own ticket. Eddie Nash wrote his own ticket. John Holmes wrote his ticket, though it might not have been the one that was most favourable to him. Certainly the ticket Barbara Graham wrote was not in her best interests, but if that’s the ticket you want to write, it’s your ride, baby. Why am I here? Well, I’m writing my ticket, and LA says, “Cool, man, go for it.”

    • dmgk1 2:29 am on November 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on dmgk1's Blog.

    • aitchcs 7:14 pm on December 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This is an interesting and prob accurate insight. I do think Gilmore is wrong about Black Dahlia Killer. Gilmore Claims he knew James Dean well and that he was gay (or bi at best) and wrote some stuff about his relationship with Janis Joplin that doesn’t ring true. He had a big feud with old pal Dennis Hopper regarding veracity of his tales about LA characters

  • John 8:40 am on November 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , mcneil island,   

    McNeil Prison Closed in 2011; Prisoners Have Reunion 

    I was reading a sample of Lee’s book about the Starwood, Hollywood and his life in Rock n Roll. Good work, Lee! That is a great story. I can’t believe how many times that you saw Holmes at Nash’s… or the orderly procession, however slow, that it took each guy to get in to see Ed in his inner sanctum. Just Amazing work, my friend. Stay in touch.

    I guess that either Wonderland or the Liberace movie was on TV yesterday. … because the site received 2,000 visitors. Several dozen people even searched “people that entered witness protection after Wonderland” or something like that. I don’t think there is a list online but, nobody is on it anyway. The only person offered a deal was Holmes or Thorson. And they blew it.

    Check out the date that McNeil officially closed… spooky.

    We have discussed Ron’s prison time before on this blog. Ron was sentenced in 1973-74, and probably served 3 years up at McNeil… with a final year in SoCal at Chino or elsewhere near Los Angeles. McNeil was closing as a federal prison and Washington state was taking it over. They had to empty and transfer the federal prisoners by 1981. Alvin “Creepy” Karpis of the Ma Barker Gang died just a few years before Ron’s arrival. Al was 147 years old.

    Even though McNeil Island operated as a modern institution, in 1976 the Bureau of Prisons decided to phase out the 107-year-old federal penitentiary, declaring it “obsolete” — too big, too old, too remote, and too expensive to maintain and renovate. The trend was toward smaller, more manageable prisons, housing no more than 500 inmates.

    By 1979, the shutdown operation was in full swing. At the Federal Work Camp, the beef and dairy herds were moved to the Federal Correctional Institution at Lompoc, California, and the rest of the livestock was sold. The Federal Prison Industries shops and equipment were moved to other federal institutions.

    In 1980, at the request of Senator Warren G. Magnuson (1905-1989), the Bureau of Prisons agreed not to further dismantle the penitentiary. Washington state wanted to use the facility temporarily, to help relieve overcrowding in the state’s institutions. In February 1981, Governor John D. Spellman (b. 1926) negotiated a contract with the General Services Administration to lease the prison for three years, with two one year extensions permitted, for $350,000 a year.

    In March 1981, the last of the federal prisoners were transferred out and the first state prisoners moved into the penitentiary. Control of McNeil Island was formally turned over to Washington State Department of Corrections on…. July 1, 1981.

    Source: HistoryLink.org

    After his release, I don’t know how Ron skated through parole without keeping a job, unless someone helped him, or he had a medical exemption (Agent Orange?) or if the parole office had bigger fish to fry. Many questions….

    If the men in the 8 man dorm were your friends, I guess you could call that “Easy Time”:

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    The article below is satire but it cracked me up. Carly Simon…

    “Sentimental Prisoners Remember McNeil Island Penitentiary”

    Closing Prison Hosts Prisoner Reunion

    McNeil Island – McNeil Island Corrections center will close its portcullis this month after 136 years housing federal and state criminals.  An unlikely gathering of past prisoners is gathering to say final farewells and share memories of the isolated prison. They silently debark from the ferry, Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” playing on the boombox of a Maratrucha 13 gang member. Real teardrops glisten like dew in the spiderweb tattoo covering his face and neck.

    “I can’t believe it’s really closing,” chokes the Pokey Puppy, an inmate who spent decades moldering in Cell Block 2. “I mean, it was a shithole, but a historicshithole.” Several of the inmates expressed difficulty coming to grips with the closure. They laughingly compare knife wounds  and wonder whatever happened to the serial rapist who escaped through the sewer back in ’96.

    (There are some recent photos here but I gathered most of these from the Washington state archives, and sorted by Ron’s stay, with a liberal date range from about ’73 to ’78)

    “There Was Love Here”

    Perhaps it’s not surprising to see such an upwelling of emotion from prisoners; after all, incarceration can turn the most hardened sociopath into a professional regretter. But there are things about the prison to miss: the glorious views of the South Puget Sound, the corner of the yard where prisoners would gather around a new, stripped prisoner, spontaneous shankings in the chow hall, and the way the spilled blood would blossom on the white floor.

    “I had hopes that one day my son would do time in this prison.” A bald man with a swastika tastefully embroidered on his flight jacket murmurs. “I could have given him some good advice to get along in here. Son, I’d say, sign up for the Aryan Brotherhood Leadership Development classes right away. They taught me to properly manage the accounting side of my burgeoning meth lab chain.”

    One Last Memory

    Staring at the imposing structure, one man has reluctant words torn from him. “I entered this prison as a federal agent posing as a DC Black in 1988, but what I found was true friendsh-” before he could finish he was set upon by former members of the United Blood Nation gang who expertly gave him a Columbian Necktie and spit on him as he gurgled his last breath.

    “Blood in blood out, pig.” Says Pokey, wiping blood flecks from his hands. Then he sighs. “I sure will miss this place.”

    • criticextraordinaire 6:15 pm on November 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      You can be pretty sure that “Bubba” never hassled Ronnie in prison. Launius would have handed him his ass in a hat.

  • John 2:45 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Starwood Contact Talks About Dom’s Demise At Nash’s 

    I was going to wait until Monday before dropping a new post, since the interview with Nils Grevillius was so top notch, but this is too juicy. I asked Lee from the Starwood to give me some more of the scoop and boy did he deliver. Thanks Lee!  He is also writing a book about his life in Rock. Everyone is writing a damn book, even Julia Negron. I better get off my ass!

    This Dominic kid was the young man whom Nils and I talked about in the interview, and whose death sparked the second raid on Nash’s house in November of 1981. I had speculated that this kid was mafia connected, only because he and his family were all born in Italy and were still Italian citizens upon his death, according to public records.

    The old Starwood manager, Gary Fontenot, is dead too.

    Here’s what Lee had to say:

    Ok then. Dominic was the soundman at the Starwood. Not a bad job at ALL! Hobnobbin with the Rock-stars and all the ‘Perks’ that come along with that sort of access. Now the Wonderland thing was the dark ugly thing that I really had nothing to do with. I was more involved with the Starwood and the Rock n Roll side. I certainly knew all it seems were involved with that terrible thing, and heard it all out of the mouths of  those same people.

