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  • John 3:25 pm on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: liberace, michael connelly,   


    Here we go, folks…. I’ve checked the podcast, it’s cool. Scott needs a gofundme LOL (No!)

  • John 11:12 am on January 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , liberace,   

    Scott Thorson's House In Vegas 

    In the late 70s, Thorson purchased this home with some of his money as an investment, because Lee (Liberace) wanted Scott to have a nest egg of his own. Lee kept him on salary, like his other employees, minstrels and relatives. All of his expenses were paid for, so he had put the money away in the bank. And the movie had it right: It was hard to get cash outright from the entertainer, but Liberace thought nothing of giving someone a $10,000 piece of jewelry as a gift. By this time, the “tract house”, as Scott refers to it in his book, was already over fifteen years old (built in 1963). He doesn’t say how much he paid, but the price today looks quite unreasonable as one could have a custom home built someplace back east for this six-figure amount. BTW, Gladys Luckie was Liberace’s longtime and beloved housekeeper. After Thorson signed away everything for $75,000, Liberace got ownership of the house.

    Here is the home’s partial ownership history, from Clark County, NV records. These days, it’s a rental house:

    Previous Sales

    Date Owner
    12/26/2007 LUCKIE GLADYS
    07/11/2002 LUCKIE LINDA J
    05/23/2002 LUCKIE LINDA JOYCE
    06/08/1987 LUCKIE GLADYS
    05/05/1982 LIBERACE
    12/28/1978 THORSON SCOTT A

    Same Vegas address as given in the book, Behind The Candelabra (1988) – on Laramore Drive:


    • jimmy chicago 1:04 pm on January 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thats how the liberals get around living next door to the people they want everyone else too.The shit they dont want in their neighborhood goes to yours. The prices and rules to live in these excluive areas are obscene.When they tore down Cabrini Green in Chicago and put up a few ‘afforadable” places or units mixed in they also held the people who needed the aid to a higher standard then the people who could afford to live there such as {drug testing] Like nun of the rich yuppies do drugs ,well they do but wont be tested like their misfortunate neighbors also they wernt allowed to have visitors like the others who could afford it.

      • criticextraordinaire 5:57 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Cabrini Green was not all that bad. Me and some buddies used to party over there in the early 1990’s. As to the drug testing… hey, if people want to live in housing subsidized by taxpayers, they damn well better not be spending their money on dope. If they got money for dope, then they don’t need my help paying the rent.

  • John 10:44 am on December 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: green bay packer, liberace   

    Liberace Lost His Virginity To A Green Bay Packer 

    From Scott Thorson and Alex Thorleifson’s 1988 book “Behind The Candelabra”. I believe this was also mentioned in the movie. I hope the cheeseheads don’t come outta the woodwork – don’t shoot the messenger!


    • jimmy chicago 11:41 am on December 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      As a BEAR fan I would not doubt that many men have lost their virginity to a green bay packer. They dont call um packers for nothing

  • John 7:22 am on January 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , liberace,   

    Scott Thorson Is Headed To The Pokey 

    As OJ Simpson found out, you don’t go to Vega$ and screw around with crime. That city has a zero tolerance policy, and where you may get a paltry sentence for what OJ and Scott Thorson did in another state, Nevada will kick your ass instead. That place has enough assholes running around pulling scams and committing crimes. Scott initially received probation but now he’s looking at his original sentence of 8 to 20 years …. well, read more below from USA Today. He failed his drug test (again).

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — A former lover of Liberace who was the subject of an HBO film on the pianist’s life has been sentenced to eight to 20 years in a Nevada prison for failing another court-ordered drug test while on probation for burglary and identity theft convictions.

    Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan sentenced Scott Thorson on Wednesday after a string of bad drug tests capped by his failure to show up at a court-ordered treatment facility.

    Flanagan originally suspended the prison sentence in July and gave Thorson a second chance in September after testing positive for methamphetamine, but he failed tests twice in October and again on Nov. 1. He was arrested Nov. 19 after violating an order to enter an inpatient treatment facility in Reno two weeks earlier, court records show.

