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  • John 9:59 am on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , john holmes   

    Porno Star To Stand Trial In Laurel Canyon Killings 

    My apologies for the bleached out old news photo but it was the best I could find. Now I have been in court a few times, but when I do, I button my shirt up. Outstanding. I’m pretty sure that John wore that same borrowed tan jacket for most of the trial. I read that somewhere. It is nice to have a good attorney like Earl Hanson, who attacks the system (and for free!). If something like this happened today, or even the early 90s, the cable news shows would go nuts. It would be like O.J. or Menendez all over again.

    John Holmes stated in his audio tapes with Porn King writer, Fred E. Basten, that he had slept in that house several times, and also in that back bedroom. Just having been in that house before would provide reasonable doubt. The “bloody hand print” on the bed rail that has so often been discussed in articles were prints that were overlaid with blood spatter or drops. Most likely the prints were there before the murders. Without that so-called evidence, the prosecution only had Tomlinson or Lange to provide testimony that John was even there. The jury needed more, and although they may have thought Holmes was involved, it was not enough to convict (according to Nils Grevillius). As one juror stated, “We needed more than Detective Tomlinson saying Holmes told him he was there. We did not have that”.

    Also, Julia Negron and her kids stayed at Joy’s and used that back bedroom, before Ron Launius moved in. I bet that 50+ sets of different prints were pulled from that house.

    Associated Press. February 3, 1982.

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    • Mike 9:37 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “Sharon was Italian and knew better than to rat anybody out to the cops.” C’mon – no offense but that’s way off base.

      “The only time she ever called the cops was to dispose of that dead guy who ill-advisedly tried to break in to Sharon’s place.” That’s an absurd story she concocted and it doesn’t hold water. I presume she made it up, and not Dawn; who knows. Again, no offense meant.

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      • criticextraordinaire 3:38 pm on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hey, Sharon herself said that she told John that if he raised a hand against her (words to the effect) “I’m Italian and you’re gonna have to go to sleep some time.” She knew how that game was played.

        Sharon has always been seen as a very credible source, so I don’t have much reason to doubt the dead body. Or the gold-encrusted foot locker story either.

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    • Jill C. Nelson 8:19 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The tan jacket and the entire wardrobe (including shoes) that Holmes wore during his trial were purchased by his girlfriend, director Julia St. Vincent who was present every single day of his trial.

      Once again, the left palm print was not bloody. Erroneously, reports at the time stated that it was. Earl Hanson clarified that mistake when he was interviewed for WADD.

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      • Jill C. Nelson 8:51 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Correction: It was Hanson’s partner, Mitchell Egers who stated in his interview for WADD: “I remember very clearly that the prosecutor, now Judge Ron Coen stated in his closing argument that there was a bloody fingerprint I believe, on the headboard near one of the victims. That was not correct. It had to be corrected before the jury. There was no bloody fingerprints. I remember quite clearly, that was the impression that some had in the courtroom before it was clarified by the defense.” – Mitchell Egers

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        • John 11:04 am on February 26, 2014 Permalink

          Thanks for that quote. Geez, Coen had a weak case. Would love to have the real trial transcript.

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    • jimmy---chicago 7:33 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That is the law . The whole thing is im liberal (not obama liberal) and I can’t wrap my head around sharon,john and dawn the whole situation sharon never seemed to ever want john back after he decided to choose porn over her but she knew he was a pedofile due to dawns age and that whole dynamic between them ,well I don’t know it’s desgusting how decreped does it have to get.At least she should have opened her mouth to the right authorities after holmes died .

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      • criticextraordinaire 8:09 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Sharon didn’t know that John and Dawn were getting it on. At least while she (Dawn) was underage. Besides, Sharon was Italian and knew better than to rat anybody out to the cops. The only time she ever called the cops was to dispose of that dead guy who ill-advisedly tried to break in to Sharon’s place.

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    • criticextraordinaire 7:26 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I believe Ronnie’s name was indeed “Ronnie” and not “Ronald”.

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    • localarts 5:55 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not an attorney but I believe a spouse cannot be compelled to testify against the other. They can however volunteer to testify. As much as I hate to say this, Sharon has only herself to blame for all the
      hurt and upheaval Holmes caused her. She should have kicked his ass to the curb.

      Sharon might have been traumatized by the whole thing, you just never know.

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    • jimmy---chicago 5:35 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Too bad sharon kept her mouth shut. She had to be a screwball putting up with that situation with dawn and john

      Like

  • John 10:24 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: a current affair, john holmes   

    John Holmes Plug For “A Current Affair” TV Show 

    It’s just a plug. I will try to find the full segment. I used to love this TV show.

    April 28, 1988 – A Current Affair hosted by Maury Povich. The plug is at the :35 second mark.

     
  • John 10:27 am on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gay pimp, john holmes, scotty bowers   

    Holmes Discussed In Gay Pimp’s Tell-All Book 

    First of all, this book has some terrible reviews. Second, the facts and claims about Holmes are way off, based on what a true Wonderland aficionado now knows about John Holmes. Holmes was not in tons of gay porno movies. Well, read it for yourself. This whole sub-chapter on JH sounds like fiction in order to fluff up (no pun) this guy’s book.

    Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars

    by Scotty Bowers.

    Note:  George Cukor was a legendary Hollywood director. He died in 1983 at about 85 years old. Thus, it sounds fishy to me.

    bowers1 bowers2 bowers3

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    • John 6:52 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      For the title of this post, I wanted to convey that the pimp catered to gay customers, not that he was gay. I don’t know if he was or not. “Not that there’s anything wrong with it” (Seinfeld)

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    • jimmy---chicago 6:29 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Holmes could not get fully hard even before his introduction to coke .I wish we could get some answers from dawn or susan his wife about their sex life .What was their first reaction to his 14 inches

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      • criticextraordinaire 5:36 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Cass Paley said that he once saw John with full wood and “it was scary”.

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      • Jill C. Nelson 9:46 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I always find this observation to be interesting. On camera, Holmes was usually able to achieve a full erection — the difference being that because of the size of his equipment, it pointed downward instead of up when he was fully erect. His first film with Bob Chinn titled ‘Johnny Wadd’ shows Holmes completely hard — for him, and it is scary stuff. Chinn said that the only time he remembers John having any difficulty was in the last film they made together, Prisoner of Paradise, and that was because of his coke habit. If you take a look at any of the cameos Holmes did in the 80’s for his and Amerson’s company Penguin, it’s scary still.

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    • criticextraordinaire 6:01 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That whole story is complete BS. He says “I did not arrange tricks for John once he became a big porn star”. Problem is… John did not get involved with drugs until AFTER he hit it big in porn. This guy’s story has about as much veracity as that lady who said she was hiding in Ron Launius’ closet during the Wonderland murders.

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      • John 7:43 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, and I doubt John was doing gay tricks in the 60s.

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    • John 2:17 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I just think that John was not turning any gay tricks until his serious coke habit, in the early 80s – maybe the very late 70s. If John did attempt turn a trick with the elderly Cukor, then how much was that going to net him to buy coke? $200? And is an 80+ year old man doing coke too? Lots of questions.

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    • Jim 12:48 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think Jill has it exactly right with her quote of Holmes “If you buy me, I’m sexual.” I really don’t think Holmes even enjoyed sex (with anyone) in the latter part of his life. It was just simply a vehicle to get money from people so he could finance his out of control drug habit. Kind of like when somebody steals to support a drug habit. It’s not that they necessarily enjoy the physical act of stealing; it’s just that stealing is the only way they can continue to finance the habit.

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    • dreamweaverjenn 11:32 am on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t help but be amused. First, having grown up in a military family this guy would have been beaten to a pulp (no pun intended). I’m not saying it’s right and I have tons of gay friends and family members but a marine back in those days???? Very hard to believe and therefore it was hard for me to believe anything else this guy had to say. I realize it COULD have happened but I’m just having a hard time believing this guy. Sorry, just my observation. ;o)

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    • Jill C. Nelson 10:57 am on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The only comment I can make about this is that when Jennifer and I scoured all resources for evidence of Holmes’s gay loops and films, we came up (mostly) empty. For the book, we screened and reviewed the few gay films/loops we were able to get our hands on – but we concluded, based upon not only our own research but also by talking to people in the know — such as people like Joel Sussman, who is probably Holmes’s oldest friend in the business, there just isn’t that much gay material out there. In Holmes’s own words (told to us by one of Holmes’s closest 1980s friends, Buck Adams), when asked if he was bisexual, Holmes replied, “Yeah, I’m bisexual. If you buy me, I’m sexual.” That statement pretty well summed it up.Holmes was not gay. but he was an opportunist.