    Dominic ‘s best friend was Micheal Mazzechelli. Dom’s G/F was Desi. They all originally came from Danbury Conn. After the Starwood closed not long after the crime (Wonderland). Everyone who worked there scattered. Fear was in the air. Dom and Mike and Des all went back to Conn. but who can stay away long from the scene we lived in? I myself went to work at the Troubadour after the Starwood. I’m sure that Dom and Micheal were certain that they could come back after a few months. Things had calmed down. They all 3 of ’em came back in Dom’s red van and tried to set up shop.  Things were tough though. Not many people were really looking for sound guy’s who were willing to pay what they were used to making. I was after all only 17 at the time and willing to work for CHEAP!  Gary Fontenot (Starwood mgr) made a call on my behalf to Doug Weston and I got lighting work for I think it was $20.00 a night. Dom and Mike couldn’t do that cause they were used to a LOT more. Ed Nash was good to us all.

    So Dom and Des and Mazzechelli were broke and addicted to coke then evicted from their motel room and so it goes same old story. So the Danbury crowd stayed in the van in Fontenots driveway (in Studio City) for a 2 or 3 weeks. Everyone was partying and what not.  Gary set up Dom with an Colombian dealer named Orlando (Not the same person as the Orlando who did ‘buisness’ with Ed). Gary was trying to get them a situation to get them out of the driveway. Dom got fronted 4 oz’s and it got smoked up. They only let me have a couple of hit’s cause the drug is like that and their excuse was cause I was so young. Ed pulled that same crap with me later. C”mon guy’s! They knew how tough I was.  Assholes.  Anyhoo, when Dom and Micheal couldn’t come up with the money, They tried to tell the Colombian that the coke had been “Poison” and they just flushed it.    Well,,,,,   This did not go over very well with the dealer.  Nor with Gary. I watched Gary kicking that red van and throwing stuff around untill they left. Gary was good with histrionics.   Tell you what John..  It’s late and I’m tired. So do you want me to keep this up?? I Don’t know anything about East Coast mobsters. Dom and Mike and Desi were guido-trash pretty much.  I Know that Dom’s Mother actually Bronzed his bass guitar after his death. Just like baby-shoes. Then hung it over the fireplace.  And Dominic couldn’t play that thing for shit!!!   Truth is truly stranger! In a day or two I’ll tell you how Dom ended up living at Ed’s. and his unfortunate demise. Now why dont you give me something??  I’ll leave it up to your imagination..    Boy the Colombian did not take it well. The 1st time I ever heard an automatic weapon fired. A REAL Machine gun. Bullets flew everywhere. 10 minutes later the phone rang.  The Hispanic voice said: ‘Give that frog-faced fucker my message”  I’ll tell you the rest (maybe) soon Goodnight.

    • Brandy 3:12 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Holy cow this is incredible, wow. You rock JOhn!

    • criticextraordinaire 4:52 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t roll out too much, too fast John. You don’t want to blow your wadd all at once. :-)

      • John 7:03 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Coming Soon critic. Next up Ron’s prison time…. And Joe Mikaelien’s cry baby vibe to the judge. “I murdered people but grant me a mistrial because I get headaches, and have done drugs” That fucking asshole!

    • criticextraordinaire 5:05 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      You know, I think that Jon Taffer was running the Troubadour back then. Can you ask Lee if he was? And if so, was Taffer as cranky as he is these days on Bar Rescue?????

      • John 5:20 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Sure, I’ll ask him. Sounds funny, I need to watch that show more often.

    • localarts 6:47 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Cool Story. In the early 80’s, if you wanted to get signed or seen by a major recod label the Starwood was the place to be.

    • scabiesoftherat 11:24 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That was a pretty cool story. I had just seen a documentary about the Troubador and this chronicle really confirms what they said in the documentary.

      Doug Weston really was a cheap MF.

    • John 7:24 am on November 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I may have to go into the secret Wonderland golden cache of photos to get Lee to give me part 2!

    • John 9:00 am on November 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s the conclusion to the Domenic Fragomeli story from Lee at the Starwood. Nash allegedly tried to help, but that’s a double-edged sword:

      Ok.. Here’s some more.
      Gary threw the Danbury crowd out of the driveway but that wasn’t good enough for the Colombian dealer. I was in the room where everyone always hung out. Kind of a ‘back’ living room. I believe it was a street called Laurel terrace. But it was a long time ago. So Gary and his housemate Nurse Michael were watching TV. It was around 6 PM or so. I had just given Gary’s horrible little dog ‘itty-bitty’ a bath and was drying her when what sounded like Big ole firecrackers on the very front porch went off. Gary, micheal and I looked at each other and the ‘ What the f was that’ thing went on for a minute till I went out to investigate with Nurse Micheal. At 1st Things looked cool. Then I looked at Nurse Micheals Older blue lincoln and said something to the effect/affect of;’ Hey Micheal, Why’d you leave all of your windows down on your car?’ Then we both saw that the ground was littered with broken glass. Going around to the street side we saw MANY hole’s in Micheals car. I went went “Holy S–T! Mcheal, Get back in the house, NOW”! And almost had to drag him back inside cause he just didn’t seem to get it. I hollered at Gary that someone just SHOT up the f-ing house! Gary didn’t believe it until we went into the front room and saw hole’s along the inside front room wall. Bullet holes.(Thank whatever Gods were there that no-one ever hung out in that room and there was a huge stone fireplace which caught the lead and none entered where we were. Then the phone rang. I picked it up and the aforementioned Hispanic voice, ( Not the dealers voice which I knew but a different one.) “Did you get get my message? Someone needs to pay” Stunned silence there I assure you. What we thought was that since the dealer was introduced by Gary. Gary was responsible for the dept. About 3 or 4 days later there was a little get together at the house. Gary had told everyone he knew that they were SO BUMMED OUT FROM BEING (Why am I yelling? OH.. Just hit the caps key.) machine gunned that everyone should come over with as many drugs and much booze that they could carry, so Nurse Michael and Gary could calm down and enjoy life a bit.( Oh, And if you have a stray roach or something for the kid. That’d be cool, But don’t really worry about him. a-holes. I ALWAYS got the shaft in the drug dept.) So just at twilight when everyone’s getting all mellow. Were in the backyard grilling when BANGBANGBANGBANGetc. AGAIN! Being outside this time There was No doubt that it was gunshots. People scattered. Over fences into neighbors yards. Anywhere but there. I think, But am not certain that Danny Boneduce was there for that 1. He was around allot in those day’s. “Got Coke? Got Danny Partridge!) Nurse Michael had his bag packed before the last shell hit the ground I swear! This was in 1981. I remember a person who lived at least 1/2 a block down the street had a chat with Gary as they walked up and down the street cause a bullet fragment had traveled down the street and entered his home through a window within feet of his young son. There HAS to be police reports on this. I tried looking on google maps for the exact address, but I’m not real computer savvy and couldn’t get it. Mazzechelli went back to Conn. and that’s how Dom and Des ended up at Ed’s. I would conjecture, But I don’t know. That Ed intervened on Doms behalf. There were no more gunshots at that house. I don’t have any idea what Ed had required of Dom for letting him live there and I assume taking care of that debt. But Dom Never had to pay it cause within not too awful long later. Dom died of a Speedball, Or MANY Smoked Speedballs. ) I used to laugh seeing Fontenot smoke one. Here’s a guy who could Freebase All nigh and be a bit weird but O.K. Then Ed would sprinkle a bit of that brown stuff on the top and Gary would RUN to the Bathroom to puke immediately! Ed would never give me ANY freebase cause he said; ” He’s Too Young” Like I had never done it before. He’d have one of the girls give me a couple of lines and some crappy pot instead. Well, Beggers cant choose I guess. Ok John. Now that I’m ‘warmed up’ so to speak. I got to get back to my own stuff. Talk to you soon. Maybe!

