Authors Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn have sparked interest in a murder that occurred 30 years ago in West Hollywood. Inspired by the HBO documentary series, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, based on a book by Michelle McNamara about her investigation into the Golden State Killer, Rice and Quinn did an episode of their podcast, TDPS Presents Christopher and Eric devoted to mysteries that both writers are obsessed with.
In the episode, “Are They Really Gone in the Dark?” (Episode 37), Rice talks about the unsolved homicide of William Newton, better known as gay porn actor Billy London. Rice explains how Newton’s head and feet were found in a dumpster behind Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood on October 29, 1990. Rice reveals in the podcast episode he heard of this unsolved homicide thanks to a blog talking about the band Guns N’ Roses and how a real-life event inspired a lyric in a song off their album Use Your Illusion I called “Double Talkin’ Jive. Over a month after that episode, Rice and Quinn set up an email address especially for tips and memories connected to Newton.
To memorialize the 30th anniversary of the unsolved homicide, Rice and Quinn devoted an episode of their podcast solely to William Newton and the mystery surrounding his death. In the episode, “The Murder Of William Newton: 30 Years Later” (Episode 48), Rice reveals the things he and Quinn learned through their research and emails received regarding the case including an email that reveals a possible connection to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
In the email sent by a man named Ron Wheeler, who lived in West Hollywood during the time of Newton’s death, it is revealed that Wheeler crossed paths with Newton a few days before Newton’s death at a former West Hollywood gay bar called Rage. Wheeler recalls Newton left the bar with a man. This was to be believed the last time Newton was seen alive. Around a year later, Wheeler thinks he sees a picture of the man he thinks left with Newton, which is Jeffrey Dahmer.
Three months after the podcast episode, Rice and Quinn do a follow-up episode called “The Murder of William Newton Part II: Billy’s Last Weekend” (Episode 60). In the episode, Rice explains:
“We have been able to obtain some official sources which have allowed us to construct a timeline of Billy’s last movements from between Thursday, October 25, 1990, to the discovery of his remains in a dumpster on Monday, October 29.”
Rice also explains his motivation for investigating this case:
“I wanted to talk about it just to create the next generation of people who are maybe as obsessed with it as I was because I ain’t no spring chicken either. We’re all getting older and I was worried that when we found, which we discussed on episode 48, that his (Billy) father, who had really kept it going for a long time, had died, I thought, ‘Oh God! Is Billy running out of advocates?’”
Rice and Quinn also shared that the Los Angeles Police Department reached out to them about Newton’s case and a detective from the LAPD was interested in coming on TDPS Presents Christopher and Eric to do an interview regarding Newton’s homicide at a later, unspecified date. To listen to the podcast episodes, just click on the titles of each episode and it will take you to the landing page for that episode. The authors are asking if anyone has any information regarding Newton or his murder to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: AVN.com, Turbliminal Blog, The TDPS Network, Biography.com, Wehoville, HBO, Christopher Rice Official Facebook Page, Christopher Rice Official Twitter Page, Christopher Rice Official Instagram Page, The Dinner Party Show Official Facebook Page