Towel Boys

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

One care barely flip a page in the original affidavit without coming across another seemingly inconsistent or curious statement jumping out.   A couple of Victor Zaborsky’s don’t seem to match up.

Page 1 of the affidavit is the transcript of Victor’s call to 9-1-1.  After dialing he is instructed by the dispatcher on how to treat Robert:

“get a dry cloth, apply pressure to the area where he was stabbed, even if the towel is saturated with blood, just get another towel and put it on top of that, never lift the first towel off the area, hold it on, once it gets filled up with blood just put another towel on top of that and just apply pressure until paramedics arrive.”

The Towel. Exhibit E

The Towel. Exhibit E

 

Victor responded, “my partner is holding it (a towel) on there.  He is applying pressure.”  He stayed on the phone another five minutes until telling the 9-1-1 dispatcher that the EMTs had arrived.

 

Page 3 describes the physical evidence found, “The Towel and the Bloody Knife.”   Exhibit E, “a large, white, cotton towel” was discovered by evidence technicians on the floor near the guest room bed.  It was later examined by a blood pattern/blood spatter expert who found the towel had:

“relatively little blood…  only a few small stains and one slightly larger patterned area of dried blood… 2.5 x 3 inches.   (It was) determined to be inconsistent with having been used to apply pressure to Mr. Wone’s wounds as claimed by Zaborsky to the 9-1-1 operator and by Price, Zaborsky and Ward in their statements to police…”

Exhibit F is the towel’s front side and Exhibit G is the back.  The almost pristine way in which it was found has long been the subject of debate.

But what doesn’t add up is what’s on page 8, as Victor tells police of those first harried moments providing first-aid to Robert.  Victor said he,

“grabbed a towel and …  Joe (Price) was already applying pressure to the wound.  I gave him another towel.”

The catch is that the affidavit tells of only one towel taken from the crime scene.

Where exactly did the other towel go?  And please don’t say the ECB facility.

-Craig

66 comments for “Towel Boys

  1. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 10:45 AM

    I’ve bled that much from a cat scratch.

  2. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 10:45 AM

    I’ve bled that much from a cat scratch.

  3. Bea
    05/04/2009 at 12:29 PM

    Do we have it definitively that that was the only towel? If so, that’s weighty evidence. I suppose I thought there may have been another bloody towel (albeit not bloody enough to match the amount Robert would have bled out) but I can’t anything suggesting that when I reread (quickly).

    Victor pulls another towel from the cabinet and walks it in to Joe. Joe shakes his head ‘no’. He’s having enough trouble getting blood stains on the first one – they’ve done too good a job cleaning up and all the bloody ones are too far away to fetch.

    Wonder if the cops found regular household items like mops and sponges – probably not. Whisked away in a Hefty blocks away into a business dumpster, something that would take a grown man pumped with adrenaline (and possibly other substances) about fifteen minutes to accomplish.

  4. Bea
    05/04/2009 at 12:29 PM

    Do we have it definitively that that was the only towel? If so, that’s weighty evidence. I suppose I thought there may have been another bloody towel (albeit not bloody enough to match the amount Robert would have bled out) but I can’t anything suggesting that when I reread (quickly).

    Victor pulls another towel from the cabinet and walks it in to Joe. Joe shakes his head ‘no’. He’s having enough trouble getting blood stains on the first one – they’ve done too good a job cleaning up and all the bloody ones are too far away to fetch.

    Wonder if the cops found regular household items like mops and sponges – probably not. Whisked away in a Hefty blocks away into a business dumpster, something that would take a grown man pumped with adrenaline (and possibly other substances) about fifteen minutes to accomplish.

  5. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 12:40 PM

    Another comment….with the blowup of the towel photo, I see what appears to be wallpaper on the walls. (I ASSUME this photo was taken in the guest room, before the evidence was removed (which is typical police procedure due to contamination possibilities)).

    The photo of the guestroom on the “Open House” posting shows no wallpaper (nor a black chair rail.)

    Where am I going with this? Vinyl wallpaper would be so much easier to clean than a painted wall.

