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  • John 5:19 am on November 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: sharon holmes,   

    Holmes Was Possessive, According To Sharon 

    At the time of their marriage in 1965, John was working as a candy processor at the Glendale “Candy Nips” factory (She told Mike Sager that he stirred vats of chocolate). Apparently, would not let Sharon meet his co-workers, and was extremely possessive – and she had to live and breathe for him alone.

    “Spent most of leisure time @ Old Zoo in Griffith Park or window shopping.” – The Old Zoo at Griffith Park.

    The public record shows Sharon living at these apartments in Glendale at the time of their marriage, which jibes with the story Sharon once told of looking out her window and seeing John pick flowers from the neighbors garden before their first date.

    Holmes had 3 lung collapses during 66-67.

    Also, if the couple had had children, we might not be talking about this at all.

    Their marriage – according to Sharon:

    From page 4 of Sharon's 9 page outline on John's life.

    From page 4 of Sharon’s 9 page outline on John’s life.

     
    • Gayle 11:41 pm on November 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      There are remnants of the old zoo still there, concrete structures and cages that housed the animals, Very eerie, but cool.

      • John 2:55 am on January 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Cool. In the book the Onion Field, one of the cops early investigations included trolling the park to arrest gay guys wanting to hook up. Truly bizarre.

        • Gayle 12:24 am on January 26, 2016 Permalink

          That activity still goes on there, only it’s out in the open.

    • Jill Nelson 9:44 am on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve always found it curious Sharon claim that John was underage at the time of their marriage and that his mother had to give written consent. They were married on August 21,1965. John was 21 years of age.

    • localarts 2:48 pm on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I thought Holmes mother had to give consent for her son to enter the army…

  • John 10:47 am on September 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , sharon holmes   

    Where Sharon Lived in Glendale 

    Just a quick post to show where Sharon Holmes lived in Glendale in the early 90s. I could not find much else. Man, she sure loved Glendale. It does look pretty nice there though.

    Update: I am trying to get in touch with Barbara Richardson’s ex-husband for an interview. They were only married a short while in the late 1970s. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted. The interview with Nash’s bribed juror girl fell through.

    Early 90s.

    Early 90s.

     
    • criticextraordinaire 7:36 pm on September 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It’s too bad that Sharon’s later years were not so good. Seems that her Alzheimer’s happened a fairly early age and progressed very quickly. I had a buddy who went similarly and died from Alzheimer’s complications at the age of 64. Sux. 😦

      • Tori 8:30 pm on September 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah it’s a shame. Sharon and dawn who is johns 15 year olds ex mistress was supposedly looking after her and was her guardian or something? Sharon didn’t pass did she?

        • criticextraordinaire 8:46 pm on September 25, 2013 Permalink

          Yeah Sharon passed away about a year ago.

        • Tori 1:44 pm on September 26, 2013 Permalink

          Yeah she wasn’t looking very good. I’m friends with dawn on fb and she had some pics with Sharon and just rdidnt look so well

    • Bonnie Brae 9:23 am on September 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      The place she lived with John and Dawn on Acacia had a giant moving truck in the street when I drove there so the pic I collected is close up and of the address. 1010 acacia in Glendale. The bungalows were torn down.

      • John 10:11 am on September 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Gotcha, cool. Is that when Gayle went with you? The condos or apt’s which are there now look pretty sweet.

        • Bonnie Brae 7:06 pm on September 26, 2013 Permalink

          lol – yes.
          of course. She is always with me.
          My sister thought you were in town a few weeks ago and asked if we were taking you to lunch.

    • criticextraordinaire 5:38 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      John, got any idea why Sharon moved around so much? Looks like 3 places in 3 years. In 1991 I would imagine she was still working as a nurse, she was not all that old.

      • John W 5:55 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        No my friend, I pondered that also. I can only imagine she had the rent raised when the lease was up or her roommates kept bailing. Not too strange, I had moved to different apt’s after one year leases several time. Maybe she didn’t like her neighbors or found better deals elsewhere through an apartment locator.

        • Tori 1:33 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink

          Hey guys I’m going up to Hollywood again tomorrow . Was gonna make some stops if their is anything anybody wants specific pictures of or any other addresses that would be cool to look it..

          Hey john do u have the exact address to nashes doña Lola house ?

    • Beth 8:50 am on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Curious about Barbara Richardson, I saw the entries on Find a Grave about her, thought it was interesting that her father buried her under her maiden name of Easton. It’s got me wondering if there was some animosity towards this ex husband, from what I read on Find a Grave, a cousin of hers or something said she was “good” girl type before she got into drugs. Wonder if the ex husband introduced her to this world and that’s why the parents might not have liked him? I understand her father’s name was “Leroy”? Anyone know what her mother’s name was and did she have any siblings? Can’t seem to find much info on her family, which is strange. I also read her mother is still alive? If I were these family members I’d be so pissed at Nash, feel so bad for them all! It seems really unfair that everyone literally got away with murder here, whether the victims were nice people or not doesn’t matter. It’s not right that Nash is getting away with all of this.

      • criticextraordinaire 5:35 am on October 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        A bunch of criminals who made their living selling poison to people conspired to invade The Nash’s house and they discovered that this was a mistake in the worst way possible. I mean, part of me had to admire Ronnie’s chutzpah, but he was in WAY over his head with The Nash. From everything I have read, Eddie did not send anybody over to kill anybody, he just wanted to get his stuff back and to rough them up a little… payback, and then the guys went overboard. According to the movie, they were ALL in on the planning and so they were fair game for retaliation. That’s how it works in the underworld.

    • Beth 8:53 am on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Also, is Nash at this point in his life still “feared” by some of these people? Does he have any real “power” now at all? Very surprised someone hasn’t offed him yet actually. He must have zillions of enemies, not just from this case. Amazing that David LInd didn’t do him in!

      • criticextraordinaire 5:42 am on October 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        David was so doped up he didn’t even “do Nash and Diles in” when he had the chance and should have (in underworld terms and protocol, that is). If you’re gonna be a criminal, you don’t do what he did to Nash and Diles, leave them alive, and expect no retaliation. Lind indeed was lucky that nobody came after him, but perhaps by that time it was felt that the adequate revenge had already been achieved. Besides, Lind’s testimony was near worthless. All he could testify to was that he committed a stupid home invasion. At the time of the Wonderland murders he was out doing drugs with a hooker at a hotel according to his court testimony. Holmes walked, and even the jury that Nash didn’t bribe acquitted him outright.

        If you’re gonna be in that sort of business and last, you have to be good. Eddie was one of the best at the game.

    • localarts 11:16 am on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It’s impossible to say if Eddie still has any “power” If he does, it would be directly related to how lucid his mental faculties are. Remember, were talking about an 84 yo man. He could be suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer’s or other ailments. If however his health is fine, I’m sure Ed could still make a phone call or two.

      It’s actually the other way around. David Lind should consider himself lucky Nash didn’t waste him especially after Lind tried to a lesser degree, humiliate Nash during the second trial. You don’t hang around as long as Eddie Nash without picking and choosing your battles wisely. The biggest mistake Nash made was befriending John Holmes.

      • Beth 12:38 pm on September 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yep, guess u r right about that! Too bad Nash hadn’t offed Holmes earlier, then a lot of other people would still be alive!

        • criticextraordinaire 5:52 am on October 1, 2013 Permalink

          Eddie had no prior reason to mess with John. He liked hanging around “Johnny Wadd”. John was probably good for business at the clubs as well as Eddie’s parties. I mean, even after the whole Wonderland thing went down, when anybody else in the business simply would have rubbed out John to silence him, Eddie (according to John) gave him money to just go away. Eddie always had a soft spot in his heart for his “brother” John, even when Eddie allegedly had Diles beating the crap out of John to rat out the Wonderland Gang.

          I just wish we could hear Eddie’s side of this story, he certainly could fill in a few blanks. Besides, he’s been acquitted of the murders, and the statute of limitations long ran out for civil lawsuits; he could talk with impunity. Of course it is possible that he’s silent in order to protect some other living persons who were never tried in the murders.

        • Beth 7:10 am on October 1, 2013 Permalink

          You make excellent points! Was thinking last night too, I recall Nash’s testimony or his version of things was that he never intended for people to be murdered, just that if it happened it happened, or something like that. But…..I am guessing Barbara was the first to get hit since she was the one they came to first, and she was asleep, and she was viciously beaten w/ a lead pipe, they meant to kill, not to scare. I know what Eddie’s “story” was, but I think the plan all along was to kill every person there and make it look like John did it, as punishment for him or whatever. It really sucks, wish they had let the women go, or just tied them up and killed the guys. Yes I would love to hear more from Nash! At this point he has nothing to lose, unless he is protecting people like u mentioned.

    • Dawn 7:27 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Does anyone know the address in Glendale where JH gave SH his bathtub infestation?

      • Dawn 7:28 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Confession. Not infestation.

      • John 9:44 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Not that specific house, but I think that may have been an apt anyway..
        It may have been torn down though, just like the apts on Acacia they used to manage. Gone but not forgotten…..

  • John 8:19 pm on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: allan macdonell, , , , sharon holmes,   

    “In Too Deep” By Allan MacDonell (2003 L.A. Weekly News) 

    Back in 2006, I was winding down and it was late at night. “Wonderland” was airing on the International Film Channel. Now I had heard of the Wonderland murders, but I really did not know much. I quickly hit the magic handle on the recliner and stretched out. Life would never be the same.

    Shortly after that lazy episode, I discovered a sweet article by Allan MacDonell of the LA Weekly News. It is controversial. Dawn even relates her teenage mindset to that of Elizabeth Smart, the girl who was kidnapped that time. The message is what… girls are malleable? I don’t get it here. I don’t understand the comparison. There’s more to the story than that though…

    The article is an elongated movie review on steroids and includes numerous quotes. In Too Deep also preceded the official release date of the movie by one day (the anniversary of the film is a few weeks away!). I have linked to this article before but I am now posting it in order to preserve it on the blog. This gem speaks for itself and contains lots of quotes. Thus, it’s an important part of the Wonderland debate.

    IN TOO DEEP is a 5,000 word article. Enjoy!

    WonderAveLogo

     

    “IN TOO DEEP”

    Allan MacDonell | L.A. Weekly News | Thursday, Oct. 2, 2003

    In the summer of 1981, porn legend John Holmes stepped into an abyss of drugs, mayhem, and murder. Meet the wife and the girlfriend he almost took with him.

    Almost everything publicly known about porn king John Curtis Holmes is apocryphal, anecdotal, secondhand or informed by conjecture. Except for the cock. Thirteen inches long, as thick around as a man’s wrist, hard on demand, coming on cue: the appendage of the pathological braggart’s most outlandish boast — and it turns out to be true. At once raw footage and special effect, the fabled tool appeared in hundreds of XXX epics, creating the first — and possibly last — superhero of the blue screen, polyester-bad private detectiveJohnny Wadd.

