Countdown

Lurkers are People Too

We received an interesting email last week from a longtime reader who works in the legal profession.  How’s that for vague?

Best described as a lurker, Hoya Loya found us by way of Above the Law earlier this summer.  And as often the case, we were told, “I have been obsessed with this case since first reading about it…”   Nearly every email starts the same way.

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In a self-described “moment of clarity” Hoya was war-gaming a fictional murder trial, adding up quite a few pieces of circumstantial evidence to see who it may point to.

Of course this is unlikely to play out since there’s little or no chance murder charges will ever be filed in this case.  Nonetheless, an interesting exercise.

Hoya Loya counts us down.

10. Who owned a knife consistent with the wounds?

9. Who was the dominant in S/M role play?

8. Who had a room on the same floor as the guest room?

You can see where he’s going with this. 

7. Who allegedly showed Robert to the shower?

6. Who implausibly says he heard the door latch?

5. Who has a history of drug use and psych issues?

4. Who has a drop of someone’s blood on his comforter?

3. Who knew Robert for the shortest amount of time and on arguably the most superficial level?

2. Who acted the most detached upon arrival of the EMTs?

1. Who did Joe express concern for while in custody?

Yes, an interesting exercise, but circumstantial evidence only plays so far.  And a murder trial isn’t what Glenn Kirschner will be prosecuting next spring.

So the better question may be:  do any of these elements play out as Kirschner aims at conspiracy, obstruction and tampering charges?

-Craig

123 comments for “Countdown

  1. Clio
    10/26/2009 at 11:12 AM

    Could it be Dylan? The couple’s shy and serious roommate? Scion of one of Tacoma’s leading families? Trusty uncle, brother, and friend? Award-winning children’s book author and crack fundraiser for LGBT equality? Top chef and Georgetown-trained diplomat? World traveler and massage therapist? House sitter and butler? Yes, the butler probably did it!

    So, why haven’t Victor and Joe thrown their darling cypher under the proverbial bus by now? Is he that compelling as a raconteur and wit that they cannot part with his company?

    I guess that, because the other two may have been involved in the cover-up, they are stuck with Little Dyl at least through May. Since the indictments are for the cover-up rather than for the murder, then that may have ironically decreased the chance of any flip.

    Figuratively speaking, the nature of the charges may mean that they will all hang together rather be hung separately!

  2. Clio
    10/26/2009 at 11:12 AM

    Could it be Dylan? The couple’s shy and serious roommate? Scion of one of Tacoma’s leading families? Trusty uncle, brother, and friend? Award-winning children’s book author and crack fundraiser for LGBT equality? Top chef and Georgetown-trained diplomat? World traveler and massage therapist? House sitter and butler? Yes, the butler probably did it!

    So, why haven’t Victor and Joe thrown their darling cypher under the proverbial bus by now? Is he that compelling as a raconteur and wit that they cannot part with his company?

    I guess that, because the other two may have been involved in the cover-up, they are stuck with Little Dyl at least through May. Since the indictments are for the cover-up rather than for the murder, then that may have ironically decreased the chance of any flip.

    Figuratively speaking, the nature of the charges may mean that they will all hang together rather be hung separately!

  3. CDinDC
    10/26/2009 at 11:20 AM

    No. 3 jumps out at me….

    3. Who knew Robert for the shortest amount of time and on arguably the most superficial level?

    This argument could go either way. Was it the person in the house that knew Robert the least that would kill him, or was it the person in the house that knew Robert the most that would kill him.

    “Stranger” murders are far fewer than murders by intimates or close associates.

    I’m still in the Joe camp. At least as “mastermind.”

    • Hoya Loya
      10/26/2009 at 12:45 PM

      Emerging from lurkdom with a bonus item:

      Who owned an electro-ejaculation device?

      When I clerked for a judge, he had a memorable jury instruction explaining “circumstantial evidence.” He would say that he locked his cat in his kitchen with a bowl of strawberry ice cream on the counter. When he returned, the ice cream was gone, but there was a pink circle around the cat’s mouth which was circumstantial evidence of what happened. In this case, all the circumstantial evidence seems to circle about one person.

      CDinDC: It doesn’t mean that the person didn’t have help, nor does it negate many of the fascinating theories you have put forth in your many posts. But if I was pressed to indict someone tomorrow . . .

      And couldn’t jealousy of Joe’s friendship with Robert, likely fueled by substance abuse, provide a possible motive?

      Because I find idea of the murder of an accomplished, trusting friend extremely disturbing, as do so many of us here, my mind keeps trying to find another explanation for what happened. This aspect of the case, and the desire to see justice done here, as in all unsolved cases, is what keeps me riveted to this site.

      • Bea
        10/26/2009 at 1:00 PM

        Hoya, I like your fresh look. I wouldn’t rule out that Dylan acted alone initially in his failed seduction-turned rape and drugging ended in him thinking he might have killed Robert. Enter Super Joe. Rather than call an ambulance and save Robert, he throws in with Dylan and, topping from the bottom, decides to ‘save’ Dylan instead of Robert and suggests they stab him to death so no one is charged with rape/drugging. I do agree that Dylan (and his pack of Clue objects) is clearly a participant – when Joe entered the scene is more of a question for me.

        • CDinDC
          10/26/2009 at 1:16 PM

          Bea, that’s always been an interesting scenario. My only thought with that is that the drugging and attempted rape of Robert seems like it may have been difficult for one person. If Dylan acted alone, he would have had to subdue Robert alone, as well as drag him into his bedroom (or whereever the rape occurred.) Also, the indication that Robert was suffocated makes me think two people were involved in the actual assault. (I think suffocation was the original method they used to kill Robert but it was discovered to be too difficult.)

          Just food for thought.

        • Friend of Rob
          10/26/2009 at 3:24 PM

          I agree with you Bea. That’s how I see it going down.

          • Bea
            10/26/2009 at 4:06 PM

            Does this seem plausible based on what you know of Joe?

      • CDinDC
        10/26/2009 at 1:04 PM

        Hoya Loya says: “But if I was pressed to indict someone tomorrow . . .”

        Oh, I agree, HL. If you indict someone based on circumstantial evidence you listed, then Dylan may be your man.