    Thorson, 54, whose real name is Jess Marlow, had admitted he was an addict but insisted he was determined to get sober when he tearfully appealed to the judge in September to spare him from prison.

    “I’m just asking for another chance,” Thorson said, explaining he was dealing with his newfound celebrity stature.”

    “I can’t help who I am,” he told the judge at the time. “I’m in show business. I attract these cameras.”

    Flanagan said it would be his “last chance.”

    “I’m not impressed — I don’t think anybody is — with this so-called celebrity status,” he said. “You’re just like any other addict who has committed a crime against a victim.”

    Thorson had said his goal was is to write another book on the heels of his Behind the Candelabra, which was used as the basis for the HBO film of the same name that won the Golden Globe for best TV movie earlier this month. Matt Damon played Thorson in the film, and Michael Douglas, who donned the flamboyant costumes to play Liberace, claimed his fourth Golden Globe for his work.

    Deputy District Attorney John Helzer said in urging prison time in September that Thorson had been trying to capitalize on his fame since he told arresting officers last year he couldn’t afford the bad publicity of going to jail.

    “He’s not a celebrity. He’s a story,” Helzer said. “It’s one of accusation and manipulation and failure.”

    • localarts 10:28 am on January 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It wouldn’t have mattered if the judge had given him ten chances, Thorson will probably die in prison.

    • criticextraordinaire 9:35 pm on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder if Eddie has any guys on the inside who could get to him?

      • John 8:30 am on February 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        We must remember, Fast Eddie beat that rap. He got the last laugh once again, that teflon bad ass!

        • localarts 10:13 am on February 1, 2014 Permalink

          It’s easy to beat the rap in California. Ed Nash was just another in a long list of high profile cases that walked…pretty sad when you think about it.

    • localarts 7:25 am on February 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure he does. Eddie will be 85 this year that in its self is amazing… With his age, I doubt he cares anymore or even remembers who Thorson is.

      • criticextraordinaire 8:49 am on February 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yea Eddie’s the man. I wish HBO or one od the studios would do a biopic on him. Ronnie too.

      • John W 12:10 pm on February 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Criticx and localarts… And all readers. Some company has greenlighted the process to pursue and vent a certain movie script based on Ron Launius’ life. Just FYI, I’ll keep ya posted. Also coming next week, a certain Brady Bunch cast member partied… Well, you’ll have to wait n see!!

        • criticextraordinaire 1:44 pm on February 1, 2014 Permalink

          AWESOME NEWS, John. I’ve been waiting for something like this for ages. 🙂

        • John 9:10 am on February 2, 2014 Permalink

          This film group is out of Austin, Texas. More to come!

    • localarts 3:14 pm on February 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I just can’t imagine how accurate any movie about Launius would be. I know Roger Jacobs said Launius was alleged to have been involved in 27 murders while at the same time other news articles have quoted police as saying Ron Launius was nothing more than a “trouble maker” I think launius was discharged in 1972 went to federal prison in 74 transferred to LA in 77 and released in 78. Ron Launius had 4.5 to 5 year window between 72 & 81 to rack up that body count.

      You would think that if someone who was murdered were themselves involved in 27 murders, it would have been highly publicized.

  • John 8:17 am on January 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , liberace,   

    Read First Chapter Of Thorson’s “Behind The Candelabra” 

    You can probably find this book at any used bookstore for a buck or two, but in the meantime – check out the first chapter. Besides, how are you gonna keep them down on the farm once they’ve seen Liberace’s house!

    On November 11, 1918, headlines around, the globe trumpeted: PEACE! World War I, the war to end all wars, had come to an end. American doughboys were headed home and with them came a new sophistication, a new worldview. A popular song posed the question, “How’re you gonna keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?”

    There would be no keeping the boys who fought their way across Europe “down on the farm.” America was poised on the brink of an urban explosion that would be fueled by a technical revolution. Women abandoned their hobble skirts, became flappers, and emerged as a new social force. A booming economy and increased leisure time helped popularize new diversions like movies and radio. Flickering figures on a theater screen and electronically amplified voices coming from crystal tubes right in the living room pushed vaudeville to the brink of extinction. The entertainment industry would never be the same. All these events would have an effect on Liberace’s future.