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  • John 12:15 pm on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes   

    Laurie Holmes Article From 1998 

    This is a classic article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It is great and worth archiving here on the blog. I would like to go to one of these conventions one day, walk around and people watch. I’m sure it’s fascinating. I bet Screech from Saved By The Bell has his own autograph-signing booth.

    I wonder what happened in Rio Rancho that made Laurie want to move? Maybe Jill can tell us. Val Kilmer lives in New Mexico also.

    * * * * * * * * * * *

    Sunday, July 12, 1998

    Holmes shares story of her famous husband in book `Porn King’

    By Joan Patterson 
    Review-Journal

    It was not a saint’s life, but Laurie Holmes believes it’s time to get the story straight.

    Holmes was in town last week during the Video Software Dealers Association convention with copies of a new book detailing the life of her late husband, John Holmes, the star of adult films during the 1970s and early ’80s. Holmes appeared in more than 2,000 productions, such as “Insatiable” and “Tropic of Passion.”

    The book, “Porn King: Autobiography of John C. Holmes,” is based on tape-recorded interviews between John Holmes and author Fred Basten beginning in 1985. The recordings, Laurie Holmes says, tell the real story of a man often misunderstood by the public and those in the pornography industry. Her own recollections of her husband’s final months are written in the book’s epilogue as told to Basten.

    “(Holmes) was a very interesting man, without a doubt one of the most intelligent human beings I ever met. … Not to say he was perfect. He made a lot of mistakes, but he faces what he did,” says Holmes, a former adult film actress.

    She says she held onto the book manuscript for several years, believing the public was not ready to hear the frank story of a college student who enters the world of pornography in the 1960s, becomes addicted to cocaine and eventually dies at age 43 after contracting the AIDS virus. But the 1997 release of the film “Boogie Nights,” which she says is “very loosely” based on her husband’s life, has stirred public interest in John Holmes’ career. She sees the movie as a chance to set the record straight about her husband.

    “People have been real curious about his story so it’s time to release (the book). … He was not the villain people made him out to be. He wasn’t a saint, but I’ve heard so many wrongs about him over the years,” she says. “He wasn’t gay. He wasn’t a snitch. He wasn’t a junkie.”

    Holmes also wants the public to be aware of the current “outbreak” of AIDS within the adult entertainment industry because of unprotected sex. John Holmes’ death from the AIDS virus in 1988 is detailed in the biography and linked to his work in the adult film industry. Rumors that he contracted the virus through intravenous drug use are wrong, she says.

    Despite the death of such a well-known adult film star, the heterosexual pornography industry was slow to institute safe sex requirements such as condom use. It was not until April, according to an Associated Press report, that several major producers of adult films started requiring actors to wear condoms. The action was taken after three actresses in the industry tested positive for AIDS earlier this year, the report states.

    Laurie Holmes, who is 35, lived in Boulder City from 1976 to 1980. She made her first X-rated film in Las Vegas at the age of 18. It was called “The Greatest Little Cathouse in Las Vegas.”

    She met John Holmes in San Francisco about one year later while they were working on a film together called “Marathon.” They remained close for five years, then married in 1987 at Las Vegas’ Little Chapel of the Flowers.

    The marriage was kept secret, Laurie Holmes says, by her husband who was “a very private person.” When he died, many acquaintances in the industry and journalists reporting on his death were surprised to hear about Laurie Holmes, the wife.

    She stopped making adult films in the early ’80s. After her husband’s death, Holmes moved back to her home state of New Mexico. After what she considers an unwelcome stay in Rio Rancho, she moved to nearby Albuquerque and worked as an exotic dancer.

    Holmes, who still lives in Albuquerque, is now devoting herself full time to a company she created earlier this year, Johnny Wadd Inc. It is named after the alias used in several of her husband’s films. The company distributes videos of his films and published the recently released biography.

     
    • Jill C. Nelson 6:08 pm on February 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “I wonder what happened in Rio Rancho that made Laurie want to move? Maybe Jill can tell us. Val Kilmer lives in New Mexico also.”

      Laurie tried to integrate into the “real” world in Rio Rancho after Holmes’s death but it wasn’t to be. People there figured out who she was and that Holmes was her late husband. She left town and began work as a stripper as the article stated. In the late 1990s, she returned to adult films for a brief period (where she met her second husband, Tony Montana) before making her final departure. During her years as an exotic dancer, Laurie resorted to drugs and alcohol to sustain, and has been clean from drugs since 2007. She drinks very little.

      Yes, Val Kilmer does live in New Mexico. Laurie met Kilmer at the Wonderland premiere which she attended with Ron Jeremy. Needless to say, Laurie didn’t care for the movie and left about fifteen minutes in to attend a birthday party she’d been invited to. When Kilmer learned that Laurie had badmouthed the film, he refused to sign an autograph for Jeremy, much to Ron’s dismay.

      I realize this is more information than what you’d asked, but it’s connected in one way or another. 🙂

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      • Bobby 12:53 am on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        As always thanks for your excellent input Jill. While “Wonderland” isn’t without its problems I’d hardly consider it a walk out type flick! I’ve seen ten times worse films and still didn’t walk out on them. Would be keen to know what Laurie hated so much about it.. must’ve been something very personal that upset her immensely – can you shed some light on this?
        As an interesting side note check out this photo I stumbled across of Tony Montana.. Nice shirt!:

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        • Jill C. Nelson 10:47 am on February 19, 2014 Permalink

          What John described below falls in line with some of the reasons why Laurie was unable to sit through the film. Laurie’s recollections of Holmes are not the snivelling (her word) individual that Cox and Kilmer imagined for their interpretation. (Plus, yes, as John touched on, Kilmer appeared too healthy.) I think it’s important to remember though (and Laurie understands this) that the window of time depicted in the film is a very different period of time than when Laurie was with John. A desperado crackhead is not the man she knew.

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      • John 7:55 am on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t think I could sit through a movie either, if I had known a famous person, whom I knew from a different point of view. Also, Val’s chubby cheeks and round face just did not do it for me as him being John Holmes. Holmes also had more of a natural afro curl, and not some cheesy kinky perm, LOL.

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        • Bobby 10:24 am on February 19, 2014 Permalink

          F’sure John, they should’ve gone with a complete unknown to play Holmes. Kilmer had the jawline and put in a fairly decent performance but that’s about it. After seeing Christian Bale in ‘American Hustle’ I’m convinced he’d be perfect to play the older Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic… IMHO a good example of a big star actually looking the part. Dunno what they were thinking with Kilmer though!

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  • John 9:20 am on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes   

    John Holmes Last Known Address 

    According to Scott at findadeath.com, this is John’s last physical address before he was admitted into the Veteran’s Hospital in L.A.

    Go here and you can view the lobby, elevator and their apartment door. Scott has been tracking down all types of celebs and their final days, so he is pretty good at getting the info. In most cases, it’s pretty sad to see how destitute and broke some old TV and movie stars really were, before they passed on.

    Scott also runs Dearly Departed Tours, from which our lovely friend, Bonnie, took a tour last year and really enjoyed it.

     

    Panorama City, CA

     
    • jimmy---chicago 8:49 pm on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      How about a huge phalic symbol like they used all through ancient history

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    • criticextraordinaire 7:12 pm on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      They need to put up a historical marker at that location, “John Holmes Slept Here”. Maybe one of those thingies that they embed in the sidewalk, or one of those old-school cast iron historical signs that has a brief story on it.

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    • jimmy---chicago 4:51 pm on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Nice building I wonder what the rent is like now for a place like that its not fancy like what chuck negrone’s but I see places like that all over, the type of place where people who have decent jobs live not high end but not yuca flats either

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    • Jill C. Nelson 2:16 pm on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It’s not a bad looking building from the front, but hard to say what it was like in ’87 when John and Laurie (and Laurie’s son) were living there. There had been a pool then, Laurie had said, but that overall, it was an average apartment. They’d had dogs and cats. As many people are aware, Holmes was a big fan of yard sales and flea markets. Laurie still has a few pieces of furniture that she and John had owned while living here which he restored. The photo at the following link shows John and Laurie in 1985, a year prior to receiving news that he was sick. http://johnholmesinches.blogspot.ca/2011/12/second-edition-of-inches-now-available.html

      Thanks, John.

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    • Bonnie Brae 9:24 am on February 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      She sure did! I mean I sure did. It’s a great tour. Scott knows his stuff. Thanks for this post John. Get me an addy and I will make a video driving from here to Eddie Nashes house. ha

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  • John 2:07 pm on January 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: john holmes, ,   

    Porn Star’s Death Doesn’t Make For Humor 

    When John Holmes died in 1988, a local writer for the Texan, the school newspaper for the University of Texas, wrote a scathing rebuttal to an earlier hit piece in The Austin Chronicle (which is a free city paper found at any bus stop). The original column which I cannot find now, was titled something like “I’m glad he’s dead”. It was very brief, rude and is best summarized below by Lee Nichols. It’s strange, because as heated as both articles were, neither mentioned the Wonderland saga. Quite a bizarre war of words, and it happened 25+ years ago. In 1988, people still did not understand AIDS. Hell, I still remember the bad jokes. Famine, cancer and AIDS are just not good topics for comedy.