    • John 1:16 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Part 3 is even better!

  • John 9:03 am on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , investigation, , massacre, , , ,   

    Interview With NILS GREVILLIUS – The Lost Audio Is HERE 

    The complete audio files are hosted on SoundCloud. You DO NOT need an account and you may even download the mp3 files to your pc or device. I burned a cd… to listen to while driving around ;-)  You will need to crank the audio a bit on your end, but here is the full 36.5 minutes that was captured.

    All told, you get 15 more minutes today!

    As I mentioned, we spoke for 45 mins and sadly…. 8 minutes was completely lost when the recorder shut off after 20 minutes. The lost 8 was basically a general discussion about Launius (see comments below). A key moment from that lost audio was “Cherokee” (Larry Hershman) a buddy of Launius, calling the house non-stop during the videotaping of the crime scene by the cops. The phones were off the hook, but you can see a light blinking on the multi-line phone in Ron’s room… that was Cherokee. As things pop into my head, I’ll post them but the Cherokee thing stuck out and was the most important thing that I had not heard before.

    Hit the big PLAY button to play all 36 mins:

    • localarts 11:11 am on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Unbelievable!! I was completly wrong about Launius, he was an out and out killer! It would appear Paul Kelly was only looking for some “street credit” I know I read some where that Howard Cook was a major
      drug dealer at that time which now appears to be BS. John, Who was Cherokee?

      Once again, Bravo. That was beyond awesome.

      • Adam 6:57 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        You ppl should really do your homework

        • John 8:25 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          Prior to Nils interview, Adam, I really did not believe that sensationalized stuff about Ron, nor did many people here. We get a bit carried away sometimes, and so I guess in the end, there’s still no direct evidence to place that label as a killer on Ron.

        • criticextraordinaire 9:09 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          I had done my research pretty thoroughly, and have felt for years that Ron was “the real deal”. Never had any doubt about that. Bring on that movie!!!!!

      • John 11:34 am on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Cherokee was one of Ron’s guys. He is featured twice in the movie. Nils knows his real name but I forgot it. I’ll ask him.

        • Brandy 8:38 am on October 30, 2013 Permalink

          Thank you criticextraordinaire, very cool!

        • Brandy 8:04 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink

          Where is Cherokee now, alive? It would be a miracle if any one from that episode were still alive & kicking.

        • criticextraordinaire 7:45 pm on October 29, 2013 Permalink

        • John 8:57 am on October 30, 2013 Permalink

          Selling drugs at the Traveler’s Inn… Sounds like some sweet digs!

        • John 9:51 am on October 30, 2013 Permalink

          The Traveler’s Inn in Vallejo. It looks pretty sweet. Present day photo:


          Here’s what a room looked like back then (from a scanned postcard), and there’s a partition as described where the accused and Cherokee’s girlfriend had a conversation, from the court document:

          Kentwig Lodge Vallejo CA

          Just sayin…

          “Shortly after entering the room and exchanging greetings, Hershman, appellant, Exxon and Hershman’s girlfriend, Cheryl Rickard, had a conversation in the rear of the room behind a partition. Exxon and Rickard were the first to emerge from behind the partition. Hershman followed and, holding a plastic bag which contained a white powdery substance, stated that he had just “scored a half ounce” and that they could consummate the sale when he found his “rig, kit,” necessary for packaging the drug.”

        • John 8:10 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          Nils says “Lind called McCourt Titmouse Tracy. Cherokee’s real name was Larry Hershman”

        • Brandy 8:14 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          Oh yeah, I would have most definitely put the nickname “Cherokee” with Larry Hershman, haha. Holy crap, is he still kicking????? I’m sure he would speak up by now if he was still alive, no?

        • John 8:28 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          That name is too hard to search by, Brandy. He’s not currently in the California prison system. There’s a showbiz Hollywood agent guy with that name, but I doubt it’s him. Cherokee may be another lost soul in the Wonderland case, of which we know little about. I can check with Nils and see if he knows more.

        • Brandy 8:31 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          Yup already did the same search. You never know how people can turn themselves around but……. Let him remain in peace, if he’s alive he would have most likely been contacted for Wonderland , if he wanted.

      • John 11:51 am on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Oh! and Tracy was known around certain circles as “Titmouse Tracy”. Quite demeaning, but his persona and laid back attitude brought that on. That was either a nickname by people outside the Gang, or from Lind or somebody… “Titmouse Tracy” is what some guys called him, either to his face or behind his back. I’ll ask Nils that too.

      • John 12:17 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        And Ron did serve brig time for trying to smuggle back drugs from SE Asia. One article I saw after his death said 6 months. Again, more of the lost 8 minutes. Which I didn’t think would be so much awesome stuff from Nils…. but it’s proving to be. I got to everyone’s questions, except for Bobby’s. I neglected to check the blog in the final hour, as I was scrambling in the last hour to make the existing technology I had work without making a trip to Radio Shack.

        • localarts 3:55 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink

          I think I read the same article but the author wasn’t specific as to what crime Ronnie did.
          Thanks for getting those questions answered, really appreciate all the effort you put into this. I think a Ron Launius movie is doable. Charlie Sheen clould play Launius, Sheen is damn near crazy anyway he would only need to bleach his hair. It wouldn’t take much for him to get into character!

      • John 12:30 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        One more:

        A short while before the Nash hit…. from the lost 8 minutes on the Grevillius Tapes that I uploaded…after he talks about Ron allegedly doing a few killings…. there was a story about how Ron, Billy and Dave pulled a robbery on a rich businessman who had a nice house in the valley. I forgot the exact suburb… but the maid was the only one home at the time. This is where Ron got the antique guns. During the burglary, the maid was tied up and put into a bath tub. Ron wanted to shoot her, but Billy and Dave persuaded him not to. Nils found this out during his investigation. He never met Dave, but he talked extensively with his brother and with Dave’s best childhood buddy from that band, The Safaris. I guess they had the big hit “Wipeout” in the 60s. Dave must have told them a lot of good stuff.

        Those lost 8 minutes are killing me! But that is pretty much the entire story there. I think I remembered it quite well.

        • Brandy 12:08 pm on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          I just re-watched the UK documentary on John Holmes & the Wonderland murders & there’s a brief interview with Nils. Also in the very beginning is John’s brother David saying “all John wanted was cocaine, cocaine, Cocaine. Day & night, cocaine”.

        • Brandy 12:08 pm on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          That was a random, had nothing to do with anything comment, by the way.:)

      • John 12:35 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        One more I remembered from the lost 8 minutes…. Damn those 8 minutes!

        A detective from Sacramento when hearing that Ron Launius had been killed: “Well, it will be an easy funeral” to which the LA cop asked “Why is that?” “Because a trash can has two handles”. I’m not sure if that remark was from Sac-town cop, Beder Clifton, who coined Launius as “the coldest person I ever met”.

        • localarts 3:26 pm on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          Beder Clifton would be one to interview if he were still alive. I’m sure Clifton had a reason
          for calling Launius “the coldest person he ever met”.

        • John 9:00 am on October 30, 2013 Permalink

          In his obit, Clifton’s daughter said her dad was a no-nonsense kind of guy, with a dry wit and whatever. He told it how it was, and so people often got the wrong impression about him, even non-criminals. That was just dad. (aka he didn’t F around!) LOL

    • Brandy 11:13 am on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t wait to listen when I get home. The “Cherokee” part sure sparks my interest. His “character” was the one who brought David Lind to Ron at the party in the movie “Wonderland”. Why was he calling? Was he trying to confirm their death???

