What's Wrong with the Intruder Theory, Part 3

In exploring the intruder theory, Doug did excellent work examining the time-line, and events that went on that night and in the house.  Now, I want to broaden the scope to look at what was happening in Washington, DC at the time of the crime to see if this offers any evidence that supports or denies the intruder theory.

On July 11, twenty days before the murder of Robert Wone, then DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey declared a “crime emergency,” after a recent surge in homicides in the District of Columbia.  This was the fourth “crime emergency” that Ramsey declared since becoming Police Chief in 1998, which evens out to about one every two years.  There were 13 homicides in the District between July 1 and the date Ramsey declared the emergency.  Even with the spike though, Metropolitan Police Department records show that violent crime was down nearly 6 percent oversus the same period the year before. More directly, the number of homicides was exactly equal to one year before — 94.  But the number of robberies had increased by 14 percent.  Ramsey was concerned that robberies could easily turn into homicides. 

There was speculation that the reason for the “crime emergency” was an election year in the district, and there was a very heated 5 way primary race for Mayor to succeed retiring Mayor Anthony Williams.  

Of the 13 murders in July that precipitated the emergency, all them were committed with a gun, except for one, which was a rape attack on a group in Georgetown, with one member of the group, a British tourist who subsequently died of knife wounds.  The assailants were apprehended with a day of the crime.

The murder of Robert Wone on August 2, 2006 upon initial examination stands apart from the type of murders that were occurring in the area at that time.  First, it was a murder with a knife, while the overwhelming majority of the other murders were committed by a gun.  Second, many of the murders began as robberies, which maybe one of the reasons why the police in the affidavit of arrest for Dylan Ward focused on the fact that there was no forced entry to the property, and that no robbery was committed, especially in a house with many valuables possessions as targets. Finally, the one murder with a knife occurred in the open, not in a well-protected property, with several people in a group being randomly attacked, not one individual.

This is what probably lead Sgt. Brett Parson, liaison to the gay and lesbian community, to comment early in the case, “The evidence we have found so far would lead us to believe Mr. Wone was not the victim of some happenstance. This attack was specific towards him.”  If the attack was a target, then the intruder knew several things in advance.  First, the intruder knew the house.  He or she was able to move very quietly and judiciously right to their target without any of the occupants of the house hearing. Second, the intruder knew that Robert Wone was staying at the house on the night of August 2, 2006.  Maybe the intruder had a tip that Robert was staying there, which means that all the communications, electronic and otherwise, about Robert’s decision to stay at the house prior to that night are crucial to this case. Third, if the intruder was just looking to  murder someone, the easiest target would have been Dylan Ward because his room was on the second floor right off the stairs. Clearly the intruder passed Dylan Ward’s room and headed to the guest room. Fourth, because Robert was Chinese and the other three occupants of the house are white, the chance the intruder made a mistake is extremely minimal.  Maybe Robert encountered the intruder first, and the intruder was looking for someone else, Robert fell victim, and the intruder became afraid and fled.  This scenario seems highly unlikely because the lack of defensive wounds founds on Robert’s body do not support this theory.

What seems apparent is that Robert’s murder was not typical of the type causing the “crime emergency,” and that clearly Robert was the target.  The intruder theory would hold more weight if Robert had been found shot, and the house was found in greater disarray, and valuable possessions had been stolen. — Posted by David

15 comments for “What's Wrong with the Intruder Theory, Part 3

  1. 02/20/2009 at 9:08 AM

    Robert was a friend of mine – helped me make the decision to go to law school. I was devestated to see the system he loved so much, fail him the first year of the investigation. I am so hopeful that his family and lovely wife will learn the truth. It won’t bring him back, but at the very least knowing what happened will provide some peace.

    Keep up the good work guys. Thanks!

  2. L.
    02/20/2009 at 3:48 PM

    Has anyone speculated that Joe Price’s brother was involved?
    Who would have had a motivation to set up one or more of those living in the house?
    Did Michael Price have a motivation? Any spurned lovers? Drug dealers?
    I still say it was one or more of the 3 men living in the house. The question I have is under what circumstances was Robert Wone drugged and sexually stimulated.

    • I know who did it
      02/20/2009 at 4:13 PM

      My understanding is that Michael had a history of substance abuse regarding pretty hard core drugs and has had some “interesting” boyfriends over the years (Michael was also gay, like his brother Joe)

      • L.
        02/20/2009 at 4:52 PM

        Right – but what friend or ex-boyfriend of Michael Price would have known that Robert would be there? And if Michael Price is involved what would his motivation be and why?

      • L.
        02/20/2009 at 4:53 PM

        What is your theory about what happened?

  3. CDinDC
    02/20/2009 at 10:04 PM

    Let’s not forget the authorities disclosed that “the three stab wounds were neat and nearly identical.” This doesn’t sound like a spontaneous, stranger-inflicted murder. Sounds deliberate and calculated.

    • L.
      02/21/2009 at 10:57 AM

      Sounds like he was alive, incapacitated and then stabbed – but why?

  4. N.M.
    02/21/2009 at 2:04 PM

    Three stab wounds, three men.

