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  • John 12:19 pm on April 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , murders, ,   

    What Happened The Night Of The Murders? 

    Another excerpt from the book “What Wild Ecstasy” by John Heidenry. You can read samples of it here.

    I wonder if the Gang had ordered food from Captain Pizza? That is the pizza joint that was mentioned in the movie. I guess whoever showed up at 3:45am did not care enough to save Susan. I have also been trying to find out what was on TV that night, but in the summertime it used to be all reruns of old shows on local TV. There were no network shows on during the summertime, besides the occasional made-for-TV movie.

    A few pages later, the author describes the Nash robbery, almost verbatim to Lind’s testimony. He did good research. The author does not seem to care much for Holmes. Oh well, he did his due diligence!

    The rest of the book is also excellent… and Heidenry touches on the early porn world, the business side, emerging technologies, the origins of professional porn businesses in Denmark and Germany, etc.

    En-Fuckin-Joy!

    What Wild Ecstasy by John Heidenry.

    What Wild Ecstasy by John Heidenry.

     
    • John 12:34 pm on April 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      During his trial, Holmes’ defense of being “the man in the middle” and under duress, would later be written in as a new defense in many law school textbooks. The same goes for the smuggling case of Ron Launius in 1974, but his case had to do with Double Jeopardy sentencing guidelines, etc. Ron’s case versus the US government has been cited by no less than 22 other legal cases over the years.

    • localarts 8:49 pm on April 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I truly wish Coen could have gotten a conviction. Holmes would have rolled over on Eddie for sure being the shit weasel that he was. I guess that was too much to ask for though.

      • John W 8:59 pm on April 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Me too. It’s a tough ride, Holmes would have rolled. You were right the whole time.. The gang also had Sac town obligations and court dates for petty crimes.

    • Murmillo 12:10 pm on April 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hello!

      Do you know why Ron Launius changed that way? It seems that in the beginning he was living a conservative lifestyle. Didn’t he get along with his life in the military or did he get troubles after leaving the military?

      And is it true what internet sources say that he went to the Mexican border to deal drugs for bikers, then his girlfriend was kidnapped and when he got her back he wiped out all of the dealers?

      Is it known how many people he killed in total?

      • John 5:12 pm on April 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Not certain about the kidnapping stuff. I have not been able to confirm those stories. But… he had a good tour in the Air Force, serving almost 10 years with an honorable discharge from the service. I think that after the military and getting married, he just go disgruntled, worked a few dead end jobs and then go into drugs and easy money. He got busted smuggling drugs from Mexico and served his prison time. It was all downhill, so to speak, from there.

  • John 8:30 am on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , murders,   

    Wonderland Murders Almost Snare Singer for Three Dog Night 

    Chuck Negron was one of a trio of singers in the band Three Dog Night. He is best known for his vocals on “Joy to the World” (Jeremiah was a bullfrog…yada yada). During his partying days in the 70s and early 80s, he was also an acquaintance of the Wonderland Gang and used to buy drugs from them. This is mentioned in his autobiography, and he did not live far from the famous house at 8763 Wonderland Avenue.

    Chuck claims to have set up a drug buy for the night of the murders, but for some reason did not make it or was told to come by another day. The gang had been partying hard and may have needed rest, according to David Lind. Dave spent that fateful night at a San Fernando Valley motel consuming drugs with a hooker.

    Also interesting is that in the crime scene video, one can clearly see a blood splattered album next to the first victim in the living room. The album shown is turned around and this is the back cover of “Harmony” by Three Dog Night:

    If Chuck was stopping by, maybe they were getting familiar with his music?

    If Chuck was stopping by, maybe they were getting familiar with his music? Screen capture from crime scene video.

    An enlarged version. Was this the last music heard by the Wonderland Gang? Susan Launius and Barbara Richardson had not been staying at the house very long, and I bet they were jamming to this album thinking that Chuck was stopping by… were they about to meet a famous person?

    That's it. All of the persons in the photo match up below...

    That’s it. All of the persons in the photo match up below…

    Here is what the back of the album looks like:

    This album featured "Just an Old Fashioned Love Song", a big hit in 1972.

    This album featured “Just an Old Fashioned Love Song”, a big hit in 1972.

    Sources:

    Inside The L.C. by Dave McGowan

     

     

     
    • Bonnie Brae 9:14 am on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      that is super cool!!!!!!

      • John 12:36 pm on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. It took me forever to figure it out.

    • scabiesoftherat 12:44 am on February 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the great blog, John. I do enjoy your writings about the topics you post about. Very in line with my curiosities. Keep up the good work, man. You have developed a great blog. Love it.

      • John 11:17 am on February 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. You guys always make my day! 🙂

    • Darcymarie 6:26 pm on April 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes I read that in Dave mcgowans strange but true tales of l.c. Very interesting read

    • bobabooie 10:41 am on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Well…………….Mama told me not to come.

  • John 12:42 pm on October 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , murders, , wonderland country store   

    The Canyon Country Store 

    Photo Credit:  BonnieBrae (Thanks!)

