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  • John 11:29 am on March 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Parker Center HQ & Metropolitan Detention Center 

    (Daytime photos by yours truly)

    Parker Center HQ in downtown L.A. opened in 1955, and was renamed to honor the old Chief, after he died, in 1966. She’s a beauty in her basic style – sometimes referred to as “The Glass House” yet also as an edifice, this classic building was featured in many books and films. She has been scheduled for demolition, not seen as landmark-enough for those in charge, it will be replaced by some new monster soon. O.J. was questioned here, and he is seen leaving hurriedly in his white Polo shirt, hounded by TMZ types, and shuffled into a car by his dopey lawyer.

    To a stranger like me, but someone who likes the buildings of the past, it was with a sense of melancholy that I walked near, glanced up at the dirty windows, could sense it was empty – no more crimes would be solved there, no more buddy-cops taking a lunch break to discuss the takedown of some jerk like Eddie, no more defeated gumshoes having to angrily turn in their gun & badge to the Lieutenant – only to storm out and go solve the murder on their own! Those days are gone.

    Also, a few images of the “fortress-like” Metropolitan Dentention Center, as it was described by the press when Nash spent a while here at the turn of the century. But good news for Eddie, Yelp gives it two-and a-half out of five stars. Sounds nice.

    Also, that’s not John Holmes and Ron Jeremy, that’s just two pics of Hall & Oates. They were also private eyes.

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    • smauge 5:41 pm on March 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I just watched the doco LA92 (highly recommend it) about the LA riots, and this place was heavily targeted at the beginning of the riot, just after the not guilty verdicts were announced. So it has a place in that history too. I wish I’d taken time to see it when I was there on holiday.

      • John 10:45 pm on March 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, several books could be written about her mystique and history. And it is a relatively small place for how big LA crime is, the detectives and brass must have been packed in there like elbows to nostrils.

  • John 11:11 pm on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Ali Baba’s In North Hollywood 

    Since I am not from here, I am tickled by the little things. Back home, I was 15 before I saw my first bum (in more ways than one :-). And they are rude as hell. But Hollywood surprised me, and their gents of the street still mystify me – it’s just that the homeless gentlemen in Hollywood are the most polite, well refined in the land. Chicago has the most foul-mouthed, New York, same. Politeness goes a long way when I hand over a fiver of my ill-gotten gains.

    However, travel a bit north over the hill (past Wonderland) … to North Hollywood, and it is not so. So on the one hand, the Hollywood bums are a joy to hand a dollar over to; they have politeness stewed to a warm perfection with a nice compliment to boot! But in today’s travels, North Hollywood bums pissed me off. Maybe it’s because today was a Monday. I don’t like Mondays either. I’ll give ’em a break. I’m sorry, NoHo.

    Disclaimer: I love all bums (and homeless people too)

    Anyhoo, this post is about Ali Baba’s in North Hollywood. Owned by a rich bum. A Nash owned joint. Things sure have changed since then… you can almost smell the falafel…

     

     

     
    • Robert Heasley 2:50 pm on March 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hi John, I live in NoHo and Im enjoying your posts… Its a little bit odd thou to see people I knew and places I use to go to be looked upon as “historic”. Enjoy your stay.

  • John 9:48 pm on March 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The L.A. Biltmore Hotel – Holmes Stayed Here in Custody 

    The Biltmore in L.A. is a 100 year old hotel. The Graf Zeppelin was said to have docked on the roof back in olden times, and the kitchen staff brought them food. The hotel still has a heliport. Today I got on the roof.

    But in July 1981… for nearly a week, John Holmes and his women were sequestered at the Biltmore, and the police really needed his help solving the Wonderland Murders. The Hotel Bonaventure was the cops’ first hotel in an attempt to keep Holmes “safe” but it wasn’t good strategically. They then moved this odd family unit of porn king, ex-wife and young girlfriend to the lovely Biltmore. There could not have been a weirder scenario in the history of this Shining-esque, and to me after being there today, creepy ass old hotel. Jack Torrance, you bastard.

