The Road Through Wonderland
Medallion, Aug 1 2010, $15.95
Her father was career military so Dawn Schiller spent her childhood moving from post to post. A road trip from the east Coast to the Glendale, California led to the teen meeting thirtyish married “King of Porn” star John Holmes. Only fifteen and ignored by her dad, Holmes becomes a father figure to Dawn. He and his wife Sharon allow Dawn to move in with them. Cocaine and other drugs changed the relationships as Holmes turned violent and forced Dawn into prostitution. Barely surviving the gruesome 1981 Wonderland murders, she ran away turning her “mentor” over to the police.
The movie Wonderland was a gritty look at Dawn Schiller's teenage years leading to horrific murders. However, her memoir is even grittier and darker as the author goes much deeper in describing her early life. Not an easy read though well written as the horror will last in the audience’s mind long after finishing the book. Stunned readers will appreciate Ms. Schiller’s autobiography warning parents and other adults that discarding children leaves them vulnerable to a Pied Piper who showers them with deadly interest (think of the DC Snipers).