"I'm Afraid To Go Downstairs…"

06/12/2009
By Doug

Part Two of What We Learned from Victor’s 9-1-1 Call.

We turn now to what precisely was said, and what it may be saying.

The 9-1-1 call recording (Right click to open in new browser)

1509:13 seconds into the call, Victor tells the 9-1-1 dispatcher “…we’ve had someone (unintelligible) in our house evidently, and they stabbed somebody…” At 1:15 when asked who committed the stabbing he says “…I don’t know, we think it’s somebody (unintelligible) an intruder in the house.  We heard a chime at the door.” He’s asked several times whether Robert is breathing and gives contradictory answers, first saying he doesn’t know, later at 2:40 heard to be asking Joe but not answering, and then around 3:05 confirming that he is “…but we need help now.”

Around 3:50 when asked if a door is open for paramedics, Victor sounds momentarily confused and begins to say “I’m gonna go down…” and shortly after volunteers “…the person had one of our knives.” About 4:24 he says “…we have no idea, we have no description.  We heard the chimes, and we heard the screams from our friend.  And so we came running downstairs, we ran in…”

When asked by the dispatcher if he heard the door then the screams, Victor reverses himself saying “…I didn’t hear the door open until after the scream and then we ran down the stairs and then heard…we have an alarm, and so the chime went off…” Shortly after at 5:00, again pleading for an ambulance, he admits he’s “…afraid to go downstairs.”

At 5:47, still desperate for help, Victor makes a not-quite intelligible statement, perhaps saying “I need…”, “I knew this was…” We can’t say for sure.  But he quickly cuts himself off exclaiming “…here they are, here they are.”

At 5:57 he says he’s going downstairs, the door can be heard opening, and Victor pleads with the EMTs for help.  About 6:22 into the call, and for the remaining :80 seconds, Victor can clearly be heard breaking down under the crush of emotion.  It is difficult to hear.

The audio, like the case, presents new puzzles.  At the top are the very first comments.  While not beyond credulity, it seems odd that the first thing said would be speculation of an unseen, unheard intruder, rather than simply – ‘help, we need help, our friend’s been stabbed.’  Notable if at least several minutes have passed beyond the shock of discovering the scene.

Also there’s the curiosity of volunteering that said unseen, unheard intruder “…had one of our knives.” Yes, a knife from the butcher block was found on the murder scene, but it’s clear that knife was not the murder weapon.  Further, in a panic, without checking, would any of us recognize a knife found in such an emergency as from our own butcher block – and mention it to the 9-1-1 dispatcher?

Commentors have already noted the question asked by the dispatcher, to the effect, did the person run out of the house with the knife?  Victor stumbles out an “…I think so…” but is clearly in an agitated state.  While the dispatcher is only trying to get as much information as possible, it seems an odd prompting given Victor’s prior assertions not to have seen anything.  His response may simply be that of someone trying to make sense of a senseless situation.

Next is Victor’s location.  It’s certain he was on the third floor at the start of the call, was back on the second floor about three minutes into the call, and only moves to the first floor when the EMTs arrive.  Understandable if one assumes there may still be an intruder in the house?   It’s hard to say, and we want to extend every possible explanation to the defendants.  And then, if they (using the pronoun ‘we’) had already identified the butcher block knife, wouldn’t that mean the unseen, unheard intruder no longer had it?

More troubling is the garbled comment at 5:47 into the call.  Whether it’s “I need…” or “I knew…” or “I…” anything, it suggests some other knowledge of the situation that’s not being shared with the dispatcher.  This is, of course, just speculation.  But it is troubling.

Finally, beyond the understandable confusion to which any on-scene witness is prone, comes Victor’s complete breakdown once the EMTs arrive.  Again, we pass no judgment on anyone’s emotional upwelling in such a situation.   This editor has never discovered a friend in such a state, and can’t imagine how he may sound in those first moments.

However.  We also feel this cannot go without remark.  In the original affidavit, one of the EMTs (W1) asks “…what’s going on?”  While the affidavit says “…Zaborsky did not respond directly to W1, however, overheard Zaborsky say something about a stabbing on the second floor.”  It’s clear that’s just what Victor said, speaking out loud to arriving paramedics and pleading for help.  W1 then enters without comment by a sobbing Zaborsky; a fact again corroborated by the 9-1-1 tape.  For those who have questioned whether the affidavit accurately describes the overall scene – at least here it does.

Then there is a puzzling aspect to the timing of the outburst.  Perhaps it’s because new faces are on the scene – faces (EMTs) presumably who can make everything better.  But we would be remiss if we didn’t also question what many others have: that Victor’s breakdown feels fundamentally different than the rest of the call.  Almost as if reality were setting in.

What reality?  Of a friend’s murder?  Of an unseen, unheard intruder still potentially in the house?

Or, possibly, of some deeper understanding of the true events of that evening, and the finality of it all?

- posted by Doug

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92 Responses to “ "I'm Afraid To Go Downstairs…" ”

  1. KM on 06/12/2009 at 9:43 AM

    “…we’ve had someone (unintelligible) in our house evidently, and stabbed somebody…”

    Evidently?

  2. Fascinating on 06/12/2009 at 10:22 AM

    Great analysis here!

    I have an interesting theory …

    I’ve often pondered whether an “intruder” really was in the house. My theory puts Victor in bed or arriving home late and does not involve him in the murder, except for his complicity in hiding it.

    But I theorized that Joe & Dylan planned sex-play with Robert, who they drugged at the table when he arrived. Joe would have placed an ad or chatted with someone online at a sex/hookup site and invited them over to play, too. (i.e. an “orgy” involving three men and the unconscious Wone).

    The trick from online was told that the back door was open, and to come up to the second floor where he’d find Price and Ward having their fun.

    But maybe the trick was on drugs and shady. Maybe the trick grabbed a knife from the kitchen on his way upstairs. Maybe the trick stabbed Wone, which freaked out Price and Ward.

    The trick fled the house — leaving no traces of evidence, because the doors were left open for him to access the house.

    And then Price and Ward were left to deal with the horrible scene. Victor, of course, heard something, came in, saw Wone bleeding and screamed.

    Then Price and Ward went into clean-up mode, maybe keeping Victor a bit in the dark about what just happened. Yes, there was an intruder, but Price might not have told Victor the intruder was a trick that went Postal.

    Therefore, Price has a reason to cover everything up. He did not kill Wone himself, but he did drug him and rape him and how do you explain that to the police? And how do you develop a defense that someone else killed your friend when that person was an anonymous trick from an online chat room?

    Just a theory ……..

    • Hadnot on 06/12/2009 at 11:00 AM

      Whatever Joe had planned for that night it presumably had to be something that would be undetected by RW the next morning. I can’t imagine he would trust an anonymous trick from an online chat room with that.

      • Spike on 06/12/2009 at 12:21 PM

        I just think if there’s any chance that another person outside of the trio had anything to do with it, that person would be sold out by the residents and take the fall. So, let’s just say shady trick comes over and commits murder (which is probably unlikely, given the fact that there are two others right there who would react to subdue the knife wielder) and takes off.

        Those who were left would tell everything they know, leaving out the incapacitation portion of the evening. They’re not going to protect the memory of Robert Wone. They’re going to save their own hides by weaving a tale of a consensual drug-fueled quickie ruined by some guy who went crazy and took off. They’d give descriptions and that would be that.

