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  • John 10:50 am on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes, ,   

    Where Sharon Lived in '65 

    In April of ’65, she is listed in the phone book as “Sharon A. Gebenini” and living in these sweet apartments. In 1965, John and Sharon got married. Before their first date, she said that John picked some flowers from her neighbors garden and she could see him doing it.

    The address is just east of downtown L.A., where the 5 Freeway meets the I-10 San Bernardino Freeway. For what it’s worth…

    1118 Cornwell Street unit #5.

    1118 Cornwell Street unit #5.

  • John 10:47 am on September 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes, ,   

    Where Sharon Lived in Glendale 

    Just a quick post to show where Sharon Holmes lived in Glendale in the early 90s. I could not find much else. Man, she sure loved Glendale. It does look pretty nice there though.

    Update: I am trying to get in touch with Barbara Richardson’s ex-husband for an interview. They were only married a short while in the late 1970s. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted. The interview with Nash’s bribed juror girl fell through.

    Early 90s.

    Early 90s.

    • criticextraordinaire 7:36 pm on September 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It’s too bad that Sharon’s later years were not so good. Seems that her Alzheimer’s happened a fairly early age and progressed very quickly. I had a buddy who went similarly and died from Alzheimer’s complications at the age of 64. Sux. 😦

      • Tori 8:30 pm on September 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah it’s a shame. Sharon and dawn who is johns 15 year olds ex mistress was supposedly looking after her and was her guardian or something? Sharon didn’t pass did she?

        • criticextraordinaire 8:46 pm on September 25, 2013 Permalink

          Yeah Sharon passed away about a year ago.

        • Tori 1:44 pm on September 26, 2013 Permalink

          Yeah she wasn’t looking very good. I’m friends with dawn on fb and she had some pics with Sharon and just rdidnt look so well

    • Bonnie Brae 9:23 am on September 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The place she lived with John and Dawn on Acacia had a giant moving truck in the street when I drove there so the pic I collected is close up and of the address. 1010 acacia in Glendale. The bungalows were torn down.

      • John 10:11 am on September 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Gotcha, cool. Is that when Gayle went with you? The condos or apt’s which are there now look pretty sweet.

        • Bonnie Brae 7:06 pm on September 26, 2013 Permalink

          lol – yes.
          of course. She is always with me.
          My sister thought you were in town a few weeks ago and asked if we were taking you to lunch.

    • criticextraordinaire 5:38 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      John, got any idea why Sharon moved around so much? Looks like 3 places in 3 years. In 1991 I would imagine she was still working as a nurse, she was not all that old.

      • John W 5:55 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        No my friend, I pondered that also. I can only imagine she had the rent raised when the lease was up or her roommates kept bailing. Not too strange, I had moved to different apt’s after one year leases several time. Maybe she didn’t like her neighbors or found better deals elsewhere through an apartment locator.

        • Tori 1:33 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink

          Hey guys I’m going up to Hollywood again tomorrow . Was gonna make some stops if their is anything anybody wants specific pictures of or any other addresses that would be cool to look it..

          Hey john do u have the exact address to nashes doña Lola house ?

    • Beth 8:50 am on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Curious about Barbara Richardson, I saw the entries on Find a Grave about her, thought it was interesting that her father buried her under her maiden name of Easton. It’s got me wondering if there was some animosity towards this ex husband, from what I read on Find a Grave, a cousin of hers or something said she was “good” girl type before she got into drugs. Wonder if the ex husband introduced her to this world and that’s why the parents might not have liked him? I understand her father’s name was “Leroy”? Anyone know what her mother’s name was and did she have any siblings? Can’t seem to find much info on her family, which is strange. I also read her mother is still alive? If I were these family members I’d be so pissed at Nash, feel so bad for them all! It seems really unfair that everyone literally got away with murder here, whether the victims were nice people or not doesn’t matter. It’s not right that Nash is getting away with all of this.

      • criticextraordinaire 5:35 am on October 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        A bunch of criminals who made their living selling poison to people conspired to invade The Nash’s house and they discovered that this was a mistake in the worst way possible. I mean, part of me had to admire Ronnie’s chutzpah, but he was in WAY over his head with The Nash. From everything I have read, Eddie did not send anybody over to kill anybody, he just wanted to get his stuff back and to rough them up a little… payback, and then the guys went overboard. According to the movie, they were ALL in on the planning and so they were fair game for retaliation. That’s how it works in the underworld.

    • Beth 8:53 am on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Also, is Nash at this point in his life still “feared” by some of these people? Does he have any real “power” now at all? Very surprised someone hasn’t offed him yet actually. He must have zillions of enemies, not just from this case. Amazing that David LInd didn’t do him in!

      • criticextraordinaire 5:42 am on October 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        David was so doped up he didn’t even “do Nash and Diles in” when he had the chance and should have (in underworld terms and protocol, that is). If you’re gonna be a criminal, you don’t do what he did to Nash and Diles, leave them alive, and expect no retaliation. Lind indeed was lucky that nobody came after him, but perhaps by that time it was felt that the adequate revenge had already been achieved. Besides, Lind’s testimony was near worthless. All he could testify to was that he committed a stupid home invasion. At the time of the Wonderland murders he was out doing drugs with a hooker at a hotel according to his court testimony. Holmes walked, and even the jury that Nash didn’t bribe acquitted him outright.

        If you’re gonna be in that sort of business and last, you have to be good. Eddie was one of the best at the game.

    • localarts 11:16 am on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It’s impossible to say if Eddie still has any “power” If he does, it would be directly related to how lucid his mental faculties are. Remember, were talking about an 84 yo man. He could be suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer’s or other ailments. If however his health is fine, I’m sure Ed could still make a phone call or two.

      It’s actually the other way around. David Lind should consider himself lucky Nash didn’t waste him especially after Lind tried to a lesser degree, humiliate Nash during the second trial. You don’t hang around as long as Eddie Nash without picking and choosing your battles wisely. The biggest mistake Nash made was befriending John Holmes.

      • Beth 12:38 pm on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yep, guess u r right about that! Too bad Nash hadn’t offed Holmes earlier, then a lot of other people would still be alive!

        • criticextraordinaire 5:52 am on October 1, 2013 Permalink

          Eddie had no prior reason to mess with John. He liked hanging around “Johnny Wadd”. John was probably good for business at the clubs as well as Eddie’s parties. I mean, even after the whole Wonderland thing went down, when anybody else in the business simply would have rubbed out John to silence him, Eddie (according to John) gave him money to just go away. Eddie always had a soft spot in his heart for his “brother” John, even when Eddie allegedly had Diles beating the crap out of John to rat out the Wonderland Gang.

          I just wish we could hear Eddie’s side of this story, he certainly could fill in a few blanks. Besides, he’s been acquitted of the murders, and the statute of limitations long ran out for civil lawsuits; he could talk with impunity. Of course it is possible that he’s silent in order to protect some other living persons who were never tried in the murders.

        • Beth 7:10 am on October 1, 2013 Permalink

          You make excellent points! Was thinking last night too, I recall Nash’s testimony or his version of things was that he never intended for people to be murdered, just that if it happened it happened, or something like that. But…..I am guessing Barbara was the first to get hit since she was the one they came to first, and she was asleep, and she was viciously beaten w/ a lead pipe, they meant to kill, not to scare. I know what Eddie’s “story” was, but I think the plan all along was to kill every person there and make it look like John did it, as punishment for him or whatever. It really sucks, wish they had let the women go, or just tied them up and killed the guys. Yes I would love to hear more from Nash! At this point he has nothing to lose, unless he is protecting people like u mentioned.

    • Dawn 7:27 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Does anyone know the address in Glendale where JH gave SH his bathtub infestation?

      • Dawn 7:28 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Confession. Not infestation.

      • John 9:44 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Not that specific house, but I think that may have been an apt anyway..
        It may have been torn down though, just like the apts on Acacia they used to manage. Gone but not forgotten…..

  • John 9:40 am on September 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crossroads of the world, john holmes, ray manzarek, sunset,   

    Ray Manzarek’s High School Days 

    Ray grew up in Chicago and attended St. Rita High School. He loved basketball and if his coach had allowed him to play power forward rather than guard, he could have gone in that direction and we might not be having this conversation. That’s according to Ray. I guess he was pretty good at hoops.

