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  • John 12:15 pm on October 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , wonderland   

    The Boy Toy’s Story, Part One (2013 NYT Article) 

    It’s been 8 years already. Where does the time go? You know what they say, give em an inch of rope…

    BTW kids, if you are somewhat new to this amazing and heartbreaking story, I post things about Liberace and Scott Thorson because Scott chose to artificially paint himself into the story as a key witness, instead of serving ten years in San Quentin. Back then, he was doing violent home invasions in the late 80s with South Central gangbangers, and somehow earned those dudes’ respect. Many women were raped during these robberies as well. Scott says he wasn’t present for that cruel, vicious part though. Or, should I use his legal name? Jess Marlow.

    The Boy Toy’s Story, Part One

    By David Segal

    • May 10, 2013

    RENO, Nev. — Soon after moving into Liberace’s gaudy Las Vegas mansion in 1977, Scott Thorson, then a teenage hunk in the foster care system, learned that the jewel-smitten showman could love just as extravagantly as he decorated. Touring the premises before their relationship began, Liberace pointed out some decorative highlights, which included 17 pianos, a casino, a quarry’s worth of marble and a canopied bed with an ermine spread. On the ceiling was a reproduction of the Sistine Chapel with Liberace’s face painted among the cherubs.

    When the pair became a couple, Liberace, who was 40 years older, was just as excessive. He couldn’t bear to let Mr. Thorson out of his sight.

    “We were at a hotel in Florida and Liberace had the manager give us another suite, with windows that faced the beach,” said Mr. Thorson, now 54. “He knew I’d be near the water and he wanted to be able to look at me.”

    Liberace even wanted Mr. Thorson nearby when he worked. So for years, Mr. Thorson would don a chauffeur’s costume covered in rhinestones and drive “Mr. Showmanship” on stage in a bejeweled Rolls-Royce. Mr. Thorson would put the car in park, then open the door for Liberace, who would emerge in a fur coat with a 16-foot train.

    If you missed this routine, which ran for years at the Vegas Hilton, you can catch a re-enactment in an upcoming HBO movie, “Behind the Candelabra,” which is based on Mr. Thorson’s autobiography of the same name and stars Matt Damon as Mr. Thorson and Michael Douglas as Liberace.

    One person who may miss the movie’s debut, on May 26, is Scott Thorson. He currently is an inmate at the Washoe County jail here, and while the place has its share of amenities — including television — HBO isn’t one of them.

    Mr. Thorson has been held here since February, when he was charged with burglary and identity theft, after buying about $1,300 worth of computer and cellphone merchandise using a credit card and license that weren’t his. He was arrested at the Ponderosa Hotel, where he and a man he had just met rented a room for $33.90 a night.

    “We get a lot of the dregs of Reno, a lot of prostitutes, drug dealers,” said Eric Pyzel, a clerk at the Ponderosa who works next to a bumper sticker that reads “Welcome to Our Country. Just Do It Legally.” “The cops are by pretty often. So when they got here it was kind of like, O.K., what is it this time?”ImageMr. Thorson during a videophone interview at the Washoe County jail in Reno, Nev.Credit…Tina Fineberg for The New York Times

    On a recent Friday morning at the jail, Mr. Thorson was sitting in a small room of white cinder blocks, empty but for a sink and a wall-mounted dispenser of disinfectants. Two officers hovered. Not for the first time in his troubled life, he vowed to clean up.

    “This experience has scared me straight,” he said, in a slightly nasal tone that sounds vaguely like Liberace. “There comes a time when you’ve got to take responsibility. You’ve got to stop lying and face your mistakes.”

    It’s hard to connect this worn and anxious man in a blue prison shirt to the beefcake grinning in photographs in the late 1970s. Time, an on-and-off meth addiction, several stints in prison and what he describes as Stage 3 colon cancer have taken their toll.

    Another reason he looks different: the chin implant is gone. Mr. Thorson had it removed in an attempt to reverse one of the creepier episodes in the history of plastic surgery. Early in their relationship, Liberace plucked an oil painting of himself from a room in his Las Vegas mansion and asked a visiting doctor to reshape Mr. Thorson’s face to look like Liberace’s as a young man.

    Liberace wanted a boy toy and a son. With sex and fatherhood disturbingly twined, Mr. Thorson wound up with a new chin, a nose job and enhanced cheekbones.

