Triple Indemnity

End Of The Line?

A curious moment from the April 24 status hearing might offer a clue to possible defense strategy that may be in the offing.  Will one defendant pull away from the other two?

Victor Zaborsky’s counsel, Thomas Connolly seemed to bristle at a comment made by AUSA Glenn Kirshner, or “Lead Dog” as Bernie Grimm calls him.  Page 10 of the hearing transcript has the exchange regarding whether Michael Price had a key to 1509 and Kirschner’s repeated use of the word “they.” 

“They offered an intruder theory and they withheld from the police — if they wanted to talk about who had access… they withheld from the police one of the most important facts…”

This didn’t sit well with Connolly who said to Judge Frederick Weisberg, “Mr. Kirschner has a habit of saying they when he refers to an individual.  Mr. Zaborsky withheld nothing about Michael Price or anything else.”

Is this the beginning of an effort to separate Victor from his co-defendants?  Was Connolly’s absence from the meeting and discussion that counsel for Price and Ward had with Dr. Goslinoski, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy also a step in that direction?

Does Victor want out?   We couldn’t help but think of this particular quote by an investigator in this Billy Wilder classic about a love triangle and murder.

I've always loved you Walter

I've always loved you Walter

“They’ve committed a murder!  

And it’s not like taking a trolley ride together where they can get off at different stops.  

They’re stuck with each other and they got to ride all the way to the end of the line and it’s a one-way trip and the last stop is the cemetery.”

Is Victor hoping to get off the trolley before the end of the line?


49 comments for “Triple Indemnity

  1. Corgivet
    05/20/2009 at 12:11 PM

    I have been watching this site since it began…and basically remained a lurker…
    I am not a DC native, but am anxious for justice to bring closure for the Wone family..kudos to the editors for this site and the brilliant movie quote:)

  2. Bea
    05/20/2009 at 12:18 PM

    I am holding out hope that Victor comes to his senses and cuts a deal. My instinct is that his involvement was limited to accessory after the fact (not that that’s a “good” thing) and that he’d be given immunity if he were to tell the truth – which, in my estimation, would up the ante to murder charges. Yes, this is conjecture and speculation that Price and/or Ward committed murder, but I can think of no rational alternative. Even if it was Michael Price who committed the murder, the three would not have protected him to this extent – and one person could not have done all the acts, including cleaning, without knowledge (at a minimum) by the others.

    Come on, Victor, do the right thing.

  3. CDinDC
    05/20/2009 at 12:32 PM

    Seems the use of “they” wouldn’t strike Victor as unusual, since he allowed Price to speak for him at the scene of the crime. I remember reading in one of the official documents that the police said that Price seemed to be speaking for all of them.

    Maybe Victor’s counsel will show him he doesn’t have to go down for JPrice, MPrice or Ward.

    Joe can’t be worth all that, can he? To spend prison time for him? Come on.

  4. alithere
    05/20/2009 at 1:15 PM

    When Victor moves out then the trio is a duo.

    • Ex Swann Dude
      05/20/2009 at 6:52 PM


  5. Fascinating
    05/20/2009 at 1:18 PM

    I would be most satisfied to hear Victor’s version of what happened that night.

    However, I am curious about the ramifications and realities of Victor separating out from the other two. For instance, on April 24th, I saw Victor smile at Price and Ward several times in the courtroom. They appeared to all be on friendly, warm terms.

    How does Victor break it to Price that he’s going to work out a deal that would enable him to abandon the sinking ship?

    Would Victor have to move out then?

    Also, what would Victor’s counsel’s strategy be? Is he talking to the other lawyers about this? Will he surprise them?

    It’s an interesting point you’ve raised here, Craig, but there’s some details that I am curious about (and raised above).

  6. Spike
    05/20/2009 at 1:28 PM

    “Is Victor hoping to get off the trolley before the end of the line?”

    It’s hard to guess when it’s a streetcar named “desire.”

    • CDinDC
      05/20/2009 at 1:39 PM

      Good one, Spike!

  7. Bea
    05/20/2009 at 2:36 PM

    Agreed! I think poor Victor is blinded by “love” and is unable to see Joe clearly. You want your mistress/dom to move in with us? Sure! You want to advertise for even more partners? Why not?