    First up, I wanted to share this observation. John Holmes showed up in the late 60s to “audition” for Bill Amerson at his office behind Crossroads of the World in L.A. Meanwhile, the Doors were recording their first couple of albums at Sunset Sound Studios. They are across the street from each other.

    Crossroads of the World (circled, middle left) and Sunset Sound Studios (lower right) where the Doors recorded their first couple of albums.

    Crossroads of the World (circled, middle left) and Sunset Sound Studios (lower right) where the Doors recorded their first couple of albums.

    Ray. 1955 Senior photo.

    Ray. 1955 Junior photo.

    Ray. 1954 Sophomore photo.

    Ray. 1954 Sophomore photo.


    Ray. 1953 Freshman photo.

    Ray. 1953 Freshman photo.

    • criticextraordinaire 7:15 pm on September 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      John Holmes was the man. Who knows, if he had crossed the street and checked in on Jim and the guys, he could have become the fifth Door.

      • localarts 7:42 pm on September 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Carrying the banner for john holmes in one hand and your dick in the other. Odyssey is right, you’re one sick mother fucker. Probably Laurie Holmes incognito.

        • criticextraordinaire 3:23 pm on September 22, 2013 Permalink

          Laurie Holmes Incognito? I didn’t know she got remarried. What does Mr. Incognito do, is he in the biz?

        • Tori 1:41 pm on September 26, 2013 Permalink

          In my wonderland movie the second disc it’s the WADD movie about John holmes and Laurie is in it putting in all her two cents. John didn’t love her he was so messed up that he didn’t remember marrying her! Laurie was such a bitch she didn’t even let john god children in the room on his death bed!!

    • dreamweaverjenn 9:04 am on September 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Somehow I doubt that, lol but who knows?

      • The Odyssey 10:39 pm on September 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Forget all that. Prince recorded 1999 and Purple Rain at Sunset Sound and wrote little red corvette in the parking lot.

        • criticextraordinaire 5:41 pm on September 21, 2013 Permalink

          All that stuff that Prince sang about doing… Johnny Wadd actually did.

      • Tori 1:12 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        It’s in the WADD movie interviewed by Laurie herself 🙂

    • Bonnie Brae 12:55 pm on September 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hey – Isn’t that also where the Tropicana use to be as well as Dukes coffee shop??? The doors office is where Danny was answering the Doors fan mail.

    • Jill C. Nelson 3:13 pm on September 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “In my wonderland movie the second disc it’s the WADD movie about John holmes and Laurie is in it putting in all her two cents. John didn’t love her he was so messed up that he didn’t remember marrying her! Laurie was such a bitch she didn’t even let john god children in the room on his death bed!!”

      Hi Tori, I realize I’m stickler about some of this stuff, but as I’ve posted on this forum before, John did love Laurie and her eight-year old son (John’s stepchild) very much and he proved it in the five years they had together. In the second edition of our book, for the first time Laurie allowed photos of John and her son together to be published. Laurie was approached to be interviewed in WADD just as Sharon and Dawn were interviewed and a whole slew of other people. She had the same right to share her memories as they did.

      After completing four plus years of research writing Holmes’s biography, we learned the truth about many aspects of John’s personal life that were not revealed in the WADD documentary or were left out. We had access to all of the material when we wrote the book — as with anything else, when you can see the whole picture, your perception can change.

      Sean Amerson, John’s godson, also read our book and afterwards, he wrote to us and thanked us. He said that after completing the book, for the first time in his life he understood why Laurie followed John’s request about not allowing anyone in to see him at the hospital when he was dying. it was hard for him to realize that. The only people who visited John during those last months were John’s mother, his half-brother David, Laurie, and Laurie’s son. After knowing Laurie Holmes for more than six years, we have become friends and I can’t help it, I have to stick up for her when I read something that I know isn’t true. Our objective was that our book would help to clarify a lot of misinformation not only about Holmes, but also about the people in his life, including Bill Amerson. Both Sean and Bill himself told us that Bill Amerson does not tell the truth about a lot of things. He and Holmes had a very strange and complex “friendship”.

      • Tori 1:14 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes I’ve read your book. And porn king. There’s so many different aspects from everyone. I just thought who is Laurie to say he can’t see his god children, his wife yes? But they were long time friends

        • Tori 1:16 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink

          And I’m not bashing Laurie. It’s just how WADD made her look . And the Amersons . Not so good.

    • Jill C. Nelson 3:29 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I understand what you mean. 🙂 Yes, WADD did paint Laurie in a poor light in certain portions. With respect to John and the Amersons, Laurie was fulfilling John’s wishes at the time of his dying. There is a lot more to most stories than meets the eye, and usually, there are multiple sides. It depends on who is doing the telling.

      • Tori 1:18 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I also understand that a lot of people lie to get themselves out there and to sell a story u know

  • John 8:19 pm on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: allan macdonell, , john holmes, , ,   

    “In Too Deep” By Allan MacDonell (2003 L.A. Weekly News) 

    Back in 2006, I was winding down and it was late at night. “Wonderland” was airing on the International Film Channel. Now I had heard of the Wonderland murders, but I really did not know much. I quickly hit the magic handle on the recliner and stretched out. Life would never be the same.

    Shortly after that lazy episode, I discovered a sweet article by Allan MacDonell of the LA Weekly News. It is controversial. Dawn even relates her teenage mindset to that of Elizabeth Smart, the girl who was kidnapped that time. The message is what… girls are malleable? I don’t get it here. I don’t understand the comparison. There’s more to the story than that though…

    The article is an elongated movie review on steroids and includes numerous quotes. In Too Deep also preceded the official release date of the movie by one day (the anniversary of the film is a few weeks away!). I have linked to this article before but I am now posting it in order to preserve it on the blog. This gem speaks for itself and contains lots of quotes. Thus, it’s an important part of the Wonderland debate.

    IN TOO DEEP is a 5,000 word article. Enjoy!




    Allan MacDonell | L.A. Weekly News | Thursday, Oct. 2, 2003

    In the summer of 1981, porn legend John Holmes stepped into an abyss of drugs, mayhem, and murder. Meet the wife and the girlfriend he almost took with him.

    Almost everything publicly known about porn king John Curtis Holmes is apocryphal, anecdotal, secondhand or informed by conjecture. Except for the cock. Thirteen inches long, as thick around as a man’s wrist, hard on demand, coming on cue: the appendage of the pathological braggart’s most outlandish boast — and it turns out to be true. At once raw footage and special effect, the fabled tool appeared in hundreds of XXX epics, creating the first — and possibly last — superhero of the blue screen, polyester-bad private detectiveJohnny Wadd.

    Before Johnny Wadd, though, there was the gangly hillbilly kid from Ohio, born in 1944, product of an impoverished childhood, a puking drunk of a father, followed by a violent drunk of a stepfather. A stint in the Army, hitched up to nurse Sharon Gebenini, a budding career as a forklift operator. Holmes’ special quality, so to speak, was discovered, in the late 1960s, by a skin photographer in a Gardena poker club men’s room. By the time the ’70s had shifted into high, Holmes’ monster of a penis had become the most recognizable and marketable prop in the history of porn.

    Later, as the ’80s dragged in, the Holmes hydraulics became unreliable and the bookings dropped off. The cult fell away. The film Wonderland focuses on a fateful two weeks during that period, at the end of which the actor left a palm print above a blood-soaked deathbed at the Wonderland Avenue scene of the notorious “Four on the Floor” murders of July 1, 1981. Four people bludgeoned to death, another left for dead. The film, directed by James Cox and starring Val Kilmer as Holmes, approaches the slayings from multiple viewpoints and attempts to clarify exactly what happened during that orgy of lead pipes and skull fragments.

    The gruesome murders were retribution for a home-invasion robbery, two days earlier, of underworld kingpin Eddie Nash. On the morning of June 29, four strung-out ex-convicts had sneaked through an unlatched sliding door into Nash’s ranch-style house in the hills above Studio City. The door had been left unlatched for the robbers by Holmes, whom Nash had often spoken of as a “brother.” Nash and his 300-pound bodyguard, Gregory DeWitt Diles, were rousted out of bed at gunpoint. A pistol went off, and Diles suffered a grazing flesh wound. Nash, the story goes, fell to his knees at the sound of the shot and begged for time to pray. The robbers absconded with cocaine, heroin, Quaaludes, money, weapons and jewelry, a haul that was valued by the U.S. Department of Justice at something like a million dollars. They left Nash and Diles humiliated and stewing inside the house.