    Have a nice weekend.

    1988

    1988

     
    • John 7:43 pm on July 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

    • localarts 10:38 am on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That interview with Niles is the crown jewel of this forum, it’s the freak’in bomb!

      Like

    • Phil - Australia 10:41 pm on January 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Great site! Can’t get enough of it with so much detail on offer….what’s Eddie Nash up to these days? Have you seen him lately John or read anything about him and his whereabouts?…the proposed book ‘four on the floor’ by the two detectives is nowhere to be found…any word if it will ever be published….thanks heaps John.

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    • Jill C. Nelson 8:05 am on January 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      They met up, just never in film.

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      • jimmy---chicago 11:47 am on January 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Really I could not find anything that had them being in the same spot ever

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    • localarts 6:03 pm on January 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very true Jimmy. Last summer a group of people I was with we’re talking about Behind the Candelabra; this eventually led us to talking about Wonderland. Out of the 12 or 13 people that were there (friends of friends) I think only 4 people knew who John Holmes was including me. People forget an entire generation has passed and technology has come a long, long way.

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      • criticextraordinaire 7:32 pm on January 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        We need to educate the younger generation about John Holmes and his contemporaries. Hopefully his body of work has been preserved in digital format and archived in one of those underground vaults.

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        • jimmy---chicago 7:30 am on January 14, 2014 Permalink

          I am suprised holmes and linda lovelace never met up in film

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    • jimmy---chicago 2:34 pm on January 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I was born in 1970 most people who were born after that probably would not know who Holmes was and wonderland forget it try to bring up holmes to thirty somethings porn has exploded since then with movies going straight to dvd by the thousands movies being made in basements and motels everyware

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    • criticextraordinaire 1:41 pm on January 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s a link to the original article http://www.michaelcorcoran.net/archives/2283

      “He who lives by the sword…”
      Posted: April 12, 2013 | Author: mcorcoran | Filed under: Uncategorized | Leave a comment »
      By Michael Corcoran

      Justice has prevailed. John “Johnny Wadd” Holmes has AIDS! Finally, the guy whose member looked like the whole goddamn club has paid his debt to a society of guys whose sexual satisfaction came mainly from tossing off in sweaty stag closets while Big John eyed Miss Utah runners-up and went about filling them softly with his schlong, which looked like it took four “D” cell batteries. How I hated the guy with the Marty Allen haircut and the state of Florida between his legs. There he was, flickering in the dark, beckoning a procession of love slaves to “lay some skull on me, bitch,” and there I’d be, pitifully fueling his libido with quarters I’d stolen from my uncle’s coin collection, until 40 pieces of silver later I’d200px-John_Holmes2 make like a clumsy parrot and spill my seed. I’d watch Johnny play the meat in a variety of sandwiches, shining his flashlight into countless caverns and then walk away from the money shot like he’d just played a few hands of gin rummy. Then I’d go home and repeatedly dial the first six digits of the phone number of the girl who stuck the ends of her hair up her nostrils in social studies. I swore than if I ever had, like one month to live, the first thing I’d do is hunt down and kill Johnny Wadd and then I’d tell the girl from social studies to lay some skull on me. If I had only a day or two to live, I’d tell her to lay some skull on me, bitch.

      Those years of sexual frustration are long gone for me; I’ve had skull laid on me in eight states and Nuevo Laredo, and still the news about Johnny Wadd read like the headlines on V-J Day. I was fairly ecstatic when he was sent to prison for a few years for refusing to identify the killers of some coke dealers, but knowing that he was bisexual and had made a few gay films it became sort of a good news/ bad news deal. But now… I’m walking on air.”

      You can bet there was no joy in Smutville when it was announced that the Great White Hope, the Larry Bird of penis size, the guy who made the man with the Golden Arm feel shortchanged, is now packing a deadly weapon in his BVDs. Heck, Seka probably can’t give it away these days. Since J.W. worked both sides of the street and did a deuce in the joint with guys who get hot when they see pictures of the Grand Canyon, the odds that he got the deadly dose from heterosexual intercourse are about what you’d expect a horse with Jimmy Breslin in the saddle to go off at. Still, he probably nailed a few hundred bleachpits since contracting AIDS, and I can’t recall Johnny Wadd ever rolling out the latex carpet while the farmers’ daughters stripped down to their neck scarves. There probably hasn’t been this much panic in the jizz biz since ’86 when a studio guard yelled out, “Here comes Traci Lords’ father and does he look mad!” Serves ‘em right, the lucky stiffs.

      If there is a God, and I’m beginning to feel like there is, he won’t send Johnny Wadd to either heaven or hell, but banish him to an eternity in a porno booth watching a loop of lonely guys with small thingies having sex with wayward starlets, while Roy Cohn looks through the glory hole and whispers “Need any help in there?”

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    • Mark C 3:20 am on January 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I remember back in 83 or 84 I was running Heavy Equipment & listen to radio all day long to pass the time.and I remember like it was yesterday that they said on FM radio station that soon you will be able to hear John Holmes right here on radio singing because he is right now in a studio making I think a whole music album.. I though to myself wow that going be strange to say the least. I think that one porn star woman done had made that Disco hit out few years before that. She did something the same during that whole song. So I guess I thought this could very well be possible & not a joke.
      But as we know now appears that is one dream did not come completely true for him.
      So I guess that scene in Boogie Nights do have some truth in it.
      Any of you remember hearing about this too??
      Not many people I know heard about that in my area, And myself mainly because dumb luck and having to spend 10 to 12 hours daily I was stuck in a little place with seat in something smaller than a phone booth.

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    • John W 5:37 pm on January 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, I was in the hallway at high school when I overheard the news. I had not seen any porn, shocking!, but I still knew who the King was.

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    • criticextraordinaire 4:51 pm on January 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The day that John died was indeed a sad one. I remember hearing the horrendous news as I drive into work that morning. When I arrived at the office I mentioned “Sad Day, John C. Holmes just passed away. “.

      A girl who worked for me was instantly dejected. “Johnny Wadd died? Man, I saw every one of his movies. This sucks.”

      ‘Twas the end of an era. The King was dead. Long Live the King. 😦

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  • John 8:01 am on November 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: howie gordon, john holmes   

    Drama Teacher Who Knew Holmes Pens Book 

    This article is rather outstanding. Thanks to steel for the sweet link!

    My Drama Teacher, The Porn Star

    The director of my grade school plays, worked with the likes of John Holmes. We reunite to talk about his new memoir.

    by Tracy Clark Flory | Salon.com | November 16, 2013

    Bromance.

    Bromance. John and Howie Gordon (Richard Pacheco).

    Howie Gordon directed my grade school plays. As a third grader, I vaguely understood that he was qualified for this gig because he had acting experience. I had no idea that much of it was in pornography.

    It was only a year ago that I figured it out. I was watching “After Porn Ends,” a documentary about what happens when adult performers return to “civilian” life, when I recognized Howie, the father of my classmate, the guy who enthusiastically taught us how to perform on stage and edited videos of our adolescent attempts at acting. It turned out Howie had an X-rated alter ego in the ’70s and ’80s: Richard Pacheco. My drama teacher, the porn star. Not only that but he’s a prolific, award-winning performer and Playgirl Man of the Year who worked with legends like John Holmes and Marilyn Chambers. He was even inducted into the Adult Video News Hall of Fame.

    As of very recently, he’s also the author of a memoir about his days in porn, “Hindsight: True Love & Mischief in the Golden Age of Porn.” It’s a tale of an overweight boy from Pittsburgh who sheds 50 pounds, starts lifting weights and finds himself doing adult movies. Before long, he’s posing for Playgirl and performing with porn’s greats. The book is appropriately filled with salacious details about his flings, on-screen and off, but it’s also a thoughtful and philosophical read. For him, doing porn was political: “I foolishly expected the heirs to the Sixties sexual revolution to be there en masse,” he writes. “They weren’t. And it remained sadly unconscionable that the sexual media for the entire culture of that time was largely relegated to an underclass of amateurs and criminals who mostly created a pornographic world of sexual looting and moral midgetry.”

    He expected more of the medium. It’s no surprise then that he is both a defender of the industry and a critic. “Sometimes the domination of male rage in the industry just gets to me,” he writes. “It comes off as so nasty and mean-spirited that it’s like sex without humanity.” He goes on to explain, “There is more to sex than conquest and vengeance. I want to see that portrayed, too.” Still, he loved his work and stayed in the industry, all the while battling over the idea of monogamy with his none-too-thrilled wife, until the threat of AIDS drove him out of the business.

