From Swann Street To South Street

What the Wone and Smithson Murders Do and Don’t Share

Many people who hear about Robert Wone’s murder have pegged it a sex-party-gone-bad and a snap cover up, especially if you know a little about the defendants or certain behaviors in certain parts of the gay community.

Philly skylineBut if you compare both cases to that theory, you quickly see the Philly case fits it better than does the murder of Robert Wone.  This helps draw a critical difference between the cases, and helps reframe the way we look at why and how Robert died.

So, the similarities. 

On the surface both sets of defendants were white men with professional jobs. Dylan and Joe were into gay sex parties with multiple partners just like William Smithson.  Witnesses spoke to knowing about Dylan and Joe’s sexual involvement. 

Joe Price’s alt.com profile seeks a third person for play with he and Dylan.  William Smithson on the night of the murder had both Jason Shephard and Bruce Covington at his home for the purpose of sex.

The drug issue is less clear.  While Joe and Dylan have not said they did drugs, Dylan admitted that drugs were in the Swann Street home. Police dogs smelled the former presence of drugs in a cabinet in Dylan’s room, and in one  in Joe and Victor’s room.  William Smithson said he was very into crystal meth, and many of the sex parties he hosted focused on using crystal meth and having sex.  It is not uncommon for drugs to be involved at the sex parties that Dylan and Joe may have appeared to be into.  

On how the drugs were used, William Smithson and Bruce Covington both admitted to being into injecting crystal meth.  It is not known whether Jason Shephard was injected with any drugs, but Robert Wone was found with multiple premortem need marks.  So far, Robert’s blood from has tested negative.  But, the prosecution and defense have agreed to further tests of the remaining blood sample. 

Additionally, both cases’ defendants claim the prosecution is bigoted and biased because of the sexual orientation of the defendants, partially stemming from what police argue is a sexual fetish lifestyle.

But the similarities end there, and its differences help explain why Robert’s case isn’t just an example of a sex party traveling down to south street.  

First, Robert and the defendants knew each other over a significantly longer period of time than Jason Shephard knew William Smithson or Bruce Covington.  The Swann Street housemates and Robert knew each other for well over a decade when the murder occurred in 2006.   Joe, Victor and Dylan describe themselves as a family while the men in Philadelphia barely knew each other, even for less than 24 hours.

From media reports it sounds like William Smithson had a few sex toys, which certainly can’t be said of Dylan Ward’s collection of sex paraphernalia.  

Second, how each group came together is also dramatically different.  In the Swann Street case, they knew each other from elite organizations at college, to being domestic partners, to being roommates and in a self described polyamorous relationship.  The internet had nothing to do with bringing any of the four residents together on August 2, 2006.  

In Jason Shepherd’s case, he knew William Smithson at most a few months, and the internet more than likely played a role in bringing Covington to the house. He probably met Jason for the first time on September 19, 2006.

The Swann Street residents have every reason not to turn on each other. They are family; they even continue living together.  William Smithson, on the other hand, doesn’t owe Bruce Covington any loyalty.  Attendees at a sex party who don’t have much invested with each other would quickly look out for the own interests, especially as the faced hard jail time.  

The police expected the Swann Street defendants to turn on each other.  They underestimated how tight this family is.

While sex maybe at the heart of each case, both are not examples of the sex party gone wrong theory.  And the Smithson case helps us understand murder of Robert Wone better.

-posted by David

67 comments for “From Swann Street To South Street

  1. rk
    06/19/2009 at 2:19 PM

    How well did Robert know Dylan? We know Robert and Joe were friends since W&M, but was Robert aware of the rest of the “family?”

    • Bea
      06/19/2009 at 2:58 PM

      It’s been reported that Dylan was one of the “hosts” of the party for Robert, but otherwise just the trio’s claims that they’d socialized with Robert and that they’d spent time with Robert’s widow after the murder. Not that that really answers your question.

      • CDinDC
        06/19/2009 at 3:04 PM

        I had the impression that the true nature of their relationship wasn’t common knowledge to everyone.

        • Craig
          06/19/2009 at 3:26 PM

          Right CD – Some friends of the ‘trouple’ that we’ve spoken with were unaware of the true extent and nature of Joe & Dylan’s relationship. There was a public side it seems, and another more private and closely guarded side.