      • John 11:36 am on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        He had been calling all day, trying to score. Since someone was usually at the house, he was in panic mode. He may have been far away and without wheels to drive over there, who knows. But that was Cherokee calling and letting it ring and ring. I believe they had 2 lines at the house.

    • Brandy 1:21 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I love Michael Connelly lol!

    • Mark C 6:44 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wow just listen tape’s, This blog just keep getting better and better.

      I wonder if Dave Lind ever Wipe Out on his mean motor bike listen to his friends song before? ..Just had to say that one.. LOL .. Dave come from his grave to hunt me up on that one if he could I bet..

    • criticextraordinaire 9:10 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      John, did you and Nils get to discuss if David Lind is really in the witness protection program?

      • John 9:40 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        No, that question was missed… but, Nils stated he’s dead and died in 1995. That said, my background check on Dave listed several addresses in NoCal and southern Oregon over the years before he died. His last address in Eureka, CA.

        • criticextraordinaire 11:56 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink

          Isn’t 1995 when the Feds started in earnest to build their RICO case?

    • localarts 2:06 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      After listening to the Nils Grevillius interview again I’m leaning more to the fact Launius may very well have been a contract killer without having any direct evidence to prove it. Horace McKenna was a very, very scary guy, more so than Nash. If Ron Launius was associating with McKenna it was either drug or murder related without a doubt! City Confidential ran a very good story about Mckenna a week ago.

    • Bonnie Brae 8:04 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This link never works for me. i think it’s my computer. Damn it all.

    • Dave 12:39 am on November 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting stuff. Would love to hear more about the digging Mr. Grevillius did with respect to Ron Launius and his interview(s) of Susan Launius, among other things. Thank you, John, for making this happen. And thanks to Mr. Grevillius for sharing his knowledge.

    • localarts 8:24 am on November 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes! With regards to Wonderland, this blog has gone where no other blog has gone before. If there was an award for blog of the year, I can’t think of anyone more deserving than John’s Wonderland Blog!!

    • floppa1 12:37 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I second that. It is hard to find facts on this case these days but John has done a stellar job. Nils has a wealth of knowledge on it too. A film on Ron could be great!

    • LMNOP 6:35 am on December 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi! I was wondering if you can clarify what really happened with Julia Densemore Oakly Negron. I didnt hear anything about it in the recording…..

      • John 10:45 am on December 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I just posted the Julia Negron info about 2 weeks ago. Go to the blog homepage and scroll down a bit. Also search her name in the search box. There’s more there too!

        • LMNOP 8:57 am on December 29, 2013 Permalink

          Thanks. I knew Chris Cox in 1990-95 and never thought of asking him about wonderland. I havent talked to him in a while but maybe I will in the future now that I found out where he is!

        • John 9:19 am on January 3, 2014 Permalink

          I had him slated for a phone interview, but never got around to it. Nils Grevillius knows him too.

  • John 1:57 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    An Interview With NILS GREVILLIUS 

    Thanks to Nils Grevillius for a great interview. I learned a lot.

    Due to my limited technology here, the very beginning is cut off as my old speaker phone wire was hissing on Nils’ end. I had to go to plan B. Also the middle jumps a bit and the end is truncated by 20 seconds. Nils starts out talking about “Four On The Floor” and in the middle where it skips we pick back up with Holmes leaving Wonderland that night. The 5 alleged men were: Holmes, the Diles brothers, Joe MacLean and another Armenian tough guy. The witnesses were young ladies at Nash’s who saw them all leave. No mention of Thorson. My farewell at the end is also cut off.

    Other than that….


    You can check out the interview here:

    • John 2:50 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I’m holding back 15 mins of no nonsense, balls to the wall information from the interview. Seriously, this “Lost” audio will be posted soon! It was part of the technical issue I had. More to come… it’s the best part!!

      • John 2:57 am on October 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        When I’m able to get the new software from a friend, I will post the Lost Tapes. Sadly, another 12 mins was completely lost because my recorder shut off, I didn’t know it had a 20 min limit for each recording. I’m glad that I glanced down at it and caught it… We spoke for 45 mins. In the coming days, when I remember those bits and pieces, I will make a post about it. Thanks all and thanks Nils!

      • Sheila 1:53 pm on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        UN FRIGGING BELIEVABE! Nash crime spree lasted for almost 20 years with no convictions.

    • Bonnie Brae 4:36 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Nice Job!!!!! I could not listen to the entire interview just yet. But I will finish and comment soon. This is awesome.

    • Bonnie Brae 5:02 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Love the pics!

    • Bonnie Brae 5:24 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I’m gonna look for his books. I like his character. He does not seem overly judgemental. Very likeable guy. Not that I had an opinion either way.

    • Mark C 5:25 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Great Job John, So Ronnie really was a bad a** as everybody reported he was.. I learned a very lot in that interview too..

      Got a stupid Question who is this Howard Cook and what was his main reason into this case and is he a Black or White Man,, Please Nothing racially at all I mean by that Howard Cook question only that is my real last name and I know I got bunch of kin folk living out there only that we kind of lost touch with all of them within the last 50 some years..

      • John W 6:40 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Howard was the fence where the gang moved their stolen shit. In the movie he was ironically named Slim aka SlimJim. I’m sure that he was a big ole fat white guy LOL aka Fat Howard Cook.

    • criticextraordinaire 5:30 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, so the Mexican caper really happened. Ronnie was the real deal, bad ass to the end.

      • John W 6:41 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I was shocked to hear that. He talked to Ron’s wife. Damn.

        • criticextraordinaire 6:48 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink

          Hopefully she and/or David Lind’s brother will eventually open up, too.

        • Bobby 6:16 am on October 26, 2013 Permalink

          Great work John. So the Mexico fiasco was true!? Day-umn!

    • switzerland avenue 6:40 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks so much John!

      • John W 6:44 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, Switz…you bet. 15 more mins of airtime with Nils coming soon. I had trouble w my video software. But I’m downloading a patch now!

    • Brandy 7:03 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That as my “WHAAAATTTTT???!!!” moment, hearing he had spoken to Susan. I would PAY to hear or read anything she had to say after the fact from anyone, I wonder if she’ll ever break her silence,maybe after the Nash croaks.
      Great job!

      • John W 7:15 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, Brandy. I may also owe the wikipedia Wonderland guys a shout out. In the lost footage (not really lost) I have it, coming soon…!! It seems apparent from Susan that much or most of the wiki article is true. Wow. AND… Well you will have to wait….

        • Brandy 8:14 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink

          Sweet, can’t wait! I’d love to hear from Joy’s daughters & see that pic of them. Found Michelle’s husband Jordin on facebook (nosy) but no Michelle or Marla in the friends list. But Mark Miller Melvyn’s son from the second wife is there, no M or M. Maybe for privacy reasons from people like me:) They aren’t there.

    • John 8:23 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      And if you dig crime noir stories and stuff… check out Nils books. They are like he said, I’m sure: seedy underworld action and crime with the like, as far as your psyche can take!

      • Brandy 8:25 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Already on that!!!!!!