    I spoke to him by phone about the difficulty of getting erections on-demand, what he thinks of porn today and how he told his kids about his past.

    Let’s start with how you got into porn.

    I was a senior in college and I had a girlfriend who was quite a stunner and one of the freshmen there wanted to make a sex film and invited the two of us to be the stars. I had grown up as the fat kid in life. I was relatively obese from the age of 7 to 17. I had the largest breasts in the seventh grade. I lost 50 pounds in the spring junior year of high school. I went from Quasimodo to Robert Redford and women who had never looked at me were now looking at me. When I was invited to be in a movie because of my looks, well, that was like winning the World Series and taking the ticker tape parade down Broadway. The fact that it was sex was just a bonus.

    I never dreamed it would become a professional career. Cut to five years later, we get a phone call. My wife Carly and I were on casting lists from some acting classes we had taken and they were looking for some women and they asked for her. They said it was a “romp through a hospital” and she asked quite directly, “Is that a porn film?” And normally they didn’t tell you over the phone because they had much more success getting people to be in the movies if they came down for an audition. The guy said, “Yes, it is.” And she said, “Well, I’m not interested, but maybe my husband will be” and handed me the phone.

    was interested — from a personal sense, my fantasy was to meet an X-rated woman. I thought such a person existed. I wanted a “fuck me, fuck me” woman; I’d never been with a prostitute, I’d never been with a bad girl. All my relationships with sex had been about love. I wanted lust and I hadn’t ever been able to make the object of my love the object of my lust. Those were the kind of women I wanted to meet and I thought I’d meet them in the X-rated movies and then come home wiser to my wife. In those days we had a relationship we used to call “yours, mine and ours.” We had free love. We were trying to do Romeo and Juliet and free love at the same time. As I said in the book, we beat that horse for 30 years until it died.

    You talk very candidly about performance issues on-set — this was before Viagra. What was it like having to rely for work on a body part that is, as a general rule, bad at performing under pressure?

    It was extraordinarily humiliating. You didn’t find guys like me in porn generally — and every actor is gonna say that because that’s the first thing that all of us say when we’re fighting the monster of sexual guilt when dealing with the mainstream — but how I was different was, well, for one, I had an average-size penis, or slightly below average I’d even say. Most of the guys in that business are hung like horses. So it was humiliating even to get naked in that crowd. What I brought to the table beyond the size of my erection was two things. One, my body was superb. I was living in the gym at that time. I weighed 143-and-a-half pounds. I had the body fat of a red ant. I had abs like a Greek god. So I was good to look at, and my penis was in proportion to my body. Beyond that, I could act. I just happened to come along at a time when they were trying to improve the quality of the acting. There was the notion that we could develop a market to trump Hollywood by making real movies that had real sex in them, as opposed to sex movies.

    So what happened on that first shoot?

    You can do the push-ups, you can do the sit-ups, you can make your body gorgeous, but you can’t promise that at 10 o’clock on Thursday morning you’re gonna get a hard-on. I get to the set and they’d scheduled a half day. All they gotta do is one scene: me getting a blow job in a closet. Foreplay consists of the director saying to the girl, “You get on your knees” and to me, “You pull down your pants, let’s go.” I’m hard, it feels good. They run out of film, she stops sucking me, and I lose the erection. It’s time to start again, it’s back to step one, and everything works again. To make a long story short, this happens maybe six, seven, eight times. Finally my penis said to me, “Hey, what’s going on here? Are we doing this or are we not doing this?” Then the director says to me, “OK, we have all the footage we need of the blow job. Now come.” At that point the woman starts sucking me like she’s trying to make me come and I don’t know how to slow her down because she just wants to get home.

    She’s sucking, nothing is happening. It’s 1:30. It’s 2 o’clock. They’re waiting me out. It’s 3 o’clock. The girl has her head on my thigh and she’s asleep. I’m so far beyond any humiliation I’ve ever felt. And all of a sudden I start thinking about the first girl I ever made out with. It’s the eighth grade, summer. I start to get aroused. The director sees it and he starts waking everybody up. She reached over and touched me and as soon as she touched me it went away. Her touch scared me at this point. The director said, “Don’t touch him. You masturbate till you come. And when that first squirt comes out, grab it like you did it.” And lo and behold that came to pass.

    What’s the worst porn line that you ever delivered?

    [Takes on exaggerated hillbilly accent] It’s from a movie called “Pizza Girls,” and some pretty girl would come over on roller skates with your pizza and then she’d come in your house and you’d have a sexual act together. When she knocked at the door, I had to say this line: “I’ve got a stove pipe in my pants just a’ waitin’ for you.”

    Let’s pivot to John Holmes. You say at one point in the book, “I would suspect that in reality his great cock was at once a gift and a nightmare for the man who had to live with it.” Why a nightmare?

    Well, because there were women who he tried to enter who no doubt just couldn’t handle it. Some women would see that cock and swoon in religious ecstasy. On the other side, there were women who would just start screaming. On the set, either reaction would be whatever it was, to be used in the context of the movie, but in your private life, what if the woman screaming is the woman you love?

    The electricity of seeing him in action was because we all lived with the superstition, the folk wisdom, that bigger was better. This is the moment that she found out. There would be no more mystery because it wasn’t going to get any bigger. His was like 14 fucking inches. I saw that thing in action and it was real, it’s not fake. It was like a donkey’s. It never really got hard like an average dick got hard, it got hardish, because if all the blood would go to his dick he’d pass out. There’s not enough blood in your body to run that thing. But it was quite something to watch.

    You write about the suicide of Shauna Grant, real name Colleen Marie Applegate, that it was “not the first suicide in the porn community,” that there was “almost one a year.” Why was that, do you think?

    Well, these are misleading conversations if you only focus on that and talk about that without context. The occupation with the highest suicide rate in the U.S. is dentistry. [Ed. note: It might actually be physicians.] But it’s a lot less scandalous when a dentist kills himself than someone in the porn world.

    That having been said, pornography as it was constituted then and as it exists now attracts the desperate, who need to opt out for their own personal reasons. You have a lot of desperate people in porn and where desperate people exist, suicide exists. A lot of people [in the industry] say, “I want to be a movie star. I’m going to have pretty clothes, people are going to worship me.” Instead people look at you with contempt, like you’re scum.

    You said of porn, “It was the rage that used to get to me, the meanness and the rage.” What do you think about porn these days?

    I’m less informed. Mostly what I see are the commentaries about it more than I watch it. I’ll watch the old stuff to death. I’m told that our era is referred to as the “golden age of porn.” Today’s stuff is cheaper, it’s down and dirty and there’s no attempt at the story aspect. It’s just wall-to-wall sex. Most of it, again, is catered to an audience of men and it’s men with unlimited dreams of power who get to use women as toys. One of the benevolent aspects of sex [films] today is that because the means of production have gotten cheaper many more people can make their own and garner access to a market. They can find their market whether that’s lesbian porn, SM porn, shoe fetish porn. Whatever your craziness is, you can find someone making movies about it. In my day, you couldn’t necessarily, there were maybe 30 to 40 movies made a year. Now there’s 12,000 to 15,000 a year.

    What do you think about the current debate over condoms in porn?

    I applaud people who are trying to save their lives. I think it’s ridiculous to risk your life for a buck. The people who are making the money out of this aren’t risking their lives, it’s the actors who are put at risk. I’m a big fan of choice. I think the performer should have a choice. The sad truth of the economics of it is that people who are making sex scenes with condoms are making less money than people who are making sex scenes without them. We’re talking about a business here, we’re not talking about a social movement or a religion. It’s a dollar-driven industry. Once the businessmen see that condom sex isn’t making the same amount of money, fuck condom sex. And that’s why I’m not in the business. That’s the initial reason I got out. People would say, “No condoms” and “Forget about AIDS.” I was resented for even talking about it on sets I was on. The first headline of the heterosexual transmission of AIDS in San Francisco was November 10th, 1984. I was newly married with babies; it was not a time to play russian roulette with my dick.

    Would you say AIDS is why you retired, then?

    Yeah. There was pressure coming from my wife to get out as well, but that was a conventional kind of pressure that dealt with the fact that we had children and her ability to be gracious about me having other lovers was disappearing. She had stopped doing that stuff in her life.

    This is admittedly a tired question for porn performers, but: How did you tell your kids?

    There was a very famous sex therapist named Mary Calderone, who argued initially that sex education doesn’t mean teaching 10-year-olds the positions of the “Kama Sutra.” She argued that you need to be age-appropriate with what you’re teaching. So, it first came up with the phone, because the phone would ring for Richard Pacheco and I had to teach Juliana, and then Polly, and later Bobby, “When the phone rings for Richard Pacheco, don’t hang up. That’s a name that Daddy uses when he’s making movies.”  They would ask, “Daddy makes movies? Can we see ‘em, can we see ‘em?” “No, they’re grown-up movies.”

