Journey back to 1981, when four people were brutally murdered in their home in the Hollywood Hills. The Wonderland Murders is the tale of a violent home invasion robbery and the revenge rampage that followed. It involves a drug-fueled gang of criminals, a crazed crime kingpin -- and the world’s most famous porn star on a downward and deadly spiral. Join Young Charlie host Tracy Pattin and writer/director Larry Brand and they take you back to Wonderland Ave.
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Four on the Floor
July 1, 1981. The Fourth of July weekend is over before it begins for LAPD Detectives Tom Lange and Robert Souza. Four people have been found brutally murdered on Wonderland Avenue in the Hollywood Hills. Another has been left for dead. From the extreme violence of the crime, Lange suspects that someone is sending a message. When a handprint is found near one of the victims, the detectives believe it could be their first big break.
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Two vice detectives arrest John Holmes on charges of pimping and pandering. Faced with serving hard time, he becomes an informant for the LAPD. As if mirroring his fictional counterpart, Johnny Wadd, Holmes becomes a real life undercover agent, turning in associates in the adult film industry.
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The Inside Man
As John Holmes’s drug use makes him unreliable on the set, film jobs are harder to come by. Increasingly desperate, he’s begun stealing from his wife, his friends, his coworkers. But just when Holmes is about to hit rock bottom, he meets drug kingpin Eddie Nash and things start to look up – at least for a while.
After finding John Holmes's palm print at the house on Wonderland Avenue, police need to determine if the porn actor was a witness to the murders – or a participant. But what Detectives Tom Lange and Bob Souza really want to know is if Holmes will give up Eddie Nash. They’re confident Nash ordered the murders in retaliation for a home invasion robbery at his place two days earlier. If John doesn’t cooperate with police he could face the death penalty. But if he does, he could face something even worse…Eddie Nash.
The Wonderland Gang celebrates their successful robbery of drug kingpin Eddie Nash. Although there’s talk of finding a new place before Nash can retaliate, Ron Launius decides to stay, certain he has the firepower to protect the house. The group spends the night doing drugs – unaware that Eddie Nash has found a way in.
LAPD detectives arrest fugitive John Holmes in Miami and bring him back to Los Angeles, where he is charged with the four Wonderland murders. But convicting him will be difficult, since the prosecution’s key witnesses are victim Susan Launius, who can’t remember anything, and two drug addicts with long criminal records. As Detective Lange says, "When a crime occurs in hell, you don't have angels for witnesses."
Good but not great
I listen to podcasts & audiobooks daily. And I love Wondery True Crime productions typically. However, I had to rewind episodes of this show just to fully understand at times. The flipping in narrator, place in time and character can get a bit confusing at times. Especially when not having an “anchor”. The story is great though.
I have to pay??
Yeah I’m not paying to listen, there’s other stuff to listen to just as good. You’re not doing anything earth shattering
Crazy story but true
I listen to a lot of podcasts and this one really stands out for its storytelling and production quality. The back and forth between the two stories/timelines is sometimes confusing, particularly towards the end when the two begin to converge, but the writing is top-notch and really captures the chaos and drug-crazed ‘thinking’ of the people involved.
Tracy’s narration is A+.