    • locallars 8:40 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      .This can only be described as a true watershed moment! John, that was great. kinda surprised Niles never heard of Maggie Kaufman. Paul Kelly most definetly took the fifth in the Nash trial thats alway had me curious as to what exactly he knew. Very surprised to hear the Mexican double cross was for real. No
      wonder Holmes was scared to death of Ron Launius!

      I wonder what other unverified stories about Launis Niles Grevillius is referring to?

    • localarts 8:44 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      What the hell happened to my screed name?

    • kdimmick 9:45 pm on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply


      I gotta say……I have I have been an
      of the WONDERLAND murders for a long time and have seen a lot of info over the years but this site has got to be the very best one as far as information about the WONDERLAND players goes. Bravo!

      • John 3:03 am on October 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Dimmick. Yes, I figured it was time to go beyond posting yearbook pics and old articles and stuff and get down into the guts of the story. Maybe I can get Rodger Jacobs, Jill Nelson or Mike Sager to do an interview next.

    • criticextraordinaire 7:34 am on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It’s great that Mr. Grevillius thinks that a movie about Ronnie would be a worthy endeavor. It seems he’s even given considerable thought to which directors would be up to the task. My view of the movie would be an epic one, with sort of the approach that they did with “Malcolm X” or “Hoffa”… follow Ronnie through his formative years, then as he came of age in the Air Force with his various, uh, activities. Learn what made this guy tick and how he became who he was. Then through prison, Vic Weiss, the deceased drug case informant, the alleged 27 dead bodies (in addition to the Mexicans), the Mexican caper, partying with a world famous porn star, and then taking on the one project he really should have passed over. ( I always felt that Ronnie let himself get talked into that Nash hit by those knuckleheads he was hanging around. Tracy would have never ‘succeeded’ doing that job, Greg would have crushed him like a grape.)

      My “version” of the Launius film would not end with the Wonderland murder, though. Instead it ends with Ronnie jogging out of Dona Lola, with a look on his face that once again he slayed a dragon… sort of a blurred freeze frame, the antique pistols stuffed into his waistband. Eddie is in the background with a look on his face that says it all, along with Greg with one hand on his bullet wound. The closing titles would tell the rest. I really hope that some people in the business take up this project.

      • John 3:06 am on October 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I like your idea. American Gangster was also a classic long film about that guy Frank Lucas. I posted an article way back about how MANY U.S. servicemen were shipping drugs out of SE Asia during Vietnam. Back then, they did not really have the technology to catch everyone, and probably still don’t.

      • John 2:17 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        In the film, the actor playing Ron could break the “fourth wall” during key scenes, and wink at the camera or something, like Burt Reynolds in Hooper or Smokey and the Bandit. LOL.

        • criticextraordinaire 6:53 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink

          Well possibly they could do the movie in sort of a “first person” approach, kinda like how Henry Hill was portrayed in “Goodfellas”. The fourth wall was broken a couple of times but it fit in with the story.

          I’m thinking a BETTER approach would be to have David Lind doing the narration though. But I still insist that the ending scene shot is Ronnie exiting Nash’s place, basking in the glow of his (pyrrhic) victory.

    • localarts 10:58 am on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “I always felt that Ronnie let himself get talked into that Nash hit by those knuckleheads he was hanging around. Tracy would have never ‘succeeded’ doing that job, Greg would have crushed him like a grape”

      I agree Criticextraordinaire. Although I don’t believe a lot of what David Lind said in Long Time Money, I do believe Lind when he said the other deferred to his opinion of the robbery and he didn’t like it. I’m not entirely sure McCourt & Deverell fully understood what they were getting into. Ron Launius and David Lind clearly had pause for concern.They were no amateurs!

    • Mark C 3:36 pm on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I read somewhere that Deverell & McCourt was going do the Nash hit themselves when everybody else thought Holmes plan was bull shit crazy, Then Ronnie came in and finally Lind came in almost at the last minute.. I just got a feeling Ronnie came in because he know Deverell & McCourt would never make it back home alive, Been more like them 2 commenting self-suicide.. Then Lind came in last minute to help Ronnie out..

      I can’t by the story they didn’t know who they was hitting. They deal by way of Holmes on dope too much and lived only what 10 to 15 minute drive. They heard of The Nash before..

      Myself I think after Ronnie took care of his legal problem on that day he died ( I think he was caught driving stolen car) he would been on airplane gone to Maui that evening, Ronnie even shaved his beard changing his looks, Then with Joy and Billy following soon Joy got her court problems over..

      My guess is Ronnie know he just about worn out his welcome in LA for a while with The Nash & few others still breathing. One of the 2 would have to go and Ronnie missed his perfect chance to do away with Nash..He have to let things cool down some before he could come back to LA.

      Police always over est. money of anything, Movie said 1.2 million if they got 500,000 dollars that still was a good score back in them days to use to hang low for a while until LA cooled down some..It sure was very hot for 5 guys after Nash Hit went down..

      • criticextraordinaire 4:13 pm on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Mr. Grevillius in the interview basically said that “Lind knew who they were robbing”. Unfortunately this was the one rare case where “junkie talk” (John Holmes’) about “the big score” (knocking over Nash’s pad) was actually real. Also unfortunately this was a really stupid idea. I’m still surprised to this day that Eddie did not snuff John, unless he felt that killing a celebrity would bring down too much heat on his operation.

        I doubt that Ronnie got in on the action because he thought Billy and Tracy would get killed. No, Ronnie did it because it was indeed a huge score and it was a way to tell the world “I don’t care who you are, I can take you down.” A bad calculation as it turns out. Damn, what a waste… just think of what Ronnie could have accomplished if he had not made that one bad decision.

        • John 3:08 am on October 27, 2013 Permalink

          In the lost tapes, we talk more about Holmes and Nash. Stay tuned. I want to get that up asap.

    • Mark C 6:42 pm on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      You came up with some very good point’s with my reply, I am type I don’t get mad if people come up with better idea that I do. And I think you came up with some very good points

      I am a small time Ex-Adrenaline Junkie.. After I hit 35 years old, I know I had to quit racing dirt cars & motorcycles or 4-Wheel drives and ATV’s every weekend wrecking them, Repelling Down Rock Cliffs no safety equipment at all, Operating Heavy Equipment to dangerous levels daily or my luck will run out very soon, Plus my body was not healing as fast as it was when I was younger… I never much in the drug scene I drink beer, But I slow down in my life style after 35. ..

      I feel sure Ronnie was my guess a much bigger Adrenaline Junkie than I was.. He had to scare himself often to get his kick. It really was not all for money or fame but getting away doing stuff wrong was his kick and to understand Ronnie I think you have to add in that Adrenaline Rush factor he look forward to his daily rush every so often..

      I myself was totally amazed when NILS back up the story just how wild and tough Ronnie really was.. I didn’t think Ronnie had the physical size..But I was fooled. I admit it.

      Instead of robbing Nash, Ronnie and Nash should became partners and Ronnie basically dump most that Wonderland Gang. Ronnie and Nash would ruled LA , Have to investigate Mr. Lind but David had big shoes to fill to come up to Ronnie’s level.. Because basically Ronnie was the Wonderland gang. But too Ronnie might not liked Nash’s friends too much to team up with him.. We got lot of studying on this subject..

      I watch and should everybody watch that Nick Notle “Who Stop The Rain” that a wild movie, Now I know it very well is true makes the movie even more interesting..

    • Anthony 6:43 pm on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply


      • Anthony 6:51 pm on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        @ John — If someone ever makes another movie about The Wonderland gang, I can’t think of anyone better then yourself to help write the script.

