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  • John 9:13 am on October 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
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  • John 9:11 am on October 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
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  • John 11:04 am on October 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
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    Fred Basten – Holmes’ P*RN KING Author 

    Laurie put herself down as co-author, as well. I have several of Fred’s books. They are so unique and powerful. Even his L.A. hotspot tour books, and histories of local hotels, etc. are just amazing and always full of great vintage and also color photographs. I am working on getting him for an interview, he is not at all famous, so I need to find out today if he is still alive. Fred never did many controversial star bios or anything like that. I just don’t think it was his fort’e.

    From nine years ago…

    Basten a guiding light

    Santa Monica Daily Press | Oct 14, 2012

    MAIN STREET — Fred. E Basten is an accomplished author and chronicler, having penned or collaborated on nearly 40 books, including “Santa Monica Bay: Paradise by the Sea,” a pictorial history that is practically required reading for anyone who calls Santa Monica home.

    But he’s probably more well known for his other job as a travel counselor for the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau. The slender, reserved man with the rumbling voice and relaxed demeanor has helped thousands of visitors over the last 10 years discover the city by the sea, pointing out attractions and landmarks while offering stories on Muscle Beach or the old pleasure piers. Having lived in Santa Monica for 53 years, he has plenty to share.

    “I love telling them all the spots to hit,” Basten said with a smile during an interview earlier this month at the Santa Monica Visitors Center on Main Street near Pico Boulevard. “It’s been a joy for me.”

    That’s ironic given that Basten isn’t the most outgoing person you’ll meet; he prefers to let his writing speak for him. He’s never been married. He lives alone and considers his books to be his children.

    For the most part, he’s reserved unless asked about a topic he’s researched, like the emergence of the Technicolor Corp., which revolutionized movie making by ushering in color. His book on the subject, “Glorious Technicolor: The Movies’ Magic Rainbow,” is considered to be one of the most in-depth looks on the company.

    He credits his work with the Visitors Bureau for helping him open up and socialize more. And for his efforts he was recognized by the nonprofit charged with promoting Santa Monica as a premier tourist destination.

    “Fred is an integral part of our team and such a wonderful asset to our community,” said Misti Kerns, president and CEO of the Visitors Bureau. “His love for Santa Monica is evident in the work that he does and his gifted storytelling has kept our city’s history alive for future generations. For the past decade, our visitors have been provided the opportunity to meet and to learn from an extraordinary man and author.”

    Basten’s love for Santa Monica can be traced back to his roots in Chicago. Born in the years after the Great Depression (Basten refuses to give his age; “ages are only important in obits,” the author writes when asked for his age a second time), he lived with his family in a small apartment by the beach; his grandparents lived a short distance away on Lakeshore Drive overlooking Lake Michigan.

    “I’m kind of a water baby. I have to be near the water. I have to see the water,” Basten said.

    As a kid, he remembers spending a lot of time with his grandmother at the beach, visiting museums or attending the grand movie palaces owned by Balaban & Katz Theater Corp. where he got in for free thanks to his father, a drummer with his own pit band that provided music for the stage shows that preceded films in those days.

    “My grandmother was a big movie fan and I became a great big movie fan,” Basten said with a laugh. “I remember seeing all the major movie stars of the time. I saw Judy Garland, Betty Grable; they’d come to promote their films.”

    So imagine Basten’s delight when his father decided to move the family to Los Angeles in 1944. Basten was going to see Hollywood for himself. His father, mother, a “big Charleston girl,” and Basten packed up their car, borrowed some gasoline ration stamps and took Route 66 to the West Coast.

    They followed radio personality Truman Bradley, a friend of Basten’s father who had the cash to open up an appliance shop. Basten’s father became the store manager and the family settled in Westwood. He attended University High School and got his first job as an elevator operator at Sponberg’s Department Store.

    “I loved Sponberg’s, but it had a terrible smell,” he said.

    Basten attended UCLA where he initially majored in business at his father’s suggestion.

    “He went through the Great Depression and said if you have a business background you will always be safe,” Basten said. “I almost flunked out of school. I didn’t know anything about numbers and I’m not interested in anything like that.”