    His birthplace, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was a quiet backwater which didn’t respond quickly to the great events a home and abroad. Local farmers and men who worked the Great Lakes shipping trade still counted the weather more important than events overseas. The majority of the people descended from German immigrants; God-fearing, churchgoing, hardworking Lutherans who relaxed on weekends drinking the beer for which their city was famous. In the early years of the twentieth century, Milwaukee was a quiet, conservative community, an unlikely birthplace for the man who would call himself “Mr. Show Business.” Lee would never feel he belonged there.

    Read more

  • John 9:48 am on October 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , liberace, ,   

    Former Nash Attorney Now Works For LAPD 

    Of course, he does not mention Eddie Nash in his bio on the LAPD web site:

    Gerald Chaleff was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department by Chief of Police William J. Bratton on January 13, 2003. He serves as Bureau Chief to the Chief of Police and Commanding Officer of the Consent Decree Bureau (CDB). Police Administrator Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing.

    The drug related armed robbery mentioned below and carried out by Thorson and his posse is a rather seedy affair. It was a home invasion. The drug dealer and his girlfriend were so traumatized, that they called the cops. Not many dealers do that. I read that they got beat up pretty bad. I’ll try to find the link to that story and post it. The sheer horrra… as you’re being pistol whipped by Liberace’s boy toy! Oh the humanity.

    Anyway, Edward Rucker later took over the defense from Abramson and Chaleff and won Nash an acquittal in the second trial.

    LA Times | September 23, 1988

    An attorney for former nightclub owner Adel (Eddie Nash) Nasrallah, who was charged this month in four 1981 Laurel Canyon bludgeon murders, said Thursday that she is “seriously underwhelmed” by the evidence against her client. Much of the case assembled by the district attorney’s office “seems to be based on the credibility of folks who are less than ministers of the cloth,” said attorney Leslie H. Abramson, who represents Nash along with co-counsel Gerald L. Chaleff.

    A spokesman for the district attorney’s office declined comment on Abramson’s remarks.

    Nash, 59, and his former bodyguard, Gregory DeWitt Diles, 40, have pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in an attack that prosecutors have said was intended to avenge an armed robbery at Nash’s Studio City home.

    The late pornographic film star John C. Holmes was acquitted of the Laurel Canyon slayings at a 1982 trial.

    The Times reported last week that the decision to file charges against Nash and Diles was based in part on new evidence provided by Scott Thorson, 29, an ex-lover of the late pianist Liberace. Thorson is in Los Angeles County Jail awaiting sentencing in connection with a 1987 drug-related armed robbery.

    LA Times | July 23, 1989

    Edward Rucker, 46, is currently defending Eddie Nash, charged in the 1981 Laurel Canyon murders for which the late porn star John Holmes was charged and acquitted. Rucker took over from Abramson and Chaleff, who handled Nash’s preliminary work. Rucker says he takes on “complicated” cases: murders, fraud and white-collar crime. Although his most prominent work was his defense of Symbionese Liberation Army member William Harris on charges of kidnaping and assault (he was convicted of assault), Rucker says his most disturbing case was a gang-rape case he lost during his 13 years as a public defender.

  • John 10:09 am on June 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: liberace, ,   

    Scott Thorson Bailed Out; Now Lives Behind Brothel 

    Scott certainly has had one crazy year so far in 2013. He was busted for using credit cards that he found in a lost wallet, then his book about life with Liberace was made into a popular film, and now… the owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada has bailed him out of jail. Scott is also working on a new book about life after Liberace. Sounds like a bestseller!

    The AP article went on to say this:

    Hof said he moved Thorson into his guest house behind the brothel so Thorson can get treatment for colon cancer and drug problems. He also hired an attorney to help Thorson avoid prison.

    And then this, which is nonsense:

    Thorson has had prior run-ins with the law relating to drugs, and he was shot multiple times in a shooting connected to his participation as a witness in the Wonderland murders, Hof said, adding that the late Liberace’s abuse prompted Thorson’s life of drugs and crime.

    Come on, Hof!  Scott was shot multiple times by a junkie who robbed him at a seedy motel in Jacksonville.