        • mr.ripley on 06/12/2009 at 3:50 PM

          Why would men so obviously interested in keeping up with the jones’, so concerned about image, drug and assault a prominent lawyer? Someone like Robert Wone, upon regaining consciousness, could have made life very difficult for the three, or any combination thereof, assuming he remembered having been drugged and assaulted. (Is it possible he could have forgotten being attacked?) Agreed they don’t care about Robert’s memory, but saving their reputations was and is more important than their hides. They probably consciously distinguish between the two. In that sense what happened (whether diabolically planned, whether Robert was there to explore a hidden side of his nature and things went bad, whether sponanteous but ultimately botched, etc…) is not as important as how they dealt with what happened, which is what the trial will be about I suppose. They took the easy way out and didn’t seem to care or realize that their reputations were already ruined.

        • CDinDC on 06/12/2009 at 6:16 PM

          Agree, Spike.

          In fact, if they can come up with and agree on the intruder tale, they can certainly come up with something they all agree on involving a 4th person.

          Besides, no DNA evidence of a 4th person has been found.

          The trio should be so lucky.

  3. galoon on 06/12/2009 at 2:49 PM

    …”speaking out loud to arriving paramedics” and actually speaking to the paramedics are 2 different things.
    Rather than calling into question the EMT’s recollections, I should be calling into question Victor’s timing.
    At least he kept to the script?

  4. CDinDC on 06/12/2009 at 6:25 PM

    What immediately strikes me about Victor’s 911 call is that he is unable to say from where Robert is bleeding. He hesitates and says “uhhh….I think his stomach.” The obvious lack of blood at the scene is confirmed by his inability to say where he sees blood on Robert’s body.

  5. Laura on 06/12/2009 at 8:19 PM

    Mr. ripley — I totally agree… the aftermath is perhaps more difficult to figure out than the crime.

    Re: Victor’s 911 call — I find one of the more interesting phrases to be the contrast between him initially saying “evidently we had someone (garbled) in our house who stabbed somebody…” and then a few seconds later saying “we heard screams from our friend…”

    “Somebody ” and “our friend” are very different expressions. “Somebody” implies a complete unfamiliarity with the events at hand, but “our friend” suggests a more sympathetic and intimately aware reaction. I think Victor was heavily coached on the 911 call, but ultimately his horror and panic prevailed.

  6. Laura on 06/12/2009 at 8:38 PM

    Such bad form — following my own post — but the more I think about or re-play that 911 call — the more I wonder if Victor was not part of what went down. So far, the conventional wisdom here is that he was brought in after the fact. I think we all would like to have one largely innocent resident of 1509 Swann to believe in….

    But what if his clearly emotional break down at the end of his 911 call is a shrieking cry of guilt? Maybe JP and DW rigged up RW in attempt to engage their third room-mate Victor? Maybe JP was trying to integrate his dual relationships into one, on his terms. They had all tried to be a family afterall. Maybe this was a night to initiate Victor as much as Robert.

    I keep coming back to the 911 call — “our friend”. Not “a friend”, or “my partner’s friend”, or “a friend from work”…. Our friend.

    • CDinDC on 06/13/2009 at 10:07 AM

      Hmm…interesting point, but I don’t think “initiating” Victor through rape wasn’t the way to go. Besides, I believe Victor was already “initiated” in his own right. I have no doubt that Victor watched or participated in vanilla 3-ways. And/or watched Joe and Dylan’s s/m scenes.

  7. Bea on 06/12/2009 at 9:39 PM

    It’s a very weird call. Strange use of words. In my latest “listen” I tried to get out of my hoping-Victor-isn’t-TOO-GUILTY mode. I do think he’s been told a LOT, may have seen some things, and is trying to be deceitful and careful in what he says. He’s part of the cover-up in some way, albeit the extent of which is unknown. That he says “stomach, I think” and later corrects himself when he “sees” is a blow to him – his voice gives him away. What struck me (this time) is that he really MIGHT have thought he was “revivable” until then (but Joe and/or Dylan made good and sure he was not before Victor was sent to make the call). “The intruder may have left with the knife” answer may have been confusion about the question, though too, he may have been told things which confused him, for example: (1) we’ve gotten rid of Dylan’s knife; and (2) we’ve pulled one from the kitchen set. Trying to capture all this information when TOLD it instead of living through it is more likely to be understood incorrectly. Joe would not have answered that the “intruder” took the knife with him – that would have been counterproductive, as he wants the cops to believe THIS knife killed him. But Victor had too much information to remember – and it might not have made a lot of sense (!!!) especially if he’d been asleep and had all the other devastating info to absorb. Just a thought.

    • John Grisham on 06/12/2009 at 10:13 PM

      Bea, you probably didn’t see a question I raised to one of your posts a few threads ago, but I still remain interested in your take on this.

      Can you imagine Joe dispatching Victor alone up to their 3rd floor bedroom (while he and Dylan continue to clean things up on the 2nd floor) to call into 911 and make their first public statement about their delicate situation; and trusting that Victor would tell the right story without gaffs . . . that is, if in fact Victor had just stumbled on a murder in his house, freaked out, screamed loudly, and then presumably quickly recovered, was well scripted, coached and rehearsed (within a half hour, and most likely less) to deliver the right lines to 911?

      I suspect Victor was much more intimate with the details of Robert’s murder than he let on during his call for “help.” The fact that Joe and Dylan trusted him to “get the story right” in calling 911 speaks very loudly concerning Victor’s familiarity with the cover-up. Indeed, it even suggests that the entire “intruder” story may in fact been advertising-guy Victor’s own creative invention.

      • Laura on 06/12/2009 at 10:53 PM

        Excellent post — I agree. It’s almost as if Victor is the hidden hand. Asleep the entire time — until the 911 call? The chime — the scream — the first time line. All his narrative.

        Maybe he was never really asleep but rather participating in a drug infused love/sexual drama gone wrong. Maybe he was just the appointed caller.

        • CDinDC on 06/13/2009 at 10:27 AM

          If Victor was truly “in the dark” about what really happened (i.e., only Dylan and Joe committed this heinous act), then Victor saying “an intruder” did it would be completely ludicrous UNLESS he had COACHED by Joe/Dylan. Victor would have been asleep alone….he would have gone to sleep knowing that Joe and Dylan were still up…..he comes down to discover the scene…..Victor KNOWS Dylan and Joe were still up. If Joe had said “I’m sleeping with Dylan tonight” perhaps the intruder theory could have been believed by Victor, but that may have implicated Victor….not to mention that it was never said by the trio.

          Unless Victor is a complete dunce, he knows something happened involving Joe and Dylan, if he was in bed alone before he came downstairs.

          Victor is not that innocent. He’s the biggest liar of them all….it’s one thing to lie to cover your own ass, but to lie to cover someone elses?

  8. CuriousInVa on 06/12/2009 at 11:20 PM

    I don’t know why but I still think Victor was in the dark until after the act. Joe/Dylan had that completely separate bdsm (i don’t even know if those initials are right!) relationship and it ultimately led to stupid, selfish actions toward Robert. I believe that Victor was upstairs asleep and either came upon a gruesome scene or was awakenend to help deal with the aftermath.

    To me, the 911 call reeks of him not knowing completely what to say other than a few things he’d been directed to say. In the instances he breaks down, I believe he was honestly overcome w/ emotion at not only the enormity of what had transpired within his living space and involving his partner and housemate but also by the death in his house of someone he knew!

  9. Laura on 06/12/2009 at 11:53 PM

    Victor was in advertising — in a hugely successful way. (The “Got Milk” campaign, etc.) Maybe his skills were called upon in the final moments of “how the hell do we spin this to keep us out of jail?” Creative narrative needed — STAT.

    There’s probably no better combination of people who could actually think that they could scrub a crime scene — than a law partner, a successful advertising guy, and an S/M fetishist.

    Don’t they all practice some form of deceit?