    Eddie Nash. Real name Adel Gharib Nasrallah, an immigrant of Lebanese — or is it Palestinian? — parentage. In 1960, Nash set up a hot-dog stand on Hollywood Boulevard. By the late 1970s, if you were young, happening and in L.A., you could hardly spend a night on the town without putting money into Eddie Nash’s pocket. One count has Nash holding 36 liquor licenses, mostly in the Hollywood area. Gays dancing at the Paradise Ballroom. Straights doing the hustle at the Seven Seas. Pogo-happy punk rockers at the Starwood. Interracial funk fans at Soul’d Out. Horny loners at the Kit Kat strip clubs. The cover charges and bar receipts all led to Eddie. If you were a doper, chances are Nash was making some change off you there as well.

    Nash had evolved into a notorious, well-rounded crime lord and entrepreneur. The Wonderland Gang, in comparison, consisted of clumsy dope pushers who relied on crude rip-and-run robberies of lesser dealers to maintain their habits and inventory. Their hideout was a much-frequented stucco party house on Wonderland Avenue, leased to Joy Audrey Miller, a 46-year-old heroin addict and ex-wife of a Beverly Hills lawyer. Her live-in boyfriend was Billy DeVerell, 42, also addicted to junk. Ronald Launius — who, like DeVerell, honed his charisma in a prison yard — was the 37-year-old alpha dog of the pack. Along with overnight guest Barbara Richardson, 22, they all died as a direct result of knowing John Holmes and fucking with Eddie Nash.

    Veteran LAPD detectives, just 12 years after Helter Skelter, claimed they had never seen so much blood at one crime scene.

    Much of the movie focuses on determining the exact nature of Holmes’ complicity in the Laurel Canyon butchery. He was indebted both to Nash and to the Wonderland pushers. He was also the sole connection between the two camps. Beyond dispute is that Holmes effected the entry of the Wonderland Gang into Nash’s house, and that he later provided access to the Wonderland house for Nash’s agents. He is assumed to have been inside the residence to witness the murders, and to have somehow gotten himself “wet” doing so.

    There are two points of contention: Was the idea for the Nash robbery that of the Wonderland Gang, or did Holmes first suggest it? While inside the murder site, did Holmes, presumably under duress, actually swing one of the lead pipes used to smash the victims into nearly unrecognizable pulp? In Wonderland, the murder is approached from one viewpoint after another, time after time, relentlessly, predictably, with each rendering more explicit. There is virtually no suspense, no dramatic tension.

    And no cock. Relying on aviator shades as his signature prop, Val Kilmer’s John Holmes could be anybody — any old hustler, any old pimp, any old wannabe rock star who can’t remember where he pawned his guitar last night.

    The real John Holmes claimed to have had sex with 14,000 women during his career as a professional wad. Sharon Holmes and Dawn Schiller are among the tiny minority who were drawn into Holmes’ orbit despite the cock. Dawn met Holmes when she was 15. He was her first love. Sharon, married to John at the time, took Dawn in after she’d become his mistress and allowed her to live in the couple’s home. The two women formed a kind of mother-daughter relationship that has endured to this day. On a recent Sunday afternoon, they sit at an outdoor table at a Beverly Hills hotel doing publicity for Wonderland. Dawn is credited as an associate producer on the film. Sharon is listed as an adviser.

    Sharon is slight and sinewy, a tough bird with a soft center and a smoker’s drawl. She wears a black cap to cover a skull that is fuzzy like a freshly hatched chick’s: She has just finished chemotherapy after a modified radical mastectomy for cancer.

    “I am just a cast-iron maiden,” she says with a throaty laugh. “I’m going to get through it, no matter what it is. I do not roll over and play dead for anybody.”

    Dawn, at 15, was a strikingly attractive woman-child, her huge green eyes brimming over with fragile anticipation. You look at her picture, and you want to protect her. You hope no one will latch on to her and crush her spirit. Today, in her early 40s, Dawn wears a wide, sly smile under those huge green eyes, still brimming with anticipation and intelligent wonder. She has the calm assurance of someone who has been through hell, fought her way out, and has no plans to go back. She is finishing a book on her experiences, The Road Through Wonderland.

    “I have a daughter,” Dawn says when asked about the perils of putting her ordeal into print. “Do I want my daughter to hear the story in my own words? Or do I want her to hear somebody else’s version, whether I like it or not?”

    Sharon Gebenini met her husband-to-be in December of 1964, while she was a graduate nurse working at County USC Hospital. Holmes was barely 20. Less than a year later, they were married. He found work driving a forklift at a meatpacking plant. The couple had lived a conventional married life in Glendale for about three years when Sharon came home early from work one afternoon and walked in on John in the bathroom. He had an erection, and he was measuring it. He’d already done a few 8mm film loops and photo shoots for magazines.

    “He told me that this was going to be his life’s work, that this was going to make him famous,” remembers Sharon. “I looked at him like, What planet do you come from?

    John would never drive a forklift again. Sharon allowed her husband to remain in the home, to eat meals with her, to mingle their dirty laundry — together, they were on-site managers of a courtyard apartment complex in Glendale. But Sharon would never touch John intimately again.

    Soon after being caught out at home, Holmes met Hawaiian porn director Bob Chinn. Chinn initially dismissed Holmes as some “scruffy-looking guy who had this big Afro-looking hair.” Then John dropped his pants. That evening, Chinn wrote a script outline on the back of an envelope, and a few days later, he had shot, edited and shipped Johnny Wadd. Despite (or perhaps because of ) Holmes’ Alfalfa physique and goofy hangdog face, the big-dicked undercover crime fighter captured the imagination of the porn-going public.

    The detective persona also appealed to John’s own imagination. In the early 1970s, when the production of pornographic materials was still a felony in Los Angeles, Holmes was busted on a porn set and held on charges of pimping and pandering.

    “He called me from Ventura, wanting to be bailed out,” says Sharon. “I didn’t have that kind of money.”

    A few hours later, Holmes was driven up to the house in the car of an LAPD vice squad officer named Tom Blake. While pursuing his crown as the King of Porn, Holmes would carry on a highly productive parallel career of informing on the porn industry for the LAPD vice squad.

    “John enjoyed playing Dick Tracy,” recounts Blake in the excellent 1999 documentaryWadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes. “He loved that role of investigating and passing information along. John was absolute dynamite.”

    Sharon became very familiar with Blake’s voice on the phone. “John was giving him regular information, particularly on anybody that had done him dirty.”

    Enter Dawn.

    It’s 1976, and 15-year-old Dawn Schiller’s parents are divorcing. Rather than stick it out with Mom in Florida, Dawn elects to head west with her 14-year-old sister and her father, a Vietnam-vet hippie with hair down past his shoulders. The family stops for a hitchhiker at the Grand Canyon, thinking he might have a joint to share. He tells them that he sometimes stays with a girl who lives in an apartment in Glendale. He guesses it would be cool with her if the whole bunch of them crash on her floor.

    When the family arrives at the Glendale courtyard apartment, the girlfriend calls the complex’s manager to ask permission. The manager’s husband comes over to screen the guests, and Dawn Schiller comes under the scrutiny of John Holmes.

    At this time, John is 32, at the height of his XXX prowess. He has all the work he can handle, he picks his co-stars, he is paid top dollar. He has woven a legend around himself, wrapped so tightly in exaggerations and half-truths that he himself cannot see through the web of overlapping reality and fantasy. He claims to have lost his virginity at age 8 to the Swiss maid of a rich aunt who raised him in Paris and Florida. He awards himself various advanced degrees from UCLA and boasts authorship of several books. The hundreds of extremely rich women who pay for his services, to hear him tell it, form a vast, worldwide network of privilege and power. Twelve such women, he says, all married and with the approval of their husbands, are mothers of children he has sired, each for a large fee.

    John gives Dawn and her younger sister odd jobs around the apartments, “showing me different ways to be creative in the garage and redoing furniture,” says Dawn, “that kind of stuff.”

