This weekend the four of us attended a small, informal get together in the Washington area. Literally: one of dozens of similar affairs that night held by gay Washingtonians, and nothing out of the ordinary. Save for the fact that several other party-goers are, or were, in the same social circles as Joe Price, Dylan Ward, Victor Zaborsky and Sarah Morgan.
We knew this going in but agreed to hold our tongues about the Wone murder – unless someone else brought it up. To our surprise, it didn’t take long for people to start talking. Clearly many of them knew of the mystery and had smart thoughts and questions. Few were shy about sharing. A few thoughts from the evening:
Michael: My biggest takeaway is how very similar the Defendants’ social circle and mine really are. Attractive, affluent, well educated gay men getting together to share their lives, gossip, and catch up on things. They would have fit in at parties I have had at my place that have included family and friends.
Craig: When asked about his first reaction to the murder, one guest said he was convinced an intruder broke into 1509 and killed Wone. Asked when his opinion began to change, he said it was an evolution over the years with his trust slowly eroding, and the October indictment papers sealed it.
Doug: Of those who wanted to discuss the case – and clearly there were some who did not – I was surprised how strong their opinions are of what happened that night, and yet often how loose their memories of interacting with the players were. “That was Dylan?” one asked when told of an event they both attended. The three, perhaps like any set of party goers, were notable for the lack of strong impressions they left. Victor was cited by several as being the most out-going one – with a playful air and genuinely good humor. Joe was remembered as “nice…a little aloof,” and little more was said. Recalled one guest of Dylan: “He was chatty, a bit airy.” Nobody had anything bad or even slighting to say of their encounters; overall, three pleasant if innocuous men. And despite these memories, several strong opinions were offered as to who may have done what that night.
David: The party was a delight, and being able to catch up with long time friends, and hopefully make a few new ones, was the highlight. Those people interested in the case shared their ideas, and remembered personal interactions with the Defendants. One smart attendee, who happens to know the Defendants, mentioned an inconsistency in Dylan Ward’s statement. He noted that Dylan said he “heard the latch” after Robert went to bed. The latch sound could be a door locking. If Robert locked his door, and there was an intruder, he/she needed to break the lock to enter the room. Yet, the police say there were no signs of forced entry anywhere in the house. This could be an inconsistency. Many people mentioned that they saw the seller’s listing of the photos when Joe and Victor bought the place. Everyone agreed that the previous owners had great taste. I and many others tip our hats to Joe and Victor for their savvy decision to live on Swann. They bought a stunning house for a stunning relationship. It showcased them exceedingly well.
— The editors