    JMOO

  10. John Grisham on 06/13/2009 at 7:09 AM

    That is also to say, who ever scripted their cocked-up cover-up story line was also the most likely to first deliver it to 911 and the public.

  11. WH on 06/13/2009 at 7:41 AM

    I have been one of the folks who has always believed Victor was brought in afterwards–or stumble upon the scene afterwards. I’m not sure where my feelings are now regarding this question, after listening to the 911 call and reading others’ posts.

    However, I can offer up a reason why I (and perhaps others) WANT him to be less involved. For me it has less to do with wanting one of the three roommates to be a normal human being. It has more to do with my own (admittedly selfish) desire to know the truth, and my desire for Robert’s family to know the truth. I hope against hope that Victor’s involvement was only peripheral, and that he therefore will someday be motivated to talk and tell the world what really happened that night. If Victor’s involvement was more extensive, then I doubt we ever will learn the truth. So I will keep hoping Victor is innocent (or should I say, “less guilty”) Of course, if I hope it just enough I may come to believe it myself.

    • ced on 06/13/2009 at 8:01 AM

      I keep coming back to Zaborsky’s statement to the 911 operator that Price was applying a towel to the wounds and the issue of the missing towel(s). Why did he say this? It can’t have been happening just then because the by the time 911 was called, the evidence had already presumably been eliminated and Wone was dead. It seems to indicate that Zaborsky was knowingly fabricating a scenario of ” normal” emergency behavior at that point in the call. Was he improvising details to suggest that Wone died later than he did or that they were appropriately concerned about saving his life? Is this particular detail a mixture of fact and fiction — was Price actually applying towels to the body at some point (either to staunch the flow of blood or the spread of evidence), say when Zaborsky first discovered the situation, and Zaborsky is just adjusting the timing to fit the script? The only way I can see Zaborsky believing what he was saying is if he relayed the operator’s first aid instructions to Price and was told that they were being followed without actually seeing it with his own eyes. (That would seem to require Zaborsky to cover the mouthpiece and speak to Price and hear his reply before making the statement, a possibility that also exists if Zaborsky knew that nothing of the kind was happening and Price was coaching him on what to say.)

      All of this makes me wonder if the defendants’ post-mortem activities were designed more to deprive the authorities of sufficient evidence for murder charges than to convince anyone of their story. (The substitution of the knife would be hasty embellishment and not a well thought-out act.) The material removed from the scene would potentially contain commingled DNA that would be more damning than the implications of missing evidence. Given the choice between murder charges based on evidence and obstruction charges based on conjecture, obstruction would be the safer legal option; the less concrete information available to reconstruct the chain of events, the weaker any eventual case against them.

      I also wonder about the early-morning phone call to Sarah Morgan. I recall reading that Price first asked her where she was when he presumably knew this. Did she habitually get up early and go back home to get ready for work when she stayed at her friends’ house on a week night? In that case he might have been expecting her to be awake and on her way to the house at that hour and wanted to give her a heads up about something she knew nothing about. If she was involved in removing evidence, he would have last spoken to her when she was leaving the house and he would expect her to be awake, whereabouts unknown, anxious for further instructions. Maybe the plan was to take the evidence far away (the farther away, the more ground investigators have to cover to find it and then there’s the well-known law enforcement complication of the DC metropolitan area consisting of multiple jurisdictions — the District and Montgomery, PG and Fairfax counties — with even more remote jurisdictions reachable between midnight and 6:00) and dispose of it where where it would be unrecoverable. Even if Price was tied up answering questions all night, he would have known that the house was a crime scene with police present and mightn’t want her, after being up all night under stress, speaking to the police until they could all touch base and recover. If she handled the evidence, there was also the possibility of incriminating DNA remaining on her person or in her car.

  12. TK on 06/13/2009 at 3:38 PM

    And this also makes me wonder, why did VICTOR make this call? Not Joe, not Dylan. Joe maybe supposedly because he was trying to stop Robert’s bleeding, even though at the time of the call it was actually far too late. But not Dylan, who was closer to the incident? Victor, who of the three just by our profiles seems the most prone to hysteria. Maybe because the other two were still busy finishing the cleanup… Also it seems too calculated. I am trained in cpr/aed and we are taught to send one person to call 911, another to get the heart stimulator machine at the health club. But if I were Joe and came upon my long-time friend stabbed and bleeding in my home, I still think I would grab the closest phone and call while also putting pressure on his wound in a panic, hoping to save him. I’d want to talk to 911 myself. “Oh My God, my friend is dying! What do I do? Get here now!” Put yourself in that situation: a longtime friend visits, sleeps on the couch, you are awakened and find him gasping and spouting blood. Even if you told your partner to call you’d want them right there for info and instructions. And you’d be freaking out, shouting at him, at the phone. Your friend is dying!

    I got none of that from Victor’s call. I got more ‘OMG We’re screwed, what the hell happened here.’

    • She did it on 06/13/2009 at 7:12 PM

      dylan didn’t make the call because he couldn’t — not competent enough, not sober enough, not tuned in with reality enough, not coherent enough, not smart enough (yes, she is book smart – GU summa, but that doesn’t translate when one can’t function in the world).

  13. Bea on 06/13/2009 at 4:49 PM

    I think Victor made the call for a host of reasons – least involved, most drug-free, the other two were busy (maybe Dylan was flipping out and Joe had to talk him down), and that he’s a PR guy who knows how to do this. Possibly one or more of these “reasons” can be scratched but we’re all guessing right now based on reactions to the call, rehashing limited statements, common sense and our own life experiences. I’ve always been a “go-to” person in most settings – friends call with legal questions (or need a shoulder for heartbreak), and even early on during college when police came to a party (old lady neighbor and “noise” ordinance) I was always shuffled out to “talk”.

    I think in that setting Joe would think himself the leader on that score (cops noted he tried to speak for the three of them). So why didn’t he call 911? He’s more critical-thinking (and some would say diabolical) than to “let” someone else do it. He wanted Victor to do it – and I am guessing (1) he’s busy with last minute details (putting blood on the fake knife, going over-and-over-the-story with Dylan, the weak link), (2) he wants Victor out of the fray so he can “spin” to Victor the details of what he wants him to believe LATER, (3) he wants Victor to feel like he’s part of the “pact”, (4) he wants Victor validated as a conspirator so there’s no backing out. Yes, Victor is smart, and yes, he knows something is terribly wrong and he’s covering for Joe, knows it’s likely worse than what Joe’s said, but he’s not the ring leader. He doesn’t even know the “whole” FAKE story down pat. Intruder left with the knife? Big mistake. The sound of realization when he sees Robert’s wounds are in the chest? That sounds real to me. It’s the sound of “he is dead AND we are screwed” in whatever combination one “wants” to hear. But it is a shocking sight for Victor, that I’m pretty sure of.

    So, John, to come back to your question for me, yes and no. I do think Victor was “sent upstairs” and that Joe needed Victor to make the call for the stated reasons. I think it’s quite possible that the clean-and-move plan was Joe’s, but that Victor made a stand that they would NOT be moving a body and/or that 911 HAD to be called was ringing in Joe’s addled ears. He changed the plan. He saw that with a dead body and no witnesses and no comingled DNA meant that so long as the trio remained unbroken, it’s a classic law school exam question: no one can be convicted of murder.

    And he was right – there’s the residuals he couldn’t have thought through that night (no time, too many other problems) of losing his job, status, lots of DA pressure, and the tremendous job of keeping the trio together, but in that moment, sitting next to Robert’s lifeless body, I do think Joe said “all right, Victor, you win. We’ll call 911. Here’s what we’ll say. Got it? Just don’t go into the room – what you don’t know can’t hurt you – now go upstairs and make the call!”

