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  • John 9:34 pm on March 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , launius, murderland, Oxygen,   

    UPDATE – The Oxygen special titled “Wonderland Murderland” airs this FRIDAY night primetime. Check local listings. Mysteries & Scandals.


    If you just watched or plan to watch the Oxygen special, Mysteries & Scandals, about Wonderland and you want to know more, or the entire story – you came to the right place!

    Join the maing list and subscribe – use the search box at right to narrow your query, or to look up posts about a certain character from this crazy, yet addictive & interesting story. Order Lange & Souza’s amazing new book below … read samples from my upcoming book if you like, also below. 80s crime noir is finally here!

    Wonderland put an end to the so-called fun loving 1970s, and kicked off the forever dark night…that was the 80s. So get a cup of tea, tuck the kids in – you could be here a while 😉

    View of L.A. from the top of Wonderland Ave…

    Photo by me.

    • localarts 11:28 am on April 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      From an intimidation and scare tactic standpoint, the 82 and 90 trial’s were a stark contrast in the demeanor of David Lind, thats for sure!


      • John 12:40 pm on April 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        David had two kids with his first wife in the 1960s. I was told he was estranged from both children, and they didn’t know them at all. In the early 90s with a different woman, his other son was born just after the Nash-Diles trials, and this kid was a toddler when his father died in ’95. I have seen a photo of him, and it looks like he is studying in school and making something of himself. Maybe Dave is looking down on him from that smoky, beer joint in the sky…

        If there’s a nice ending to this whole bloody mess, it’s that most of the relatives of the victims, near-victims and or perpetrators, have had remarkable and happy lives (from the ones I have met or talked to). I say “most”… I don’t know about all.

        (I haven’t forgotten about you, Kevin D., and will give you a shout soon so we can talk about your dad more. I am planning a month-long road trip out west this summer…. So Adam, please let your dad know I took a hiatus from the blog last year, but am now back and my book is a go!)



    • localarts 8:36 am on March 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      For someone who’s just discovering the story about Wonderland, I would recommend this show. It’s a good primer. The only mystery left is who swung the pipes.. We know Holmes, the Diles brothers; Greg & Danny or Samual were there. Speculation consist of Hovsep Mikaelian and members of the Russian mafia as the others. Weather or not Holmes murdered Launius is somewhat irrelevant. A far greater crime was John Holmes orchestrating the robbery of Ed Nash in the first place. That one single act changed so many peoples lives in a negative way. It was Devastating.


      • criticextraordinaire 1:04 pm on March 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        The one thing I saw in the show that I never knew before was Eddie showing up at John’s trial and sitting in the back. That had to have been sending John a MASSIVE signal to continue keeping his mouth shut. For all of John’s bad decisions, the one good decision he made was to keep his mouth shut re: Eddie, all the way to his grave.

        Well Holmes certainly deserves his charge of the blame for the robbery of Eddie Nash. But he dIdn’t hold a gun to Ronnie or David’s heads either. They bought on to the idea as a way to make a huge score, and probably as a big “FU” to a more established player in the drug business. If they had not been using as much dope as they sold, they (including Holmes) might have thought twice about the wisdom of robbing Eddie Nash and letting him live.

        One thing that I have always wondered about Eddie is why he never ordered a hit against the guy (Robert Garceau) who murdered his son (Telesforo Bautista). I would have thought that situation would have resulted in a retaliation that would make Wonderland look like a tea party.


        • localarts 4:04 pm on March 31, 2018 Permalink

          According to McCourts testimony, “everybody backed out” of the robbery at one point. Obviously, we don’t know what made them change their mind. I bet when Eddie walked in that court room, the lights flickered on & off, the clock on the wall stopped ticking & the moon passed in front of the sun. When the prince of darkness sends a message, he makes sure there’s no room for misinterpretation.


        • criticextraordinaire 4:17 pm on March 31, 2018 Permalink

          I think that Ron Coen would have wet his pants if he were ever confronted by Eddie.


        • John 10:33 am on April 1, 2018 Permalink

          When Eddie walked in to court, it was like that movie, Scanners, the DAs heads all exploded!


        • John 10:37 am on April 1, 2018 Permalink

          Ed showing up at the trial is mentioned in the Holmes bio INCHES by Jill Nelson and Jennifer Sugar. I believe they say Ed was there more than once! They have a great chapter on Wonderland. This business about Ed at Holmes trial has been posted on the blog before…btw.


    • criticextraordinaire 8:46 am on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      It’s too bad that Rodger Jacobs is not still alive to see this. He deserved boatloads of credit for keeping the interest going in this case. I wonder if Oxygen finally managed to get Susan to break her silence?


      • John 9:36 am on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        At the time, when Rodger’s health was failing and he was living at the Hotel Cecil, or whereever it was, I wanted to go rescue him from his strife, let him come live with me. I’ll never forget his story, probably around 1985, when he took his last six bucks to the package store, and was walking back to his apartment near some freeway in LA – a govt issue sedan pulled up, a secret service guy asked to look in his paper bag, made a comment that he too was ready for a Heineken. Then, President Reagan’s motorcade zoomed by.


        • criticextraordinaire 5:07 pm on March 30, 2018 Permalink

          Yeah I always wanted to help Rodger too, even though I was fairly sure that things would end kinda they way they did. I did manage to make contributions to him at his blog, and recruited a few others to do the same. Eyes open, I knew the score. But still he was a human being and you want to help.

          I once got similarly accosted by the Secret Service. O’bama was making an unannounced visit to town. Couldn’t get out until his campaign bus was long gone. The town’s name? Beaver PA. 😀


      • John 11:10 am on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Susan doesn’t remember anything, hardly remembered arriving at the house even. However, I’m like you, if only to hear her tell stories about Ronnie. But, I have interviewed three people who were close to him- hopefjlly a fourth, hopefully by this summer, and that is all in my book (I don’t post everything on the blog). If you have read Malice… Susan was traumatized by the Mexico business. It was bad. I have prayed for her and wish her well.


    • John 7:14 am on March 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Scott Thorson is not referred to by name in the Mysteries & Scandals episode. I just watched it. That is because, and like many of the surviving Manson family who aren’t in prison, feels he should be paid, as if his name and story, are a cashable commodity. They used to be, nobody gives a flip any longer. That Candelabra film was good, but did nothing to lessen his ego.

      The episode on Oxygen was a surface piece: no new photos, no talk of victims lives, peripheral motives, side characters, the subculture, the things my book digs into. Tom Lange looks, a bit older, and always wise. However, nobody knew Nash had died, but… we at the blog knew~ at least got whiffs back in 2014. At about the same time my friend was ringing Nash’s intercom buzzer at his Tarzana condo, only to hear the greeting play – it was a woman’s voice, with an accent – asking to please leave a message, and Eddie will get back to you. Little did we know, he was probably already gone. His last name means Victory of God in Arabic. The survivors and,the victors tell history’s story – and his will never properly be told, but I will try.

      Ten years ago, when asked about an interview to discuss Holmes life for the outstanding book “Inches”- the definitive story of John’s life – Nash said he would sleep on it over the weekend. The authors waited… Monday or Tuesday rolled around, and through his attorney, Nash, the one-time bit actor and stuntman and horseman… said, “No thanks.”


      • criticextraordinaire 7:00 pm on March 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I just hope that the Oxygen show does not turn into a one-dimensional character assassination of John Holmes. Seems to be a sport with some people, including those who were John Holmes “hangers on” while he lived, then stood in line to defame him after he died.

        If the show tells the story, the WHOLE story without devolving into a John Holmes bashfest, then OK.


        • criticextraordinaire 9:00 pm on March 30, 2018 Permalink

          Well Dawn seemed to take over a considerable piece of the show. You woulda thought she was one of the people at 8763. Even threw in a nice tear-jerker segment saying that Johnny Wadd was “no hero”. Thanks for the heads up.

          Ron Coen came across as a douche, as he did in the “Wadd” documentary. Bottom line he lost his case in court and Holmes was found innocent on all charges. Coen had one job to do and he didn’t get it done.

          Got a laugh where they kept showing a Mercedes Benz representing John making his various moves. What was it he was really driving? If I recall a Chevy Nova (or similar) that he and Dawn repainted with spray cans.

          No mention of Tracy McCourt. Bummer, he was the wheel-man for the Nash hit; you’d think he would get his due.

          The footage of Susan was the first I’ve ever seen. Nice. I just wish she would have done a bit for the show giving is background on Ronnie.

          A highlight was Soledad O’Brien as hostess. She’s as hot as ever.


      • John 11:22 am on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        The show was great though, overall. They touched on the lifestyle, music and what had become of the Canyon by 1981. But with 44 mins of running time, it’s a long case to discuss. I decided to grow a mustache since watching it, a prison stache though, so I can infiltrate Aryan Brotherhood on my Honda Gullwing with rainbow flag on the back waving in the breeze, find out more about David Lind. Tell them I used to run with Liberace, or Lee, as we called him!


        • criticextraordinaire 2:59 pm on April 1, 2018 Permalink

          If they think you were running with Lee, get ready for some SERIOUS jailyard abuse.


      • smauge 5:02 am on April 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I hope this show ends up on the internet at some point. I’m sure you’d post a link, John. Don’t think we’ll get it here in Australia. I’d love to see some vision of the mysterious Susan Launius!


        • John 8:59 am on April 5, 2018 Permalink

          You get to see and here her briefly on the witness stand. Very beautiful.


    • localarts 4:11 pm on March 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll probably watch it. However, I’m not sure the Oxygen network can reveal anything we don’t already know. As a matter of fact, I would be willing to bet that John and the collective members of this forum know more than they do! This blog is the equivalent of a “Wonderland Graduate Degree”. Once you’ve been here, theres really no need to search anywhere else…


  • John 8:28 am on June 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: launius,   

    Just A Few Things… All Wonderland 

    Hi, just a few things today, before I lose focus and forget to post them.

    The link to the Georgiana Steele-Waller free e-book is finally here. She was the young lady, who like Julia Negron was a 60s model at first, married a music star… and in the 80s, had a brush with Wonderland. In her case, it was one of Nash’s cronies, she says…. Read more here. A creepy story.

    CJ sends this…

    The italics are mine. I was glad that I was quite close in my original Occam’s Razor research assessment of that neighborhood at least (all things being equal, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions is the answer):

    I lived on Princeton Avenue (in Stockton) when the Launius family was there. In fact, my family still keeps the place and remains in contact with old friends and neighbors. The neighborhood was designed for “Baby Boomers” (I read that too) returning from WWII. Small homes (approx. 1200 square feet), large yards for children and really not much else. The “Country Club” area is much more opulent, but boating (1,000 miles of waterways) and golfing is close so we took advantage of the proximity. We were moderate/low income families. The Launius family rented a home on our street for maybe . . . one year. I will check with a friend to confirm this. They were three beautiful boys (blonde/blue-eyed) and so out-of-control (Ron, Rickey and Dave). A loud, raucous . . . . crazy, screaming family! Now, that I find that “Wonderland” is a real story about real people that I actually knew, my head is spinning! How do people get this messed up?