          • CDinDC
            06/19/2009 at 3:59 PM

            Yet another reason for Dylan to feel “set aside.”

            I used to date someone years ago that was “in the closet.” It was quite difficult putting on a show for friends and family that didn’t know. Pretending that I was….no one special.

            Imagine Dylan, seemingly a lost soul, being constantly defined as…..”undefined.”

            Insert “snapping” sound.

            • Fascinating
              06/19/2009 at 6:29 PM

              CD, I love your sound effects!

          • Bea
            06/19/2009 at 9:17 PM

            This part hadn’t sunk in before. Joe takes Victor to all the official events – Arent Fox’s parties, all the A list gay fundraisers/events – that I’d assumed. But if your FRIENDS don’t all know? I remember in Dylan’s Motion for Release it stated that Joe, Victor & Dylan had hosted Dylan’s parent’s 60th birthday party/Dylan’s baby brother’s college graduation – so did Needham partake of the punch with knowledge that his son was the live-in mistress? Kinda doubt it. There has to be psychological wear-and-tear. I’ve long wondered how/why Victor put up with it. Does make me think that Joe is just not a kind man no matter the perspective – one selfish SOB. Goes more with sociopath than ‘loving husband’.

            • 06/19/2009 at 10:16 PM

              psychological wear and tear: the last thing the fragile and blue dylan ward needs. price had l’il dyl right where she wanted him. i bet victor secretly (perhaps openly?) resents that ward was forced into his life, with the sex toys, pills, sadness and all. no, ward is not to be introduced to the arent fox set, he would not pass muster; that is what victor was for. dylan shined on party week ends, not in the day to day of life, where he had crapped the bed.

              • Perplexed
                06/20/2009 at 11:20 AM

                SDI: I totally agree that there’s a psychological element here that is not fully understood. Basically JP is making DW the identified patient, but it is almost never the IP that is the issue. I get the feeling that DW was the dom during the play — but probably didn’t really have a role otherwise. That would be a cause for rebellion. And remember VZ’s cue during the interrogation that “they were trying to create one family.” There’s no reason to say that unless there is an issue……

                • Perplexed
                  06/20/2009 at 11:21 AM

                  Sorry! The quote isn’t completely accurate, but the substance of the statement is…….

            • Perplexed
              06/20/2009 at 11:26 AM

              I think VZ thought this was just a faze for JP and that when it was over JP would return in whole to VZ to continue their relationship. Also, this strikes me as a typical “player” playing the field and convincing everyone that they are the ones that are more important to them, and the other is just for fun/brief, etc. but that it in no way impacts the primary relationship (JP and VZ).

              • Mr.Ripley
                06/20/2009 at 2:59 PM

                If the question is how/why could Victor have tolerated the situation, what won’t people tolerate in relationships I ask you? It never surprises me anymore, especially in gay relationships I am sorry to say. Frankly I see this less in straight culture because fewer women would put up with this shit. Probably Joe swept Victor off his feet at one time, and that feeling sustains a person for A LONG time. Some find it harder to imagine life alone, however pathetic that is. In this case V is apparently so pathetic that he became complicit in a crime too.

    • 07/22/2009 at 7:32 AM

      The article states that “Many people who hear about Robert Wone’s murder have pegged it a sex-party-gone-bad and a snap cover up, especially if you know a little about the defendants or certain behaviors in certain parts of the gay community.”

      Well I do know William Smithson and a little about certain parts of the gay community. I also know a little bit about the straight community and I am learning that the they allow our court system to execute bias trials with incomplete investigations when homosexuals are involved.

      It also claims that “the internet more than likely played a role in bringing Covington to the house.” That is absolutely untrue. If the person who wrote this article knew the facts about this case they would know that Bruce Covington knew Smithson well and was the instigator of the “sex party” that was supposed to take place that night. 7 phone calls from Covington to Smithson in the hours prior to their meeting are a strong suggestion that Covington was not just a random guest. Smithson did not return any of he calls until Covington’s phone records showed he was very near to Smithson’s house.