    Dawn doesn’t know about Holmes’ movie career. “We related on a really childlike level,” she says. “I didn’t know what business he was in. He’d do silly, cute, charming things around me. He liked my innocence, the fact that I had nothing to do with the porn industry” — an industry which, he would later tell her, he despised. Dawn likes John for John, but even here the penis intrudes. “He was very shy about it,” says Dawn in the Beverly Hills sun. “He gradually showed me who he was, that aspect of him. He was scared that I was going to be scared of it.”

    John often took Dawn and her sister on outings around town. Occasionally they would pass a Pussycat Theater. “I would see his name on the marquee and get paralyzed,” says Dawn. “I wouldn’t want to look at him. One day, he pulled up to a Pussycat and said, ‘C’mon.’”

    The girls followed him out of the car, he signed an autograph at the box office, and they were in. Dawn, still 15, and her sister, still 14, sat on either side of their chaperon. “We’re slumped down in our seats, and I’m covering my face, and my sister’s covering her face. People are walking by, trying to get John’s autograph, whispering, ‘Oh, my God. He’s here!’ My sister and I are hugely embarrassed.”

    The movie starts. Dawn looks. John walks into the frame dressed in a monk’s habit. “He opened his mouth and said something, and I immediately cracked up. He got a little upset and jabbed me in the ribs, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Then he started laughing, and we had to leave.”

    Soon after the Pussycat excursion, John takes Dawn on an outing, leaving the sister behind. Although they have not yet had sex, John has become increasingly possessive and controlling. “If I didn’t come from school on time because I was hanging out with some friends, John would be really angry,” she says. “He wouldn’t say anything, but he’d snub you. You knew he was pissed.”

    They drive to Zuma Beach, where John sits on the rocks, watching Dawn swim. They both sit silently as the sun melts into the liquid horizon. The 32-year-old man takes the 15-year-old girl’s hand and leads her to the back of his van.

    Many, many years later, the girl, all grown up, still seems in awe of the experience. “At the time, he was very sincere,” Dawn says. “I was very much in love with this guy, swept off my feet at 15 years old. Look at Elizabeth Smart. She was 15. That’s a 15-year-old’s brain space.”

    When Dawn’s father abruptly left Los Angeles to return to Florida, the vulnerable girl became more dependent on Holmes. For a while, Dawn moved in with John’s half-brother, David, and his wife in an apartment they shared in the court. But tensions ran high under that arrangement. Eventually, Sharon Holmes brought the girl into the home she shared with her husband. Sharon knew, by this time, of the relationship between John and Dawn.

    “It baffles everybody,” says Sharon of her bond with Dawn. “I hate to see injured people or dogs, and I just adopted her. I couldn’t see her staying outside with just a shift on. She became a daughter to me. I needed to tell her she had a brain. She didn’t need to accept what was going on.”

    A big part of what was going on was John’s increasing infatuation with drugs. A teetotaler before embarking on his porn adventure, Holmes had turned to Scotch whisky at first, packing a quart of J&B in his trademark briefcase. Next came pot. Then cocaine — as the 1970s peaked, great piles of the white powder seemed to be everywhere you went, especially if where you went was a porn set.

    John started bringing drugs home. Just before Christmas 1979, Holmes introduced lines of cocaine. He was always in control of the supply, and he parceled it out very specifically to Dawn. “He wanted to be sure I didn’t have too much, but enough for me to be with him still. Nobody else wanted to be with him after a while.

    “He brought freebase in once and had this huge premonition of how horrible it could get. He ritualistically took me out to the street, where we broke the pipe and swore never to bring it in.”

    Despite their pledge, base pipes and a torch were soon added to the cargo in John’s briefcase. Holmes’ base exploits eventually eclipsed his legend for cocksmanship, as his penis became less and less functional, on and off the set. His co-workers joked that the only way to ensure his arrival in front of the cameras was to leave a trail of cocaine rocks.

    By 1980, Holmes had taken to stealing — from parked cars, from airport luggage belts, from the homes of his friends — to support his habit. He began serving as a delivery boy for the only people who still tolerated his presence, his drug dealers. (Holmes’ daily paycheck came in the form of marbles of rock cocaine valued at around $1,000.) He mooched gas money. His only possessions were the clothes he wore, his wife’s Chevy Malibu and Dawn.

    Dawn started to accompany John on drug runs. She’d stay in the car while he did his deals and based himself into stupefaction. She’d sit sometimes for two days out in front of a dealer’s house, her only companion a Chihuahua named Thor. She became familiar with the outside of Eddie Nash’s house and that of the home on Wonderland Avenue. John wouldn’t take Dawn inside either house. Not that she wanted to come inside.

    “John told me that people had a way of disappearing from Eddie’s, and that you were lucky if you found their bones in the desert,” she says. “That was John’s way of telling me he was afraid of Eddie.”

    To pass the time, she would sleep. There were always blankets in the car, in case she had to hide. Sometimes John would leave a little bit of drugs. “It’s not a proud year of my life,” says Dawn, “but it’s what happened.”

    On the crash from coke, desperate for cash and more dope, John began beating Dawn and forcing her to turn tricks. After she brought back the money, he’d tell her she was dirty, then subject her to scalding baths, scrubbing her until she was again clean enough for him.

    On December 25, 1980, despite her apprehensions, Dawn found herself inside Eddie Nash’s house. John’s Christmas present to Dawn and his present to Eddie, it turned out, were one and the same. When Dawn returned to Holmes after fucking Nash for money, he smacked her in the face hard enough to pop her tooth through her lip. Nash had given them less coke than Holmes had anticipated. Four days later, on Dawn’s 20th birthday, he sent her back to Eddie.

    In January, John went psycho on the drugs. He put Dawn in the trunk of his car and delivered her to a woman named Michelle, who ran a brothel out of an apartment complex in the Valley. That period is among Dawn’s worst memories: “The two of them watched over me. I was basically trapped in this house for a couple of weeks.”

    One day Michelle was out, and John was visiting. He ordered Dawn to draw him a bath and fetch him a cup of coffee. While getting the coffee, she noticed that a sliding door, normally locked so as to prevent her escape, was ajar. She left her dog behind and ran.

    A stranger at a Denny’s gave Dawn enough money to call her mother in Oregon. Mom sent her a bus ticket. “It became this big ordeal, because John’s calling every bus station in town, telling them I’m his daughter, a runaway.”

    Following Dawn’s escape, John started calling her mother’s house, day after day. For the first few months, Dawn wouldn’t take the phone. She had been unable to tell her family the depth of her degradation. John begged Dawn’s mother to tell her that he loved her. He sent pictures of himself and of Thor to Dawn’s sister. He sent the sister five dollars and asked her to send back a picture of Dawn.

    Finally, Dawn broke down and talked to John on the phone. He apologized. He cried. He put the dog on the line. He promised that there would be no more prostitution and no more hitting. Dawn’s resolve crumbled. John was sounding like the old John, the goofy, childlike, paternal and protective John she had fallen in love with five years before, the John she had missed and had been hoping would return.

    John told her about how he had one more deal, a big one. Once he turned that, it would give them enough money to leave L.A. behind, to start somewhere new, to be like they used to be in the beginning, a family. Dawn felt herself sliding back in:

    “He sounded like that original person again on the phone. He was tapping into that strong connection that we shared originally, that was powerful enough to carry me into the bad times, hoping through those times that the good times would come back.”

    Dawn agreed to return to L.A. John’s one last big deal was the impending robbery of money, drugs and jewels from Eddie Nash.

    She flew in to Burbank Airport, and John picked her up. He also lifted luggage that didn’t belong to him off the conveyor belt. He was obviously high. Dawn protested, but John grabbed her arm and walked her to the car. He took her to a cheap motel and broke out the pipe. They did some drugs and spent a few days together. The vibe was painfully familiar to Dawn: “He kisses me and says, ‘Okay, baby, I’m off. This is it. I’m going to get the big one.’ And he doesn’t come back.”

    This is where the movie Wonderland begins.

     In the pre-dawn hours after the murders, John arrives at the home of Sharon Holmes, covered in blood and claiming to have been in an automobile accident. He wants a bath. “John has a habit,” says Sharon, “where if he has something unpalatable to pass off, he gets into the bathtub.”