    I am in touch with CJ as a source for the book. Stay tuned.

    Oh! and speaking of Julia Negron… this is the man who went with her to Wonderland that fateful afternoon. He is a musician/songwriter. He co-wrote the sad tune “You Are So Beautiful” with Dennis Wilson and Billy Preston. Nice royalties, I bet. Small world when it comes to Wonderland. Bruce is still around, and doing musical theater or something these days, and quite successful, so I hope he’s not mad that I outed him.

    Rock on 1977!!


    • Nicole 4:40 pm on February 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very late posting but always wondered about the wonderland murders. I’ve study everything I can online. I have some questions, maybe you can give me your option… Who do you think let john in that night? It’s looks like Barbra was still asleep when attacked. She’s on the floor right by the couch in a blanket, plus she wasn’t a regular there. Why would she let someone in? If billy or joy let john in.. How did the killers get to Ron without waking him? Wouldn’t their be a struggle or confortation in the livingroom, that surely would have woke up the house! Plus Billy and joys room way after rons. Why didn’t Susan or Ron hear them coming up the stairs? Billy and joy are the only ones who looked like they knew what was coming. I think it’s joys voice.. They heard yelling “please don’t kill me” If the police was watching joys house.. Why didn’t they see the killers going in?? I have a ton of questions, but I’ll only ask a few. Thanks hope you have time to answer them. We will never know for sure the answers to these questions, but it’s nice to have different ideas.. Thanks again, nicole


  • John 11:58 am on November 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: launius, mckenna, rose weiss, vic weiss, wolf weiss   

    The Weiss Family Tragedy 

    I blogged about the murder of sports agent Vic Weiss in the past, and there was even a loose Ron Launius/Horace McKenna connection. Nil Grevillius and I even spoke about the case in our interview. The sad part about this tragedy is that deaths in the Weiss family did not stop with Vic. His son, Wolf, would die as a contractor working in Iraq in 2004. Vic’s old widow, Rose, would be murdered at age 69, by their troubled daughter, Lauren, in 2008. Author Michael Connelly is also quoted below. Connelly once investigated and wrote about the Vic Weiss murder.

    Vic’s son, Wolf, certainly led an interesting life. At a young age, the former Marine swore revenge in finding his dad’s killer(s). I guess that’s why he joined the Marines in the first place, so that he could be a bad ass dude. He was also in a heavy metal rock band. You can sample his music here. Wolf even does a cover of Cliff Richard’s “Devil Woman”. Ugh. Play at your own risk!

    Lauren would be judged insane and end up in the nut house. At the time of the murder, she was a transient, only occasionally allowed to stay at her mother’s home. When captured after the murder, she was attempting to split town via the train station. I think she had two kids.

    Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell relied on court documents and mental health reports that detailed abandonment, sexual molestation, the death of a brother in Iraq, her husband’s suicide and placement in numerous health facilities.

    Donahue killed 69-year-old Rose Weiss in a bathroom in 2008 before dragging her body to the backyard to hide it in thick shrubbery.

    Daughter Held In Fatal Stabbing Of Simi Woman | Feb 7, 2008 | Ventura County Star

    A 41-year-old woman was booked Wednesday into Ventura County Jail on suspicion of fatally stabbing her mother in Simi Valley, authorities said.

    Police found the body of Rose Weiss, 69, at her home in the 5300 block of Diane Street at 2:44 p.m. Tuesday after responding to a call asking them to check on her. Sgt. Adam Darough, a spokesman for Simi Valley police, would not say who called police.

    Darough said Weiss was stabbed multiple times.

    She had likely been dead for several hours by the time police arrived, said Craig Stevens, a senior deputy medical examiner.

    Police later arrested Weiss’ daughter, Lauren Donahue, in Santa Clarita. Darough would not offer any details on Donahue’s arrest or what led police to her.

    Police did say they learned Donahue "may have boarded a train in the San Fernando Valley," and they later found her at the Santa Clarita train station. Donahue was being held in jail in lieu of $515,000 bail.

    Donahue was listed as a transient by police. Police would not say if Weiss lived with anyone at the home.

    Court records show Donahue was convicted in 2007 of felony possession of a controlled substance.

    Detectives on Wednesday had not yet determined a possible motive for Weiss’ killing, authorities said.

    Neighbor Mike Seguin said the street was normally quiet, except for periodic police visits to the Weiss house. "It didn’t happen every week, but it happened often enough," he said.

    Darough confirmed police had responded to the home numerous times but would not say why.

    Seguin said he would sometimes see Donahue in front of her mother’s home or nearby, and she always seemed to want to be left alone. "If she saw someone coming her way, she would go to the other side of the street," Seguin said.

    Seguin said he didn’t see Weiss as often, “but she seemed like a nice, quiet person”.

    According to Social Security and Internet database records, Weiss was married to Victor Weiss, a well-known sports promoter found slain in North Hollywood in 1979. Simi Valley police, however, would not confirm the relationship, and other family members could not be reached Wednesday.

    Best-selling author Michael Connelly, who wrote an article about the 1979 killing for the Los Angeles Times a decade later, called the unsolved crime “one of the longer-lasting mysteries of Los Angeles”.

    Victor Weiss was reported missing by his wife, Rose. He was found dead three days later, stuffed into the trunk of his Rolls-Royce with two gunshot wounds to his head. Los Angeles police suspected Weiss was killed by mobsters because he had accumulated sports-betting debts and was skimming laundered money, Connelly wrote. Connelly’s novel, "Trunk Music," is based on Weiss’ killing.

    Victor’s son, Wolf Weiss, was killed in 2004 in Iraq, where he was working for a private security firm, according to neighbors in Simi Valley and published reports.

    Wolf Weiss, 36, told Rolling Stone magazine in 2004 that he had joined the Marines at 18 partly because he wanted to hunt down his father’s killers. His mother eventually talked him out of revenge. He became a mercenary after a career as a rock musician.

    After hearing about Rose Weiss’ killing, Connelly said Wednesday that the tragedy was one more strange twist in a saga that has stuck with him. “It’s a pretty surprising story”, said Connelly, who now lives in Florida.

    • Yeni Marisela Menendez 6:50 pm on February 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Wolf wasn’t Vic’s only son and Rose wasn’t his only wife .she was married to him first but Rose had a sister her name is Juanita Priscilla Weiss Vic actually left rose for her sister which made the two sisters disowned each other .Vic and Juanita married moved to Encino and had Gerald Frank Weiss 
. But she ended up leaving him and Vic would visit Jerry Weiss on his bday but he didn’t really have a father son relationship with him 
.rose knew about Gerald later changed to Jerry Frank Weiss 
 She knew Vic had a son with her sister but never acknowledge Jerry as Vic’s son 
. So at the funeral they had for Vic Jerry was not allowed to sit with rose wolf and the sister she had him sit with the ot immediate family. And even for the will she didn’t want anyone to know about Vic having any other kids but her owns 
.. How do I know this story I have two kids with Jerry Frank Weiss and we was sitting watching the news when they announced 
. Rose was murdered so I always wondered who they left everything too because Juanita and Jerry never saw anything after Vic’s murder the sisters never again talked .my kids are Isabella Weiss and Daniel Weiss 
. Jerry has. NO idea I just left this message 
. But it’s not something you want to hold on to


    • Yeni Marisela Menendez 12:30 pm on February 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Wolf wasn’t Vic’s only son and Rose wasn’t his only wife .she was married to him first but Rose had a sister her name is Juanita Priscilla Weiss Vic actually left rose for her sister which made the two sisters disowned each other .Vic and Juanita married moved to Encino and had Gerald Frank Weiss …. But she ended up leaving him and Vic would visit Jerry Weiss on his bday but he didn’t really have a father son relationship with him ….rose knew about Gerald later changed to Jerry Frank Weiss … She knew Vic had a son with her sister but never acknowledge Jerry as Vic’s son …. So at the funeral they had for Vic Jerry was not allowed to sit with rose wolf and the sister she had him sit with the ot immediate family. And even for the will she didn’t want anyone to know about Vic having any other kids but her owns ….. How do I know this story I have two kids with Jerry Frank Weiss and we was sitting watching the news when they announced …. Rose was murdered so I always wondered who they left everything too because Juanita and Jerry never saw anything after Vic’s murder the sisters never again talked .my kids are Isabella Weiss and Daniel Weiss …. Jerry has. NO idea I just left this message …. But it’s not something you want to hold on to….


    • Greg Carter 11:33 am on March 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I was very close with the Weiss family in the 80s. Rose was a wonderful lady. Chuck and Laurie were not Vic’s natural children, but he was their dad. They both had drug and anger issues from a young age. I understand little Rose, the youngest, is doing well and is a city attorney in Los Angeles. Truly a tragic tale.


    • Raeven 10:17 am on October 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wolf was like my uncle. My father still to this day has trouble listening to his music with out crying, they were like brothers my dad looked up to him and was a marine as well.. i remember going to his house as a kid and his garage open with his tattoo gear gave my mom her belly button piercing and tattoos on her stomach and ankles he had this big plan in his head of a project tattoo on my mom and didnt get to finish it before he was lost.. he was such a cool guy..


    • Jarrett 2:48 am on November 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Please contact me regarding film project.

      Jarrett Galante


    • david woodard 9:47 pm on June 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I have proof he was my brother with a tattoo he gave me with a skull and crossbones that he signed on all the bones, tyvm for opening this back up, I was the one who brought the party bus to the roxie when he played there, I wanna be part of his legacy, we spent many times alone and I miss him soo much, thanks for remembering him


    • david woodard 9:28 pm on June 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I was wolfs best friend from 2004 till he died, I was woody and he did tattoos in my room all the time, I spent new years 200 with him and kit in vegas, pleze contact me at my email, I have stories, thanks and if u talk to kit tell her im srry


  • John 8:40 am on November 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: launius, mcneil island, smuggling   

    McNeil Prison Closed in 2011; Prisoners Have Reunion 

    I was reading a sample of Lee’s book about the Starwood, Hollywood and his life in Rock n Roll. Good work, Lee! That is a great story. I can’t believe how many times that you saw Holmes at Nash’s… or the orderly procession, however slow, that it took each guy to get in to see Ed in his inner sanctum. Just Amazing work, my friend. Stay in touch.

    I guess that either Wonderland or the Liberace movie was on TV yesterday. … because the site received 2,000 visitors. Several dozen people even searched “people that entered witness protection after Wonderland” or something like that. I don’t think there is a list online but, nobody is on it anyway. The only person offered a deal was Holmes or Thorson. And they blew it.

    Check out the date that McNeil officially closed… spooky.

    We have discussed Ron’s prison time before on this blog. Ron was sentenced in 1973-74, and probably served 3 years up at McNeil… with a final year in SoCal at Chino or elsewhere near Los Angeles. McNeil was closing as a federal prison and Washington state was taking it over. They had to empty and transfer the federal prisoners by 1981. Alvin “Creepy” Karpis of the Ma Barker Gang died just a few years before Ron’s arrival. Al was 147 years old.

