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Revenge Against Burglars Led to Slayings, Court Told : Trial: After Laurel Canyon murders, defendant Eddie Nash lamented the ‘bloody mess,’ Liberace’s former lover testifies.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former lover of the late pianist Liberace testified Monday that a defendant in the Laurel Canyon murder trial vowed to track down those who had burglarized his home and “teach them a lesson,” but later lamented that “things (had) gone too far.”

Scott Thorson, 31, testified that during a 1981 visit to his cocaine supplier, Adel (Eddie Nash) Nasrallah, he overheard Nash tell his bodyguard and now co-defendant Gregory Diles and pornographic film star John Holmes to retrieve drugs, money and jewelry taken from his Studio City home.

“He said he’d have ‘em all on their knees, teach them a lesson, and that they’d never steal from him again,” Thorson said under questioning by Deputy Dist. Atty. Dale Davidson.

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About a year after four people were bludgeoned to death in a Laurel Canyon home, Nash brought up the subject of the slayings several times while he and Thorson were free-basing cocaine, Thorson testified.

“Mr. Nash said that things have gone too far, that it had turned into a bloody mess,” Thorson testified, nervously chewing his lower lip.

Thorson did not elaborate on what “things” were, but the prosecution contends that the murders were ordered by Nash and carried out by Diles and unnamed others.

Nash also threatened Thorson, he testified. “He said that people have a habit of disappearing in the canyon. ‘By the time they find you, Scott,’ ” Thorson recalled Nash saying, “ ‘I’ll have had every tooth in your head pulled so they can’t identify you.’ ”

Defense attorney Jeff Brodey, who represents Nash, suggested in his cross-examination that Thorson had fabricated his account, drawing details from newspaper clippings.

“You’ve just made up this story,” Brodey said, “and integrated it into this complete web of lies you’ve told about Mr. Nash over the past three days, haven’t you?”

“No, I didn’t,” Thorson said.

Four bodies were found bludgeoned to death nine years ago in a Laurel Canyon home that one of the victims had rented.

The savage slayings were first blamed on Holmes, who was acquitted of murder charges in 1982. In September, 1988, six months after Holmes’ death, authorities said they finally had enough evidence to charge Nash and Diles, who had long been suspects in the case.

A substantial part of that new evidence was information provided by Thorson, who is now in the federal witness protection program.


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