    Victor goes, still disoriented, his hands very dirty either literally or figuratively, and he tries to follow Joe’s instructions. He knows enough of Dylan to know HE can’t be trusted to make the call, so he falls in and out of his PR voice during those minutes on the line. I don’t know which is PR and which is real Victor, but two things I come back to time and again: Victor screwed up the part about the knife, didn’t quite understand what Joe told him; Victor had not fully understood that Robert was dead and/or there was no going back until he saw the knife in Robert’s chest.

    • Bea on 06/13/2009 at 6:03 PM

      Yeah, replying to my own post. Sorry. I picture Victor on the stairs on on the landing, with Robert out of view. I suspect Joe kept him out of there, which is why the sight is shocking. Thinking this through, if I make an accidental mess (break a glass, spill something) there’s an instinct in me to push others away until I’ve cleaned it up myself. There’s the aspect of not wanting someone to step on the glass (read: put fingerprints there unknowingly) but too it’s my own shame/guilt/embarrassment for having created a mess (ever not quite made it to the toilet when vomiting?). All sorts of “reasons” suggest that Joe’s instincts are strong to keep Victor away from Robert even if he loads him up with “busy work” and “there’s no time – I’ll explain later”. Dylan may well have gone to his room and have been no help – again, if you’re a very busy Joe, who do you say “go call 911!” to, Victor (who doesn’t know as much) or Dylan (who is less trustworthy and can sink you both)?

      • Laura on 06/13/2009 at 8:13 PM

        Bea, your posts are most thoughtful. But don’t you think that in listening to the 7 min 911 call you believe, at least a bit, that you are hearing an actual real time event in progress? It sounds real. (Don’t most 911 call sound that way?)

        I picture a different scene altogether. Robert is believed by all three to be dead. His body has been cleaned up — I don’t think showered because I recall the affidavit describing blood being wiped off his chest. The men have furiously cleaned everything, tossed out sheets, the actual knife — surely they must have enlisted Victor just to make it go faster. (Although I think anybody using meth can make things go pretty fast.)

        Then they must have sat around the assumed dead and wiped down body of a dear friend for at least 2-3 minutes while they concocted the 911 call. I think Victor’s entire call is staged — it’s confusing in parts, reveals too much, it’s contradictory. It’s not well scripted. It sounds like a dramatic call designed to confuse by its very emotionalism. Like he’s too “upset” to get the details right…

        He volunteers info about the kitchen knife and seems to take seriously the 911 responders advice about “applying pressure with a towel”. There no evidence of any such towel. They all scrubbed the scene so well, there’s no evidence at all that they were even reacting to the 911 operater’s instructions. (Oops.) They weren’t because nobody was trying to save Robert Wone’s life — they ALL already believed he was dead. All they were thinking about was saving their own hides.

        Maybe Victor truly broke down at the end of his command performance — but that doesn’t prove he wasn’t part of the crime.

        • Laura on 06/13/2009 at 8:15 PM

          And I mean “you” as in everyone, including me.

        • CDinDC on 06/13/2009 at 9:44 PM

          Laura says: “All they were thinking about was saving their own hides.”

          I think any perceived distress comes from that very thing. And Victor did say something to the effect of “I can’t believe this is happening.” What a selfish thing to say. Poor Victor. A somebody died in your house.

        • Bea on 06/14/2009 at 12:19 PM

          Hi Laura, I don’t doubt that Robert has been dead a while when Victor is told to go upstairs to make the call – I just don’t think he was awake for or part of the actual murder, and may or may not have been literally part of the cover up (wiping walls, taking the Hefty to Sarah). So I agree that the 911 call SHOULD have been made a LONG while before, but where we differ is Victor’s complicity in (a) the murder, and (b) how he spent his time after awakening. It took some time for him to absorb what had happened – bear with me, but perhaps Super Joe tells Victor all is “under control” and perhaps Victor assumes that 911 has been called (like most would). I don’t know why or when Joe/Dylan changed their plan to move Robert’s body to simple clean-up-and-say-nothing. I don’t know if Victor is TOO careful with his words in the 911 call because he’s concerned he’ll screw up the story Joe told him or because he doesn’t believe Joe’s story or because the weight of it is all sinking in as he’s speaking. I do find solace in KarenWalker’s posts that at least as a young man, Victor was ethical and loyal. Let’s hope “ethical” wins in the end.

  14. CDinDC on 06/13/2009 at 9:41 PM

    Has anyone heard the recently released 911 call made by the woman whose chimpanzee went berserk and attacked her friend? That’s an example of sustained hysteria when a friend is dying/dead. She believed the chimp had killed her friend. She was begging pleading for the EMTs to arrive. It was VERY difficult to listen to.

    So very different than the sound of Victor’s call.

    • Laura on 06/14/2009 at 12:00 AM

      Absolutely. There is horrified, terrified panic, and then there is scripted panic. And Victor sounds scripted. (Although owner of the crazy chimp probably took the definition of panic to a whole new level. )

      Truly horrified and shocked sounds different that Victor’s call — it just sounds like he was planting a narrative with enough hysteria to sound believable. And having known a few talented drama types — it doesn’t take long to really believe the role they are playing.

      I think Victor was part of more than just the 911 call . As in — “I just woke up — somebody — no — our friend — has a knife in his stomach — no — it’s in his heart — he’s breathing — the knife from our kitchen is missing — apply pressure — ok — he’s not breathing”.

      Too many contradictions to believe that the sleepy, innocent Victor was not part of the crime.

      Got milk?

      • CDinDC on 06/14/2009 at 11:07 AM

        Got honesty?

        • Laura on 06/14/2009 at 8:29 PM

          Gee — I thought this site was different. Thanks for the slam though — it’s such a gracious reminder to shut up if you have a diferent take on things.

          • David on 06/14/2009 at 9:01 PM

            Laura,

            I took CDinCD’s comment not as a slam on you, but rather an agreement with what you were saying, and punning on Victor’s work tagline ironically — he’s saying Victor wasn’t honest. At least that’s my take.

            David

            • CDinDC on 06/14/2009 at 10:16 PM

              Precisely, David.

              Sorry Laura…that wasn’t meant as a slam toward you. Much to the contrary. That was commentary toward Victor. I thought your comments were dead-on.
              :D

          • John Grisham on 06/14/2009 at 9:35 PM

            CDC wasn’t slamming you, you can be sure. We all know Victor helped produce creative marketing campaigns around “Got Milk?” and more recently “Got Blood?” Many of us are hoping his next big newsworthy production will promote “Got Honesty?”

            • CDinDC on 06/14/2009 at 10:17 PM

              Thanks, JG.

  15. Themis on 06/14/2009 at 4:09 PM

    If the first responders were correct in their belief that the all three had recently showered, it is difficult to believe that Victor did not assist in some manner. Otherwise, why would he have showered? He couldn’t have showered while he was on the phone. Again, it would be wonderful to know what the first responders based that belief on, e.g., wet hair. Also, was that observation included in the first responders initial reports? And how close in time to the events were the initial reports drafted?

    • CDinDC on 06/14/2009 at 4:37 PM

      Good point, Themis.

      Themis, when you say “first responders”, do you mean the EMTs?

      In the affidavit, the EMTs said that Joe was in his briefs….sitting on the corner of the bed……. Victor was observed in a “bathrobe” on the porch, and Dylan was also in a “bathrobe”.

      When the police arrived, the 3 defs were all in white robes.

      When you mention “initial reports”, are these documents that the EMTs prepare? Are they publicly available?

  16. Themis on 06/14/2009 at 4:45 PM

    By first responders, I mean the EMT’s and the first MPD officers. Both the EMT’s and the officers should have prepared reports. And the reason I included the first officers on the scene is because I am curious as to whether they made the same observations as the EMT’s.

