THE IN­VES­TI­GA­TION

PO­LICE HAD A CLEAR IDEA OF WHO WAS TO BLAME, YET THEY LACKED THE NEC­ES­SARY EV­I­DENCE TO PROS­E­CUTE NASH FOR MUR­DER. IT TOOK AL­MOST NINE YEARS TO BRING HIM TO TRIAL

Real Crime - - Unsolved Case -

The hand print he left at the crime scene was enough ev­i­dence to pros­e­cute Holmes, who was ar­rested in De­cem­ber 1981 and charge with the four mur­ders in March 1982. Although the pros­e­cu­tor ar­gued that he was a will­ing par­tic­i­pant, his lawyers suc­cess­fully ar­gued his case as a dis­ori­ented vic­tim co­erced into lead­ing the killers into the Won­der­land house. After a trial, he was ac­quit­ted of all mur­der counts, but due to sup­ply­ing the court with false in­for­ma­tion he spent 110 days in jail for con­tempt of court. Holmes died from AIDSre­lated com­pli­ca­tions on 13 March 1988.

Two days after the mur­der, po­lice searched Nash’s home. They found $ 1 mil­lion of co­caine and stolen items from the Won­der­land house. He served two years of an eight- year prison sen­tence, al­legedly brib­ing the judges $ 100,000 for an early re­lease. In the fol­low­ing years

Nash was con­tin­u­ally ar­rested on var­i­ous drug charges – au­thor­i­ties some­times re­ferred to him as “the one that got away”.

On 21 March 1990, ju­rors and lawyers as­sem­bled to try Nash and Gre­gory DeWitt Diles, who were put on trial si­mul­ta­ne­ously but with dif­fer­rent ju­ries as­sess­ing each man’s case. Nash’s de­fence lawyer ar­gued the pros­e­cu­tion’s strong­est wit­nesses and state­ments had come from drug users with crim­i­nal records – hardly re­li­able sources. He said that “it is dif­fi­cult… to cap­ture the dark hues of that kind of world… pop­u­lated by des­per­ate peo­ple. A world de­void of the type of value sys­tem that you know and that you op­er­ate on.”

Nash and Diles were even­tu­ally im­pli­cated by new ev­i­dence from Scott Thor­son, the lover of the late Lib­er­ace and au­thor of Be­hind The Can­de­labra: My Life With Lib­er­ace. Aged 32 and serv­ing time for ac­cept­ing stolen goods, Thor­son tes­ti­fied at the pre- trial hear­ing that he ha­bit­u­ally pur­chased co­caine at Nash’s house. He con­tin­ued that he heard Nash vow to “have those peo­ple on their knees” for rob­bing his home, and that he threat­ened Holmes, slammed him against the wall, in­ter­ro­gated him for the iden­ti­ties of those who had robbed him, and then sent Holmes, along with Diles, to re­claim his stolen items. Thor­son stated that “he [ Nash] felt he was re­spon­si­ble for send­ing Mr. Holmes and Mr. Diles there and it had all turned into a bloody mess. He felt the whole thing had got­ten out of hand.” This was soon re­futed by DeWitt Diles’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive,, who de­scribed Thor­son as “an op­por­tunis­tic liar”.

There were also tes­ti­monies from those who had as­sisted and car­ried out the rob­bery on Nash’s home. A day after the mur­ders had taken place, David Clay Lind and a friend walked into a po­lice sta­tion claim­ing to know the killers’ iden­ti­ties. Now, al­most a decade later, on the wit­ness stand in the court­room, Lind con­ceded that his char­ac­ter may not be deemed the most trust­wor­thy and that drug use had in­deed ad­dled his mem­ory. In spite of this, he told the jury, “We [ the court] have es­tab­lished I’m not a very nice guy and I lie some­times. No mat­ter what I’ve done, I never killed any­one, they did,” and he ges­tured to Nash and his body­guard.

He vented his ap­pre­hen­sion about rob­bing some­one as high pro­file and pow­er­ful, and stated, “The cer­tain type of dope dealer you didn’t rob was Mr. Nas­ral­lah [ Nash]. It was ob­vi­ous from the time we got in the house that we were over our heads.” He also im­plied that Holmes was swin­dled by the ac­tual rob­bers, who had ab­sconded with more than their share.

After a mis­trial was de­clared in 1990, when ju­rors had voted 11 to one for con­vict­ing Ed­die Nash and ten to two for ac­quit­ting Gre­gory DeWitt Diles, the sec­ond trial fi­nally ac­quit­ted both men.

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