    Before Johnny Wadd, though, there was the gangly hillbilly kid from Ohio, born in 1944, product of an impoverished childhood, a puking drunk of a father, followed by a violent drunk of a stepfather. A stint in the Army, hitched up to nurse Sharon Gebenini, a budding career as a forklift operator. Holmes’ special quality, so to speak, was discovered, in the late 1960s, by a skin photographer in a Gardena poker club men’s room. By the time the ’70s had shifted into high, Holmes’ monster of a penis had become the most recognizable and marketable prop in the history of porn.

    Later, as the ’80s dragged in, the Holmes hydraulics became unreliable and the bookings dropped off. The cult fell away. The film Wonderland focuses on a fateful two weeks during that period, at the end of which the actor left a palm print above a blood-soaked deathbed at the Wonderland Avenue scene of the notorious “Four on the Floor” murders of July 1, 1981. Four people bludgeoned to death, another left for dead. The film, directed by James Cox and starring Val Kilmer as Holmes, approaches the slayings from multiple viewpoints and attempts to clarify exactly what happened during that orgy of lead pipes and skull fragments.

    The gruesome murders were retribution for a home-invasion robbery, two days earlier, of underworld kingpin Eddie Nash. On the morning of June 29, four strung-out ex-convicts had sneaked through an unlatched sliding door into Nash’s ranch-style house in the hills above Studio City. The door had been left unlatched for the robbers by Holmes, whom Nash had often spoken of as a “brother.” Nash and his 300-pound bodyguard, Gregory DeWitt Diles, were rousted out of bed at gunpoint. A pistol went off, and Diles suffered a grazing flesh wound. Nash, the story goes, fell to his knees at the sound of the shot and begged for time to pray. The robbers absconded with cocaine, heroin, Quaaludes, money, weapons and jewelry, a haul that was valued by the U.S. Department of Justice at something like a million dollars. They left Nash and Diles humiliated and stewing inside the house.

    Eddie Nash. Real name Adel Gharib Nasrallah, an immigrant of Lebanese — or is it Palestinian? — parentage. In 1960, Nash set up a hot-dog stand on Hollywood Boulevard. By the late 1970s, if you were young, happening and in L.A., you could hardly spend a night on the town without putting money into Eddie Nash’s pocket. One count has Nash holding 36 liquor licenses, mostly in the Hollywood area. Gays dancing at the Paradise Ballroom. Straights doing the hustle at the Seven Seas. Pogo-happy punk rockers at the Starwood. Interracial funk fans at Soul’d Out. Horny loners at the Kit Kat strip clubs. The cover charges and bar receipts all led to Eddie. If you were a doper, chances are Nash was making some change off you there as well.

    Nash had evolved into a notorious, well-rounded crime lord and entrepreneur. The Wonderland Gang, in comparison, consisted of clumsy dope pushers who relied on crude rip-and-run robberies of lesser dealers to maintain their habits and inventory. Their hideout was a much-frequented stucco party house on Wonderland Avenue, leased to Joy Audrey Miller, a 46-year-old heroin addict and ex-wife of a Beverly Hills lawyer. Her live-in boyfriend was Billy DeVerell, 42, also addicted to junk. Ronald Launius — who, like DeVerell, honed his charisma in a prison yard — was the 37-year-old alpha dog of the pack. Along with overnight guest Barbara Richardson, 22, they all died as a direct result of knowing John Holmes and fucking with Eddie Nash.

    Veteran LAPD detectives, just 12 years after Helter Skelter, claimed they had never seen so much blood at one crime scene.

    Much of the movie focuses on determining the exact nature of Holmes’ complicity in the Laurel Canyon butchery. He was indebted both to Nash and to the Wonderland pushers. He was also the sole connection between the two camps. Beyond dispute is that Holmes effected the entry of the Wonderland Gang into Nash’s house, and that he later provided access to the Wonderland house for Nash’s agents. He is assumed to have been inside the residence to witness the murders, and to have somehow gotten himself “wet” doing so.

    There are two points of contention: Was the idea for the Nash robbery that of the Wonderland Gang, or did Holmes first suggest it? While inside the murder site, did Holmes, presumably under duress, actually swing one of the lead pipes used to smash the victims into nearly unrecognizable pulp? In Wonderland, the murder is approached from one viewpoint after another, time after time, relentlessly, predictably, with each rendering more explicit. There is virtually no suspense, no dramatic tension.

    And no cock. Relying on aviator shades as his signature prop, Val Kilmer’s John Holmes could be anybody — any old hustler, any old pimp, any old wannabe rock star who can’t remember where he pawned his guitar last night.

    The real John Holmes claimed to have had sex with 14,000 women during his career as a professional wad. Sharon Holmes and Dawn Schiller are among the tiny minority who were drawn into Holmes’ orbit despite the cock. Dawn met Holmes when she was 15. He was her first love. Sharon, married to John at the time, took Dawn in after she’d become his mistress and allowed her to live in the couple’s home. The two women formed a kind of mother-daughter relationship that has endured to this day. On a recent Sunday afternoon, they sit at an outdoor table at a Beverly Hills hotel doing publicity for Wonderland. Dawn is credited as an associate producer on the film. Sharon is listed as an adviser.

    Sharon is slight and sinewy, a tough bird with a soft center and a smoker’s drawl. She wears a black cap to cover a skull that is fuzzy like a freshly hatched chick’s: She has just finished chemotherapy after a modified radical mastectomy for cancer.

    “I am just a cast-iron maiden,” she says with a throaty laugh. “I’m going to get through it, no matter what it is. I do not roll over and play dead for anybody.”

    Dawn, at 15, was a strikingly attractive woman-child, her huge green eyes brimming over with fragile anticipation. You look at her picture, and you want to protect her. You hope no one will latch on to her and crush her spirit. Today, in her early 40s, Dawn wears a wide, sly smile under those huge green eyes, still brimming with anticipation and intelligent wonder. She has the calm assurance of someone who has been through hell, fought her way out, and has no plans to go back. She is finishing a book on her experiences, The Road Through Wonderland.

    “I have a daughter,” Dawn says when asked about the perils of putting her ordeal into print. “Do I want my daughter to hear the story in my own words? Or do I want her to hear somebody else’s version, whether I like it or not?”

    Sharon Gebenini met her husband-to-be in December of 1964, while she was a graduate nurse working at County USC Hospital. Holmes was barely 20. Less than a year later, they were married. He found work driving a forklift at a meatpacking plant. The couple had lived a conventional married life in Glendale for about three years when Sharon came home early from work one afternoon and walked in on John in the bathroom. He had an erection, and he was measuring it. He’d already done a few 8mm film loops and photo shoots for magazines.

    “He told me that this was going to be his life’s work, that this was going to make him famous,” remembers Sharon. “I looked at him like, What planet do you come from?

    John would never drive a forklift again. Sharon allowed her husband to remain in the home, to eat meals with her, to mingle their dirty laundry — together, they were on-site managers of a courtyard apartment complex in Glendale. But Sharon would never touch John intimately again.

    Soon after being caught out at home, Holmes met Hawaiian porn director Bob Chinn. Chinn initially dismissed Holmes as some “scruffy-looking guy who had this big Afro-looking hair.” Then John dropped his pants. That evening, Chinn wrote a script outline on the back of an envelope, and a few days later, he had shot, edited and shipped Johnny Wadd. Despite (or perhaps because of ) Holmes’ Alfalfa physique and goofy hangdog face, the big-dicked undercover crime fighter captured the imagination of the porn-going public.

    The detective persona also appealed to John’s own imagination. In the early 1970s, when the production of pornographic materials was still a felony in Los Angeles, Holmes was busted on a porn set and held on charges of pimping and pandering.

    “He called me from Ventura, wanting to be bailed out,” says Sharon. “I didn’t have that kind of money.”

    A few hours later, Holmes was driven up to the house in the car of an LAPD vice squad officer named Tom Blake. While pursuing his crown as the King of Porn, Holmes would carry on a highly productive parallel career of informing on the porn industry for the LAPD vice squad.

    “John enjoyed playing Dick Tracy,” recounts Blake in the excellent 1999 documentaryWadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes. “He loved that role of investigating and passing information along. John was absolute dynamite.”

    Sharon became very familiar with Blake’s voice on the phone. “John was giving him regular information, particularly on anybody that had done him dirty.”

    Enter Dawn.

    It’s 1976, and 15-year-old Dawn Schiller’s parents are divorcing. Rather than stick it out with Mom in Florida, Dawn elects to head west with her 14-year-old sister and her father, a Vietnam-vet hippie with hair down past his shoulders. The family stops for a hitchhiker at the Grand Canyon, thinking he might have a joint to share. He tells them that he sometimes stays with a girl who lives in an apartment in Glendale. He guesses it would be cool with her if the whole bunch of them crash on her floor.

    When the family arrives at the Glendale courtyard apartment, the girlfriend calls the complex’s manager to ask permission. The manager’s husband comes over to screen the guests, and Dawn Schiller comes under the scrutiny of John Holmes.

    At this time, John is 32, at the height of his XXX prowess. He has all the work he can handle, he picks his co-stars, he is paid top dollar. He has woven a legend around himself, wrapped so tightly in exaggerations and half-truths that he himself cannot see through the web of overlapping reality and fantasy. He claims to have lost his virginity at age 8 to the Swiss maid of a rich aunt who raised him in Paris and Florida. He awards himself various advanced degrees from UCLA and boasts authorship of several books. The hundreds of extremely rich women who pay for his services, to hear him tell it, form a vast, worldwide network of privilege and power. Twelve such women, he says, all married and with the approval of their husbands, are mothers of children he has sired, each for a large fee.

    John gives Dawn and her younger sister odd jobs around the apartments, “showing me different ways to be creative in the garage and redoing furniture,” says Dawn, “that kind of stuff.”

    Dawn doesn’t know about Holmes’ movie career. “We related on a really childlike level,” she says. “I didn’t know what business he was in. He’d do silly, cute, charming things around me. He liked my innocence, the fact that I had nothing to do with the porn industry” — an industry which, he would later tell her, he despised. Dawn likes John for John, but even here the penis intrudes. “He was very shy about it,” says Dawn in the Beverly Hills sun. “He gradually showed me who he was, that aspect of him. He was scared that I was going to be scared of it.”

    John often took Dawn and her sister on outings around town. Occasionally they would pass a Pussycat Theater. “I would see his name on the marquee and get paralyzed,” says Dawn. “I wouldn’t want to look at him. One day, he pulled up to a Pussycat and said, ‘C’mon.’”

    The girls followed him out of the car, he signed an autograph at the box office, and they were in. Dawn, still 15, and her sister, still 14, sat on either side of their chaperon. “We’re slumped down in our seats, and I’m covering my face, and my sister’s covering her face. People are walking by, trying to get John’s autograph, whispering, ‘Oh, my God. He’s here!’ My sister and I are hugely embarrassed.”