        But I tend to look at this case beyond face value.

        Yes, Dylan owned a knife that matches the wounds. But who’s to say that knife wasn’t in the kitchen and then hidden in Dylan’s bedroom after the stabbing? And who’s to say Joe didn’t wrap his fingers around it to do the stabbing? There was a drop of blood on Dylan’s comforter, but who’s to say the blood didn’t drip from the knife being held by Joe?

        As much as I want to see these defendants prosecuted for their crimes, I want to see the proper convictions go to the proper person.

        I think we must look beyond circumstantial evidence and attempt to understand the defendants as well.

        Yes, Dylan was the “dominant” in the s/m coupling, but was he really? Joe also has a history of drug use and frankly, he’s a piece of work. Joe’s may not have a documented clinical diagnosis, but his behavior tells us he needs one.

        This case is too complicated to rely on circumstantial evidence to indict someone. And don’t you think the prosecutor’s office would have indicted someonesometime in the past 3 years if the circumstantial evidence was enough and/or airtight?

  4. galoon
    10/26/2009 at 5:16 PM

    That night, when Joe said to Victor “Isn’t he our friend?” I think he was talking about Dylan, not Robert. His concern was for Dylan. It was his little reminder to Victor to follow the program.

    • Mike
      10/26/2009 at 6:41 PM

      That’s how I “wanted” to see it, but Detective Waid’s notes clearly say that Joe used the phrase “when referring to the victim.” What exactly Waid meant by that is a mystery in itself. A very covert reminder by Joe, perhaps. That makes a lot more sense than anything else.

      • Clio
        10/26/2009 at 7:15 PM

        So, if you are Joe, then suppose that your particular friend has raped and killed your long-time college friend. In the scenario posited, you then choose the living over the dead, the gay over the straight, the lover over the platonic. And, then, in the process, you see yourself as sacrificing your own life, or at least the comfortable one that you knew, to “save” a leading member of your unorganized crime family. And, you make sure that Victor does not stab you in the back, so to speak, even after his scream has fouled everything up. Sick!

        Hence, in that scenario, Joe sees himself now as a masochistic martyr — a perverse and bloated St. Sebastian — for poor little Dyl, who cannot defend himself without his Daddies’ help. The title of Mr. Ward’s next work may be: “Dyl Has Two Daddies — Needham and Joe?”

        In that scenario, then, Robert, of course, was abruptly forgotten by Joe, as soon as Mr. Price chose Dylan’s freedom over Robert’s life.

      • Bea
        10/26/2009 at 7:53 PM

        I suspect it was “covert” as you say Mike. While the question may have been posed about Robert, having Joe ask “isn’t he our friend?” of Victor suggests that it’s laced with meaning. Who would ask the question, and in such a fashion, under those circumstances? More likely, after telling the cop that Robert was their friend, Joe would say “right?” as he looked at Victor. To make the deliberate statement/question to “get to” Victor is sadistic and controlling. But, then again, we are talking about Joe Price.

        • CDinDC
          10/26/2009 at 8:25 PM

          Bea says: “To make the deliberate statement/question to “get to” Victor is sadistic and controlling. But, then again, we are talking about Joe Price.”

          I think this statement by Bea is an example of why I don’t think Joe would “cover” for Dylan. Joe displays many signs of a narcissist. A narcissist isn’t going to cover for someone. If Dylan committed the murder on his own and alone, I don’t see Joe making any kind of sacrifice to save his boy-toy. That would indicate that Joe had some kind of glimmer of a moral compass. Albeit a skewed compass, but nonetheless, a compass. If Joe is the narcissist we believe him to be, he’d sell out his mother to save his ass.

          I think Joe killed Robert and he’s keeping his boys close to keep the “family” together to save his own ass.

          • Bea
            10/26/2009 at 10:10 PM

            I tend to agree, CD. Though it may have been Dylan who began the night’s downward spiral by drugging/raping Robert (under the influence) and then having Joe “help” him by deciding to murder him rather than have Robert bring charges against Dylan. That would have appealed greatly to Joe – savior, warrior of the heart, and that smell of blood in his nose, liking the thought of “having” to kill Robert. For Dylan’s sake.

            But it required Joe to then hastily figure out a plan. I agree with others here who think possibly Robert screamed (as CD pointed out about the effects of ketamine) which ruined the plan that he never showed up and nothing strange happened all night.

            How Victor fits into this is much debated here. But the poster who raised the issue of “Isn’t he, Victor?” as Victor sat crying does jibe with Victor as outsider (to the murder – my gut is that Victor came in during the noisy clean-up and became party to the conspiracy during cover-up, regardless how much he was part of scripting it).

            Joe gets to flex his muscles more to Dylan by showing off how he’s gotten Victor to sign on to the ugly pact.

            Come on, Aunt Marcia – save your nephew! If you want to wait until after Dylan’s superb Thanksgiving spread, okay, but soon thereafter! It’s increasingly clear that Victor has drunk the Kool Aid and won’t save himself.

            • CDinDC
              10/26/2009 at 11:46 PM

              I’m hard pressed to think Victor was directly involved in the assault/murder. A thought that has been percolating in my head — and considering liars usually have a kernel of truth in their lies — is that Victor was, indeed, in bed that night (perhaps angry that Joe disrespected him by not including him in plan-making) and it was Robert’s scream that awoke him. Victor comes downstairs to discover what is happening. So, in this scenario there are two truths in Joe’s story – we “were in bed” and “we heard a scream.” They would want to include the scream in their story to the police because they are afraid it was heard by others, so it gets worked into the story. However, it was only Victor that heard the scream.

              • Hoya Loya
                10/27/2009 at 1:35 PM

                We all seem to be on the same page, the only question being at what point Joe became involved. CD would say from the beginning, Bea would say a bit later and I could be convinced either way.

                As far as kernels of truth, I think CD is onto something. Take the intruder out of the intruder story and how many other elements of the story would fit our scenario somehow, albeit in a much different context?

