Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Wonderland Murders

Botched Break-in

The big deal turned out to be a robbery of the Nash mansion. It was a dicey proposition from the start, but the Wonderland junkies needed a fix and Holmes told them the Palestinian kept an ample supply of drugs and cash at his residence.

According to police accounts, Holmes drew the Wonderland crew a map of Nash's home, and in his memoir, he admits to unlocking a sliding-glass door at the home so they could sneak in.

They struck on the morning of June 29, 1981. David Lind was the first one in the house, followed by Ronald Launius and Roy DeVerell.

Lind surprised Nash's 300-pound bodyguard Gregory DeWitt Diles by bringing his employer his breakfast on a tray.

"Freeze! Police! You're under arrest!" Lind yelled, flashing a stolen San Francisco police badge at the bodyguard. While he was handcuffing Diles, Lind's gun accidentally discharged, grazing Diles in the side. Hearing the commotion, Nash appeared in his trademark briefs, and believing he was about to be killed, fell on his knees begging for mercy.

The gunmen forced Nash to his feet and made him open a safe, from which they extracted heroin, cocaine, Quaaludes, jewelry and $185,000 in cash. The U.S. Department of Justice estimated the take at $1 million.

Afterward, they gunmen drove back to the Wonderland house to divide the loot. Holmes grew peeved over his share, Lind would later testify in court.

Nash was furious. Not only had he been robbed of his goods, he'd been humiliated. He vowed revenge.

What happened over the next 72 hours is still disputed to this day.

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