    The movie starts. Dawn looks. John walks into the frame dressed in a monk’s habit. “He opened his mouth and said something, and I immediately cracked up. He got a little upset and jabbed me in the ribs, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Then he started laughing, and we had to leave.”

    Soon after the Pussycat excursion, John takes Dawn on an outing, leaving the sister behind. Although they have not yet had sex, John has become increasingly possessive and controlling. “If I didn’t come from school on time because I was hanging out with some friends, John would be really angry,” she says. “He wouldn’t say anything, but he’d snub you. You knew he was pissed.”

    They drive to Zuma Beach, where John sits on the rocks, watching Dawn swim. They both sit silently as the sun melts into the liquid horizon. The 32-year-old man takes the 15-year-old girl’s hand and leads her to the back of his van.

    Many, many years later, the girl, all grown up, still seems in awe of the experience. “At the time, he was very sincere,” Dawn says. “I was very much in love with this guy, swept off my feet at 15 years old. Look at Elizabeth Smart. She was 15. That’s a 15-year-old’s brain space.”

    When Dawn’s father abruptly left Los Angeles to return to Florida, the vulnerable girl became more dependent on Holmes. For a while, Dawn moved in with John’s half-brother, David, and his wife in an apartment they shared in the court. But tensions ran high under that arrangement. Eventually, Sharon Holmes brought the girl into the home she shared with her husband. Sharon knew, by this time, of the relationship between John and Dawn.

    “It baffles everybody,” says Sharon of her bond with Dawn. “I hate to see injured people or dogs, and I just adopted her. I couldn’t see her staying outside with just a shift on. She became a daughter to me. I needed to tell her she had a brain. She didn’t need to accept what was going on.”

    A big part of what was going on was John’s increasing infatuation with drugs. A teetotaler before embarking on his porn adventure, Holmes had turned to Scotch whisky at first, packing a quart of J&B in his trademark briefcase. Next came pot. Then cocaine — as the 1970s peaked, great piles of the white powder seemed to be everywhere you went, especially if where you went was a porn set.

    John started bringing drugs home. Just before Christmas 1979, Holmes introduced lines of cocaine. He was always in control of the supply, and he parceled it out very specifically to Dawn. “He wanted to be sure I didn’t have too much, but enough for me to be with him still. Nobody else wanted to be with him after a while.

    “He brought freebase in once and had this huge premonition of how horrible it could get. He ritualistically took me out to the street, where we broke the pipe and swore never to bring it in.”

    Despite their pledge, base pipes and a torch were soon added to the cargo in John’s briefcase. Holmes’ base exploits eventually eclipsed his legend for cocksmanship, as his penis became less and less functional, on and off the set. His co-workers joked that the only way to ensure his arrival in front of the cameras was to leave a trail of cocaine rocks.

    By 1980, Holmes had taken to stealing — from parked cars, from airport luggage belts, from the homes of his friends — to support his habit. He began serving as a delivery boy for the only people who still tolerated his presence, his drug dealers. (Holmes’ daily paycheck came in the form of marbles of rock cocaine valued at around $1,000.) He mooched gas money. His only possessions were the clothes he wore, his wife’s Chevy Malibu and Dawn.

    Dawn started to accompany John on drug runs. She’d stay in the car while he did his deals and based himself into stupefaction. She’d sit sometimes for two days out in front of a dealer’s house, her only companion a Chihuahua named Thor. She became familiar with the outside of Eddie Nash’s house and that of the home on Wonderland Avenue. John wouldn’t take Dawn inside either house. Not that she wanted to come inside.

    “John told me that people had a way of disappearing from Eddie’s, and that you were lucky if you found their bones in the desert,” she says. “That was John’s way of telling me he was afraid of Eddie.”

    To pass the time, she would sleep. There were always blankets in the car, in case she had to hide. Sometimes John would leave a little bit of drugs. “It’s not a proud year of my life,” says Dawn, “but it’s what happened.”

    On the crash from coke, desperate for cash and more dope, John began beating Dawn and forcing her to turn tricks. After she brought back the money, he’d tell her she was dirty, then subject her to scalding baths, scrubbing her until she was again clean enough for him.

    On December 25, 1980, despite her apprehensions, Dawn found herself inside Eddie Nash’s house. John’s Christmas present to Dawn and his present to Eddie, it turned out, were one and the same. When Dawn returned to Holmes after fucking Nash for money, he smacked her in the face hard enough to pop her tooth through her lip. Nash had given them less coke than Holmes had anticipated. Four days later, on Dawn’s 20th birthday, he sent her back to Eddie.

    In January, John went psycho on the drugs. He put Dawn in the trunk of his car and delivered her to a woman named Michelle, who ran a brothel out of an apartment complex in the Valley. That period is among Dawn’s worst memories: “The two of them watched over me. I was basically trapped in this house for a couple of weeks.”

    One day Michelle was out, and John was visiting. He ordered Dawn to draw him a bath and fetch him a cup of coffee. While getting the coffee, she noticed that a sliding door, normally locked so as to prevent her escape, was ajar. She left her dog behind and ran.

    A stranger at a Denny’s gave Dawn enough money to call her mother in Oregon. Mom sent her a bus ticket. “It became this big ordeal, because John’s calling every bus station in town, telling them I’m his daughter, a runaway.”

    Following Dawn’s escape, John started calling her mother’s house, day after day. For the first few months, Dawn wouldn’t take the phone. She had been unable to tell her family the depth of her degradation. John begged Dawn’s mother to tell her that he loved her. He sent pictures of himself and of Thor to Dawn’s sister. He sent the sister five dollars and asked her to send back a picture of Dawn.

    Finally, Dawn broke down and talked to John on the phone. He apologized. He cried. He put the dog on the line. He promised that there would be no more prostitution and no more hitting. Dawn’s resolve crumbled. John was sounding like the old John, the goofy, childlike, paternal and protective John she had fallen in love with five years before, the John she had missed and had been hoping would return.

    John told her about how he had one more deal, a big one. Once he turned that, it would give them enough money to leave L.A. behind, to start somewhere new, to be like they used to be in the beginning, a family. Dawn felt herself sliding back in:

    “He sounded like that original person again on the phone. He was tapping into that strong connection that we shared originally, that was powerful enough to carry me into the bad times, hoping through those times that the good times would come back.”

    Dawn agreed to return to L.A. John’s one last big deal was the impending robbery of money, drugs and jewels from Eddie Nash.

    She flew in to Burbank Airport, and John picked her up. He also lifted luggage that didn’t belong to him off the conveyor belt. He was obviously high. Dawn protested, but John grabbed her arm and walked her to the car. He took her to a cheap motel and broke out the pipe. They did some drugs and spent a few days together. The vibe was painfully familiar to Dawn: “He kisses me and says, ‘Okay, baby, I’m off. This is it. I’m going to get the big one.’ And he doesn’t come back.”

    This is where the movie Wonderland begins.

     In the pre-dawn hours after the murders, John arrives at the home of Sharon Holmes, covered in blood and claiming to have been in an automobile accident. He wants a bath. “John has a habit,” says Sharon, “where if he has something unpalatable to pass off, he gets into the bathtub.”

    She allows him to come in and runs the water. He is scraped, but this can’t account for the profusion of blood. His clothing is soaked with it. The bath water turns red. That ain’t yourblood, thinks Sharon.

    As John sinks down, soaking in blood, he eventually reveals that he has just seen people killed. He tells her a little about when, where and who. i

    “These were people you knew,” said Sharon. “These were friends.”

    “They were scum. They deserved everything they got.”

    • * *

    John returns to Dawn just after sunrise. He immediately chokes down a handful of Valiumand goes to sleep. Dawn recognizes the Wonderland house on the news. John is having nightmares, moaning about blood. On the TV, Dawn watches as corpses are pulled out of the house in body bags. When John wakes up, she confronts him. John blows her off. She asks about the bloody nightmares. He’s out of money, out of drugs.

    “We watched the news a lot,” remembers Dawn. “I knew it was bad. I stayed really quiet. I didn’t know if he was going to flare.”

    Before John can formulate a plan, the LAPD kicks the door in and hauls them away. Dawn denies recognizing photos of Eddie Nash’s house, the Wonderland house or Eddie Nash. Dawn is released with nowhere to go but to Sharon, whom she has not seen in more than two years.

    The police install John in a luxury suite at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown L.A., and later at the Biltmore. The homicide cops on the case get nowhere with him. Tom Blake, John’s longtime handler from Vice, is brought in. John attempts to cut a deal, angling to be moved into a witness-protection program while giving up no real incriminating information on Nash. Dawn and Sharon are brought to the hotel as well, for their own safety. Dawn is scared. “We were told that Eddie’s was only one of the contracts out on John. There were all these mysterious other people John was about to rat on. People were afraid he was going to inform.”

    But Holmes was either unwilling or incapable of telling the truth. The police, frustrated by John’s lack of concrete information, cut him loose. John and Dawn hit the highway, running for their lives.

    This is where the movie ends.

     “I’d dyed his hair black,” says Dawn. “We’d spray-painted the car.” The fugitives headed east until they could drive no farther. They ended up at the Fountainhead Inn, a transient hotel on Collins Avenue in North Miami Beach. There was an X-rated motel across the street. Holmes took work at a construction site. One night he snapped and raised his hand to hit Dawn. She ran. She made it down to the pool in front of the snack shop. The hotel’s manager and a group of regulars were sitting at the snack shop eating dinner.

    Dawn: “They watched him catch up to me and throw me to the ground and pummel me, then drag me back upstairs.”

    That night, John put Dawn out to work on a prostitution track by the beach. In the morning, when Holmes had left for work, the residents of the hotel packed Dawn up and whisked her away. She took John’s handgun and the Chihuahua Thor, and moved in with the daughter of one of the hotel’s residents. John made phone contact soon after and begged for Dawn to return.

    “I wanted to say yes so bad,” she says. “He was throwing that ‘I just want to hold you and love you and be with you again, and I’m sorry.’ But I told him, ‘You promised me. You said that was the last time.’ I couldn’t forget that anymore. And I had a safe place. I had other people there. It wasn’t like I felt trapped to say yes anymore. A lot of times I had felt trapped to say yes when I really wanted to leave.”

    Dawn contacted her family to let them know she was safe. At the urging of her brother, she told the police where to find John. He was watching a Gilligan’s Island rerun when the detectives knocked. He asked if they wanted some coffee . . .

    Back in L.A., Holmes stood trial and, in late June of 1982, was acquitted in the Wonderland murders. A grand jury had been convened to investigate the killings, but Holmes refused to answer their questions. He was found in contempt and jailed for 111 days — until Eddie Nash had been found guilty on a separate drug charge and sentenced to prison. With Nash gone, Holmes told the grand jury enough to get away. The judge ordered his release.

    Nash served only a fraction of his sentence. Nearly 20 years later, in 2001, he pled guilty to a laundry list of racketeering counts, including the Wonderland murders, and was sentenced to just over three years, of which he served approximately one year.