    I have no idea what is going on here:

    The woman on the right is an 80s female wrestler I guess.

    The woman on the right is an 80s female wrestler I guess.

    • Bonnie Brae 11:43 am on June 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I saw Beyond the Candelabra, which i totally enjoyed. From what I saw in the movie, everything bad that happened to Scott Thorson seemed to be blamed on Liberace. I enjoy biographies more when people can admit their own shortcomings and laugh at them and learn from them. Their seemed to be no end to Liberace’s wrongs done to Scott. I had trouble at the level of naivete he painted of himself. Also, I see parallels between Schiller and Thorson. They both have lead very fascinating lives and I find both individuals intriguing. I just wish they would own up a little more to the havoc they have both wreaked.

    • localarts 8:08 am on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The above picture looks like members of the Hollywood Squares. Not sure if the center square is big enough for both Paul Lynde and Liberace.

  • John 9:26 am on May 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , liberace,   

    Mr. Y & Joe – A Tale Of Two Nightclub Owners 

    Behind The Candelabra kicked ass in the ratings the other night. The few people I know with HBO all watched it. But, it was deemed “too gay” for theaters, so it was not picked up by any distributors. I was kind of shocked to read that, it seems like Liberace still has friends in the biz, and they did not like the idea of this film being made. Of course, I would have gone to see it. It would have been the first trip to the movies for me since Transformers 2 over four years ago. And that sucked.

    * * * * *

    In the book, Liberace: An American Boy, the author Darden Asbury Byron, tells us more about Scott Thorson’s connections to the L.A. underworld figures known as Chris Cox and Eddie Nash. Chris Cox is Mr. Y, and Eddie is known as Joe.

    More people watched his nationally syndicated television show between 1953 and 1955 than followed I Love Lucy. Even a decade after his death, the attendance records he set at Madison Square Garden, the Hollywood Bowl, and Radio City Music Hall still stand. Arguably the most popular entertainer of the twentieth century, this very public figure nonetheless kept more than a few secrets.

    More people watched his nationally syndicated television show between 1953 and 1955 than followed I Love Lucy. Even a decade after his death, the attendance records he set at Madison Square Garden, the Hollywood Bowl, and Radio City Music Hall still stand. Arguably the most popular entertainer of the twentieth century, this very public figure nonetheless kept more than a few secrets.

    Read more:

    Standing almost a foot taller than Liberace, Scott was a big dude, and when on a drug rampage, Liberace was quite terrified of him.

    University of Chicago Press, June, 2000. A month before the movie aired, there was another edition of this book printed. I bet that it sells like hot cakes!

    University of Chicago Press, June, 2000. A month before the movie aired, there was another edition of this book printed. I bet that it sells like hot cakes!

    Liberace: "You Monster!"

    Liberace: “You Monster!” LOL

    • John 9:46 am on May 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      After the movie aired the other night, WordPress stats tell me that most of the visitors to the blog used Google and searched on “Scott Thorson”. LOL. That cracks me up for some reason. They had to know more! hell yes.

    • Jenn 11:50 am on May 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It really is a good movie. I have still been trying to watch it from start to finish in one sitting but so far have been unsuccessful. Between kids, dogs, phone calls, I have tried to watch it straight through about 10 times. One scene that I CONSISTENTLY get to see repeatedly is the big sex scene between Liberace and Thorson. Realizing it’s Michael Douglas on the receiving end I almost crack up. Especially after seeing him in such movies as Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct. Hopefully this weekend I will get to see it uninterrupted!

      • John 4:59 pm on May 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Don’t forget Disclosure! Where he is the one who is sexually harassed by Demi Moore, that wicked temptress. Its from like ’95 era. Great movie though. Also, A Perfect Murder where he kills Viggo Mortensen… I have wanted someone to kill him for years.

    • localarts 2:01 pm on May 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Michael Douglas is a great actor and a first class individual. I remember seeing him give a homeless man some money one time. You could tell he felt sorry for the guy. Not too many hollywood big shots would go out of their way to do that I bet.

      • John 2:03 pm on May 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        He has always been a favorite of mine. One day, I too will find my Catherine Zeta.

