Who Was John Holmes? King Of Porn Or Drug Addicted Murderer?

The king of adult film, as he was popularly called, John Holmes, gave America premium content on-screen and off-screen.

In the 1970s, John Holmes became a big sensation and was even compared to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley. He didn’t have any particular talent like singing or acting. He just had a very large penis.

John Holmes was what people called the modern sex god. He once claimed he has had sex with over 14,000 women, including state governors and US senators, which was an obvious lie he told to maintain his image. Even though the real amount of women- and men- John Holmes has had sexual relations would remain unknown, it is estimated to be over 3,000 partners!

Before John Holmes became the super-sized porn star legend, he was a handyman who didn’t even understand how much money he was wearing in his pants. Not until a very fortunate encounter in the man’s bathroom.

Except for him making up stories about himself, thereby blurring the lines between the truth and the lie, John Holmes loved to brag about his extra-large dipstick. He once bragged about how his penis was bigger than a payphone and has caused the death of many people.

While we can’t say it was the total truth, it wasn’t a lie either because his 13-inch tally-wacker led to his glory, fall, and death.

John Holmes Before Stardom

Who Was John Holmes? King Of Porn Or Drug Addicted Murderer?

John Holmes was born in a small town in Ohio on the 8th of August, 1944. He was originally named John Curtis Estes until he was adopted by his stepfather, Edgar Harvey Holmes, who married and divorced his mother, Mary June, three times.

Growing up, John Holmes was a shy fellow who always liked to keep to his space. At the age of 16, he joined the army and got discharged three years later. He moved to Southern California to start anew after his discharge.

It was here he met his first wife, Sharon Gebenini, a graduate nurse. A year later, in August 1965, they got married. John Holmes took a job as a meatpacking store as a forklift driver. He was already used to doing all types of jobs. He was once a salesman, chocolate stirrer, and ambulance driver before he ever became a porn star.

They weren’t able to start a family because of some health problems they both had. In the first 17 months of their marriage, Sharon had three miscarriages.

The Big Man

Who Was John Holmes? King Of Porn Or Drug Addicted Murderer?

One day, Joel, a professional photographer, met John in the bathroom of a poker club and was amazed by the size of his penis and recommended a better paying job than his current. All he had to do was put his natural talent to use in front of a camera.

Few months after that encounter, John Holmes started sharing his gift in magazines. He knew his wife wouldn’t support his career choice, so he kept his side job a secret from her. Sharon later found out when she caught him measuring his penis in the bathroom. That was when he told her about his new job with so much excitement. He felt he had finally found something in life that he would be the best at.

His wife was not comfortable with it, but after much convincing that he would make sure he kept his job separate from his personal life, and it was a way for him to provide a better life for their future family, Sharon gave in.

At the beginning of his career, he tried to keep his word. After his day shoot, he always returned to his wife to help her manage their estate and take care of things around the house. However, with great fame comes even bigger irresponsibility.

Sharon’s fears came to pass, and soon John Holmes was getting laid everywhere except at home. But she still loved him and stayed with him for over 10 years until she finally had enough and they were divorced.

John Holmes, The Career Man

Who Was John Holmes? King Of Porn Or Drug Addicted Murderer?

John Holmes’ career started to kick off in the early 1970s after starring in a porn series as the main lead Johnny Wadd. The series gained popularity that soon put John in the limelight. He started getting a lot of offers and soon began earning as much as $3,000 a day.

Another thing that helped his career was the introduction to pornographic videos. It was getting popular at that time, and his huge penis just made him more exciting to watch.

John Holmes appeared in over 2,000 adult films in less than 17 years of his career. He was a hard worker (pun intended).

Downfall Of The King Of Porn

Who Was John Holmes? King Of Porn Or Drug Addicted Murderer?

Fame, sex, drugs. Most of the time, they go together, and John Holmes wasn’t an exception. John’s sexual preference started to differ. From women to men, and even kids.

When John was 32, he became intrigued by the new neighbor. She was a 15-year-old girl named Dawn Schiller. Schiller was happy that she caught the attention of such an older and accomplished man and soon found herself in a regular tryst in the back of his car.

Additionally, it wasn’t too long after that he got addicted to cocaine.

His cocaine addiction became a problem that not even his super penis could bypass. He came to work high and distraught and could not even perform most of the time. This cost him not just his name but his money too. He started losing gigs, and his rate dropped from $3,000 to $1,000.

But this didn’t stop his new expensive habit. Instead, it fuelled it.

He was soon jobless, broke, and homeless as his wife threw him out. He needed coke, and he needed it fast, so he decided to sell Schiller into prostitution. She got the money and gave it directly to him, but this didn’t stop him from abusing her physically and sexually.

Wonderland Murders

Who Was John Holmes? King Of Porn Or Drug Addicted Murderer?

On the first day of July in 1981, four people were brutally murdered and one injured beyond recognition in a secured drug house, Wonderland house. The police didn’t have a suspect on who the culprit was because the victims seemed to have many enemies. Not until they found the palm-print of a man on the headboard of one of the victims. The palm-print belonged to John Holmes.

At first, John Holmes was nowhere to be found until he was later traced to a seedy motel where he was taken in for questioning but gave no helpful information. He was arrested for the murder of the four victims but was later acquitted of all charges after a three-week trial. Holmes claimed he was just caught in the clash of two gangs and was forced to watch them being bludgeoned to death.

John Holmes was very reluctant to help the police solve the case. He refused to call the names of the alleged attackers, saying that his life would be in danger if he did. Because of his lack of cooperation, the court sentenced him to 110 days in jail for not testifying in court.

A month after his death, his wife told the police that he came to her the morning of the murder, covered in someone’s blood, and told her he was at a murder and was forced to watch. He didn’t tell her the names of the other attackers.

The case is still unsolved today, even after three suspects were arrested and acquitted. Even on his death bed, he was still questioned about the murders, but he carried his secret to the grave.

The Last Days Of John Holmes

Who Was John Holmes? King Of Porn Or Drug Addicted Murderer?

The Wonderland Murders was just the beginning of his troubles as he lost both his wife and his girlfriend, Schiller, after the trial. But he became a free man, and he decided to capitalize on his new fame even though it wasn’t for a good reason. After all, every publicity is good publicity.

He wrote a book, granted interviews, got some new job offers, and even started his production. The King was back!

He was on a campaign for porn stars to get checked for AIDS because of the rapid spread of the virus, and he did a test, and voila! He was HIV positive.

John Holmes kept this information a secret from everybody except his future wife, Laurie Holmes. He didn’t even tell his colleagues and did a video shot before he was hospitalized. This caused an uproar among his work partners.

He spent the last five months on his hospital bed after AIDS took over his body. He died from swelling in the brain, a consequence of the virus in 1988, at the age of 43.

Before he died, he told his wife to make sure his body was cremated so he wouldn’t end up as a science experiment. His widow, Laurie, and his sister scattered his ashes at the ocean.

John Holmes might be dead but not forgotten. Different movies and books about him have been made. He was one of the many victims of fame, caught up in his own glory. He was a king that got destroyed by his crown.