    My theory is that Ward, or more likely Ward and Price, assaulted Wone and either tried to kill him or thought they had already killed him;

    Zaborsky walks in, sees the horrible situation, screams in shock;

    Price persuades Zaborsky that in order to seal each other’s loyalty to the trio, and ensure that no one would rat out anyone else, they must each take part in the murder and assume guilt for Wone’s death.

    Hence three cold, calculated stabs; three sets of fingerprints on the (missing) knife; three people who know that if anyone testifies against the other(s), he will implicate himself.

    Ward and Price were in deep to their fantasy world; but Zaborsky appears to have stood somewhat apart. For example, Price advertised that he was looking for a “third” rather than a “fourth” man to join in his and Ward’s activities.

    Price and Ward both have motives to “trap” Zaborsky into sharing the burden of guilt. Zaborsky, I presume, has a claim on at least half of Price’s assets; Ward’s lifestyle is maintained at the pleasure of Price’s and Zaborsky’s partnership.

    Zaborsky may have had a knee-jerk “stand by your man” (Price) response before he could process the implications of the scene he discovered; he may have joined in the stabbing ritual as a “if you’re going down, I’m going down with you” “I’ll stand by you” sort of thing.

    And now its too late. It can be argued that it was Zaborsky’s stab which was the fatal wound just as easily as it could have been Ward’s or Price’s.

    Maybe Zaborsky screamed when he stabbed Wone, as opposed to when he discovered the scene. Perhaps he knew at that moment that he had lost his soul.

    • L.
      02/21/2009 at 5:24 PM



      Was Wone a consenual participant or was he drugged first and/or later?

      What is your theory on how it all began?

    • L.
      02/21/2009 at 5:27 PM


      I think that Ward and Price mistakenly thought that they had accidentally killed him with the drugs and/or asphixiation. They used the knife to cover it up. Then Zarbosky walks in.

  5. David
    02/21/2009 at 8:20 PM

    I find it difficult to buy the overdose/suffocation coverup theory. They skipped right past attempting first aid, calling for an ambulance, etc., and instead, they stab him and try to stage a burglary/murder? That’s just crazy. I’m still interested in seeing some other theories explored, including an assassination connected to Wone’s professional life (Radio Free Asia, intel, etc.), or an assassination by some psycho out to get one or more of the three roommates by leaving them with an unexplainable dead body to explain (in which case Wone was merely a means to an end.)

    This case seems like it might be an interesting candidate for Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. They love material that could involve conspiracy, government cover-ups, occult, UFOs, unsolved mysteries, etc.

    Given that the case involves two gay lovers who have two kids by two mommies and a live-in boy-toy to boot, its a shame the Jerry Springer show isn’t still around.

    • L.
      02/22/2009 at 11:07 AM

      Maybe they did try to revive him but thought he was dead. At the very least had Wone come to he would have had them all arrested for sexual assault and attempted murder. They panicked and staged the stabbing.

      I think N.M. figured it out.

  6. CDinDC
    02/23/2009 at 10:43 AM

    Let’s not forget that the defendants were most likely in a drugged state. Rationality flies out the window.

    Think back to the paramedics description of each defendant at the scene.

    From an internat article:

    “Two paramedics who arrived at the scene found Ward, Zaborsky, and Price’s behavior unusual and suspicious. Zaborsky had called 911 at 11:49 p.m., yet Wone appeared to have already been dead for some time by the time paramedics arrived. The 911 operator had specifically told Zaborsky that they should hold towels to Wone’s chest wounds, yet there was no sign that any of the men had done so. Upon the paramedics’ arrival, Zaborsky was wearing a bathrobe, standing near the home’s entrance and talking on a cellphone. He ignored the paramedic despite being asked, “What’s going on?” Ward also ignored the paramedic’s query, instead, wordlessly walking back to his own bedroom on the second floor. Price, in his underwear, was sitting on the edge of the sofabed where Wone was, lifeless. None of them were screaming or helping to direct the paramedics to help Robert Wone.”

  7. Piet
    02/27/2009 at 9:54 AM

    Using the principle of Occam’s razor (all things being equal, the simplest explanation is the most likely), does it seem likely that:

    1. A crazed Communist assassin tracks Robert throughout DC, sexually assaults him, “assassinates” him and cleans up the scene in complete silence;

    2. A drug-crazed brother and/or his cohorts want to “frame” the other brother and his roommates/lovers for past transgressions, somehow finds out the last minute arrangement of Robert’s sleepover, silently enters the house, sexually assaults him, kills him and cleans up the scene in complete silence, all to get back at someone else;


    3. An S/M scene, most likely non-consensual (why would Robert put in his mouth guard if he planned to have sex with someone?), goes bad, and he is either accidentally or purposely killed, then all three roommates conspire to cover it up out of a misguided sense of loyalty to the murderer(s)?

    Innocent until proven guilty? Perhaps. But I can’t personally imagine any scenario other than the last one. At the very least, the three are covering something up, and at the worst, they are all more intricately involved (in my opinion, of course).

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