      That being said, Smithson does not “owe Covington any loyalty” you are correct. It is Covington who owes Jason Shephard and his family the common decency to testify about the facts of that night.

      The question we need to ask is why did the attorneys and Judge involved in the investigation and trial do everything in their power to allow Covington to remove himself from this case when he admitted to injecting Smithson with drugs and being in the house at the time of Shephard’s murder? And, are there any similarities in the investigations and trials of the 2 cases rather than the murders themself?

      I do hope the defendants in the Wone case do get a fair trial. Smithson obviously did not and that is a great injustice to Jason Shephard, his family and the gay community.

      • CDinDC
        07/22/2009 at 12:46 PM

        Were you in the courtroom the other day when he pleaded “no contest” to the child pornography charges?

        • Friend of Smithson
          07/22/2009 at 1:42 PM

          No, but I did know that he was going to. He needed to get out of Delaware County because he was in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. The only way they would speed things up for him was to plead No Contest, his condition was that it would not be publicized. When he arrived at the courthouse his lawyer informed him that the DA and Judge allowed the press in. At that point he felt so defeated that he saw no other way out.

          The porn they found on his computer that was used by many other people were in a folder with someone else’s name on it according to the Philadelphia Inquire and The Philadelphia Gay News.

          • CDinDC
            07/22/2009 at 2:29 PM

            I wonder how many people used Joe Price’s computer.

            • CDinDC
              07/22/2009 at 2:33 PM

              Funny how people that do illicit drugs, have sex parties with strangers, and carry on in relatively unsavory ways get themselves in such pickles.

  2. akibrasil
    06/19/2009 at 4:01 PM

    DW may have had a motivation, that the unbearable situation for him in Swann Street ends. And it is hard to believe that anyone was asleep when RW was murdered. Is it thinkable that a „dom“ in a BDSM situation has the power to command his „sub“ a murder? David has posted a important note in my view: It is unlikely that the murder of RW is simply a „sex murder“. But if the relations of the Swann Street residents have importance, if driven by the only one with a (speculativ) non-sex motive: Why should RP in his role as a (not excessive!) drugged „sub“ (help to) paralyze, rape and murder RW? Is it conceivable that for the sexual satisfaction someone (co-)commits a murder to obey his (calculating) „dom“?

    • CDinDC
      06/19/2009 at 4:13 PM

      aki says: “Is it conceivable that for the sexual satisfaction someone (co-)commits a murder to obey his (calculating) „dom“?”

      Depends on who you think the “dom” is. And it sure isn’t Dylan.

      “Dylan! Whip my a**!”

      • akibrasil
        06/19/2009 at 4:46 PM

        Perplexed says: „…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…“

        No question that JP was the leader, but I don’t see DW only as a weak person. He did always the unexpected. And there is the fact of JP sexual habits.

  3. CDinDC
    06/19/2009 at 5:10 PM

    akibrasil says: “He did always the unexpected.”

    I think Dylan did what was EXPECTED.

  4. 06/20/2009 at 9:23 AM

    what about the role of sanity in both these cases. the role of mental health issues/deficiencies should not be ignored.

    • Perplexed
      06/20/2009 at 11:17 AM

      It’s strange that you raise this b/c the inference was DW had problems. They raised this a few times in the questioning. I really think JP thinks DW killed RW (maybe he did). But I’m also not confident that they know exactly what killed him. Did he think that b/c DW was the one who possibly OD’d RW or did DW do everything – also stab/cut RW when they had to make it look like an intruder? I still think the DW was the dom in the way of unpredictability. DW could come and go, mix and mingle with others, you notice when the EMTs arrived, sort of JP and VZ were involved in the interaction and DW was more like f*ck it, and went in his room as though he could care less how it all turned out. That’s not really the beh. of a sub.

      • Bea
        06/20/2009 at 2:47 PM

        SDI and Perplexed,
        Especially considering the mental health posts (including Perplexed’s) above, it may well have been a night of a ‘perfect storm’ of resentment, drug abuse, who-does-Joe-love-more. Which ended with murder (and I am making NO excuses by saying “perfect storm” – only that it came to a head that night, not that I give a damn about any of the murderers or why they committed such a heinous act).