                • Bea
                  10/27/2009 at 2:27 PM

                  Some have thought it strange that Victor (tired or not) did not rise to greet Robert at 10:30. I’ve waved it off to tired-from-business-trip but CD’s commentary that perhaps Victor was mad makes me consider a step further: Joe told Victor that he wasn’t invited. I’m sure that happened all the time – sorry, Vic, it’s a “Dylan night”. I suspect Victor was used to being told goodnight early by Joe.

                  Whether Joe had untoward and unseemly intentions on Robert ahead of time is at issue, same with Dylan’s intentions. But if it was a “Joe & Dyl” night, then those bad boys, under the influence, could easily have said “let’s FIND OUT if Robert has any interest” and drug-addled judgement, rejection, anger, and some desire to inflict pain turned things ugly.

                • CDinDC
                  10/27/2009 at 2:30 PM

                  There are quite a few…..here’s another that I think about quite often…..

                  “we shared a glass of water”….perhaps Robert did drink a glass of water. Many people think he drank a glass of water laced with something. Perhaps by saying “we shared a glass of water” would in someway make Robert’s glass of water safe to drink.

                  • Clio
                    10/27/2009 at 11:16 PM

                    Joe and Dyl must have been bad hosts if they had their guest to drink from the same cup that they were using. Yuck!

                    Maybe “shared” meant: in the close quarters of the small kitchen, one could not pour the water for Robert then and there and still slip something into his drink without being noticed.

                    Said Dyl: “So, because that kitchen had the ambience and room of a hospital bathroom, we could not have poisoned our friend, honest, officer! We were too busy talking trash about Lisa!”

  5. Anonymous in DC
    10/26/2009 at 5:30 PM

    Agreed, Galoon.

    • Bea
      10/26/2009 at 6:12 PM

      It certainly seems like a verbal ‘slap’ to force Victor to state his complicity.

  6. Clio
    10/26/2009 at 11:41 PM

    Editors, how many more lurkers are out there? Are they either lawyers (regular Joes) or marketers working for the dairy industry (Victors at their own game)? Or, are they mainly “family” members of the trouple — anxious for any exculpatory revelations, yet not willing to defend the indefensible?

    • Tallulah
      10/27/2009 at 10:47 AM

      Hi- as a lurker for about 6 mos who checks the site multiple times per day, I may fit the demo- someone completely sucked in by the story, observing the process of citizen detectives hashing out the facts and theories in a fashion that MPD lacks either the resources or facility to do. I’m a former longtime DC resident, very familiar with the 1500 block of Swann (when it was less fab than Joe and Victor’s sleekly tarted up Rumpus Room). I so appreciate the efforts of the editors and posters, and I hope against hope for justice for Robert and Kathy.

      • Clio
        10/27/2009 at 5:41 PM

        Aloha, Miss Bankhead. When did the gentrification of the 1500 block of Swann begin? Was it this past fin de siecle, or was it earlier — during the Reagan era, perhaps?

        • Tallulah
          10/28/2009 at 4:05 PM

          Late Reagan/early Papa Bush era. Some earlier frontier types (from when it was very sketchy area) bought in when it was very cheap. Crime was typically random but generally property-related. Ah, the good old days.

  7. Enjointhis
    10/27/2009 at 11:09 AM

    Eh, first time poster long, time lurker… But don’t they all say that?

    Not so obsessed with the case (sorry, Craig) but I DO enjoy reading the (generally) thoughtful and well-informed comments. Kudos for the commenters’ keeping things generally civil, notwithstanding the varying perspectives. The analysis makes for a nice thought-provoking exercise in a great academic exercise – if someone hadn’t been stabbed to death in real life.

    I’m a long-time litigator of various cases, although mainly civil. What I’m failing to understand is why the three principal defendants haven’t been charged with murder under the D.C. conspiracy statute (disclosure: not licensed in DC).

    I recognize there are academic reasons why this may be. But there are also (pragmatic) real-life reasons why this may be. I’m interested in both – and the mechanisms by which the pragmatic reasons inform the academic reasons.

    I intuit that the answer lies at the intersection of the DC prosecutorial culture (even though prosecutors are not generally risk-averse, the DC culture might be different) or the DC concept of “reasonable doubt.” Do the prosecutors view jury members as having the belief that DCPD are liars, even when the victim isn’t a minority?

    Even so, I cannot help but thinking the circumstantial evidence would establish – beyond said reasonable doubt – that the co-conspirators committed the crime. Some fourth person? From what I’ve read, the inconsistencies don’t add up to more than the typical conflicting witnesses’ imperfect memories and the typical DC police bumbling. I’ve seen people sent to prison for very, very long times based on far, far less-compelling circumstantial evidence (caveat, I’m an anonymous commenter and won’t reveal my identity, but I ask you to credit this representation). I currently hold a supervisory position at my firm, but I’d be willing to support any prosecutor willing to advance the conspiracy charge, even if it doesn’t pan out.

    In truth, unless there’s an elephant in the room I’m missing, I’m astonished that the relevant prosecutors haven’t advanced a murder conspiracy theory.

    And (again based on my experience) the only reason I can comprehend is that the prosecutors are somehow intimidated of the defense team’s alleged prowess. The fear of big-time litigators is one I recognize (and, in fact, have used to my advantage!).

    I welcome enlightenment, whether on this forum or via e-mail. I caution that I’m only an occasional visitor, though, so perhaps you could advise of interesting developments via e-mail.

    — ET!

    • Craig
      10/27/2009 at 12:23 PM

      Welcome EJT (and Miss Bankhead):

      Help me out with this – Can more than one person be charged with murder (under an umbrella of conspiracy), or does a prosecutor have to target one only, i.e., whoever plunged the knife into Robert’s chest?

      Is there a rule, or could DC be a special jurisdiction? Because we’re SO special in SO many ways….

      • CDinDC
        10/27/2009 at 2:16 PM

        Craig, here’s an interesting snippet from Wikipedia. Perhaps this is why there is no murder charge….