    But on the opposite side of the coin….IS this the same room? And if it isn’t, did the police department remove evidence from the room/house and photograph it elsewhere, which would open the door for misplaced/lost/ contaminated evidence.

    Oddly, I can’t imagine that black chair rail with the beautiful white crown molding in the Open House picture. ::shrug::

    • CDinDC
      05/04/2009 at 12:41 PM

      sorry…not crown molding…..soffet (tray ceiling?)

      • Craig
        05/04/2009 at 1:02 PM

        There’s another photo of the same towel from a news report. It appeared to be the towel’s backside from roughly the same angle, although the photo caption incorrectly says “sheet.”

        http://www.news8.net/news/stories/1008/566109.html

        And CD – I think you mean “coffered ceiling?”
        I’ll take a look at the Open House pics again.
        -Craig

        • CDinDC
          05/04/2009 at 1:05 PM

          Coffered! That’s it. Thank you, Craig.

          Yes….compare the open house photos with the “crime scene” photos….unless there was wall paper/chair rail on the opposite side of the room in which the open house photo was taken or, alternatively, the defendants redecorated the room with wall paper/chair rail, this might be a different room than the actual crime scene room.

    • Michael
      05/04/2009 at 1:09 PM

      CD – The photos of the interior of the house in the “Open House” posts were from the online realty slide show prior to Price and Zaborsky’s purchase of 1509 Swann. Hence the difference in the wall treatments, etc. The police evidence photos should correctly reflect the Price/Zaborsky furnishings and treatments.

      – Michael, editor

      • CDinDC
        05/04/2009 at 1:13 PM

        Okay then…..just my original thought pertains………vinyl wallpaper is way easy to clean.

  6. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 12:40 PM

    Another comment….with the blowup of the towel photo, I see what appears to be wallpaper on the walls. (I ASSUME this photo was taken in the guest room, before the evidence was removed (which is typical police procedure due to contamination possibilities)).

    The photo of the guestroom on the “Open House” posting shows no wallpaper (nor a black chair rail.)

    Where am I going with this? Vinyl wallpaper would be so much easier to clean than a painted wall.

    But on the opposite side of the coin….IS this the same room? And if it isn’t, did the police department remove evidence from the room/house and photograph it elsewhere, which would open the door for misplaced/lost/ contaminated evidence.

    Oddly, I can’t imagine that black chair rail with the beautiful white crown molding in the Open House picture. ::shrug::

    • CDinDC
      05/04/2009 at 12:41 PM

      sorry…not crown molding…..soffet (tray ceiling?)

      • Craig
        05/04/2009 at 1:02 PM

        There’s another photo of the same towel from a news report. It appeared to be the towel’s backside from roughly the same angle, although the photo caption incorrectly says “sheet.”

        http://www.news8.net/news/stories/1008/566109.html

        And CD – I think you mean “coffered ceiling?”
        I’ll take a look at the Open House pics again.
        -Craig

        • CDinDC
          05/04/2009 at 1:05 PM

          Coffered! That’s it. Thank you, Craig.

          Yes….compare the open house photos with the “crime scene” photos….unless there was wall paper/chair rail on the opposite side of the room in which the open house photo was taken or, alternatively, the defendants redecorated the room with wall paper/chair rail, this might be a different room than the actual crime scene room.

    • Michael
      05/04/2009 at 1:09 PM

      CD – The photos of the interior of the house in the “Open House” posts were from the online realty slide show prior to Price and Zaborsky’s purchase of 1509 Swann. Hence the difference in the wall treatments, etc. The police evidence photos should correctly reflect the Price/Zaborsky furnishings and treatments.

      – Michael, editor

      • CDinDC
        05/04/2009 at 1:13 PM

        Okay then…..just my original thought pertains………vinyl wallpaper is way easy to clean.

  7. Anon. in Arlington
    05/04/2009 at 1:26 PM

    I thought the towel photos were taken at a crime unit/police station. Are the circles and numbers superimposed on the “front” view of the towel in the photo? Or are the circles and numbers/letters written directly on the towel. If on the towel, I would wager this would be done in a controlled setting with a clean and flat surface known to investigators (not the floor or table of a crime scene).