        Dylan: intelligent, educated, but the trio’s LOSER in terms of accomplishment and income stream; Joe’s mistress and not the primary, not the “Domestic Partner”; party boy whose role is primarily sexual. May love Joe but mostly has looked for a place to “land” and be cared for.

        Victor: steady income, reputable, ‘can-take-him-anywhere’ to Joe; the Elizabeth Edwards-from-Loretta Lynn “Stand By Your Man” and has put up with “a lot” from Joe and his many needs. Likely liked the arrangement a lot more ‘before DW’ and I agree that he’s hoping this is just a phase for Joe that he needed to ‘wait out’ so he and Joe can grow old together.

        Joe: the biggest question mark – respected member of the legal community, brings in the most income stream (pre-murder of course), has his name in the mix in the news for gay and homeless causes. The nice husband isn’t enough, needs to “fuel” the (insatiable?) sexual needs and “get” Dylan. Still not enough, always needs to push the envelope. Is finding that the drugs always need to be “upped” to get the next level of thrill, to feed the ‘bad boy’ within, the get-away-with-stuff voice.

        Because Robert was Joe’s old friend, it does make me think Joe was one very messed up dude who used Dylan (for actions) and Victor (for conscience). Whether he was the one who was the primary actor in the murder of Robert or not, his psyche was instrumental to the ‘perfect storm’ that night.

        • CDinDC
          06/20/2009 at 3:19 PM

          Love the post, Bea. Love the descriptions of the trio.

          I think one thing needs to be added…..Joe’s feelings about Robert.

          When we are lucky, our friendships remain true and strong. Usually, that’s because the players in those strong friendships grow only in positive ways. Sometimes, when our friendships lapse, it’s because one or more of the individuals in the friendships….change. Joe, it seems, has been changing….his psychosexual behavior has been morphing for quite a while now. Perhpas this major change in Joe’s sexual personality affected his friendship with Robert? With Joe’s perception of Robert?

          Perhaps Joe was beginning to view Robert in a different way that allowed “the perfect storm.”

        • 06/20/2009 at 3:43 PM

          Bea, as usual, a fabulous insightful post. i don’t think joe is a question mark, though; you portrayed him well. ambitious trailer trash eventually shot down by his own vices – sex, drugs, wonder-lust. peace, bea and cd, and others. . .

  5. Themis
    06/20/2009 at 4:29 PM

    If one of the three committed the murder, I do not see how, on the current evidence, any could claim diminished capacity, voluntary intoxication, or insanity, as least to negate guilt.

    There is a phenomena in the psychiatric literature call folie a deux (also a tolerable wine). The upshot of it is that two people who may have never engaged in certain behavior alone feed on each other’s mental health problems creating a situation in which each fuels the antisocial behavior of the other. Think Karla Homolka and her husband and, no offense because I think the sexuality of the two is ancillary, Leopold and Loeb.

    • CDinDC
      06/20/2009 at 4:51 PM

      If I remember correctly, Karla Homolka was convicted of only manslaughter. She also turned states evidence against her husband.

  6. Themis
    06/20/2009 at 5:15 PM

    Karla got off easy because she snowed people (who didn’t need much snowing) into believing that she was a battered wife forced to go along with her husband’s deviancy.

    In fact, videos that came to light after she negotiated her spectacular plea show that it was her idea to drug her sister so that Paul could have sex with a virgin and that she was actually an enthusiastic participant in the rape and torture of the other victims, sometimes participating in the rapes, other times photographing them.

    The Canadian government burned the videos ostensibly to protect the victims’ families, but more likely to cover their ass for having made an awful deal predicated on outdated notions of male/female power relations (i.e., paternalistic misogyny).

    Even as a defense attorney, it turns my stomach to realize what she got away with by playing poor, battered little wife. I have had plenty of clients who endured much, much worse, including a client who was pimped out as a boy so his mother could get alcohol, who received little to no consideration for that actually, unlike KH, endured.

    The Canadian government should be ashamed of themselves for covering over their ineptitude rather than using the newly discovered evidence to invalidate their agreement with KH.