    The EMT’s report is definitely in the discovery provided to the defendants, but is probably not generally available to the public at this point due to HIPPA and other privacy laws. As far as the officers’ reports, they likely will be not available to the public until the prosecution is concluded or they are made an exhibit to a court filing or introduced as an exhibit at trial. Of course, people with connections obtain copies of these reports all of the time. On background so to speak. So if anyone has any “friends” in either agency, you may want to ask for a favor.

    • Bea on 06/14/2009 at 6:22 PM

      Given the homophobic comments of the cops, my guess is that they painted all defendants with the same brush (“all appeared to be freshly showered” because they all put on robes – or did they ALL have wet hair, did one or more of them, and for that matter did Robert?). I guess I’d like to know if Victor’s hair was wet – he was the one I’d guess WAS asleep, though when he awoke and what he did after that is a question mark. If his hair was wet, I’d believe he assisted in the clean up. If his hair was not wet, and particularly if the other two had wet hair, that would be a very telling fact.

      Maybe Sarah can remember. . .

      • CDinDC on 06/14/2009 at 10:13 PM

        Bea says: “I’d like to know if Victor’s hair was wet”

        If Robert were dead for a while, I bet he was washed down well before Victor became involved. Short hair dries quickly. IF his hair ever became wet while being washed.

  17. L. on 06/14/2009 at 6:49 PM

    Victor sounds like a MAJOR pussy. These are the guys we have fighting for our civil rights?

    I have never heard a grown man sound like such so weak and pathetic.

    If he is any indication of the guys running our civil rights organizations – us tough ass gay guys need to take over NOW.

  18. Bea on 06/14/2009 at 6:55 PM

    Hi there, “L.”, just a regular pussy here, the dyke kind. I don’t think Victor was ever a gay rights “leader” – Joe did a lot of legal work for gay (and other causes). Don’t know either way if he’d qualify as a “tough ass gay guy” (sexual proclivities of topping from the bottom notwithstanding) but he may be more butch than Victor.

    But any thoughts on what happened?

    • L. on 06/14/2009 at 7:08 PM

      Hi Bea. I have not visited here in a while. I used to post when the site was fairly new. Not familiar with recent articles.
      Back then my theory was that Dylan thought he accidentally killed Robert after drugging him and having sex with him – with or without Robert’s consent [not sure]. He stabbed him to cover up the accidental death [Robert was in fact not dead at the time of the cover up but Dylan though he was].

      OR – a shady character with a grudge against Joe or Dylan set them up to take the fall.

      What about you?

  19. L. on 06/14/2009 at 7:11 PM

    After listening to that 911 call – I think Victor is performing. No way a grown man would sound like that on the phone naturally. I think its an act.

  20. galoon on 06/14/2009 at 9:49 PM

    It breaks my heart to think of the suffering Mr.Wone had to endure and the heartbreak he must have felt.

  21. CuriousInVa on 06/14/2009 at 10:19 PM

    Galoon,

    Your sentence above is so simple yet really gets at such a fundamentally sad part of all this. Assuming Joe was somehow involved before Robert’s death, how unimaginably betrayed Robert must have felt.

  22. galoon on 06/14/2009 at 11:40 PM

    Regarding sleepy innocent Victor’s comments and those of his partner and his housemate:
    The only factual information is that Mr. Wone arrived at around 10:30 and he was found around 11:45. Every other statement made by any of them, if challenged, can be chalked up to confusion, or an honest mistake . They will claim that nothing they said was a willful attempt to obstruct justice, it was JUST CONFUSION given the circumstances.
    Also, isn’t there documentation that the Ashley’s Regent was improperly applied? If so, regardless of the results, wouldn’t even a mediocre lawyer have those results tossed?
    And Joe opening the back door to do what, look at a spider? Did that even happen? What does it matter? Dylan and Joe will stick by that because it opens the door (oh…no pun intended) for the intruder theory.
    They’ve covered their bases haven’t they?

    • Bea on 06/15/2009 at 12:52 AM

      Even tossing all the reagent’s, they’re not going up against murder charges (yet). They will face serious time for this because of the (1) LACK of Robert’s blood, (2) the delay, (3) just plain “it don’t add up” = obstruction and conspiracy. Yes, there’s a chance, even a decent one, that the expensive defense counsel will make it sound like a complete police screw up (perhaps that is true), but I hang most hope on the ‘clean’ scene. No intruder cleans up after himself, takes nothing, and gets in an out of a fortress without a sound. I still think that there’s a mediocre chance Victor that will do the right thing (my mantra).

    • Nelly on 06/15/2009 at 1:51 PM

      That part about what time the victim was found stabbed is not even factual. All we have is what the 3 stooges claimed. I’ll bet he was “found” much earlier than 11:45pm.

    • NYer wants Justice on 06/15/2009 at 3:39 PM

      I think the best chance for the truth to come out is if the obstruction of justice trial starts going poorly for the 3 defendants. This would give the least guilty one of them incentive to turn against the other two and make a deal. However, I think even the obstruction trial is more complex than it first seems. While I think it is clear that there was obstruction and tampering, we do not know if it was 1,2 or all 3 of the defendants that did the tampering. The prosecution will have to show that either
      1. It would take all three of the men working together to do the cleaning, moving, disposing, etc. in that time frame. Or-
      2. That it would be impossible for 1 or 2 of the men to do all this without all three being aware of what was going on.
      If the defense can show that 1 or 2 people did it, then each defendant can claim he was the uninvolved third person asleep during the whole thing.
      Another point that I agree with from other comments- I believe one of the most damning and disturbing pieces of evidence is when the EMT arrives and there is Joe sitting on the bed, not holding any towel to Robert or even touching him. This seems to show that Victor and/or Joe were lying to the 911 operator. It also implies that they knew it was useless because Robert was long dead. It also occurs to me that if Joe was involved in the murder he would be nervous about touching the body, afraid to leave any evidence after the cleaning, whereas an innocent person who’s friend was killed would be pressing towels, trying to get the victim to wake up, etc.

  23. Perplexed on 06/15/2009 at 1:51 PM

    I have also become interested mainly from the WaPo article. I remember reading this at the time when it happened and thinking it was a 3-way gone wrong, but that went out the window with the WaPo article and the facts that were finally available. I think additionally, just imagining what RW went through (whether he was aware or not) is just about a horrific a thought as I would believe imaginable, and I apologize in advance to friends and family of RW if my theories bring up details that are not pleasant reminders, but it is these facts that are most puzzling……I also have to disclose that I have substantial training in human beh., so that is probably contributing to my take.

    I have a couple of thoughts on the 911 call. After reading all the posts a couple of weeks back, I really thought that when I finally listened to the call that it would be a legitimate hysterical call made by VZ – especially w/his light theatre participation in school. After I listened to the call, I am completely convinced that it was extremely poor acting – throughout 99% of it. Notice how throughout the entire call, VZ would change “tones” to become very flat and non-hysterical depending on what was being asked or what he “wanted to say” and then would immediately revert back to “hysterical.” I would think a lie detector would pick up on these tone changes immediately. Very clear also that VZ was working the call – trying to get as much additional info. into it as possible – the knife – intruder – order of the scream/chime — very flat during these times – trying to make sure the other person on the line completely understood these aspects and incorporated them into the report. Also, the complete breakdown at the end probably was real. This happens when a person “under duress” puts aside their emotions enough so they can “deal” with whatever crisis happened that they need to deal with and when the “crisis is over” or someone else is handling it and the burden is shifted from his shoulders, he would basically have a semi-meltdown – sort of the relief valve.