    • CDinDC
      05/20/2009 at 3:03 PM

      I’d be on the curb if I suggested such a thing.

      Get a back bone, Victor. This “arrangement” is no longer good for you. Obviously.

  8. Nick
    05/20/2009 at 4:21 PM

    I love that movie. I happened to watch it with a friend who casually mentioned that he had arranged things so that he was worth more to his partner alive than dead. For some reason, that heightened the suspense for me.

  9. CDinDC
    05/20/2009 at 4:35 PM

    Off topic, but hashed out several times on this board…… the folks that are in denial about attorneys committing crime……

    From CNN today: “Paul Bergrin arrested after federal grand jury indicts him and 3 others on 14 counts…..Bergrin was assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey before going into private practice…..Indictment charges him with leading conspiracy that included murder of a witness.”

    Another attorney gone astray.

  10. SheKnowsSomething
    05/20/2009 at 4:41 PM

    A lot of us have assumed that Victor is the least-guilty member of the conspiracy, but I am not so sure I still believe he is as innocent and uninvolved as popular opinion makes him out to be. I have been around the “trouple” at times when Joe and Dylan were concocting plans and I’ve seen Victor put the kaboosh on them without any dissent from the other two. Victor was not some rube pining away in his bedroom, while Joe and Dylan did their thing elsewhere in the house. It seemed to me that Victor had real authority in the household and that there was often hell to pay if he was displeased. He went along with Joe’s and Dylan’s extreme-sex shenanigans … he may have even been a willing participant in some of the games … and I believe he insisted on Sarah remaining in the household as a seperate set of eyes and ears on what was going on when he (Victor) was not around.

    So … I’ll venture forth with a new theory. Victor was asleep when Robert arrived. Joe and Dylan had small talk with Robert in the kitchen before showing Robert upstairs, where they most likely did drug and assault Robert. Victor was awakened by some low guttural gruntting and went downstairs to discovered a playscene that he did not authorize. Victor grabbed the knife and plunged it into the playspace three times in rapid succession, while screamming. Joe orchestrated a rapid clean-up, and dispatched Sarah/Michael/Louis with all of the debris.

    • CDinDC
      05/20/2009 at 4:56 PM

      SKS…….re the first paragraph, I surprised and just learning this from you…….you’ve been around to see this behavior first hand?

      • CDinDC
        05/20/2009 at 4:56 PM

        typos galore…….I’m surprised at just learning this from you….

        • CDinDC
          05/20/2009 at 4:57 PM

          what other secrets are you keeping? Come on….give us the dirt.

  11. Ex Swann Dude
    05/20/2009 at 6:56 PM

    Dirt! Dirt! Dirt!

  12. 05/20/2009 at 7:21 PM

    i find it difficult to understand why people stick with situations in which they have been humiliated, shamed, dishonored. allowing your husband’s lover to move into your home would be the ultimate slap in the face to any relationship — but many to keep up appearances of a happy a-list power couple will make all kinds of compromises, arrangements etc. meanwhile the lover is allegedly an emotional wreck, struggling with depression, mental health issues, stability.

    my pleas to victor have gone unanswered – i think people are reading too much into the comments by victor’s attorney. it might be the strategy to suggest that the government is unable to distinguish who did what so therefore the government failed to meet their burden of proof — that is plausible and frightening for those who think this crew is responsible.

    victor, darling, it is not too late to separate yourself from this mess. do the right thing — listen to your heart and your head. do you really want to be sharing your florida home with dillon ward? do you really?

  13. Themis
    05/20/2009 at 9:26 PM

    Is the full autopsy publicly available? It is a public document. I realize that the photos might be kept confidential. They are in at least some states.

    But back to the topic at hand, Victor’s attorney may just be keeping open the option of moving to sever Victor’s trial from the other two on the grounds of prejudicial joinder.

    As for the mores and morals of attorneys, I have no idea whether they are more or less likely to break the law than the public at large. I do know that they are more likely to be heavy drinkers, depressed, and suicidal than the average “Joe.” That is especially true for trial attorneys and attorneys who specialize in capital litigation.