    • Mark C 8:04 pm on October 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I 2nd that Anthony
      John really did good

    • John 2:19 am on October 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I got sick, and so I’m logging in at 2am, since I got a message from Nils. He asked me to relay that although portrayed over the years or described as the leader of the Gang, Ron was not really the leader. It was Billy Deverell. He was older, wiser and cooler headed than Ron. Deverell was able to persuade Ron from killing Nash and Diles, and another person from a previous robbery they committed before Nash. Lind was also persuasive. Thus, the pe’ople robbed would have all been dead without those cooler heads prevailing. Here’s what he told me:

      The comments in parenthesis are mine:

      “Deverell was older, fairly charismatic and a cool head (and not a killer. Neither was Lind). Launius was intense, shorter than Holmes (Holmes was like 6’1″ I think) by half a foot and over compensating for a lack of height” (Ronnie was maybe 5’7. Still, it’s no wonder the cops placed Ronnie near some past murders like sports agent Vic Weiss and him knowing club owner big shot and former cop, Horace McKenna)

      • John 3:14 am on October 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Not that he killed McKenna, that was years after Wonderland. But Ron knew Horace and those types of people like McKenna, who had power and money and could authorize “a hit”.

      • Anthony 2:20 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe Ron had a Napoleon complex because he was short and compensated with violence. Guys like that often have something to prove.

    • localarts 9:32 am on October 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The Horace McKenna bio of sorts was on City Confidential the other night. McKenna was a man to be feared for sure. McKenna was into cocaine distribution along with various other illegal activities. His business partner had him killed in 1989.

      John, Outstanding job with the Niles Grevillius interview. Can’t wait for the final 15 minutes!!

    • Mark C 5:31 pm on October 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Deverell might been the leader but it turn out to be a Deadly Mistake on his part not killing Nash & Diles when they had the chance..Deverell way underestimate Nash and his temper.
      Halloween coming up, I see some strange stuff in my life I could not explain, Long story short I just about lost a job over seeing must of been a ghost that I though was the only man that was inside of the mines coming out of the coal mines and I left my post to start my snow covered truck because I thought everybody was outside, Only thing save me was main boss had same thing happen to him before couple times he told me he was like a 30+ year veteran of that 1 mine .. but if ghost & hauntings are true that Wonderland House be a good 1st place to look..

  • John 11:59 am on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Need Questions For Nils Grevillius! 

    So I asked Nils if it would be okay to get an interview with him sometime via telephone. He said “You may, of course”. Tomorrow, Friday at 9am PDT!

    First employed in a saloon at age 13, Nils Grevillius gravitated toward the night at a young age. Later a soldier, Pinkerton Detective and polemecist, Grevillius is best known in Metropolitan Los Angeles for his work on the Wonderland Avenue murder case.

    Also, check out Nils books over at Amazon:

    • A City Of Devils – A City of Devils is a novella in Nuevo Noir. Luke Fitz, Pasadena’s only unindicted private eye, sets out to plumb the depths of the demise of Ritchey Renzullo, operative and operator – a case that’s as personal as it is dangerous.
    • Sub Rosa – Enduring a hangover, Private Eye Luke Fitz hazards a call from a vexatious, wealthy woman who thinks she’s missing a priceless possession. Beneath it all is a darker case, more than Fitz had estimated.


    Tomorrow’s interview will be transcript only at first. Technical issues. I will record it and post it in the near future. I’m very low tech at the moment, long story … i-tunes issues and work computer sucks and laptop at home is Vista. However, the info will be there to read and I will get the questions to him.

    What I need from you guys are questions.

    Remember, Nils is a private eye, and worked on the movie, Wonderland, as Weapons Training, and was involved with Lange and Souza on their book, Four On The Floor, and more!

    Post questions for him in the comments section, and I will include them in the interview.

    Here are some I think are good, but need more:

    • Who exactly was Paul Kelly, and what was his relation to the Gang?
    • When did you first get involved in the Wonderland investigation?
    • What’s up with Four On The Floor? Everyone has a book out these days, why can’t this book get published?

    Let’s get into it.


    • John 1:10 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The Nils interview is here. We’re on for tomorrow, Friday morning at 9am Pacific Time. It will be the first real phone interview for the blog and a milestone of sorts. Most excellent!

    • Tori 1:15 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Who is he? Part of Nash’s gang? What’s his involvement?

      • John 1:20 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Nils is a private eye, and worked on the movie, Wonderland, as Weapons Training, and was involved with Detectives Lange and Souza on their book, Four On The Floor, and more!

    • Mark C 1:50 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      9am Pacific be 1pm in East, I be here might not ask any questions but be very interested in questions you ask.

      • John W 6:00 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sorry but it’s not live. But you will hear it soon. I will get the audio and transcript posted asap too. The staff at Wonderland1981 blog is overwhelmed but working to master this podcast technology. I have also told my secretary that my office is closed for that hour… because I’ll be working tomorrow to do this interview. LOL

    • Dave 2:53 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Currently, there is no published nonfiction book-length account of the Wonderland murders and events relating to those murders. I think that fact is amazing given the notoriety of the murders, the high-profile nature of some of the persons who were involved, the groundbreaking use of videotape to document the crime scene, etc. Why do you think there isn’t more interest among publishers in putting out a book such as “Four on the Floor” by Detectives Lange and Souza? There are tons of books out there about all sorts of murders, crimes and serial killers, many of which aren’t as high-profile as this case. Why can’t that book (or any other novel-length account of the crimes) get published?

      Also, how do you think the actual murders went down? How much participation do you think John Holmes had in the actual murders? How many intruders do you think there were and who were they (aside from Greg Diles)? The movie Wonderland suggests that Billy Deverell unknowingly opened the door to the intruders, but some believe Holmes somehow let them in or they simply entered on their own. What’s your take?

      What do you know about Ron Launius’ background prior to his murder? Was he as much of a badass as some have made him out to be?

    • localarts 4:54 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t make it tomorrow Damit!! Here are the question’s I would have asked:

      1, What was Launius relationship to Horace McKinna?

      2, Did Howard Cook send Paul Kelly to murder the gang? (Kelly arrived right after the murders took place and supposedly saw Holmes leave 8763).

      3, Was Jimmy Arias a bail bondsman? Arias was at wonderland 8:00 sharp to pick launius up for a Sacramento court appearance

      4. What does Maggie Kaufman know about the killings? (Paul Kelly’s girlfriend)

      5, Any truth at all regarding the double cross in Mexico where Launius rescues Susan and kills her captors?

      6, Were the other killers that night the Mikaelian brothers?

      • John W 6:03 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Keith! It’s not live but no worries I will deliver the goods!! And post it. Technical issues I had to wing it because lack of planning.

    • criticextraordinaire 5:22 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Did David Lind really die in 1995, or is he in the Witness Protection Program as some have stated?

    • Bonnie Brae 5:25 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      please find out about four on the floor. I am dying to know what happened to it.

    • criticextraordinaire 5:27 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Is it true that the Wonderland Gang “reigned at the top of the LA cocaine trade” as their Wikipedia page claims?

