Friends at a Party

Overlapping Circles

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

32 comments for “Friends at a Party

  1. L.E. Sortileges
    03/16/2009 at 11:38 AM

    Ah, good taste. It’s all relative. De Gustibus you know. The lovely urn that the 1509 denizens had in front of their house while they lived there was given
    presumably to the one of the owners of the condos
    in the townhouse directly across the street. Perhaps as a thank you. But there the urn is to this day. I guess it wouldn’t go with the style in Miami Shores.

  2. SwannStObserver
    03/16/2009 at 11:45 AM

    “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.”

    You’re joking, right?

    “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.”

    Translation: Well, enough about me. What do you think, about me?

    • 03/16/2009 at 5:45 PM

      Yeah, that comment about their stunning home seems pretty glib and irreverent since we are talking about a murder that took place there.

      • SwannStObserver
        03/16/2009 at 6:14 PM

        Yeah sometimes this blog risks veering into a tragic tabloid mashup between QueerEye and CSI. If I don’t see the needle move back more towards insightful stuff, and I mean regarding the murder, I’ll find a better way to waste spare moments.

  3. jackson
    03/16/2009 at 12:24 PM

    I get it. They were gay, had good taste and bought expensive stuff – But what was the consensus on their guilt among the party people?

    • Puzzled
      03/16/2009 at 2:31 PM

      As someone who knew Joe and Victor fairly closely at one time, and find myself deeply puzzled by the events of that faithful night (neither condemning Joe and Vicot here nor advocating for their innocence either), this whole thing leaves me at a loss.

    • Lance
      03/16/2009 at 2:56 PM

      Why does there have to be a consensus about their guilt? If the takeaway message was a relatively positive feeling about their characters, isn’t that enough (especially given the default assumption around here of a deeply negative feeling about their characters)?

      • jackson
        03/16/2009 at 3:10 PM

        Good point lance. The only consensus that matters is the jurys. But I still want to go to the next party.

        • CDinDC
          03/16/2009 at 4:40 PM

          Good character and bad decisions go hand-in-hand sometimes.

          Most people have no criminal record….until they have one.

  4. Ex-AF
    03/16/2009 at 3:37 PM

    I knew Price only in a professional capacity. He was always even tempered and well mannered. He was well prepared and knew his stuff.

    I was stunned to know he was involved in such a notorious case.

  5. anonymous
    03/16/2009 at 3:57 PM

    David’s comment references Dylan’s statement – is Dylan’s statement to the police available online? If so, please provide the link. Are any other police statements available? Thank you.

    • ladydetective
      03/16/2009 at 4:16 PM

      Yes, under the legal documents tab on this site one can read Dylan Ward’s statement. The one referred to is in the first legal document, the affidavit in support of arrest of Dylan Ward.

      • TK
        03/17/2009 at 8:39 AM

        I just read the whole affidavit for the first time. The most bizarre and chilling was the behavior of the three when the EMTs arrived. I had only heard the EMT’s comments before, not the full description. Price’s behavior while being questioned was quite interesting as well.

        • Ridicuolous
          03/18/2009 at 8:19 AM

          Have any of you ever experienced a suicide in your family? Have you ever had your son or brother shoot himself in the head to find him with his brains shot out and had to call the police. Well, I can tell you from experience, that when the police and ambulance came, my father and I were utter silence – shocked into oblivion and the last thing that I wanted was to have to talk about it with anyone. I guess that must mean that I shot him. Good thing the police had more sense than all of you.

  6. L.
    03/16/2009 at 6:06 PM

    According to the Affidavit Price stated that he lifted up Robert’s shirt and there was blood everywhere and that there was blood all over the bed. If that is true what happened to the blood? What is Price’s explanation for the clean up? Did he clean up not even thinking about possible destruction of evidence?

    Did Ward murder Wone either intentionally or accidentally and then also lie to Price and Zaborsky about it?

  7. LoganCircle
    03/16/2009 at 6:16 PM

    So who knew these guys in the sexual/online/PnP circles that at least a couple of them supposedly frequented? Can this shed any light on their motivations and behaviors?

  8. david
    03/16/2009 at 10:05 PM

    And to think I had started thinking I might want to live in the Washington area again. Then along comes the Wone blog about cocktail parties and chit chat about murder and stunning home decor and it all comes rushing back like a bad dream. Fruit martinis. More cologne in the air than an A&F store. The din of a hundred conversations about retreads and conversations that begin with head-to-toe glances and ‘so, what do you do?’ when they should begin with ‘wanna do it?’ so that everyone can get home before the cigarette smoke permeates the clothes.