    Round two was one day, Polly was 10 and just out of nowhere turns to me and says, “What makes them grown-up movies? Do you mean like ‘Silence of the Lambs’?” And I said, “No, no, no, not like that.” And she said, “Well, what makes them grown-up? Sex?” It was just so perfectly right on that there was nothing to say but, “Yeah.” So Polly starts jumping up and down: “Daddy makes sexy movies, Daddy makes sexy movies!”

    I have to ask: When directing our school plays, did you ever worry that you would be outed as a porn star? That the other parents would try to burn you at the stake?

    If it had come I’d have dealt with it. It happened in Little League. When Bobby was 11, I walked onto the field one day and the coach called me over and said, “There’s gonna be trouble today. One of the mothers on the other team knows who you are.” He said, “I of course knew who you were the second you came on the field, and I want to tell you personally that anybody that’s been inside Nina Hartley’s booty is okay with me.” And nothing further came of it.

     
    • localarts 2:13 pm on December 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I bet Ronnie would have gotten pretty upset if someone had given him a microwave as a Christmas gift!

      Like

    • localarts 11:21 am on December 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder what the Christmas atmosphere was like at 8763? Probably no tree or anything associated with the Christmas holiday. Wasn’t it Christmas day 1980 that Holmes sold Dawn Schiller for dope to Nash?

      Like

      • John 12:08 pm on December 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, it was Xmas 1980. Joy was Jewish, so who knows but their holiday parties were probably pretty epic. I wonder if they had a tree… or just a Festivus Pole.

        Like

    • Brandy 7:15 pm on December 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This was great, thanks.

      Like

    • Mark C 4:34 am on December 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      John W
      reminded me of my ex-wife (“In, out…in!”) LOL
      You just about caused me falling out of my seat laughing on that one.

      Like

    • mark c 10:01 am on November 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That was I believe the best article I ever read about the “Business” . There was no excuse my language but best word I can come up with There was none of the normal Bull Shit that most porn people add to there stories. It appears this guy really told you a true story from the heart and not in the process of the interview get sidetracked trying to sell you anything such as movies or web sites or anti-porn bandwagon goals .

      Like

      • John W 5:12 pm on November 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I enjoyed the article too, Mark. The article was succinct yet covered many areas. However, the image of the director giving on set commands reminded me of my ex-wife (“In, out…in!”) LOL

        Like

  • John 7:55 am on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , john holmes   

    Kilmer Talks To Bob Chinn About Holmes 

    At the end, Val gets a little snippy with his assistant.

     

     
    • Jill C. Nelson 7:06 am on November 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is a great clip! Bob isn’t the type of individual to be critical of anyone. He got along with Kilmer fairly well but admitted a few years back that Val didn’t really listen to his suggestions/advice and did his own spin on the character. Throughout a ten year working relationship and a couple of trips they made together, Chinn knew Holmes as well as anyone could have known him. Overall, I think Val’s interpretation was good.

      Like

      • John 7:53 am on November 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I guess Val did a good job character wise, from what I know about John. But, I feel he just didn’t look enough like him. At all. So, when watching that movie, I just see Val Kilmer. I have always felt a less famous actor, and one that looked more like John would have been better…that’s just me.

        Like

    • Bobby 5:12 am on November 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Nice video… wonder what Chinn thought of Kilmer’s performance? I also remember seeing a similar video with Werner Herzog and Kilmer having a casual conversation on the same set of “Wonderland” as seen here.

      Like

      • Bobby 5:21 am on November 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Found it:

        Sorry but didn’t realise it was so short! I wonder what Herzog was doing on set that day?

        Like

  • John 3:28 pm on November 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , john holmes,   

    Requiem for a Heavy Wadd – August, 1988 Article 

    To read a big section of the lengthy 1983 Hustler interview with Holmes that I found, go here. It’s on my blog.

    This 1988 article is long, no pun intended. Caution: Profanity below!! I did not alter the photo, someone else did I guess. You will notice a few of the usual inconsistencies with the facts of his life and of other stuff, albeit with what we know about John today…but it’s an entertaining piece nonetheless. Hell, it’s over 25 years old. As the Big Lebowski once said “new shit has come to light!”. Hopefully Jill can drop a few lines in the comments about this gem!

    Enjoy~

    * * * * * * * *

    August 1988

    August 1988 – Hey, I’ve got $4.50.

    Requiem for a Heavy Wadd

    Courtesy of Hustler Magazine – Anthony R. Lovett – August 1988 

    John C. Holmes’s journey from scum sack to body bag.

    The 80’s were not kind to John C Holmes. In the last eight years of his life, the world’s most famous porn star was heavily addicted to cocaine, involved in some decidedly gory killings, charged with murder, held in contempt of the Los Angeles grand jury, caught stealing from his friends, and slowly abandoned by anyone who ever meant anything to him. Add to this sorry list a bad case of hemorrhoids, intestinal cancer, and finally, a lingering death due to AIDS, and you have the makings of what appears to be a cruel joke of titanic proportions played on one man, a godless job for the ‘80s. In the five months before his death on March 13, 1988, the bitter, painful and friendless agony of John Holmes slowly unwound in Room 101A of the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Sepulveda, California.

    Scarcely recognizable in his last weeks, Holmes dwindled to an 85-lb. Skeleton, a semi-coherent wraith who every day slipped further into the shadows. Here was an ordinary joe whose extraordinary large penis had elevated him above the teeming throng and led him down the strange and tortuous path that dead-ends at the VA hospital. Had he been born without the freakish appendage he carried between his legs, John Holmes probably would have never made a porn flick, or had sex with 14,000 women, or smoked a fortune’s worth of cocaine, or died friendless at the ripe young age of 43. His great big dick, the one secretly envied by all men who saw it, fantasized about by all women who dared, was in reality his worst enemy. Once that magnificent organ was revealed to the world, once it was presented to bear the sexual brunt of a size-obsessed society, it became more important than the man who owned it. John Holmes’s cock dwarfed everything around it, including its owner. Holmes spoke of the way his abnormality mesmerized all who gazed upon it, never realizing that he too had come under its spell. The “real” John Holmes, the bumpkin from the Midwest, was soon phased out to make room for the world’s greatest porn star. Holmes spent his leave weaving a complex, contradictory web of lies to cover his tracks. His origins, his home, his very pre-porn life were unbefitting to a stud the likes of “Johnny Wadd.” So over the years, in interview after interview, Holmes perpetuated and embellished a fictional past that he presented as his own. Each journalistic encounter was rife with fallacy, wielding anything and everything but “the truth.” Subsequently, well-meaning news sources tapped into the same litany of lies again and again. They still do.

    Holmes’s true origins are indeed mundane compared to the fairy tale childhood he created for the record. One of John Holmes’s favorite lies concerned a wealthy aunt who, according to Holmes, raised him in a servant laden Florida mansion. It was there, John claimed, that at the age of eight he first encountered fellatio via his aunt’s Swiss maid – not a French maid, but a Swiss maid. John was at least blessed with imagination. Little is known about John’s early years but one thing is certain – he wasn’t raised by a rich aunt in Florida: he didn’t have one. (He would end up there some 35 years later, running away from his LA murder rap.) Publisher Al Goldstein claims to have a copy of Holmes’s birth certificate, and porn celeb William Margold backs it up. “He showed it to me – it was real,” chimes Margold. The piece of paper originally identified the child as John Curtis Estes, born August 8, 1944, in Pickaway County, Ohio. Two years later the name was altered to John Curtis Holmes, and the name of the father, Carl L. Estes, was not to be found on the correction. Holmes often told interviewers that the C in his name stood not for Curtis (which it did) or Cocaine (which it was rumored to be), but for Cash. According to Holmes, his first gig was paid with a check – that bounced. From then on he demanded cash – and took it as a middle name. Holmes never missed an opportunity to embroider his tapestry of bullshit. While the specifics of Holmes’s roots are tenuous, it appears that he sprang from all-American poor white-trash origins in Ashville or Pataskala, Ohio depending on whom you talk to.

    Holmes, a quiet, nerdy kid who was basically ignored throughout his youth, maintained a perfect Sunday-school attendance record for 12 years. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely that John’s first blowjob came from a Swiss maid – or any maid, for that matter – and hardly at the age of eight. In fact, it’s doubtful that Holmes ever got laid before he left home. Yet he claimed, in a 1973 Screw interview, to have slept with “everybody but three girls in my class, and then the class before, quite a few of ‘em; and then the senior class ahead of me, I got most of them.” Two questions arise: How did he ever find time to study? Why can’t his classmates remember the guy at all, especially the myriad of women he allegedly bedded? Perhaps all of the boys at Pickaway High had 14-inch trouser snakes (another lie about Holmes – he measured 12 ¾ inches, not the 14 usually hyped). Holmes left home before his high school graduation to join the Army. He served his country from 1961 to 1963, spending some of that time in West Germany. In the mid-60’s he came to Southern California and, according to Holmes, worked as everything from an ambulance driver to an author of children’s books (titles such as The Little Wee Wee That Could and Goldilicks and the Threeway Bears spring to mind) before discovering that his true calling hinged on the unusual size of his penis.

