Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Wonderland Murders

The Way of the Pipe

Porn King, Book
Porn King, Book

Drugs were an inherent part of the porn-star lifestyle. Adult film sets were a teen's vision of heaven — nonstop sex, drugs and rock and roll. Holmes started with smoking pot, then graduated to blow and freebasing.

By the late '70s, Holmes had a pricey coke habit. It got so bad that his coworkers joked about leaving trails of freebase from the set bathroom to the bed to get him to work, Holmes wrote in his autobiography, Porn King: The Autobiography of John C. Holmes.

After a while, Holmes craved cocaine more than food, he told Hustler, and he lost 30 pounds in the process.

"If I ate at all, it was half a taco from the Taco Bell drive-in every four days," he said. "When I looked in a full-length mirror, what I saw could have been liberated from a concentration camp."

As drugs and age took their toll on his body, Holmes' famous tool flagged and directors stopped calling. Holmes was in danger of being relegated to the dustbin of porn history.

Bag of drugs & pipe
Bag of drugs & pipe

Out of work but not out of a bad habit, the fallen Porn King became a pathetic dope fiend, reduced to breaking into cars and stealing luggage from Los Angeles International Airport.

He also started spending time at 8763 Wonderland Ave, sometimes crashing there for days at time, according to Salon.com.

The house residents were junkies who both sold and consumed massive amounts of dope. The house was leased by Joy Audrey Miller, a 46-year-old mother of two who'd had both breasts removed because of cancer. She had seven arrests to her name. Among the other tenants was her boyfriend, Billy DeVerell, 42, who'd been arrested thirteen times, Ronald Launius, 37, who'd had done federal time for drug smuggling, and David Lind, 39, a convicted dealer and freelance bounty hunter.

The house was an always-open-for-business mega pharmacy, selling coke, heroin, uppers and downers to anyone who knew the address.

"There was a lot of traffic, all day, all night," one neighbor told Rolling Stone. "Everything from Volkswagens to a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. They threw brown bags of dope off the balcony. There was shouting, laughing, rock and roll 24-hours a day."

Holmes became the house mascot. He also became the liaison between the Wonderland crew and a powerful Los Angeles dealer named Eddie Nash.

It was a business relationship that would prove toxic to everyone involved.

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