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Encyclopedia > Wonderland Murders

The Wonderland Murders, also known as Four on the Floor or Laurel Canyon Murders, occurred in Los Angeles in 1981, when four people were killed in a drug-related plot that involved porn star John Holmes and was masterminded by nightclub owner and gangster Eddie Nash. Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... A pornographic actor or a porn star is somebody who appears in pornographic movies, live sex shows or peep shows. ... John Curtis Estes (August 8, 1944 – March 13, 1988) better known as John Holmes, John C. Holmes or Johnny Wadd (after the lead character in a series of related films), was one of the most famous male porn stars of all time, appearing in about 2,500 adult loops, stag... For other uses, see Gangster (disambiguation). ... Eddie Nash, born 1929 as Adel Gharib Nasrallah in Palestine of Lebanese parents, was a nightclub and restaurant owner in Los Angeles and is a convicted gangster and drug dealer; he is best known for his involvement in the quadruple Wonderland Murders. ...

John Holmes was addicted to drugs and had become involved with the Wonderland Gang, a group of drug dealers based at 8763 Wonderland Ave in Los Angeles. He was also friends with Eddie Nash, drug dealer and wealthy owner of several night clubs. The Wonderland Gang carried out a robbery of Nash's house, and they were probably helped by Holmes' leaving a door open. The circumstances surrounding the Wonderland Murders (also known as the Laurel Canyon Murders or Four on the Floor) reads like a detective story, complete with addiction, betrayal, and rivalry with a porn star (John Holmes) acting as the catalyst. ...

Participating in the robbery and assault of Nash were:

  • Ron Launius (leader of the Wonderland Gang)
  • William Deverell
  • David Lind
  • Tracy McCourt (the "Wheel Man" who waited outside in a car and served as lookout)
  • John C. Holmes (earlier he visited Nash and left a patio door unlocked, but he was not present at the robbery)

After the robbery, Holmes was discovered in Hollywood wearing some of the jewelry allegedly stoled from Nash. Nash had Holmes brought to his house and beaten until he gave up the people behind the robbery. This was overseen by Scott Thorson, boyfriend of Liberace, who was picking up drugs at Nash's house. Liberace shows off his rings (circa 1980). ...

On July 1, 1981 the house at 8763 Wonderland Ave was entered, and four of the five people present (two men and two women) were bludgeoned to death with a steel pipe; one woman survived critically injured. John Holmes was present, but it is unknown whether he participated in the killing.

Found dead at the scene were:

  • Ron Launius
  • William Deverell
  • Joy Audrey Gold Miller (Deverell's girlfriend, and lessee of the apartment)
  • Barbara Richardson (Lind's girlfriend)

David Lind's life was spared, as, according to his court testimony, he spent the night at a San Fernando Valley motel, consuming drugs with a prostitute. Shortly after the news media reported the murders, Lind contacted the police and pointed the finger at Nash and Holmes and gave them an initial start to the investigation.

Police searched Nash's home shortly after the murders; large amounts of cocaine were found and Nash spent two years in prison. For other uses, see Cocaine (disambiguation). ...

Holmes was then charged with the murders. The trial of film star John Holmes served as an ironic milestone in American jurisprudence. It was the first trial to ever introduce videotape into evidence. Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. ... Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed Videotape is a means of recording television pictures and accompanying sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. ...

Holmes' defense lawyer, Earl Hanson, attempted to present Holmes as one of the victims, and Holmes was acquitted on June 16, 1982. He refused to testify and cooperate with authorities and spent some time in jail for contempt of court.

Nash was charged with having planned the murders in 1986. Thorson testified against him, but the first trial ended with an 11–1 hung jury and his second ended in acquittal.

Holmes died in 1988 of AIDS. After his death, his estranged wife came forward, saying that he had come to her on the morning after the killings with blood all over his clothes. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). ...

In 2000, already in his seventies and suffering from tuberculosis, Nash was indicted on federal charges under the RICO act for running a drug dealing and money laundering operation, conspiring to carry out the Wonderland Murders, and bribing one of the jurors of his first trial. As part of a plea bargain agreement, he plead guilty to all charges and received a four and a half year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for Tubercle Bacillus) is a common and deadly infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, genitourinary system, bones and joints. ... RICO or the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act is a United States law which provides for extended penalties for criminal acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. ... A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case in which a prosecutor and a defendant arrange to settle the case against the defendant. ...

The story was covered in the 2003 film Wonderland, starring Val Kilmer as John Holmes. The 2005 book Long Time Money and Lots of Cocaine contains the complete transcript of the February 1982 preliminary hearing for Holmes. Wonderland is 2003 film about the Wonderland Murders staring Val Kilmer, Kate Bosworth and Lisa Kudrow. ...

External links

  • Wonderland Murders
  • Yahoo! Maps: 8763 Wonderland Ave.
  • Long Time Money and Lots of Cocaine: The People of the State of California vs. John Curtis Holmes


  Results from FactBites:
Wonderland (1071 words)
Wonderland is a re-creation of the 1981 Wonderland murders, in which a famous Hollywood mobster named Eddie Nash was alleged to have ordered the murder of some small-time crime figures and their women as retribution for their having robbed him.
The grisly case (the victims were bludgeoned to death with large metal objects) attained an extra measure of fame because one of the accomplices to the murder was said to have been John Holmes, the biggest star in the history of porn (in more ways than one).
The first is told by a member of the Wonderland Gang, the only one who escaped death because he wasn't in the house on the night that Nash's minions arrived.
  More results at FactBites »



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