    As for helping the cops, Holmes delivered nothing but lip service. But he enjoyed the room service at the Biltmore; cops had to cut off the orders of 22 year old Scotch after a while, and then Holmes was cut loose, and he went on the run.

    Welcome to the Biltmore, dear friends~ that’s me on the roof, not the ghost of Johnny Wadd.

     

     
    • criticextraordinaire 6:19 pm on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder what room number John Holmes stayed in? Maybe I an all in and reserve the “Johnny Wadd Suite”. They could charge extra. 🙂

  • John 1:13 pm on March 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The Fate Of The Seven Seas 

    6904 Hollywood Blvd.

     
    • Deni H 1:41 pm on March 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That is actually pretty sad,. Mark used to DJ there. He and I went dancing there a couple times. Thee isn’t anything left to remind one of what the place was – both pre-Eddie and during those days following the club’s actual demise. Wow.. And the Chinese theater across the street. Used to be part of the Mann’s theater chain. Obviously it has far more history than just being a Mann theater, but the Chinese and the Fox in Westwood (the big old theater with the spire) was part of my life – actually worked at the one in Westwood when I was in high school…wow. I’m really glad you took those pictures those and thank you so muc for sharing…

    • criticextraordinaire 6:22 pm on March 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Sad to see this important landmark desecrated this way. Eddie must be rolling in his grave.

  • John 10:05 pm on March 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Wonderland Avenue – Views & Comments 

    The most photographed stop sign in the world…. the house, Country Store, views from the top of Wonderland Avenue… and great news: Dupars is becoming a beauty supply store. Where was the effort to save that? (Or the McDonalds OJ and Kato stopped at that night?). Dupars is a side-story to a side-story but oh well. We need a beauty and make up store too 😉 ….and a picture of Danny Sugerman’s house on Wonderland ~

    Also included are some of the cheap lodgings from old motel row in Sherman Oaks / Studio City, where Holmes tended to stay. One is confirmed! But the address Lange & Souza give for another is alas, now a stupid bank! When you show up at a sleazy motel investigating an old pornstar, people hate your fucking guts, that’s just Fyi.

     
    • smauge 4:52 pm on March 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Love your blog. I got my photo taken out the front of the wonderland house on a holiday a few years ago. One of the highlights of my US trip! I’m so glad it has not been torn down.
      Keep up the great work.

      • John 10:09 pm on March 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks smauge, I’m glad also.
        Feel free to post here anytime, and share thoughts etc. Cheers~

  • John 9:06 am on March 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    LAPD Crime Museum in Highland Park (Photos) 

    Best $9 ever spent…

     
  • John 9:15 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    L.A. Ain’t No Wonderland 

    Just some pics from the City of Angels, today:

    LA Police Museum – cars that were shot up at the 1997 Bank of America shootout–

    Me at Whitey Bulger’s apts in Santa Monica–

    Visiting Old Griffith Zoo– where Sharon took her long walks in 1965-70. Good Lord, that old zoo is a sad depressing place, I wonder why she went there. Depressed over John I guess–

    Me at PussyCat Theater on Santa Monica Blvd. My feet are bigger than his btw ~

     
    • localarts 6:59 am on March 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Very cool my friend! What about your hand’s? Are they bigger than Mr. Wadd’s LOL. John, are you planning on driving by 8763 while you’re out there?

      • John 8:42 am on March 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, after the Manson tour today. May stop by Mudarris (the so-called Godfather of Burlesque’s) club the Body Shop also, maybe have a cocktail with Mally Mall and Nikki. TCB. We all know that Nash taught that crook everything he knows.

    • Deni H 7:52 am on March 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I am glad you’re there – sorry we couldn’t adjust our trip to be there at the same time. Hope you get a lot of good material while you are there.

      Oh – and the bad parts of LA? Why do you think I left there 25 years ago?