    • Nelly
      06/24/2009 at 9:59 PM

      Ugh… I read about the Homolka torture-murders on wikipedia. Never heard about that case before. Very disturbing…. Also unsettling is that in their wedding photo, the 2 depraved rapist-murderers look like your typical, happy blond young couple. Ms. Homolka seems to have been from a well-off family too. What is wrong with people?!

      • CDinDC
        06/24/2009 at 10:19 PM

        I defer to Joe, Dylan and Victor to answer that!

  7. Ex-gay speaks out
    06/21/2009 at 2:22 PM

    I can’t help but wonder if the push for “hate crimes” in Washington keeps this case so low profile.

    Publicity on this case would certainly spoil the plight to give special protection to sexual orientation. So, what does happen when homosexuals murder heterosexuals? See the murders of Jeffrey Curly, Jesse Dirkhising, and Mary Stachowicz.

    Thank God, I am out of homosexuality.

    • 06/21/2009 at 2:59 PM

      “Thank God, I am out of homosexuality”! LOL, me too. Yeah, right. Some of L’il Dillon’s meds may be in order.

    • CDinDC
      06/21/2009 at 4:15 PM

      ::pressing my ignore button::

    • CDinDC
      06/21/2009 at 5:36 PM

      Lisa, is that you?

      • Bea
        06/21/2009 at 7:26 PM

        I think it’s Joe creating a diversion.

        • CDinDC
          06/21/2009 at 9:34 PM

          I think Lisa Miller is the “ex-gay” that would take an interest in this site.

    • David
      06/21/2009 at 10:46 PM

      EGSO,

      Actually hate crimes laws would pertain to the murder of Robert Wone because they are based on sexual orientation, not homosexuality. So if it was proven that Robert was murdered because of his heterosexuality, either by a homosexual (s) or heterorsexual, then hate crimes law would apply.
      This case could actually help make the point why hate crime laws are important for ALL people, and not just for gay and lesbian folks.

      David, co-ed.

    • JusticeForRobert
      06/22/2009 at 12:42 PM

      I can’t help but wonder if the push to shut down hate crime legislation in the United States is the reason for, A: Your need to announce that your “ex-gay”, whatever that may be. B: Your despicable attempt to use Robert’s murder for your own personal agenda.

      Publicity on this case is all the more reason to enact Hate Crime Legislation. Your post is proof positive of that.

      Robert spent his life supporting equal rights for all people. That is what he stood for. Do NOT defile his stance, his beliefs and his family just because you want to make this an ex/anti-gay issue. If that is what you seek, then by all means, Fred Phelps and Ann Coulter are but a phone call away.

      Thanks GOD I am OUT!
      My Best
      Steven

    • Mike
      06/23/2009 at 11:40 AM

      The Jesse Dirkhising case cannot be considered gay-on-gay crime.

      • CDinDC
        06/23/2009 at 12:28 PM

        He was 13. His murderer was a pedophile.

  8. CDinDC
    06/21/2009 at 9:35 PM

    ONLY ex-gay, that is.

  9. CDinDC
    06/21/2009 at 11:17 PM

    I would hope that ex-gay realizes that the majority of the contributors on this website are gay and are appalled at the death of Robert Wone, and hope that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are punished to fullest extent of the law.

    • WH
      06/22/2009 at 7:27 AM

      Of course, the hate crimes law would only apply (the way I understand it) if Robert was randomly targeted because of his heterosexuality, and could not be used to add additional charges in a case (like this one) where it’s felt the primary motive for murder would be personal. Of course, if the “intruder” story were true, and Robert were killed by a gay man determined to cleanse the gayborhood of straights, then I (and most of us, I assume) would be all in favor of applying a hate crimes law to increase the criminal penalty. Ex-Gay, thanks for your thoughtful and oh-so-relevant contribution.

      • CDinDC
        06/22/2009 at 7:36 AM

        WH, as a homosexual, I cannot thank ex-gay for that “contribution.”

        The 2 cases cited by ex-gay were pedeophilic crimes. Homosexuals and pedeophiles are not the same thing. Whether it is same sex crime or not. The third case, Mary Stachowicz, was the murder of a Christian woman by a gay man which, in my opinion, should have been designated a hate crime.

        Re the other two cases, it’s an ugly far-right tactic to compare pedeophiles with homosexuals.