    • 05/21/2009 at 8:06 AM

      when the charge is conspiracy, on what grounds could one of the alleged conspirators seek a separate trial? or do i have the charges wrong — is it just obstructing justice?

      • CDinDC
        05/21/2009 at 8:37 AM

        Both….and tampering.

      • Themis
        05/21/2009 at 9:04 AM

        It is rare to be tried separately from co-conspirators, but it sometimes happens. A defendant wishing to be tried separately would have to demonstrate prejudice that could not otherwise by mitigated by curative instructions to the jury during the trial and careful crafting of the final instructions. The prejudice most likely to arise is that there is much more compelling evidence of guilt of one or more of the co-defendants on the conspiracy and or substantive charges, and the defendant for which there is only weak evidence will be found guilty by association alone – often called the spillover effect.

        The government sometimes elects try one defendant first for any number of tactical reasons.

        • Fascinating
          05/21/2009 at 9:38 AM

          I still think this would be a stretch for Victor. Again, things appeared A-OK between the three of them at the last hearing in April. Victor separating himself out would certainly mean that he was leaving Price and ending the relationship — unless for some reason they decided that a legal strategy like that was prudent?

          Also, I don’t like characterizing Victor as the “abused husband” — having to put up with Joe Price’s shenanigans.

          I’m going to assume Victor is in the relationship with eyes wide open and tolerates or accepts the “openness” of it. In fact, it might even suit his needs, which is why he’s stayed with it so long.

          I think relationships are complex. I don’t know what’s going on in Victor’s head. But SheKnowsSomething’s comments about how Victor acted in the threesome is enlightening!

        • CDinDC
          05/21/2009 at 9:41 AM

          So, for example, if the deceased’s blood, along with Co-Def #1 and Co-Def #2’s fingerprints (but not Co-Def #3’s fingerprints) were found on all of the cleaning fluid bottles in the house, the evidence would point clearly toward #1 and #2. #3 would be guilty by association??

          (Makes me wonder if the MPD checked cleaning fluid bottles for traces of Robert’s blood.)

  14. Spike
    05/21/2009 at 12:08 PM

    “allowing your husband’s lover to move into your home would be the ultimate slap in the face to any relationship”

    A total generalization. I mean, it reads well, and seems to make sense on the face of it, but it couldn’t possibly be true of ANY and every relationship. I think there’s a whole lot of projection going on in that post.

    Also, SDI, no reply to the question about what you have personally witnessed going on between Victor and the gang?

    • CDinDC
      05/21/2009 at 12:41 PM

      It would be grounds for “dismissal” in my house, but there are those that call themselves polyamorous. To each his own.

    • Friend of She Did It
      05/21/2009 at 5:21 PM

      hi spike —

      what’s the specific question that was left unanswered? peace.

  15. Miami Shores Maven
    05/21/2009 at 12:16 PM

    I am still amazed that these three guys decided to move down here to the Shores. Miami Shores that is. Everybody knows everyone else’s business in the Shores. If they don’t already, then they will learn it from the lawn-care providers who are a necessity. The lawn guy is the most reliable source of info ever of everybody else’s lives. So how did they think that they would fit in in the Shores?? If they continued with their proclivities and practices believe me they would have been hounded out of the Shores by all the local housewives, and not all of those women!

    • CDinDC
      05/21/2009 at 12:20 PM

      You never know until you know! No way of knowing what the neighbors are like until you live next to them for a year.

      • Miami Shores Maven
        05/21/2009 at 4:34 PM

        Very true. But the trouble is, with neighbors like these, if you dropped by to borrow some sugar
        you might end up dead.

        • Lance
          05/21/2009 at 9:30 PM

          Tacky and false.

          • 05/21/2009 at 9:43 PM

            No. I for one don’t always believe that you are.

            • Lance
              05/21/2009 at 9:54 PM

              Oh, look, more backhanded personal insults!

              No, look, seriously, MSM’s implication that the three roommates kill anyone who shows up at their door is tacky, insofar as it’s a personal attack; and false, insofar as they had any number of visitors who didn’t “end up dead”. (Or else trivially true, in that no matter what you do you might end up dead.)