      • John 8:38 am on March 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, yes I’d prefer 1981 LA, the gritty not the glamour~

    • Deni H 9:16 am on March 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Exactly. Ironically, I left LA in 81 for a couple of years. It was starting to get to me even then. I was back by 83 though and in my opinion, stuck there for another 10 years. Hard to believe all that was so very long ago – everything that went down then…

  • John 10:39 am on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bob Souza, four on the floor, lange, , ,   

    Malice In Wonderland 

    Malice in Wonderland by retired LAPD detectives, Tom Lange & Bob Souza is highly recommended. Scroll down to read more.

    I rarely do this, but here is another book recommendation:

    6200 Carbon Canyon Road – My Life as a Penthouse Pet

    by Terri Lenee Peake

    A rare look into the world of a distinct, and sexy slice of SoCal, 1980s style – Terri Lenee Peake tells her story as a young model living life amidst its struggles and good times with her beau, in what became a lost, and noirishly bygone era. A view into their life together at Tara, a fairytale castle in the canyon, and the surrounding and looming chaos. It is an amazing memoir that creates envy, awe, and fear – and that oft-misunderstood mistress, nostalgia.

    We don’t hear enough in print about folks like the lovely Lenee or her fiance whom she might’ve died with… Horace McKenna, who like any rich L.A. guy kept a pet tiger – and during their break-up in the late 80s was gunned down by a random, prototypical L.A. hustler; it was like out of a movie, and it later was part of one.

    Those who say art doesn’t imitate life, or vice-a-versa, hadn’t been to Lenee & Big Mac’s 40-acre horse ranch.

    Read more about Peake’s new book

    *****

    Here is the link to purchase the Tom Lange & Bob Souza book on Amazon, you won’t regret it.

    Here is the link to purchase the book on Amazon, you won’t regret it.

    *****

    This episode of a new true crime program looks interesting…. set your DVRs. Watch preview below, it airs on OXYGEN Fri 3/30 primetime.

    I hope this episode is not hijacked, and another glorified version of the other story. I hope there is mention of the real interesting people – those peripheral characters- slimy or not, each with individual motives… LA’s craziest criminals for the ages! and all those bad personal choices & decisions that in 1981 in Hollywood – could get you killed, the era in which this mayhem occurred was crazy… so I hope this episode is fresh and juicy.

    Thank you.

     
    • Michelle 3:21 pm on March 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Is this the book that was originally to be called “Four on the floor@?

      • John 10:44 am on March 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        No, it’s 2 of the same gents, but a different effort altogether, decades later and a welcome surprise.

    • Bobby 7:17 pm on March 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Great posts John, good to see the blog back in action. When it rains it pours!
      Your book looks riveting – can’t wait!

  • John 7:17 am on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    A Few More Samples 

    I would like to find and speak with a gent named Tony Miguel. Tony worked at the Starwood back in the day. If you know him or can find him on Facebook, please ask him to email John at the blog. Tony is a photographer. Years ago, he had been working on a photography book… Hollywood Starwood.

    Wonderland1981blog@gmail.com

    I would like to obtain some of Tony’s photos of Nash’s house, of L.A., and the Starwood. Thanks!

    ***

    The following samples are from an unpublished work…. my book! And will likely be titled:

    Angels in the Smog

    An Informal History of the Wonderland Murders

     
    • localarts 7:59 pm on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Great stuff John! After Wonderland it seems Diles & Lind were living hand to mouth. I guess its no surprise they died prematurely. Holmes was made to wait in the losers red room? This must have been after Holmes was in debt to Nash.. Interesting!

      • John 8:25 am on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, Holmes fell down the rungs of importance with Nash, after owing him so much money. He became a sad joke at the house. Even the youngsters present thought so.