    Re: the Affidavit and whether VZ was silent to the EMTs. I sort of read that that when the EMTs arrived, as soon as VZ opened the door, he started shouting out the door. That doesn’t mean the EMTs were near him or could even hear him. They were probably parking or just getting out of their car and probably were not parked right at the back door, so very plausible they didn’t hear him yelling at them, but when they were entering it was clear they asked what was going on and VZ was having a meltdown or was on the verge of it and not responding to their request.

    Re: what happened. I sort of go back to human beh. and start with who is dominant in the house and in the various rel. JP is dom when it is he and VZ. DW is dom when it is he and JP. It seems pretty clear that DW wants nothing to do with VZ and probably could care less about him – I would even go so far as to think that that’s a big part of why VZ is not a part of JP’s and DW’s rel. – mostly b/c DW probably doesn’t want him to be. To DW, VZ is irrelevant, but VZ is probably always trying to include DW, where DW is not trying to do the same and could care less if JP and VZ rel. ends.

    The only way RW could get killed in the home is if it was “ok” by JP. But if DW wants something done, I think JP will do it – especially if his morals are lapsing due to drugs. So we have JP advertising for a 3rd – RW comes in, DW says we have our 3rd. I think they thought they could use the paralytic on RW b/c usually people don’t remember after this, also, right (and this would be JP’s and DW’s little secret – they probably thought it would be funny)? And, I think I read that about Special K, too, which is what they think he used. (Someone needs to track JP’s brother’s dealer and get the scoop of what he would pick up from him/her).

    I read that someone mentioned there was a special mat for S&M that is specific for capturing all the fluids and blood. So 2 theories on this: 1) a mat was used, and that’s what captured all the blood, and was rinsed off out back and disposed of; or 2) a mat was used (or not), but not much blood came out due to him being stabbed after his heart and organs had slowed, which would have slowed the pumping of blood. (I do not think he was killed in the shower or out back). So pumping of blood slowed, very little blood comes out. Also, the wounds were “carefully” cut – he wasn’t “stabbed” it seemed like he was cut more? which makes me think they were trying to reduce the amount of blood as much as possible. It’s conceivable, blood pressure reduced, they make the first cut, not much blood comes out and it is soaked up with an abundance of towels put around the knife when they’re cutting and then towels were stacked on the floor or on another mat – maybe they make the other 2 cuts after most of the blood has come out? So in theory the blood from these types of incisions and the added paralytic drug may have been quite containable. Also, b/c of the wipe mark, I think RW was wiped down completely and kept clean while he was bleeding, which I dont think was for too long. I’ve read a lot also that just b/c the blood was ingested, that it doesn’t necessarily mean he was alive that the blood would have been able to go into there anyways b/c of where his cuts were located and what they cut through? I’m not entirely enthusiastic with the DC ME’s report/assumptions – some is probably right on, but other facts from what other medical professionals have offered through this site contradicts parts of her assumption and basic common sense. Also b/c there was semen on RW, I don’t think he was showered – they could have easily missed this when they were wiping the blood off – they were probably focusing just on getting the blood cleaned up.

    I do think the towels, bed pad (if there was one) was disposed of – I have no theory on how but do not think too many additional people were involved in this. I think VZ was involved completely in the cleaning up aspect, and concocting the story – not murder. He’s always looking for JP’s approval or attention (notice JP is always attracted to the more creative – both VZ and DW). This was a chance for VZ to shine – I sort of think DW was incognito through most of the cleanup – maybe helped a little – but maybe was ambivalent – maybe still high. The marks along the hall/stair walls (is that right?) would have been left by carrying a large bundle of bloody stuff out the back door. I think everyone went outside and washed themselves up outside (got rid also of whatever they were wearing and added it to the bundle to be disposed of as well as the knife). I really think VZ was very very active in helping JP clean up and fix the problem. I do think the scream was VZ, but he probably went into action right away or else feigned the scream so it would match their story. I think VZ saying he was still alive, etc., he was trying to make the operator think he didn’t know that much – not so “coordinated” – just woke up, etc.

    I’m not sure how they “poked” RW with needles. The only thing I can think is they offered him a massage right away after his long day – he thought why not – everyone’s friends. Not sure about the drugging his water…..they wouldn’t have had to keep poking him so many times in what seems to have been “whatever location they could get the needle into” quickly before he knew what was going on and could fight back too much if he was already drugged initially – also, it would have to be fast acting, which someone on this site said Special K was and they probably got it into him from a few different places, which is even quicker – also the initial amount in the very least started to make RW very drousy? He may have been stabbed with the needle during the massage in such a way that RW may not have even known it was a needle – different massage techniques can allow for different things – maybe he thought he was getting accupuncture. This is the only thing that really explains for me the varied marks on the strangest places on his body from the needle.

    I do think they molested RW after drugging with the needle with their electroejaculation thing and shortly thereafter thought he was dead. So, not sure who, but they then decided to make it look like he was stabbed (not drugged with needles) so an alternative theory would fit better and not implicate them so much.

    For those of you who think VZ will come to his senses and do the right thing. I don’t think that will happen in a million years. He is way way too devoted to JP (blindly), and I believe that is the very last thing he would do. Now if the police threaten that they’ll jail JP and DW together in one facility and VZ in an entirely different facility for the duration – that would get interesting to see how VZ responds.

    Also, someone on this site said it was unusual for a hetero to just “sleep” over a gay friends house when he could have gone home b/c he just lived so close by. Please. I am hetero, have many gay friends that I sleep over their house in DC (vice versa when they want to stay in the burbs),for when I want to stay in DC for whatever reason, and this is very plausible for RW, b/c Falls Church is not “as stone’s throw close” as some would make us believe. Staying over to catch up is totally in the norm for anyone – even heteros.

    Ok, that’s it for now! I think I have been thinking about this for far too long! It’s just that these guys should not be able to get away with murder simply b/c no one knows which one did it. Sort of leaning towards JP making the cuts – it was his responsibility really, etc., and he had more invested than DW. Pretty sure DW could have cared less about RW, too. So, it would have actually been JP who killed him w/o him realizing it was him at first. He probably thought DW (with his help did with the needle/drugs, etc.).

    I’ll be very interested in seeing additional facts released through trial on what they found when they ripped up the house.

    • WH on 06/16/2009 at 7:54 AM

      Perplexed, thanks for the interesting ideas. I think your thought about Robert being convinced to get “acupuncture” is intriguing. Given Dylan’s training in massage, it’s not a far stretch to imagine he might have experience with other alternative medicine modalities. I’m not convinced that a fully-awake, non-drugged Robert would believe that a hypodermic needle attached to a syringe (to deliver drugs) is an acupuncture needle. We know Robert was very intelligent–after all he went to W&M!)

      Still I like your thinking outside the box to try and explain some of the more puzzling aspects of the case.

    • Anonymous on 06/16/2009 at 9:25 AM

      Your description of Victor’s relationship to Joe matches what I’ve seen – it’s almost puppyish. I’m not sure that I agree about DW being the dominant in the relationship with Joe, I think Joe controlled that too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave DW directions for their scenes. But in this case, I think Dylan, the “rice queen”, got what he wanted.

      I keep thinking about the New Yorker picture and how RW’s body was found in the same pose. There is so little info about DW on this board. Anyone who knows them (SKS?) think that he was seriously mentally ill? I really wonder if he planned to torture and kill him…

      • Craig on 06/16/2009 at 10:21 AM

        For those unfamiliar with the New Yorker article & picture, it’s here.

        • Laura on 06/17/2009 at 6:23 PM

          I think the only thing the New Yorker illustration proves is how few cops read the New Yorker…

      • CDinDC on 06/16/2009 at 1:13 PM

        Anonymous, you seem to be familiar with the dynamics of the household. Did Joe ever spend the night in Dylan’s room?