    In 1982, Holmes came out of jail a free man, in a sense — off dope, for the first time in years. But the cock remained his only resource, and it took him back to porn. A former business partner, Bill Amerson, of whose two children Holmes was a godparent, set up a production company and brought Holmes in as an executive. For a while, he was relatively drug free, halfway reliable, but the old patterns soon resurfaced. Holmes, Amerson contends, embezzled something like a quarter-million dollars from him.

    (Sharon Holmes is not surprised: “The moral [of Wonderland] for me is your choices and what you do with them. You dig down deep and find something. And John didn’t have anything to dig down and find anymore. That’s why he went back to the porn business. That’s why he went back to stealing.”)

    After Florida, Dawn reunited with her father in Thailand, where he ran a hotel. She spent seven years in Southeast Asia, far beyond the reach of Holmes, where she earned high-school and college degrees. She came back to the United States in 1988. “I remember coming back in the late part of February, intent on finding John to tell him, ‘Look. I turned out better than you.’” Instead, she read in a newspaper that Holmes, age 44, lay dying of AIDS in Room 101A of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital on Sepulveda. “I felt bad he was sick,” she says. “I was going to go to the hospital. I was all ready to. But I didn’t have the nerve.”

    After a press screening of Wonderland, a CNN journalist crept out of the projection room saying, “I feel like I need a shower.” And indeed, watching the movie is like being dunked in someone’s dirty bath water — John Holmes’, say, on the night of the murders — over and over again, for an hour and a half. You walk out of the theater thinking, What was the point of all this? Did anyone learn anything? Was anyone changed for the better? Not Holmes, anyway. Despite his complicity in so much death, and even after testing positive for HIV, he continued working in the XXX industry, knowingly exposing at least three blue-screen actresses to the virus.

    When Dawn Schiller, sitting over coffee at a Beverly Hills hotel, tells of Holmes’ nasty depths, of the repeated pimping and beatings, she also manages to communicate something of the flawed, destructive humanity of the guy. “My memories are that I loved him,” she says. “I want to say that. I loved him. I don’t want to say that that wasn’t real, or that that wasn’t okay. I want to say that it was real, and that it was good. The times that I despised him and feared him are the last times that I remember with him, but they aren’t the only times. Right now, today, I remember the whole. He lost the battle. He saw it coming with the breaking of the pipe, all the way back then. He tried to stop the freight train.”

    Sharon nods. “It was like putting a piece of chewing gum on the tracks,” she says.

     
    • localarts 11:40 am on September 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “Despite his complicity in so much death, and even after testing positive for HIV, he continued working in the XXX industry, knowingly exposing at least three blue-screen actresses to the virus.”

      And to think he still has adoring fans..

      • criticextraordinaire 5:21 pm on September 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Of course. Who are we to judge The King. Yeah he did a couple of bad things in his day, but I like many prefer to focus on his good works and inimitable stage presence.

        • localarts 8:57 pm on September 13, 2013 Permalink

          Wow! I can only hope none of the victims family members stumble across this stie and read that shit. I don’t know if you’re joking or not, because thats really,really,really fucked up.

        • criticextraordinaire 8:53 am on September 15, 2013 Permalink

          F-ed up? John was found innocent in the Wonderland Murders ; it was not even a close call. The prosecutor’s case was weak, with no evidence whatsoever, just the speculative testimony of David Lind, a convicted criminal who was nowhere near the murder scene and who was spending that night scoring drugs at a local hotel. Everybody in the investigation was so fixated on John that they forgot to find the real perps, who to this day walk as free men.

        • The Odyssey 10:43 pm on September 20, 2013 Permalink

          A couple of bad things? You’re sick. He was scum.

    • localarts 9:35 am on September 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      So was Greg Diles, and he was there too. The LAPD were fixated on Ed Nash. The prosecution of John Holmes was a result of Holmes refusal to cooperate. Why do you think the investigation drug on for the better part of 20 years? When Holmes died in 88, he took with him everything that will ever be known about the slayings. The time line, how he was able to gain entrance that night, his co conspirators, the sequence in which the victims were beaten to death.

      If the other killers are indeed walking the streets as free men today, they can thank John Holmes for that.
      As I have said before Sharon Holmes told James Cox in 2002 she believed her husband committed at least one of the murders himself. Why did she make that statement? Because she knew him better than anybody. Weather Holmes murdered anyone that night is really a mood point now.

      One has to wonder just how many more of his co workers would he have exposed to the HIV virus given the chance? More importantly, what kind of human being would do such at thing in the first place?

      • criticextraordinaire 7:20 pm on September 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        John kept his mouth shut in order to PROTECT his family. They were threatened if he said anything, so he wisely kept his mouth shut. “Snitches wear stiches” and that sort of thing. Besides, Sharon was not exactly the most credible of sources. That whole BS story about some dead intruder at her house that the LAPD cop conveniently made disappear for her. Yeah right. And a locker adorned in 24-carat gold leaf.

        If John were the cad that some people make him out to be, he woulda sang like a canary to get out of jail after he was found innocent.

    • Jill C. Nelson 6:51 am on September 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “That whole BS story about some dead intruder at her house that the LAPD cop conveniently made disappear for her.”

      That is definitely one of the silliest stories I’d ever heard. Stranger still that, according to Dawn, Sharon swore her to secrecy about it and then the story appeared in TRTW. Bizarre all ’round.

      • John 10:32 am on September 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, when I first started reading stuff about Wonderland that was one of the first things I came across. I thought that I needed to read more and maybe start a blog because that was very sensational. I doubted that a middle aged woman could kill a hit man career criminal any way.

        • Tori 1:27 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink

          So was that story false?!

    • Beth 9:54 am on September 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome website! You should totally write a book, I am currently reading the Dawn Schiller book but was really surprised there aren’t many other books out there about this???? Hard to find some info on some stuff as well, like for instance, is Dawn’s father still alive??? I can’t find any info on him. Also zero info on Susan Lainius or really any of the others (aside from Holmes) about their childhoods, past, etc. I find the whole both fascinating and sad, to see how drugs totally destroyed these people, Joy’s story especially is sad, what happened there???? Can’t wait to see what u post next! (and seriously, write that book dude!!!) 🙂

    • Jill C. Nelson 6:38 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “Yes, when I first started reading stuff about Wonderland that was one of the first things I came across. I thought that I needed to read more and maybe start a blog because that was very sensational. I doubted that a middle aged woman could kill a hit man career criminal any way.”

      That story raised a bright red flag. I think that’s one of the situations that arises when other parties speak on behalf of certain people in these kinds of personal accounts — knowing full well that a given story can’t be refuted or corraborated.

      You’re doing an amazing job, John. And I certainly believe that you have gathered enough information to do the entirety of the Wonderland story justice if you should ever decide to develop a book.

    • Jill C. Nelson 7:46 am on September 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      *corroborated*

  • John 8:33 am on August 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , sharon holmes   

    The Obituary for Sharon Holmes 

    1959 Yearbook Photo

    1959 Sophomore Yearbook Photo

    Sharon Gebenini

    Haines

    1943-2012

    Sharon Gebenini, 69, died on Oct. 28, 2012, in Haines. 

    A memorial service will be held at Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center at 11 a.m. Saturday.  All are welcome to come and share memories of Sharon.

    Sharon Gebenini was born on June 11, 1943, in Renton, Wash., the daughter of Roy and Betty Ann (Wilson) Gebenini. 

    Her early years were spent there where she was raised by her grandmother, Hattie Wilson, who was the wife of the city’s mayor. Her father was in the Army, and when she was teenager, the family was stationed in Germany, where she attended high school. When the family returned to the United States, she went to California, where she graduated from L.A. County School of Nursing.

    After graduation, she went to work for a Glendale pediatrician, Dr. H. Nuttycombe. She was a caring and devoted nurse and even took the doctor’s calls two nights a week, helping families with emergencies. She spent many hours on the phone advising and reassuring new parents in the care of their new-born babies. 

    Due to her love and devotion to children, she remained in pediatrics, seeing many of her young patients grow up to be parents themselves. 

    She often recruited friends to donate blood to help the terminally ill patients and acted as a second mother to many of them. 

    She was very much a teacher and a nurturer and had a love and respect for life itself. She mentored and gave freely of her knowledge of medicine to new, young nurses, always ready to support their education. She was devoted to her grandmother and moved her to California to live and care for her until her death.

    Always cheerful, she was ready and willing to help others and loved her numerous pet dogs and cats. 

    Survivors include her dear long-time friends, Dawn Schiller of La Grande and Nancy Whalen of San Gabriele, Calif., and other distant relatives. 

    She was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents, an aunt, an uncle and a cousin.  

    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the non-profit E.S.T.E.A.M. (Empowering Successful Teens through Education, Awareness & Mentoring).

     
    • localarts 10:19 am on August 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Great find! Notice there’s no mention of Holmes.

    • John 11:39 am on August 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      In the last 20 years of her life, before moving to Oregon, she lived all over Glendale, at various apartments, a duplex, etc. I thought of doing a photo gallery of residences but it may not be that exciting. Save it for a rainy day type thing.

    • dreamweaverjenn 1:35 pm on August 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      She was such an awesome person and amazing woman, I am so glad they didn’t mention her p.o.s. ex husband and that her maiden name was used. R.I.P. Sharon. ❤

      • John W 3:26 pm on August 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        John ruined her mentally, romantically and trust-wise for all other men, in that, she never remarried and I wonder if she even dated again. Broke her heart for good.

        • dreamweaverjenn 4:06 pm on August 9, 2013 Permalink

          She was probably afraid to and I can’t say I blame her. She is one woman who REALLY took her marriage vows seriously because I would have divorced him MUCH sooner!

    • Jill C. Nelson 10:42 pm on August 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Sharon had loved John and admiited as much more than a few times in interviews incorporated throughout our book. She said they were very happy together and extremely close in the early years of their marriage. Sharon also admitted that the reason she never remarried is because a part of her still loved Holmes. She gets a lot of credit for being able to remember the good times and was able to rise above and respect the positive parts of her life with John. In particular, John and Sharon’s grandmother had also been close. Sharon liked the fact that they had gotten along. Having said all of that, I believe Sharon remains a bit of an enigma. I firmly believe there was a part of her that did not have an aversion to John’s lifestyle choice if you read between the lines of her interview.

    • dreamweaverjenn 3:49 am on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Jill C. Nelson, did you interview Sharon personally? Is this something she told you?

    • localarts 7:41 am on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Sharon Holmes said it was eating her guts out.

    • Jill C. Nelson 12:01 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Jenn, no we did not interview Sharon personally for our book. When compiling the bio, Jennifer and I had access to Sharon and Dawn’s complete interview transcripts that were used to film WADD — and we used those full interviews (and others) in their entirety to present a more well-rounded picture of things in addition to conducting our own interviews. Much of the material that did not make it into WADD was due to time constraints. Paley told us that five hours of interview material was left on the cutting room floor so that gives you an idea of what was left out.

      Sharon readily admitted that she had loved John, and they were indeed happy, especially during their early years. Even after their relationship ceased being intimate, they still slept together when Holmes was home.