    He was put on academic probation, switched his major to art history and took off from there. He got a job at Foote, Cone & Belding Advertising in downtown Los Angeles, where he started off in the mail room, “like everyone did back in those days.” He soon was promoted to the copy department, where he had the pleasure of working with “Sex and the Single Girl” author and Cosmopolitan magazine legend Helen Gurley Brown.

    “At the time she was going with Jack Dempsey the boxer, who was quite a bit older than she was,” Basten said.

    Basten went on to serve as an assistant to the public relations director at Max Factor and was the director of publications at A & W Root Beer in Santa Monica for 13 years. When the company moved their headquarters to Michigan, Basten stayed in Santa Monica and pursued his writing full time.

    “I didn’t want to move back east again, I didn’t want to work for somebody else or another company,” Basten said.

    So he pulled out piles of old photographs he had collected of Santa Monica and decided to put a book together. He didn’t know it at the time, but Santa Monica was about to celebrate its 100th birthday. While one book on its history was being written by a reporter with the old Outlook newspaper, Basten was putting together his own. It became a hit.

    “Everybody loved it. I was hauling cartons of books to the book stores around town every week because they couldn’t keep it on the shelf,” he said. “They said at one time that everyone in Santa Monica had a copy of that book on their coffee table.”

    It has been in print under one name or another since 1975. Another one of Basten’s books on the historic Chateau Marmont hotel, a haunt of many celebrities, is currently being developed into an HBO mini-series. Basten said he is busy with four projects now, but he won’t discuss them.

    “I just don’t want people to know what I’m doing,” he said.

    When the former “beach rat” isn’t writing or at the Visitors Center, he can be found walking along the boardwalk or the Third Street Promenade.

    “I still love the beach, but I don’t get down there too much anymore. I like to wander around and see what’s happening. There’s always something going on,” he said. “It’s not dull around here.”

    With people like Basten, it certainly is not.

    “There might be a different look, a lot more people and more congestion, but it’s still Santa Monica,” Basten said when asked to reflect on how Santa Monica has evolved over the years. “I wouldn’t move for anything. I love it.”

    Fred E. Basten (middle) is recognized for 10 years or service as a travel counselor with the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau. With him are Jeff Jarow, CVB chairman, and Mayor Richard Bloom.
  • John 4:19 pm on August 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes,   

    True Lies: John Holmes and Scott Thorson 

    Addiction is a medical problem; a brain disease and is lifelong. So says the famous celebrity addiction counselor, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He goes further: “Once the switch to addiction is thrown, then it is a chronic, lifelong condition … addicts tell me that while they are sober, their addiction is doing push-ups, waiting to re-emerge and take over … it’s a brain disorder and it’s waiting and lurking in them.” Dr. Drew also says that when an addict begins to offer you a promise or an explanation, then you should cover your ears because you are about to receive a big load of bullshit.

    John Holmes and Scott Thorson

    So then – what can we say about these two men? Apparently, there is quite a bit because they really had a lot in common.

    Both men were originally from very humble beginnings in the Midwest – John from Ohio and Scott by way of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The pair each lived and worked on the edge of true celebrity and on the fringes of the entertainment world; enough celebrity fire to at least capture the friendship of Eddie Nash. Yet both became immersed in the hardcore world of drugs. Both men shared a love lust for the same drug – freebase rock cocaine – Crack!

    These two men have both had movies made about them, and both have become, by their own actions and mistakes – legendary figures. Both have ghost-written books, with Scott’s coming out the same year John died. Almost star-crossed, they have so much in common that it is almost like they were separated at birth, moved away and then as adults, veered towards the same destiny. The most common trait between these two men however, were the lies. It was that you could not believe a thing that came out of their mouths. They have also lied to themselves, and betrayed their own emotions.


