Open House

 4BR   3.5BA  SS Kit  FP  HWF  OSP  DoA

Listed by Tutt, Taylor & Rankin, 1509 Swann Street was bought in 2005 by Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky for $1, 276,000. 

Remember those boom years?  We came across these photos from the agent’s virtual tour still floating around.   We believe the layout is pretty much the same, minus the funishings, as in August of 2006.  We’re told no major renovations were done on the house since Joe, Victor, Dylan and Sarah moved in.  And it didn’t look like the house needed any work at all. It was done.

The defendants’ timeline of the events in the the affidavit states that Wone arrived at 10:30pm and sat with Price and Ward in the kitchen while talking and drinking water.  Price excused himself to go into the backyard, came back in a few moments later, then they all went upstairs between 10:45pm and 11:00pm.

 Later this week we take the trip upstairs.


Living & Entry 1509

Living & Entry 1509

Dining Room 1509

Dining Room 1509

Kitchen 1509

Kitchen 1509

Kitchen Reverse 1509

Kitchen Reverse 1509

Patio 1509

Patio 1509

The 1509 floor plan showing the path that could have been taken by the an intruder en route to the 2nd floor.
1st Floor Plan

1st Floor Plan

-posted by the editors

36 comments for “Open House

  1. Anon
    03/09/2009 at 9:25 PM

    Keep in mind that the time line of events was provided by the defendants. Since we do not know if there was an intruder, it should say “an intruder” as opposed to “the intruder.” Just nitpicking here. That’s cool that you found photos of the home. Very interesting. See how high the back yard gate and fences are, all around the little backyard.

    • Craig
      03/10/2009 at 10:12 AM

      Good points. Tweaked & clarified now. Craig

  2. Stan
    03/10/2009 at 8:51 AM

    Will we learn anything about access to the attic and/or roof and the location of any access panel or door?

    • Anon.
      03/10/2009 at 9:54 AM

      It is highly improbable that this has any connection to the recent rooftop burglar. It also sounds a little too much like a “Mission Impossible” entrance. The defendants claim that the alarm indicated the back kitchen door was opened. If someone were to come down a skylight or roof hatch, Joe and Victor would be the first to hear it as they were (as they reported) on the third floor.

      To our editors: Thanks for finding and posting these pictures and floor plans! This provides a good visual perspective and helps to envision what might have happened.

      • Stan
        03/10/2009 at 11:21 PM

        I still think the assassination or set-up theory is worth considering, partly because of the improbabilities of the ‘simplest explanation’ involving one or more of the three. In the world in which we live, I don’t read the daily news and swear by every word. Besides, I don’t know the defendants, but I know their uncle Tito, and he owe me five dollah.

        • Anon
          03/10/2009 at 11:29 PM

          That made no sense whatsoever. Don’t forget to take your Zoloft or Abilify tonight.

        • CDinDC
          03/11/2009 at 12:46 PM

          Well, we’re all entitled to our opinions, and please take no offense, but an assasination? Is a grassy knoll involved, as well?

          • Stan
            03/11/2009 at 5:40 PM

            With a little planning, a man can accomplish pretty much whatever he wants, provided he doesn’t want any credit for it.

  3. CDinDC
    03/10/2009 at 12:49 PM

    “Price excused himself to go into the backyard”…..and what was Price’s reason for going into the backyard? (Other than having a reason for supposedly leaving the door open.) Did he give a reason to the detectives? Did the detectives ask?

  4. Nick
    03/10/2009 at 12:54 PM

    Ward told the police that Price had seen a spider on the light

    • CDinDC
      03/11/2009 at 12:40 PM

      A spider….on the light….in the backyard? If a spider were crawling across my KEYBOARD, I probably woudn’t notice it. Must have been a whopper of a spider.

      Or did the dear man rescue it from a fixture inside the house and release it into the wild?

      That’s about as good and “my dog ate it.”

      • IKWDI
        03/11/2009 at 1:06 PM

        I would tend to believe it more if Price was an insectologist at the Smithsonian versus a corporate lawyer … Really, who goes to check on a spider on a light out back when company has just arrived?!?!?!

        It eems very fishy to me. Couldn’t they at least have come up with a plausible explanation such as:

        1. I had to take the recyclables out

        — OR —

        2. I had to go out back to get a sex toy

        • CDinDC
          03/11/2009 at 1:26 PM

          #2 (my laughter just caused a slight disruption in my office).

          But seriously folks…..did the police search the garage? Lord only knows what they stashed out there.

          • Craig
            03/11/2009 at 2:32 PM

            No garage at 1509. But what this patio photo does not show is the roll up gate behind the property adjacent to the alley. There’s one there now, but I don’t know if it was installed in August, 2006. It’s about a 10 foot high security gate that goes to the lot line. Behind that is room for parking, and behind that is the wooden fence and gate we see in the patio photo.

          • Michael
            03/11/2009 at 2:45 PM

            The police did obtain a search warrant on September 26, 2006 (over a month later) to search both the house and detached garage at 5119 Lee St. NE. (a vacant property per the DC Real Property Database, presumably rented to one of the defendants). Items recovered were rather typical of those placed in storage or a garage – sheets, masking tape, coax cable, broken window, etc. Details can be reviewed on page 58 of the Search Warrants document – Search Warrants Affidavits.

            • Anon
              03/11/2009 at 10:20 PM

              I have been there and do not recall a roll-up gate behind the property. I only recall the high metal gate-door and high wooden fence that you can see in the photos. Can you take a picture of it?

              PS. #2 made me laugh out loud too.

  5. Anonymous
    03/10/2009 at 3:08 PM

    I’ve been in other houses on the block and it just doesn’t seem like that big of a house for all of those people to me.