    • Craig
      03/16/2009 at 11:06 PM

      david – I don’t know what sort of crowd you ran with when you lived in DC but the party we were at was nothing like you described/stereotyped.

      Not an A&F article to be found and I may have been the only one with cologne, just a whiff of Creed (Vetiver). No fruit drinks were served and no blatant advances. I didn’t even see a phone number exchanged. This was a gathering of friends, nothing more. And those of us who chose to smoke did so on the patio.

      You are still welcome back. Craig, editor guy

    • SwannStObserver
      03/16/2009 at 11:10 PM

      you nailed DC

    • david
      03/17/2009 at 9:02 AM

      Let’s see…where did I put…ah yes, there it is.
      From ‘Countdown to Ecstasy’, 1973.

      After closing time, at the Guernsey Fair
      I detect the El Supremo
      From the room at the top of the stairs
      Well I’ve been around the world
      And I’ve been in the Washington Zoo
      And in all my travels, as the facts unravel
      I’ve found this to be true

      While the poor people sleep
      With the shade on the light
      While the poor people sleepin’
      All the stars come out at night

      They’ve got the house on the corner
      With the rug inside
      They’ve got the booze they need
      All that money can buy
      They’ve got the shapely bodies
      They’ve got the Steely Dan T-shirts
      And for the coup-de-gras
      They’re outrageous (oh honey let me tell ya)

      Show biz kids making movies of themselves,
      you know they don’t give a f–
      about anybody else

      • Craig
        03/17/2009 at 10:23 AM

        david – you just did this to get on my good side… A great song by a great songwriting team from an exceptional album. A line or two from The Royal Scam’s ‘Kid Charlemagne’ also fits in here too: “Clean this mess up else we’ll all end up in jail.”

  9. Spike
    03/16/2009 at 10:56 PM

    *** Michael: My biggest takeaway is how very similar the Defendants’ social circle and mine really are. Attractive, affluent, well educated gay men ***

    As you know, on Datalounge, a statement like this gets a well-deserved “MARY!”

    Consider yourself Maryed.

    • SwannStObserver
      03/16/2009 at 11:13 PM

      “Mary” — people actually still say that? As a gay man, I have to accept some automatic alignment with being female?

      Is it perpetually 1993 where you are?

      • Michael
        03/17/2009 at 12:02 AM

        SSO – I guess we do agree on one thing. The use of “Mary” even perplexed me in 1993. I have not had any confusion about my gender.

        Spike – I’ll refer you to my reply to SSO in another post regarding my thoughts on the party. You can find that post here.

  10. 03/17/2009 at 7:41 AM

    what a fabulous party — but i still want to hear from ms. ward’s friends on her personality, mental health, pnp propensity, tricks, etc. come on, girls; someone can vouch for this one?

    • Lance
      03/17/2009 at 4:35 PM

      Gee, what a surprise that we haven’t heard from Dylan’s friends. I can’t imagine why someone who’s a friend of Dylan wouldn’t want to read the personal attacks on his character that get posted here.

    • Ridicuolous
      03/18/2009 at 8:20 AM

      Seriously She Did It – are you just on here to get it up?

  11. TK
    03/17/2009 at 9:08 AM

    This discussion has veered off-topic and descended into the kind of pointless sniping I’d expect from a Datalounge thread. I think it needs to be administered. Though I have to say I found this initial post to be disappointingly self-conscious and mostly irrelevant, and some commenters have made valid points about that fact.

  12. Robert A Spiegel, Esq.
    03/17/2009 at 8:20 PM

    “Attractive, affluent, well educated gay men getting together to share their lives, gossip and catch up on things. . . .” Sounds a lot like HRC!

    Maybe if the Champagne Fund crowd was not so self indulgent, the GLBT Rights movement might be in better place where marriage — for people like Ward, Price and Zaborsky — is not primary issue.

    The “Price” I knew was “even tempered and well mannered” . . . well prepared and knew his stuff.”
    This sounds like somebody not only capable of committing murder, but covering up same — all the while maintaining a calm exterior demeanor.

    If you are Gay man and get “screwed,” you may be bloody “Maryed.” Now, if you are Gay man: screw
    somebody else, bloody murder them and get away with it, you may not be Maryed but marTyRed!

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