    Is it me, or can others see a distinct hanging mark through the short center of the towel – not as if it were folded and stored, but as if it had been hanging on a towel wrack, used for a dry-off, and then hung to dry. My towels lose this when they come out of the wash. Not really a big deal, but if someone was laying in my house with an open wound, I would get the freshest towel possible so as not to introduce the possibility of infection. Then again, I may not be thinking clearly either and just grab what I could.

  8. Anon. in Arlington
    05/04/2009 at 1:26 PM

    I thought the towel photos were taken at a crime unit/police station. Are the circles and numbers superimposed on the “front” view of the towel in the photo? Or are the circles and numbers/letters written directly on the towel. If on the towel, I would wager this would be done in a controlled setting with a clean and flat surface known to investigators (not the floor or table of a crime scene).

    Is it me, or can others see a distinct hanging mark through the short center of the towel – not as if it were folded and stored, but as if it had been hanging on a towel wrack, used for a dry-off, and then hung to dry. My towels lose this when they come out of the wash. Not really a big deal, but if someone was laying in my house with an open wound, I would get the freshest towel possible so as not to introduce the possibility of infection. Then again, I may not be thinking clearly either and just grab what I could.

  9. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 1:41 PM

    Just one more thing about the photo of the towel, the layout of the room in which the police officer is standing (with the towel), does not seem to match up with the blueprint of the guestroom. Sorry, eds, I’m not trying to dispute your beliefs that this is the crime scene.

    My thoughts are concerned with contamination of evidence and/or lost evidence, if these photos were taken outside of the room (and prior to forensic examination.)

    • TK
      05/04/2009 at 3:21 PM

      CDinDC, it kind of looks like the cop is standing in front of the open closet door, and to our right is a solid side wall. That floor plan may not be accurate in depicting what type of door was on the closet. And obviously the furniture arrangement isn’t going to match.

  10. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 1:41 PM

    Just one more thing about the photo of the towel, the layout of the room in which the police officer is standing (with the towel), does not seem to match up with the blueprint of the guestroom. Sorry, eds, I’m not trying to dispute your beliefs that this is the crime scene.

    My thoughts are concerned with contamination of evidence and/or lost evidence, if these photos were taken outside of the room (and prior to forensic examination.)

    • TK
      05/04/2009 at 3:21 PM

      CDinDC, it kind of looks like the cop is standing in front of the open closet door, and to our right is a solid side wall. That floor plan may not be accurate in depicting what type of door was on the closet. And obviously the furniture arrangement isn’t going to match.

  11. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 3:52 PM

    I see what you mean, TK, but that right angle doesn’t match up with any right angles in the guest room…..if that IS the closet, the wall to the left of the closet is way too short.

    Hmmm….entry door into the room? But the door would have had to have been re-hinged to the open on the other side (than the floor plan). And that wall to the left of the door isn’t wide enough for a nightstand.

    • TK
      05/04/2009 at 3:59 PM

      I’m not sure what you mean by the wall to the left of the closet is too short–in the layout? I think the closet door is actually very close to the corner of the room, so the wall (which extends out of the frame in the photo) is longer than it looks in the plan.

      http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2009/03/13/open-house-2nd-viewing/

      • CDinDC
        05/04/2009 at 4:05 PM

        The officer is standing to the left of the door in the photo above. And he’s right beside a wall.

        In the layout, there is a lot of wall space to the left of the closet.

        It’s possible the officer was standing next to the entry door in to the room, but the door swings to the opposite side than on the layout. If that rendering is accurate, they would have had to rehang the door with hinges on the other side.

        • CDinDC
          05/04/2009 at 4:08 PM

          I’m just thinking it’s not the same room and the evidence was moved around and could have been photographed someplace else. Creating an opportunity for loss and/or contamination (if done prior to forensic study).