        Again, I do not thank ex-gay for that post.

        • WH
          06/22/2009 at 7:41 AM

          CD, I agree with you 100%. I was trying to be sarcastic, but it may not have come through!

          • CDinDC
            06/22/2009 at 9:29 AM

            Thank goodness!!

  10. 06/22/2009 at 8:33 AM

    Why is it that the police look the other way while gang stalkers stalk, harass, poison and expose to radiation completely harmless people?

    Crimes against humanity are not a police or governmental concern?

    On the other hand, if you murder somebody you do not get gang stalked and your human rights are respected?

    Seems very odd…….

    • CDinDC
      06/22/2009 at 9:30 AM

      odd…no doubt.

  11. Eduardo
    07/22/2009 at 7:10 AM

    THE PROTECTION OF F BRUCE CONVINGTON

    Those who followed Jason’s murder case and witnessed the trial know that Judge Dozor and DA Thomas Lawrie used an impressionable and incompetent Jury (members of which were sleep at times!!!) to ‘cook’ Smithson’s conviction.

    F Bruce Covington (aka, Bruce Chapman for the Gay/Drugs underworld) should have been -at the least- ‘a person of interest’ and the most important source of information in Jason’s murder trial.

    Moreover, many in the community think that Covington should have been investigated and subjected to the trial as Smithson was. This is because either Covington or Smithson could have strangled Jason (not just Smithson).

    The record shows that Covington lied to the police by telling them he was not in the house when the murder happened. He only recanted when he was told the police had material evidence proving otherwise.

    Some months later, Covington was ‘caught’ in the (How should I say it?)- “alleged” drugging and raping of Manny F.: A case even the Media found oddly similar to Jason’s case.

    Instead investigating Covington or bringing him to testify, Thomas Lawrie and Judge Dozor gave outmost importance to the testimony of a person who had not been in the house at the time of the murder. A person whose testimony was not preserved on tape, and one many suspect should never had been admitted by Court (once the person and the conditions of the statement are examined closely).

    As time progresses, information is surfacing indicating that is a ‘tradition’ in Judge Dozor’s Courthouse to send to jail anyone ‘who deserves it’, not according to Justice, but according to ‘his opinion’, and by means of legal trickery. Protecting Covington is just one of them.

    Not a single piece of material evidence was presented to the Jury. Instead the Judge allowed ‘speculations’ to be admitted as proof. For instance: the DA showed a strap and implied that it was the murder weapon. He even said that they have DNA tests relevant to the case. In sotto voce the DA then proceeded to admit that only Smithson’s DNA was found on the strap. Why was the strap story even admitted to Court? It was known Smithson used intravenous drugs, so a strap was as ‘strange’ a findings as a lighter in a smokers home.

    Finally, it is also surfacing that Judge Dozor not only ‘instructed’ the Jury, but gave them ‘rules’ set up to guarantee a conviction.

    The Smithson case was not a Fair Trial. Just consider this: two men could have murder Jason. The Delaware County system prosecuted only ONE.

    • Themis
      07/22/2009 at 8:27 AM

      Though not privy to the trial details, my own experience as a public defender suggests that the following may have happened. First, the gov’t may have been willing to call Covington/Chapman but decided that they could get one conviction with little doubt by not doing so or try both and end up with nothing. Fair? No. But it happens all the time. Second, the defense could have attempted to call Covington/Chapman but were precluded from doing so because he stated through his attorneys that he would invoke the Fifth. Defense counsel is usually precluded from calling someone that they know will invoke the Fifth, and the government would oppose any such action since it might cast doubt upon their case. Third, the defense could have asked the court to grant Covington/Chapman immunity based upon his testimony. Again, this would have been opposed by the state. The family would also oppose it if they were contemplating bringing a wrongful death suit. Both of which puts the defense in a bind. Finally, the defense simply could have failed in taking all necessary steps to present all relevant evidence. That can only be challenged in post-conviction proceedings which erect a high hurdle to relief.

      If I were Smithson, I would be contacting Maryland’s innocence project, the sooner the better. Though they tend to focus on DNA cases, they take on other cases as well.

      As far as the bias against the GLBT community, it continues to be exploited by the government when it is to their advantage.