    She allows him to come in and runs the water. He is scraped, but this can’t account for the profusion of blood. His clothing is soaked with it. The bath water turns red. That ain’t yourblood, thinks Sharon.

    As John sinks down, soaking in blood, he eventually reveals that he has just seen people killed. He tells her a little about when, where and who. i

    “These were people you knew,” said Sharon. “These were friends.”

    “They were scum. They deserved everything they got.”

    • * *

    John returns to Dawn just after sunrise. He immediately chokes down a handful of Valiumand goes to sleep. Dawn recognizes the Wonderland house on the news. John is having nightmares, moaning about blood. On the TV, Dawn watches as corpses are pulled out of the house in body bags. When John wakes up, she confronts him. John blows her off. She asks about the bloody nightmares. He’s out of money, out of drugs.

    “We watched the news a lot,” remembers Dawn. “I knew it was bad. I stayed really quiet. I didn’t know if he was going to flare.”

    Before John can formulate a plan, the LAPD kicks the door in and hauls them away. Dawn denies recognizing photos of Eddie Nash’s house, the Wonderland house or Eddie Nash. Dawn is released with nowhere to go but to Sharon, whom she has not seen in more than two years.

    The police install John in a luxury suite at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown L.A., and later at the Biltmore. The homicide cops on the case get nowhere with him. Tom Blake, John’s longtime handler from Vice, is brought in. John attempts to cut a deal, angling to be moved into a witness-protection program while giving up no real incriminating information on Nash. Dawn and Sharon are brought to the hotel as well, for their own safety. Dawn is scared. “We were told that Eddie’s was only one of the contracts out on John. There were all these mysterious other people John was about to rat on. People were afraid he was going to inform.”

    But Holmes was either unwilling or incapable of telling the truth. The police, frustrated by John’s lack of concrete information, cut him loose. John and Dawn hit the highway, running for their lives.

    This is where the movie ends.

     “I’d dyed his hair black,” says Dawn. “We’d spray-painted the car.” The fugitives headed east until they could drive no farther. They ended up at the Fountainhead Inn, a transient hotel on Collins Avenue in North Miami Beach. There was an X-rated motel across the street. Holmes took work at a construction site. One night he snapped and raised his hand to hit Dawn. She ran. She made it down to the pool in front of the snack shop. The hotel’s manager and a group of regulars were sitting at the snack shop eating dinner.

    Dawn: “They watched him catch up to me and throw me to the ground and pummel me, then drag me back upstairs.”

    That night, John put Dawn out to work on a prostitution track by the beach. In the morning, when Holmes had left for work, the residents of the hotel packed Dawn up and whisked her away. She took John’s handgun and the Chihuahua Thor, and moved in with the daughter of one of the hotel’s residents. John made phone contact soon after and begged for Dawn to return.

    “I wanted to say yes so bad,” she says. “He was throwing that ‘I just want to hold you and love you and be with you again, and I’m sorry.’ But I told him, ‘You promised me. You said that was the last time.’ I couldn’t forget that anymore. And I had a safe place. I had other people there. It wasn’t like I felt trapped to say yes anymore. A lot of times I had felt trapped to say yes when I really wanted to leave.”

    Dawn contacted her family to let them know she was safe. At the urging of her brother, she told the police where to find John. He was watching a Gilligan’s Island rerun when the detectives knocked. He asked if they wanted some coffee . . .

    Back in L.A., Holmes stood trial and, in late June of 1982, was acquitted in the Wonderland murders. A grand jury had been convened to investigate the killings, but Holmes refused to answer their questions. He was found in contempt and jailed for 111 days — until Eddie Nash had been found guilty on a separate drug charge and sentenced to prison. With Nash gone, Holmes told the grand jury enough to get away. The judge ordered his release.

    Nash served only a fraction of his sentence. Nearly 20 years later, in 2001, he pled guilty to a laundry list of racketeering counts, including the Wonderland murders, and was sentenced to just over three years, of which he served approximately one year.

    In 1982, Holmes came out of jail a free man, in a sense — off dope, for the first time in years. But the cock remained his only resource, and it took him back to porn. A former business partner, Bill Amerson, of whose two children Holmes was a godparent, set up a production company and brought Holmes in as an executive. For a while, he was relatively drug free, halfway reliable, but the old patterns soon resurfaced. Holmes, Amerson contends, embezzled something like a quarter-million dollars from him.

    (Sharon Holmes is not surprised: “The moral [of Wonderland] for me is your choices and what you do with them. You dig down deep and find something. And John didn’t have anything to dig down and find anymore. That’s why he went back to the porn business. That’s why he went back to stealing.”)

    After Florida, Dawn reunited with her father in Thailand, where he ran a hotel. She spent seven years in Southeast Asia, far beyond the reach of Holmes, where she earned high-school and college degrees. She came back to the United States in 1988. “I remember coming back in the late part of February, intent on finding John to tell him, ‘Look. I turned out better than you.’” Instead, she read in a newspaper that Holmes, age 44, lay dying of AIDS in Room 101A of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital on Sepulveda. “I felt bad he was sick,” she says. “I was going to go to the hospital. I was all ready to. But I didn’t have the nerve.”

    After a press screening of Wonderland, a CNN journalist crept out of the projection room saying, “I feel like I need a shower.” And indeed, watching the movie is like being dunked in someone’s dirty bath water — John Holmes’, say, on the night of the murders — over and over again, for an hour and a half. You walk out of the theater thinking, What was the point of all this? Did anyone learn anything? Was anyone changed for the better? Not Holmes, anyway. Despite his complicity in so much death, and even after testing positive for HIV, he continued working in the XXX industry, knowingly exposing at least three blue-screen actresses to the virus.

    When Dawn Schiller, sitting over coffee at a Beverly Hills hotel, tells of Holmes’ nasty depths, of the repeated pimping and beatings, she also manages to communicate something of the flawed, destructive humanity of the guy. “My memories are that I loved him,” she says. “I want to say that. I loved him. I don’t want to say that that wasn’t real, or that that wasn’t okay. I want to say that it was real, and that it was good. The times that I despised him and feared him are the last times that I remember with him, but they aren’t the only times. Right now, today, I remember the whole. He lost the battle. He saw it coming with the breaking of the pipe, all the way back then. He tried to stop the freight train.”

    Sharon nods. “It was like putting a piece of chewing gum on the tracks,” she says.

    • localarts 11:40 am on September 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “Despite his complicity in so much death, and even after testing positive for HIV, he continued working in the XXX industry, knowingly exposing at least three blue-screen actresses to the virus.”

      And to think he still has adoring fans..

      • criticextraordinaire 5:21 pm on September 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Of course. Who are we to judge The King. Yeah he did a couple of bad things in his day, but I like many prefer to focus on his good works and inimitable stage presence.

        • localarts 8:57 pm on September 13, 2013 Permalink

          Wow! I can only hope none of the victims family members stumble across this stie and read that shit. I don’t know if you’re joking or not, because thats really,really,really fucked up.

        • criticextraordinaire 8:53 am on September 15, 2013 Permalink

          F-ed up? John was found innocent in the Wonderland Murders ; it was not even a close call. The prosecutor’s case was weak, with no evidence whatsoever, just the speculative testimony of David Lind, a convicted criminal who was nowhere near the murder scene and who was spending that night scoring drugs at a local hotel. Everybody in the investigation was so fixated on John that they forgot to find the real perps, who to this day walk as free men.

        • The Odyssey 10:43 pm on September 20, 2013 Permalink

          A couple of bad things? You’re sick. He was scum.

    • localarts 9:35 am on September 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      So was Greg Diles, and he was there too. The LAPD were fixated on Ed Nash. The prosecution of John Holmes was a result of Holmes refusal to cooperate. Why do you think the investigation drug on for the better part of 20 years? When Holmes died in 88, he took with him everything that will ever be known about the slayings. The time line, how he was able to gain entrance that night, his co conspirators, the sequence in which the victims were beaten to death.

      If the other killers are indeed walking the streets as free men today, they can thank John Holmes for that.
      As I have said before Sharon Holmes told James Cox in 2002 she believed her husband committed at least one of the murders himself. Why did she make that statement? Because she knew him better than anybody. Weather Holmes murdered anyone that night is really a mood point now.