          • Anon. in Arlington
            05/04/2009 at 4:21 PM

            Photographed in situ that night, bagged, tagged, sent to headquarters, processed, tested (well, maybe not since nothing else has yet), labeled, and then photographed with the cop holding it is my thinking.

            • CDinDC
              05/04/2009 at 4:25 PM

              So, after transport and prior to forensic investigation, you think? I’m not so confident about our DC men in blue here lately. 🙁

              • CDinDC
                05/04/2009 at 4:28 PM

                DC men AND women in blue. Pardon me!

              • Anon. in Arlington
                05/04/2009 at 4:47 PM

                Wish I knew CD. Wish someone who knows processing crime scenes could chime in. I could see taking photographs at both the scene and in a lab. I don’t watch CSI and all those shows, so I do not know what they depict or if they are legit.

                • CDinDC
                  05/04/2009 at 4:56 PM

                  CSI/Law & Order…I don’t have
                  the stomach for that kind of
                  show. Or the true crime shows.
                  Believe it or not. LOL

            • Anon. in Arlington
              05/04/2009 at 4:42 PM

              According to the floor plan provided on this site, the only door that fits the “opening in” and that close to a right angle with a wall is (gasp) Dylan’s room. That said, the windows depicted on the floor plans are “off” in both Dylan’s room and the Master bathroom so there might be slight variations. For Dylan’s room, there is not as much space between the windows as is depicted in the “open house” photo. For the master bath, there could only be one window as the open house photo shows one window with the shower against the same wall (note there is a large mirror behind the sink extending to the exterior wall corner which may distort initial observations for this room).

              Also, the door with the cop standing in front – It looks a bit utilitarian for a home with that much detailed molding in the window and built-in bookcase surrounds. Unless they went for an ultra modern interior, one would expect the traditional “cross above the bible” type interior door.

              All that said, I do not mean to nit-pick and am very grateful to the editors in creating that floor plan because with out, I could never envision the space.

              • CDinDC
                05/04/2009 at 4:49 PM

                I love the footprints on the layout. Maybe they could add to it a wave of a running intruder-like footstep sound effect like the old radio shows. 🙂

                • CDinDC
                  05/04/2009 at 4:49 PM

                  .wav

              • Michael
                05/04/2009 at 5:14 PM

                All of these observations are good. The floor plans we published are not from a realtor brochure or DCRA blueprints. They were created using the open house photographs and a basic knowledge of the typical modern renovations found here in DC row houses.

                They were meant to help readers envision the basic layout of the property and the entrances, exits, and fundamental scale. Positioning of windows, doors, and closets were inferred from interior and exterior photographs and observations. I rechecked the master bath photos. One that was not published is here and shows the second window, for what it is worth.

                http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2009/04/21/joe-the-plumber/12844_39/

                The more I study the evidence photo, the more I believe it may not have been taken at the murder scene. the wallpaper and the background do seem incongruous to a hip, modern style.

                Keep up the great analysis and contributions.

                – Michael, editor

                • CDinDC
                  05/04/2009 at 8:15 PM

                  For what it’s work, Michael! LOL The room location gave us an afternoon of banter!

  12. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 3:52 PM

    I see what you mean, TK, but that right angle doesn’t match up with any right angles in the guest room…..if that IS the closet, the wall to the left of the closet is way too short.

    Hmmm….entry door into the room? But the door would have had to have been re-hinged to the open on the other side (than the floor plan). And that wall to the left of the door isn’t wide enough for a nightstand.

    • TK
      05/04/2009 at 3:59 PM

      I’m not sure what you mean by the wall to the left of the closet is too short–in the layout? I think the closet door is actually very close to the corner of the room, so the wall (which extends out of the frame in the photo) is longer than it looks in the plan.

      http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2009/03/13/open-house-2nd-viewing/

      • CDinDC
        05/04/2009 at 4:05 PM

        The officer is standing to the left of the door in the photo above. And he’s right beside a wall.

        In the layout, there is a lot of wall space to the left of the closet.

        It’s possible the officer was standing next to the entry door in to the room, but the door swings to the opposite side than on the layout. If that rendering is accurate, they would have had to rehang the door with hinges on the other side.

