An Alternate Hypothesis

Doug notes:
e following is written by a friend, ‘Dave’ a counselor and therapist living in the San Francisco area. He was not at all familiar with the Robert Wone case until he began reviewing this blog. He sends along these thoughts and offers an alternate hypothesis which I or my co-authors had neither read or considered before.
This is not an endorsement nor a critique of Dave’s views – and to be utterly clear, Dave is not this blog’s co-author David – but an airing of a new construction. It is offered as perspective from one with experience in these issues, and as a sincere effort to continue the search for truth.

“Have read everything posted since you sent it this afternoon, and here’s my take based on a pretty thorough understanding of the subculture and psychology of bdsm from my years of counseling here in sf:

“Ward is the alpha, dominant personality in the triad with Price and Zaborsky. He felt the right to “own” anyone who came into his domain, the house. In fact he felt compelled to dominate in order to maintain his position over the other two, who in fact held the greater social power through their wealth and prominence in the community. It was precisely this social power that the men, Price and Zaborsky, felt the need to surrender to someone else out of a deeply internalized sense of inadequacy and unworthiness that many gay men experience as a consequence of unresolved internalized self-loathing.

“Ward is the sexual assailant and most likely the murderer. The deeply established psychological influence that Ward held over Price and Zaborsky would have been well ingrained over an extended period of repeated incidents of psycho-sexual manipulations that would have involved bondage, torture, near death experiences and psychological domination that would have rendered Price and Zaborsky compliant with the directions given by Ward to them at the time of the incident.

“The meeting likely started with a drink, and Wone’s drink contained sufficient rohibnol or ghb to render him unconcious. This substance is almost impossible to detect through toxicology testing. The scream that the neighbor heard was most likely Zaborsky or Price’s, upon their discovery of ward’s assault on Wone. The injections are most likely sites where the drug was later administered. Both Price and Zaborsky participated in the cover up and clean up at Ward’s direction and threat of extortion and due to their fear of loss of their social standing.

“A likely avenue to obtain a confession is to play upon Ward’s ego-maniacal sense of power through an interviewer that could manipulate his sense power and the control that he exerts over the comparably more socially esteemed Price and Zaborsky.

“The interviewer would need to suggest that only through his (Ward’s) confession could the case ever be prosecuted, highlighting the ultimate control that he exerts over the lives of Price and Zaborsky. Ward would be most likely to make this confession after he had the impression that he had lost control over the other two men.

“I think that a media figure could have a significant role in cracking this, particularly if Ward believed that his story, detailing the profound control he exerted over others, would be published and publicized, making him (in)famous.”

– Posted by Doug

8 comments for “An Alternate Hypothesis

  1. Anonymous
    02/01/2009 at 1:48 PM

    Great analysis. Very dispanionate. Here is my question for the BDSM expert, as we see in the post below this, Price was seeking additional partners for Ward and himself, and as the submissive, wouldn’t he have to note that we was seeking additional parters with the permission of the dominant Ward? He certainly doesn’t note that, so was Ward aware he was doing this, and approved? Or was Price really the dominant, yet only the submissive is sexual play?

    All this gets to a question of the night Robert Wone stayed at the house. Did Price have the approval from Ward for Robert Wone to stay over at Ward’s domain? Maybe he didn’t and Ward was angry? Things went downhill from there.

  2. Anonymous
    02/01/2009 at 2:07 PM

    Very interesting and thoughtful analysis. Thank you, 'Dave.' But, the arrest affidavit for Ward implied that the S&M relationship was only between Price and Ward. So what power would Ward wield over Zaborsky? And as far as social esteem or standing goes, Ward isn't the total down-on-his luck loser that I thought he was when I first heard about the case. His father is a well-known cardiologist in the Tacoma, WA area. Ward went to Georgetown for college and then got a master's degree in children's lit from Simmons College. So it appears that Ward is from a privileged background and could and should have been doing something of better social status other than being an S&M master, rent boy, massage therapist, and direct marketing consultant.

  3. Anonymous
    02/02/2009 at 10:26 AM

    Someone must know something about these guys….

    I am writing in the hope that somebody reading this site will come forward with relevant information about Robert Wone's murder — now more than two years old. The tragedy of Robert's murder and the grief suffered by his wife and family must only be further magnified by the fact that nobody has been arrested for causing his death. Anyone who has followed the case recently knows that the condition of Robert's body, from multiple needle marks to semen in the rectum, to evidence of asphyxiation prior to stabbing, all point to S&M/bondage playing a role in his death. After finding Robert's body, police searched the house and apparently discovered an arsenal of devices used in S&M and bondage in Dylan Ward's room. There must be people in this town who have relevant knowledge about the behavior and proclivities involved in this crime. If you are one of these people, you should contact the U.S. Attorney's Office or the Wone family's attorney at Covington and Burling. Please think about how you would feel if your family member was murdered and the perpetrator went free because people who could help solve the case would not make a phone call. Thank you for your consideration and hopefully, your courageous response.

    Friend of Wone Family

  4. Anonymous
    02/02/2009 at 11:28 AM

    # for Covington & Burling is

    The attorney handling the Wone case is Benjamin Razi.

  5. Anonymous
    02/04/2009 at 12:31 PM

    There are several bizarre theories that could be plausible. Not only as to Ward, but also as to three or four of them together, the n’er do well brother of Price and his drugee friends, or perhaps an angle involving familial Asian attitudes about homosexuality.

    I read on a blog elsewhere that Wone was known to keep a bat under his bed and carry two wallets. A rather strange habit for a lawyer.

    If one were to fully explore the intruder theory, I would consider Wone’s employment by Radio Free Asia, Ward’s Asian and foreign service connection, and perhaps Price’s involvement in a multi-national law firm. I am curious as to whether the rowhouse had an attic, and where it was accessed, and whether the dogs were given access to it.

    The crime has a certain Chandra Levy quality to it.

  6. Anonymous
    02/04/2009 at 8:55 PM

    The BDSM theory is interesting, but if Ward actually killed Wone and Price feared association, I don’t think someone like Price (if pretty much uninvolved) would protect Ward, despite the control dynamic, once it was clear that a cover-up was unsuccessful, with career impacts, etc.

    Once some things start crashing, the illusion is broken, and the incentive to protect the guilty diminishes because it is clear that things could only get worse by remaining quiet and only get better by reversing course. Their happy ‘masters of the universe’ family of two men, two lesbians, two kids, and a live-in boy toy was already shattered.

    If Price had given a consensual Wone a drug that led to an accidental overdose, with those reputational stakes involved (even if cleared of anything but a minimal charge), I can imagine his incentive to hold out, Ward’s incentive to master the situation, and Zaborsky going along, all of them figuring that no one would be any better off by taking on a manslaughter limelight if another excuse might suffice. If it were truly an accident, that may increase the incentive to hold out, even after controversy erupted, because an accident eventually coming to light is far more forgiveable than hiding murder. There’s less to lose by maintaining the plan.

  7. Anonymous
    02/05/2009 at 11:42 AM

    Someone should ask Sarah Morgan, the female friend who lived in the basement apartment at 1509 Swann Street, about her previous statements to her other gay male friends about Dylan Ward’s fondness for Asian male sexual playmates.

  8. Anonymous
    02/05/2009 at 1:23 PM

    I agree with the last poster. Sarah Morgan was a very close friend of Joe and Victor’s (not just the basement tenant, they had a pre-existing friendship) and probably knows ALOT about what happened that night and before…

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