The Devil and John Holmes

And Other True Stories of Drugs, Porn and Murder

by Mike Sager

“John Holmes was every man’s gigolo, a polyester smoothie with a sparse mustache, a flying collar, and lots of buttons undone. He wasn’t threatening. He chewed gum and overacted. He took a lounge singer’s approach to sex, deliberately gentle, ostentatiously artful, a homely guy with a pinkie ring and a big dick who was convinced he was every woman’s dream.” —from "The Devil and John Holmes."

John Curtis Holmes had the longest, most prolific career in the history of pornography. He had sex on-screen with two generations of leading ladies, from Seka and Marilyn Chambers to Traci Lords, Ginger Lynn, and Italian Member of Parliament Cicciolina. The first man to win the X-Rated Critics Organization Best Actor Award, Holmes was an idol and an icon, the most visible male porn star of his time.

Holmes started in the business around 1968 and made more than two thousand movies. But after descending into a world of drugs and crime, he became the central figure in one of the most publicized mass murders in L.A. history, the 1981 Wonderland Avenue killings in Laurel Canyon, in which four people were brutally bludgeoned to death. Holmes was tried and acquitted of the crimes in 1982. He died from complications of AIDS on March 13, 1988.

Read the story that inspired the movies Boogie Nights, with Mark Walhberg, and Wonderland, with Val Kilmer and Lisa Kudrow. Now with restored edits and updated information.

The collection includes three bonus stories. “Little Girl Lost,” about the life and death of beautiful porn starlet Savannah, among the first of the Vivid Girls; “Deviates in Love” about swingers and amateur porn; and “The Porn Identity,” about a divorced man’s search for retired porn starlets in an effort to get his mojo back.

Reissued with NeoText to include new covers and internal art by WBYK and vintage John Holmes movie posters.

“The Devil and John Holmes” is one of the most terrific sagas we have ever published.”— Jann Wenner, editor and publisher, Rolling Stone

“I can recognize the truth in these stories— tales about the darkest possible side of wretched humanity. Sager has obviously spent too much time in flophouses in Laurel Canyon.”—Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hells Angels

Mike Sager

Mike Sager is a bestselling author and award-winning reporter. He’s been called “the Beat poet of American journalism.” For more than forty years, he has worked as a writer primarily for the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, GQ, and Esquire.  Sager has written a dozen books; a number of his stories have inspired movies and documentaries, including the classic Boogie Nights. He is the editor and publisher of, a content brand.

Mike Sager