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Nine Years And Counting

Nine Years And Counting

Nine Years Later, No Answers

It’s a dark day to mark. On the evening of August 2, 2006, Robert Wone was slain in the home of his three friends, Joseph Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky. The secrets from that evening are locked inside 1509 Swann Street and in the consciences of those three men.

Robert Wone lived his life bringing people together and he’s done so after his passing. The large community who labored on his and the Wone family’s behalf are testament to that. He may have been abandoned by a few, but legions remain loyal to him.

There are few better ways to support Robert’s life’s work than by donating to the memorial fund that was set up to honor him. Please dig deep, cut a fat check and continue hoping (and working towards) a resolution in the case and peace for Robert’s family and true friends.
Robert Wone Memorial Trust  45 North Hill Drive, Suite 100  Warrenton, VA  20186

A Birthday to Remember

A Birthday to Remember

June 1, 1974 Robert Eric Wone was born.

Forty years ago, Robert Eric Wone was born in Brooklyn, New York, the first of two sons in his fourth generation Chinese American family.

For most, a 40th birthday is a significant milestone.  For family and friends of Robert, his 40th is bittersweet.

It’s a time to remember all of the wonderful aspects that made him such a remarkable person, yet mourn the positive impact lost because he died.

For those of us in the community, the best way to regard Robert on this day is to rededicate ourselves to bringing justice for Robert to his beloved wife, Kathy, his family and friends.

That is why this site will never be taken down.  Our commitment to this mission will never extinguish. We will never give up.

The editors of

Seven Years

Seven Years

One More Year, Too Many Unanswered Questions

Seven years ago today at 1509 Swann Street NW, Robert Wone was slain in the home of his three “friends” Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward.

It is yet one more year too many that have passed without justice. That said, we continue to believe that someone, somewhere, holds the key to this tragedy. And that one day, they will come forward – wittingly or otherwise – and help solve what should have been solved years ago.

This is a dark anniversary. But those who still care can help to continue the good deeds and work that Robert pursued during his life. Please make a hefty contribution to the Robert Wone Memorial Trust:

Holtzman, Vogel, Josefiak
45 North Hill Drive  Suite 100
Warrenton, Virginia  20186

Guilt and Innocence

Guilt and Innocence

When “Not Guilty” Might Also Mean “Not Innocent”

It’s strange how some criminal cases come to captivate the public mind while others fade quickly.

This last weekend saw the conclusion, at least for the moment, of the Trayvon Martin murder case. As trials go, the evidence in this one seemed fairly straight forward. There were no questions as to how Mr. Martin died, or where, or when, or at whose hands. There were relatively few legal battles about what evidence could be submitted or who could testify – save for the question of whose voices were heard crying out on the 9-1-1 tape. The early work by the Sanford Police Department didn’t appear overly botched, there was a span of only about 16 months between Trayvon’s shooting and the trial (reasonable, by today’s court standards) and the trial itself was notable for its speed.

And after all this – after three weeks of non-stop live courtroom coverage punctuated by airy conjectures and millions of spilled words in blog posts and the seizure of America’s journalism apparatus by this one case – the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. It’s a decision that has left some angry at George Zimmerman, some angry at Martin, others angry at the jury and still others angry at the criminal justice system.

Lost in it all is what must be the continuing desperate tragedy of those who loved Trayvon, and how his absence will continue to be felt by friends and family for decades to come.

Some of this feels too familiar.

We understand being frustrated by the legal process and criminal justice system. We really do get being disappointed once a not guilty verdict or decision is handed down and a gross injustice remains unpunished. And we can only empathize with those whose lives are turned inside out by a sudden, violent act.

The verdict “not guilty” in any case involving someone’s death is always disappointing. It hangs in the air like an unresolved chord. For those charged, the court merely says that guilt has not been proven by whatever standard. It emphatically does not say the defendant is innocent, much as they might wish that cloud over their heads dispersed. For the prosecutors, it’s probably an invitation for self-doubt, blame and endless regression and regret. And for those family and friends…well, it’s fairly obvious.

There is a simple fact that everyone knows in the Martin murder case: George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. He is both not guilty of second-degree murder and not innocent at the same time. The blood on his gun, now back in his blood-covered hands, will never fully wash away.

In the Wone conspiracy trial, Judge Lynn Leibovitz, not a jury, was the finder of fact. Those facts include:

The murder was not committed by an intruder unknown to defendants Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward,
Robert Wone was entirely immobile at the time of his stabbing,
It’s very likely Joe Price tampered with and altered the murder weapon, including pulling it from Robert Wone’s body,
Victor Zaborsky specifically, and all three housemates generally, displayed a demeanor wholly at odds with what anyone would expect from an innocent person who’s friend had just been murdered tragically and violently,
Joe Price was arrogant, unconcerned, flippant, aggressive, self-centered and dismissive,
Dylan Ward was distant and detached, unmoved, patient and calm, and also was apparently unmotivated to help police solve this terrible crime,
It is likely that one of the defendants knew who murdered Robert Wone and/or covered it up, and that very probably the government’s theory was correct, and lastly
That she, as finder of fact, was convinced at least one of the trouple were hiding things and knew more than he was saying about the events of August 2nd, 2006.

Of course, all three were found not guilty of the charges brought against them of conspiracy, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice, largely because of what Judge Leibovitz termed “the math problem” – namely that one or two of the threesome probably had greater involvement and knowledge than what they admitted, but it was also possible that a least one might have been an odd man out, genuinely innocent of knowledge and involvement. Given that the Swann Family quickly closed their mouths, still sealed almost 7 years later, determining which one was the odd man was nearly impossible.