    “I was 17 years old,” he said, explaining why he went along with a plan that sounds so lunatic. “Liberace had taken me out of a situation with a father who was very abusive, a mother who was mentally ill. I did everything I possibly could to please this man.”

    The two went on shopping sprees, traveled first class and spent a lot of quality time with Liberace’s Shar-Peis. Mr. Thorson was showered with gifts, including mink coats, an assortment of baubles and a Camaro. They entertained celebrities like Debbie Reynolds and Michael Jackson.

    But it all ended abruptly in 1982. That year, Liberace had members of his retinue forcibly eject Mr. Thorson from his penthouse in Los Angeles. It was a breakup caused, in part, by Mr. Thorson’s drug habit, which he says he developed trying to slim down, at Liberace’s urging, on what was called the “Hollywood diet,” a cocktail of doctor-prescribed drugs that included pharmaceutical cocaine.

  • John 9:50 am on May 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bill deverrell, wonderland   

    Interview With Kevin DeVerrell 

    For those visitors and new arrivals who missed it…

    From March, 2014. (My SoundCloud homepage and main menu)

    Thanks again to Kevin for talking to me. It was great to meet him in 2016 when he came to Houston. Like many relatives of the victims in this tragedy, he went and made a great life for he and his family. I tip my cap…

  • John 10:39 am on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bob Souza, four on the floor, lange, , , wonderland   

    Malice In Wonderland 

    Malice in Wonderland by retired LAPD detectives, Tom Lange & Bob Souza is highly recommended. Scroll down to read more.

    I rarely do this, but here is another book recommendation:

    6200 Carbon Canyon Road – My Life as a Penthouse Pet

    by Terri Lenee Peake

    A rare look into the world of a distinct, and sexy slice of SoCal, 1980s style – Terri Lenee Peake tells her story as a young model living life amidst its struggles and good times with her beau, in what became a lost, and noirishly bygone era. A view into their life together at Tara, a fairytale castle in the canyon, and the surrounding and looming chaos. It is an amazing memoir that creates envy, awe, and fear – and that oft-misunderstood mistress, nostalgia.

    We don’t hear enough in print about folks like the lovely Lenee or her fiance whom she might’ve died with… Horace McKenna, who like any rich L.A. guy kept a pet tiger – and during their break-up in the late 80s was gunned down by a random, prototypical L.A. hustler; it was like out of a movie, and it later was part of one.

    Those who say art doesn’t imitate life, or vice-a-versa, hadn’t been to Lenee & Big Mac’s 40-acre horse ranch.

    Read more about Peake’s new book


    Here is the link to purchase the Tom Lange & Bob Souza book on Amazon, you won’t regret it.

    Here is the link to purchase the book on Amazon, you won’t regret it.


    This episode of a new true crime program looks interesting…. set your DVRs. Watch preview below, it airs on OXYGEN Fri 3/30 primetime.

    I hope this episode is not hijacked, and another glorified version of the other story. I hope there is mention of the real interesting people – those peripheral characters- slimy or not, each with individual motives… LA’s craziest criminals for the ages! and all those bad personal choices & decisions that in 1981 in Hollywood – could get you killed, the era in which this mayhem occurred was crazy… so I hope this episode is fresh and juicy.

    Thank you.

    • Bobby 7:17 pm on March 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Great posts John, good to see the blog back in action. When it rains it pours!
      Your book looks riveting – can’t wait!


    • Michelle 3:21 pm on March 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Is this the book that was originally to be called “Four on the floor@?


      • John 10:44 am on March 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        No, it’s 2 of the same gents, but a different effort altogether, decades later and a welcome surprise.


  • John 2:29 pm on December 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , wonderland   

    The Starwood Menu 

    The web site which hosted these images is no longer around, so I am posting these here for anyone interested. The food is named after bands of course. I am surprised to see that the band 707 was a Starwood staple. They had a couple of good, minor rock radio hits in the early 80’s, i.e., You might recall “Megaforce” sung by the great Kevin Chalfant.



    • jimmy chicago 9:27 am on January 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What are fear fries ? Is that something regional


    • Gayle 3:26 pm on December 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The Starwood had great ‘Fear’ fries 🙂 and the club really enforced that ‘Two drink minimum’ policy! It only pertained when a well known band was headlining.


