Nov. 9, 1982: Patrick James Henneberry and George Peters, leaders of the purported Church of Naturalism, were beaten to death with a blunt instrument and shot at close range on the Laurel Canyon estate on Woodstock Road leased by the church, The Times says.
Investigators reported finding fingerprints on the church limousine, which the killers used to escape by crashing through the gate to the property, and on a large-caliber handgun found near the vehicle.
It was later determined that the church was a front for dealing cocaine. George Smith, the church’s former chief of security, and secretary Melinda Faulcon, his girlfriend, admitted killing the men after being caught trying to open the safe. They had come to the church to get Smith’s personal belongings, which Henneberry and Peters had kept when they fired him.
Smith was sentenced to concurrent terms of 27 years to life and Faulcon, received concurrent terms of four years, The Times said.
In the so-called Wonderland murders, former porn star John “Johnny Wadd” Holmes — who had been jailed for contempt of court — would not testify to the grand jury about the fatal beatings of four people in Laurel Canyon. Holmes had been acquitted in the slayings but he was then called to appear before the grand jury.
Holmes relented after 110 days in jail. After being freed following testimony, Holmes said he planned to go back to making movies. Holmes died of AIDs in March 1988. He was 43.
John Z. DeLorean, father of the DeLorean automobile, says federal agents entrapped him in an alleged conspiracy to distribute cocaine. DeLorean, who said he hoped to use the drug money to rescue his company, died in 2005 at the age of 80.
And a Screen Actors Guild election for board members favors President Ed Asner, heading the guild’s liberal faction, The Times says. Asner had clashed with former guild President Charlton Heston, who opposed efforts to merge with AFTRA and the Screen Extras Guild. Heston, a supporter of President Reagan — a former guild president — also opposed the guild’s involvement in politics. Heston also told The Times that the guild should end its affiliation with the AFL-CIO.