        • CDinDC
          05/04/2009 at 4:08 PM

          I’m just thinking it’s not the same room and the evidence was moved around and could have been photographed someplace else. Creating an opportunity for loss and/or contamination (if done prior to forensic study).

          • Anon. in Arlington
            05/04/2009 at 4:21 PM

            Photographed in situ that night, bagged, tagged, sent to headquarters, processed, tested (well, maybe not since nothing else has yet), labeled, and then photographed with the cop holding it is my thinking.

            • CDinDC
              05/04/2009 at 4:25 PM

              So, after transport and prior to forensic investigation, you think? I’m not so confident about our DC men in blue here lately. 🙁

              • CDinDC
                05/04/2009 at 4:28 PM

                DC men AND women in blue. Pardon me!

              • Anon. in Arlington
                05/04/2009 at 4:47 PM

                Wish I knew CD. Wish someone who knows processing crime scenes could chime in. I could see taking photographs at both the scene and in a lab. I don’t watch CSI and all those shows, so I do not know what they depict or if they are legit.

                • CDinDC
                  05/04/2009 at 4:56 PM

                  CSI/Law & Order…I don’t have
                  the stomach for that kind of
                  show. Or the true crime shows.
                  Believe it or not. LOL

            • Anon. in Arlington
              05/04/2009 at 4:42 PM

              According to the floor plan provided on this site, the only door that fits the “opening in” and that close to a right angle with a wall is (gasp) Dylan’s room. That said, the windows depicted on the floor plans are “off” in both Dylan’s room and the Master bathroom so there might be slight variations. For Dylan’s room, there is not as much space between the windows as is depicted in the “open house” photo. For the master bath, there could only be one window as the open house photo shows one window with the shower against the same wall (note there is a large mirror behind the sink extending to the exterior wall corner which may distort initial observations for this room).

              Also, the door with the cop standing in front – It looks a bit utilitarian for a home with that much detailed molding in the window and built-in bookcase surrounds. Unless they went for an ultra modern interior, one would expect the traditional “cross above the bible” type interior door.

              All that said, I do not mean to nit-pick and am very grateful to the editors in creating that floor plan because with out, I could never envision the space.

              • CDinDC
                05/04/2009 at 4:49 PM

                I love the footprints on the layout. Maybe they could add to it a wave of a running intruder-like footstep sound effect like the old radio shows. 🙂

                • CDinDC
                  05/04/2009 at 4:49 PM

                  .wav

              • Michael
                05/04/2009 at 5:14 PM

                All of these observations are good. The floor plans we published are not from a realtor brochure or DCRA blueprints. They were created using the open house photographs and a basic knowledge of the typical modern renovations found here in DC row houses.

                They were meant to help readers envision the basic layout of the property and the entrances, exits, and fundamental scale. Positioning of windows, doors, and closets were inferred from interior and exterior photographs and observations. I rechecked the master bath photos. One that was not published is here and shows the second window, for what it is worth.

                http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2009/04/21/joe-the-plumber/12844_39/

                The more I study the evidence photo, the more I believe it may not have been taken at the murder scene. the wallpaper and the background do seem incongruous to a hip, modern style.

                Keep up the great analysis and contributions.

                – Michael, editor

                • CDinDC
                  05/04/2009 at 8:15 PM

                  For what it’s work, Michael! LOL The room location gave us an afternoon of banter!

  13. Fascinating
    05/04/2009 at 4:37 PM

    All this talk about the knife wounds (last week) and this entry about the towels … This is the part of the affidavit and the stories that doesn’t add up for me.

    It seems like, if someone were stabbed three times, there would be a LOT of blood.

    And so far, all I have read is that there was little blood … not on the bed, not on the towel.

    Where did all the blood go? Is this odd to anyone else?

    • CDinDC
      05/04/2009 at 4:44 PM

      Oh, yeah, Fascinating. This has been an ongoing discussiong on the board for quite sometime. Lot’s of different theories have been discussed. I personally, think he was stabbed in the shower. Others think it was a bit more methodical and tarps, etc were prepared. Recently, someone suggested that he bled and/or was washed off on the patio area.

