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LAist Interview: Rodger Jacobs

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Rodger Jacobs is an author, journalist, documentary producer, blogger and familiar gadfly in the LA blogosphere. He has just published his latest project about one of Los Angeles's most well known murder cases in the 80s. Called the Wonderland Killings, the brutal murder of 4 people in a Laurel Canyon home gained even more noteriety when authorities discovered that porn star John Holmes had played a mysterious role in the case.Age and Occupation: 46. Writer and documentary producer.

How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and which neighborhood do you live in?

I’ve lived in L.A. since 1979 and currently reside in Glendale.

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Let’s talk about your latest book, “Long Time Money and Lots of Cocaine.” Why did you package the transcript of John Holmes’ preliminary hearing in the Wonderland murders?

There is a substantial audience out there hungry for information on the Wonderland murders. By contrast and comparison, the Manson killings of 1969 were resolved. The murderers were brought to justice. The Wonderland slayings remain, for all intents and purposes, an unsolved mystery and mysteries without a resolution tend to tantalize and give birth to myth and conjecture. With the preliminary hearing transcript, the Wonderland groupies – for lack of a better term – can get a glimpse into what really went down on the night of July 1, 1981, in the words of those who were there: Susan Launius, the sole survivor of the attack; David Lind, a slick, smooth-talking hood who was one of the trigger men in the robbery of reputed mobster Eddie Nash that preceded and instigated the murders; and Tracy McCourt, the petulant wheelman in the Nash heist.

What compels you to revisit the slayings and what does the story say about Los Angeles, in the 80s and now?

I have been fascinated by the Wonderland case ever since co-producing the documentary “Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes” in 1999. It is such a quintessential L.A. story of the 80s: drugs, sex, excess, night clubs, gangsters, and porn stars. It’s like Raymond Chandler on crack.