North By Northeast

A WMRW.COM Roadtrip

One of the more enduring mysteries from the early days and investigation of the Wone murder has to do with the search warrant executed on the garage of a Northeast DC home. It’s a long way from Swann Street to Lee Street  and connecting those two dots is difficult.  Other than the relative proximity to the apartment complex that Phelps Collins lived in, we still come up short.

In a January 2009 story, Legal Time’s Mike Scarcella mentions a possible connection, a Septemebr 2006 murder in the area, but this still remains hazy.

In the released documents, prosecutors included a search warrant affidavit tied to a D.C. police investigation of a September 2006 murder in the 5100 block of Lee Street N.E.  (Defense attorney) Grimm questions the relevance of the affidavit to the Wone case.

5119 Lee Street, NE

5119 Lee Street, NE

 

We took a trip out to the home last weekend to get the lay of the land.  We came back with some pictures and as usual, only more questions.

 

 

 The last page of the warrant  describes what police were looking for:  “Stabbing instruments, strangulation devices, blood stained items such as clothing, carpet, furniture… the decedent’s clothing, DNA, hair samples, cleaning supplies…”  

What they found between September 26 and 28, 2006 fell far short: 

Tape, masking tape, threaded tape, joint tape… laundry bag, quilt, bed sheet…wood club, tire iron, sheet (plastic)… smoking pipe, flashing… coax cable, electrical cords, extension cords, speaker wires, phone wires…

 

5119 Lee St, NE Garage

5119 Lee St, NE Garage

Both the house, boarded up and the detached garage with its door wide open were in a considerable state of disrepair. We believe the property has been condemned by DC authorities and we’re trying to track down the ownership(s).

 The immediate neighborhood seemed to be a mix of low to middle income homes, apartment complexes and the occasional boarded-up properties. Adjacent to 5119 Lee was a new residential construction project of 3 or 4 brick homes.

5119 Lee Street, NE Garage Interior

5119 Lee St, NE Garage Interior

It was hard to tell whether the garage’s contents we saw last week are what police found back in 2006, we only peeked and took a few pics rather than go inside.  We’re pretty much afraid of spiders too.

 

We recall past Datalounge comment on 5119 Lee Street characterizing it as a home that may have served as a distribution point for illegal drugs. If anyone has a clue on how this home and search warrant were connected to the Wone murder, please share.

-Craig

35 comments for “North By Northeast

  1. CDinDC
    04/03/2009 at 12:05 PM

    DC records indicate the home is owned by Geraldine E. Perry.

  2. Anonymous
    04/03/2009 at 12:13 PM

    Interesting that Phelps Collins lived in the immediate neighborhood. Did he live there at the time of the murder or was he living with Jerry Clark?

  3. CDinDC
    04/03/2009 at 12:28 PM

    Maybe, for some reason, related or unrelated to the crime, the address 5119 Lee St, NE was written on something in the Swann Street residence or in a computer used by the trio or in Michael Price’s and/or associates’ home or computer. The police would have had to have a connection to warrant the place.

  4. TK
    04/03/2009 at 12:41 PM

    Between these eerie pictures, and the mysterious ‘Diary of Louis Hinton’ mentioned in Grimm’s letter, I’m reminded of Twin Peaks… maybe BOB killed Robert Wone.

    I wonder if the search recovered the ‘electrical device’ mentioned. I think somewhere in the warrant they also said the cleaned trail of blood lead *from* the bedroom to the hall (though how they could tell which way it lead is beyond me; maybe I’m reading too much into the wording). Since they had to get a warrant, I suppose the guys had ample time to dispose of things. I’m a little amazed that Price still had all those pictures on his work computer of all things. Stupid.

    • CDinDC
      04/03/2009 at 1:10 PM

      Streaks of blood could definitely show a direction. sort of like if you take your finger, dip it in something and run it across a surface. The trailing end will be thinner and/or lighter.

      • TK
        04/03/2009 at 1:14 PM

        Good point CDinDC. And since Wone’s body was found in the bedroom, streaks of blood leading out make no sense if he was supposedly killed there, (unless he was dragged out, cleaned, and put back).

        • CDinDC
          04/03/2009 at 1:21 PM

          Or the cleaning supplies, towles, etc. upon being “disposed of.”

          Also, re your comments about Price’s photos on his computer at work, a poster by the name of “Fascinated” made an interesting post on February 19, 2009 at 4:18 PM. His frank comments about addiction were so spot on regarding JPrice’s behavior.

