John Holmes Preliminary Trial – Part 1

Thanks to Bonnie for helping with this…

As June draws to a close, and as we observe the anniversary of the Wonderland saga, today I am posting the Foreword from the book “Long Time Money And Lots Of Cocaine” by Rodger Jacobs. He says the transcripts for Holmes’ 1982 court trial are lost? I doubt there is a conspiracy there, most likely it was a lazy civil servant who did not bother looking and went outside to smoke instead.

My favorite part below is McCourt whining about not being part of the inside robbery. In fact, when everyone else thought the robbery was too risky, McCourt and Deverell were going to take care of it on their own, just the two of them. That’s in the testimony.

If David Lind was observed as articulate and smooth at Holmes’ preliminary trial hearing in 1982, then at Nash and Diles trial eight years later, he would be grouchy, cantankerous and hard to deal with. Maybe he scored some bad junk?

Also, in the 5 year anniversary L.A. Times article I posted a few weeks ago, D.A. Ron Coen stated that Nash continually said to cops that it was Lind who went to the house and killed everybody, stole the loot, etc. Maybe he hated Billy’s white jeans?

P.S. – I cannot believe that Rodger got John’s year of death incorrect. What. The. Hell.

Also, was Nash really L.A.’s biggest mobster? Sounds a bit inflated to me in order to sell books. The story is interesting enough without having to embellish or exaggerate, and make shit up. It’s not necessary.

I will post more soon, as to how the robbery plans escalated, and other details from the witnesses themselves. Fuckin’ A!

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In the late 1960s a young man of Middle Eastern heritage named Adel Gharib Nasarallah established a hot dog stand on Hollywood Boulevard. By the 1970s Adel had Americanized his name to Eddie Nash and that lone hot dog stand had blossomed into a stranglehold on the Hollywood night club scene. Nash held 36 liquor licenses and owned the hottest clubs in town: The Paradise Ballroom, The Starwood, and the Kit Kat Club, just to name a few. The club scene of the 80s was fueled by cocaine and other narcotics, so Nash wasn’t just making money at the door but behind closed doors as well. Eddie Nash had evolved into one of the most powerful mobsters Los Angeles had seen since the days of Mickey Cohen.



By contrast, the rag tag bunch of dopers that lived in a split-level home at 8763 Wonderland Avenue in Laurel Canyon were second-rate hoods, with the exception of Ronald Launius. And then there was porn titan John Holmes, the man at the very center of the mystery and the murders. In the words of former Los Angeles District Attorney Ronald S. Cohen this is the tale of “a drug robbery that went tragically awry.”

The blood-soaked events that occurred in July 1981 continue to haunt and fascinate because the bludgeoning murders remain an unsolved mystery. The true assailants have never been apprehended. Gregory Diles, Eddie Nash’s 300-pound bodyguard, died in 1995 at age 48.
John C. Holmes, who was acquitted at trial in 1982, died from complications of AIDS at an L.A. Veterans hospital in 1987.

The nearest we come to justice in the horrifying slayings on Wonderland Avenue is the 2000 indictment against Nash for jury tampering and conspiracy in the murders. Nash, in ailing health, plead guilty and served a scant 37 months. He is still alive and living in L.A. as of this writing.

What you are about to read is the complete transcript of the February 1982 Preliminary Hearing for John Holmes in the Wonderland murders. By conspiracy or bureaucratic blunder, the entire transcripts of John’s 1982 trial in Superior Court are not to be found in the county clerk’s office. The transcripts have simply vanished. But the Preliminary Hearing transcript exists intact and the
drama is more than evident.

The transcript reads like a true mystery novel. At the periphery of the tale are prosecution witnesses David Lind, an articulate, smooth-talking felon, and Tracy McCourt, a disgruntled and petulant second-rate hood. Both men participated in the robbery of Eddie Nash that preceded and instigated the Wonderland killings; Lind as a gunman and McCourt as a getaway driver. In his
testimony, McCourt pouts that Lind became part of the plot to rob Nash “at the last minute” and that even McCourt’s gun was confiscated and given to the interloping criminal.

David Lind’s testimony lays out the star-crossed nightmare that transpired in July 1981 in riveting detail. In order to maintain dramatic flow, certain points of legal procedure that serve to dull the reading experience – such as the swearing in of witnesses – have been redacted. Otherwise, this is a verbatim transcript.

Rodger Jacobs
Los Angeles, California
June 2005