July 1, 1981 – The Wonderland Murders

July 1, 1981 – The Wonderland Murders

On July 1, 1981, three members of the Wonderland Gang, along with a fourth woman, were beaten to death in their townhouse at 8763 Wonderland Ave. in Los Angeles. The three gang members killed were Ron Launius, 37; Billy DeVerell, 44; and Joy Miller, 46. Barbara Richardson, 22, who was the girlfriend of another gang member, also died in the attack. The victims were all struck multiple times with what police said they believe were hammers and metal pipes. Launius’ wife Susan survived the attack.

Neighbors reported hearing screams coming from the home around the time of the murders. But no one called the police until 4 p.m. the next day when movers working next door heard Susan calling for help. The Wonderland Gang were known cocaine distributors in the area at the time and Ron was their leader. A few days before the murders, on June 29, 1981, the gang, with help from porn star John Holmes, robbed the home of Eddie Nash, a nightclub owner and convicted money launderer and drug dealer. Holmes, a close associate of Nash, then implicated the Wonderland Gang in the robbery after he was threatened by Nash.

Holmes was arrested for murder after police found his palm print at the crime scene. But he was acquitted. In 1990, Nash was charged with planning the murder but his trial ended in a hung jury. He was tried again in 1991 and acquitted. Nash was charged with planning the murders again in 2000. He accepted a plea bargain in 2001, admitting to other charges and ordering his men to get his stolen property from the Wonderland house. He did not admit to planning the murders.

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