    I should be delivering furniture in Ohio

    Everybody lies to get something they want on occasion, but according to the annals of psychiatry, “a pathological liar may be aware they are lying, or may believe they are telling the truth, being unaware that they are relating fantasies”. One origin of this behavior begins with a chaotic home life and generally starts to grow during a person’s teenage years. At this stage, due to insecurities, they begin to lie to cast themselves in a favorable light, as to “decorate their own person”. That says it all right there. Furthermore, the liar does not really believe the lies, and knows which are true if pressed for the truth, but, in cases of rather extreme traumatic events and to save conscience, the liar can easily “lie it away” quite quickly, in other words even lie to themselves to get it off their mental table or conscience – and bury it away as truth.

    The morning of the murders, when John was asked by his estranged wife, Sharon, how he could have been involved in something like that since the victims were his friends, he simply replied “they were dirt.”

    Decorate Their Own Person

    Like any book, writing your autobiography can be quite a difficult task. It is even harder to pen your life story though when you cannot keep your lies straight within the book itself and most damaging, keep the lies straight with things that you say on record that are to the contrary, before and after the book has been published.

    In the Wonderland realm, there have been three key figures who have accomplished this amazing feat: John Holmes, Scott Thorson and Dawn Schiller. Leaving Dawn out of this (for now), Holmes and Thorson could not even keep their lies straight even when it came time to capture, for the entire world to see, their own life story. They had already told different stories before the books were printed, and most damaging, Scott did it afterward as well.

    A person’s autobiography is the holiest of holies when it comes to your legacy, even if you do not have an exciting story to tell. These men did have great stories to tell, but they could not keep the lies from changing long enough to even let themselves die first. When you scan the online reader reviews for these books, even the average person has noticed it, and almost all of them mention it.

    Old things, dead and buried, often get new life breathed into them. Books are no different and due to the success of the 2013 film based on the 1988 book of the same name, Behind the Candelabra has gained some brief popularity and was re-released in electronic form with a few minor additions.

    Thus, I found Scott’s new Afterword. Yes, Scott (aka Jess Marlow) had an opportunity to add an Afterword section to the end of his famous book and he tells us what he has been doing lately. But what does he do with this opportunity? He lies. Scott stretches this short couple of paragraphs so that he can squeeze a lie in there. And here it is (paraphrased): As a person in witness protection because he was a witness against feared L.A. nightclub owner Eddie Nash, an attempt was made on his life by associates of Eddie Nash about a year after the trial. The only problem was, Nash’s first trial was a hung jury, and the second trial ended in acquittal. Nash was acquitted due to Scott’s flimsy testimony, not convicted. It would make no sense to kill him, at all. Unbelievable, yet sadly rather believable if you know Scott’s history of lying. By the way, Scott is trying to put together another book or movie about himself and is looking for investors with this project.

    Indeed, an attempt was made on Jess Marlow’s life, sure. It was at a cheap motel in Jacksonville in November, 1991. That did happen. However, the would-be assassin at the room that night was no pro, but simply a longtime petty thief and crack-head, a twenty-five year old man named Melvin Jerome Owen. He was arrested shortly after the shooting.

    According to police, they may have been smoking crack together in the room before the shooting, due to all of the paraphernalia lying about. The one good thing to come from the shooting though for Scott was that his own body and heart did not betray him. Although shot 3 times in the chest and after spending many weeks on the critical list, the authorities would later say “..it was very serious, nobody thought he would make it. But he just kept living and living and he finally recovered”. In his Afterword, Scott even raises the number of bullets that were pumped into his body by the assassin from three… to five. He lied again, yet he cheated death. After this, he moved in with a nice lady in Maine for about ten years. He lived clean, but later said that that felt like he was living a lie, so he went back to being a shit head.

    In his own book, Porn King, John Holmes tells a great story. But that is just it, a story. It was public knowledge via court testimony and news articles that John’s whereabouts on the night of the Wonderland murders was inside the house, with the killers. He was made to watch what they did to his friends. His attorneys admitted this much in court. Holmes admitted this to cops as well, albeit “off the record”. But when his long awaited book was published posthumously, the story had changed again. This time, he was not at the house, but kept at gunpoint at another house while his friends were brutally killed. He states that when they released him, he did go back to the Wonderland house, acting bravely, to check on them – only to discover the carnage that awaited him – “Their heads had been pulverized” and other such nonsense. Sharon Holmes statements about certain events even show that he couldn’t even keep his employment history straight – not remembering that his term as ambulance driver was “while” they were married, and not before they hooked up.

