Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Wonderland Murders

The Liberace Connection

Nash only served only two years of his sentence, but his business ventures took a hit during his prison absence, and upon his release he was forced to sell his mansion and move to a modest townhouse.

A few months after Holmes' death, Los Angeles authorities announced they finally had enough evidence to tie Nash and Diles to the Wonderland killings.

Liberace
Liberace

They hauled a gruff, tattooed David Lind into court to testify. Lind laced his answers with profanities, began his answers with "Try this..." and finished them with "You got that, pal?" the Los Angeles Times reported.

Lind admitted taking part in the robbery of the Nash residence along with Launius and DeVerell.

The prosecution maintained that the sole connection between Wonderland murders and the Nash break-in was Holmes. He facilitated the Wonderland gang's entry into the Nash mansion and of the Nash gang into the Wonderland house by leaving doors unlatched. Lind's testimony helped to support this argument.

The prosecution's star witness was Scott Thorson, the scorned boyfriend of the late Liberace who became a household name when he sued the pianist for palimony.

Thorson, a cocaine enthusiast and frequent guest at the Nash residence, said he was present the night Nash threatened Holmes. Glancing nervously about the courtroom, he stated that Nash threw Holmes against a wall and demanded to know the names of the robbers, before ordering Diles and Holmes to retrieve the stolen goods.

Liberace & Scott Thorson
Liberace & Scott Thorson

Thorson's testimony supported the prosecution's contention that Nash ordered the murders in retaliation for having his home robbed.

"(Nash) felt he was responsible for sending Mr. Holmes and Mr. Diles there and it had all turned into a bloody mess," Thorson told the court. "He felt the whole thing had gotten out of hand."

Defense attorney Richard Lasting dismissed his testimony, calling Thorson an "opportunistic liar." He blamed the killings on a "falling-out among thieves," implying the Holmes or someone else involved in the Nash break-in massacred the Wonderland residents when they didn't get their share of the loot.

The trial ended when the jurors deadlocked 11-1 on whether to convict Nash of murder.  The next year, he was retried and given a full acquittal, along with Diles and, post-mortem, Holmes.

But the LAPD refused to leave Nash alone. Police investigators hounded him, scrutinizing his every move, tapping his associates' phones and periodically raiding his home.

In September 1995 — the same year his former bodyguard Gregory Diles died — the LAPD thought they'd hit paydirt when, after a five-hour pre-dawn raid, they found a suspicious white ball that looked a lot like crystal meth.

The officers allowed Nash change out of his pajamas before parading him into the street before a bevy of news cameras.

But there was one problem, the police laboratory discovered. The white ball was a mothball, not a narcotic.

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