      • John 1:48 pm on January 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, and with Eddie as owner, I’m sure it was decent bar food all around. I don’t think that gastro-expert Ed would have let them serve slop to people, even though most of his cash at the Starwood was probably made from alcohol sales.


  • John 11:46 am on November 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: thinking sideways, wonderland   

    The “Thinking Sideways” Wonderland Podcast 

    Today, you can listen to these folks talk about the case if you want. Click on John Holmes to go there…


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

    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.

    • 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…


    • 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.


    • 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.


  • John 5:30 am on November 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , wonderland   

    Belly Dancer Describes Atmosphere @ Nash's Club "Ali Baba's" 

    Kamala Almanzar, a professional bellydancer based in Los Angeles shares no holds barred memories, opinions & gossip of her 35 year dance career. http://www.kamaladance.com All photos belong to her.

    Ali Baba’s… it sounds terrible but I still want to go. I am trying to get in touch with Kamala, if you have info on this old club-restaurant, please post in the comments. Thanks.

    Ali Babas in Hollywood

    Here are some photos of Kamala on the dance floor and of the band performing at Ali Baba’s:

  • John 3:38 am on November 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , richard szabo, wonderland   

    There Is A Chapter Titled “The Cops” 

    Long before joining the investigation into finding John Holmes in 1981, LA detective Frank Tomlinson had been involved in some major cases, like the Black Muslim shootout and brawl in 1962, as well as the Hillside Strangler case of Buono and Bianchi, among others. There was also a murder case against a Mexican Mafia member. That case is not very bizarre. What is bizarre though, is the witness in the case, Joseph Belarde Garcia, was later convicted of rape and is now known as the Central Coast Rapist.

    The late seventies found Frank involved in the Garcia witness case. Garcia was a lifelong criminal, but Tomlinson and his partner, Richard Szabo, had Joe Garcia released to police custody since Joe agreed to turn state’s witness in order to try and bring down Mexican Mafia captain Arthur Blajos, known as “Conejo” (the rabbit). While released into police custody – and upon finding they shared deep Christian beliefs – Tomlinson invited Garcia to stay at his home. Joe had even babysat Frank’s two young sons. After this chapter, Garcia committed the rape of his girlfriend’s daughter. He was caught by the mother and Garcia called Tomlinson asking what to do. Frank called the police and he was arrested. Joe Garcia was convicted and served about 8 years for this crime. Garcia was married in prison and was released in 1987. But Garcia was busted again and subsequently identified by eight more rape victims. Garcia’s rap as a serial rapist is a long story – but with few supporters calling for his release claiming he was wrongfully convicted – the evidence holds up and he is currently incarcerated at Chino, and has been in prison since 1991.

    Frank Tomlinson authored the book The First Crime Scene based on some of his investigations. Frank’s partner, the legendary LAPD cop Richard Szabo, said: “He was the most tenacious investigator I have ever known.”

    You can read more about Frank’s cases in The First Crime Scene and also Richard Szabo’s storied LAPD career in The Streets Are Blue by Gary Farmer. Both are highly rated books on Amazon. You may also read samples from both books on Google Books.

    • Jill Nelson 3:51 pm on November 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The First Crime Scene is an excellent book. Frank Tomlinson is a wonderful person and an intimidating man, even today.


    • steven hatcher 9:13 pm on November 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      there is a interesting new blog : the sacramento outlaw , that just started yesterday . please feel free to go on del flynn productions email address to make an entry . should there be a feature film on the wonderland gang before they met john holmes ? this new blog is very interested in your opinions and ideas . the infamous porn star john holmes has had his posthumous light shine on him in movies and books . we should ask ourselves : who were the real wonderland gang ? what truths have been distorted about them ? del flynn productions want to someday make a feature documentary film about the wonderland gang , that is complex , honest , intelligent and entertaining . we don t want to show them as cardboard cutouts perpetuated by people who did not know them personally . but human beings caught in a dubious epoc . who made very bad choices together. del flynn productions does not want to steal wonderland 1981 s blog s thunder . they have done a terrific job in putting together excellent information on the wonderland gang . we will always be in this blog s debt . there will be more future work on the sacramento outlaw blog , moreover , be very patient as del flynn productions does their best in putting together a blog everybody will like . enjoy ! the new blog is also a forum for true crime buffs , who are interested in the darkness of the human spirit ! thank you for your time and consideration .


