If we fell down the rabbit’s hole and ended up in Alice’s wonderland, it may be fun to join an un-birthday party, or play games with the Cheshire cat, or even face off against the Queen of Hearts. But the Wonderland we have today is far from Alice’s version, in fact it’s about as far from it as it can possibly get. Welcome to John Holmes’ Wonderland.
*This blog post contains graphic images of actual crime scenes*
As with Alice in Wonderland there are a cast of characters in this tale as well:
John Holmes – For those of you familiar with 1970’s adult entertainment, John Holmes was a legend in the industry having been credited in over 573 movies. John’s main claim to pornography royalty was inside his pants. There is no official documentation as to the exact size, but it’s reported that John Holmes was operating with a 13.5″ member. This appendage made him a rich man, and the fact that John like to indulge in cocaine made him an addict and saw his wealth slowly dissipate.
Eddie Nash – Eddie Nash was the guy who could get you what you wanted. He was a nightclub owner and a drug dealer who supplied John with his drug of choice, cocaine. Eddie was a key person when it came to the murders, he eventually would stand trial for the murders. Eddie was the man you didn’t want to cross, and during the events that lead up to the Wonderland Murders, those involved realized they were in over their heads.
The Wonderland Gang – Ron Launius, Billy Deverell, Joy Miller, Tracy Raymond McCourt, and David Clay Lind. These were the five that were small time drug dealers who also supplied John Holmes who was in debt and would never be able to afford drugs from “reputable” drug dealers. Ron, Billy, Joy, and Ron’s wife Susan, and another friend Barbara Richardson would all be attacked in the Wonderland House. Susan would be the only survivor.
Eddie and John knew each other, John was a courier of sorts between the Wonderland Gang, who stole stuff, and John would take it to Eddie to trade for drugs. Unfortunately this arrangement didn’t last and things changed on June 29, 1981.
On June 29, 1981, Eddie Nash’s home was invaded and an armed robbery happened. One of Eddie’s bodyguards was shot and injured, and Eddie suspected that John Holmes was involved, as he had been at the house three times that day and left a sliding door open. However the perpetrators were Ron Launius, Billy DeVerell, Tracy McCourt and David Lind.
Eddie Nash had John Holmes brought to him for questioning, and the bodyguard who had been injured claimed to have seen John walking around Hollywood with one of Eddie’s rings and had brought him back. A witness to this event, Scott Thorson, claimed to have witnessed John being tied to a chair and beaten until he revealed who was involved in the robbery.
It would only be 40 hours later when the Wonderland House would receive retribution for their attack at Eddie Nash’s house.
On July 1, at 3am, several unknown men entered the house on Wonderland Avenue and attacked all those who were inside. The weapons used by the killers were believed to be a combination of hammers and metal pipes.
Barbara Richardson’s body was found on the living room floor, beside the couch where she had been sleeping that night. She was only visiting her boyfriend, David Lind who wasn’t even in the house that night, he had gone to his own home instead.
Joy Miller was found on her bed, with Billy DeVerell at the foot of the bed in an upright position leaning against the TV stand; a hammer was found on the bed. The detectives who would arrive on the scene over 12 hours later would say it was one of the worst that they had seen in Los Angeles.
Ron Launius was found beaten to death in his bed. Susan was also gravely injured and lay beside the bed on the floor. The bedrooms in the house had been ransacked. Susan would survive her attack but had permanent amnesia regarding the attack. She would not remember anything about the night.
John Holmes was arrested and put on trial but eventually acquitted of all criminal charges. John Holmes died in 1988 from complications from AIDS.
In 1990 Eddie Nash was charged with having planned the murders. He would be acquitted as well.