      • dreamweaverjenn 4:49 pm on May 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        He is one of my favorites as well. I like him in everything i’ve seen him in and he was EXCELLENT in this movie. I expected nothing less.

        • John 2:33 pm on June 2, 2013 Permalink

          He says he got throat cancer from oral sex. That’s crazy, especially since he used to smoke.

    • dreamweaverjenn 5:03 pm on June 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That is crazy. How do you get cancer from oral sex? He smoked like a freight train.

    • localarts 8:45 am on June 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Reminds me of Eddie Van Halen. For those of you who are Van Halen fans, you may remember Eddie got tongue cancer some years ago and he blamed it on metal guitar pics that he put in his mouth. Eddie was a hardcore smoker & drinker!

  • John 11:42 am on April 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: liberace, ,   

    Liberace’s Home In Ruins – An Interesting Video 

    Liberace had style and besides that, he was also one hell of a musician.

    I wonder what he would have thought of Thorson’s knack for hanging out with scumbags and dope dealers. I am certainly convinced that Liberace would have been quite appalled at the decor of Eddie Nash’s 70’s dictator-chic home interior, not too mention the house at Wonderland, with its basic furnishings and surprisingly tidy appearance (not too mention the tube socks, cowboy boots and Billy wearing white denim jeans and having no shirt on). As a flamboyant artist, he would not have found much inspiration at either place.

    This is a sad video of what has happened to his old mansion in Vegas. I would buy it if I could and turn it into a Wonderland museum.


    • scabiesoftherat 11:45 pm on April 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      He was a helluva piano player, wasn’t he? I’ve played piano since I was 13 and up until this very day. I still can’t wrap my head around the crap that he pulled off with those keys. The mind boggles. His sense of musical timing was second to none and I think that’s what made him. He just had that perfect internal metronome inside him

      If I had the money, honestly? I would buy Wonderland. I would turn it into a bed and breakfast. I would make EVERYTHING exactly as it was on the night of the murders. The book on the coffee table, the albums with 3 dog night at the front, the candle, the roll top desk , the furniture. The house would be set up exactly like that night….You know why? Because people would love to stay there. I stayed at Lizzie Borden’s house for two nights. It was a bed and breakfast. (My wife made me. She said I had to get over my phobia of looking under beds as a 43 year old man. It stemmed from the Elizabeth Montgomery made for tv movie that aired back in 1975. “The Legend Of Lizzie Borden”. That screwed me up for years, man….) People love to be privy to that slice of time that they study. I think everyone here would buy that house in Laurel Canyon should the funds and opportunity make themselves available. I know I would. The thing is, it’s not that great. It’s a two bedroom house with a nook kitchen. That’s it. Functional at best. It’s just the history, man. I would also leave striped tube socks on the steps to the upper bedroom for effect….LOL

      (Sorry about the bandwidth on this reply. didn’t mean for it to go so long…)

      • John 8:02 am on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I saw a video where he played a song, then played at at half speed, then played it backwards. WTF. He was sharp!

      • John W 4:12 pm on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        A wonderland bed n breakfast is a great idea! A two day stay culminating with some primal scream therapy on the second night… And peaches and cottage cheese served before bed. Thanks Scabies, that’s something we’d have to get past the Wonderland Homeowners Association, those Nazis LOL

    • Bonnie Brae 1:08 am on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for not saying “Billy sans the shirt”.
      ‘Sans’ is an over used word.

      I honestly dig your blogs John. They are just worded so well.

      • John 8:00 am on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        My friend says Sans a lot. That’s an ass whoopin! I hate it. I also hate the phrases: “Think outside the box” and “good to go” Hey, I’m good to go! Fuck off! LOL

    • Bonnie Brae 8:43 am on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Great video!

  • John 9:43 am on April 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , liberace, ,   

    Two Acquitted In Second Trial For ’81 Laurel Canyon Murders 

    Special thanks to reader, localarts, for posting a few names which helped me locate this incredible article. This story lends to the alternate theory of how maybe some other hoodlums carried out the murders, and not Nash or Diles. Well, it was enough for the juries to believe, and Nash and Diles were acquitted. I don’t believe it, but hey, make up your own mind! Maybe Eddie and O.J. Simpson can form a club and go find out who the real killers were, LOL.