      While incorporating material from the transcripts into our book we read that Sharon had had three miscarriages during the first 17 months of her marriage to Holmes. They had both wanted children, according to Sharon. That information was not included in the WADD documentary, but is a part of the interview transcripts that Sharon did with Paley which we utilized in our book in the first chapter.

      Yes, locolarts, Sharon said John’s career was “eating her guts out” and I definitely believe that’s true, but that statement is only one comment Sharon actually made about her life with John when touching on his adult film career. She also made remarks that would seem she was complicit or at least more accepting of John’s work on some levels than what many people have come to believe and she definitely appreciated the financial benefits of his work — particularly during the mid-late ’70s when Holmes was in his prime as a performer. He routinely handed cash over to Sharon to purchase whatever she needed for their home and she would happily do so. They had an unusual relationship, there is no denying that.

      • dreamweaverjenn 1:07 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I can’t help but feel deep sorrow for Sharon. All she wanted was nice, normal, happy home life. I can’t help but think that here is this man that you promised to love, honor, and cherish, he promised to do the same, you are deeply in love, suffer three miscarriages and your husband makes a choice to do this with his life. I try to put myself in Sharon’s shoes and I can’t. I can’t imagine how she must have felt. The kind of pain she surely was in. I feel her almost saying “ok, my husband has made this choice. What in the world am I supposed to do with this?” Sharon did love him and didn’t turn her back on him but that certainly does NOT mean she condoned his lifestyle or accepting of it. I think it probably disgusted, saddened, and disappointed her to no end. How can she have appreciated the financial benefits of his work? Every penny he made went up his nose or into his lungs. He stole anything they had of any value and left her with unimaginable debt. I heard she even was on the verge of homelessness at one point. And as far as the five hours of interviews that ended up on the cutting room floor, I am sure only the “juicy” stuff made it into the WADD film. I pray that Sharon is finally at peace now.

    • localarts 2:46 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      One thing is for certain after November 1982 Sharon had enough, telling Holmes to “get the fuck out of my life” or something to that effect and on his death bed when Schiller wanted to see Holmes ( according to Dawn she wanted to show John what kind of life she made for herself without him) Sharon told her “he’s not worth it” that pretty much say’s it all.

      • Jill C. Nelson 2:52 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        “Sharon told her “he’s not worth it” that pretty much say’s it all.”

        That’s true, locolarts. But Sharon also told Cass Paley when he invited her to be a part of WADD years later that she would only agree to participating in an interview about her late husband if Paley was respectful to Holmes and to his memory. That too speaks volumes.

    • Jill C. Nelson 2:46 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Jenn, I honestly feel sad for Sharon too, but once she learned John’s true line of work, she could have left him and probably should have. They didn’t even have children binding them. I realize divorce wasn’t as popular a choice back in the ’60s and ’70s but it was a option and people made it. There are many women and men who have worked and who do work in the adult industry, and for some reason, they are able to make their marriages work and sometimes to people who are not in the industry. Working in the adult industry certainly does not make them bad people even if society doesn’t agree with their vocation. I might not have felt that was prior to working on the Holmes book, but my perception has definitely changed. At the same time, it can definitely be a deal breaker.

      As Sharon stated, she loved John and perhaps the reason she stayed with him as long as she did is because of the fact that she remembered their better years because they did exist. John wasn’t always a drug addict — not untl the latter part of their marriage. Before his addiction took hold, John was extremely generous (by all accounts of those who had known him including Sharon). It wasn’t until years later (at least 14 years into their marriage) he spent any money he earned to feed his addiction. Sharon did in fact accept the financial benefits of John’s work just as she accepted his life style choice by remaining married to John and supporting him. Saying and doing are two different things entirely. There were probably a number of reasons why she chose to stick with him and we will never know what they are.

      Sharon was a registered nurse for several years (long after she and John divorced) and should have received a pension for all of the years she honourably served her community. The homeless story remains a mystery.

      • dreamweaverjenn 3:06 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I do know it is extremely hard to walk away from someone you love even if you don’t agree with what they are doing. Like I said, I feel she was probably like “Ok, what the heck am I supposed to do with this now?” But to say that she accepted it because she stayed with him I don’t feel is fair. I honestly do not know what I would do. I could sit here all day and say “I would do this or that” but the reality is, I’m not sure. I can only imagine she was devastated and heart broken. Ultimately, when SHE was ready, she made her decision to move on.

        I do believe that before John was on drugs he was a good and generous person. He seemed to be intelligent and was able to do several things. I do not believe that all people in the industry are bad people. If that’s what they choose and it works for them, that’s great. More power to them. I’m not here to judge them. I am particularly disgusted by John because of the drugs and how he hurt the people in his life and then played a part in the murders of four people who he deemed “trash”.

        As far as a nurse getting a pension, that is wishful thinking. My mother is a nurse and is working long after she should have retired and there is no pension. Social Security isn’t enough to live on so it wouldn’t surprise me at all that she was in dire straits.

    • Jill C. Nelson 3:12 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      “As far as a nurse getting a pension, that is wishful thinking. My mother is a nurse and is working long after she should have retired and there is no pension.”

      I live in Canada, Jenn, so I am not sure about pensions in every state in the U.S. and should have considered that before I typed what I did. My cousin’s wife who resides in Northern California is a nurse and she will receive a pension when she retires so I am guessing it varies from state to state. In Canada, retired nurses receive excellent pensions as do teachers.

      • Jill C. Nelson 3:16 pm on August 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        With respect to the rest of what you wrote, Jenn, I agree with much of it. On this forum, I am merely trying to point out that there are many sides to a story and that things are not always the way they appear to be, nor is the information that has been presented in these documentaries, complete. Once again, Sugar and attempted to shed more light on the entire picture including the murders in our Holmes bio. At the end of the day, we’ve left it up to the readers to decide what the truth really is.

    • Carol 1:05 am on June 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I have read a few books about John Holmes, and from what I gathered, Sharon was a remarkable woman. I just found out earlier tonight that she passed away. I am so sorry to hear that because she was truly a saint for all that she put up with. She even took her husband’s underaged lover under her wings and nurtured her to a degree which is unheard of. She was a good wife who didn’t deserve what John put her through. He had a jewel and treated it like a piece of coal. His loss….God Bless you Sharon. I know where you went after death. You probably won’t run into John there.

      • John 12:51 pm on June 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Carol,
        Truer words were never spoken. I feel that John really was the love of her life. After that, what else is there. She was put into a very bizarre situation in the 1960s. Porn today, still has a stigma in society. Imagine the vibe in ’67 or whatever when John said he was doing sex films. This affected her beyond words. It is also the first documented case of a marriage, ruined by porn, ya know.

        • Carol 3:40 pm on June 14, 2014 Permalink

          I’m sure that if she had known ahead of time that he would eventually get into porn, she would have thought twice about marrying him. All she wanted was a simple life with family. I feel that his overly large appendage was a curse not a blessing. He wound dead from AIDS at the age of 42-43. He took with him the burden of all those he hurt, including his involvement either directly or indirectly of the “Wonderland murders. He left a sad legacy behind. And for those who refer to him as “The King, sorry but if have a big johnson makes you a king, then I guess that title doesn’t mean much.

    • Carol 3:57 pm on June 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I was curious about something. In the last book I read, it mentions that Sharon miscarried a few times. I also saw it mentioned several times that John was sterile. If he was sterile, how did Sharon get pregnant in the first place. If anyone has an answer for this, please pass it along to me. Thanks.

    • Jill C. Nelson 9:14 pm on June 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sharon stated in her interview transcripts for “WADD: The Life & Times of John C. Holmes” that she experienced three miscarriages in 17 months shortly after she and John were first married. We used her interview transcripts for our book. We believe Sharon is telng the truth. Dawn Schiller (on her blog), and Laurie Holmes (during our interview) both stated that John was sterile. Laurie said that John had been ill as a boy which had resulted in his sterility. Jennifer and I considered all of the information available to us regarding this subject, conducted our own research, and submitted the following narrative found on page 55 of our book:

      “In fact, John loved children and wanted to be a father, but he was sterile. There are many potential causes of male sterility and today it is known that up to 20 percent of men with a low or no detectable sperm count could be missing genes in the Y chromosome. This means that pregnancy is not only difficult, but this could account for Sharon’s miscarriages because of the genetic defect in any male offspring.”

      Our belief is that it is conceivably possible that John fell into the category of having had a low or no ‘detectable’ sperm count which could mean that he was not technically sterile 30 or more years ago. (It is also possible that John became ‘sterile’ later in years.) Based upon what we learned, the quote cited above could account for Sharon’s miscarriages. After the miscarriages, Sharon said she started using the birth control pill.

      Dawn stated on her blog several years ago that John was sterile. She did not elaborate as to how, when or why except to say that “Sharon had the paperwork.” Again, Laurie told us the same, that John was sterile. Ironically (or maybe not), a still photographer friend of John’s, Kenji, told us that John told him in the mid-1980s that he had a 15 year old daughter living in San Francisco with her mother. If true, that would mean she would have been born around 1970.

      We included all of the information in our book, and ultimately let the readers decide.

      • Carol 11:59 pm on June 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for getting back to me with that Jill. I have a feeling that if John indeed had a daughter, he would have had her in his life at some point. According to the last book I read, he was always spinning tales about his life, so who would know for sure.I think that in his case, it was just as well that he didn’t become a father. How do you explain to a young child that you are a porn star with a drug habit. Almost certainly Sharon would have had to raise the child on her own. John took everything from her that wasn’t nailed down to feed his addiction. I think that the good Lord in his wisdom saw to it that John would not become a father. And the fact that neither Dawn nor any of the many others he cohabitated with became pregnant, confirms it.

    • Jill C. Nelson 8:00 am on June 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Your point is well taken, Carol, though I think it’s important to remember that John Holmes wasn’t always a drug addict nor was he always a porn star. As Sharon stated in our book, the early years of their marriage were very happy ones.

      When John first entered the world of adult entertainment by happenstance, he was young and naive and he didn’t believe it was going to imprint him the way in which it did. He got swept up in it, just as many young men and women did and still do. Havng grown up with very little, right or wrong, once he got the taste of real money, he was hooked. During the latter part of the 1960s, the sexual revolution was well underway, and millions of young people and couples were attracted to the liberation and freedoms it offered in ways that would change them forever. Some regrettably, some not. Because she loved him, and for other unknown reasons, Sharon went along with John’s newfound vocation though she didn’t agree, rather than kicking him out or leaving him as others might have done. They did not have children binding them, and Sharon was employed full time, so it does make you scratch your head. When he was released from contempt in 1982, John returned to the industry believing he was too old to start over doing something else. Who would have hired him at that point?

      Personally, and after having co-written and written two books centering on people in the adult entertainment industry, I don’t believe that participating in sex films makes someone a “bad” person. But certainly, the choices we make have a ripple effect on everyone around us. Many, many people working as sex performers have spouses and children, and many of them are good parents and good people. Over the last seven years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several of these folks from the “golden” era as well as their grown children. You might be surprised.