    Even though McNeil Island operated as a modern institution, in 1976 the Bureau of Prisons decided to phase out the 107-year-old federal penitentiary, declaring it “obsolete” — too big, too old, too remote, and too expensive to maintain and renovate. The trend was toward smaller, more manageable prisons, housing no more than 500 inmates.

    By 1979, the shutdown operation was in full swing. At the Federal Work Camp, the beef and dairy herds were moved to the Federal Correctional Institution at Lompoc, California, and the rest of the livestock was sold. The Federal Prison Industries shops and equipment were moved to other federal institutions.

    In 1980, at the request of Senator Warren G. Magnuson (1905-1989), the Bureau of Prisons agreed not to further dismantle the penitentiary. Washington state wanted to use the facility temporarily, to help relieve overcrowding in the state’s institutions. In February 1981, Governor John D. Spellman (b. 1926) negotiated a contract with the General Services Administration to lease the prison for three years, with two one year extensions permitted, for $350,000 a year.

    In March 1981, the last of the federal prisoners were transferred out and the first state prisoners moved into the penitentiary. Control of McNeil Island was formally turned over to Washington State Department of Corrections on…. July 1, 1981.

    Source: HistoryLink.org

    After his release, I don’t know how Ron skated through parole without keeping a job, unless someone helped him, or he had a medical exemption (Agent Orange?) or if the parole office had bigger fish to fry. Many questions….

    If the men in the 8 man dorm were your friends, I guess you could call that “Easy Time”:

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    The article below is satire but it cracked me up. Carly Simon…

    “Sentimental Prisoners Remember McNeil Island Penitentiary”

    Closing Prison Hosts Prisoner Reunion

    McNeil Island – McNeil Island Corrections center will close its portcullis this month after 136 years housing federal and state criminals.  An unlikely gathering of past prisoners is gathering to say final farewells and share memories of the isolated prison. They silently debark from the ferry, Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” playing on the boombox of a Maratrucha 13 gang member. Real teardrops glisten like dew in the spiderweb tattoo covering his face and neck.

    “I can’t believe it’s really closing,” chokes the Pokey Puppy, an inmate who spent decades moldering in Cell Block 2. “I mean, it was a shithole, but a historicshithole.” Several of the inmates expressed difficulty coming to grips with the closure. They laughingly compare knife wounds  and wonder whatever happened to the serial rapist who escaped through the sewer back in ’96.

    (There are some recent photos here but I gathered most of these from the Washington state archives, and sorted by Ron’s stay, with a liberal date range from about ’73 to ’78)

    “There Was Love Here”

    Perhaps it’s not surprising to see such an upwelling of emotion from prisoners; after all, incarceration can turn the most hardened sociopath into a professional regretter. But there are things about the prison to miss: the glorious views of the South Puget Sound, the corner of the yard where prisoners would gather around a new, stripped prisoner, spontaneous shankings in the chow hall, and the way the spilled blood would blossom on the white floor.

    “I had hopes that one day my son would do time in this prison.” A bald man with a swastika tastefully embroidered on his flight jacket murmurs. “I could have given him some good advice to get along in here. Son, I’d say, sign up for the Aryan Brotherhood Leadership Development classes right away. They taught me to properly manage the accounting side of my burgeoning meth lab chain.”

    One Last Memory

    Staring at the imposing structure, one man has reluctant words torn from him. “I entered this prison as a federal agent posing as a DC Black in 1988, but what I found was true friendsh-” before he could finish he was set upon by former members of the United Blood Nation gang who expertly gave him a Columbian Necktie and spit on him as he gurgled his last breath.

    “Blood in blood out, pig.” Says Pokey, wiping blood flecks from his hands. Then he sighs. “I sure will miss this place.”

    • criticextraordinaire 6:15 pm on November 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      You can be pretty sure that “Bubba” never hassled Ronnie in prison. Launius would have handed him his ass in a hat.


  • John 9:56 am on September 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , launius, ,   

    Take A Tour Of Big Mac’s Estate 

    Horace “Big Mac” McKenna is a legendary L.A. character. Once a highway cop and always a fitness freak, he later got in the nightclub business. Horace was gunned down at the gate to his estate while sitting in his limo in 1989. He had apparently dozed off, as it was late at night and his driver was opening the gate to pull in the car. The case went cold, but a decade later, cops had enough evidence to bring his business partner and the hit men to trial. They were all found guilty and given lengthy prison terms.

    Horace was also said to have ties to Ron Launius of the Wonderland Gang. It is unknown what exactly the two were involved in together, if anything of substance, but this notoriety and relationship probably polished Ron’s bad ass image as a cold-blooded killer.

    You can read more about Horace in the article that I posted in April, 2013.

    Oh, and they made a half-ass Tarantino wannabe B-movie about Big Mac.

    Check out Horace’s Find-A-Grave page. I guess a lover or family member makes those tribute photos and stuff. I have not seen anything like that before on Find-A-Grave. Strange.

    You may now tour his estate at this real estate web site. It’s pretty sweet and remote. When Big Mac got wasted in 1989, news articles referred to the property as “Tara”. I guess he gave it that name.

    Check this out. Even the caretaker and maid get their own house:

    35+ Acres Overlooking the entire Valley. 4 parcels make up this private retreat. This property is all about the location, the value in not having neighbors & being King of YOUR Mountain. There are Walking/Horsetrails throughout the entire property. The 5 bedroom 3 1/2 bath home with Pool & Spa has a breathtaking 360 degree view. 3 Fireplaces, 1 in Master that also has an office or sitting room attached. Large Kitchen w/ center island & Sub Zero Fridge. 4 car garage with another 1/4/ bath with pool access. 5 year old roof, rain gutter & Fire Sprinkler System. Central Vac. This rolling property has several flat areas to build a barn with a full size arena if so desired. A 2bed/2bth Caretakers Ranch House ( not factored into the square footage) is located where horse facilities once were. Beautiful Views where many weddings have been held. Family Fruit Trees. Rifle and Archery site against the hills. Room for a personal Helicopter Landing Pad. View Disneyland Fireworks! Has been a Private site for World Renowned Freestyle Motorcross Riders to master their stunts. High Ranking Brea Schools Close to town. Endless Possibilities. Your own Private Oasis.

    Have a great weekend!

    My goodness, I hope that's not Liz Taylor.

    I hope that is Chesperito from Sabado Gigante, not Liz Taylor.

    • Moll 4:27 pm on September 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Wow the property has changed a lot! Was friends with his son, nice guy. His dad was really into old movies and western and superman. Tara was named re: Gone with the Wind. In the mock ghost town that was on the property he had a gravesite with a tombstone for superman. Interesting dude. Sad tragedy for the family. Guess his widow has had the house this whole time?


    • Walter Lavender 8:11 pm on October 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I knew Mac on Guam in 62 and 63. We both worked at US Naval Hospital. He was a great guy and good friend. He loaned me his car one time and chummed around together.


    • dreamweaverjenn 1:23 pm on September 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! I’ll have to check this out. Didn’t realize all that about McKenna.


    • Brandy 10:30 am on September 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, interesting. I remember they did a story on Horace Mckenna on A&E a long time ago.


      • John W 3:59 pm on September 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I need to see that! I’ll check it out.


      • Joey 12:56 am on August 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Mike was my best friend. Knew the family well. Mike & I moved in to Tara ranch, immediately after Mac was killed.


        • Red 6:26 pm on July 3, 2020 Permalink



        • Moll 11:21 am on July 23, 2020 Permalink

          I think i remember you! We used to go hang at the Ranch with Mike after we’d close down Bennigans for the evening and “chill” in the jacuzzi/pool. I met him via Mike Murray who also lived at the Tara temporarily tel he and Mike had a falling out.. I’d be surprised if Murray is still alive, he seemed to like to burn his candle at both ends.. McKenna was always very nice to me, and acted like a big brother when we’d all go out clubbing. Even though I wasn’t out at the time, I think he knew I was queer and he’d act as protector when slimy dudes would try to hit on me. It was sad how he passed, I hope his spirit is at peace..


      • Ginger 5:26 am on December 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Hi brandy
        Did you work at April’s? It’s me, Ginger!


    • localarts 10:22 am on September 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      McKenna was co owner of several strip clubs. He was also involved in narcotics trafficking and money laundering. McKinna was more than likely one of Ronnie’s wholesale suppliers at one time or another. You don’t live in a mansion like Horace did on a motorcycle cop salary!


  • John 12:48 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: launius, , vlick,   

    Detective: Launius Was Not A Pleasant One 

    Thanks again to Ed for this. Without these newspapers, Ed, I was going to have to post a pic of McCourt’s old apartments, but now that can wait!

    * * * * * * * * * *

    I made a blog post in March about Carroll Sherrill killing Gary Moore. Ron allegedly helped dump the body and burn evidence.

    “He was con-wise, joint-wise… he’d been around”, Sutter County Det. Schuck recalled of the lanky, dark-haired Launius. “He was not a pleasant one.”

    That is outstanding! What a quote.

    This, however, is just plain sad. Devastation.


    Her cousin said Richardson’s parents had traveled from Sacramento to Los Angeles hoping to find their daughter alive.

    Susan’s mother and sister traveled from Olivehurst to be by her side but were not yet allowed to speak with her. Her father, retired restaurateur Charles Murphy, 77, remained at home and worried about his daughter.

    1980 Arrest – Police raid Bill “Ricco” Vlick’s home on Holly Place and find nearly one pound of heroin under a TV in the garage…

    L.A. Herald-Examiner. July 4, 1981.

    L.A. Herald-Examiner. July 4, 1981.

    • localarts 10:52 am on December 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, that would be the logical assumption based on the amount of military records available. The source of the Agent Orange stories come’s directly from launius own mother. In an interview she did days after Ronnie was murdered she said her son “suffered trauma in Vietnam” Those are her words. Clearly, not all of Ron Launius military career is known to the public. For all we know the “trauma” he suffered could have been tendentious for all that manual record keeping!


      • John 7:40 am on February 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Classic. Yes, I was a records clerk and logistics guy for many years in the 90s at NASA. So true! The monotony and inventory tasks and paperwork, filing…will drive you fucking nuts!


    • Chris 5:37 pm on December 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I doubt he had Agent Orange poisoning. His military record shows that he never set foot in Vietnam. He was on an Air Force base in Thailand. Plus he was a supply clerk.

      My own father was in Vietnam with the 2/35th of the 4th ID US Army and is suffering from Agent Orange related illness. Those with their boots on the ground did get large amounts of exposure to Agent Orange especially in 1968 and later. Launius had already left Thailand by this time.

      It fits a nice stereotype for Launius to be a Agent Orange infected PTSD combat veteran and blame his behaviors on the Vietnam war, but the facts don’t add up.