        • localarts 10:46 am on March 15, 2018 Permalink

          From what I understand, Nash use to formally introduce Holmes to all his guest. “I’d like you to meet Mr. John Holmes” I guess once Holmes line of credit ran out, so did the formal introductions as well as being relegated to the “loser’s lounge” Did Jerry Van pass away this past January? I was a bit surprised to learn Nash finally bit the dust back in 2014.

        • criticextraordinaire 10:32 am on March 17, 2018 Permalink

          Localarts, where did you see that Eddie passed away? Far as I have been able to research he is still very much alive and active.

      • John 7:50 am on March 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        My mistake, Jerry Van is still around. He served over 20 years at Supermax Florence Prison. He was released on 6/23/15. He is about 71 and still lives in Vegas. I saw where he claims to have identified the shoe-bomber. He’s a character! I found he played football at Oakland Comm. College in Michigan in early 70s.

        His real name is: GERARD JULIAN VAN HOORELBEKE

        • criticextraordinaire 7:26 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink

          John, did you know that Jerry Van published a “memoirs book” back around 2005 or so? https://www.amazon.com/Underworld-Secrets-Jimmy-Hoffa-Vegas/dp/0932438474

        • John 7:32 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink

          Yeah, I’m one of the goofs who purchased it. But its value is in the description of Nash’s personality, and the myriad characters with him. Do a search I posted some page samples from it. I only wanted to know about Nash, I was not a cop trying to build a case against him, or care about his ego boosting stories.

    • criticextraordinaire 7:46 pm on March 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t wait to read the details about David Lind and Morton Downey Jr. going at it.

    • localarts 6:28 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      According to Tom Lange, NBC reached out to Nash’s ex-wife Jeanna in an attempt to contact him for an interview about Wonderland. The Oxygen network was putting together an upcoming episode of Mysteries & Scandals about the Wonderland murders. Jenna told the producer at NBC that Eddie passed away on August 9, 2014. He’s buried in a mausoleum at Cross Cemetary in Culver City, CA Adel Gharid Nasrallah 1929–2014 I can’t imagine someone like Tom Lange would include this in the book without doing some fact checking.

      https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/179096813/adel-gharib-nasrallah

      • criticextraordinaire 7:30 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Man that really sucks. I was always holding out hope that Eddie would do an interview some day and fill in a few blanks. Nevertheless, Eddie was a survivor and outlasted most of his adversaries. It was Nash’s world and we all lived in it.

        R.I.P., Eddie. 😦

        • BurbankCA 4:56 am on March 18, 2018 Permalink

          The true survivor was Susan and she outlasted them all.

    • John 7:12 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      When Eddie passed in 2014 I was notified by a blog subscriber back tben who heard “whispers” of his death. That day, Ed’s wiki bio showed he had died. I checked one other place, and made a blog post trying to confirm it, and if ya’ll remember, I said I would take the post down, since nobody could locate an official record. This last fall, I noticed Eddie was on find a grave (same birth and name… how many Adel Gharib’s are in LA w that birthdate), and it was because a passerby cemetery guru, noticed the name and took a pic of the marker and posted it to find a grave. Anyway, RIP Ed you crazy guy. He was a larger than life persona who was born 100 yrs too late, and would have been at home in old NY, with John Kelly and those wild men.

      • localarts 8:13 am on March 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Oh yeah. It’s Eddie for sure. That name is unique for LA and like you said the birth date kinda seals it. All the principal players are now deceased…

        • Bobby 5:22 am on March 20, 2018 Permalink

          Yeah, sadly seems to be the case. Susan Launius would hold so many revealing insights into Ron’s personality and that of the rest of the Wonderland Gang too. I hope she was able to be interviewed for this book. Any word on that John, or will we just have to wait and see?.. 😉
          Chuck Negron and his wife used to score dope at the house too. They must have a few decent stories to impart..

    • localarts 11:45 am on March 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      After reading Malice in Wonderland, I’m convinced Ron Launius was a complete psychopath. If a movie were to ever be made about him, it should be called “Silence of the Launius”

      • criticextraordinaire 7:23 pm on March 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Ronnie definitely played by his own rules and took no cr@p. He had a good run while it lasted.