    And now… “Fat Howard” Cook and Paul Kelly enter the Wonderland story. Fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. After this trial, we did not hear from Eddie Nash for almost 5 years, until the Russian Mafia story came out and his arrest in a pre-dawn raid wearing pajamas at his condo.

    Some interesting points and observations from the article:

    • Three of the victims are described by prosecutors as “penny-ante crooks”. That is my belief too. The Wonderland gang were not big-time! nor were they on top of the L.A. drug trade. They were small time thieves and nickel bag and gram dealers.
    • Diles lost 100 lbs while in the county jail.
    • The prosecution had shady witnesses (Lind, Thorson, etc.). Was McCourt there?
    • In addition to metal pipes, a baseball bat was also used in the killings. This explains how some of the blood spatter was all the way across the living room and other rooms.
    • If I was in legal trouble, then I can appreciate a good defense lawyer, but most are shady…I can’t imagine them hugging Greg Diles after the verdict. I’d have to get in the tub like Holmes to scrub clean!

    …the “Laurel Canyon murders”–killings that came to symbolize fast California lifestyle gone awry…


    Two Acquitted In Second Trial For ’81 Laurel Canyon Murders

    January 18, 1991 | Laurie Becklund | Los Angeles Times

    Hollywood nightclub owner Eddie Nash and his bodyguard were acquitted of murder late Thursday, a resounding defeat for prosecutors who have tried for a decade to resolve the “Laurel Canyon murders”–killings that came to symbolize fast California lifestyle gone awry.

    Nash, 61, slapped both hands on his desk and smiled broadly, showing emotion for the first time in his long ordeal, as the jury cleared the way for his departure from jail for the first time in more than two years. His co-defendant, Gregory Diles, smiled and hugged his attorneys.

    “There just wasn’t enough evidence to convict them,” juror Bobbi Scoville, 42, a Hawthorne air traffic controller, said afterward. “The only thing that bothers me (about the verdict) is that I don’t know if there will ever be a final settlement of this case. I’m afraid the only people who will ever know who killed those people are the murderers.”

    Prosecutors Dale Davidson and Carol Najera of the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, who were trying the two men for the second time after a mistrial last year, left the courtroom without speaking. Last year, jurors voted 11 to 1 for convicting Nash and 10 to 2 for acquitting Diles.

    “We’re obviously disappointed in the verdicts,” said Sandi Gibbons, a district attorney’s spokeswoman. “However, a jury has decided the case.”

    The four July 1, 1981, bludgeoning murders took place in what was described as a “drug den” on Wonderland Avenue, a few blocks from a house owned by then-Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. The victims were two women and two men who were heavily associated with drugs. The prosecution described three of the victims as “penny-ante crooks.” A fifth woman survived but was unable to testify because of her injuries.

    This trial was the third in the case. The first, in 1982, resulted in the acquittal of John C. Holmes, then the nation’s premier pornographic film star. Nash and Diles were charged after prosecutors said new evidence came to light in 1988. The star witness, Scott Thorsen, was a former lover of Liberace who had his face made over to resemble that of the late pianist.

    The three trials exposed the seamy underside of Hollywood as few other courtroom dramas ever have. The accused included Holmes, Diles, a 300-pound bouncer and bodyguard, who lost over 100 pounds in jail, and Nash. Nash, whose birth name is Adel Nasrallah, was an owner of striptease joints and Hollywood nightclubs. He spent more than two years in jail in the mid-1980s on narcotics charges.

    “From the bottom of my heart, I don’t think either one of these people had anything to do with these murders,” said Michael M. Crain. He and Richard Lasting were court-appointed attorneys for Diles.

    Edward Rucker, who with attorney Bradley Brunon represented Nash, congratulated the jury as they filed out of the courtroom.

    He gave credit for the acquittal to conscientious jurors who he said were able to set aside Nash’s lifestyle and criminal record in making their decision.

    All four attorneys had put on an unusual defense in the case in which they in essence accused another man, a convicted narcotics dealer named Paul Kelly who is now in state prison. They argued that Kelly had been sent out to murder the four as part of a complicated plot involving revenge for drug deals gone sour. Kelly was called to the courtroom outside the presence of the jury, but took the 5th Amendment instead of testifying.