              I mailed the editors the other day about curtailing the frequent personal attacks on this site and didn’t really hear back anything definitive. I’d still really appreciate if they’d help keep the discussion positive, constructive, and on-topic.

              • CDinDC
                05/21/2009 at 10:48 PM

                Lance says: “I’d still really appreciate if they’d help keep the discussion positive, constructive, and on-topic.”

                You can do that as well, Lance, by ignoring the remarks you consider insulting. Why you feel the need to by the hall monitor, I’ll never understand. This behavior drags things off-topic more than the original remark.

                ‘nuf said on my part.

              • 05/21/2009 at 11:16 PM

                So, what point is it that you wish to make here about how Robert was murdered, Lance?

                • Lance
                  05/22/2009 at 3:47 AM

                  I don’t know. What point were you making about how Robert was murdered? What point was MSM making?

  16. Bea
    05/21/2009 at 1:01 PM

    I’d LOVE to hear more from SheKnowsSomething! As for the description of Victor not being a shrinking violet around the house, and being able to say NO to some things, that’s typical in the sense of the Joe-n-Dylan dynamic of having Victor as “parent” of many things while they do as they wish when Victor’s not looking or Victor doesn’t notice. I’ve seen that dynamic among adult roommates, even ones not romantically involved. It gives Joe-n-Dylan their sense of power in “getting away” with things and transfers the “superego” function (governing behavior) to another, here, Victor. They get to be bad boys – and it makes me see Joe’s psyche as described here in another light. As you guys have educated me about top-from-the-bottom (if that’s the coin of phrase), it seems to dovetail nicely that he’s also got Victor around to be his conscience. ‘Cause he doesn’t have one. And to be his “other kind” of “daddy”.

    Personally I don’t see Victor doing the stabbing from anything I’ve read – maybe SheKnows has insight that Victor was in fact a violent man, but my guess is still that Victor is FAR less culpable and will be trying to get a separate trial. I hope it’s ruled that he has to be tried with the others and must face the hard questions about whether he’s truly willing to do serious jail time (and all that goes with that in terms of job loss, status loss, being away from his beloved Joe regardless).

    If I were the prosecutor, using Themis’s line of thought, I’d entertain trying to “try” Joe first, separately, then follow with Dylan and Victor, though I suspect that makes less sense from the court’s perspective – maybe attempt to try Dylan first. In thinking through “why” they arrested Dylan first and kept him for a month before extradicting him back to DC, I am wondering if the prosecutor doesn’t have Joe pegged as the most culpable – hoped that Dylan would “break” and “sing”. Possibly it was just a good set of circumstances (in Florida, could “flee”), but there may be more to it, something we don’t yet fully appreciate. It may be coming back to the draft emails – if through the coroner they establish that Robert was dead by 11:05, then who among the Three Stooges was most likely to know Robert’s colleagues? Joe. And that Joe tried “to speak for everyone” does paint him the leader of the Lord of the Flies in so many ways.

    Damn, but some part of me WANTS Victor to be less culpable, not because I know him, or because I see him as “victim” in relation to Joe’s appetites or behaviors (tho there’s that) – even if he was “bossy daddy” I don’t think he was lovin’ the arrangement. Perhaps at the time he’d jumped to the conclusion that he MUST help them, but even with his hands dirty with that, I suspect the prosecutor would be very pleased to offer him a very good deal.

    Oh, Victor, it’s TIME. If not for your son, or the community, or Robert’s wife and family, then just for yourself. Joe put you in this position – blame the right person – and don’t lose the Tulsa, Oklahoma in you, the do-the-right-thing voice inside. The other voice, telling you to hold tight and have confidence, is Joe’s voice, not yours. And Joe has been willing to throw you under the bus from day one. You may “see” him as the abused, sweet, ambitious boy who needs and loves you, but he is a murderer. Try to step outside yourself from time to time, away from “the strategy” and think about your son. Would you want him treated as Robert was and have his murderer(s) walk? Don’t you occasionally see that part of Joe which scares you? Don’t you know in your heart that if he truly loved you that he wouldn’t have you living this pseudo-life that’s on your horizon? When he says you’re not going to prison, he’s lying. If he says that “if it comes to that” he’ll tell the truth, he’s lying. I’ve looked online at your University of Tulsa fraternity pictures, see a fresh-faced young man who wanted to make good, make a good life for himself – and you did. Amazing job, incredible work, and you THOUGHT you’d found the perfect mate. If you do the right thing, you have time to find the real deal, not spend your life behind bars.

