A Look Back For Our New Friends
For reasons we understand (a shout-out Wednesday from Camille Paglia) and for those we don’t, we know we’ve drawn large new audiences this week. The surge started Monday and has continued. Whatever the cause, we welcome all new readers…and welcome back our returning ones.
We thought a quick post this weekend looking back might help introduce those new readers to some of the questions this case has provoked – questions we’ve asked and tried to answer. In other words: a clip show. But a clip show with a purpose. We’ve learned a lot these last several months – and want to share some of what we learned early on, but may have gone overlooked.
And as a reminder to all, the FAQ page with a newly added link to the Robert Wone Wiki page remains a great resource and tutorial on the case. We thank those many authors for their hard work, diligence and commitment.
#1: “How is Culuket a Window Into Joe Price?” (first posted Feb. 5)
With a little investigation on our part, and a lift from some posters, we learned that Joe Price had a sex profile online using the name “Culuket.” Further, we learned that this was an online moniker Joe also used for more general email communication, and debated the real meaning of what that odd name – culuket – actually meant. In this post, David ties these threads together and offers a possible peek into one of the three Swann Street defendants:
“The fact that he used the Culuket name as his above board, public, regular e-mail address to chat about such mundane things as street repairs seems to show he wanted to bring his private life into his public life in a very clever, yet hidden way — as if he might be saying to himself, “If so-so only knew the real meaning of this word, they would be shocked.” Was he was trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes? Did this allow himself a private laugh?”
The analysis created some certain disagreement among our posters, which is more than OK. As we’ve said, this site is a clearinghouse for ideas, and your comments have frequently helped add shape to ideas.
#2:”Cold Case” (first posted March 12)
This item came from a simple question. Craig wondered what the Metropolitan Police Department database said about the unsolved murder of Robert Wone. The answer was as simple as it was startling: nothing. At least according to this public list, maintained by the MPD, the Wone murder is not considered unsolved.
“We don’t know what it takes to make the cut, but it seems Wone handily meets the requirements: he is the victim of an unsolved murder. We won’t even try to guess why there is such a glaring omission from this website. Maybe the request is still being desked around. But there are a thousand other questions we have for MPD officials long before we ever get around to quizzing them about their website administrators.”
As of this posting, the Wone case has still not made the list.
#3: “Dylan Ward and Children’s Literature – the Written Word” (first posted Feb. 26)
We’ve tried to get a better understanding of each of the three defendants in part by exploring their accomplishments. While it’s often noted how quick Joe rose through the legal profession, Dylan Ward is clearly a man of many talents and abilities. Georgetown School of Foreign Service, the Culinary Institute of America, and children’s author. More than just author, but also graduate of Simmons College with a Masters in Children’s Literature.
In this post Michael takes a look at Dylan as author – and what his words may say about him – using a quote from him that was prominently featured on the Simmons website. The quote has since been removed, but not before Michael got a screen-capture, and offered some thoughts:
“As mentioned in his background page, Dylan was a founder of a small children’s fiction publishing house and authored several young children’s books with titles like “Naughty Jack”, “Silly Sally”, “The Loneliest Tree in the World” and “Forget-Me-Not”. If one puts these titles into the context of Ward’s quote, how do texts create their readers… and …how do words and pictures ricochet to ironic effect?”
By the way, we’re still working on acquiring some of these books. But if anyone there has one, please let us know!
#4: “An Alternate Hypothesis” (first posted Feb. 1)
From the start we editors and posters have wrestled with the nature of Joe, Victor and Dylan’s personal relationships. As spelled out in the very first (and still occasionally shocking) affidavit to indict Dylan, the three did not share a three-way partnership. Rather Joe and Victor shared a commited long-term – and very public – domestic partnership while Joe and Dylan shared an “…intimate, personal…” – and very private – sexual relationship based in some measure around bondage and S&M.
Lots of people have reached lots of different conclusions about this relationship and what role – if any – it may have played in the events of August 2nd, 2006. One of the more eye-opening theories came from a friend of Doug’s who works as a therapist in San Francisco; a therapist who specializes in the BDSM community. Quoting him:
“Ward is the alpha, dominant personality in the triad with Price and Zaborsky. He felt the right to “own” anyone who came into his domain, the house. In fact he felt compelled to dominate in order to maintain his position over the other two, who in fact held the greater social power through their wealth and prominence in the community. It was precisely this social power that the men, Price and Zaborsky, felt the need to surrender to someone else out of a deeply internalized sense of inadequacy and unworthiness that many gay men experience as a consequence of unresolved internalized self-loathing.”
Powerful stuff. We again state that we don’t necessarily share his analysis, but it does come from an informed place of long experience.