In sum: Price, Zaborsky and Ward were not guilty. But they are not innocent.

Following the Martin trial verdict, several people have been quoted in news reports as saying something to the effect that Trayvon Martin’s killing will remain with Zimmerman for the rest of his life, that he will never escape it and it will burden his soul to his last day.

“Not guilty” may, in fact, drape about former defendants like a sort of karmic dead weight resulting in some form of justice. We’re unconvinced.

What we do believe, however, is that secrets can only remain secret for so long. Sooner or later the truth emerges. Only then will true guilt and innocence be established.

So Whatever Happened To…

So Whatever Happened To…

Frustrated With Strategy? Victor Has The Answers!

Here’s something to think about while counting grey hairs: it was twenty years ago that California Milk Processor Board, hoping to goose up dairy sales launched the “got milk?” advertising campaign.

First launched on TV on October 24th, 1993, “got milk?” went on to become among the most famous and successful ad campaigns in modern times. For this humble writer, it only took about :20 seconds before I could recall this ad – directed by Michael Bay! –  featuring a Reginald von Nerdlington-type character whose mouth is gummed up with peanut butter at an inauspicious moment.

I’m not sure which makes me feel older: that I remember it, or that I even remember the days when TV commercials ran for one entire minute.

Anyway, some years later in 1995, the campaign was acquired by the national MilkPEP board and expanded to include the “milk mustache” where it would eventually land in the lap of one Victor Zaborsky.

Which brings us to this note, caught by sharp-eyed WMRW reader Susan.
Want to learn how “engaging audiences inspires advocates and creates movements”? Need a “single focus at the heart of a strong marketing content strategy”?
Well Ragan training has got the man for you! Victor Zaborsky!
Seems in the almost exactly three years since he, partner Joe Price and housemate Dylan Ward were acquitted of conspiracy, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice, at least Victor has managed to keep a decent paycheck.

Recently, Ragan Training hosted Zaborsky and Melanie Strah, V.P. at Weber Shandwick in a workshop at the Newseum here in D.C. in a “best practices” summit. We’re guessing he didn’t need directions, as the back of the Newseum faces the back of Moultrie courthouse…and was the preferred escape route from the WMRW shakeycam.

Teases Zaborsky in the sales pitch, “It’s so important to think of ourselves as a content curator.”

Funny, sometimes we think the same thing.

Now we don’t have the $1195 Ragan wants us to shell out for unlimited access to this and other videos, and we certainly don’t intend to launch a Kickstarter to make it so. Perhaps his head shot that accompanies his listed bio says all we need to know.

That said, we wonder: just what are the other two former Swann Street housemates up to these days?

Four Years and Counting

Four Years and Counting

Although a couple weeks late, we mark the 4th anniversary of the first post.

While biking past 1509 Swann Street the other day, we were again struck by the block’s beauty. No matter what the season, it remains one of Washington’s most charming streets.

The trees were bare and the late afternoon sun dappled the handsome facades. Residents were putting up Christmas decorations, and in fact, the new owners of 1509 were hard at work hanging wreaths that afternoon.

We’ve long given up trying to make sense of the crime that occurred there, although in private moments, we think we’ve picked the lock and have pieced together exactly what happened on that August night in 2006, and who is responsible for Robert’s murder and its cover-up. But the “why” always escapes us.

With the perspective of years, we have complete confidence in one important “why,” and that is the people who came here to respect and honor Robert’s life. It’s because they cared, maybe the most important “why” there is.

We did the easy part. Thousands of visitors, commenters and sharp minds came together here for years and still do. Many have become friends. They are the true testament and legacy of this site and they will always have our deepest and most sincere thanks.

Michael, Doug, David and Craig

Six years and counting

Six years and counting

Six years ago today Robert Wone finished up a busy day as General Counsel at Radio Free Asia, a new position he had just started a few weeks earlier.  He then headed to a continuing legal education class before making his way back to work to meet the night shift.  Robert would complete the day by heading over to a friend’s house to stay for the evening.

What happened next remains as much of a mystery today as it did six years ago.

During the intervening years since Robert Wone was cruelly murdered, so much has changed.  The collapse of the financial markets, which led to the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression.  The election of the first African-American president of the United States as well as three wave elections in 2006, 2008 and 2010.  Apple launched its most successful product ever with the iPad.  There have been all of these changes, and so many more, over the past six years.

And, yet, for all this change, so much remains the same.

The eponymous name of this blog that has animated so much discussion still goes unanswered.  It is six years and counting.  Another thing that will not change is that Robert Wone will never be forgotten, and justice in this case will never be abandoned.

— The editors of Who Murdered Robert Wone

Purpose of this Site

On August 2nd, 2006, Washington attorney Robert E. Wone was murdered at 1509 Swann Street. Over two years passed before any criminal charges were filed - and then only conspiracy, obstruction of justice and crime scene tampering charges were brought against the Swann Street housemates, all present in the home on the night of the murder: Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky.

On May 17, 2010, a DC Superior Court trial got underway and all three defendants were all acquitted in that bench trial on those pending charges.

Nearly four years later, very little seems clear about what happened that night and who murdered Robert Wone. A cloud of suspicion remains over the Swann Street defendants who have denied any involvement in the murder of their friend or in the alleged cover up.

Judge Lynn Leibovitz found a moral certainty in their collective guilt, but not evidentiary certainty. Civil proceedings in a wrongful death suit filed by Robert's family is the next chapter in this tragic story.

We continue to work together seeking answers to the mystery of Robert Wone's murder and in finding justice for his memory and legacy.