    John feared for the members of his family. All of this had been his fault and he knew it. This lie – even though it subverted justice and harmed many other people, does have a hint of real purpose behind it. In his eyes, it saved the lives of his family from the revenge of Eddie Nash. He could have come clean in his posthumous book, but there we are again, with his family exposed to danger. Even a liar loves his mother.

    For love or lust, there is nothing wrong with being emotionally or physically involved in a homosexual relationship. Next to Adam and Eve, it may even be the oldest hook-up known to mankind. Gay sex. The ancients were famous for it. But if you do it merely and solely for financial gain, then like any hetero tryst for hire, society has a word for that:  whore. Whether gay or bisexual or not at all, both John and Scott explored homosexuality in a grand public fashion, yet in a false way; because it was for their own individual financial gain. John did it in a video. Scott did it as Liberace’s always present boy-toy. And Scott told Larry King he was not gay.

    Neither man was gay or bisexual. John hinted at it, but only did one film and maybe a few old loops. Scott says he was solely with Liberace. But both men compromised their sexuality and emotions just for money and drugs. Scott did it on the long term, while John on the short, and both of their little escapades would end up in death and disaster, physically and legally.

    After John Holmes’ murder trial in 1982 and not too long after he had just been freed from jail, a morally and financially bankrupt Holmes starred in one gay porn film (The Private Pleasures of John C. Holmes) and in it, he had unprotected sex with a man named Joey Yale. Joey died of AIDS a few years later. AIDS was pretty much an unknown then, besides this was just for some quick cash.

    When Scott lied to Tom Lange and authorities about being at Nash’s house the night Holmes was brought in by the collar, it was to save his ass from going to jail for up to ten years from an aggravated assault and burglary during a home invasion. That’s three home invasions in this story so far, four if you count the robbery of the man in the Valley by Lind, Billy and Ronnie pre-Nash. That’s the one where Ronnie wanted to kill the maid, but Dave and Billy would not allow it.

    Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox.

    • bobabooie 12:22 pm on June 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Victims Miller, Launius et al, were “dirt”? Well at least THAT was no lie. At least “Johnny Wadd” wasn’t delusional.


    • criticextraordinaire 6:22 pm on August 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      John C. Holmes was not on the edge of celebrity. He was a huge celebrity in the 1970’s. I remember the local newspaper running full page ads, pitching the latest Johnny Wadd film. “Come see the Johnny Wadd Film Festival… free coffee and donuts at dawn!” ran one ad.

      Can you imagine any porn star today getting that sort of coverage? Bob Vosse was right… Johnny Wadd was the Elvis Presley of his day.

      As for John’s performance in “Private Pleasures” it was certainly a mercenary act. Anything for a buck and Johnny “Cash” Holmes was up for working that equation. Well, not really “up” for that until they brought in Sharon Kane as a stunt butt. You could clearly see that John’s mind was not into the performance, he was probably thinking about how he was going to rotate the tires on Amerson’s car while he was doing the action scenes for this flick.

      I don’t see John as having “exploited homosexuality” as much as I see him simply doing a film with a simulated homosexual act (albeit with Ms. Kane) for a buck. Heck he would have corn holed a rhesus monkey if they had paid him; to him it was simply getting a paycheck by impaling anything that was even remotely available. Thorson, on the other hand, seems to link every thing that happens to him as somehow related to his gayness.