    The Canyon Country Store is a world famous stop off for groceries and drinks in the Hollywood Hills. Famous rock’n’roll groupie, Pamela Des Barres, even hung out in the parking lot with her friend hoping to meet rock stars who would emerge from the maze of streets in this popular area for celebs. Some other well known patrons were… you guessed it, the Wonderland Gang. In fact, according to David Lind, Joy and Barbara headed to the store right after the boys returned home from robbing Eddie Nash. It’s true. Billy, Dave and Ron were counting and sorting the loot in Ron’s room, while the girls went for booze and cigs. It was party time. Susan was not at the house yet, so poor John Holmes had to wait in the living room by himself, pacing back and forth to see what his take would be. When he got his share of the cocaine, he immediately went to the stove to cook up some rock (as most people do). It’s as Ron said in the movie:  “Do I look like I’m f–n hungry! The only thing I want to heat up is some dope!”

    And with that, we bring you the Wonderland Country Store:

    Photo credit: BonnieBrae

    Photo credit: BonnieBrae

    The Route from Wonderland. 1.4 miles in 5 minutes.

     

     
  • John 9:20 am on September 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , murders, odyssey, ,   

    The Night Clubs of Eddie Nash 

    We’ve all read the bio, Eddie Nash (Adel Nasrallah), a Palestinian born immigrant, arrived in L.A. with $7 in his pocket. After waiting tables, he bought his first hot dog stand and he grew into a huge entertainment tycoon. By the 1970s, he was really freeking loaded. His main rackets were his night clubs. They covered as a front for his other activities, vices and crimes as well. He was quite a generous guy though. If you have not read about the women he loved and how he once helped a woman and her autistic son, google it. Get out the Kleenex first. Heartwarming!

    This post features a few of his old clubs. A music venue and a teen dance club. At one point Eddie Nash had 25+ liquor licenses in the Los Angeles area. This gives you a picture of his largess, and what the business scene was like behind the wild man… who was Eddie Nash. The King of L.A. I feel it is right to document these things because if too much time goes by, the facts are lost forever.

    This music and concert club catered to local and int’l bands alike. It was open from 1972 to 1981. “Rubicon” played the CalJam ’77 I think.

    Of course, you had to have a teen dance club. Eddie brought you, “Odyssey”!

    There’s a two ecstasy limit, please.

    This great site (LAist) tells the history of the Odyssey club, and how after having their dance license revoked at the club, kids staged what appeared to be a protest, but it looks really cheezy and fake:

    So, when you think about it. The city and the cops were sick of Eddie. What does he do? Eddie Nash probably had the place burned down a few nights later, for the insurance money. I believe he was acquitted of this fraud charge though, but a few of his other businesses had “burned down” in the past. He got away with stuff. So the police messed with him all the time after Wonderland. Before Wonderland, he flew just under their radar. For the rest of the 80s though he would be in a world of legal shit, multiple arrests, trials, short stints in jail or prison for drugs, all the way up until the 2000 trial (where he did like 2 years of a 4 year sentence due to old age). LAPD never got that feather in their cap though. The cops never really nailed him for Wonderland. That’s too bad. All of the other witnesses were dead. It was by then a lost cause. Twenty years later too. They were lucky to get what they got with Eddie. He was slick.

    Burned, like so much freebase. Wanna Play Baseball!! (anyone)

    Nash owned several more clubs catering to black folks, gays, older crowd, tropical theme, blues bar, etc. I could not find pictures of them. Please send if you have any. Thanks!

    -JW

    Sources:

    Wikipedia – Starwood

    LAist web site. http://laist.com/2012/08/17/laistory_all-ages_dance_club_the_od.php#photo-5

     
    • Bonnie Brae 9:58 pm on September 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      LOL – that footage is hilarious. It totally looks fake. Hilare. I’m pretty sure we had an Odyssey in San Diego. The music to Footloose really takes the cake. At the end the guy saying that when the club closes they pick up trash around the area. hmmm that is what I always did in high school when i was falling over drunk at the end of a party. I’d comb the local neighborhoods looking for trash to pick up.

      • John 1:02 pm on September 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Yes! and I don’t remember people dressing that bad, but I guess they did. You should have seen my sweet dark brown polyester uniform from Pizza Hut with the matching Andy Capp hat. I was a cook and dishwasher. Great pizza though.

        • Brandy 10:00 am on August 27, 2013 Permalink

          Oh people definitely dressed that bad. You should see the pics of me as an 8 year old in 1981, horrifying., All browns & oranges with flower patterns.

    • Darcymarie 3:54 pm on April 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I have found a page that is basically al about the oddessey & the regulars who used to go there… It has pics & everything and tons of posts from all the former club kids who used to go there…. It’s really interesting, there’s also a site called the go-go’s notebook & it”s about the starwood

    • Annie 11:30 pm on May 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      When I was in high school, we would go to the Seven Seas. Any 16 year old could drink as much as we wanted for free.I miss the late 70’s!!

    • L. Greg Johnson 9:45 pm on September 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I have chatted with many former employees of Odyssey1, including iconic DJ Chuck Starr, and it was NOT owned by Nash – it was owned by Stott and Bud Harvey, Chris Cox and a cousin of Chris’. Nash DID own Starwood, Seven Seas and another couple of clubs

      • John 9:56 am on September 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I believe the Nash simply owned the building (and it burned down eventually)

        • Darla Hershman 11:13 pm on April 20, 2017 Permalink

          I just wanted to respond to a post earlier from Brandy. Larry Hershman ” Cherokee” who was my father passed away on October 19, 2016 from lung cancer. May he RIp

        • John 10:17 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink

          Sorry, it took so long to reach you Darla. I am writing a book about Wonderland. Very sorry to hear about your dad.

          Can I ask you some questions some time?

          John

    • Darla Hershman 11:15 am on December 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      When your book is finished please let me know. I am very interested in this. my number is 818-404-1360

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