    • Bobby 9:24 am on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent questions from everyone. Dave and Localarts covered all the topics I was interested in so for what it’s worth here are some softball q’s if you need to pad it out…
      What were the police confronted with on arrival at the Wonderland House.. ie: Were the dogs chained and why didn’t they attack anyone who got near the front door… and what became of those dogs?
      How many drug buyers allegedly ransacked the house the day after the murders?
      Once and for all can we put some closure on whether Billy and Joy’s VCR was stolen by a ransacker?
      According to the neighbours who heard all that screaming how long did the entire attack last?

      Like Dave noted, was Ron as big of a badass as we’re led to believe?.. Any new info on Ron would be great.
      Also are there any photos Nils is willing to share with us regarding the case that haven’t seen the light of day?

    • John 11:55 am on October 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      35 Minutes! The interview with Nils is done! Great stuff coming soon!

    • Anthony 2:22 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      If you ever have another interview I’d really like to know more about Ron’s time in prison.

      • John 3:32 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I’ll try and find out. I am coincidentally making a post about the federal prison where Ron served 3 years up in Seattle during the 70s. It will be posted by end of the week!

    • Adam Deverell 7:04 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      You should really talk to my dad… Billy Deverell was my grandfather, and my dad is Billy’s son. Anyways my dad would really like to speak with you.

      • John 8:18 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Adam. I would like to do that, to set things straight about your grandfather. This case is over 30 years old, and the story has become legend.

        There are a lot of angles to this case, and Nils’ info is simply another angle. I have not ruled out writing my own book.

        Please email the blog wonderland1981blog@gmail.com and let’s talk.

      • John 8:46 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I would mostly like to talk about your grandfather’s life, and get a better image of the man who was Billy Deverell. Ok? Who would know best than your Dad. No disrespect, but Wonderland made your grandfather a public figure and thus here we are… and, when I do a book, then the real truth about Billy will be known.

  • John 1:49 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: eastern kentucky university,   

    Tracy McCourt Attended Eastern Kentucky University in 1987 

    Well, shit. I’m at a loss for words.

    A few months ago, when I said that Tracy McCourt might be the most perplexing character in the Wonderland saga, I didn’t know it would come true.

    Tracy lived in eastern Kentucky during the 80s/early 90s after he left L.A. I have his addresses and he even got married twice in Kentucky. Today, I stumbled across a tip at Dawn Schiller’s message board and it gave me a hunch. Here’s what the guy said:

    “Back in the mid/late 1980s, I was finishing up at Eastern Kentucky University, and we had a guy on our floor who claimed to be Tracy Ray McCourt – and claimed to have been a part of this… Had a bunch of jailhouse tats, including some sort of Beatles thing on his chest (IIRC – might have been a different band). Had a serious rap for the (considerably younger than he was) ladies, and laid it on pretty thick… Could this have been the same guy?


    So here we go…

    In the 1987 EKU yearbook, the “Milestone”….Tracy is listed on page 268. You can look for yourself right here.

    That’s him. I’m checking with the school to find out more.

    I'm proud of him. What The Hell?

    I’m proud of him. What The Hell?

    "Milestone" at EKU. 1987.

    “Milestone” at EKU. 1987.

    • Bonnie Brae 2:02 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wow – look at that mustache! So how old was he during the robbery? 16 or 17?

      • John 4:42 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, localarts nailed it.

        I think Tracy may have fallen back into drugs after his last 2 failed marriages. And when he moved back to Colorado… And the arrest and jailtime tell the rest. However, it’s said that he ran a phone store franchise or phone kiosk at the end of his life.

      • John W 7:42 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Besides myself and Kato Kaelin, he’s the youngest college freshman since Rodney Dangerfield!

    • localarts 2:58 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      He was in his early 30’s as the wheel man for the gang. McCourt tried to make something of himself and turn his life around, too bad it ended the way it did. I think I posted here along time ago saying McCourt’s version of events along with Lind’s account in 90 were what I believed to be the most acurate version of events. I guess deep down McCourt was trying to do the right thing.

      • localarts 2:59 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Great find John!!

    • criticextraordinaire 6:46 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Man, that’s a moustache worthy of Johnny Wadd himself ! Tracy indeed is a perplexing figure. It seems that by ’87 he had turned his life around; in 1981 he appeared gaunt and weak, while his yearbook picture shows a vibrant man headed towards success.

      But then later he stood accused of stabbing his disabled brother in the neck and kicking his mother’s ass. I wonder what went wrong? At some point I heard that he had a quite successful mobile phone franchise. I have to guess that he must have fallen off the wagon and old demons came back

      Does anybody know if he had to testify in the two Nash/Diles trials?

      • John W 7:17 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe Keith knows, I’m not sure about both trials. Rodger Jacobs could not get either trial transcripts due to them being lost. Stupid politics and lazy clerks!

        I just think Tracy had a couple bad marriaged and thus fell back into drugs… Either pills or the hard stuff. I don’t know, except for the results. Assault and possession of Schedule II Controlled Substances. Whatever those are…maybe some painkillers or something. Hook me up, Tracy! LOL

        • criticextraordinaire 7:30 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink

          Schedule II covers a lot of territory. Codeine, morphine, meth, opium, coke, methadone, oxy, Ritalin… heck even some anaesthetics are in there.

      • localarts 8:50 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes. McCourt testified in the 1990 trial. I have no idea about the second trial in 91.

        • John W 8:56 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink

          I’ve done crazier shit, but I will look into formally requesting BOTH trial transcripts, in their entirety. Knowing the system though, I’m sure it’s $7 per page. I have a PayPal slush fund, bring it on Lance Ito!!

    • Mark C 9:18 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Small World Eastern KY U is only about 50 miles from my house, Charlie Manson grow up in that general area too mainly Ashland KY & Meechan WV by way of the prisons he was in mind you.. I think Charlie was caught in Ca. in a stolen WV car. That got him in the Ca. prison system.

      • kdimmick 11:39 am on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I’m pretty sure that up until the murders in 1969 Manson had always done time in Federal prisons.

        • John 11:42 am on October 24, 2013 Permalink

          I know he was at Terminal Isle Federal Prison in LA. If he did have a stolen car from another state…then it’s a federal matter? Crossing state lines. Our boy, Nash, spent about a year there at Terminal, before his health prompted a judge to let him out early. Ed was about to give that place it’s rightful name, if those prison hackjobs had sliced on him.

    • Bobby 11:02 am on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Another great find John! Interesting to hear that McCourt had a mobile phone kiosk. Was this before or after his stint in prison? Seems things were going pretty good for him at this stage of his life… wonder what happened that caused him to attack his family? Perhaps his brother wasn’t keeping up on his phone payments? ;) If you’re able to find out the name of his store you’d probably be able to find a his business website on the Way-back Machine…

      • John 11:38 am on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Indeed. I will try to find out via some searches. When I found that his email address domain was @fredericks.com…. that was interesting and it now jibes with what the guy at Eastern Kentucky said about him. That he loved the ladies. Was he a manager at a Fredericks of Hollywood store? That is their domain name, and his email was something like tmccourt@fredericks.com. That’s where the ladies are, and Tracy was a big fan of the ladies….he could lay on thick (big flirt), as the man said.

    • criticextraordinaire 6:07 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      By the way John, over at Dawn’s website where somebody posted that they knew Tracy… Farther down in that thread is a gal who says Tracy was married to her best friend. Possible source for more info on Tracy??????!

      • John W 6:28 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Oh I saw that too. Yes, I found both of his Kentucky wives on FB, and who I assumed was a daughter. The names matched the background check I did to a T, same town, same exact names etc…but they did not return my messages so I assumed bad blood existed.