      One has to wonder just how many more of his co workers would he have exposed to the HIV virus given the chance? More importantly, what kind of human being would do such at thing in the first place?

      • criticextraordinaire 7:20 pm on September 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        John kept his mouth shut in order to PROTECT his family. They were threatened if he said anything, so he wisely kept his mouth shut. “Snitches wear stiches” and that sort of thing. Besides, Sharon was not exactly the most credible of sources. That whole BS story about some dead intruder at her house that the LAPD cop conveniently made disappear for her. Yeah right. And a locker adorned in 24-carat gold leaf.

        If John were the cad that some people make him out to be, he woulda sang like a canary to get out of jail after he was found innocent.

    • Jill C. Nelson 6:51 am on September 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “That whole BS story about some dead intruder at her house that the LAPD cop conveniently made disappear for her.”

      That is definitely one of the silliest stories I’d ever heard. Stranger still that, according to Dawn, Sharon swore her to secrecy about it and then the story appeared in TRTW. Bizarre all ’round.

      • John 10:32 am on September 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, when I first started reading stuff about Wonderland that was one of the first things I came across. I thought that I needed to read more and maybe start a blog because that was very sensational. I doubted that a middle aged woman could kill a hit man career criminal any way.

        • Tori 1:27 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink

          So was that story false?!

    • Beth 9:54 am on September 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome website! You should totally write a book, I am currently reading the Dawn Schiller book but was really surprised there aren’t many other books out there about this???? Hard to find some info on some stuff as well, like for instance, is Dawn’s father still alive??? I can’t find any info on him. Also zero info on Susan Lainius or really any of the others (aside from Holmes) about their childhoods, past, etc. I find the whole both fascinating and sad, to see how drugs totally destroyed these people, Joy’s story especially is sad, what happened there???? Can’t wait to see what u post next! (and seriously, write that book dude!!!) 🙂

    • Jill C. Nelson 6:38 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “Yes, when I first started reading stuff about Wonderland that was one of the first things I came across. I thought that I needed to read more and maybe start a blog because that was very sensational. I doubted that a middle aged woman could kill a hit man career criminal any way.”

      That story raised a bright red flag. I think that’s one of the situations that arises when other parties speak on behalf of certain people in these kinds of personal accounts — knowing full well that a given story can’t be refuted or corraborated.

      You’re doing an amazing job, John. And I certainly believe that you have gathered enough information to do the entirety of the Wonderland story justice if you should ever decide to develop a book.

    • Jill C. Nelson 7:46 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply


  • John 10:51 am on September 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes, ,   

    1964 Watkins Memorial High School (Pataskala, Ohio) 

    This was John Holmes high school, so I have included some photos from the 1964 Watkins Memorial yearbook. I guess that John would have graduated in 1962 if he’d finished his public schooling. This gives you a glimpse into the town of Pataskala, Ohio, local businesses, the high school kids, and all just a few years shy of the young Holmes era in Ohio.

    Far from L.A. and Hollywood.

    • criticextraordinaire 6:04 pm on September 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I once stopped off at a quick-mart in Pataskala as I was passing thru several years ago. As I was at the checkout, I asked the guy at the desk “Is this the town where Johnny Wadd grew up?”. He was noticeably annoyed and said “just take your stuff and get out of here”. I gathered from that exchange that some people in Pataskala are still troubled by John.

      I always thought it would be cool if they had some sort of John Holmes museum in town where people could come in and learn more about The King. It would being a little business into town. Having a little theatre beside it would be nice too, but I imagine that would be unrealistic. 😦

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

      LOL. Must be 21 to get in, parking in the back.

  • John 3:03 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes,   

    A Closer Look at Pataskala, Ohio 

    Of course, this is the hometown of John Holmes. Wikipedia has him listed as a notable person on the Pataskala wiki page:

    • John Holmes, better known as Johnny Wadd, one of the most prolific porn-stars of all time. He lived in Pataskala as a teenager before enlisting in the army at the age of 16.

    While touring the area from Bird’s Eye View on BING, it appears that the old center of town is maybe a few street lights and shops and other businesses. That’s about it. If you took away all of the new development and sprawl and neighborhoods of the last 50 years, it would be very rural looking. Today, the population is about 15,000. The population was a few thousand in 1960 according to a recent city study. I guess that is the year John left town for the Army.

    Pataskala, Ohio.

    Pataskala, Ohio. Photo: Jill C. Nelson

    John certainly took the route less traveled when he left town for good in 1960.

    John certainly took the route less traveled when he left town for good in 1960. Photo: Jill C. Nelson.

    This is what the older section of the Watkins Memorial High School looks like. It was opened in the mid-50s. I have been unable to obtain a yearbook photo, for the one or two years that John attended school here. There are a lot of Holmes’s in Ohio. Popular name.

    There is a newer part up to the left, but it looks like a prison. At least this is classic 50s/60s style with windows.

    John Holmes old high school. There is a newer part up and to the left (not shown), but it looks like a prison. At least this old section is classic 50s/60s style with many windows.

    Here is what the Urban Dictionary had to say about present-day Pataskala:

    Pataskala is located in central Ohio, 20 minutes east of Columbus. Known for being the former home of the famous porn star John Holmes, Pataskala offers many fun activities. These include counting the hundreds of underage pregnant girls roaming the streets in search of marijuana and a vast assortment of drugs. Also, sitting in a vehicle in the local Kroger’s parking lot for no apparent reason is another popular activity. If a place to stay for an over-nighter with a hooker you just picked up, the Shamrock Motel is perfect for you! The stained mattresses and the unbelievable amount of crack addicts inhabiting the area will put a smile on any crack whore’s face! If sports is more of your choice for entertainment stop by the local Watkins Memorial High School for a basketball game. With a total of 3 wins in two years, it should make you feel better about yourself while the coaches embarrass themselves and the entire school. So come on down to Pataskala Ohio and waste your life away with us! See you soon!

    That silly post about Pataskala reminded me of rural Mississippi, where my grandpa was from. Boring. And pregnant girls everywhere.

    Source (population):

    Pataskala Utility Study. http://www.ci.pataskala.oh.us/Downloads/Exhibits%20A1-A10.pdf

    • Blueskies 1:53 pm on August 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      For anyone wanting to watch again or haven’t seen the Wonderland movie yet; Dish network channel 130, tuesday [august 27] 3:05 am-5:00am and channel 167, thursday [august 29] 4:00pm-6:00pm.

  • John 8:50 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes, mary holmes bowman,   

    The Obituary for John’s Mother 

    Over the years, John Holmes has been a topic on the Pataskala community bulletin board at topix.com. There, you can read comments from locals and at least one alleged relative. The discussion thread goes back years, and things get a bit heated with religious talk, porno…It’s entertaining, if anything. I need to finish “Inches” so I can get to the bottom of John’s family life and the impact his career and choices had on them.

    Brandy alerted me to this and the obit being online, so I just went ahead and posted it all. Thanks B!


    The Columbus Dispatch. February 8, 2012.


    Mary J. Bowman, 93, of Pataskala, passed away at the Pataskala Oaks Care Center on January 27, 2012.

    Born on June 24, 1918 to the late John and Bessie (Gillenwater) Barton in Washington Court House, Ohio.

    Survived by children, Eddie (Barbara) Bowman, Dale (Ruth Ann) Holmes, Anna Louise Blount and David A. (Kerry) Bowman; ten grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren; brothers, Wesley (Evelyn) and Lloyd (Janet) Barton; sister-in-law, Elsie Barton; many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by husband Harold Bowman, brothers Arthur and Donald Barton, sisters Dorothy and Virginia Hoffman.

    Graveside service on Friday, February 10, 2012 at 1 p.m. at Harrison Township Cemetery, South Bloomfield, OH, with Pastor Mark Pierce officiating.

    KAUBER-SAMMONS FUNERAL HOME in charge of arrangements.

    • Jill C. Nelson 10:10 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      And not surprising that Mary’s fourth child was left out of the obituary. We attempted to make contact with John’s family during the writing of Inches but to no avail, excluding John’s half brother David and his niece Leah.

      • Brandy 11:01 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds like the family member in charge of Mary’s affairs kept John (Laurie) out of the obit out of spite. Just a guess.