    • Jill Nelson 8:32 am on August 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great read, John. I can’t disagree with anything you’ve put forth except to concur that memoirs (and particularly memoirs penned or ghost-penned by the famous and infamous) are easy to pick apart for holes if you have familiarity to, or even an inkling of the (real) story. Mostly, I agree with your comments as well, localarts. The only thing I would like to add is my belief that despite genetics playing a major role in forming our characters, our characters are also largely subject to and shaped by our home environments. And yes, our characters are definitely what defines us. From the get go, Holmes, and most likely Thorson as well, was groomed to survive at all costs. This is evident throughout John’s life beginning when he was a child, and in that regard, only the surface has been scratched.
      As I’ve maintained for many years, excuse making and comprehension are perhaps different sides of the same coin. Lies, deception and hustle are necessary tools to perpetuate the con game to the point where truth becomes fiction. Self-loathing factors in big time.
      Thanks. I enjoy popping in whenever I get a chance. 🙂


    • localarts 9:28 am on August 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      When you are so full of shit that you don’t even know who you are and you’re life is built on a pack of lies, the result is an endless stream of contradictions. That would be the case with Holmes. Many of his fans blame his behavior and shortcomings on drug addiction and to a degree, that’s true. What defined John Holmes as a man is the same thing that defines all of us… that is our character. And in that department he was sorley lacking. Big time!


  • John 5:52 am on January 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes   

    1973: Jury Indicts 4 In Lewd Movie Case 

    Not for making the movies… but for showing them. Deep Throat and Johnny Wadd are like Gone With The Wind compared to the x-rated stuff of today. The Studio Art Theater…

    “Prosecutor Brune said in the future when lewd movies are shown, grand juries will again go to the movies”. I bet they did.

    March 1, 1973

    March 1, 1973

  • John 6:01 am on January 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes, mitchell egers   

    Attorney: Holmes Shot At Twice Since Murders 

    This AP article from June 26, 1982 “Porno Film Star Anxious to Resume Work After Acquittal” quotes John’s attorney, Mitchell Egers, who says Holmes was shot at twice since the killings. At about 6’1″ and 155 lbs at this time, the lanky Holmes would have been a hard target. If it’s true.

    Mitchell Egers was still practicing law when I interviewed him this past October. He has plans to retire soon and hopes to start work on his own book, featuring some of his most interesting cases – including Holmes. He is still busy and I found where Egers recently represented a young Hollywood actor that got into some trouble.

    Hesitant to speak to me at first, we eventually got into the finer points of the court case and the aftermath. Mitch has the only transcript of the Holmes trial that I know of; even the bloodhound Rodger Jacobs couldn’t get a copy – was told by the clerk it was lost or something like that.

    Greg Diles was in jail at the time of the trial on unrelated charges and was brought into the court, not as a witness but as an exhibit (a blunder by the prosecution). His 6-4, 300+ lb frame towered over the tiny female bailiff, and for added effect – Holmes jerked back in his chair – in view of the jury, who also seemed startled. Ron Coen’s idea had backfired, and helped Holmes case – that these hard and scary men were somehow involved. And were intimidating. That was the big “Perry Mason moment”. This was shared on the FB page, but that is gone now. I am no longer Zuckerberg’s lapdog.

    Also in October, I interviewed Pete from the old Launius family neighborhood. Photos and more to come…

    June 26, 1982 (AP)

    June 26, 1982 (AP)

    • Gayle 12:36 am on January 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Picturing Greg Diles as an exhibit in the courtroom…what a site! Ha!


      • localarts 9:35 am on February 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I wonder if Egers really believed Holmes was innocent? Obviously, it was his job along with Earl Hanson to defend him but behind closed doors you never know..


  • John 6:43 am on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes, sharon homes,   

    Sharon Holmes Outline On John’s Life 

    From Sharon’s nine page outline, obtained by Mike Sager back in 1988. She had first given the outline to the LA Times and the television program “A Current Affair”. I got it from a college project posted online. Credit to Elon Green.

    It’s an amazing read. Just some tidbits:

    John did poor in school, spent most of his leisure time roaming the woods of rural Ohio – hunting/fishing. John was also into furniture and home repair/remodeling. Besides school, these are things that Holmes had in common with Ron Launius, who was an outdoors-man and had father who was a very successful cabinetmaker – could explain a bit about their one-time friendship apart from drug use. Ron was the one who tolerated him around the house, while Billy despised and did not trust him (according to Tracy McCourt).