        • criticextraordinaire 7:31 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink


  • John 9:48 am on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Former Nash Attorney Now Works For LAPD 

    Of course, he does not mention Eddie Nash in his bio on the LAPD web site:

    Gerald Chaleff was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department by Chief of Police William J. Bratton on January 13, 2003. He serves as Bureau Chief to the Chief of Police and Commanding Officer of the Consent Decree Bureau (CDB). Police Administrator Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing.

    The drug related armed robbery mentioned below and carried out by Thorson and his posse is a rather seedy affair. It was a home invasion. The drug dealer and his girlfriend were so traumatized, that they called the cops. Not many dealers do that. I read that they got beat up pretty bad. I’ll try to find the link to that story and post it. The sheer horrra… as you’re being pistol whipped by Liberace’s boy toy! Oh the humanity.

    Anyway, Edward Rucker later took over the defense from Abramson and Chaleff and won Nash an acquittal in the second trial.

    LA Times | September 23, 1988

    An attorney for former nightclub owner Adel (Eddie Nash) Nasrallah, who was charged this month in four 1981 Laurel Canyon bludgeon murders, said Thursday that she is “seriously underwhelmed” by the evidence against her client. Much of the case assembled by the district attorney’s office “seems to be based on the credibility of folks who are less than ministers of the cloth,” said attorney Leslie H. Abramson, who represents Nash along with co-counsel Gerald L. Chaleff.

    A spokesman for the district attorney’s office declined comment on Abramson’s remarks.

    Nash, 59, and his former bodyguard, Gregory DeWitt Diles, 40, have pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in an attack that prosecutors have said was intended to avenge an armed robbery at Nash’s Studio City home.

    The late pornographic film star John C. Holmes was acquitted of the Laurel Canyon slayings at a 1982 trial.

    The Times reported last week that the decision to file charges against Nash and Diles was based in part on new evidence provided by Scott Thorson, 29, an ex-lover of the late pianist Liberace. Thorson is in Los Angeles County Jail awaiting sentencing in connection with a 1987 drug-related armed robbery.

    LA Times | July 23, 1989

    Edward Rucker, 46, is currently defending Eddie Nash, charged in the 1981 Laurel Canyon murders for which the late porn star John Holmes was charged and acquitted. Rucker took over from Abramson and Chaleff, who handled Nash’s preliminary work. Rucker says he takes on “complicated” cases: murders, fraud and white-collar crime. Although his most prominent work was his defense of Symbionese Liberation Army member William Harris on charges of kidnaping and assault (he was convicted of assault), Rucker says his most disturbing case was a gang-rape case he lost during his 13 years as a public defender.

  • John 7:29 am on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Gunning For Eddie 

    I wish that I could find this article from 2001 by Susan Goldsmith. She was even nominated for an award in some contest. Heck, maybe she won, I don’t know.

    Gunning For Eddie summary:

    The New Times reports on the saga of former Hollywood nightclub owner Eddie Nash, who evaded prosecution for murder, arson and drug dealing. Nash walked away from a conviction in the high-profile Wonderland Avenue murder trial — twice — but in 1997 a former business partner admitted to involvement in bribing a jury member. At the time the article was written Nash was awaiting trial under the RICO act.

    Sadly, the New Times in L.A. went out of business. It was one of those weekly city newspaper magazines that are free at stores, etc. I think this outfit was sued and who knows what happened to their archives. I really hate that. Thank goodness that when the LA Herald-Examiner went under, that like-minded people made sure their archives and photos were all saved. You can still view them, but for a price. At least these archives still exist. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find this 8 page kick ass looking article, “Gunning for Eddie”. I’m sure it included photos too.

    I’ll keep looking. Oh, and enjoy some photos:

    • Dave 2:00 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      You could try contacting the author, Goldsmith, to see if she can supply you with the article. A quick Google search revealed a Susan Goldsmith who works as an investigative journalist for the Oregonian. I suspect she’s the author.

      • John 4:35 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thx Dave!!

      • John 12:34 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Well, she was laid off from the Oregonian. She writes books too though, but her FB and web site are not good links anymore. I will keep trying!!

        • Dave 1:25 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink

          Was the Oregonian willing to give you a forwarding address or contact information? Many employers will do so when they get inquiries about departed employees. Good luck. I was a New Times reader and have a very vague recollection of reading that article when it came out. Wish I had kept a copy of it.

        • John 1:29 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink

          No worries, Dave. I found her on FB. Thanks for the help. I’ll post it when I hear from her.

        • Dave 1:31 pm on October 24, 2013 Permalink

          Hi, John — I did a bit more internet searching and it appears Ms. Goldsmith is now in Tucson, AZ. I see from your other post that you’ve been able to find a Facebook link for her as well. She has a LinkedIn profile if you are interested in contacting her via that method, too.

    • Bonnie Brae 2:04 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I think I want to have feathered hair again. It’s so cool.

      • Bonnie Brae 2:05 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Gayle and I are going over the hill for lunch. Gonna try to make a video of just Sugarmen’s if there is enough time.

    • John 4:34 pm on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Fuckin A!!

  • John 3:26 pm on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bill lee,   

    Nash Crony Tricks Woman & Then Assaults Her 

    This blog article is pretty seedy and quite sad. It deals with the assault of a young lady during the early 80s. Much like the lovely Julia Densmore-Negron who shared some of her experiences in the Wonderland realm a few weeks ago, this young lady was a Hollywood-connected girl who also has a Wonderland-related story to tell. This time it’s from a book.

    I won’t publish the book name or tell you the person because this post is not to publicize that, only that she calls out Ed’s crony. Sad, but if you want to read the entire book, I will send you the link. She was a model back in the day, and also worked in TV, and like Julia, was seen with some of the major Hollywood players and music stars of the time (and married a few). Post a note or email the blog for the link. You can read her entire book online for free. It’s a great story.

    The foreword to this part of the story is that, this man Bill Lee, had a big thing for her, would bug her around town, etc. and one night at a club or party, he tricked her by saying he cut his hand really bad and was holding a rag on it. She offered him a ride to the hospital, and once in the car, he made her drive to her home at knife-point, where he assaulted her. Sounds like a nightmare. Her book is lengthy, and I read it over the weekend but could not find the page that details that part, not that you need to see it.

    Here’s what happened next:

    The good thing about most of Nash's bro's is that they're probably all dead or in prison by now.

    The good thing about most of Nash’s bro’s is that they’re probably all dead or in prison by now.

    Cops make no sense sometimes. Best to defend yourself with a piece or die tryin'.

    Cops make no sense sometimes. Best to defend yourself with a piece or die tryin’.


    • criticextraordinaire 9:39 pm on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      She should have called the same cop that Sharon Holmes did, when she needed a dead body to disappear from her place.

      • scabiesoftherat 12:11 am on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        That’s a real scumbag…and it’s a sad indictment of the world today. When are cops gonna learn that you only call cops AFTER the smoke settles. Why can’t they wrap that around thier heads around that? I have a gun for the same reason. Ain’t no one taking me down without a fight. And I can’t really make a phone call when the dude is in my house, can I? Just so stupid….

        Hey John. What’s the title of the Julia Densmore/ Negron piece? I missed that one. That one escapes me. Thanks

    • Janice 12:25 pm on June 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      yes! I would loveto read her book, please send the link. Thank You and Thank you for all your hard work….can’t wait for your book!

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