    Okay, stepping off soap box now. . . I do think the boys read these threads or I wouldn’t have gone off like that. Shall we start a Victor Do The Right Thing Thread (VDTRTT) cheering section? Isolation is good for no one. . .

    • Spike
      05/21/2009 at 1:46 PM

      I think that’s a good idea. I don’t necessarily think every supposition you make is true [especially that Oklahomans tell the truth angle ;-)] but who knows, maybe they DO actually look at this site.

    • Friend of She Did It
      05/21/2009 at 2:37 PM

      amen, sistere. it’s not too late victor! what’s in your heart?

    • Fascinating
      05/21/2009 at 2:45 PM

      VDTRTT … LOL! Bea, I enjoy your comments.

      Curious about Dylan and “extradicting him back to DC” …

      This is a part of the chronology I do not understand fully.

      So Price bought a house in Florida, and Dylan actually LIVED there for a while, right?

      But now he’s back in D.C. with Price? Is he back out of self-will, or is he back because the court ordered it?

      And did Price and Ward live in Florida for a while? I’m assuming Victor was here in DC since he’s the only one still employed locally, right?

      But now they’re all together in the same space, here in DC, right?

      • Craig
        05/21/2009 at 3:23 PM

        Fascinating – Dylan has moved out as far as we know while Joe & Victor remain together. We had a document culled from the public record that tracked Dylan’s addresses over the past few years. It’s proven unweildy and of less value than we thought. We may be able to parlay it into a decent post.

        PS – I hope you’re able to make it to the hearing again. Friday @ 2:00pm.

      • Michael
        05/21/2009 at 4:14 PM

        Dylan was the first of the three charged in this case and extradited from Florida to DC. At the time, he was living in the house owned by Joe and Victor in Miami Shores. Prior to their purchasing the home, Dylan was living in an apartment near Wilton Manors (Ft. Lauderdale).

    • 05/21/2009 at 2:51 PM

      I think it is already too late for Victor. He knows he’s going down, but is in deep denial. More than ever, he needs the security of his pack. He knows his employment, friendship and relationship prospects after this fiasco are nil. And the prospect of that isolation absolutely terrifies him. He’s betting the house on the very slim odds that he actually won’t get sent away for hard time in the slammer.

      • 05/21/2009 at 3:01 PM

        It will be either Sarah Morgan or Louis Hinton who will come forward in this case. They have so much more to gain.

      • Craig
        05/21/2009 at 3:32 PM

        John – I think there’s a school of thought believing that if indeed the trio is guilty of the pending charges, and if Victor were to flip ahead of the trial, that he would be taking a major step forward in rehabilitating his reputation.

        This could be seen as the first courageous act on their part since August of 2006. The family as he knew it would be gone, but he could make a fresh start and move on. This would of course hinge on SKS’s very interesting above theory being incorrect.

        • CDinDC
          05/21/2009 at 4:14 PM

          I can’t help but find it odd that SKS is coming out with this behavior information/profile at this point in time. For months, people have discussed the dynamics of the trio and SKS has not come forth with this information before. Even though SKS has contributed in the past.

          Why now?

    • ladydetective
      05/21/2009 at 5:06 PM


      You bring me to tears, your writing is eloquent, passionate, but above all, persuasive.

      Thank you.

    • Anonymous
      05/22/2009 at 1:17 PM

      I feel so trivial asking this after your passionate post, but I am curious … can you provide a link to the fraternity pictures? I haven’t found much on-line about Victor. Thank you.

  17. Bea
    05/21/2009 at 3:24 PM

    Maybe Sarah Morgan can talk sense to Victor – if she was primarily “his” friend. They can’t all be wickedly cold-blooded about a murder. There’s ‘having your friend’s back’ and there’s having absolutely no integrity. I can only imagine what Kim Musheno goes through – she’s still on the web about having a “lovely family” with the extended family including the fathers . . .

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