  • John 8:55 am on October 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , wonderland   

    Repost – The Starwood and Gary Fontenot 

    I know the blog has 600 posts and it’s hard to browse everything. There are some new readers here and maybe they have not seen this yet. This is from Gary’s brother, Patrick. The questions are mine, with help from readers here at the blog. Thanks.

    Gary was originally from a small town in western Louisiana. He headed out west to pursue his dreams and unlike so many others, he was a success. Gary was a good man and a fine club manager. He was often at odds with Eddie, over business and other things. Read on….

    Did you ever visit your brother at his house in Studio City during the 70s or 80s?  Did you meet any showbiz types?

    My family and I visited Gary as often as possible on the weekends when he lived in West Hollywood…”Studio City”???…I am not that familiar with Los Angeles and that area…but Gary lived in a rather nice little place that was pretty much walking distance to Sunset Blvd and it did not seem like it was a far drive from the Starwood.  I do not remember the street name.  He lived there with his friend Michael and Michael I believe was a nurse…doing private work if I recall.  They had been friends for some time.  I would also take some of my military friends to Gary’s home on Friday nights so they could experience the nightclub life at the Starwood.  He would give us the VIP treatment everytime we would visit.

    What exactly happened to Gary at the end of his life? Was he really living in central America? Retired?

    When things began to go downhill for Gary he decided to move to Honduras.  He actually drove there with some kid that I believe was from that area were they settled.  Gary opened his own place down there and seemed to be happy…always inviting me to visit.  However, by nature of my military job, I had to be very careful.  Gary experienced an attempted robbery one evening when closing and was shot in the stomach.  I don’t think he ever recovered, although his cause of death was attributed to prostate cancer.  My brother Dale, flew down to Honduras several times to visit Gary and the last time he flew down was to ensure Gary received a proper burial.

    Did Gary ever discuss Eddie Nash, who was his boss at the Starwood?

    Gary did in fact talk a little about Nash.  Lot of times it was in anger, however many times I believe the tone was respect.  Nash would provide Gary with new cars which Gary loved…he did like showing off a little.  I remember the last car given to Gary by Nash was a brand new Cadillac…we would drive to the Starwood in it and employees of the Starwood would jump in the car to park it when they recognized Gary in the car.

    What did Gary do for a living right after the Starwood closed?

    After the Starwood, Gary was not the same.  He moved into an apartment complex and dabbled a little in real estate…but was unemployed a lot of the time;although he would never tell me.  When at the Starwood, he was in control and afterward he seemed to lose that feeling.  The apartment complex was nothing fancy…about the only thing I remember about it was a visitor that came by one day while I was there.  Gary introduced him as an ex-FBI individual.  I assumed he was because he was carrying a gun.  They did not talk about anything specific and I guessed they had been acquaintances from way back.

    Did your brother ever tell you that his house was shot up by a dealer with a machine gun? He was looking for the soundman of the Starwood, who owed him some money? Gary allegedly let the soundman, Dom Fragomeli, stay at his house in Studio City for a few weeks in 1981.

    In 1981 I left California for Texas.  I don’t think Gary was living in the original home when I first got to California.  I am thinking he was still living in the apartment complex…is that what you meant as far as “home”.  Gary barely mentioned that happening…we would talk by phone…He did not go into detail.  But, knowing Gary, it would not surprise me that he had allowed someone to stay in his home.  He was just that type of person.  I believe he left California shortly after that incident.  Keep in mind, the Nash thing, the Starwood, coupled by him losing a lot of money in the stock market…Gary needed a change.  He had a hate/love relationship with California.  As a small town boy, Los Angeles and the Hollywood scene took its toll on Gary.  He was apparently good at what he did, managing nightclubs, but did rub elbows with some questionable people.

    Hope this helps…as you think of questions, let me know and I will answer them the best I can.  Will try and dig up some photos of Gary.  You would really need to know where and how he grew up to understand the personal conflict he had with the whole Hollywood scene…

    Have a great day.

    • Gen 1%er 11:17 am on October 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Ron Launius was forever altered by being in the shit for no telling how many years. He came back to Fayetteville where SF were located and Doc Mac was the Doc for SF. He saw Ron’s track marks and went to confront some people.

      Ron was hooked and he was likely one of a group of people that tipped the local dealers. Ron may have been there that night Doc Mac’s family was slaughtered. God knows MP’s had every reason to fuck up the crime scene as they received a cut for every bit of #3 and #4 that Lucas got in through Fayetteville and Columbus through the false bottom coffins.