        “One important feature of a conspiracy charge is that it relieves prosecutors of the need to prove the particular roles of conspirators. If two persons plot to kill another (and this can be proven), and the victim is indeed killed as a result of the actions of either conspirator, it is not necessary to prove with specificity which of the conspirators actually pulled the trigger. (Otherwise, both conspirators could conceivably handle the gun—leaving two sets of fingerprints—and then demand acquittals for both, based on the fact that the prosecutor would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, which of the two conspirators was the triggerman). A conspiracy conviction requires proof that a) the conspirators did indeed conspire to commit the crime, and b) the crime was committed by an individual involved in the conspiracy. Proof of which individual it was is usually not necessary.”

        • Clio
          10/27/2009 at 5:36 PM

          Thanks, Enjointhis. I agree with your observation of this weblog as replicating in some ways the erudite culture of, say, an Aspen Institute Seminar at Wye Mills Plantation on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Unfortunately, as you rightly point, this virtual meeting of the minds has occurred only after a terrible and unnecessary loss.

          As a non-lawyer, I was intrigued by your last point: Are the prosecutors intimidated by the Four Horsemen? Is that routine in criminal cases in the District?

        • Craig
          10/27/2009 at 5:48 PM

          Thanks CD – This is making my brain hurt.

          It’s like those old word problems in math class: Three runaway trains are careening down the track at breakneck speed. The fires are being stoked and one locomotive has a brakeman, but the other two are on auto-pilot…

          • galoon
            10/27/2009 at 8:17 PM

            Train problems used to give me sweaty palms and a headache. Sort of how I feel when I think about this train wreck. Victor chose not to pull that brake. That was his choice. Just as those other two made their choice. Robert didn’t get one.
            Joe Price told police he found the knife laying on Robert’s body but told witness 5 that he pulled the knife from Robert. It seems he likes to change up little details. I wonder if that’s calculated or just scrambling?

            • Bea
              10/27/2009 at 9:33 PM

              Hi Galoon – my guess is that Joe just couldn’t help playing with the sore tooth in “boasting” that he pulled the knife from Robert’s chest. I am guessing it came up in his self aggrandizement in holding court with third parties wanting to get all the sympathy and attention he could.

              • Clio
                10/27/2009 at 10:42 PM

                Or, it could be yet another kernel of truth within the cornucopia of lies. Joe did pull the knife out of Robert’s chest, only after he or Little Dyl plunged the same knife into the same chest. So, he told part of the truth to witness #5, before realizing that he was spilling at least some of the beans.

                Mr. Price apparently never told/tells the whole truth: did he learn that from his corporate clients, I wonder?

                • Themis
                  10/29/2009 at 12:52 AM

                  The trouple haven’t been indicted for conspiracy to commit murder because the government doesn’t have the goods.

                  There have been at least two and likely three grand juries called in this case. Why so many? I would opine, to a reasonable degree of former capital defense attorney certainty, that it’s because the first grand jury no-billed the conspiracy to commit murder and/or murder charges.

                  Conspiracy is a specific intent offense. You have to prove an explicit or implicit agreement–actual meeting of the minds in contract speak–and, in DC, an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. In a conspiracy to commit murder, that means proof of an agreement to commit murder.

                  That someone failed to prevent the intentional killing of another, or stood by while it happened, is not intentional homicide absent a legal duty to the decedent.

                  Also, without someone turning on the other(s), how does the government prove who was involved in conspiracy? People on this board have a hard time agreeing on the relative motivations and actual acts performed by the respective members of trouple. That kind of disagreement is generally considered reasonable doubt.

                  Finally, the goverment has no incentive going forward on murder or conspiracy to commit murder charges at this point given the potential double jeopardy implications.

                  Homicide prosecutors, and this is being prosecuted by the homicide unit if I remember correctly, don’t lack cajones. If they did, they would never have worked their way into the homicide unit, which most consider a plum assignment. Kirshner, et al, wouldn’t be where they are if they didn’t have ego to spare.

                  • CDinDC
                    10/29/2009 at 10:47 AM

                    Themis, how about the case of Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt, the California “black widows” that would murder elderly men to collect on insurance policies. The defendants didn’t actually turn on each other, but one of the defendant’s attorneys presented the case as the other defendant was the murderer. They were both convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for financial gain, but only one was convicted of actual murder. (I know there’s no murder charge on the table in the trouple case, but I’m wondering if the black widow case could show some parallels.)

                    Could the trouple continue to claim innocence on all counts, but the defense attorney of one, say, Victor, paint his defense as being less culpable in th tampering. (Like the one defense attorney in the black widow case.) Could this result in a conviction of conspiracy for all three(lesser sentence for Victor), and possible murder charges for Joe and Dylan to come?

  8. Former Crackho
    10/27/2009 at 4:33 PM

    Do you think Dylan could have something on the couple of the year (or, better yet, one/half of the couple) that was so salacious…so scandalous….they would go as far as helping their friend cover up a murder scene to protect the exciting tidbit of info known only to the three (and possibly another victim of sorts?)? Wonder what it could be….

    • Craig
      10/27/2009 at 4:40 PM

      FCH – Or a Mexican standoff; each member of the trouple had something on the other two?

      • CDinDC
        10/27/2009 at 5:05 PM

        More scandalous than murder?? Yikes.

        If Joe was worried that his bathroom habits would be exposed, well……they’re exposed now! LOL

        • Former Crackho
          10/27/2009 at 5:19 PM

          Well, depending on their twisted values and what they hold near and dear to their your heart, sure, there could possibly be something Dylan could have on Joe (and possibly Victor) that could forge a bond of steel between them. Perhaps even something that could have ruined one or both of their careers.

          • Clio
            10/27/2009 at 5:51 PM

            Well, the only thing that I could think of that would be “blackmailable” would be their possible involvement in another unsolved rape or murder. In that scary scenario, the Wone case may have not been their first or last COLLECTIVE “adventure” into villiany. It was just the gamble in which they got caught, but only after months and then years of dithering by the authorities.

      • Former Crackho
        10/27/2009 at 5:15 PM

        Before or after the murder of their dear friend? Or did the whole messy murder situation just solidify the gag order they already had in place? It just seems really, really strange to me that one of them hasn’t cracked yet.

        • Former Crackho
          10/27/2009 at 5:15 PM

          Ooops – that was in response to craig.