    My notes:

    Holmes was left near the scene and when he got to his car, he tore up his bloody clothes and put them in bins between Hollywood and Glendale. Sharon lived in Glendale, where he was headed.

    Mike Sager describes Sharon perfectly as the fifties-style wife, who would suffer for her husband, and she did. Marriage was still “for better or worse” and it got worse.

    Holmes was arrested twice – in Ventura and New Jersey. He was an informant for 7-8 years. He also ran the payroll for the porn shoots, delivering cash, etc. to the sets.

    John’s oldest brother Eddie was “a hillbilly, felt to be stupid by John” and “never successful except for having kids.”

    His brother Dale was “most envied, everything that John was not.”

    John worked as a “shoplifting detective” at a store in the late 60s. This may have given him insight into how to be a good thief and how to spot opportunities to steal.

    The nine page outline begins:

    “There is nobody on the face of the earth who knew and understood him better than I, having spent 17 years of living and growing to adulthood with him. I, unlike him have no reason to hide the truth about him and our life together.”

    and ends with:

    “His dream was to become rich & famous. How truly ironic to realize at the end of his life, that the selling of his body & spirit and the destruction of his soul had rendered him infamous, pitiable, and alone, and away from those who loved him for what he once was and for what he could have been.”

    Sharon's own handwriting

    Sharon’s own handwriting

    • Tom McC 2:21 pm on November 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting stuff. My brother was getting his MD from USC, doing jail rounds, another doctor,
      I think he was named Zook, introduced Holmes to him behind bars saying he was a movie star.
      My brother didn’t realize who the “movie star” was for weeks. It was all over the news, strange
      seeing Christine Lund or other LA newscasters referring to “JOhnny Wadd.” What memories.
      Porn was everywhere. Now you can’t even show tits in a movie, everything has been Disneyfied.


    • Jim 8:59 am on November 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Does anyone know if John’s older brother Eddie is still alive?
      I believe Dale is still alive and lives in Pataskala.
      I passed through the town a couple of years ago but thought better of asking around about the family.


    • Jill Nelson 3:44 pm on November 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great stuff, John! It’s interesting to read Sharon’s own words. Just a couple of thoughts re: your notes. Regarding the “bloody” clothes. In one of her accounts made to the L.A. Times in April 1988, Sharon said that John had come to Glendale, gone into their bedroom, and “crawled into bed in his bloody clothes.” According to Sharon, John had no explanation as to the state of his clothes other than having been in “an acccident.” If this is indeed the case, it begs the question whether John discarded his clothing en route between Hollywood and Glendale. There is also the possibility/probability of him having left blood stains in his car — fresh from the crime scene. Did he discard his clothes prior to getting into his vehicle? As we know, there are/were varying accounts provided by Sharon, Dawn, (John), and also Bill Amerson, who claimed that Holmes had (also) visited him following the murders.
      A comment about John’s older brother Dale. He might have been revered, yet when he received a parting antique gift sent from John while John was dying in the Veteran’s hospital, Dale destroyed it in a most violent manner. I understand there were many emotions at play, but I do question that kind of behaviour. Dale is also (likely) responsible for omitting John’s name from their mother’s obituary. It wasn’t David. Like him or despise him, John was family. Would his mother have wanted that?
      It would have been fascinating had Sharon H. written a book.


    • Ken 2:32 pm on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to see you back in the saddle again with your KICK ASS website digging up even more in depth info on Holmes and the WONDERLAND killings. Back in 1980 and 81 I was an 18 YO Marine stationed at Camp Pendelton about 60 miles down the coast and we used to hang out in the LA/Hollywood area a lot on the weekends. I remembber both The 7 Seas and the Starwood. Never went into the 7 Seas but did go to the STARWOOD on several occaisions.
      Thinking back on this now 35 years later I wish I had paid more attention to what was going on There and then….LOL!


      • John 5:13 am on November 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Ken.
        In ’81, I was in fifth grade. We were having dinner in front of the TV in the living room, like we always did, either watching Carol Burnett Show or the news. I remember the murders being mentioned on the national news.