        I wish I could have partied with him and the gang, it would have been a great story to tell the kids. 😀

        • John 8:54 pm on March 29, 2018 Permalink

          I think a young Bruce Dern or Jan Michael Vincent would play a great Launius… and maybe, just maybe a 30-ish Jackie Earle Haley would be good too. Susan, of course would be portrayed by Jaclyn Smith or Linda Lavin.

      • Bobby 10:22 am on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Well apparently a movie about Ron was already made in 1978 according to that Jacobs book 😉 lol

        • criticextraordinaire 12:55 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink

          Well then it is time for a sequel to that ’78 production. I always figures Mark Paul Gossalaar could be cast as Ronnie, although he’s far taller than Ronnie was. And maybe a decade ago, I would have cast Brian Dennehy as Bill Amerson, but I think Brian’s too old for that sort of role now. For the role of Diles I would cast Suge Knight, no doubt there. I’ll have to give some thought as to how I would cast a movie that shows how Ronnie, Eddie, and John’s parallel worlds ascended, merged, and then ultimately disintegrated.

        • John 8:58 pm on March 29, 2018 Permalink

          I saw tbat movie on Decades channel over the holidays. Who’ll Stop the Rain. It was great, and dark… noirish. I don’t like Nick Nolte but it was a surprise. Jacobs alluded to it in more of a tongue-in-cheek slight.

  • John 5:15 am on March 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Longform Wonderland Article 

    Wonderland1981 - The Wonderland Murders

    ***

    Angels in the Smog

    “History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind”

    –Edward Gibbon

    ***

    June of 1981 was the hottest month in the city’s recorded history. July would be heavy with smog.

    Long time money affords a change in locales – lots of cocaine to move and old habits make it hard to leave the present one. Barely a day had passed since the talk between the two men of moving away and they had settled back down into complacency, albeit a guarded one. Loose ends prevented a clean break – Drugs and valuables needed to be fenced and other technicalities existed, including a court date. There had been a promise to a bail bondsman friend to attend those proceedings. A free ride to the airport was arranged. A flight bound for Sacramento. But the ticket would go unused. An unknowing passenger, maybe on…

    View original post 3,009 more words

     
    • criticextraordinaire 5:52 pm on March 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Long time money, and lots of cocaine. Remembering Rodger Jacobs at the moment. :’-(

      • localarts 10:52 am on March 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I had my doubts but Rodger Jacobs knew exactly what he was talking about with Long Time Money. To a degree, Rodger deserves credit for keeping the momentum of this story alive and his statements about Ron Launius are now what I believe to be true! After reading Malice in Wonderland I’m 100% convinced Launius was a psychopath and he was far more dangerous that Eddie Nash.

        I’m not going to spoil it for you Criticextraordinaire, you need to buy this book like yesterday!! Susan talks about the Mexican drug deal gone awry… Very excited to read John’s book as well. I have no doubt he will be very thorough with additional back ground on everyone at 8763.

        • criticextraordinaire 5:27 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink

          Oh, I’ve always felt that Ronnie was the real deal and a bad ass for sure. But he was no match for Eddie’s superior organization skills and connections within government, the cops, and pretty much anywhere else. Huge mistake messing with Eddie. If only they had teamed up, it could have been an unbeatable combo. DEFINITELY gonna buy Lange’s book. I still believe that a screenplay about Ronnie’s escapades would be a major film success… I envision an epic type film with the same sort of flow as “Hoffa”… with, of course, the same sort of tragic ending. R.I.P., Rodger Jacobs..

    • localarts 7:03 pm on March 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Without a doubt. Nash had far greater resources in which to exercise his power. Murder, arson, bribery,etc.. Unfortunately, I don’t think a partnership between the two could last. Launius would’ve made a power play and put Nash on ice or vice versa. As they say, this town isn’t big enough for the two of us.

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