    Does anyone know why Sarah lived with them? Was it just for the $? It seems like they all had/have a relationship. Was the basement a completely separate unit? I’ve heard that it was and I’ve also heard that it was an au pair suite with an entrance in the house. It sounded to me like something was planned in advance and she was gotten out of the house for the night.

    • Craig
      03/10/2009 at 3:25 PM

      Sarah’s unit was connected to the main house and also to the backyard. You’ll see pics of the basement unit on the next Open House post. Later this week we hope.

      We’ve been told that Sarah was a roommate of the three going back a number of years when they all lived on The Hill.

      • IKWDI
        03/10/2009 at 5:21 PM

        My understanding is that Sarah was/is indeed a very good friend of Joe and Victor’s dating back many years.

        My guess is that she lived with them less for the $$, but because she enjoyed the familial aspects to it all. She was apparently quite a lover of the gays.

      • CDinDC
        03/11/2009 at 10:29 PM

        What’s Sarah’s story? (Besides the living situation.) Is she involved in the same life-style (BDSM) as the 3 defendents?

  6. 03/10/2009 at 6:02 PM

    what a beautiful home. ms. ward’s parents must be so proud of her — the summa cum laude graduate, the CIA graduate, the Simmons graduate, the thai masseur! can anyone comment on the relationship between ms. ward and her dr. daddy. is he financing the defense of his fabulous son? or did he hit the flush buttom after the affidavit was released? can anyone comment on who pays her rent and defense costs? is she emotionally healthy? do her supporters have an explanation for the knife missing from her collection?

    what a beautiful home!

    • IKWDI
      03/10/2009 at 7:00 PM

      Something about your use of the prefix “ms.” seems either homophobic or mysognistic or both.

      • 03/10/2009 at 8:03 PM

        or neither.

        who did it, i know who did it?

        • IKWDI
          03/11/2009 at 8:28 AM

          It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

  7. SwannStObserver
    03/12/2009 at 5:07 PM

    The kitchen shots in particular illustrate the this-is-your-real-estate-market-on-drugs phenom that hit DC, and hard: drop $4K on a shiny range, then go cheapass on all the cabinetry and hardware (those are the readymades you can snag off the shelves at some big-box home stores, the handles too), slap on contractor’s surplus base black granite for more shiney shiney, and, voila, a million plus, please!

    Well, at least a buyer can be assured that range was hardly used to cook any real food.

    • VincentChin
      04/06/2009 at 12:21 AM

      SwannStObserver seems to be very familiar with this house….

  8. 03/12/2009 at 7:50 PM

    i don’t like the black granite kitchen! where is the upstairs?

  9. CDinDC
    03/12/2009 at 7:56 PM


  10. CDinDC
    03/12/2009 at 7:58 PM


  11. SwannStObserver
    03/12/2009 at 9:16 PM

    CD: location obviously counts, but does anyone expect they could have asked for $1.27 million dollars if that cheapass kitchen had a nice boring almond-colored Tappan and matching snoozefest appliances, which are what normally go with snoozefest cheapass cabinets and hardware? And look at all the interior doors (closet doors, etc.): more cheap off-the-rack fare from the big box home store.

    Location gets you good bucks, but when the market was on steroids, many buyers saw one or two shiny appliances, or some good “staging” and readily coughed up the mad money for what was, in all reality, unremarkable construction or renovations.

    Pretty and desirable at first glance, but not quality living upon reflection.

    Kind of like the lives of the former inhabitants.

    • 03/13/2009 at 8:26 PM

      not quality upon reflection! lol!!!

      i hope lady justice pulls the flush handle!!! ms. ward has swirled around the bowl for too long.

  12. LoganCircle
    03/16/2009 at 6:29 PM

    Victor and Joe sold the place for 1.475M They did some great work to it themselves from the virtual tour pics I have seen but which cant locate on line right now

  13. Robert A Spiegel, Esq.
    03/17/2009 at 3:43 AM

    The garage contained “items typical of those placed in storage”: sheets (hope they were clean); masking tape (for what kind of hood); coax-ing cable (2X good for restraints).

    In addition there was broken window
    which the townhouse occupants made
    the mistake of letting go to waste in garage instead of using in house to bolster intruder theory on night of murder. What a PANE in the as*!

    If you think real estate was on drugs, what about the occupants of the townE house?

    The home may have turned out to be
    an immaculate conception; hopefully the murder will not be blessed by the
    same Pope who consecrates Nazis.

    There are two different versions of this alarming story: 1) the alarm was off; 2) the alarm was on. If off, the intruder was awfully lucky; if on, why did none of the occupants respond?

    With respect to tale of spider web: apparently Price’s search for a third participant in BDSM led him to an African American woman whose husband predeceased her or in LayMen’s terms — a Black Widow.

    Then Nixon had his “Watergate”; now Ward, Price and Zaborsky have their “Roll-up Gate”!

    N.B. Alfred Kinsey and his wife were both entomologists (insect scientists).
    Much like Price, their specialty was

    P.S. I happen to be First Amendment Absolutist. This means that I believe in free speech whether or not there is state action. This is very much a minority position — even for ACLU.

    But if consistent are to be those of you who always decry homophobic comments like “fag,” there should also be objection to references for psychotropic meds which are just indirect way of calling somebody

  14. Anon
    03/17/2009 at 12:20 PM

    Um. Robert Spiegel, you are sounding more like a person in a fit of mania with your odd, stream of consciousness postings. Do you need to get your medications tweaked? I’m not joking.

    • Craig
      03/17/2009 at 1:44 PM

      I for one appreciate Robert’s efforts and hopefully others do as well. Any talk of meds should be limited to the principals in the case and not directed at those offering comments.

      Craig, editor dood

Comments are closed.