        • John 11:02 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink

          Exactly what I just posted. Good call.

      • John 11:02 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I have generally found, in my family and friends, that the obit is usually written by the bossy matriarch who has unresolved issues with certain people. They get to tell the undertaker what to send, or they themselves send it, to the newspapers. When my estranged/criminal cousin was left out of my uncle’s obit (his dad), …oh man, there was going to be hell to pay! LOL Needless to say my dad and I did not stay long at the after funeral party or whatever it is called. Too much bad blood and people ready to kill each other.

        I think something like this may have happened here. They could have included Holmes, so that is quite lame of them. It was his mother, after all.

        • Brandy 11:47 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink

          So true. I had to practically threaten the funeral home to fix a badly written & incorrect obituary for my stepfather. They were nasty & condescending but did fix it. It was originally written by a narcissistic sociopath (aka his sister).

    • Brandy 10:32 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I actually was surprised John was left out. It’s not the town didn’t know of Mary’s relation to John Holmes. Also, according to Laurie’s book (read in one sitting last evening) Mary was present when John died so that would imply she came to terms with who her son was.

      • John 10:50 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I always found it strange that he was THE biggest porn star, but he used his given name, for the most part. Early on, I know that he used aliases but not in the mid-70s when he got famous.

    • Brandy 10:54 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Agreed, complete with his middle initial too! Maybe he was just really proud of his work (in the beginning at least) & wanted everyone to know. He might have thought his “fame” was going to be more accepted in the mainstream & family would get over any embarrassment.

    • localarts 11:41 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I guess this further illustrates the shame and embarrassment his family must have felt. I’m sure his name came up at the wake.

    • Jill C. Nelson 11:59 am on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with all of the above comments. In John’s situation, his eldest brother Dale would have undoubtedly had the most influence over the writing of Mary’s obit. He was the family member with the biggest ax to grind over John’s career choice. Prior to his death, John requested that Laurie send different items of John’s to his mother and various siblings in the way of little antique pieces and other items. Charlie, one of their dogs, went to John’s sister. Dale apparently destroyed his “gift” into tiny pieces upon its arrival at his home. As much as Mary didn’t agree with her son’s career, she did visit John and Sharon at different points during their marraige and was by John’s side in his final months. They had come to a mutual understanding. Laurie and Mary continued in relative close contact until the late 1990s through phone and letters. We visited John’s home town of Pataskala during the writing of the book. It was like stepping back in time — or traveling to 1950s Mayberry, just like the TV show.

      • Brandy 12:23 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your book & insight Jill, it is appreciated. I realize we are talking about deeply personal things for people we (I) don’t know. These are people’s lives & due to the morbid (arguably) fascination with The Wonderland Murders people have delved into others personal lives. I’m guessing “Leah” is the same niece that visited John, the one Dawn writes about in her book. I read some of Leah s blog posts & she seems VERY defensive of John & his innocence so I was hoping other family members of John agreed.

        I am wondering why there is such a vast contrast between Dawn Schiller’s book and her feelings of John, & Laurie Holmes book (John’s biography). Laurie seems to have a great resentment towards a lot of people & I don’t blame her I suppose. After reading the last few chapters of her book I did walk away with a “HMMMMM, I wonder…….” regarding John’s perspective of the Wonderland murders. But she was also very young when she was with John & he may have told her exactly what he thought she wanted to hear…..similar to Dawn.

      • John W 7:16 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Pataskala sounds interesting, I like middles of nowhere. Jill, did you ladies see any Amish folk? What time of year was it and do you have any cool pics? 😉

        • Jill C. Nelson 8:20 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink

          We didn’t see any Amish folk but people seemed a little suspicous about outsiders which seems pretty common in small towns. It was in July 2006. As it turned out, my daughter was playing in the NSA Under-16 World Series of Girls’ Softball in Columbus that summer so we drove to Pataskala on an off afternoon which was only about a half hour away and ate lunch in a 1950s style diner.

      • criticextraordinaire 5:37 am on October 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Interestingly, according to Sharon, Dale was one of the people who John most respected because “he could not be corrupted by money, drugs, or sex”. Sad that Dale rejected John’s parting gift. 😦

        • John 10:34 am on October 18, 2016 Permalink

          Sadly, Holmes and I have something in common. No, not that. We both have a brother who is only successful at having a bunch of kids!

    • localarts 12:34 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I can understand why they left his name out. In a small town such as Pataskala it wouldn’t take long for the locals to put 2 & 2 together. The residual effect of being the principal facilitator to murder is somewhat everlasting and I’m sure the last thing the family wanted is that kind of attention.

      • Brandy 12:37 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I see your point but I’m sure everyone knows. They could have just said she was “preceded in death by her son John”, no last name necessary. Just an opinion of course, I have no idea what that family went through.

    • Jill C. Nelson 1:56 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Brandy, thank you for your kind words. Leah is actually John’s eldest brother Dale’s daughter and she and her sister grew up in Pataskala. Yes, she is defensive of her Uncle and was able to get to know John during the occasional visits that he and his brother David made back home during the ’70s. The niece who had lived with John and Sharon for a period of about 10 months (not just at Christmas that year as Dawn has written) in 1979 is John’s sister Anne’s daughter, Julie. Julie and John’s brother David (as a late teen) were both sent to live with John and Sharon at different points because of difficulties in their respective homes. For the record, David does not share certain family members’ disdain of his late brother. He is a much more accepting and open-minded individual who also believes in forgiveness.

      To attempt to answer your valid question re: Dawn and Laurie and their conflicting viewpoints: Dawn’s last year in particular with John was when John was at his lowest low. Prior to his Wonderland adventures (as David referred to it) John’s escalating drug use was relatively under control. Up until the onset of 1980, he was a functioning addict and if you go back and read Dawn’s (and Sharon) print interviews during the release of the film Wonderland, Dawn clearly states this very same point, that it wasn’t until the final year of their relationship that John became cruel and physically abusive, etc. Over the years, Dawn has ‘adjusted’ certain elements of her story and has contradicted herself which Sugar and I both noted. When John and Laurie were together, John was clean for almost a year and a half. When I say clean, he continued to smoke pot but he was free of cocaine and freebase and he and Laurie and his step-son, (Laurie’s son) lived a relatively ‘normal’ family life until he contracted HIV. So in many ways, Dawn’s experiences with John are foreign to Laurie’s and vice-versa. Most likely, Laurie could generate a tidy little side income if she had released a book that made her late husband look like an evil man, but despite the fact that many don’t believe her, that just wasn’t her personal experience with him and so she honoured that. We did the same when incorporating our interviews with Laurie into our book. We also honoured John’s godchildren’s personal experiences with him which were overwhelmingly postiive. Given the amount of negative material we had to work with, believe me, it was at times challenging to be fair.

      Personally, it is our belief that consumption of drugs or a lack thereof had everything to do with John’s horrific choices and actions. That’s not excuse making, that’s merely stating a common fact about chemical addiction and researching that became part of the process of developing the book because it was so glaring. As far as Laurie being resentful of certain people, well, I suppose that sort of goes with the territory. She feels that she carries a pretty heavy cross and undoubtedly, it’s been hard for her and she acknowledges many mistakes she’s made along the way, but she’s learning to let go a little these days. A lot of people have a propensity to discredit Laurie because of her association/marriage with/to John, not to mention because she also worked in adult films. It’s sort of guilt by association. Through the years Dawn and Sharon have sort of become exalted almost to a level of sainthood while Laurie and other girlfriends/releationships of John’s are denigrated or worse. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again, everyone is capable of being a saint or a sinner. 😉

      • Brandy 3:11 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Jill! It makes perfect sense that people would automatically believe 100% of Dawns story because she had a big Hollywood production to back it up…..so of course it’s true! Not. You’re insight as to both Dawn and Laurie being with John with John at different times in his life also makes perfect sense. I should know as a recovering addict who did unspeakable things in my addiction that those actions do not define me. If I had a little fame, famous friends and money I may have had a worse outcome, like John.
        I noticed in Dawns interview in Portland, the one where she was reading from her book, she implied John was purposely and intentionally grooming her from day to be a prostitute and that he backhanded her within weeks of being together. I didn’t buy that, and yes that contradicted her book.
        The show “poisoned passions, pornstar pedophile” was nothing short of hilariously dumb. I didn’t buy that either. Thanks again, I wish Laurie peace. What an incredible thing for a 22 year old to take on!! You’re correct, she has a right to bitterness but I hope it doesn’t consume her.

