Wonderland

Porn “star” John Holmes was a coke addict and had gotten himself involved with the "Wonderland Gang", a group of small time drug dealers, including David Lind, Ron and Susan Launius, Billy Deverell, and Joy Miller, all living at 8763 Wonderland Ave in Los Angeles.

Holmes 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 (helped by Holmes’ leaving a door open). Nash had Holmes brought to his house and beaten until he gave up the people behind the robbery. This was overseen by Scott Thorson, Liberace’s lover, who was picking up drugs at Nash’s house.

The retaliation for the robbery was swift and fatal. On July 1st, 1981, a group of Nash’s henchmen (including Holmes) led by Greg Diles gained access to the apartment at Wonderland Avenue. Ron Launius, Deverell, Richardson (in the wrong place at the wrong time) and Miller were all brutally beaten to death with lead pipes. Susan Launius was also beaten, but was not killed. She survived and was questioned by police in her hospital bed. She told them (in a near comatose state), she did not remember anything — only shadows. David Lind survived only because he wasn’t present at the time of the attacks.

Police searched Nash’s home shortly after the murders; large amounts of cocaine were found and Nash spent two years in prison.

Holmes was then charged with the murders. His 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.

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.

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