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

    Liberace’s Home In Ruins – An Interesting Video 

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Great video!

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

    Two Acquitted In Second Trial For ’81 Laurel Canyon Murders 

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

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

    Some interesting points and observations from the article:

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

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

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

    Two Acquitted In Second Trial For ’81 Laurel Canyon Murders

    January 18, 1991 | Laurie Becklund | Los Angeles Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

        Bad grammar.. sorry.

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

        I’m sure what you mean?

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

          Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      LMAO .. LOL!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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