      John was a step-father to Laurie’s young son for five years. Her little boy lived with John and Laurie, and John paid for his private school. He was home with them in the evenings and on weekends. John was not the ravaged drug addict in the 1980s that he was during the latter part of the 1970s, and they were a relatively happy family. He spent a lot of time with his step-son, reading to him, taking him on hikes, to the movies, and teaching him how to fish. Today, Laurie’s son is 34 years old, married, and successful in his work and in life. He still remembers John fondly and misses him. There were certain things disclosed to us that we couldn’t share in the book, but John’s presence in Laurie’s young son’s life definitely made a positive difference.

      You’re probably right in saying that if Sharon and John had had children, Sharon would have undoubtedly raised them on her own. On the other hand, maybe not. There is more to their story that we will never know.

      • Carol 5:18 pm on June 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Well it’s funny that you are singing praises about John because I too believe after reading the last book, “A life measured in inches”, that he did have some desirable qualities. The first book I read, “The road through wonderland,” left me with the impression that this man had absolutely no heart at all. I read the second one because I just had to know if John had a soul. The second book which is made up of mostly narratives and quotes from people in the industry, detectives, and his wives, left me with a better feeling about him. Of course they didn’t whitewash his faults which were many, but it wasn’t all bad. It seems that many people found him charming and a kind man. And no, I don’t believe that he would have necessarily made a bad father just because he was involved with porn. Who knows what choices he would have made if Sharon had carried to term. It might have been totally different. I think one of the things that bothers me the most is how he took advantage of Dawn when she was so young and vulnerable. If he did have a daughter, how would he have liked that happening to a child of his? All I can say is, I hope he made peace with God and he is at rest.

    • Jill C. Nelson 8:46 pm on June 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I believe that everybody possesses desirable and undesirable qualities. Some happen to be more extreme than others. Laurie Holmes has said many times that her late husband was not a saint and that’s an understatement. John could be controlling, manipulative, and used poor judgement about many aspects of his life. I’ve said this countless times, but as the co-biographer of “Inches,” the trick in telling Holmes’s story was balancing his less than stellar periods with some of his finer moments. We received an education by talking to many people who were a part of his life. Every time we thought we finally had a bead on John, somebody would share something new which would move us in a different direction.

      I think it’s safe to say that we all bring our own histories and personal experiences to this story. Those histories influence and impact our feelings about all of the folks involved. And that’s okay.

    • Marty Fox 3:47 am on February 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      How did Sharon end up homeless around 2006?
      She was a strong-willed woman. She was a qualified nurse.
      I hope her last years away from LA, were peaceful and introspective.
      You can’t blame John for everything, he had a disfunctional family too (alcoholic Spanish father, manic-depressive, crazy Jewish step-father, who deliberately cut off his hand, so he could sue and not work again).
      Laurie Holmes way of cremating John’s ashes and “chucking” them into the Pacific, angered many of John’s other friends and mid western relatives.
      Laurie claims that was John’s “last wishes” , but was it really?
      John was the boy “who never really grew up”.
      Some people claim he was the same actor who played Eddie Haskell, on “Leave it to Beaver”, who also went into the porn-adult film business, later on.

    • JohnnyFan 8:17 pm on April 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I still say that Johnny Wadd was the man. Sharon obviously felt the same and that’s why she stayed with him, and then protected his legacy after he died.

    • N 8:11 pm on May 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Big ups to Dawn, also, because she took care of Sharon, for some years also…

      • Carol 10:00 pm on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I believe that Dawn was just a pawn in John’s life for the most part. I got the impression that she was a good person who was just too young to understand John’s true motives. She came from dysfunction, and was vulnerable. Sharon was good to Dawn in spite of the situation with John. How many women would have taken her in under those circumstances? I believe that Dawn forged a strong relationship with Sharon. I am happy to hear that Dawn repaid her kindness.

    • Barbara McCurry 1:06 am on November 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m impressed that some people had differences of opinion but were respectful to each other in their replies. There was no name calling and no hateful comments.

  • John 11:51 am on April 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , sharon holmes   

    Dawn & Sharon Talk About John Holmes’ Abuse 

    In the second part of this NY Times article from right before the film release in 2003, we see Dawn and Sharon talking about John’s abuse, more than anything. There are lots of good quotes that I had not read in the past. For instance, when Dawn returned from overseas in 1988 and wanted to visit a sick John in the hospital with AIDS… Sharon told her, “He’s not worth it”. Karma’s a bitch, because if I remember correctly, he said the people at Wonderland deserved it, and that “they were dirt”.

    I gotta love a movie that opens on my birthday!

    I believe Sharon when she says that she warned John (for hitting her): “You have to go to sleep sometime, I’ll get you then”. Excellent! Case closed.

    Read on…

    **************************

    “John Holmes’ Boogie Life”

    September 7, 2003 | Dana Kennedy | NY Times

    IN the summer of 1981, in one of the bloodier and more notorious murders in the annals of Los Angeles, four people connected to the legendary pornography star John C. Holmes were bludgeoned to death at 8763 Wonderland Avenue. The killings, which provided some of the inspiration for Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 film ”Boogie Nights,” are the focus of a new movie. ”Wonderland,” which opens on Oct. 3, is a fact-based film, almost documentary in style, that explores the twisted world of Holmes and the convoluted relationships that ultimately led the police to charge him, a nightclub owner named Eddie Nash and Mr. Nash’s bodyguard with the murders.

    Val Kilmer stars as Holmes, whose generous physical endowment had made him the most successful porn actor of his day. The best known of his more than 2,000 films are those in which he played a private detective named Johnny Wadd. But by the time of the murders, his career had been pretty much ended by a serious cocaine habit. And to complicate matters, he was at the center of a love triangle involving his wife and his teenage girlfriend.

    In the movie, Kate Bosworth plays the girlfriend, Dawn Schiller, and Lisa Kudrow the wife, Sharon Holmes. Their intertwined histories come to life in ”Rashomon”-style flashbacks that depict Holmes’s increasingly desperate involvement with a group of violent drug dealers. It’s after they rob Nash, who was also one of Holmes’s drug suppliers, that they end up dead in their drug den on Wonderland Avenue.

    To tell this seamy tale as accurately as possible, the movie’s director, James Cox, and one of its producers, Holly Wiersma, tracked down Sharon Holmes, now 60, and Dawn Schiller, now 42, and enlisted them as consultants. Holmes was not available to help — he died in 1988 of AIDS.

    Unbeknownst to the filmmakers, Ms. Holmes and Ms. Schiller had become close friends after Holmes’s death. Ms. Holmes says that she considers the younger woman a daughter and urged her to complete her high school education. ”I was a mentor to her when she was younger,” Ms. Holmes says. ”Nobody told her she had a brain until me. We talk on the phone at least once or twice a week.”

    Working on the movie, the two women spent time with Mr. Kilmer, Ms. Bosworth and Ms. Kudrow. They say Mr. Kilmer absorbed everything they told him and turned in what Ms. Holmes calls ”this incredibly eerie performance.”

    ”Val had all John’s mannerisms down,” she says. ”He was just like a sponge.”

    Ms. Schiller adds, ”I was on the set a lot, and it just creeped me out.”

    John Holmes was an ambulance driver when Sharon Gebenini, a nurse, married him in 1965. ”I was very much in love with him,” Ms. Holmes recalls by telephone. ”He was loving and overprotective.” Ms. Holmes says she stopped ”being intimate” with him when he began working in pornography and using drugs. But she continued to live with him and maintains that she was unaware that he had begun an affair with Ms. Schiller, who was just 15 at the time.

    Ms. Schiller now lives in Oregon with her husband and young daughter. She is finishing a book about her experience with Holmes that she has titled ”The Road Through Wonderland.” She says her relationship with John Holmes was an ”open secret” that his wife must have been aware of on some level.

    One thing the women agree on, however, is that Holmes was a different man before he got into pornography and drugs. ”He was beautiful, sweet, caring,” Ms. Schiller says. ”He did volunteer work for Greenpeace and he was really artistic. He did a lot of great sculptures in clay. He adored me.”

    But as he sank further into personal and financial ruin, Ms. Schiller says, he began beating her severely. At one point, she says, he kicked her in the ribs, breaking several. Ms. Holmes says she has no trouble believing that Ms. Schiller was beaten.

    Ms. Holmes recently underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer. But, she says, ”this is child’s play compared to what I went through with John.”

    Still, for all the chaos and trauma that Holmes brought into her life, Ms. Holmes says he never beat her: ”One time he raised a hand, and I said, ‘Don’t ever.’ I’m Italian. I told him he’d have to go to sleep sometime, and I’d get him. But Dawn wasn’t like me. She was much more innocent.”

    Nonetheless, it was Ms. Schiller who eventually turned him in to the police. ”It was the first time I said no to him,” she recalls.

    John Holmes was arrested for the Wonderland murders. Later, Mr. Nash and his bodyguard, Gregory Diles, who died in 1995, were also charged. Prosecutors said that Mr. Nash had discovered that Holmes was part of the plot to steal Mr. Nash’s property, and that Mr. Nash had forced Holmes to help Diles murder the culprits. But Holmes was acquitted in 1982; Diles and Mr. Nash, whose real name is Adel Nasrallah, were acquitted in 1991 after a mistrial in 1990. In 2001, as part of a plea bargain on racketeering charges, Mr. Nash conceded that he had given an underling instructions to go to 8763 Wonderland and do whatever was necessary to recover the $1 million in cash, drugs and jewelry that had been stolen from his house two days before. Mr. Nash, whose younger self is played in the film by Eric Bogosian, also admitted that he had given a juror at his 1990 murder trial, which ended in a hung jury, $50,000 to hold out. Mr. Nash was sentenced in 2001 to 37 months in jail.

    After the murders, Ms. Schiller went to live with her father in Thailand, where he owned a hotel. She came back in 1988, hoping to see Mr. Holmes, who was by then married to the porn star Misty Dawn. ”I wanted him to see how well I was doing,” she says. ”I wanted to show him how good he’d had it and that he was the one who blew it.”

    But before she could visit Mr. Holmes, who was dying, she reconnected with his first wife, who advised her not to see him, saying, ”He’s not worth it.”

    ”I felt a little cheated,” says Ms. Schiller. ”But I can still remember the love, and I honor that.”

     
    • Bonnie Brae 1:21 pm on April 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t wait to read this and see how Dawn was victimized here!!!

      • Bonnie Brae 3:24 pm on April 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Yep! I was right. Her comment that “Sharon must have known on some level” implying Sharon therefore should have stopped her.
        God – get a life Dawn.

        • John W 7:21 pm on April 26, 2013 Permalink

          She was a know-it-all smartass teen girl. She blew her parents off to be with John. Then, when shit hit the fan, she fled John Holmes, only to reunite with him 2 months later, in time for his ultimate downfall being the Nash Robbery and Wonderland Murders. The Nash house and Wonderland Gang were victims too! of John’s twisted psyche.