        • Bea
          10/27/2009 at 6:21 PM

          I agree that it’s strange none of them have taken a ‘deal’ (usually offered to one of the non trigger men – here knife wielder). While it could be that each is tied to the other based on some past horrible act (what could be worse than this?), my instinct is that Joe and Dylan have bloody hands and that Victor is simply too “in love with” and has his entire identity wrapped in Joe Price. “If my beloved is convicted, so too shall I be, and my love for him will never be questioned – and that proves I love him more than Dylan so ha!”.

          • AnnaZed
            10/27/2009 at 11:36 PM

            Do they have some weird delusion that they will get to be roomies in some comfy white collar brig? Someone needs to disabuse them of that notion right away.

    • Mike
      10/27/2009 at 8:07 PM

      The assault on Robert seems to have happened quickly – shortly after he arrived at Swann. It makes me think that Joe and Dyl have assaulted someone before. Most rapists are repeat offenders. I just wonder why nobody out there, nobody who came into the trouple’s sinister orbit, has done the math yet and spoken up. I would guess that you would have to feel funny after being drugged and molested. No one was suspicious?

      Having a shared history of such crimes would be an ironclad bond between these “lads.” But no one’s coming forward. The first time they decide to commit an assault it’s such depraved, soulless butchery? Very strange.

      • AnnaZed
        10/27/2009 at 11:52 PM

        I agree with you Mike. This has been touched on before (for some reason apropos of Dylan specifically) and I can’t help but keep thinking that someone or someones was well prepared, ready with drugs and a loaded hypodermic needle (Robert was injected multiple times and in very odd places, like his foot), in possession of a very strange device (I know some seriously sexually deviant people of all sexual leanings and I have never heard of anyone owning such a thing), armed with a knife or knives, quick with the cleaning products ~ in short organized. I still think that Victor disturbed the game that was meant to end with: “Robert … gee … Robert never showed up … I wonder what happened to him.”

        I think that the players of that game are Dylan and Joe. An imaginative part of me posits that Dylan was the expert in murder and assault (maybe perfecting his art someplace in the orient where one less homosexual dead body would be greeted by constabulary yawns) and that he got Joe fascinated by the idea of pulling off such a crime. It was Robert’s misfortune to have been Joe’s trusting friend.

        Yet, I still can not for the life of me understand why Victor would have involved himself in this grotesque cover-up and has held the line ever since.

        • JusticeForRobert
          10/28/2009 at 12:27 AM

          Mike said: “The assault on Robert seems to have happened quickly – shortly after he arrived at Swann. It makes me think that Joe and Dyl have assaulted someone before. Most rapists are repeat offenders. I just wonder why nobody out there, nobody who came into the trouple’s sinister orbit, has done the math yet and spoken up. I would guess that you would have to feel funny after being drugged and molested. No one was suspicious?

          Having a shared history of such crimes would be an ironclad bond between these “lads.” But no one’s coming forward. The first time they decide to commit an assault it’s such depraved, soulless butchery? Very strange.”

          One would only feel funny after being drugged and molested if they could remember. One of the most common side effects of both “G” and “K” is the lack of memory as to who did what and what was done. Chances are if you had been drugged, sexually assaulted and then cleaned up, had no outward signs such as bruising, tears or scratches from what had been done to you then you may have no memory or inclination that anything happened. Unless of course, you happen to wake up in the middle of it taking place and see the face of the perp. That could very well lead to you being permanently silenced.

          AnnaZed said: “I can’t help but keep thinking that someone or someones was well prepared, ready with drugs and a loaded hypodermic needle (Robert was injected multiple times and in very odd places, like his foot), in possession of a very strange device (I know some seriously sexually deviant people of all sexual leanings and I have never heard of anyone owning such a thing)”

          Google E-Stim or ElectroSex and you will find many such a things. It was all the rage in 2006 from the vanilla to the bdsm crowd. I used to sell this type of equipment in an adult themed supply business, it is really not that uncommon. I would like to know a little more about the “cattle prod” device that was removed from Ward’s room. Was it tested for Robert’s dna or had it been cleaned? Was it a cattle prod device at all or was it really a wand? For those not familiar, wands are often used in something called “sounding”. It is just speculation on my part, but this described cattle prod could have very well been an electric sound device. Inserted in the urethra, the electronic current could indeed cause ejaculation. I have suspected this for the many months that I too have been lurking here.

          • CDinDC
            10/28/2009 at 9:17 AM

            Justice for Robert says: “One would only feel funny after being drugged and molested if they could remember. One of the most common side effects of both “G” and “K” is the lack of memory as to who did what and what was done.”

            Absolutely, JR. One of my much earlier posts suggested the events of that evening resulted in murder because Robert revived enough from the drug to understand what was happening and then objected.

            The multipe injections (as AnnaZed reminded us) were in various places on his body. Shoulder area and foot. This indicates to me that the injections were being given incrementally. Perhaps to keep Robert in a very drugged state.

            • CDinDC
              10/28/2009 at 9:25 AM

              Justice for Robert says: “ElectroSex”

              Sometime back I posted a lengthy comment on electro-ejaculation. Electro-ejaculation is commonly used in the fertility fields to produce sperm from men that have difficulty with erection. And the procedure is external.

              The procedure itself takes only a few minutes, so Robert could have been electro-ejaculated a couple of times within 10 minutes.

              Electro-ejaculation is common in the S&M world. And it can be a torturous process if the receiver has been emptied of sperm. It’s also used a chastity method.

              I’m going to try to find the post and repost it.

          • Craig
            10/28/2009 at 10:53 AM

            JFR – Gotcha on all that, but even taking into account the hypnotic affects of ‘G’ or ‘K’ and their associated memory wipe, how could an assault like this (based on what we know) which included multiple injections and an obscene violation, NOT be detected by the victim on the morning after??

            How could anyone have put Robert through all of that and not think he’d be aware that something bad happened the night before?

            This remains a huge stmbling block for me when the question is of premeditated sexual assault.