          • CDinDC
            04/03/2009 at 5:03 PM

            Re blood elsewhere in the house, I never thought he was killed in the bedroom. I’ve always believed he was killed elsewhere in the house and then PLACED on the bed.

            I believe that possibly he was assaulted IN the bathroom (perhaps while showering) and stabbed in the bathroom. Then redressed and transported into the guestroom. Blood remnants may have been as a result of hasty evidence disposal.

  5. Anonymous
    04/03/2009 at 1:04 PM

    I thought I remembered reading, maybe on Datalounge, that another crime had been committed at the address. I think it involved a child molester. Can’t seem to find a link quickly, anyone else?

  6. Anonymous
    04/03/2009 at 1:37 PM

    That’s it, thanks. Busy place.

  7. AnnaZed
    03/27/2010 at 2:45 PM

    Thinking about this place a part of me wonders if this was intended to be Robert’s final resting place, but that Victor interrupted that plan.

  8. Lynne
    05/19/2010 at 11:53 AM

    There is something very wrong here. The search warrant for 5119 Lee Street describes it as a “two story single family home WHICH IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION”. It also states that the search was conducted on Sept. 26-28th, 2006.

    The Sept. 28, 2006 article in the Washington Post link provided by CDinDC reports the murder of a Dominick A. Dixon by a Robert Crosby in a $10.00 drug deal gone wrong. The picture in the WaPo of the scene is the same house as the one shown above, with the caption “D.C. police investigate the house where it has been alleged that 15-year-old Dominick A. Dixon was killed.” Crosby had been apprehended two days earlier on the 26th.

    So were two separate DC cop teams investigating the same house at the same time for two different murders? The “vacant” house in the 2006 WaPo picture doesn’t seem in much different condition than it does in April 2009. In other words, it doesn’t resemble a “house under construction”. The only other item to note is that Dixon’s body was found at a construction site next to this house where he was killed. How can these two events be related?

  9. joy
    10/25/2010 at 1:44 AM

    Dominick Dixon was my beloved nephew, who was murdered in that house in the 5100 block of Lee Street, NE in 2006, referenced in this article. Our family never received clear answers about what happened to Dominick who was only 15 at the time of his passing. Dominick had never been involved in so much as a school yard fight when Crosby and maybe others brutally murdered and strangled him. We never believed it was a drug altercation between my nephew and the convicted child rapist Crosby—who had just served 30 years for raping 13 year old and was the boyfriend of the home’s male owner, if I recollect correctly from court testimony.

    We always asserted that that was fabrication. I was never able to get clear answers from the prosectur or police in my nephew’s case–so many unanswered questions. If anyone knows anymore about that house, what happened in that house, the owner of the house, any alleged links between the Dixon and Wone case or why the two cases were being linked via warrants by prosecutors, please let me know. I am torn apart about the brutality of my nephew’s murder and very saddened that Wone’s family had to experience a similar loss. Both young men are in my prayers.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      10/25/2010 at 9:18 AM

      Peace be with you and your family, Joy.

  10. joy
    10/25/2010 at 1:58 AM

    In my gut, given the brutality of both murders, and that my nephew was found stripped, there may have been a connection. Crosby and Phelps have similar backgrounds.

  11. joy
    10/25/2010 at 2:27 AM

    Dominick was found stripped with ligature marks, strangled. Anyone with any info or insight would be appreciated.

  12. AnnaZed
    10/25/2010 at 1:43 PM

    Joy – thank you so much, so very much, for coming to this blog and posting. Your nephew’s death is a terrible thing and you have my deepest condolences. In addition you have my sympathy over what would appear to be complete and unsupported maligning of Dominick in death by allowing his murderer’s version of events that includes drug use and a charge that Dominick assaulted him to be part of the public record and simply go unchallenged. That’s incredible.

    In reading what coverage I can find of Dominick’s death in every case I read quotes from police officers saying in effect that they believe Crosby’s story of a drug deal gone bad, even that Dominick attacked him first. Why on earth would they believe that version of events from a convicted sex offender who was residing in the District in spite of the State of Maryland Parole Department still having him on record as residing in their state (meaning that he was hiding from and defying his parole officer)? Why would they repeat that story even though Dominick’s body was unclothed when he was found and his neck was broken? That is so strange.

    You and your family have my sympathy, and my interest. I can not tell from news stories what was determined about Dominick’s death. I don’t want to cause you more pain, but do you have any links that have the autopsy reports or could you post them on Scribid (http://www.scribd.com/)? I ask this because I am interested in the similarities between the horrible murder of Dominick and the death of Robert Wone. I am probably going about something wrong but I can’t even find what the resolution of Crosby’s case is. Please forgive me if these questions are intrusive.