      The lack of blood is one of the biggest questions.

      • Fascinating
        05/04/2009 at 4:55 PM

        Ok, CD. I was thinking about the blood the other day and it just dawned on me that there would have been pools of blood.

        Another aspect of this crime that brings up big questions!!

    • Anon. in Arlington
      05/04/2009 at 4:45 PM

      “The clean-up” Fascinating. There must have been some reason for the cops to take 3 weeks to rip apart the house and cause (according to Joe $150K in damage). Trace evidence?

  14. Fascinating
    05/04/2009 at 4:37 PM

    All this talk about the knife wounds (last week) and this entry about the towels … This is the part of the affidavit and the stories that doesn’t add up for me.

    It seems like, if someone were stabbed three times, there would be a LOT of blood.

    And so far, all I have read is that there was little blood … not on the bed, not on the towel.

    Where did all the blood go? Is this odd to anyone else?

    • CDinDC
      05/04/2009 at 4:44 PM

      Oh, yeah, Fascinating. This has been an ongoing discussiong on the board for quite sometime. Lot’s of different theories have been discussed. I personally, think he was stabbed in the shower. Others think it was a bit more methodical and tarps, etc were prepared. Recently, someone suggested that he bled and/or was washed off on the patio area.

      The lack of blood is one of the biggest questions.

      • Fascinating
        05/04/2009 at 4:55 PM

        Ok, CD. I was thinking about the blood the other day and it just dawned on me that there would have been pools of blood.

        Another aspect of this crime that brings up big questions!!

    • Anon. in Arlington
      05/04/2009 at 4:45 PM

      “The clean-up” Fascinating. There must have been some reason for the cops to take 3 weeks to rip apart the house and cause (according to Joe $150K in damage). Trace evidence?

  15. Anon. in Arlington
    05/04/2009 at 5:49 PM

    Wusthof appears to be the name brand of the missing knife (label can be seen if you blow up the photo of the knife and fork of the 3-piece set. Look at the box lid label in the upper portion of the photo).

    The remaining knife is serrated. The carving fork is held in place with one tine beneath a packaging flap.

    An un-exhaustive internet search for this 3-piece set does not turn up immediate results, but who knows how long ago the set was purchased.

    Also, there appears to be a note (or address?) taped to the top of the lid.

    • Anon. in Arlington
      05/04/2009 at 6:06 PM

      And the “substitute” knife from the kitchen is also a Wusthof.

  16. Anon. in Arlington
    05/04/2009 at 5:49 PM

    Wusthof appears to be the name brand of the missing knife (label can be seen if you blow up the photo of the knife and fork of the 3-piece set. Look at the box lid label in the upper portion of the photo).

    The remaining knife is serrated. The carving fork is held in place with one tine beneath a packaging flap.

    An un-exhaustive internet search for this 3-piece set does not turn up immediate results, but who knows how long ago the set was purchased.

    Also, there appears to be a note (or address?) taped to the top of the lid.

    • Anon. in Arlington
      05/04/2009 at 6:06 PM

      And the “substitute” knife from the kitchen is also a Wusthof.

  17. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 9:59 PM

    Out of curiosity……the house is listed as a 3.5 bath house…..where’s the half bath? Full bath on the top floor with the master bath…..full shared bath on the second floor……full bath in basement apartment. I assume it’s on the first floor, but it’s not shown on the layout.

  18. CDinDC
    05/04/2009 at 9:59 PM

    Out of curiosity……the house is listed as a 3.5 bath house…..where’s the half bath? Full bath on the top floor with the master bath…..full shared bath on the second floor……full bath in basement apartment. I assume it’s on the first floor, but it’s not shown on the layout.

  19. Craig
    05/04/2009 at 10:16 PM

    First floor half bath. We got a pic of it I think.

  20. Craig
    05/04/2009 at 10:16 PM

    First floor half bath. We got a pic of it I think.

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