      • Gayle 1:44 am on November 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        The Starwood was MAGIC!!!**


    • Dave 1:25 pm on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Great stuff — thanks. Would love to see that outline in its entirety.


  • John 9:42 am on July 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes, miami, motel row,   

    BeeGees Capture Street Imagery Of Fabulous Motel Row 

    We hit 500,000 page views this week 😉

    In July, 1981 – John Holmes and his girl, Dawn, had fled to Miami, ending up at the Fountainhead Inn. During this time it was considered not-so Fabulous Motel Row. It’s heyday was over…. well today, I found this video for the BeeGees, only released 10 years ago, and it has background street life and neon signs of Motel Row from a few years before Holmes was there…”Most of these motels are now closed…” etc. A great time capsule!  Anyways, you get to see what it looked like at night in 1978.


    A music video was made for the song in 1978, but not shown to the public until 2004. It features the brothers singing the song in a darkened studio, layered over background video filmed while driving along “Motel Row” on Collins Avenue, a three-mile motel strip in what is now Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Most of these motels are now closed or demolished, including several whose names are reminiscent of Las Vegas resorts (Castaways, Desert Inn, Sahara, Golden Nugget).

    • bigwick70 6:06 am on January 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I know this is a little off topic but i remember the 80,s, though I was only 11 in 1981. I thought Donna Summer was the sexiest woman alive even at that age lol


    • bigwick70 5:30 am on January 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Does anyone have any info on how Ronnie and Billy Deverell met? I have looked everywhere I can think and can’t find anything. This story is just so fasinating. Ever since seeing the Movie (by accident) i have been hooked. Would really like to see another one made with more info on the players lives instead of just the murders. Thanks


    • localarts 11:49 am on August 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      If Adel Nasrallah took a dirt nap, it would have come across the AP wire at some point.


    • rimbaudgirl 3:43 am on August 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I dont know if it means much but wikipedia says nash died july 4…i know they often get things wrong but arent the dates of birth and death usually right?


    • Mark C 9:57 pm on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Anybody find out for sure if Eddie Nash died July 4th?? Or is it a internet rumor ??
      I searched could not find out nothing.
      Hey Eddie !!!!! You still on here with your snuggles with built in booties on, kick back on easy chair with TV tray & lap top in front of you??
      I still say that would make my day if we ever track a ISP # back to Ole Nash himself on here enjoying reading about himself.
      One tough guy, He got to be, he about out lived all his old friends. He appears to did enough right heath wise to of made it this long.


      • chris cox 11:24 pm on July 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        he is still with us.


      • localarts 5:55 pm on August 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        If it’s true, I find it very difficult to believe there is no mention of it in the press. Especially someone as notorious as Nash. I actually remember when Eddie was charged with the Wonderland murders back in 88-89 and it was all over the papers. Maybe Jacob Bartel is a.k.a Eddie Nash? LOL.


    • localarts 4:45 pm on July 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “We hit 500,000 page views this week” Congratulations John. Did you ever think this site would attract such an audience?


    • London 4:57 pm on July 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi John. you are very close. i grew up a couple of houses up the street from where this happened. I was almost 12 when it occurred. everybody in the house was pretty cool to me. use to give me rides to the country store or pick me up if i was walking.


      • John 9:43 am on July 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks London. Please tell some stories if you can? Thanks.


    • localarts 9:00 am on July 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It took me a long to realize how great these guys were. “Nights on Broadway” is a great song as well.


      • Jacob Bartle 9:05 am on July 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Eddie Nash died July 4th (two weeks ago) surprised no news here.


        • John 9:49 am on July 28, 2014 Permalink

          Jacob, thanks. Do you have a link to share? I could find nothing.


        • localarts 3:47 pm on July 29, 2014 Permalink

          Wrong! Eddie is the Prince of Darkness…..he will never die.


        • John 12:44 pm on August 4, 2014 Permalink

          It appears so, he’s immortal.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

          What book john?


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

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


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

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

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

    August, 1984.

    August, 1984.

    The Devil and John Holmes by Mike Sager

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



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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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