        • CDinDC on 06/16/2009 at 1:15 PM

          WHILE Victor was home.

          • Anonymous on 06/16/2009 at 3:47 PM

            No idea. Interesting question though.

            • CDinDC on 06/16/2009 at 5:00 PM

              Hey Anonymous, how about adding a number or something next to your screen name. A lot of people write under “anonymous”. It’s nice to know who you’re dealing with.

              Maybe?

              • Anonymous in DC on 06/16/2009 at 6:10 PM

                Sorry. Better?

                • CDinDC on 06/16/2009 at 7:51 PM

                  you’re fabulous. :D

                • Anonymous in DC on 06/16/2009 at 8:09 PM

                  It’s a wonder that Victor wasn’t the one on antidepressants.

                  I’ve known quite a few depressed people and if anything, they seem to think about hurting themselves, not others. No idea what the combo of antidepressants and street drugs might do.

                  Almost no one has posted anything about direct experiences with Dylan, c’mon, someone must know something. He did have friends – that’s how he ended up in DC, with the publishing co., etc. Anyone?

                  • She did it on 06/16/2009 at 8:17 PM

                    friends of dylan, insert crickets noise here. noone has come forward to admit to any personal or professional relationship with L’il Dyl. we have heard from many former joe/victor friends — ward remains an enigma.

                  • CDinDC on 06/16/2009 at 8:17 PM

                    AnoninDC….I’ve brought that up a couple of times…..many people have come forward about Robert….several people
                    have come forward about joe…..and someone has come forward about victor……not one person has mentioned Dylan. I think he was a shy / quiet /loner-type guy adn was befriended by Joe. And then corrupted.

                    • She did it on 06/16/2009 at 8:22 PM

                      great minds . . .

                  • Bea on 06/16/2009 at 9:57 PM

                    Dylan is a total question mark for me. I have a “sense” of the other two – though I may be wrong, at least it’s based on some facts, some opinions, some speculation. With all the changing-careers, changing-geography, he either had wanderlust or was simply ‘lost’. Or both. As CD and SDI say, it is odd that no one has offered any first-hand knowledge (other than “I knew J & V, had met D”).

                    My guess is that, like the young bride, he went directly from Needham to Joe in terms of financial support. Yes, he worked here and there, but as an outsider it seems more like temp work that Joe got him with some massage gigs. Culinary school, foreign massage training. . . if a friend told me this bio of a new boyfriend/girlfriend, I’d be quick to say ‘freeloader’ and/or eternally unhappy (followed by ‘run like your house is on fire’).

                    • CDinDC on 06/16/2009 at 10:12 PM

                      Bea says: “I’d be quick to say ‘freeloader’ and/or eternally unhappy (followed by ‘run like your house is on fire’).”

                      hell yeah.

      • Perplexed on 06/17/2009 at 1:09 PM

        Doesn’t it seem like DW was just a wayward person. Going from here to there, not really caring about being “kept.” I do think JP liked DW a lot more than DW liked him — I just get the impression that VZ was after JP and JP was after DW, and DW could care less and was off doing his own thing whenever he felt the desire. Didn’t someone post that they were in the same club as him a couple of weeks ago and he was doing some serious S&M partying? Can’t remember where I saw that or what club it was at.

        I think he’s going to ultimately be the weak link……

  24. CuriousInVa on 06/15/2009 at 4:15 PM

    After listening to the 911 call yet again I was just struck by Victor, having moved to the 2nd floor, stating that yes, his partner was applying pressure. Even if you take away all the other unbelievable elements, how in the hell do you explain the lack of bloody towels supposedly used to stop the bleeding when one of you stated that this was being done?

  25. galoon on 06/15/2009 at 5:15 PM

    I’m clueless as to what it takes to prove obstruction, tampering, etc. If a set of circumstances are implausible, is that enough to find the defendants guilty?

  26. Themis on 06/15/2009 at 5:46 PM

    Galoon,

    I was under the impression that someone was going to locate the D.C. pattern jury instructions on the elements of each offense, reasonable doubt, speculation, etc. I could not find them for free online, and I practice indigent defense far from D.C. so I cannot just look them up on lexis or westlaw.

  27. Craig on 06/15/2009 at 6:13 PM

    Themis – That’s on our list of to-dos.

  28. Jessica in DC on 06/17/2009 at 4:25 PM

    First I want to thank the creators of this incredibly thought provoking site. Hopefully in May, there will be some closure for all.

    I am writing with this point: I’m not sure if this aspect has been brought up already or not, but it seems that this particular killing was not amateur hour, you know?

    What I am saying is that it doesn’t seem that whoever killed RW, that this was their first time doing it. The scene was so clean and “professional” appearing. It seems like a calculated murder scene, from what I’ve read, not the first time or accidental killing of someone, when there would be more mistakes, due to the ‘freak out’ factor.

    I know that does not really give insight into WHO did it. I am not sure how this element plays into it, but to me, it seems that given the time frame, whoever killed RW was pretty good at it.

    Does anyone agree?

    • Doug on 06/17/2009 at 6:06 PM

      Hi Jessica;
      We’ve heard similar comments before. Very often brought up – not that I’m saying this is your context – with Robert Wone’s connection to Radio Free Asia. We’ve thought and looked into this for some time, and perhaps it’s appropriate for us to address the specifics of the scene, the “professional” (to borrow from you) way it was managed, and what it may say.
      Consider this an assignment. Thanks, and welcome.
      -Doug, co-editor

      • CDinDC on 06/17/2009 at 6:18 PM

        You do have to wonder whether Joe and/or Dylan have thought about this before.

        Plan the perfect murder? Show how smart I am (a la Ted Bundy).

        • CDinDC on 06/17/2009 at 6:21 PM

          wow…something just ocurred to me…what if Dylan, wayward son that he is, just wanted to be good at something. Murder.

  29. Themis on 06/17/2009 at 4:41 PM

    Jessica got me wondering whether or not Dylan’s room faced the back of the house. Since he was purportedly reading until shortly before the murder, it seems likely that light would have shown from his window, alerting anyone who didn’t enter the alley until after the light was turned on that a person may be in Dylan’s room, a person in close proximity to Robert, a person who could potentially hear steps on the stairs, steps along the hall, any sounds of a struggle, a call for help, etc. This has probably been covered before but I’m exhausted and cannot remember for the life of me. Also, was Robert visible from the door to the office/guest room?

    • David on 06/17/2009 at 4:46 PM

      Themis,

      Yes, Dylan’s room was in the back of the house facing the alley. Not sure (yet) if Robert could be seen from the door to the office/guest room.

      David

      • CDinDC on 06/17/2009 at 6:13 PM

        Re seeing Robert from the door to the office/guest room, Dylan said he heard Robert close the door and heard the “latch”.

        I have old-fashioned rim locks on my doors….I had someone lock one while I was in another room (with the door closed). Didn’t hear a thing.

        Must be a loud latch.

  30. Themis on 06/18/2009 at 4:05 PM

    For those who wonder/worry whether or not a trial on the current offenses would bar a subsequent trial on murder charges, the Supreme Court issued an opinion today, Yeager v. United States, that discusses issue preclusion/double jeopardy pretty thoroughly. The opinion can be found for free at:
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/08-67.pdf

    • galoon on 06/18/2009 at 6:12 PM

      Thanks Themis.

  31. DCBlogs » DC Blogs Noted on 06/22/2009 at 12:02 AM

    [...] Murdered Robert Wone? Is the name of a blog focusing on a 2006 murder mystery in Dupont Circle. It’s a very active blog with 80 comments alone on one [...]