    Just from what I had read before you came here to post I have had a niggling never entirely quelled feeling about this location. I still believe that the murder of Robert was planned by at least one person in the Swann St household and that this location was where that person planned to dump Robert’s body. I do not know how the address came up in the course of the Wone investigation but obviously there is something more than sinister about that. Why were the police so convinced that they would find evidence in the Wone case at this location that they sought and were granted a warrant to search the premises?

    Like you I wonder if there is a connection between Robert J. Crosby and Phelps Collins. I wonder if that could be proved or if even a simple perusal of prison records could demonstrate that. I am not sure why the drift of this blog has been to treat Phelps Collins as a peculiar side-show when he seems to me to be so thoroughly enmeshed in the lives of the Swann St Three and their inner circle.

    Why, oh why, I keep wondering did nothing come of the very sound charges against Collins and Michael Price in the burglary of Swann Street in November of 2006? Why were they dropped? I wonder what the insurance company thinks about that.

    I don’t think it is outlandish or outside of the realm of possibility to wonder if Collins was “exercising” with Dylan in his room when Victor returned home unexpectedly from his trip or even to wonder if Collins simply showed up later and with Joe (as he testified that he was) tucked up in bed with Victor the two of them could have attacked, murdered and tidied Robert in the time allowed. One wonders.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      10/25/2010 at 4:45 PM

      AZ,

      I firmly believe that that address was written on something somewhere in the Swann Street house, Michael Price’s home or MP’s BFs home. Otherwise, how would they have connected it to the trio.

      • Jeana
        10/25/2010 at 10:37 PM

        CD – You may be right. I believe that if there is a connection between Lee St. and Swann St., the link would be Michael Price and his coterie. The search warrant affidavit should/must clearly describe the connection between the purported crime and the location to be searched. I went back to look at the affidavit under the legal documents tab. The warrant itself is there, but not the affidavit. Question for the Eds: is the affidavit in the case file? Or…is it possible that there is in fact no link between Lee and Swann and the Lee St. warrant in the Dominick Dixon case investigation (close in time to the Wone investigation and also sought by Det. Waid) either got misfiled by someone in the Clerk of Courts’ Office or erroneously sent over to the defense attorneys in a discovery response by the prosecutor’s office?

        I recall some discussion of the Lee St. search a while back – in particular the warrant specifying a search for “the decedent’s clothing” when there appears to be no other indication (in police reports, interrogations, trial testimony, etc.) that any of Robert’s clothing was missing. Joy posted that Dominick was found stripped – thus a search at that location for his clothing would make sense.

        Is there any mention of the Lee St. property in any other Wone case documents?

        • AnnaZed
          10/25/2010 at 10:58 PM

          Good point Jeanna, it could be nothing but some sort of filing error. I wonder if there is a way to find out.

  13. AnnaZed
    10/25/2010 at 3:05 PM

    Susan was digging around our Phelps (who seems to not even be related to the deceased bass-player from Parliament/Funkadelic of the same name), but my mind was elsewhere at the time. So to have another look at him:

    Phelps has made a lot of changes to his Facebook page:

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?sid=45c818b9c8ce9864d0b89a5b3fc9d094&id=1508255750&hiq=phelps%2Ccollins&ref=search#!/profile.php?id=1508255750&v=wall

    not the least of them being his recently removing his actual photograph of himself from the page and a lot of postings of attractive people who are wearing garments that are clearly not his creations enhanced with effects culled from a glitter dusting website (http://www.glitterfy.com/) a thing that I previously never knew existed.

    He still keeps photos of himself up on his myspace though: http://www.myspace.com/453139998.

    Phelps also links to this sad delusional website (http://www.icemanphasion.com/web-page.php) purporting to promote his “fashion line.” The product page shows what appears to be a lone pair of used Fila sneakers vigorously “customized” with a metallic pen much the way a small child might scribble on his shoes. On this page (http://www.fashionindustrynetwork.com/profile/PhelpsCollins?xg_source=activity) he “customized” a shoe with what appears to be a glue gun and some glitter rather the way a young fan of My Little Pony might want to customize her sneakers. It isn’t just that this stuff is pathetic and delusional (though it certainly is) it would indicate to me something like permanent brain damage from substance abuse to even pretend to believe that these submissions constitute some sort of self-employment in “the fashion industry.” He also posts his actual address (he now resides in Illinois) on this “fashion line” website and his yahoo email box there and on his facebook.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      10/25/2010 at 4:43 PM

      Let’s not overlook the “DONATE” button on the iceman website.