            • JusticeForRobert
              10/28/2009 at 11:50 AM

              Craig: The multiple injections (based on what we know at this time) may not have been injections at all. Quite possibly these injections were from acupuncture needles. Something Ward knew a great deal about. I base this speculation on the site of the needle marks: hand, foot, neck and chest. At the very least I would speculate that SOME of these marks are acupuncture and perhaps along with it then came injections of another kind. If this were the case any drug slipped in a drink or injected may not have taken effect until after Robert was laying flat on a table or bed. This could be when he passed out and other things began to happen.

              If all of this started out as a ritual that had been premeditated and had been administered before on other unknowing victims then it makes sense. If Robert had been lured into Wards room thinking that a massage and or acupuncture may relieve some stress that he could have been undergoing and that Ward was a professional that would (do no harm) then all of this could have started out consensual. The needle marks would have been understood by Robert the next day as he had received acupuncture and then drifted off to sleep as far as he could remember. The sexual assault would go undetected if he were cleaned up and as long as no evidence was left for his own detection. He would not necessarily know the next day that he had his own ejaculate in his rectum. Most unsuspecting people do not think to check for that.

              • Hoya Loya
                10/28/2009 at 12:00 PM

                JFR, that might help explain how someone street-savvy enough to have reportedly slept with a baseball bat under his bed might have let down his guard.

                “Boy, you’ve had a busy day, work, CLE, back to work . . . accupuncture and a massage would relieve all that stress and Dylan is really, really good . . . seriously, you’ve got to try it out . . .”

                • JusticeForRobert
                  10/28/2009 at 12:12 PM

                  Yes Hoya: Something along those lines. Keeping in mind that Robert was not just anywhere, he was with friends in the home of his long time “trusted” friend. In my opinion, many guards would have been let down.

                • AnnaZed
                  10/28/2009 at 12:24 PM

                  Wait (!), where was Robert described as sleeping with a baseball bat to hand under his bed? I missed that. Pity he didn’t have it with him on Swann St. and mores the pity that these bastards did something to him that made him unable to defend himself even if he had been armed.

                  What makes me really outraged is thinking of the true initial violation (think of it as the alpha insult) of Robert from which this crime sprang (of this I am “certain” and as I told John G. certainty is pretty strong stuff and I don’t usually partake of it). That initial and potentially hurtful violation was the construct of the false and superficial friendship offered to him by Joe Price all those years ago and on which Robert with his open-mindedness and reputed personal generosity relied never understanding it to be the crass manipulations of a narcissist, or maybe only realizing this in his last moments.

                  Obviously, Joe could never have had any real affection or respect for Robert even if all he is guilty of is covering for Dylan. This is a fact about Joe that Victor should give very serious thought to.

                  “Isn’t he our friend?”

                  Well Victor, wasn’t he?

                  Where does that put you?

                  That said, I just don’t see Robert submitting to acupuncture from Dylan unless it was under the rubric of him seeking a sexual experience from Dylan and/or Joe, a theory that I have come to discard.

                  • Craig
                    10/28/2009 at 12:38 PM

                    The baseball bat story is here.

                    It was related to the Washington Post by Kathy Wone in her first on-the-record comments about Robert’s murder.

                    Again, it’s a heartbreaking read.

                • CDinDC
                  10/28/2009 at 12:48 PM

                  C’mon folks…where’s the acupunture coming from?

                  • JusticeForRobert
                    10/28/2009 at 8:35 PM

                    Sorry this took so long CD, I am just back to my computer. One place I remember reading this theory was in response to Paul Duggan’s article: “Murder On Swan Street: The Robert Wone Stabbing” from June 02, 2009 . The question and response were as follows: Venice, Fla.: Mr. Duggan, has anyone looked at whether the needle marks could have been the result of an acupuncture-type event? Since the housemate is schooled in massage therapy and has trained in Thailand, it seems plausible that he may have picked up some training in the use of acupuncture to sedate or immobilize someone — something that would fit in with his fetish lifestyle and also would leave no traces of drugs in the victim’s system. Thanks for a great series and for keeping the attention on this case.

                    Paul Duggan: That’s a very interesting question, on the acupuncture, and I know it’s been looked into by at least one interested party, in Kathy Wone’s wrongful-death lawsuit against the three men. Perhaps it’s been a focus of interest on the criminal-investigation side, as well. I don’t know.
                    The link http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/06/01/DI2009060102405.html

                    I know that I have read other references as to Ward and acupuncture, I will continue to search for them.

                    • David
                      10/28/2009 at 10:07 PM

                      CD and JFR,

                      I have had extensive acupuncture therapy, so I will speak for myself, but acupuncture needles are very fine, and nowhere near the width of a hypodermic needle. From what I remember, the needles are so fine they never even left a mark.

                      And I have extensive experience with hypodermic needles as I often am giving my blood for tests, so I get poked rather often. I know what those puncture wounds look like. (In fact, I just had my flu shot yesterday and can see the red mark on my shoulder.)

                      However, it might be worth checking to see if the needle marks on Robert’s body correspond to acupuncture areas designed to remove inhibitions or something like that. It might have been some combination of acupuncture theory with hypodermic sized needles.

                      David, co-ed.

                    • Bea
                      10/28/2009 at 10:30 PM

                      As a follow up to David’s post, I recall the punctures to be ‘several’ on the side of the neck, on the foot and in the chest – though I didn’t reread to double check. It doesn’t “sound” acupuncture-ish.