        • John W 2:07 pm on April 27, 2013 Permalink

          I like how in her book, Dawn doesn’t have the actual letter Sharon wrote her, but goes by memory. A lot of the book is that way, especially the dialogue- how the hell can anyone remember the exact dialogue from a situation 20 yrs prior. Fuh-getta-bout it!!

        • Bonnie Brae 12:07 pm on April 28, 2013 Permalink

          She made a big stink about trying to forgive Sharon in the end of her book and trying to extract an apology out of her. Why are her parents granted immunity here? Her dad knew. Her mom knew. Her sister knew. Her brother knew. But she wants an apology from Sharon.

        • John W 2:56 pm on April 28, 2013 Permalink

          I can’t imagine leaving my teenage daughter and moving back to Florida or Oregon. That’s dumb.

    • Anthony 2:06 pm on April 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      These Wonderland posts are great but out of all of the characters involved, Ron Launius intrigues me the most. I’ve done some research and there really isn’t that much about him — this site has by far the most. You’d think someone he spent time with in the military or prison would speak out and give some details about him. Based on what’s written about him, he doesn’t strike me as the type a guy who’s easily forgotten.

      • John 9:33 am on April 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I know, my thoughts as well. Allegedly, his brother gave an interview with a California paper 6 or 8 years ago. He said he didn’t see much of Ronnie after he got out of prison in 77-78. I guess it would be hard to talk about. I’m still trying to track down said article! Stay tuned!

      • scabiesoftherat 11:25 pm on April 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Got to figure, though. The crime happened in 81. The web didn’t even get into full force until 93. Until the movie came out, what books were written about the crime except the ones by the cops? None as far as I can see. Plus, since he was a criminal, he no doubt kept a low profile. I remember the crime when it happened but it was never on par with Tate until Holmes became a suspect. Even then it still wasn’t really on par with Tate because nobody really cared about JCH. In 2003, when the movie came out, THAT was when people got intrigued. By then, people have largely disappeared. I remember July 1, 1981 like it was yesterday. That summer, I worked in a raquetball club. I worked every Monday and Wednesday. I would then, after work,…ummm,…imbibe in some stimulants with my girlfriend at the time,…who also worked with me. I narrowed down all four of my paydays that month. I was paid on Wed. I worked extra hours the last week in June and I remember I got a VERY good paycheck that day,…and I was also caught by the owner playing raquetball while on the clock that day. Very memorable Wed. for me. July 1st, 1981. Yup

        He wanted to fire me but my girlfriend turned on the waterworks and saved my job….for the moment. LOL. Also, the summer of 81. Luke and Laura were a couple on General Hospital. I watched that religiously

        What was the question I meant to try and answer?

        • John 9:08 am on April 30, 2013 Permalink

          I was 11, but I remember hearing about the brutality of the killings, and how they initially thought it was a random act of murder. We were just about to move out of state. My dad liked to watch the news while we ate dinner.

          A friend found Susan on FB. She is friends with Ron’s dad on there. His dad is like 100 now…but looks like he gets around ok. His brother Rickey is on FB too.

    • scabiesoftherat 12:19 am on April 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That is so odd. I just this same conversation with an old friend of mine just tonight. We had gone to a one-off Kim Carnes/Patty Smyth and Scandal/Lou Gramm concert in 2002. When Kim came on, he turned to me and said, “Do you think one of the requirements in regards to her dressing room refreshment situation is to have a bottle of Jack Daniels with a pack of Lucky Strikes attached to the bottle via a rubber-band? (Obviously referring to her somewhat trademark rasp)

      That was eleven years ago and he was stunned when I brought it up over dinner tonight. I remember it verbatim. He confirmed my words were. indeed, correct. It can be done. The dialogue just has to be memorable.

      • scabiesoftherat 12:38 am on April 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Hey John!!!!. I just accidentally tapped Entries RSS when I went to log out and a page came up that said wonderland1981 podcasts. Where are the podcasts, man? It says “0 podcasts”. You should make some podcasts and put them up there and you could use Terry Reid’s, “Faith To Arise” as your theme song. It also says “comments RSS”. I’m guessin’ we could reply via podcasts. If you got a tablet, that’s all you need man. Wow. What’s this world comin’ to? Can do all this shit on the internet and they STILL can’t come up with a cure for the common pothole!!! Give it a try for your fans! (so cool….)

      • John W 8:31 am on April 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Lou Gramm is one of my favorites! I’m glad to see he is doing better after his illness. The last time he performed closeby, still 1.5 hour drive, I couldnt find anyone to go with.

        I have flirted with the podcast idea. I would do them as narrated videos, so it’s visual and can show pics, videos and discuss. I need to research it more. Can you imagine “tonight’s guest is Ron Launius’ little brother, he is gonna talk about Ron and Sue!”

        Excellet idea!

        • scabiesoftherat 12:09 am on April 29, 2013 Permalink

          Hell, yes, it’s an excellent idea!

          Me and my one friend decided we were going to set up a tongue-in-cheek website in which it was all about conspiracy. (ala Alex Jones) I write the rants, he does the video magic with green screen and I post it all into the site. It’s great. I clack something out and just deliver it (with sunglasses)…under an assumed name, of course. It’s amazing what can be done. We also have a fake gift shoppe that looks real. The formula is simply this. Write an outline, right? Drink four Red Bulls in quick succession and deliver the 2 min monologue and make sure you get your point across. That’s it. Make this thing breathe, man. The technology is there. Use it. I case you haven’t noticed, your audience is growing exponentially.You are the man who is all things wonderland!

        • John 9:29 am on April 29, 2013 Permalink

          Alex Jones is classic.

    • Bill 6:49 pm on May 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Both Sharon & Dawn need to get over it and quit trying to cash in on sympathy off Johns fame. Nobody would give a crap if it had not been John Holmes. These 2 old bags need to get a life.

    • Jim 2:02 pm on May 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure Sharon would love to get a life seeing as how she’s been dead for over a year.
      Dawn, definitely likes to play the abuse card to absolve herself of all responsibility for her actions.
      People need to remember that at age 15 she was absolutely a victim but she didn’t stay 15 years old for the entire 6 years she and Holmes were together. She was making the same bad choices at age 21 that she made at age 15.

      • Dick Azinya 10:33 am on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        That seems fair. LOL.

    • MaryAnn 8:09 pm on October 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      While yes, Dawn made some bad choices, those accusing her of playing the abuse card (mostly men, which is interesting) obviously don’t know much about that time period, teenage girls, abusive relationships, or growing up in a dysfunctional, unloving family; maybe they don’t know about growing up in a close, loving family, for that matter, as if they did, they could see just how different a family life a Dawn had and why Holmes’s attention snared her so completely. Take a young girl, abandoned by the father she adored, left with a harsh mother, growing up in a tough area with little closeness and affection, then add in the reappearance of a not so great father, one who does drugs with his teenager, then takes he’d 3000 miles away and basically abandons her again, even while he’s physically still there. Any charming guy who comes along and pays attention to this kid is going to be irresistible to her. And after gaining her love and devotion, her own naivety and love are going to keep her there no matter what. The drugs didn’t help the situation either. Those who dismiss remaining in an abusive relationship as simply making bad choices or playing the abuse card obviously have no idea what an abusive relationship, physically and/or mentally, actually is, and they should count their blessings. But it’s those types of attitudes that have kept many women from leaving their abusers, reporting them, and testifying against them in court.

    • Jill E. 9:08 pm on November 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You know, I helped take care of Sharon “Jebbi” in her last months and weeks. She was in a facility where I live. She would NEVER speak of any of it..and if I remember it correctly (and I do) Ms. Schiller NEVER came to see her, although Sharon asked about her alot. Interesting.

    • Hash 5:51 am on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Dawn could of saved a lot of lives . Not only did John bash a guys head in at Wonderland . John also killed loads of people with his AIDS . Dawn knew John was a killer . So why didn’t Dawn tell the police. John gets life in prison. People don’t get AIDS from that Scumbag devil . John killed a lot of people not just at wonderland .

    • Harry 7:31 pm on March 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hash so much wrong in what you said no evidence John killed anyone I do agree he should of got manslaughter as he indirectly got them all killed!

      John did not give anyone AIDS as far as we know certainly not in porn industry as no one 30 year’s later has come forward and said I got it of him. One he worked with did die in 1993 from AIDS however she last worked with him in 1979 so unlikely from him. Also considering she was a pornstar so exposed to it a lot!

      He could of cause given it too people he slept with privately in his prostitution,swinging general private life! I do agree John was a pretty bad man but I think severe drug addiction does this to people imo. He should of severed at least 5 year’s for manslaughter I think ironically this would of almost certainly saved his life!

  • John 8:23 am on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: sharon holmes,   

    Holmes’ Confession in Bathtub: Told Wife of Role in 4 Murders (1988 L.A. Times) 

    This is a great article describing what Sharon Holmes knew and was told by John.

    What’s interesting, is that Holmes awoke Sharon by coming into the house on his own (he had a key?), and had knelt next to her as she lay asleep in bed. He did not knock on the door and wake her, he just came inside the house. One thing is for certain, Sharon was a stand-by-her-man type of woman. My ex-wife would have turned my ass in so fast! LOL.

    Much has been said about the hand print, bloody or not, that was left by Holmes on the bed railing. However, if Holmes had stayed in that room in the past at Wonderland (he says he “crashed there 3 or 4 times” in Laurie Holmes’ audio tape), then that leaves reasonable doubt as to how it got there.

    Also, after the robbery when Holmes returned to his car which was parked at the building where his message or answering service was located, then that is when “they” took him to see Nash. Dawn stated the same thing. I don’t know if they spotted Nash’s jewelry on Holmes or not, they probably assumed he was responsible by his coincidental actions the morning of the robbery. He came over 3 times in the middle of the night and had only left the house 5 minutes before the gang came in the back door wearing their tube socks and liquid Band-Aid on their fingertips.

    Dawn says Holmes was held against the wall by Diles using his forearm against John’s throat. Diles had this huge grin on his face, and in the dim room, his eyes appeared black, devoid of life, emotionless, like the shark in JAWS. I paraphrase, but that is what Holmes told Dawn Schiller. During the time of this article, the name “Jeanna Sellers” was still being used for Dawn Schiller, probably for her protection. Just FYI.

    Holmes told his wife that he was held against a wall, at gunpoint, while the three men beat to death Launius, 37; William DeVerell, 42; Joy Audrey Miller, 46; and Barbara Richardson, 22. Launius’ estranged wife, Susan, who was visiting, survived the assault but suffered severe head injuries. She was later unable to identify her attackers.

    There was “a lot of screaming going on,” Holmes told his wife.

    A day or two later, Holmes gave a compressed, but similar account of what happened to Sellers, she told The Times.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Holmes’ Confession in Bathtub: Told Wife of Role in 4 Murders

    April 14, 1988 | Robert W. Stewart | Los Angeles Times

    John C. Holmes, the world’s premier pornographic film star, sobbed as he sat in a steaming bathtub early one morning in July, 1981.