      • Susan
        10/25/2010 at 11:16 PM

        PC is even “LinkedIn” as a retail professional in the Chicago area. Hope he’s giving a percentage of any earnings he makes to an animal shelter or paying for what he did in some way.

  14. joy
    11/28/2010 at 12:20 AM

    I don’t have Dominick’s autopsy report, but I was thinking of calling the prosector Gary Wheeler who prosecuted Robert Crosby, who had been arrested and charged with Dominick’s homicide. Unfortunately, Dominick’s case was botched as well. The judge ruled that his video taped confession to murdering my nephew had to be thrown out over a legal technicality. However, as a convicted child sex offender, Crosby was not supposed to be interactng with minors and his probation was revoked. He is serving the remainder of his 6-year-term from his originl 30 year sentence for raping 13-year-old girl in Baltimore. The jury never had the opportunity to hear about this criminal history before aquitting him of Dominick’s murder. I wonder if Crosby, who was an itenerant repair man with a crack habit, knew any of the people in Wone’s case? The prosecutor had told me that there my have been others who witnessed my nephew’s death. Sick world. Thanks for the feedback.

    • Clio
      11/28/2010 at 12:05 PM

      More “cold comfort” from our unelected judiciary appears to be the result in Dominick’s case as well — St. Augustine of Hippo was right about the inherent evil of human nature and of this world!

      The dates, to me as historian, are fascinating here. The Dixon murder took place at this run-down residence (then owned by a gay man with apparently no sense of style!) in late September 2006, a month and a half after Robert’s murder. Thus, did the cops search this forlorn house/garage sometime between the Wone and Dixon murders?

      And, Miss Collins lived nearby at the time, and NE Washington is relatively close to Silver Spring and Montgomery College, the two haunts of Michael Price. Thus, did the abandoned house/garage serve as a known staging point for theatrical/violent drug and sex scenes? And, if so did the Brothers Price and/or Lil Dyl ever play (or dump anything) there? They may have known Crosby through the owner of this low-rent Grey Gardens. An archeological excavation of the property may yield further clues.

      • AnnaZed
        11/28/2010 at 12:17 PM

        That was my thought oh muse, a little digging might have been in order. I wonder if those that executed the warrant went to quite that much trouble.

    • AnnaZed
      11/28/2010 at 2:25 PM

      Hello again Joy, I am so sorry that the murder of your nephew seems not to have been given the attention that it deserved. You are right; the world can be a sick place.

      I don’t think that it is outside of the realm of possibility that a known drug abuser like Crosby might be acquainted with Michael Price or Phelps Collins, not at all. An interesting line of investigation would have been a thorough investigation of local AA or NA groups. The time is probably past for that, but it is a reality that people on parole for virtually any and all offenses including sexual assaults are remanded to 12-step groups and are even required to produce signed proof of attendance to parole officers. We know that Michael Price is an on again off again stepper. He may well have hooked up with Phelps Collins there and it’s would be a stretch to think that he could have encountered Crosby there as well.

  15. joy
    11/28/2010 at 11:10 PM

    I’m going to start calling about my nephew’s case again and any possible to connection to Wone. Ill keep you posted.

  16. joy
    11/28/2010 at 11:14 PM

    I actually met Wone a few times at APABA events and I used to work with a colleague of his who broke the news of his passing as I shared with my own personal tragedy of losing my nephew so violently. We mourned together. Wone was a lovely person and his family has been in my prayers.

  17. joy
    11/28/2010 at 11:17 PM

    Another tid bit about Crosby’s personl life, the pedophile alleged to have killed my nephew, it had come out on the stand that he had been in a romantic relationship with the owner of that house at issue.

  18. joy
    11/28/2010 at 11:18 PM

    You could always review the trancripts from my nephew’s murder trial. The house was talked about there. I attended almost everydy.

    • AnnaZed
      11/28/2010 at 11:28 PM

      Are those transcripts available online? Who was the owner of that property at that time?

  19. Levi1102
    12/10/2011 at 2:53 AM

    I am deeply saddened by the things that have occurred at his address. This home was built by a very loving family man in 1940 and it was full to the brim with nothing but LOVE, I know because that man was my great grandfather and I grew up in that house. When my grandmother (Geraldine Perry) passed, my grandfather sold the house and nothing but bad things have happened there since. I wish I could buy it back into my family and restore the dignity that it once had.

    • Craig
      12/10/2011 at 10:56 AM

      Thanks Levi – The neighborhood is on the improve and we’d love to see your old home shine again. It needs work but it could easily one of the better houses on the block.

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