    Holmes often said he made $100 for his first loop, having been introduced to the filmmakers by a sexually liberated female neighbor he met while attending UCLA (another lie – he never graduated from high school). Yet, according to Margold, Holmes found the business in a different manner back in 1969. “He simply knew somebody who knew somebody who said they were doing something down on Las Palmas was essentially the center of the X-rated industry. So Holmes stumbled into it, his appendage spoke for him, and they put him to work. Rumor is, he was earning $25 a day for as much as he could knock out.” Margold, who last year established a John Holmes relief fund that received absolutely no contributions, remembers the first time he worked with “The King”: “All of a sudden I looked up, and his dick came out over my head, literally hanging out over my head, and it was like the opening shot of Star Wars. I was so intimidated with what I was looking at that my dick went down in the rug, and I did not see it the rest of the day.”

    The Las Palmas days were fleeting, however, as pornography blossomed alongside the sexual revolution and moved from the cellar to the studio. In the early to mid-70s porn became fashionable – porno chic it was called. X-rated filmmakers strived to imitate their Hollywood brethren first in lifestyle, then in film-style. As adult theaters flourished across the land like fungus, so did their audiences. But an essential Hollywood element, a core ingredient, was missing from the new porn: the “star system.” Enter John Holmes, in the right place at the right time with the right dick. While the unbearably goofy Johnny Wadd detective series (1976 to 1977) propelled Holmes into the spotlight of notoriety, his earlier appearances in a plethora of Swedish Erotica loops had already saturated the American underground media. Swedish Erotica understood the importance of a star system better than anyone in the porn biz and, like a small-time MGM, nurtured unknowns such as John Holmes and Seka into full-fledged media superstars whose names and faces would become as recognizable as those of any TV or movie celebrity.

    Around 1972 John shot a number of loops in Europe for the Color Climax series, which eventually ended up in peep booths across the United States. As early as 1973, John Holmes had returned and was performing mostly in Swedish Erotic loops, many shot at camera/director Ted Gorley’s Hollywood apartment – edited with nothing more than a ruler, some scissors and tape. Crude beginnings for a naïve, soft-spoken hick from Hooterville who would come to sexually symbolize the quantity-not-quality aesthetics that typify America. Holmes was both the bane and the balm for any man who ever doubted his own virility. Those early producers knew that John C. Holmes had something more valuable than gold. It was as if he had dropped from the heavens, the perfect sexual “product” for a society of size-queens. While John Holmes went on to become a superstar, he never became rich like those whose bank accounts were engorged with the fruits of his labors. To the public, however, it seemed as if John lived a lavish, indolent life centered around his personal pleasure, a life that many would have traded their souls for.

    Until July 1, 1981. The police called them the “Four on the Floor” murders. That’s how the murder scene looked that first July 1981 morning at 8763 Wonderland Drive, just a hoot and a holler across the Hollywood Hills from Sharon Tate’s old place. Inside, four savagely bludgeoned bodies were strewn about like rag dolls; a fifth individual, the lone survivor, was maimed beyond recognition. Holmes was picked up and questioned; the victims had been “friends” of his, a cadre of coke dealers. Upon Holmes’s release, he disappeared until November 30, 1981, when he was arrested while working as a handyman at a Florida hotel. When Holmes was returned to Los Angeles, he learned some startling news – he was being charged with murder. A palm print on the wall above one of the bodies was one of his own. During Holmes’s murder trial, the prosecution contended that the killings had been in retaliation for an armed robbery at the home of Eddie Nash, also knows as Adel Nasrallah, a Lebanese drug dealer, club owner and stolen-goods fence on whom Holmes often depended for cocaine. Nash and his large black bodyguard, Gregory Diles, were held a gunpoint as the house was ransacked, then forced to their knees, whereupon they begged for their lives.

    The prosecution argued that Holmes first set up Nash, agreeing to split the proceeds with the perpetrators from Wonderland. Later Holmes was coerced into a confession by Nash, according to the prosecution, and forced to lead the Semite’s men to Wonderland for their retribution. The DA contended that John joined in on one of the murders, willingly or unwillingly. Holmes squirmed out of the murder charge only to be held in contempt of the Los Angeles grand jury when he still refused to ID the club-wielders. He feared for his life, he said, and for the lives of his family and friends. The bludgeonings, which police really believed were Nash’s doing, were some of the most brutal on L.A.’s murder books. No wonder Holmes wouldn’t speak to the grand jury. Holmes was held for 110 days.

    Two things persuaded him to open up:

    1) Eddie Nash was going to prison for eight years on a cocaine charge.

    2) The district attorney’s office agreed not to prosecute Holmes for perjury for anything he might say, a roundabout way of giving Holmes the green light to lie. The waiting, the intimidation, the hardball tactics, the strong-arm, were all for naught.

    To this day, Holmes’s testimony remains secret.

    In February of 1988, the police got wind of Holmes’s failing condition and swooped on him in hopes of a deathbed confession concerning the Wonderland murders. According to a source close to Holmes, the porn actor either refused to speak with the police, or was unable to answer their questions due to his worsened condition. However, in an as-yet-to-be-published biography by a man the Hollywood Report identified as Freddy Basten, Holmes allegedly claimed that while the killings were taking place, he was being held a t gunpoint at a separate location. Holmes said he was later released and returned to the house to find the bodies.

    A month after Holmes croaked, the murky facts surrounding the murders were further clouded by Sharon Holmes, who divorced the Wadd in 1984 following 16 years of marriage. According to Sharon, Holmes confessed his involvement to her three weeks after the killings, saying he’d been held at gunpoint and forced to watch as the Wonderland residents were hacked to pieces. A common thread of all accounts is that the stupidity and drug-greed of John C. Holmes triggered a chain of events resulting in the vicious slaying of four people.

    If John’s dick was his downfall, then cocaine was its accomplice. John’s hankering for coke knew no bounds. In the beginning, he snorted it “just a little,” as he used to say; later he whiffed it until his nose bled. Once he crossed over to free-basing, it proved extremely taxing on both finances and health. Many, including John’s second wife, Laurie, insist John never used needles. Others, like Margold – whose media appearances after Holmes’ death only served to reinforce the public’s negative view of the industry – claim John was shooting speedballs, a mixture of heroin and coke favored by John Belushi. Others note there were times John would have tried anything.

    In a HUSTLER interview following the Wonderland murder trial, John discussed his cocaine problem in what seemed to be an honest manner: “In less than two years I smoked away a couple of apartment buildings I owned, my house, my antique store, my hardware store [all of which, according to porn historian Jim Holliday, were fabrications of John’s imagination] and my career. Not only had I smoked away more than three-quarters of a million dollars, I had degenerated into a gofer – running around selling drugs to some people so sleazy, I would have crossed the street to avoid them in the past.” Was he referring to Eddie Nash or the dead people at Wonderland? Also in the interview, Holmes claims to have begun doing coke in 1979, “after turning it down two or three times a day for ten years.” According to Holmes, the coke was being offered by someone with whom he was producing five films. Yet, according to historian Holliday, Holmes wasn’t producing five films with anyone back then, period. To confuse matters just a bit more, Kitten Natividad, who worked with John on and off the screen, maintains that Holmes was tooting up ten or 12 years ago, which would predate Holmes’s 1979 date by at least a year. Once Holmes tried coke, he liked it. He allegedly began purchasing blow from a member of Los Angeles’ Gay Mafia, the so-called Lavender Hill Mob. This harmonious union lasted as long as the connection could supply the drug.

    One night, when “the man” couldn’t come through, Holmes was turned on to another dealer, Eddie Nash. Nash, who Holmes once described as “a skinny Arab,” was allegedly the model for the coke Mephistopheles in the preachy drug epic Torchlight. Nash liked porn and, predictably, was a fan of Holmes. Nash kept Holmes around as a kind of mascot, feeding him to the tune of $10,000 in cocaine. Misery loves company, and soon Nash had it – in the form of the world’s greatest porn star. With a friend like Nash, it wasn’t hard for Holmes to become an addict. Coke became his constant companion. Many recall John’s ubiquitous black briefcase, the one that always had a few candy bars, a bottle of scotch and plenty of cocaine in it.

