Jon Ponder

Jon Ponder Bio

Jon Ponder in the closet in Gore Vidal’s music room

Jon Ponder is a co-founder and producer of the West Hollywood History Center, a community-based project currently in development that will feature a virtual museum website, He also provides historical research for Seymour Consulting Group, whose clients include Avison Young, Mani Brothers Real Estate Group and other companies.

He recently provided historical research and commentary about the Constance Bennett Building on the Sunset Strip for a Netflix marketing project. He was a creator of Wondery’s “Hollywood & Crime” podcast series, for which he was lead researcher as well as a writer, director and producer of its first season, “The Black Dahlia Serial Killers.” He is the editor of the website, Playground to the Stars, where he writes about the history of the Sunset Strip in its pre-1959 “Hollywood Era.” He also contributes articles on Hollywood history to In February 2020, he was a presenter at the Podcast Movement’s Evolutions conference at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

Ponder has had 30-plus year career in advertising, marketing and promotion. Early clients included Columbia Pictures and United Artists, in Hollywood; John Wiley & Sons publishers, in New York; and the Pharmaceutical Institute, in the Research Triangle, N.C. Since the mid-1990s, he has produced websites for local, regional, national and international clients. Currently he produces sites for NewmanPR in Miami, whose clients include Holland America Lines and Carnival Corporation.

Beginning in 2010, he edited Gore Vidal’s official website and, in the early ‘90s, worked as a researcher on Hugh Hefner’s never-finished autobiography.

He is a member of the board of the nonprofit news outlet,, vice president of the West Hollywood Historic Preservation Alliance and a co-founder of the Alla Nazimova Society.

Recent Work




Hollywood and Crime: Black Dahlia Serial Killers (Wondery)

Co-creator, co-producer (including music, effects, sound design), lead researcher, co-writer and co-director.

Season 1

1. Bathtub Murder   2. Generous Georgette   3. White Gardenia   4. Vampire Slayer   5. Jane Doe   6. Black Dahlia   7. Red Herring   8. Werewolves   9. The Lipstick Murder   10. Dream Killer   11. Kiss of Death   12. Man Crazy   13. Death Ride   14. Soldier Boy   15. High Risk Behavior   16. A Killer’s Message   17. Stunning News   18. Noir L.A. – Hollywood and Scandals with Martin Turnbull   19. Noir L.A. – Hollywood and Headlines with Joan Renner   20. Noir L.A. – Hollywood and Vcie with Tere Tereba

Season 2

21. Sadist Slayer   22. The Last Stop   23. The Silk Stocking Murder   24. The Best Suspect Ever   25. Missing Persons   26. Cold Cases: Interview with Joan Renner and Jim Clemente


  • West Hollywood History Center: A Story Like No other and Plans & Strategies [PDF]
  • Alla Nazimova Society: Interpreting the Hotel in the 8150 Sunset Project [PDF]

Recent Website Production