  32. Robert Spiegel on 07/29/2009 at 4:50 AM

    MR RIPLEY
    As has been pointed out in posts herein as well as elsewhere, the admnistration of the date rape drug GMBH can lead to loss or impairment of memory about incident; this is a major reason for its use.

    JOHN GRISHAM
    As has been pointed out in your herein post as well as posts elsewhere — including my own — Victor is PR man which is probably why he called.

    ANONYMOUS
    I am bipolar which means that by definition I am mentally ill as would be Ward if he is bipolar as his medication regime would suggest. But to say that one is mentally ill is not the same as saying he or she is predisposed to murder another.

    As has been pointed in other posts herein as well as my own elsewhere, the one sexually dominant in an relationship — including an S&M one — is not necessarily the one “calling the shots” so to speak. Frequently, it is the submissive who has informed the dom as to what the sub likes and wishes to be “done to him.” Given the emotional relationship between Ward and Price, it is most likely that Dylan had been instructed by Joseph.

    PERPLEXED
    Though my initial reaction was that genuine is Victor’s hysteria in that fateful emergency call, further reflection leads me to agree with the majority of other posts that the PR man was not one of the “many who are called,” but rather the “one who was chosen.”

    Actually, given Ward’s houseboy, boy-toy dependence on Daddy Price, Dylan — like Victor for different reasons — probably cared more for narcisstic Price than the other way round.

    As I have stated elsewhere in other posts, Wone was not stabbed violently as is most often the case in “crimes of passion” in which knives may be employed (knives are not commonly the weapon of choice in premeditated murder).

    Robert was stabbed with precision by somebody who knew how to wield a knife in a methodical way such as might be the case with one who had the benefit of an education in culinary arts.

    I am a lawyer from a family of lawyers with many friends who are lawyers — both in the private as well as public sectors. Robert was employed by a major law firm where attorneys are frequently called upon to work overnight. He took a job with a political nonprofit which would have required him to work long hours — even had he not had the passion which he did and the organization not had a night staff which it did. A happily married man would not have relied on the kindness of friends to provide him with an “in” at the room.

    CDINDC
    As has been opined by posts herein and my own elsewhere, Ward’s being a loner may well explain why there seems to be less public information about him when compared to his roommates. However, it may also be that many involved with him are S&Mers or druggies who would rather that their own proclivities remain unknown.

    BEA
    Ward depended on Price for employment. In that sense, he is the classic houseboy or boy-toy who does as he is told — even as he plays dominant.

    JESSICA
    I am a human rights activist well acquainted with Radio Free Asia as well as other similar and different groups.

    The most likely entity to assassinate Wone would be the People’s Republic of China through their equivalent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    I am not aware of their having targeted other RFA
    officials — not to mention that it was too early for the PRC to have determined the threat which Wone may have or have not posed to them.

    As I have pointed out elsewhere, intelligence agcs
    do not normally rely on the luck of the day when a gate alarm is off, a front door open, a weapon is in a kitchen drawer, no one will hear them cross a room or climb stairs, pass an occupied room, etc.

    Furthermore an agent would not take the chance of approaching a victim from the far side of a bed.
    And it would be in their interest to steal Robert’s
    computer, blackberry, wallet and watch to make it appear as if an intruder had committed the crime.

    Moreover, Asian intelligence agents — unlike some Occidentals — are aware that Orientals scream when stabbed. Agents are intelligent enough to know not to stick around hoping that nobody will see them cleaning up blood from a crime scene. They also know that no amount of cleaning will eliminate detection through forensic DNA tests.

    “Hits” are meant eliminate a perceived threat and instill fear in others. Had PRC wished to execute Robert: with a gun and silencer, they would have shot him in the head as he was driving his auto on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House or parked in the driveway of the Wone home.

    It is for this reason that I have contended the only way the PRC would have killed Wone in fashion it appears he was murdered is if it were their idea to eliminate him in such a sloppy way that nobody in his Right or Left mind could possibly imagine that this was the work of a foreign intelligence agency.

    As has been pointed out in other posts herein, S&Mers do engage in “scenes” which simulate violent acts such as asphyxiation and rape.

    THEMIS
    The cited court decision confirms my suspicion as to why prosecutors in Wone case may have been holding out in hopes of indicting the defendants on murder rather than risk a double jeopardy which might forever preclude such a charge.

    RS
    What I find curious is the concerned Victor going voluntarily to another floor for the purpose of making an emergency call out of sight.

    Would not have Zaborsky wanted to remain in view of his friend Wone so he could more accurately describe the scene?

    Furthermore, how much assistance could Victor have been to the emergency response team if he did not know what was going on at the time of call?

    • CDinDC on 07/29/2009 at 9:32 AM

      Robert says: “Robert was stabbed with precision by somebody who knew how to wield a knife in a methodical way such as might be the case with one who had the benefit of an education in culinary arts.”

      I so have to disagree with this. Robert was incapacitated. Perhaps even paralyzed. If you’ve ever read any kind of forensic studies on stabbing, you will know that 1) it doesn’t take “might” to inflict a stab wound. Breaking the skin is the “hardest” part (which isn’t difficult). Lying under the skin is soft tissue and organ tissue.

      Any kind of jagged wound would be result of physical resistance from the victim. There was no resistance from Robert.

      Pushing a knife into a body that is completely still wouldn’t take expertise. Of any kind.

      Like I said before, this isn’t the Black Dahlia.

  33. Bea on 07/29/2009 at 5:32 AM

    Hi Robert,

    Since this thread, we did have someone post who knew Dylan, which was helpful (and interesting). I’m not sure of the context in which you decided to “bump” this thread, or your reason for captioning each of the people who posted, but I agree with your assessment outlined under my name.

    While I read others in a summary fashion (sorry, it’s late and I’m suffering a bout of insomnia – west coast) I have to disagree with your comments relating to “Perplexed” – being a lawyer, too, and having had a variety of legal positions, I don’t find it odd that Robert chose to “stay over” with friends in the city one night for the stated reasons indicated by his wife. I’ve done it, and I’ve had others stay with me for similar reasons (as a gay person, the sexual orientation of friends never crossed my mind).

    • CDinDC on 07/29/2009 at 9:26 AM

      Hi Bea,

      Can you direct me to the post or at least the article under which it was posted? I’ve not read it and I’m very interested in seeing what it has to say.

      • Bea on 07/29/2009 at 12:28 PM

        It was by MaNonVa – got its own feature called “Bumped”.

        • CDinDC on 07/29/2009 at 2:37 PM

          Found it Bea….I was thinking there was another post. Read that one. Quite insightful, that one.

  34. BadShoes on 05/03/2010 at 9:04 PM

    The link to the 911 call mp3 appears to be broken…

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Purpose of this Site

On August 2nd, 2006, Washington attorney Robert E. Wone was murdered at 1509 Swann Street. Over two years passed before any criminal charges were filed - and then only conspiracy, obstruction of justice and crime scene tampering charges were brought against the Swann Street housemates, all present in the home on the night of the murder: Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky.

On May 17, 2010, a DC Superior Court trial got underway and all three defendants were all acquitted in that bench trial on those pending charges.

Nearly four years later, very little seems clear about what happened that night and who murdered Robert Wone. A cloud of suspicion remains over the Swann Street defendants who have denied any involvement in the murder of their friend or in the alleged cover up.

Judge Lynn Leibovitz found a moral certainty in their collective guilt, but not evidentiary certainty. Civil proceedings in a wrongful death suit filed by Robert's family is the next chapter in this tragic story.

We continue to work together seeking answers to the mystery of Robert Wone's murder and in finding justice for his memory and legacy.

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