    • localarts 6:04 pm on October 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes. At some point in Ron’s life he was probably a likeable guy. One of his mother’s friends said Ronnie had been to her house one time and he was nothing but a gentleman. Obviously the last three years of his life from the time he walked out of Prison in 78 were very difficult for him. I mentioned before that his brother Rick said the last time he saw Ronnie was in January of 81 and he was sick. If Launius was suffering from the effects of Agent Orange as his mother stated in a newspaper interview, then I imagine he was probably not very friendly or likeable. Most people who are physically suffering aren’t.

      Sounds like that cop may have been intimidated by Launius or at least a little nervous.

      Liked by 1 person

    • James DelCol 4:51 pm on October 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “He was con-wise, joint-wise
 he’d been around”, Sutter County Det. Schuck recalled of the lanky, dark-haired Launius. “He was not a pleasant one.”

      This is interesting. I think this cop is not someone Launius liked much either. His name rhymes with Shmuck. Cops are such dicks and are almost always never cool. Launius got a long with cops that were kind of cool guys themselves. I bet if you go into Mr. Shmuck’s background he’s from some religious organization and wacked out right wing political modem. Cops hate cool guys. What’s the surprise? I bet if you could have asked Ron Launius how he feels about Mr. Shmuck I’m sure that would have been printable news. Everyone who is cool is a wised up and are not pleasant to people who are trying to stand on a righteous soap box to stifle all creativity. This cop was probably such a tool. Just speculating. I think Ron was a cool guy generally. Definitely gangster, but not evil. He just wants some “Goddamn Smack”! He was a misguided vet who got caught up in some shit he had little control over. His heroin addiction and his personality were going to continue to spiral down. The wonderland Gang had numerous enemies. They all needed a rehab.


    • localarts 1:34 pm on July 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, but if Ronnie were awake and sober I have a feeling things would have turned out much different that night. You never ever ever bring a led pipe to a gun fight!


      • James DelCol 3:42 am on September 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I think Ronnie was going to get wacked that night guns or not. I have watched this bouncer type of mentality in clubs in NY. This was 3/4 racially motivated too. Greg Diles was armed with a gun, from Oakland, CA, a “hotbed” of racial discrimination in legislative, local and with corrupt police during 1940-1970. Sober or not they were getting wacked. The racial epitaphs were insult to injury for all the people who worked for Nash.
        Ronnie was on everything by this point. His exposure to Agent Orange was taking toll coupled with the drug abuse he was engaging in. Was he trying to self-medicate? To what extent? Quaaludes, heroin, booze, smoking Pall Malls – Unfiltered. He was a wreck.
        He was such a tuff-ass that he would have woken up with some booze and coke and appeared before the judge. He had a bondsman coming for him. Better than any alarm is a bondsman who is making a lot of money to get you there. He was kind of friend anyway wasn’t he? I’m sure that the lawyer would be doing the talking anyway. He may have been on his way back to jail anyway. Ronnie was at the end of his rope and this is what precipitated his robbery of Ed Nash. They should have all left town the next day like David Lind.


      • Tori 2:53 am on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        That is also what I always think about. The Nash hit they got guns out of it. Launius I could see he was probably out of it. But joy and billy weren’t in bed they were up and I’m guessing looking for ways to defend themselves there were hammers laying there. And where were the guns they clucked? Maybe In Ron’s room? And Susan was out of bed too cuz she was found at the foot of the bed?????? The mystery kills me!!!


        • John 9:46 am on October 8, 2013 Permalink

          Joy’s room is right up the few steps once inside the front door. She and Billy were awake and taken by complete surprise. Billy had defense wounds and a broken rib near his armpit. He went out swinging!


    • dreamweaverjenn 12:21 pm on July 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Did he also have heroin in his system? I guess if you are going to be beaten death as HORRIFIC as that is, that might be a good thing that he was already out cold. Sad.


    • anthony 7:54 pm on July 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I never noticed this until now but Ron had alcohol and barbiturates in his system when he died.

      His blood tested positive for Trichloroethanol and Ethchlorvynol – (Which is the generic name for Placidyl).

      Bottom line, he had no defensive wounds because he was as high as a kite. Probably didn’t feel anything.


      • John 7:50 am on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        So Placidyl is a sleep agent, used for insomnia? Man, I guess that Ronnie needed some shut eye, since he had a flight to Sacramento in the morning to meet his court date.


        • mark strangelove 6:27 am on September 27, 2013 Permalink

          Chloral hydrate


    • localarts 8:49 am on July 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      You have to remember, Launius spent four years in federal prison plus his prior military background coupled with his heroin addiction likely molded him into the person he was at the end of his life.
      This probably went a long way in how he treated Holmes.


    • anthony 8:44 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      We’ve all seen the movie a million times but has everyone seen the trailer?


    • anthony 5:37 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderland Movie –“Ron was fearless”. Most recent quote — “He was not a pleasant one.” Police detective– “One of the coldest people I ever met.” Not to justify his criminal activity but It appears Ron was a bad ass. Not someone you would f**k with!


      • John W 7:04 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes! No shit.


      • John W 8:05 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Another cop said, “And Launius was a tough SOB”. So…


        • anthony 8:23 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink

          When Ron was murdered there were no defensive wounds which could suggest he was doped up and out like a light. The people who killed him should have considered themselves lucky that Ron didn’t see them coming. If Ron was aware of what was happening he wouldn’t have gone down without a fight.


        • dreamweaverjenn 4:48 am on July 13, 2013 Permalink

          I’ve wondered that myself. He was laying there peacefully and probably barely opened his eyes for a split second in a haze before it happened. I agree, if he had had half a second to wake up and grab a gun, I think there would be at least two less victims that night. It just cracks me up what cops say because we are never expecting them to say he was like a cub scout leader or helped out with the church bake sale. Lol It just makes me laugh a bit.


    • anthony 5:29 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I had to Google this — “Con-wise (1912), joint-wise (1935), and jail-wise (1967) are all used to mean experienced and sophisticated in the ways and mores of incarceration”


      • John W 7:02 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Cool! Yea it seems like a cop in 81 would use that term. Today they will just taze you and do the good cop/bad cop routine. I’d like to see them do good cop/bad cop on Ronnie. He’d just clam up knowing he’d make bail in 24 hrs. Most new guys squeal thinkin they are gonna get cold sleeping on concrete for a few days.


    • anthony 5:27 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I thought Ron has sandy blonde hair?


      • John W 8:03 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        This is a guess. But I have speculated before that Ron dyed his hair after robbing Nash. His hair was sandy in his mug or parole photo! The coroner listed his hair as Brown.


    • dreamweaverjenn 1:49 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That is so sad…..And I can’t help it. It always makes me smile when cops are interviewed about Ronnie and they are like “He was mean, he was not a nice one, he was one tough guy” I really don’t know what else they could say about him. He could have been the nicest guy in the world but with the cops he wasn’t going to be Mr. Rogers. Just sayin’.


      • anthony 2:01 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I have a friend from college who became addicted to heroin and pain killers. Prior to his addiction, he was the nicest and most gregarious person you’ve ever met. Unfortunately, once he became an addict his personality was almost unrecognizable. He wasn’t a criminal but he became a nasty person who was completely untrustworthy. He lived for his next fix and didn’t care about anything else. I haven’t spoken to him in years and I fear the worst. This could very well be what happened to Ron. The one picture of Ron smiling (yearbook photo?) makes me think he was at one time a good guy.


        • dreamweaverjenn 2:05 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink

          I agree. We are going through this with one of my cousins right now and my best friend of 20 years who is like a sister to me. I had to cut her out of my life for 3 years but she swears now she’s clean. From what I can see drugs definitely make people do things they probably never dreamed they would do. Sad.


        • John W 8:00 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink

          My older brother and my uncle were awesome. But they went down the wrong path, bad choices. I can’t help them but it’s always nice to see them on holidays and stuff. They haven’t hurt anybody… But sobriety is not an option and I understand it, especially after studying the Gang. The only thing they wanna heat up is some smack. Word.


      • John 3:02 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I feel that way too. Of course, I see a cop having that attitude or opinion towards him. They feel that way about most of us. I got a ticket for my inspection sticker being out 6 months ago, and the cop acted like I belonged behind bars.


    • anthony 1:44 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Great find!!!


  • John 9:08 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , launius,   

    The Testimony of David Lind, Part 2 

    Thanks to Bonnie for providing the testimony. Muy Bien, Chica!

    Here is part 2!  We get to see that Billy actually went up into Nash’s attic and found $10,000. And also that Ron had a Jeckyl and Hyde personality…he ran hot and cold. That’s classic.

    1972 Cadillac used in the film. I think Nash had a Lincoln Town Car in real life.

    1972 Cadillac used in the film. I think Nash had a Lincoln Town Car in real life.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Q: What else was taken?
    A: Mr. Holmes had informed us earlier at the residence that there was also a laboratory vial,
    approximately eight to ten inches in length, half an inch in diameter, full of heroin which he called “China White”; that it was in the area of Mr. Nash’s dresser. We proceeded to pick that up. Also that there was an attaché case full of money and jewelry.

    Q: Did Holmes tell you this?
    A: Oh yes.

    Q: Did you find this attaché case?
    A: Yes. We found everything.

    Q: And what was inside this attaché case?
    A: Inside the attachĂ© case was a considerable sum of money in 20’s, 50’s, and 100 dollar bills and a considerable amount of jewelry, gold jewelry, diamonds.

    Q: Anything else? By the way, where was this attaché case found?
    A: I’m not right quite sure where it was found. I know it was found in Mr. Nash’s bedroom because I made several trips in and out of the bedroom as Mr. Launius, Mr. Deverell had control of the situation in there I was going back and forth from the living room to the bedroom and looking out the front door to make sure that we weren’t disturbed, because of the gunshot earlier.

    Q: Did Eddie Nash say anything regarding an attic?
    A: I beg your pardon?

    Q: Did Eddie Nash tell you anything regarding an attic, any item in the attic?
    A: Yes. At that time we couldn’t really ascertain how much was there but it was not as much as Mr.
    Holmes indicated should have been there. Mr. Launius continued to question Mr. Nash as to where the rest was. In regards to the drugs Mr. Nash told him that they were at the Starwood12 but there was also, there was a sum of money in an attic off a hallway right outside his bedroom
    where there was a wooden ladder. At that point Mr. Deverell proceeded to climb up the stairs – the ladder, pardon me – and entered the attic and money was in a brown paper bag.

    Q: Approximately how much money, if you recall?
    A: Exactly $10,000.

    Q: Now was anything else, any weapons, found in the residence?
    A: Yes. While Mr. Deverell and Mr. Launius were dealing with Mr. Nash I was in the process of going through the house for weapons and in Mr. Diles’ bedroom I found a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun in his bedroom closet which I proceeded to unload and set on the pool table and in Mr. Diles’ closets there were two antique long guns. One was a flintlock rifle and the other was a Colt revolving shotgun. On Mr. Diles’ bedroom dresser there were two cap and ball percussion black powder pistols. One was a model 1856 Colt revolver with an engraved cylinder. This was the smaller of the two. Another one was approximately the same type. They were both antique pistols, Colts.