                    • JusticeForRobert
                      10/28/2009 at 11:39 PM

                      Hi David: Have you ever been treated with electro-acupuncture? My instinct leads me this direction, not based on the size of the needle but the location and pattern of the marks. This is an interesting tidbit of info: Electro-acupuncture is combined with needle and electricity for clinical treatment. It is the same to the traditional acupuncture on basic principle but the method. The body energy mentioned above is from the elements that constructed our tissues, such as oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, chlorine, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, etc. They exist in our body as ion status, organic molecules or inorganic molecules in the blood, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid and body fluid among tissues. They produce energy whenever they action. Later we found that the inherent energy is like electricity and call it bioelectricity, with the flowing of the ions. It is very important to our normally physical functions.
                      The bioelectricity changes because of different stimulation from the outside world. Under the worsening circumstances, the bioelectricity does not stay calm. On the contrary, if we input suitable stimulation to the body, the body would revive. For this reason, various stimulating parameters of different devices, including, amplitude, pulse width, pulse rate, presetting time, rhythm, are designed by engineers. The enrichment of body energy is based on the principle of complement of Yin and Yang. With the efficacy of exciting and steadiness, cells are vibrant, potential energy is balanced, immunocompetence is strengthened, and organic functions are increased. The effect is obvious on homecare, healthcare, pain relief, and chronic disease prevention.
                      The idea of the electro-acupuncture was from the French in the 19th century. Since the day traditional acupuncture spread into the French in the 17th century, vest interests began surfing through the Europe. During 200 years, the traditional needle had been combined with electrical medicine and the electro-acupuncture developed. The first person used electro-acupuncture on curing neuralgia and rheumatism was a French doctor. By a century of tests and studies, British and French doctors finally announced that neuralgia could be cured by electro-acupuncture.
                      The approved procedure of electro-acupuncture is not so smooth, but luckier than the traditional acupuncture. However, the foundation of acupuncture is so firm that no one can overthrow it even the medical science. The principle is to stimulate the abnormal meridian via the acu-points to reach the same result of penetrating a needle into the skin. The research of electro-acupuncture in Mainland China has been lasting for half a century. They declare the electro-acupuncture at least possesses following good points:
                      1. When one is treated with electrotherapy, the bioelectricity would be excited. Especially for treating the diseases that is hard to be cured, the electro-acupuncture gives a better remedy.
                      2. Electro-acupuncture provides a long-term and multi-waveform treatment. One would cost little energy and time to get a better effect.
                      3. The intensity of electro-acupuncture is adjustable for suiting different syndromes and requires. Meanwhile, the therapeutic parameters can be recorded and leave for further researches.
                      4. For those ones who need stronger stimulation, the stimulation by
                      electro-acupuncture is more acceptable than that by twisting with hand.
                      The good points of electro-acupuncture are not only figured out on medical field but also in our daily life. After work, city people are getting to leave their own health to other people, such as having a steam bath or a massage by a machine chair. They may have effects in preserve, by wasting too much time and money. But it still wastes too much space. By the way, all these treatments are according to the principle of toning the meridians up in our body, only that the electro-acupuncture spends the least time and energy to reach the best result. General treatments usually have drawbacks such as the following: First of all, one has to find the exact acu-point. The acupuncture specialist can find the exact point in the tolerance of 0.5m/m. However, we do not suggest common people to take the adventure. However, the finger-point massage and having a bath are not work on the acu-point exactly so that the effect is not so good as what we looked forward to.

                      http://www.healthholidays.org/elacup.htm

                      I seriously think there is a connection to acupuncture in this case, apparently so does an interested party in Kathy Wone’s lawsuit.

              • CDinDC
                10/28/2009 at 12:46 PM

                Acupunture? I don’t recall hearing anything about Dylan having experience with acupunture. This is a first to me.

                Can this be substantiated, JFR?

                • Robert
                  03/25/2010 at 3:47 PM

                  In one of Paul Duggan’s articles in the Washington Post, he mentions that “I know it’s (acupuncture) been looked into by at least one interested party, in Kathy Wone’s wrongful-death lawsuit against the three men. Perhaps it’s been a focus of interest on the criminal-investigation side, as well. I don’t know.”

                  _______________________

                • Penelope
                  03/25/2010 at 4:28 PM

                  Duggan says “looked into;” he does not say that anything was found. Is the MPD close-lipped enough to keep something like this under wraps? Keep in mind, unless I’m mistaken, Kirschner’s witness list has never included an acupuncture expert. He did have an anesthesiologist (drug theory) and a BDSM expert (electro-ejaculation theory). I tend to think that the evidence just isn’t there.

                • CDinDC
                  03/25/2010 at 4:54 PM

                  Wow Robert…old post of mine.

                  But since you bring it up…..nothing in that paragraph substantiates Dylan’s experience or expertise with acupunture. It only shows that Kathy Wone’s people were curious about it. Could have been a total deadend for all we know.

                  That would be like saying “Robert wears purple ties on Tuesdays.” By me looking into it, doesn’t make it a fact.

            • AnnaZed
              10/28/2009 at 12:29 PM

              Increasingly I have concluded, much as our own John Grishman (no relation) asserts with certainty but without the benefit of the certainty (sorry, John, I just can’t leave this certainty thing alone!), that Robert was assaulted by a person or persons who conspired in the weeks before his arrival to assault him. I have further come to the conclusion that at least one of the participants knew that going forward with this assault could only have one possible dénouement ~ Robert’s death.

        • CDinDC
          10/28/2009 at 9:31 AM

          AnnaZed says: “An imaginative part of me posits that Dylan was the expert in murder and assault (maybe perfecting his art someplace in the orient…”

          I’ve often wondered what else Dylan did in “the orient”…..given his strange interest in children’s literature.

          ::shrug:: I’m just saying.

          • Clio
            10/28/2009 at 12:18 PM

            CD, Mr. Ward is many things, but, a chicken hawk is not one of them.

            He could have been just another sexual tourist in Thailand in 2007, but I am sure that he was too busy perfecting his craft and the local cultures to have any leisure time at all.

            • AnnaZed
              10/28/2009 at 12:48 PM

              Sorry, I don’t understand this post ~ what “craft”?

              ::snerk::

              You realize that in many circles masseuse is just a nice word for prostitute right? I have from the very beginning of my analysis of this crime stated that Dylan’s position in that household and in that particular sexual dynamic was that of a servant, a paid retainer or (to put it more simply) a prostitute.

              Sexual subs, particularly rich ones, know how to set up a scenario where the so called dom is entirely in their employ and they themselves control the perimeters and outcome of the scene. I see nothing about Joe’s extreme pain sexual taste that changes that dynamic, if anything it reinforces it.

              The dangerous game that Joe played was trying to integrate a person who was for all intents and purposes a sex worker into his home and his family. Nothing could make Dylan an “equal” in that milieu because Dylan is a person who emerged from an environment of privilege and opportunity (he at one time studied to be a diplomat, imagine (!)) and after drifting for decades in the end was nothing but a mooching failure and finally the kept mistress, if you will, of a volatile wealthy man.