      • criticextraordinaire 6:51 pm on October 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I prefer to view John as “the glass half full”, a good guy who indeed had some tough times. Considering the abusive childhood he had with a chaotic parental situation (Mom and Harvey marrying and divorcing 3 times, with Carl showing up in between marriages, and then Harold) it’s not surprising that his adult life was likewise chaotic. Throw a 14″ schlong into the equation and trouble is hard to evade.

    • Jill C. Nelson 4:37 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “I wish Laurie peace. What an incredible thing for a 22 year old to take on!! You’re correct, she has a right to bitterness but I hope it doesn’t consume her.”

      I will most definitely pass along your good wishes to Laurie, Brandy, as she understandably stopped reading any blogs that pertain to her late husband years ago. I know that she will greatly appreciate your sentiment. 🙂 Thank you.

      • Brandy 5:15 pm on August 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t blame her, I wouldn’t either. I’m sure it would be painful and frustrating. She’s lucky to have you help decipher fact from reality. Have a great weekend!

  • John 8:16 am on August 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , john holmes,   

    20 Years Porn Myth 

    I used Google Chrome to translate this article to English from a news web site in South America. Thus, it may read a bit funny…and by funny, I mean funny.

    …needed snorting a line of coke every 15 minutes of exercising hustler to pay the high price of their consumption and, on the sets, needed the help of three fluffers (the meritorious who practiced fellatio the actors before shooting) to lift your tool.

    The article is observing the 20th anniversary of John’s death and basically summarizes his life and career. By the way, this past March was the 25th anniversary of John’s passing. The article is more funny than anything else, due to the translation, but it’s also the first talk of “fluffers” being needed on the set. That’s good work if you can get it and a nice bullet for someone to put on their CV/resume.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    “20 Years Porn Myth” (that is the translated title, LOL)

    On the afternoon of March 13, 1988, a man dying in a hospital in Los Angeles. It was registered under the name of John Curtis Holmes and trailing colon cancer due to the effects of AIDS, which had contracted two years earlier. He died that day “with open eyes,” remembers Laurie, his second wife, as if he had looked death and told him: “Here I am.” (after he died, I read that Laurie tried to close his eyes, like in the movies, but they would not stay closed)

    A photo of Holmes in the county jail. I had not seen this one before today.

    A photo of Holmes in the county jail. I had not seen this before today.

    After 20 years of his death, the figure of John Holmes is still alive in the memory of those who work in the adult entertainment industry. Because Holmes was everything from gay prostitute to compulsive drug (user) from a police informer to luxury gigolo, but, above all, was the porn actor most famous in history. And all because of what he had between his legs: A 35-centimeter penis erect which established him as a sexual myth alive.

    John Curtis Holmes was born in Pickway (Ohio) on August 8, 1944. He had a happy childhood and, aged 18, moved to California in search of fortune, in the topical version of the American dream. In 1968, when he was engaged to dance at clubs striptease and had posed for various magazines, went to pee in the toilet of a Gardina poker room and met a professional photographer named Joel, who, seeing his apparatus , he proposed to work in the fledgling porno industry. It was a time of sexual revolution, counterculture hippy and hallucinogenic drugs, in which the film was being shot underground and short film format without arguments or excuses dramatic. In that environment, the 35 inches (centimeters? LOL) of Holmes were the main asset of the industry.

    With the legalization of porn in America, in 1970, John Holmes became the undisputed star of the genre. It was thanks to the character of Johnny Wadd, a detective cheeky and always ready to use his metaphorical gun that had invented the director Bob Chinn. “The first film in the series cost $ 750, of which 75 took them John, and we shot in one day,” says Chinn, who commanded that film in New York, home of the porn market in the early seventies, and was ordered to make more movies with the character. In the skin of Wadd, John Holmes to glory and then some. It was believed that both his character ended up being a police informer.

    That was the first of the curious contradictions of Holmes. The second had to do with their relationship with the drug. Addicted to tranquilizers from young, Holmes went into the dangerous world of cocaine in the mid-seventies. A decade later, needed snorting a line of coke every 15 minutes of exercising hustler to pay the high price of their consumption and, on the sets, needed the help of three fluffers (the meritorious who practiced fellatio the actors before shooting) to lift your tool. Drugs also earned him legal problems, such as the murder charge that weighed on him for having been involved in the killing of a drug ring in Hollywood.And they brought him to AIDS, the disease that led to death 20 years ago yesterday.



    • dreamweaverjenn 8:34 am on August 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Dang, what a handsome devil…..lol

    • localarts 8:49 am on August 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      LOL. Yes, devil indeed.

    • Jill C. Nelson 2:43 pm on August 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Taking into consideration there is something to be said for getting lost in translation, Holmes was not addicted to tranquilizers as a youth and porn was not legalized in 1970. The production of adult films was legalized in 1988 in the state of California alone with the Freeman decision – ironically, 6 months after Holmes’s death.

      For me, the funniest part of this article is the false statement that Holmes had a happy childhood…

      I’d say this piece is a very good example of how rumours and misinformation becomes accepted as truth.

  • John 12:21 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes,   

    The Pussycat Theatre During The 1980s 

    This is the PussyCat Theater, where John Holmes and other classic era porn stars had laid down their autographs, hand and shoe imprints in cement in the mid-80s. This photo is from the 1980s, so there ya go. That’s what it looked like back then!

    Was John in those two featured films? Hmmm

    PussyCat Theatre

    PussyCat Theatre

    • Bobby 2:38 am on August 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Nah, Holmes wasn’t in those two flicks. “Outlaw Ladies” was a 1981 film starring renowned Blue-movie actress, Samantha Fox.. not to be confused with the British pop singer & Page 3 girl of the same name. “Extreme Close-Up” was a 1973 “drama” about voyeurism that was written by, get this, Michael Crichton of “Jurassic Park” & “The Andromeda Strain” fame! It’s also known as “Sex through a Window” & the plot summary sounds like a lame rip-off of “Rear Window”.. but with boobies! Pass.

    • Jill C. Nelson 11:13 am on August 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Holmes was in a film tilted Extreme Close-Up (released in 1979), co-starring Gloria Leonard, Delania Raffino and Jamie Gillis. It was shot in France, along with two other features. Leonard shared a great story about the shoot.

      • Bobby 11:22 am on August 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I stand corrected! Well if that’s the case then the marquee would indeed be advertising the later Holmes film.. Thanks for clearing that up. What happened during the shoot Jill?

    • Jill C. Nelson 11:44 am on August 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Leonard said that several people including cast and crew (about 22 in all) came down with the clap. They were on location in a small town at the time and had to go quietly in groups of two and three to the country doctor (so as not to alarm any of the locals) to acquire the antidote that was to be administered to the infected people. Holmes informed everyone he’d worked as a paramedic (technically, he had been employed as an ambulance driver) back in the ’60s and offered to inject everyone with the cure, which he proceeded to do — including Leonard. She found it ironic.

      • John W 5:37 pm on August 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Great info Jill.
        In my research for John Holmes, I discovered Leslie Bouvee (sp?)…. And a crush ensued…a gorgeous brunette from the 70s. I’ve never seen her films.

        • The Odyssey 11:03 pm on September 20, 2013 Permalink

          This is not the Pussycat theatre with the hand prints. The hand prints is at the one in West Hollywood. The one above is on Hollywood blvd. Now a hot dog stand/church. Supply Sergeant is still there. FYI. In the basement of that Pussycat was a club called Masque were the go go’s and Darby Crash first performed.

  • John 10:02 am on July 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , john holmes   

    John & Dawn Featured On Discovery ID “Poisoned Passions” 

    I think that someone posted this link once, but I stumbled across it again. I have not seen the episode nor the show. There is a 3-minute preview and the dramatization is very cheesy (“Arggh So much blood!”).


    Nothing new, but I thought that I would share. Author Mike Sager chimes in… “the gang were a loose confederation of drug addicts”, etc.

    Not really.

    Not really.

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