    Eddie Nash’s night club at the corner of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights Boulevards,
    currently the Whisky-A-Go-Go.

    Q: Of those four antique guns, the two long guns and the two handguns, were they familiar to you?
    A: Of those four particular weapons, the only thing familiar about them to me was the fact that those weapons had been taken to Mr. Nash’s home by Mr. Holmes prior to the incident to be held ad collateral for the purchase of narcotics and that they had been obtained in a prior burglary and were given to Mr. Holmes to take to Mr. Nash.

    Q: So –
    A: I recognized them by description. Other than that I had never seen them before.

    Q: So to speak, the guns made a full circle, from one to one? To DonnaLola, back to Wonderland?
    A: Yes, sir. That is correct.

    Q: Anything else taken?
    A: Yes.

    Q: What?
    A: There were, I proceeded to look under Mr. Nash’s bed as Mr. Holmes said Mr. Nash kept quite a number of guns in his house and I didn’t particularly care to get shot. I pulled out a Browning nine millimeter automatic pistol which is a, appeared to be to me a commemorative issue. It was nickel-plated with a gold trigger and a gold hammer in a brown vinyl case.

    Q: Was anything else taken or was that basically it?
    A: There was a grayish green metal box approximately 10 inches long, four inches in width and six
    inches in height which would describe the petty cash box. Inside that there were Quaaludes and cocaine. The attaché case containing money and the jewelry, the six zip-lock bags containing the cocaine and the heroin in the glass vial, the two antique pistols and this Browning nine millimeter automatic.

    Q: These are the items that you removed from the residence?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Prior to leaving what did you do regarding Nash and Diles?
    A: Well, as we were getting ready to leave Mr. Launius again started to question Mr. Diles about the whereabouts of the rest of it and he proceeded to pull out a knife and started to cut Mr. Diles. At that point I interfered and I told him “We have got everything we need here. Let’s go.”

    Q: After that what happened?
    A: After that I opened the front door, signaled to Mr. McCourt. He started to back the vehicle up. Subsequently I told him to stop and then Mr. Deverell and Mr. Launius and myself, in that order, proceeded out the front door.

    Q: Taking items from the house?
    A: Yes. Mr. Launius was carrying the attaché case which he had put the bag of cocaine in and the gray-green metal box and I, I think he had the heroin vial in his pocket. I came out last carrying the two antique rifles which were wrapped in a white plastic like a shower curtain. They were concealed. I had those.

    Q: At that time did you all get into the car?
    A: Yes, we did.

    Q: Where did you go to?
    A: At that time Mr. Deverell got into the front passenger side. Mr. McCourt was driving the vehicle and Mr. Launius and I were in back. We drove to the Wonderland Avenue address.

    Q: Where was the defendant Holmes when you got to the Wonderland address?

    A: Mr. Holmes was waiting inside the door when we arrived. On the living room side of that area which is a small foyer there, the right hand side leads to the kitchenette and the rest is living room. It is on a split level. The first thing that Mr. Holmes wanted to know was just exactly what happened. He seemed to be very excited about it. He was happy that we were able to accomplish
    what we set out to do. At that time I instructed Mr. Launius not to tell him anything.

    Q: What happened after that?
    A: Mr. Launius proceeded to talk to him.

    Q: In your presence was Defendant Holmes told of the incident?
    A: He certainly was.

    Q: Were the proceeds of the robbery split up in any way at this time?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Would you describe how that was done?
    A: Immediately upon entering the house we went to the rear bedroom on the first level there, which was Mr. Launius’s bedroom in the rear.

    Q: What happened next?
    A: We put everything on the bed and everybody was in the bedroom and there, of course, there was quite a bit of excitement because of the situation and then I said “Well, let’s get this over with” and we proceeded to the nook area 
 a glass top table top and we proceeded to, we had a scale in the residence. We proceeded to weigh out the drugs and to count the money at that time.

    Q: Where was the defendant Holmes during this time?
    A: He was sitting in the chair.
    THE COURT: Indicating (on the chart) the chair to the left of the glass top table closest to the room marked bathroom number one.
    THE WITNESS: Mr. Launius was sitting here
    THE COURT: Indicating the chair to the south of the
    table marked number six closest to the kitchen.
    THE WITNESS: Mr. McCourt was sitting here.
    THE COURT: Indicating the chair to the east of the
    table closest to the stairs.
    THE WITNESS: Mr. Deverell was sitting here
    THE COURT: Indicating the chair north of the table just below the word “nook.”
    THE WITNESS: Mr. Holmes was alternately between these two chairs (indicating) and this chair
    THE COURT: Indicating the chair below “nook”, the chair closest to the stairs and the chair that is south of the table closest to the kitchen.

    Q: How were the booty – for lack of a better term –
    split up?
    A: There were five of us involved in the robbery. Mr. Launius, Mr. Deverell, and myself, were to receive 25 percent of what we took and Mr. Holmes and Mr. McCourt were to split the remaining 25 percent which is 12 and a half percent.

    Q: And is that of the drugs and the money?
    A: Yes. That is correct.

    Q: What happened after the items were split up?
    A: Immediately after everything was divided up Mr. McCourt left the residence and Mr. Launius and Mr. Holmes and myself were seated in the living room and at that time Mr. Holmes made a statement to the effect that it still wasn’t enough money; he didn’t have enough to pay his film editors and as there was still a considerable amount of jewelry to be peddled to a fence, that he was going to wait around for that money.

    Q: What happened next?
    A: Subsequently Mr. Deverell took the jewelry to the fence and came back a few hours later with the money, which was early evening.

    Q: Mr. Holmes remained in the residence?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Until that time?
    A: Yes.

    Q: What happened after that?
    A: Everybody was in a pretty good mood after the success of the incident and we proceeded to just have a good time.

    Q: Did you use the narcotics?
    A: Yes. I have on occasion.

    Q: I mean, when you said “have a good time” –
    A: Yes, that is correct. Yes. Everybody did.

    Q: At sometime did either you or the defendant Holmes leave the residence?
    A: I don’t remember when John left. I do remember when I left.

    Q: Did the defendant Holmes leave before you, if you recall?
    A: I don’t recall.

    Q: When did you leave?
    A: I left approximately 9:00 or 10:00 o’clock the next morning.

    Q: That is June 30th?
    A: Yes. That is correct.

    Q: And was that the last time you saw any of the occupants of the residence alive?
    A: Yes it was.

    Q: (indicating the chart) Was this the front door of the residence?
    A: That is the front door.

    Q: Yes?
    A: Yes.

    Q: (indicating) Is that the back door of the residence?
    A: Yes. That is the rear door to the bedroom.

    Q: Are those the only two entrances to this residence on Wonderland?
    A: Yes, that is correct.

    Q: And you were residing there around June 29?
    A: Yes I was.

    Q: What was the security arrangements there? And by that I mean, were there any special procedures as to who could enter and who could not?
    A: Yes. Number one, there was an electric gate that could be only entered with a key or by pressing a buzzer inside the residence and then identify yourself to open the electric gate.
    Number two, after we exited the robbery we had all agreed nobody was to come into the house at all, period, even people we knew that had any business, meaning drug-related business, that was to be conducted was to be conducted away from the house and directed to the Laurel Canyon Country Store, which is on Laurel Canyon.

    Q: Could someone who is known to the occupants enter the residence?
    A: Only someone who was known very well.

    Q: Of this pact that you made as a resident of the Wonderland address at 8763 –
    A: Yes?

    Q: — was the defendant Holmes known well enough to you that he would be allowed entry?
    A: Most definitely.

    Q: I have nothing further.
    Jim Morrison referred to the Laurel Canyon Country Store in a song as “the store where all
    the creatures meet.” He lived on nearby Rothdell Trail at the time.

    FEBRUARY 2, 1982

    Q: Mr. Lind, would you direct your attention to the diagram which is at your left? That is the diagram of the Wonderland house? Can you tell us, sir, when was the first time you ever
    went into that house?

    A: I believe it was the first week of June 1981.

    Q All right. Prior to that time, to your knowledge, you had never been there?
    A: No, sir.

    Q: And from the time you went there from the first week in June did you live there off and on until the incidents transpired that you testified to just before the lunch hour?

    A: I was in residence there continuously throughout the incidents.

    Q: That would have been, then, for a two or three week period?

    A: Yes, that is correct.

    Q: Can you tell us if there were any permanent residents of that location during the two to three week period besides yourself?
    A: Permanent meaning 
. ?

    Q: Who was living there, who was sleeping there?
    A: Joy Miller, William Deverell, Ronald Launius, Barbara Richardson and myself.

    Q: Did anybody else during that period of time ever spend the night there?
    A: Quite a number of people.

    Q: I take it, people would come and people would go. Is that correct?
    A: Yes. That is correct.

    Q: Did you known by name all of the people that came and went?
    A: No. Not all of them

    Q: You knew a percentage of them?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Now, when you say, Mr. Lind, that there was a, I think you said large number, quite a number of people, could you be more precise? Is that a dozen or two dozen or how many would that be?
    A: I have no idea. It varied. We were engaged in drug trafficking and it varied.

    Q: I take it, then, as far as you observed, people perhaps unknown to you would come to that location, engage in some kind of a transaction and leave the location?
    A: That could very well be, yes.

    Q: And this would be both during the daylight and the nighttime hours?
    A: Nighttime meaning?

    Q: After the sun goes down?
    A: Yes.

    Q: And would you say that the hours were irregular?
    A: Sometimes.

    Q: During that two or three week period that you were there at that location did you ever see Mr. Holmes at that location?
    A: Yes, I did.

    Q: Would you say that you saw him there on several occasions?
    A: More than that.

    Q: All right. Directing your attention, sir, to the area that I think you described and that appears to be labeled on the map “nook” did you ever see John Holmes in that area?
    A: Yes, I did.

    Q: Did you ever see him sit down at the table?
    A: Yes, I have.

    Q: Now, there is a kitchen in that nook area. Is that correct?
    A: Kitchen immediately behind it. Did you ever see John Holmes cooking food there?

    A: He might have. I don’t recall specifically, no.
    Q: But do you recall distinctly seeing him at least on one and perhaps more occasions in the area of the nook?
    A: John was welcome at that house any time.

    Q: Now, did you ever see him in the bedroom that is labeled, it would be bedroom closet to you and at the bottom of the chart?
    A: Yes.

    Q: That bedroom number is number one?
    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Did you see him in that bedroom?
    A: Yes, I have.

    Q: As a matter of fact, did you see John in almost any portion of that house?
    A: Yes. That would be correct.

    Q: And would you say that John was welcome in the house – was it your opinion that of he did come into the house he was, so to speak, free to roam the house if he so desired?
    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Prior to your moving into that house for that period of time, did you know John Holmes?
    A: No.