    Two of the jurors said the defense case was so compelling that they would like to see Kelly put on trial for the murders. Another said that while defense evidence against Kelly raised doubts about the guilt of Nash and Diles, it might not be sufficient to convict Kelly.

    The prosecution’s case was complicated by witnesses who had been heavy drug users and convicted drug dealers. In his closing argument, Davidson stressed to the jury that the district attorney’s office had made a “societal decision” to proceed. Otherwise, he said, such bloody underworld murders would proliferate simply because “John Q. Citizen” witnesses are not available.

    The murders took place around 4 a.m. on July 1, 1981. A neighbor was awakened by screams, looked out the window, and saw lights on in the house. Instead of calling police, she turned on her television set to drown out the noise.

    “Who knows who’s been on primal scream therapy or tripping on some drug?” another neighbor later said.

    It was agreed that at least three killers went in with lengths of pipe and at least one baseball bat, bashing the sleeping victims dozens of times. Afterward they washed up, leaving the water running.

    A grainy videotape taken of the murder scene showed a trail of blood leading from one room of the house to another. When it was later presented to a jury, the case marked the first time in American jurisprudence that a videotape of a murder scene was admitted as evidence in a criminal trial.

    Killed were William DeVerell, 44; his girlfriend, Joy Audrey Miller, 46, and Ronald Launius, 37, of Sacramento. All three had been involved in a robbery of Nash two days before in which large amounts of cash, jewels, narcotics and some guns were taken. The prosecution contended that the murders were ordered by Nash in retaliation for that robbery.

    Two others had chosen that night to visit the Wonderland home. They were Barbara Richardson, 22, and Launius’ estranged wife, Susan, 25, both of Sacramento. Susan Launius was left for dead, but she survived with brain damage and partial paralysis. Later, the most she could recall was three “shadowy figures” in the night.

    The only print police found at the scene was identified as that of Holmes, whose attorneys claimed that he was forced into the home at gunpoint. He died in 1988 of the complications of AIDS, never having publicly revealed what he knew about the murders.

    The other men in the house that night, investigators concluded, wore gloves or daubed their hands with a special liquid to disguise their prints.

    It was that lack of concrete evidence that jurors said was critical in their acquittal. No murder weapons were submitted into evidence.

    The defense contended that a man named Howard (Fat Howard) Cook of Los Angeles, who was owed money for drugs, sent Paul Kelly and other men to the house. Evidence against Kelly included a taped interview that police conducted with his girlfriend, Maggie Coffman, days after the murders.

    “You know I love you and I want to marry you,” Coffman said Kelly told her hours before the murders. “But I have to eliminate a few, a few people that you care about, right?” One, she told police, was Launius.

    Prosecutor Davidson told the jury that Kelly may have been one of the killers that night, but that Nash ordered the killings.

    “The book’s still open on Kelly,” he told jurors. “He is in state prison and this case is not done.”


    • Darcymarie 6:07 pm on April 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, some of this is mentioned in the other Hollywood by legs McNeil, at least , iirc , Kelly was mentioned as been seen leaving wonderland ave, or maybe he observed Holmes leaving the location & it was somehow relayed back to bill ammerson a friend/porn producer of johns

    • localarts 6:44 pm on April 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Had Kelly arrived during the murders, he would have most certainly died that night. I’m not sure people really understand how bad this really was.

      • localarts 6:47 pm on April 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Bad grammar.. sorry.

      • benafanasiev 7:17 am on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sure what you mean?

        • benafanasiev 7:18 am on April 7, 2013 Permalink

          Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean?

      • John W 9:34 am on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I can see how the gang probably did owe money around town to various people, either by theft or by non-payment of drug debts. I have no doubt that others were probably looking for them, i just think Eddie got to them first.

        • benafanasiev 11:02 am on April 7, 2013 Permalink

          I believe John was a greedy bastard, who probably went to Eddie so he could get more drugs out of the wonderland gang and also out of Eddie. I also think John being a total bottom-feeding scumbag junkie willingly partook in the murders. Scott Thorson’s story I’m a bit sceptical about too. I haven’t heard any mention of John looking beat up the next day by his wife or girlfriend and he would have if Nash and Diles spent an hour beating information out of him, I assume they would have beat him to a pulp over what he did?