      If it is any small consolation, the government also exploits prejudice against heteros who engage in nontraditional sexual activity. I had a client who was crucified about that fact despite my protestations and objections to the trial court’s evidentiary rulings. The government’s case was based upon the argument that she’s a slut, she does immoral things (swinging, female strip clubs), therefore she wouldn’t have any moral compunction against committing murder.

      It all goes to show that justice is often in the eye of the beholder.

      Just hope that a wrongful death suit is filed against Covington/Chapman. Then a lot of info should emerge. Some of which may spur further investigation and possibly prosecution.

    • 07/23/2009 at 7:17 PM

      given the magnitude and proficiency with which smithson crapped the bed of life, i am amused at the recent posts proclaiming his innocence. before i jump on the free smithson bandwagon, can someone please remind me of the reason and/or excuse that smithson gave for having a dead body in house for several days? i know he said nothing pre-trial or at trial, but post trial smithson has been talking to anyone who will listen. i am sure there is an innocent explanation for the dead body being in his home, and i cannot wait to hear it from the smithson apologists.

      • CDinDC
        07/23/2009 at 7:46 PM

        It WAS in the bedroom. According to the ex that visited right after the murder. Soooomeone moved it to the basement.

        Maybe an intruder.

        Or maybe it was that person that stored the child porn on his computer.

        • 07/23/2009 at 8:17 PM

          i started laughing out loud at your intruder theory. THANK YOU!

  12. Eduardo
    07/23/2009 at 8:25 PM

    Like in the murder of Robert Wone, we seek Justice in the murder of Jason Shepard.

    Several crimes were allegedly committed by William Smithson:
    a) Consumption of illegal drugs
    b) Lying to the Police
    c) Abuse of corpse (moving and hiding a dead body)
    d) Kidnapping
    e) Attempted rape
    f) Murder

    There is material evidence indicating that Smithson took illegal drugs, lied to the police and hid the corpse. However, there is no material evidence that Smithson kidnapped, attempted to rape, or murdered Jason.

    Kidnapping and attempt of rape were accusations that originated in the mind of the Chief Speculator: 1) the fact that Jason was in Smithson’s house voluntarily and free to chat on the phone with friends makes kidnapping just a ‘figment of someone’s imagination’ (that is fact worth remembering!); 2) Forensics was adamantly clear that there were no signs of rape or sexual abuse on Jason (another fact to bear in mind!).

    Let’s now address the third unknown: Who murdered Jason?
    Had Smithson been alone with Jason in that house one would reasonably extrapolate that Smithson -and only Smithson- could have been the murderer. But there was another man in the house: this man was F. Bruce Covington. This man was not investigated or considered a suspect. Even the mentioning of this man’s name was kept away from the trial at all cost.

    So, while there is evidence that Smithson took illegal drugs, lied to the police and hid the corpse, the record shows that Smithson did not kidnap Jason, did not attempt to sexually abuse Jason, there is no material or circumstantial evidence that he murdered Jason and there was another person in the house at the time of the murder who could have done it.

    Your sarcasm bleeds through: Is there ever an innocent explanation for a dead body being in someone’s home? I do not think so. In this case the body was there because someone murdered an innocent man. That is not a joke.

    A desire fora Fair Trial -one where all the possible suspects are indicted and all the evidence if presented to a competent and free Jury- is ALL that you will hear from those you call ‘smithson apologists’.

    That used to be called Justice.

    • 07/23/2009 at 8:37 PM

      circumstantial evidence is material evidence. smithson lied to police and the victim’s family; he was tweaked out of his mind (though his mind by his own admission routinely struggled with depression over his sexuality); he abused a corpse: but he would never sink so low as to commit murder? given that he lied to police and abused a corpse, how much weight am i now supposed to give to anything that comes from smithson’s mouth?

      • CDinDC
        07/23/2009 at 9:10 PM

        Just because someone willingly went to someone’s house, doesn’t mean they couldn’t be “kidnapped.” Kidnapped doesn’t necessarily mean transporting from one place to another. It can mean being held forceably against one’s will. If Jason had decided he wanted to leave and was forced to stay, he was kidnapped.