    Q: You met John Holmes through someone connected with the house? Is that correct?
    A: Yes, Mr. Launius.

    Q: And was it your observation that Mr. Launius and John Holmes were friends?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Now, were there other people that you mentioned, were living there, Joy and Barbara and Mr. Deverell?
    A: Yes. That is correct.

    Q: Did it appear from your observations that Mr. Holmes knew these people?
    A: Yes, he did.

    Q: And did it appear that Mr. Holmes was friendly with those people?
    A: Yes. To a certain extent Mr. Deverell really didn’t care for Mr. Holmes that much, didn’t trust Mr. Holmes.

    Q: But did he outwardly appear friendly?
    A: Oh yes. Only because of Mr. Launius.

    Q: I see. Launius was personally very friendly with John Holmes?
    A: He knew him quite well.

    Q: Okay. Now, did John Holmes ever stay overnight at that location?
    A: He stayed overnight but he didn’t sleep.

    Q: But he would be there, apparently, from sundown to sunrise?
    A: Yes, a number of hours.

    Q: When was it, sir, that any conversation was first had in which you participated concerning a planned robbery of the home of Mr. Nash?
    A: Approximately a week before the robbery transpired.

    Q: When did the robbery take place?
    A: On a Monday morning at 9:00 o’clock about, Monday morning. That would be July first. Is that – I’m — – as far as the dates are concerned I’m a little confused.

    Q: I understand. I’m just asking for your best recollection.
    A: Yes. I remember the time.

    Q: And apparently there had been some discussions the week preceding. Is that correct?
    A: Yes. Just about every day.

    Q: During that week did you have any conflicts with John Holmes? Did you have any arguments or
    disagreements with him?
    A: No. I never did.

    Q: Did John mainly talk with Mr. Launius or did he talk with you or was it amongst all the people?
    A: He spoke with Launius and myself. Mr. Launius and my girlfriend, Barbara, and Joy Miller. As I said, there was a rather strained relationship between Mr. Holmes and Mr. Deverell.

    Q: With regards to this planned robbery, was Joy present during any of the discussion concerning the robbery?
    A: Yes, she was.

    Q: Barbara also?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Was anybody else in on it besides the people you just mentioned?
    A: Mr. Tracy McCourt.

    Q: Anybody else?
    A: No, sir. At that time, no. Nobody else had any knowledge of it. To my knowledge.

    Q: And the robbery commenced, apparently, when you, Mr. McCourt, Mr. Deverell, and Mr. Launius left in a vehicle together to go toward Ed Nash’s home? Is that correct?
    A: Yes. That is correct.

    Q: Were you carrying a gun?
    A: Yes, I was. We were all armed.

    Q: What kind of a gun were you carrying?
    A: A Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum Model 94, stainless steel revolver.

    Q: Were you carrying any other kind of weapon?
    A: Yes. I was carrying a knife.

    Q: And this would be a pocket knife or a hunting knife?
    A: No. It was a rigid model knife, was a razor back. It was a hunting knife, approximately, the blade was at least eight inches long. Total length approximately 12 inches.

    Q: About the size of a bayonet?
    A: No.

    Q: Not that?
    A: About half the size of a bayonet.

    Q: What was Mr. Deverell carrying?
    A: Mr. Deverell had a Model 59 Smith and Wesson 14 shot nine millimeter pistol.

    Q: Do you recall what the other two were carrying?
    A: Yes, I certainly do. Mr. Launius had a 7.5 millimeter Beretta automatic pistol and Mr. McCourt had a Colt, National Match Gold Cup, 45 automatic pistol.

    Q: Now, was there any conversation as to what precautions, if any, would be taken not to injure anybody?
    A: No. The only conversation that was pertaining to people in the house were that Mr. Diles would be the one that we would be most seriously concerned with.

    Q: What I’m saying is, did you discuss the fact that you didn’t want to hurt anybody?
    A: Yes, that is true. There was no reason for that. The way it was laid out we were just going to go in and out.

    Q: Now, were any precautions taken as far as you know to conceal your identity from anyone you might find at the Nash residence?
    A: No, none were necessary. Nobody had, at the Nash residence, had had any familiarity whatsoever with Mr. Launius or Mr. Deverell or myself, to my knowledge, at that time, other than John Holmes. There was no need for it.

    Q: At least you felt secure that you would not be known on sight?
    A: Very.

    Q: You didn’t wear any kind of mask?
    A: None whatsoever.

    Q: Did you wear anything on your hands to eliminate the likelihood of fingerprints?
    A: Yes, there was a product on the market called “Liquid Band-Aid”, we put that on our fingertips, all of us.

    Q: Was that done at –
    A: The Wonderland residence.

    Q: — Wonderland residence?
    A: That’s right.

    Q: Was John Holmes present when that was done?
    A: Yes. He was.

    Q: You went to the residence and apparently a robbery did take place? Is that correct?
    A: You are speaking of Mr. Nash’s residence?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Apparently, from my understanding of your testimony, Mr. Lind, the shot that was fired at the Nash residence was an accidental shot?
    A: Yes, it was. I just discharged the weapon.

    Q: You did not intend to hit or shoot at Mr. Diles?
    A: No, sir.

    Q: Did Mr. Diles react in any way when he was shot?
    A: Yes. He made an exclamation.

    Q: Did he threaten anybody?
    A: Not at that time. No.

    Q: At some point later, apparently, somebody was either cutting or attempting to cut Mr. Diles? Is that correct?
    A: That is correct.

    Q: And who was that?
    A: Mr. Launius.

    Q: Did Mr. Launius carry with him a knife?
    A: No.

    Q: Was this your knife?
    A: Yes.

    Q: How did your knife happen to come into the possession of Mr. Launius?
    A: I gave it to Mr. Launius. He asked for it.

    Q: Was that for the purpose of, so to speak, getting somebody to talk?
    A: I have no idea.

    Q: Now, was Mr. Nash struck or injured in any way?
    A: No, he was not struck physically.

    Q: Was he placed on the ground and told to pray?
    A: No.

    Q: Did you ever see him on the ground praying?
    A: I recall Mr. Nash on his knees and asking if he could say a prayer.

    Q: But your recollection is that no one told him that he better start praying or something might happen?

    A: No, sir.

    Q: Prior to going on that robbery did you ingest any narcotics of any sort?
    A: None.

    Q: How about Mr. Deverell?
    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Do you know from your own observation what he had consumed or ingested?
    A: Yes. Heroin.

    Q: And how about Mr. McCourt?
    A: Mr. McCourt also.

    Q: How about Mr. Launius?
    A: Mr. Launius also.

    Q: Everyone but you, apparently, had a shot of heroin?
    A: That is correct.

    Q: I take it you don’t use heroin?
    A: I didn’t at that time. No.

    Q: Did you use any other form of narcotic or stimulant?
    A: Cocaine.

    Q: When you came back to the residence – that is the Wonderland residence – Mr. Holmes was still there? Is that correct?
    A: Yes. That is correct.

    Q: Is it your recollection that the events that transpired at the Nash residence were related to Mr.
    A: Would you mind repeating –

    Q: I’m sorry. What I’m trying to ask you is: When you came back from the Nash residence to the
    Wonderland residence you saw Mr. Holmes?
    A: That is correct.

    Q: And Mr. Holmes was told by somebody in detail what happened at the Nash residence?
    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Who did that?
    A: Mr. Launius.

    Q: Launius was the one that was apparently, of the people involved, closest to Mr. Holmes from the friendship standpoint?
    A: Yes.

    Q: After coming back to the Wonderland address did anyone in your presence make known the fact to any of the other persons outside that group that a robbery had taken place?
    A: No, sir.

    Q: Didn’t Launius get on the phone and announce that he had some narcotics for sale?
    A: That was an every day occurrence. The use of the telephone for that particular – that is what he did. He dealt in narcotics.

    Q: What I’m asking you is: When you came back to the Wonderland address, part of the loot that was brought back was narcotics. Is that correct?
    A: Yes, that is correct.

    Q: And all I’m asking you is: Do you have any specific recollection of Mr. Launius thereafter notifying party of parties unknown to you, perhaps, that he had narcotics for sale?
    A: Yes, I do.

    Q: And how did you know that?
    A: I was standing in the bedroom.

    Q: And he got on the phone?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Did he, in your presence, indicate where he had obtained the narcotics?
    A: No, sir.

    Q: Were there any telephone conversations by Mr. Launius that were not in your presence?

    MR. COEN: Well, Your Honor, that is going to call for a conclusion. I object.
    THE COURT: Sustained.

    Q: So if it happened you wouldn’t know?
    A: That is correct.

    Q: What I’m asking you: Did you make a point of just bird-dogging Mr. Launius to see who he called or why he called or what he said?
    A: No, sir.

    Q: But, did you have an occasion to notice that he was making phone calls, at least in your presence, and announcing that he had some narcotics available?
    A: That is true.

    Q: Did you continue to reside at the Wonderland address?
    A: Yes. Although I was making preparations to leave.

    Q: You were going back to Sacramento, weren’t you?
    A: That is correct.

    Q: Now, on the day that the killing took place, multiple killings took place there at the Wonderland
    address, it is your testimony that you weren’t there. Is that correct?
    A: That is correct.

    Q: To your knowledge, did the participants in the robbery of the Nash residence all have the guns with them that they had used in that robbery?
    A: Yes.

    Q: I don’t mean to be facetious, but as far as you know, were the guns all equipped with ammunition?
    A: Yes, they were.

    Q: To your knowledge no one went on that robbery with an empty gun?
    A: No, sir.

    Q: Were any of those guns ever displayed in the presence of Mr. Holmes?
    A: All of them at one time or another.

    Q: So your conclusion, then, would be that Mr. Holmes knew the occupants or some of the occupants in that house were armed with guns? Is that correct?
    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Aside from the guns that each had were there other guns in the Wonderland address that you knew of?
    A: I had never seen any others than those that were carried by people that would come to the Wonderland address until after the robbery. Meaning other weapons.

    Q: From the time you returned from the robbery until the time that you left the Wonderland address on the last occasion did the narcotic traffic continue?
    A: Not at the house. No.

    Q: Your recollection is that no one came during that period to engage in any kind of transaction, that at least, you observed?
    A: No, sir. Not one.

    Q: Were you there continuously?
    A: I was there until Tuesday morning, approximately 9:00 or 10:00 o’clock.

    Q: Is Tuesday morning in your mind the day of the killing?
    A: No.

    Q: When did you find out about the killing?
    A: I received a phone call.

    Q: Who did you receive a phone call from?
    A: A Mr. Jimmy Arias, I believe it’s A-R-I-A-S.

    Q: Did you have a conversation with a Mr. Vegas?
    A: That is an AKA.

    Q: Vegas and Arias are the same person?
    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Now, Vegas called you and told you there had been a killing?
    A: He called me and told me that everybody on Wonderland Avenue in the house was dead.