    Holmes used the drug to give himself the energy he needed to crank out films and photos, including the six or so Swedish Erotica loops produced every month. He also needed the drug to maintain the decaying façade of Johnny Wadd; yet it only contributed to its inevitable destruction. More than one porn director recalls searching the set for Holmes, only to find him crouched in some closet, his nose and upper lip white with powder. Eventually Holmes dropped out of porn to pursue cocaine addiction full time. He began to steal from his friends. Porn has never been more of a microcosm of Hollywood than in the case of coke abuse. In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s coke was the midnight oil of the business, fuel for performers and filmmakers who believed they could quit the white powder at any time – or keep doing it forever.

    According to an inside source, cocaine was prevalent on the Swedish Erotica sets, both in front of and behind the camera. This was especially true after Paul Vatelli arrived on the scene in 1979 and began directing the Swedish series as well as features for Caballero Video. “His crew dealt in cocaine all the time,” says the source, “so he could get the best. He could get pharmaceutical.” A hardcore coke abuser who was allegedly introduced to the stuff by a Hollywood record exec, Vatelli was a far cry from nonuser Ted Gorley – and, like Holmes, eventually died of AIDS. Unlike Holmes, Vatelli’s death in 1985 came swiftly, seven days after he was checked into the hospital with collapsed, freebase-fried lungs. Vatelli was not prepared to hear that he had AIDS. He died wearing a straitjacket. Holmes and Vatelli worked together in 1980. Vatelli, while projecting himself to the outside world as a macho womanizer, was in reality an omnisexual masochist whose self-humiliation would have made the Marquis de Sade blush.

    In effect, he was driven to try it all; including it seemed to some, the most famous dick in the world. While Holmes apparently enjoyed sex with women, he didn’t particularly like the fair sex outside the bedroom/klieg-light arena. According to Margold, Holmes was “actively bi.” Asked whether he was bi or gay, Holmes told Holliday, “I consider myself sexual.” And since his true love could be bought by the gram, John was said to have accepted homosexual tricks if the price was right, i.e., could he afford a great deal of coke from the transaction? Yet if Holmes did contract AIDS from a homosexual anal encounter, it would far more likely that he did so from a tryst with another who died of AIDS a year before Vatelli, in 1984. There’s no doubting that John Holmes had anal sex with Joseph Yale – the event is recorded on film. The Private Pleasures of John C. Holmes, the only gay hard-core feature to John’s credit, was released in 1983, after his secret testimony to the Los Angeles grand jury bought John his freedom. In the film, Holmes performs in a “harem scene” with then-famous gay-porn actor/filmmaker/producer Joseph Yale, with Joe receiving. (Holmes’s widow, Laurie has claimed that the high-profile Yale was actually a woman. Holmes claimed that he required a naked woman to pose just off-camera so the he could maintain his erection. Truth or homophobic excuses?)

    About a year later, Joe Yale died of complications arising from AIDS. Yale was extremely promiscuous, perhaps he gave the disease to Holmes… or could it have been the other way around, with Holmes’s disease remaining dormant and undetectable, longer? Some believe Holmes may have gotten the disease in prison. One former lover recalled Holmes’s fear of such a situation. “John was saying, ‘God, I hope I never go to jail – I can’t imagine butt-fucking a guy or getting butt-fucked.” Perhaps he didn’t have to use his imagination for very long. It seems doubtful, however, that Holmes ever had the opportunity for such fun.

    He was held in a single cell during the contempt proceedings, one far enough away from the rest of the jail population so that John could rest easy. Others close to Holmes, including his ex-business partner and friend Bill Amerson, believe that the superstar acquired AIDS in a different fashion. Amerson, whose contact with the press has been very limited, originally verified the AIDS rumor months before the death certificate was filed. The official cause of death was encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, brought on by AIDS. According to Amerson, and others such as Holliday and hired dick John Leslie, Holmes was a soft-spoken man off-screen who enjoyed fishing, hunting and gardening. Writer Jeremy Stone visited Holmes once and was shown grapes John had grown in the backyard. He seemed more proud of them than of any porn film he’d every made. Yet, claims Amerson, this “soft-spoken man” – who would seem to have had enough cheesy fucks in his professional life – was sexually obsessed with the lowest form of street hooker. Holmes would cruise the low-rent sex strips on Sunset and Hollywood, seek out the industrial whores near Fifth and San Pedro. His coprophilic obsession hinged on the “filthiness” of sex, and he practiced it frequently over a period of years. Although the odds of AIDS transmission from a woman to a man are proportionately small, these types of prostitutes have been pinpointed as high-risk transmitters of the disease. Just as no one knows the “real” John Holmes, no one will ever know specifically how he got the disease.

    The smoking gun was John Holmes’s reckless and self-destructive way of life. As far as AIDS was concerned, John was playing Russian roulette. The adult video industry is populated by polysexual performers whose dubious lifestyles translate into high-risk figures for sexually transmitted diseases. Many of porn’s current stable of studs have done time in gay films. Some are gay off-camera, performing “straight” sex only for the dollars. Peter North, Craig Roberts, R.J. Reynolds, Greg Rome, Marc Wallice, Randy Paul and numerous others got their start servicing and being serviced by dudes, only to move on to straight films – where the money is. Yet so far AIDS is not rampant in the porn industry, despite such a claim made by Holmes’s widow, Laurie, in the Los Angeles Times. After all, Holmes long ago practiced the safe-sex technique of pulling out and shooting on partners’ faces, asses and bellies.

    Laurie and John met in 1983, when she was calling herself Misty Dawn, a porn actress who had specialized in anal sex – for which John had a known penchant. It was love at first insertion. They performed just such a scene together in Caballero’s Nasty Nurses. Considering her specialty as a performer, Misty/Laurie is certainly not in a low-risk AIDS group herself. Predictably, in the wake of her husband’s death, Laurie has joined the reactionary Woman Against Pornography. At Holmes’s request, Laurie quit the onscreen porn business in 1983 to become his live-in “girlfriend” as well as his secretary at Penguin Productions, a company he and Amerson were operating.

    Laurie became Holmes’s wife in Las Vegas on January 23, 1987, six months after she learned he had become exposed to AIDS. That indicates Holmes knew about his disease by July 1986 at the very latest. There’s no telling how long Holmes carried it around, though a test the previous year had proved negative. According to Laurie, before John knew he had AIDS, he was planning on doing just a few more films, taking the money (which probably would have been no more than $4,000) and disappearing with her. This turned out to be just another one of Holmes’s unachievable fantasies.

    In reality, he was hooked on coke again. Holmes supported his renewed habit with some $200,000 he embezzled from Amerson and Penguin Productions. Amerson had been Holmes’s confidant, friend and manager for 25 years, and had come to the star’s aid many a time. Before the Wonderland murders, Amerson bailed out Holmes when the Wadd was arrested for stealing $10,000 worth of computer equipment. After Holmes was released in 1983, Amerson took the X-rated outcast under his wing and made him a partner in Penguin Productions, which Amerson also bankrolled. Holmes had gotten “clean” in prison and was struggling to stay drug-free on the outside. Business went fine for a while, and Holmes made a few “comeback” films, such as Girls on Fire, The Return of Johnny Wadd and Rocky X. Then coke made a comeback of its own. Even more insidious, Holmes may have added new meaning to the title of his “last” feature, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empress (1987), by appearing in the film after he knew about his AIDS affliction. The feature was shot at the same time as the Holmes postmortem companion piece, The Devil in Mr. Holmes, and co-stars Italian parliament member Cicciolina.

    According to Laurie Holmes, “John was diagnosed as having AIDS in 1986…before he traveled to Europe to appear in two porn movies there. Holmes reportedly confided, “Cicciolina fucked Italy; now I’m gonna fuck her.” An unidentified actress who appeared with Holmes in an anal scene in one of these two films is rumored to now be dying of AIDS, which should be no comfort to Amber Lynn or Tracey Adams, both of who were dicked by Holmes in these sessions. Whether for the money, vengeance, or out of ignorance, John Holmes consciously engaged in sex after he knew of his fatal affliction, tantamount to murder.

    By October of 1986 Holmes was in failing health and, according to Amerson in the Los Angeles Times, underwent surgery for the removal of a malignant tumor in his lower intestine. Others close to Holmes, however, revealed that the problem was an extreme case of hemorrhoids, necessitating the surgical removal. John, never one to accept an unglamorous situation, had transmogrified his ugly butt warts into colon cancer. It’s unclear as to whether or not Holmes ever had intestinal surgery or what kind it may have been.