      • 07/23/2009 at 9:19 PM

        Didn’t the other person in the house at the time of the murder lie in his first statement to police to separate himself from the crime too? Why are we only seeing one side of the coin in this case? Your arguments are old and do not explain the cover-up by Covington, the investigators and the DA.

        • CDinDC
          07/23/2009 at 9:33 PM

          As interesting as the Smithson case is, I believe spending too much time on it on this website detracts from the mission of this site. The Robert Wone case.

          • 07/23/2009 at 9:58 PM

            Agreed, we truly do wish you success in your pursuit of justice. One last thought and I don’t know if it will help; you were comparing the similarities of the two cases but there is one difference between Smithson and the defendants in your case that is interesting. Smithson did not have the cash flow that Joe, Dylan and Victor have for legal representation. Covington appears to have the same potential for cash flow. Covington was not charged with any of his crimes until 2 years later so you see there are some similarities… We do not want you to enter into this trial blindly like we did and expect that the jury will make a well informed decision. There are ways around that and I would not want to see any important evidence covered up in Robert’s trial like it was in Jason Shephard’s.

            • CDinDC
              07/23/2009 at 10:38 PM

              Friend, if interested in perusing this site, a fresh set of eyes is always encouraged. Your thoughts on this case would be interesting.

              • 07/24/2009 at 6:30 AM

                My only suggestion is please be careful not to focus so much on the events of the crime (instead of what will happen at trial) that you allow the court system to create an illusion of what really took place. And when comparing the Wone case to others you should really know what the truths are not just what is printed in news media outlets. It could be more helpful that you know. Once the case has been tried, if feel you have not seen justice in the verdict, feel free to contact us at the site I have included in this comment, we would welcome you with open arms.

  13. 07/23/2009 at 9:47 PM

    I believe we are obligated to examine ALL the facts and to present the Jury with ALL the facts…The burden of proof is not met by speculations. That is not Justice: that is just the mockery of it.

    The ‘kidnapping’ story was as real a fact as is ‘attempted rape’: there was no circumstantial evidence for these…ask the people who were on the phone with Jason and the MD who examined the body. NADA!

    Speculations are not proof or evidence, not even if one repeats and repeats the same argument a million times: there is a difference between seeing and imagining.

    Evidence is data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.

    The court must refuse to admit evidence in criminal proceedings if its probative value is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to the defendant.

    In short: Circumstantial evidence must still meet the pesky requirement of it being reasonable…While there was another man in the house who could have murdered Jason (and we know there was: F Bruce Covington)…Is it reasonable be blind to that FACT?

    • Bea
      07/23/2009 at 9:58 PM

      Hi Eduardo,
      You may want to start a site on the Smithson case. While some of the ‘descriptors’ may link these cases in your estimation, one murder has nothing to do with the other (unless the killer is the same, which I don’t think you’re suggesting). I can see that you’re upset with the verdict, and if the convicted defendant is not guilty, then good for you in supporting him – that said, as CD put it, this site is dedicated to bringing the murderer(s) of Robert Wone to justice. Just as I hate being lumped in with all gay people, I don’t think there’s much to be gained by lumping all gay alleged murder defendants (here, conspiracy/obstruction) together. In order for me to have an opinion in the Smithson case, I’d have to devote serious time and energy to it – and though I might do so on another site, I don’t think this is the place to do so.

      I wish the best to you.

      • CDinDC
        07/23/2009 at 10:36 PM

        100% agree, Bea.

        Not to mention, newer people to the site may begin to confuse the two cases.

      • 07/24/2009 at 6:32 AM

        My only suggestion is please be careful not to focus so much on the events of the crime that you allow the court system to create an illusion of what really took place. And when comparing the Wone case to others you should really know what the truths are not just what is printed in news media outlets. It could be more helpful that you know. Once the case has been tried, if feel you have not seen justice in the verdict feel free to contact us at the site I have included in this comment, we would welcome you with open arms.

  14. Clio
    07/23/2009 at 10:10 PM

    Yes, Eduardo, your website could be called: The New Smithsonian. That wry reference to a DC landmark would provide a simple and sympathetic way to link it with the Wone case without being an “intruder” on this particular site.

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