    Q: How long had you been out of the Wonderland address?
    A: As I stated before, I left about 9:00 or 10:00 Tuesday and, I believe, this was shortly around before noon Wednesday. I’m not sure. I know it was about 12:00 o’clock.

    Q: You stayed some place else during that period? Is that correct?
    A: Yes, I did.

    Q: And was Barbara with you?
    A: No, she wasn’t.

    Q: Barbara was your girlfriend?
    A: Yes.

    Q: And she stayed at the Wonderland address?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Did you go back to Sacramento, did you?
    A: No, sir.

    Q: You stayed somewhere in the Los Angeles area?
    A: Yes. Monrovia, to be specific.

    Q: Did you go to a motel or something?
    A: No. To a private residence of a friend of mine.

    Q: Who was that?
    A: A Mr. James Fuller.

    Q: Do you recall talking to the officers, telling them of your visits during the time shortly preceding the killing on Wonderland?

    A: Shortly preceding?

    Q: Yes. Before?
    A: What period of time?

    Q: The night before?
    A: Yes, I do. I made a statement.

    Q: Do you recall telling them you were with a couple of girls?
    A: Yes.

    Q: You spent the night with one named Terry and/or Cindy?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Is that true?
    A: Yes. They gave me a ride back to the San Fernando Valley. We had stayed up all night.

    Q: And then you just stayed there with them?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Now, when Vegas called you did Vegas give you to understand that he was calling from the
    Wonderland address?
    A: No. He didn’t.

    Q: Did he give you to understand that he had actually been in the residence?
    A: Yes. At 8:00 o’clock that morning.

    Q: And –
    A: Meaning the morning of the murders.

    Q: And that he saw bodies?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Did he tell you how he got in?
    A: He told me he walked in. The doors were open.

    Q: Did he tell you if he saw anybody else there?
    A: Anybody else meaning?

    Q: Anybody else other than the people that were injured or killed?
    A: He was there with a fellow by the name of Paul. That is who drove him over.

    Q: Mr. Vegas indicated to you why they had gone to that residence?
    A: Yes. They were supposed to put Mr. Launius on a plane that morning to appear in a case in Sacramento.

    Q: I only have a couple more questions, Mr. Lind.
    A: Yes.

    Q: Are you at the present time in custody?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Why are you in custody?
    A: I’m serving a seven month sentence in Sacramento.

    Q: Had you ever been convicted of a felony, Mr. Lind?
    A: Yes, I have.

    Q: How many?
    A: Two.

    Q: And can you tell me which felonies those are?
    A: Yes. Receiving stolen property – I beg your pardon, that would be three. Receiving stolen property and forgery and assault with intent to commit rape. That was in 1970.

    Q: What were you just sentenced for?
    A: I was sentenced for possession of a controlled substance.

    MR. HANSON: I have nothing further.
    THE COURT: Redirect?
    MR. COEN: Just one question, if I may?
    BY MR. COEN:
    Q: Mr. Lind, did you ever hear Ron Launius threaten the defendant? If you recall?
    A: Meaning Mr. Holmes?

    Q: Yes.
    A: Yes, I did.

    Q: What did he say?
    A: He made mention of the fact that Mr. Holmes owed he and Mr. Deverell a considerable sum of money and that he better do something about it and, as a matter of fact, in, he threatened John Holmes on more than one occasion. Ronnie was, he had a Jeckyll-Hyde personality.
    He was on again, off again.

    MR. COEN: I have nothing further.
    THE COURT: Recross?
    MR. HANSON: Yes.

    Q: Was this Jeckyll-Hyde personality in any way, as far as you observed, related to narcotics usage?
    A: Not to my knowledge.

    MR. COEN: Objection. This calls for a conclusion, a medical conclusion.
    MR. HANSON: I will withdraw the question in light
    of the answer. I have nothing further.
    THE COURT: You may step down, sir.
    THE WITNESS: Thank you.

    • John 9:47 pm on August 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

    • Richard 10:56 am on October 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, awesome. Thanks for taking the time to post all that.


    • bobabooie 9:59 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This makes no sense. The Wonderland gang robbed probably the most connected guy in Hollywood- without masks yet- and along with cash and drugs, took back their own loot that they had previously left for collateral, which would certainly help Nash identify them, then they immediately set up shop dealing small quantities of narcotics at a popular convenience store where they can be seen in public that is less than two miles away from the robbery. Definitely a case of drugs impairing one’s judgement.


    • Myrna Forcade 2:04 am on February 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      nice article, thanks


    • patrick 8:00 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I’m amazed that they didn’t bother to at least throw on some ski masks or make any attempts to conceal their identities considering they were living no more than a couple miles from Nash. Certain neighborhoods of LA are like small towns in that you can run into people more frequently than you think. I’m guessing Launius et al were frequent customers at the canyon store. Even if Holmes hadn’t ratted on them who’s to say that they wouldn’t be spotted & recognized by Nash or Diles dropping in to buy cigarettes or out somewhere on the streets of Hollywood?


      • John 9:20 am on June 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I guess that is why Ron, Billy and Tracy all planned to move asap after the robbery. But, they got high instead and forgot to.


      • Bobby 9:52 am on June 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        That’s a fair point Patrick. I guess the fact that they threw a rug over Diles’ head so that he couldn’t see what was going on was the only real precaution they took at concealing their identities. The robbery would have come as such a huge surprise to Nash & Diles that they probably didn’t really have much of a chance to get a good look at the gang. I’m sure with all the gun waving and shouting the last thing Nash would have wanted to do was make eye contact with them. In most armed robberies you’ll find that victims try not to look at the aggressors so as to try and diffuse any escalation in tension. I’d bet that Nash/Diles only had a very hazy memory of their faces.. but then again, probably just enough for them to recognise them at the Laural Canyon country store!


    • localarts 7:34 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I honestly believe David Lind didn’t give a shit about anything or anybody when the 89 prelim rolled around. The truth starts to come into focus when you compare McCourt’s 1982 testimony. I know I’ve said that several times but David Linds 1989 preliminary testimony sealed it for me. Besides, by that point in his life, Lind seemed to be a broken man with nothing to lose.


    • Anthony 6:10 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Lind was an articulate person.


      • Jenn 6:53 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        He was! Everything else that I read about him made him out to be some total uneducated prison graduate degenerate slime ball and that in court he was like “Ok man, dig it like this…” or whatever he said but it was along those lines. Maybe he was like that in the second trial after time, guilt, and bitter memories had caught up with him. He was probably pissed that John Holmes was acquitted.


    • Jenn 2:06 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This definitely sheds more light on things for me. Awesome post!


      • localarts 4:20 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        This was such an incredible laps in judgment. It kinda makes me wonder how their lives would have turned out if they would have never befriended Holmes.


    • Bobby 11:46 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Man, what a fantastic read. Lind sure knew his firearms! I was of the understanding that Launius didn’t have a good relationship with Holmes but didn’t realise that Deverell really had it in for him. Things could’ve been so different had he just listened to his gut instinct all along. A mixture of anger and regret must’ve flashed before him the moment he opened the door on that fateful night and saw that the figure before him didn’t fit the voice on the intercom.. That whiney whinging “I need more money to pay my editors” voice that he’d came to hate. This has gotta go down as one of your best posts John! So many fascinating tidbits scattered throughout… Just leaves ya chomping at the bit wanting more!… 😉


    • localarts 10:05 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It was a tough day for Gregory. First Lind “graze’s him with a gunshot blast and then Ronnie try’s to dry shave him!


      • John 10:09 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hahaa. I think Holmes should have been there with Greg and Ed, to distract attention from himself. Maybe Lind pistol whips him into submission. Ed and Greg would have followed the wrong scent and not killed the Gang.


      • Bobby 11:53 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I know right! All the poor guy wanted to do was just peacefully eat his breakfast tray full of donuts in bed.


      • John 1:33 pm on July 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I like how Lind refers to “one Edward Nash”…which he assumed was his full name. It was just a nickname… just funny to me for some reason.


    • Eric B. 9:35 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      BRAVO! I can imagine how the movie may have played out if these facts were taken into consideration, but I understand how certain changes can make for greater cinema. This fills a lot of holes and unanswered questions though.


  • John 12:40 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , launius,   

    Drug Environment During And After Vietnam War 

    Thanks to reader, James, for sharing this info. Great stuff. Again, if you have not seen the posts on Ron’s Air Force military career, etc, please use the search button. Gracias!

    I am also trying to hook up an interview with one of Ron’s close relatives… stay tuned, kids!


    I have no empirical research other than historical military research that indicates that the drugs opium, heroin, amytal and seconal were readily available in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Ron served at the Ubon Airbase, the home of America’s major secret bombing campaign of 1966-67.
    “drugs were available to U.S. forces. In 1967 opium cost $1.00 while morphine went for $5.00 per vial. Tablets of Binoctal, an addictive drug consisting of Amytal and Seconal, were available in tablet form from Vietnamese children at from $1.00 to $5.00 for twenty tablets. Although technically a prescription drug, Binoctal was available over the counter at almost any Vietnamese pharmacy for about eight piasters for twenty tablets. Twenty tablets, consumed at once, was a fatal dose. One soldier had died from Binoctal use, and three near-fatalities had been reported. “O.J.’s” were opium joints.”
    The soldiers were affected by the drug differently in the US than in South East Asia. Why? Because in the US heroin was generally used in intravenously because it wasn’t “readily available” in the US. 20% of US GI’s came home having been regular users, 15% of that group quit upon coming home and an additional 3% ceased use with treatment. Ron was one of the 1%-2% that remained hooked upon return. He never received treatment because they were just becoming aware of the problem in 1966-67. In fact they ignored the drug problem over there largely until after 1967.

    Ron’s addiction changed radically when he returned home because it wasn’t so readily available in the US as it was in South East Asia and the drug is used intravenously in the US. There is a massive difference between smoking heroin VS intravenous drug use. If you smoke opium or heroin, you can kick easier than when you use heroin intravenously. So Ron was forced to steal and cross borders to keep his intensified intravenous addiction alive.

    • Bobby 11:16 am on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      John, If you manage to hook up this interview with Ron’s relative see if you can get them to send you some photos of Ron in his later years. It may be too much to ask, but hey, you just never know eh? Sure would be cool to see something other than that 70’s mug shot and that horrid autopsy photo. Will be great to finally get some definitive info from somebody who actually knew this elusive and very intriguing fella. All the best with the interview man.. we can’t wait!


      • John 12:27 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I will! Yes, the only other photo I have of him is that darkened newspaper clipping that was likely a yearbook picture. He had that starchy thin hair that no amount of hairspray could hold in place!


      • John 1:07 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. I hope it works out. I had e-mailed with a few other relatives of Barbara once, but nothing panned out. They were her younger cousins. At 18, Barb was already going down the rocky road with drugs, biker type guys, etc. Sad tale. Her mother and grandma are still alive.