    Some sources recalled Holmes with a colostomy bag, while others mention an ileostomy (an operation to create an artificial anus). In what is perhaps Holmes’s last interview, conducted in June 1987 for Erotica magazine in Finland, Holmes told Sasha Gabor, the porn actor and Burt Reynolds facsimile, “I have no guts left; the doctors cut out four feet.” No matter what story Holmes concocted, he was in bad shape and fading fast. Despite the coke and the bullshit and the murders, Holmes’s co-workers remember him as something of an enigma, a man who was affable and generous, who presented a well-rehearsed personality, but who kept the real John Holmes, if there was such a person, to himself.

    Jamie Gillis, an X-rated veteran who’s been around since day one, worked with Holmes a “handful of times” over the course of 15 years. Gillis remembers Holmes as “sort of there, but ready to leave the set as soon as things were finished. He wanted to get out of there and go wherever the world of John Holmes was. It wasn’t like John Leslie and Joey Silvera, where we hung around or picked up girls or had dinners. I don’t know anybody who was that close to John. He was an outsider.” Holmes made his living as a lover of sorts, and so it is perhaps no coincidence that he is most fondly remembered by his female lovers and co-stars – despite the seemingly brutish size of his penis. Gillis claims he never met a girl who had performed with Holmes who had anything bad to say about him. He held a reputation for being gentle, patient and sensitive, an expert cunnilinguist. Seka once proclaimed that Holmes dispensed “the cum of God.”

    World-famous stripper and actress Kitten Natividad’s relationship with Holmes took place for the most part off-screen. “We were doing a photo-shoot back in the late ‘70s with Candy Samples and Uschi Digard and a black girl, and when I met him, I found him very charming. I was sexually attracted to him. On our breaks we’d fuck off-camera, and on-camera we’d do the simulation.” As a lover, Kitten considers Holmes “okay.” “I wasn’t in love with him; so I didn’t feel the passion, but it was as good as fucks go.” Kitten too remembers Holmes’s black briefcase and the scotch and coke within. “I don’t think he was doing a lot,” she says. “He would say, “Just a little bit, just a little bit.”

    Even with his impending doom, Johnny Wadd was intent on keeping his legend alive. As with his life, Holmes choose to cloak his mortality in a lie. As far as the world was concerned, Johnny Wadd was dying of cancer, not AIDS, and he carried on as if his passing would somehow escape the scrutiny bestowed upon those like Liberace. At the close of his June ’87 interview with Holmes, Gabor brandished a camera to get a parting shot of the King. Holmes was vehement: “Absolutely no! I do not want the world to remember Johnny Wadd looking like Rock Hudson.

    I am dying from cancer of the colon, not AIDS!” he bellowed. “Make sure everybody understands that! The rumors and the people spreading them are malicious!” Even on his deathbed, Holmes maintained the front line of deception. On Monday, March 14, 1988, the day after Holmes died, sales and rentals of his videotapes surged to a peak that hadn’t been seen since the days of his murder trial. Whatever the truth may be about Holmes, he took it to his grave. Yet, as long as the human penis averages about six inches in length, the memory of John C. Holmes will remain well protected and highly profitable. Holmes, the man, had really been dead for years. Holmes, the product is immortal.

    Courtesy of Hustler Magazine – Anthony R. Lovett – August 1988

     
    • J.P. McPickleshitter 5:09 am on January 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply

      The only feature I’ve seen him in is ‘WPINK-TV’ (’85), with Christy Canyon. There’s always been speculation as To why they didn’t have a scene together in it. I Guess, for Canyon, it was for the better,

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    • Bill Filice 1:53 am on December 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      He had a heart of gold

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    • John 8:37 am on August 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Wonderland1981 – The Wonderland Murders and commented:

      Great article…

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    • Maurice H 1:59 pm on September 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It is nice to know he was sought of a gentle soul and not a brut. He enjoyed gardening, but you can keep the hunting. You have got to feel sorry for the way he died. It is a terrible death

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      • John 2:20 pm on September 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        It is interesting that John went as far as he did and became famous and successful to a point. Had he stayed in Ohio, John could have also been a helluva cabinet-maker or home improvement guy, or artist – since he excelled at that stuff.

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      • jimmy chicago 9:08 am on September 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Are you serious he was still doing films when he knew he had aids he also was very callous about the other actors he put at risk , he told his then wife/girl friend that the other actresses will get it from someone else if not him.The extra film wadd that came with the wonderland dvd had ron jeremy saying how shitty of a person he was for knowing and still putting other people at risk .He also set up eddie and the wonderland gang up to fuck each other one robbery and 4 murders.I wonder how Susan Launius feels about his gentle soul.

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      • jimmy chicago 3:31 pm on September 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        john used to beat the shit out of dawn all the time for turning tricks for money that by the way he forced her to do . GENTLE SOUL

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    • criticextraordinaire 4:43 pm on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “Requiem for a Heavy Wadd”… How awesome of a title is that? I doubt that when they write my epitaph it will be so eloquent.

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    • Jill C. Nelson 10:00 pm on November 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      We used Lovett’s Legends, Lies and Last Lays piece as another resource for the book, but in the end, we didn’t cite quotes from it because we had access to the interview Lovett gave for WADD which was relatively more current — and (mostly) more accurate. Aspects of Lovett’s piece reads similarly to Al Goldstein’s The Harder They Fall — which Goldstein researched and wrote for Playboy while Holmes was in jail.
      Tony Lovett broke the story that John was dying of AIDS-related causes by tricking (some would say weasled) one of his nurses to verifty the rumour. This was at the very beginning of Lovett’s career as an investigative reporter. He, in turn, informed Larry Flynt about Holmes’ status and Flynt commissioned Lovett to write the eventual piece for Hustler. Interestingly, Lovett’s extensive piece was published approximately just under a year before Sager’s Rolling Stone article. Prior to the Hustler piece while Lovett was on a press junket in Europe, he told the feature editor for Rolling Stone that he’d confirmed Holmes was dying of AIDS. They were very interested in doing a feature story but Lovett had already promised the story to Hustler. In the end, RS hired Mike Sager to pen The Devil and John Holmes. When Lovett was interviewed for WADD, he had this to say:

      “I think it was at the very first XRCO awards, and I just went up and introduced myself to John. He was a very nice person. I had seen him on some sets. But that was the only time I ever spoke with him. I must say that every source I spoke with only had kind things to say about John, and the impression that I got that evening in that parking lot was really earnest, he was well liked, he was a gentle person. I think by virtue of the fact of this strange quirk of his physiognamy was thrust into this life and lifestyle that he would have otherwise never had and he’d probably be still alive today. Selling shoes at a mall in Des Moines. I just thought it was odd that the very thing that got him into the mainlight, having a big dick, was what killed him, too. I think the irony there is obvious. It wasn’t just the cocaine. It was the fame. Just like there’s so many stars in the mainstream that can’t handle fame, and can’t handle the notoriety and the attention that’s paid to them. Here’s someone who was never groomed and never intended to be what he ended up being. In the end he couldn’t handle it and fell in with the wrong people and that was it, that was his demise.”

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      • John 8:08 am on November 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Excellent, as always Jill. Thanks!

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      • rimbaudgirl 11:06 pm on March 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Was it nash or amerson that bailed holmes out when he stole the computer i read both

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      • John 2:45 pm on September 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I read a book this summer about the Menendez trials and Goldstein was a big follower of bizarre trials and was a constant attendee in the gallery. He once slept outside the courthouse on the steps to get a better seat at the trial (but that could have been a PR stunt, which Al was famous for). One day in court, he showed up with Ron Jeremy to watch the trial (according to author Dominick Dunne).

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  • John 1:19 pm on November 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , john holmes   

    November 1981: Authorities Seize Nash Letter To Holmes 

    I had touched on this “Nash letter” before, but never found a quote from it. Until today. I never thought I would say this, but Nash sent him a Dear John letter. In jail.

    From the Press-Courier, November 7, 1982. Associated Press.

    Well, this pretty much gave John the leeway to fib his way through grand jury questioning. Holmes was released from his contempt of court lock-up by the judge a short while later. All told he had served 110+ days for contempt in not answering the grand jury’s questions. He also served the least amount of time than anyone else alleged to be involved, for charges stemming from the murders. Less than a year in county lock down. Holmes was released for good and Nash was released on bail shortly thereafter as well.

    This was right before Dom died at Nash’s of cocaine intoxication and cops found more coke. Nash’s bail was revoked and he was locked up again about a week after this article was printed. Lee from the Starwood told me in Part 3 of his Dom story, that he and Tony Miguel house-sat for Nash at Dona Lola for “some time” and that “everybody… and I mean every scum bag was coming by trying to gain entry to Ed’s house and were mad to find us already there”. But, the following spring of 1982, someone finally did break in and steal the floor safe. Its contents were unknown. Probably empty. Let the good times roll.

    nash-letter

     
    • Jill C. Nelson 2:53 pm on November 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The original note actually contained a few spelling errors, including the misspelling of Holmes’s name. The press cleaned it up for publication purposes.

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