      Ronnie was a spook, and that is how he got away with a lot of shit when he got out. If you look for pictures of Barry Seal during the early Mena AR years- Ronnie is two shots. When that damn Wonderland mssg board was up, a lot of the good things about Ronnie got excised from Google News archive and the search engines. Paper is a bitch though- if you look hard enough, Ronnie was a decent fella. He had no aspirations to be a biker or AB. David was solely somebody from the joint who could provide H out of Mexico or Canada.

      Lind’s sole connection to an MC was really the Straight Satans. When he got back out of one of his stays in Cali Corrections, they were no longer an existing patch. Some were involved with the Satans Slaves out of LA and the SFV. Slave Louie was killed by a Straight Satan who became a Mongol- that killed Lind’s chance of ever becoming an 81 member. Lind was pushing dope for a Mongol and fucking a massage parlor girl who was fucking an 81 and a Mongol- that bitch kicked off 40 years of war. Lind wanted to be 81 but he couldn’t meet the no needle rule that was virtually national by this time, he was in tight with a couple of LA Mongols for a dope connection and he provided them girls for LA massage parlors- brothels. AMPs werern’t a thing til post Ed Meese.

      Lind was an associate and crime partner to Michael Thompson of the AB. Lind was never accepted by the AB council as an associate- Hulk hated him, hated his poser bullshit, hated his attitude, hated his smuggling in IV drugs and rigs through his Massage Parlor girls.

      Lind also fucked up when he took and fucked up the Margo Compton hit. It was an open fact where she was in Dago before they moved her out of state. The AB had some problems with her testifying as her ol’ man who beat on her, was AB. The 81 had crossed the AB by having Latino and Phillipino members and then they got involved with Margo.

      No 81 wanted her dead. The AB did. Michael Thompson farmed it out to Lind and Lind nodded off and she was gone. The AB followed her mail and her killed. The ATF wanted the 81 brother more than any of the AB at the time, as the AB did not have a strong street gang presence.

      If this gets posted, I’ll provide more.

      “Butterfly” was no different to Lind than any of his other massage girls. That was not the love of his life. Clean #4 cut with Fentanyl was the love of his life. Period.

      I have more. I tried to leave a dead drop number to wonderland81 at gmail.com but received no call or response, so if this isn’t published- fuck it.


      • John 8:40 am on October 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks rebel, please tell us more. I did receive your other email, but please email me. I was holding on to the goods because it was something that I needed for Barb’s background story. What can you tell me about her ex-husband Walter? Email me and thanks.


      • Gayle 3:35 am on November 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Fascinating!! It’s interesting to read about their association with the MC’s. I did not know about Lind’s involvement with the Straight Satan’s.


  • John 12:02 pm on October 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: scorsese, steven prince, wonderland   

    Taxi Driver’s “Easy Andy” At Wonderland? 

    This was originally shared via the FB page. The FB page is back up by the way. I had intended to go out west earlier this year to meet some folks and that did not happen. This January/Feb the trip will finally be possible. In the past year, I have undergone my own discovery of faith, love, addiction and redemption. There is so much I want to share with you, and I have been writing and researching like crazy. It will be in the book. Thanks all.

    In a strangely relaxing scene from the chaotic film, Taxi Driver, Steven Prince was great as Easy Andy the gun and drug dealer. At the 41:00 minute mark of the following video “American Prince”, Steven talks of Wonderland. Thanks to Bobby for the link. Also, I am told Scott Thorson is seeking to do a new book or movie and wants investors, if you have the ca$h. That’s funny…and yeah, there’s a chapter on him too. I would take a trip up to that Nevada prison he’s in, but he will just muddy the waters with more BS. I don’t need that revisionist history. Truth clarifies!! As MLK once said “the universe bends towards justice”.

    • Bobby 8:02 am on October 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Really great to hear you’re well John and that your pop is doing a lot better!


    • Jill C. Nelson 1:54 pm on October 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “In the past year, I have undergone my own discovery of faith, love, addiction and redemption.” Whether related or not, there is something about this story that brings about all of the above. Glad to read that you are well and working hard, John.


    • Ken 2:33 am on October 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Talk with Rodger Jacobs if you want to know all about this nutcase woman…..


    • swrworkingman 6:15 pm on October 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Good to see you back John


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