    Haltingly, Holmes confessed to his wife that he had played a central role in four brutal murders earlier that month in a drug dealers’ hillside home in Laurel Canyon.

    “There’s somebody out there who wants to kill me,” Holmes told Sharon, his wife of 16 years.

    Frightened, she asked, “Why?”

    For a time, John Holmes was silent. Finally, he replied: “The murders . . . I was involved. . . . I know who did it.”

    In a recent interview with The Times, Sharon Holmes, who divorced the late actor in 1984, described for the first time the story her husband told her less than three weeks after the July 1 killings.

    John Holmes recounted how he led three thugs to the tightly secured drug house on Wonderland Avenue, escorted them in, and stood by as they bludgeoned the five people inside, spattering Holmes with blood. One woman survived the attack.

    “He said, ‘I had to stand there and watch what they did,’ ” Sharon Holmes recalled.

    “I said, ‘John, how could you? You knew these people.’

    “And he said, ‘They were dirt.’ ”

    The actor’s wife paused. “I’ll never forget that as long as I live,” she said.

    John Holmes, who was tried for and acquitted of the crimes, never told his wife the names of the assailants, she said.

    Another woman who had a lengthy intimate relationship with Holmes told The Times recently of a separate, parallel admission made by the actor shortly after the killings, an account she gave to police in 1981.

    Together, the women’s descriptions of what Holmes told them largely corroborate the Los Angeles Police Department’s theory of what happened on Wonderland Avenue. Police, however, believe that Holmes actually took part in the fatal beatings.

    But the new accounts cast doubt on the story Holmes told a biographer before his death March 13. The 43-year-old actor died as a result of complications arising from his infection with the AIDS virus.

    In the still unpublished “official” version of his life, Holmes is quoted as saying that he was held at gunpoint at another house while the killers, whose names he did not know, went to the home on Wonderland Avenue.

    That version of the story, Sharon Holmes said, is fiction.

    John Holmes himself never offered a public account of what happened on that July night. He did not testify at his trial, and his later secret testimony before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury remains sealed.

    “We have never heard the whole truth (about the killings) and we never will hear the whole truth,” said attorney Earl L. Hanson, who, along with partner Mitchell W. Egers, successfully defended Holmes against the murder charges. Hanson said Holmes never told his attorneys what happened the night of the killings.

    But Detective Tom Lange of the Los Angeles Police Department, the lead investigator on the case, said, “There is no mystery, because we know who is involved and we know why. . . .

    “There are other suspects that we feel are involved. . . . (But) we have a certain set of rules to follow that the people who go out and perpetrate crimes don’t.”

    Prosecutor’s View

    During Holmes’ murder trial in 1982, then Deputy Dist. Atty. Ronald S. Coen, now a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, argued that the fatal beatings were intended to avenge the humiliating armed robbery of Los Angeles nightclub owner Adel Nasrallah, also known as Eddie Nash.

    In the weeks before the killings, Coen told the jurors, Holmes ferried property stolen by the Wonderland Avenue gang to Nash’s heavily secured home in Studio City, where he exchanged it for drugs.

    Then Holmes hit on a more direct way to make money. On the morning of June 29, 1981, four men who lived at the Wonderland Avenue address entered Nash’s house through a sliding glass door that had been left ajar by Holmes, according to trial testimony. The armed intruders robbed Nash and his 300-pound body guard, Gregory Diles, of $10,000, two plastic sacks of cocaine and other property.

    Two days later, Coen alleged that Holmes, acting on Nash’s orders, led the killers to the Wonderland Avenue address and then helped murder the occupants.

    Pieces of Evidence

    The case against Holmes was built largely on two pieces of evidence: An admission that Holmes allegedly made to Los Angeles Police Detective Frank Tomlinson after his arrest in Miami in December, 1981, and a bloody palm print left by Holmes on the rail of a bed on which one of the victims, drug dealer Ronald Launius, died.

    At Holmes’ murder trial, Tomlinson testified that Holmes told him that “after the robbery had occurred at Ed Nash’s house, that Nash had made (Holmes) tell him who the people were that robbed him.

    “He said that (Nash) told him if he ever talked to the police that (Nash) would kill someone in his family.” The detective added that Holmes “said he was there when the murders happened, but that he himself did not hurt anyone.”

    Through his attorney, Nash has consistently denied any involvement in the Wonderland Avenue killings. No one but Holmes has ever been charged in the murder case. Nash was separately convicted of cocaine possession and served about two years in state prison.

    Sharon Holmes said she is convinced that her former husband was at least present when the murders took place.

    In the summer of 1981, Sharon Holmes said, she and John Holmes were living together as the managers of a small Glendale apartment complex. Although he was often away from home, “I was his safe place,” Sharon Holmes said. As the 1980s began, and Holmes became more heavily involved in cocaine, his absences grew longer.

    One was abruptly interrupted on the morning of July 1, 1981, when a shaken John Holmes crawled into their Glendale bedroom, bleeding, and told his wife that he had been in an accident. Holmes slept fitfully for a few hours, Sharon Holmes said, and moaned about blood and pain.

    Nine days later, Holmes was picked up in a Sherman Oaks motel in the company of Jeanna Sellers, a 20-year-old neighbor. Sellers agreed to talk to The Times on the condition that the paper not reveal her true name.

    After Holmes’ negotiations for an immunity deal with police and prosecutors fell apart, the actor made plans to leave town with Sellers. But before they headed east, Holmes paid a final, early morning visit to his wife.

    “Basically, he said, ‘I’m going to have to run,’ ” Sharon Holmes recalled, “And I said, ‘You’re going to have to tell me.’ ”

    Story Told in Tub

    So Holmes summoned his wife into the bathroom, drew steaming water into the tub, slipped in, and began to talk.

    “He told me that he had set up the robbery. . . . He had set it up with the other people, the people that lived at Wonderland. . . . ”

    The day after the robbery, someone who knew Nash apparently spotted Holmes in Hollywood, wearing a piece of jewelry that had been stolen from Nash’s home, he told his wife. When Holmes returned to his car hours later, two armed men ordered him to drive to Nash’s home, he said.

    At the house, Holmes told his wife, Nash pored over Holmes’ address book, and stopped when he came to the pages that listed addresses in Ohio, where Holmes was born and where his mother and other relatives still lived.

    “He said he was told he would be killed and people in the book would be killed if (Holmes) didn’t do what (Nash) wanted. In essence, what they wanted him to do was . . . to tell them who it was,” Sharon Holmes said. “He would have to take them to the house.”

    Holmes told his wife that he rode with three armed men to the address on Wonderland Avenue. Holmes buzzed an outside intercom box and asked someone inside to let him in. A gate was unlocked, and Holmes walked up the stairs to the entrance with the gunmen concealed behind him.

    Held at Gunpoint

    Holmes told his wife that he was held against a wall, at gunpoint, while the three men beat to death Launius, 37; William DeVerell, 42; Joy Audrey Miller, 46; and Barbara Richardson, 22. Launius’ estranged wife, Susan, who was visiting, survived the assault but suffered severe head injuries. She was later unable to identify her attackers.

    There was “a lot of screaming going on,” Holmes told his wife.

    A day or two later, Holmes gave a compressed, but similar account of what happened to Sellers, she told The Times.

    “He said, ‘They stuck a gun to my head and they made me go back in (to the Wonderland Avenue house) and open the door.’ That’s what he told me. And (that they) made him watch.”

    James M. Eisenman, a Century City attorney who represents Holmes’ estate and his second wife, said he doubts Sharon Holmes’ story.

    “Based on the material given to us by John Holmes (for the book), that version of the facts is not an accurate one,” Eisenman said.

    But Sharon Holmes and Jeanna Sellers insist that it is true.

    “(John) was so much of a liar . . . he didn’t know what the truth was anymore; about himself, about anything,” Sellers said.

    “He went out of his life denying,” said Sharon Holmes, “(saying) ‘I had no involvement.’

    “It’s a lie.”

     
    • localarts 12:45 pm on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      We’ll never know what actually went down that night. Holmes was so full of BS. If Holmes rode with three armed men to Wonderland as he say’s, who held him at gun point? Holmes said he was held at gun point while three men carried out the murders. That would put five individuals including Holmes inside Wonderland.

      • Jill C. Nelson 2:18 pm on May 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        “…and a bloody palm print left by Holmes on the rail of a bed on which one of the victims.”

        1).The palm print was not bloody.

        2). According to former LAPD homicide detective Tom Lange, Sharon Holmes had a habit of changing her story.

        It’s ironic how the general public still perceives Sharon Holmes as honest and reliable in reference to her late husband. (Sadly, Sharon is no longer with us.) When you read between the lines of several interviews she gave to the police, the press, and others, it is often not the case.

      • Ben barron 7:00 pm on December 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Good points. What I think actually happened,and I believe the LAPD believes this also.is that any Nash ordered John Holmes to do it.to me this the Ultimate revenge. I think watching these brutal murders is too good.for John to it set up the robbery and then be ordered to actually beat in the skulls of his collaborators makes sense.i’m sure John told EDDIE Nash,he had nothing to do with it,Nash beat it out of him.and said okay since you didn’t have anything to do with it.help me get these guys back.knowing holmes set up the robbery felt ok you live but you gonna get your hands and Conscience dirty.now that’s payback and revenge mob style.

    • John W 1:19 pm on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Diles could have killed Barbara and contained the first floor while holding John Holmes… and if they were big enough and bad enough, then 2 men wielding men could have handled the others

      • John W 1:20 pm on April 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        “Two pipe wielding men” sorry, typing on my iPhone!

        • scabiesoftherat 12:04 am on April 9, 2013 Permalink

          I don’t imagine they went in with Scott Thorson types of guys. Diles was bad enough by himself. It’s not a far stretch to think he didn’t know a couple of other guys just like himself. If you think about it, they only had one man and three girls to contend with. Ronnie never made it out of bed. If there was Diles and two guys like him, then July 1, 1981 would have been considered “an easy night”…all they had to contend with was Deverall. Richardson never sat back up again, Miller was killed out right. Ronnie breathed his last after the first strike. I bet the whole thing took 20 minutes, tops.

    • eljeran 4:11 am on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Holmes brought antique guns to Nash, Nash paid for them, then Holmes used the money to buy drugs. Then he had to make up some BS story about how Nash didnt pay for the guns and was keeping the guns. Wonderland gang got pissed and went after Nash. More than likely they made a big stink about the guns when they got to Nash’s. “Where are the guns!”….something like that. So then of course Nash knew who was robbing him, Holmes friends. Holmes wont admit that he spent the gun money that Nash gave him for the guns, because that would make the Nash robbery his fault. And Lind is not going to admit he ran off at the mouth about the guns when he robbed Nash. Which ultimately blew their cover and got everyone at Wonderland killed.

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