    • localarts 9:47 am on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Some posters on the IMDB forum used to make jokes about the victims and at the same time deflect criticism of Holmes. It was quite amazing. These posters seemed to think Wonderland was about pornography.

      • John W 12:16 pm on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        When I heard audio of the ladies who wrote “A Life Measured in Inches” discussing Holmes as some great pop cultute icon, and dissing the murders it made me cringe. Their audio interviews with Laurie Holmes, female pornstars and others are on youtube. I need to read their entire book, ive only read a few chapters.

        • scabiesoftherat 12:17 am on April 9, 2013 Permalink

          Laurie Holmes is a certified idiot. Sorry. I have no patience for her. She simply married john to attach herself to his demented and dark legacy, man. She seems like she has a an IQ of 38. Daft and balmy. I don’t hate her, of course. I don’t think enough about her to hate her,…but the “anal queen” is an idiot.

          Holmes was an idiot. There is a reason he ended up the way he did. The reason I study him is akin to watching a car crash. It’s horrifying, but you can’t look away. This guy sold his soul to someone….no doubt, man. Who it was, one can only guess. You’re married to someone for 16 years and you rip them off when they try and help you? Really? I mean,…Really? Dude was a total d-bag.

    • localarts 12:31 pm on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I think I know who you’re talking about. Those were the ladies who saw the Wonderland movie, became infatuated with Holmes or at the very least enamored. Wrote a book about him and baked a birthday cake for their hero.. I’m not making this up they actually baked a cake for Holmes, freakin crazy.

      • Jill C. Nelson 9:11 am on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        We didn’t bake a cake for Holmes. It was a cake created by Cake and Art for the launch in L.A. designed as the cover of the book. Like it or not, John Holmes will forever be a pop culture figure, but not a hero. You people wouldn’t be discussing him if it weren’t so.

        John, since you and the followers of this forum are obviously fascinated by the Wonderland subject and all things related I’d be happy to send you a free copy of A Life Measured in Inches. You might be quite interested to know that Sugar and I didn’t paint Holmes as a hero but as all credible biographers do, we showed all sides. You’re perfectly welcome to continue to despise Holmes after you’ve read the book.

        • John 9:17 am on May 16, 2013 Permalink

          Thanks. I will order the book. I’m right in the middle of Helter Skelter and researching that whole crazy era.

        • Sheila 9:52 am on December 27, 2013 Permalink

          This is just my opinion but I don’t think that people see him as a hero as much as they are just so baffled and confused how someone can be in as deep as he was into this whole thing and then be acquitted. Not only him but Nash and his “Goon Squad”. I think if this had of happened in today’s time everyone of them would get the death penalty. How people live their life is the way they will die. Look at the tragic ways not only the 4 of Wonderland died but look at the way Gregory Diles , and John Holmes died. Nash will eventually die a horrible death as well with all of his ailments. In the end I am not the one they have to stand before and give an account of their life to. That is the job of Almighty God.

    • John W 1:14 pm on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Well, fuck that! I am going to Kroger in a minute for groceries. I am goin to bake a cake for Ron and Billy!! Chocolate baby. High yellow!

    • localarts 1:57 pm on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      LMAO .. LOL!!

      • localarts 6:45 pm on April 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I agree Scabiesoftherat, Laurie Holmes may very well be the worlds only know living brain donor.
        Not too bright. Bill Amerson said Holmes tried to run her over with a car so hecould collect the insurance money. At least we know why he kept the littie “anal queen” around.

        • Jill C. Nelson 9:12 am on May 16, 2013 Permalink

          And Bill Amerson is credible? Now that’s funny. Have you met the man? My co-author has. Ask Amerson’s son, Sean, about his father’s credibility.

    • localarts 10:47 am on December 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is just my opinion but I don’t think that people see him as a hero”
      I don’t either. It was a bad choice of words on my part.

    • John 10:14 pm on August 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply

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