        • Bobby 9:31 am on May 18, 2013 Permalink

          This is a long shot but you just never know..
          Whilst reading the comments for the 2nd crime scene video -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paRSucZyQlc
          I came across this post by someone called “dekum6826”:
          “What’s disturbing to me is thatï»ż my mom still has the pink chair from that place..It was given to my dad after the place was cleaned out..He was a friend of Billy’s and saw him a week before the murders”
          This person could just be a BS attention seeker but on the off chance that he’s legit it might be worth shooting him a message.


        • John 2:28 pm on May 20, 2013 Permalink

          Yes, Bobby… I will do that! Thanks.


    • Jenn 7:32 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is a sad topic for me. My daddy was a marine in Vietnam. Mom said he came home all messed up. He had seen so many horrific things too and that effected him. He had a very bad heroin addiction. I am a bit confused because I didn’t see him use drugs as a kid but I knew of some of the crazy things that happened in our lives and even as a little girl, I had an inkling as to why. That being said, for the most part, he was a wonderful father to me. He wasn’t a good husband but he was always a good father. I believe now that even if he wasn’t getting crazy high off the heroin and sometimes coke, he needed it to even function normally. We were seperated from him when I was 6 and I didn’t see him again until 1995 when I was pregnant for my daughter. Then in 2002 he was dead. He od’d. I felt sad because then I knew I would never get to see him again (until later anyway) and mom said he died doing what he did and getting higher than high. I guess I believe in every addict there are good things. I guess I want to believe that about Ronnie and the rest of them had some good in them too. I remember the wonderful times I had with my daddy and all of the nice things he did and said.


      • John 12:26 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        My uncle was in Vietnam too. He would work from time to time but never recovered from it and did drugs until the day he died of a heart attack in 1990.


        • dreamweaverjenn 12:35 pm on May 17, 2013 Permalink

          It’s sad. It doesn’t seem like they are doing anything more to help our veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan either. I’m sorry about your uncle.


      • James DelCol 5:20 pm on October 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        They are doing way more for these vets now. I applaud whet the US Government has done for our vets. There is just only so much funding. They have access to a lot. In the Vietnam era the attack against the “establishment” that had become synonymous with the corrupt older generation or part of a tradition the new US Culture was trying to break out of. Women and Feminism won a huge victory during this era, racial barriers were crumbling and it freaked a lot of people out. I find it to be a fascinating and wonderful history. They gave the Vietnam Veterans a hand full of chump change and a cheese sandwich and sent them home where they were despised. The anti-war movement decided in their great wisdom that to attack the soldier would be very painful. They felt that it would stop the war if families hurt from their sons coming home “Not American Heroes”, but the “baby killer” of leftist propaganda. It was a nutty time. The country was just awakening to its consciousness in my opinion.
        We are still growing up. Equal pay for equal work. I still side with the woman’s movement and the left generally, but I wouldn’t spit on a veteran and act like a jackass. I might have petitioned a veteran during that period. There was a better way to provoke ending war other than spitting on the guy who is just doing a job. Soldiers don’t get to make these decisions. If we feel that our country needs to change, we have to take it upon ourselves to become active and write opinion. I’m too busy working, how about you? It is a scar on the American soul that we treated those men like that, but that war was all wrong. We killed 3 million Vietnamese. 58,000 American soldiers died fighting one of the most brutal wars ever. Guerilla war Vietnam style is no joke. They were prepared to fight forever to not have a colonial power over them. They felt they had been fighting this fight in one form or another for 1,000 years. It was China first then everyone else and then the French. I will say the French made Vietnamese culture become Chic, but they wanted sovereignty and they fuggin meant it because they kicked a 250k man army off their land for good. Walking away with tail between the legs. Get the F out!


        • John 7:28 am on October 14, 2013 Permalink

          My good friend is a benefits admin for the VA in Houston. He helps vets find work, find a place to live, with money etc. Sadly, many of them don’t get a lot of $$$ each month because they were not in direct combat. He’ll have guys traumatized from watching their buddies killed in a street bombing in Saigon or another large city, but without evidence, they can’t get more money or whatever. He explained it better but the bottom line was “unless a vet can provide an old letter or testimony to some murder or even fighting with VC, it’s hard to prove the guy was not just a cook on a base in Saigon or Da Nang, like his papers say.


  • John 3:35 pm on May 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: launius,   

    The Day Before The Murders – June 30, 1981 

    Newly found information has come to light for the day before the murders. Bare with me, as John Holmes must have said a few thousand times.

    Let’s break it down, shall we?


    According to her testimony, Susan arrived at the house at 7am on Tuesday, June 30, and did not leave the entire day. In addition, besides Ronnie, she only remembers meeting Joy Miller (“someone named Joy”). However, besides obviously meeting Billy and Barbara, she must have also met David Lind that morning before he left for his drug-selling errands. I’m not sure that she met Holmes. If indeed, Ronnie punched him in the stomach for complaining about his share of the take, then I assume John got the hell out of there asap. I also doubt that Ronnie wanted Johnny Wadd around when his estranged wife was there. That would be annoying and hard to explain.


    David Lind stated in his testimony that he did not leave the house on Tuesday, June 30, “until 9 or 10 in the morning”. Susan could have also met John, but Holmes probably left the Wonderland house in the early morning hours, much sooner, because he still had to track down Dawn at the Bible lady’s apartment… and first, he had to go to or call his answering service, get his messages and drive over to find the apartment. That would have taken slow poke about several hours. They ended up partying and doing drugs most of the day with the Christian lady’s sister before being asked to leave. He and Dawn then went to get a motel room in Santa Monica. He left again at some point that late afternoon/early evening and was picked up for interrogation by Nash’s goons at his answering service’s office. Why he went to the answering service is anybody’s guess. I seriously doubt they encountered Holmes on a random street in Hollywood, not that you could miss that afro a mile away.

    The eerie part of Susan’s testimony at John Holmes’ Trial

    Susan says that she saw ‘dark eyes that just saw right through her‘. Now, this could be her hazy dreamy memory kicking in from the injuries, but that is the same way that John Holmes described Greg Diles eyes to Dawn Schiller, as Diles had John pinned against the wall, with his forearm against Holmes’ throat, as the killer’s went about their business. Sounds like a great time for all.

    Earl Hanson, Holmes’ defense lawyer, is asking Susan questions on the witness stand:

    Q: Do you recall describing one of the people who came into the room as a man with very dark eyes?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you have a recollection of that incident? Is that correct?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Now by “dark eyes” would that be black or brown?

    A: They seemed like they were brown. Just dark eyes, kind of looked right through me.

    What. The. Hell.

    Lastly, Susan was found naked by the paramedics. Now… I know that if my estranged wife came to stay with me, then we would probably do more than order pizza, snuggle and watch television. Just sayin’… Not being tacky here, just callin’ out the facts of the case and that Ron died with a smile on his face, that ole horndog.

    It’s like Lind said to the cops, “it was a good score”.

    • John 9:47 pm on August 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      • Erica 9:59 am on August 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        This is a great blog- by far the best source I’ve found in regards to this case. Thank you so much for keeping it active!


    • Localarts 7:12 pm on May 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Well, Greg was on Nash’s payroll I think he was probably there.


    • Localarts 10:23 am on May 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Could have been one of the Argentine brothers.


      • John 1:42 pm on May 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, and now that I think of it… would Eddie have allowed Greg to implicate himself by being at Wonderland. It may have only been Samuel and the Armenian brothers, Joe and whats-his-face. I can see how some Armenian mob guy would have no scruples about taking out some women.


    • krislyn 8:42 pm on May 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. i read Long time money and lots of cocaine. in susan is describing the tall slender high yellow dark eyes …there was a footnote on this line stating that Prosecutors were believing she was describing Samuel Diles, gregs brother. just a sidenote.


    • Localarts 7:10 pm on May 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Dosen’t Susan describe the man with dark eyes as “high yellow”? Many people believe this was Samuel Diles….it was not.


      • John W 8:22 pm on May 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes. I think I saw something once in an old article… It was a psycho kung fu pal of the Diles’~ dressed nice, went to killin folks.


  • John 9:57 am on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , launius,   

    Party Girl, Janet, Has More Lines in Movie Than Joy Miller! 

    That’s a shame really, but Janet is looking pretty cute with her Sheena Easton – 1981 hairstyle. I love her! What other movies has she been in? LOL.


    • Bonnie Brae 9:23 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “Thank you.”
      “Babe, I need a hit real Bad.”
      “I can’t wait that long, did you talk to Diaz?”


      • John W 10:07 am on April 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Joy had those old school clock radios all over the house. I counted 3. So I bet she was a very punctual woman, always on time. 1981 was another world for us now days: back when you had to memorize phone numbers, carry change for pay phones, call the movie theater for showtimes, call people to get directions to their houses. We are so lazy and have it easy today!!


        • Jenn 11:42 am on April 15, 2013 Permalink

          You got that right!


    • John 12:38 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The actress who played her was at the Wonderland premiere in 2003. It’s the only movie she has ever been in. Check it out, everyone showed up, even the girl who got to “touch it”: http://www.prphotos.com/store/category.cgi?&category=search&query=%5Eevents.sql&q2=Wonderland%20Movie%20Premiere&start=72


      • John 12:40 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        And Laurie Holmes was there too, along with a bunch of other porn stars. For some reason, Steve-O is there, acting like himself as usual.


        • Bonnie Brae 1:33 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink

          Is Laurie Holmes aka Misty Dawn the Butt Queen???


        • Jenn 11:41 am on April 15, 2013 Permalink

          Ugggg. Laurie Holmes. Nasty.


      • Bonnie Brae 1:39 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Tess Parker. Not easy to find. I only recognized her by her teeth. She looks so different with longer hair. Can you change your settings so that when I click on a link it opens another screen? I’d prefer that if you can. My sis taught me how but I forget I have not done it in so long.


        • Bonnie Brae 1:54 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink

          oops got that wrong – she was Julianne Steiger.

          I’m actually Julia Anne


        • Bonnie Brae 1:55 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink

          I mean Julia Ann. no e

          ha ha – misspelled my own name


        • John W 2:59 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink

          Yes, Laurie had that nickname in the biz.

          I try to make all links open in a new window, but you can always Right Click on a link and select Open In New Window.


        • Bonnie Brae 9:29 pm on April 12, 2013 Permalink

          thanks for the tip. i will try that.


    • Bonnie Brae 11:14 am on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      After Josh Lucas, Dylan McDermott was pretty amazing too.

      I was reading an article about the first season of American Horror Story and the producers discussed how they knew they wanted McDermott for the part because there is scene where he walks in on the housekeeper masturbating and gets so turned on that he runs into another room and jacks himself off then immediately feels horrible (with his marriage in tatters) and bursts into tears. Apparently he was the only actor up for the part that did not question the masturbation into crying bit.


      • John 11:20 am on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds like a show that I would accidentally sit down and watch with my mom at Christmas. Ugh. “I thought we were watching Roma Downey in Touched By An Angel” LOL


    • Bonnie Brae 11:05 am on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “Put it in your pants John. The whole party didn’t come to see your cock.”


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