              Talk about a person probably roiling with unexpressed rage and resentment.

              This I fear is one aspect of the dynamic that the police and prosecutors may never understand; that a “dom” has no power, is a tin god, just an actor in a play of another person’s devising and that some of them (particularly the drug addicted ones) can get so that they don’t understand these fundamental truths about themselves and grow delusions of grandeur which can be dangerous to all concerned. In that sense Dylan may resemble Andrew Cunanan far more than he does either Leopold or Loeb.

              • CDinDC
                10/28/2009 at 12:52 PM

                Fantastic post, AnnaZed. One among your many.

                The Andrew Cunanan reference is a brilliant thought.

                • Clio
                  10/28/2009 at 4:50 PM

                  Touche and well-put, AZ. Dyl as a white-bread Cunanan, while caught alive (not dead, as Andrew was) in Florida, does make much sense!

            • AnnaZed
              10/28/2009 at 10:38 PM

              btw: Clio, I was not snerking at you, I was snerking at Dylan (just to be clear).

  9. She did it
    10/27/2009 at 8:26 PM

    Hoya Loya,

    A wonderful guest post — you have articulated the analysis behind my instincts: that the steaming pile of dog dirt,a.k.a. dillion, is to be looked VERY VERY closely. have they assaulted before — don’t feel it. but there is some secret somewhere that is keeping the trouple from running for the nearest exit – every gal for himself. will we ever know?

    I will look for your posts at ATL, Hoya, where I post with the byline “guest”. We should ensure that the uber-talented/cute Lat keeps coverage of this case on that blog. She loves a gay angle 🙂 peace Hoya Loya and all.

  10. TK
    10/28/2009 at 3:34 PM

    I don’t remember how well substantiated this is, but seem to remember it being mentioned more than once here… another item: “who had a particular attraction to Asian men?” I believe it was Dylan. Maybe having young, handsome Robert in the house overnight was too tempting for him.

    • Clio
      10/28/2009 at 6:45 PM

      Well, as Bea pointed out in the summer, Dylan’s alleged predilection for Asian men has never been confirmed with actual sightings or examples. It was a hunch imported from the initial Datalounge discussions.

      Mr. Ward was well-acquainted with Asian cultures, however, having professional ties to Taiwan. Did that love of Asian cultures translate into him being what is vulgarly called “a rice queen?” Who knows! Joe still seems to have been Dyl’s first and only serious relationship, and he was, of course, not Asian.

  11. BenFranklin
    10/28/2009 at 4:01 PM

    X-Tube.com shows a range of involuntary “hands free” e-stim ejaculation videos (search e-stim) all about the pleasurable stimulation of male genitalia (not torture). This activity can be enjoyed and shared by married straight and gay men, perhaps even old friends at a long-planned work-excuse “sleepover.” Something went terribly wrong when these boys played with these toys. A parlor trick ending in tragedy.

    “Sleeping pills” may be a clue. Perhaps an unfortunate combination of recreational, sleeping, and psych-meds put the participants in a dream-like state unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.

    • JusticeForRobert
      10/28/2009 at 10:21 PM

      Yes, BF, electro-sex is enjoyed by a very wide audience. I had clients from all over the US. I had just as many women as men and just as many straight as gay. It is not typically viewed as torture, although Price did list it in his alt.com profile, along with bdsm and a host of other interests that included torture (CBT). I do not believe that Robert’s sleepover was an excuse for anything other than an intended place to sleep and a chance to see friends. From what many who knew Robert have stated about him, he was very dedicated and a multi-tasker. It is very conceivable to me that he thought spending the night would be an opportunity to remain in town close to his new office, visit with friends and get some much needed rest. From a personal perspective, I have many straight male friends that I view as beautiful people inside and out. I would never dream of sleeping with them, and though we have talked openly with each other about our sexuality they have not once ever crossed a boundary with me either. This could ruin a true friendship as many have discovered. I value my friendships more than I do a few minutes of gratification that I may regret later. I have spoke with many men both gay and straight who feel the same way. Yes, I do feel that the sleeping pill plays a part in the story, to what extent, remains to heard.

      • BenFranklin
        10/29/2009 at 2:28 PM

        Occam’s razor may cut through some of the wild speculation on this site (sperm and organ harvesting, please(!)). I was an out gay man at W+M too, but did not know RW or JP at the time. Culture at the college encourages sexual experimentation without labels. Years later I still enjoy several “straight” happily married male alums in intimate sexual ways every time we make excuses to visit each other.

        @JFR-Robert being a dedicated multi-tasker helps make my point. One of his tasks may have been to try something fun and new beyond a boundary already crossed during college years at W+M. An innocent frat-boy dare: “I bet I can make you cum without using my hands.”

        Electro-sex electrodes accidentally placed near Robert’s heart may have caused it to stop. A simple blindfold may have been used instead of drugs to help him relax and fantasize during play. Panicked drug-addled players concocted the stabbing cover-up. A stopped heart produces little blood spatter. A simple “boys with toys” scenario with tragic results for everyone.

        • CDinDC
          10/29/2009 at 2:41 PM

          Ben, I was being facetious when I said “organ harvesting.” Cmon.

          Re electroejaculation, the electrodes are placed on and near the testicles…not the heart.

          And re the fact that you “still enjoy several “straight” happily married male alums in intimate sexual ways every time we make excuses to visit each other”….well, that’s just wrong and you shouldn’t crow about it.

          • BenFranklin
            10/29/2009 at 3:20 PM

            @CDinDC–

            re-electrojaculation. The power boxes have at least two channels, each with a positive and negative pole, so there are four points where electricity can pass between the electrodes through the body. Single pole electrodes can be sticky pads, needles, sounds, bands, rings, wheels, or inserted toys. It takes two single pole electrodes to work. Two single pole electrodes, one held in each hand, causes current to pass between, through the heart, and can be fatal. Bi-polar electrodes are self-contained, use one channel, work alone, and are less dangerous.

            re: intimacy with married men. I don’t judge them, I don’t initiate it, and I’m not proud of it, thus I stay anonymous. It’s really more about re-living fun college memories than cheating on their wife.

            • CDinDC
              10/29/2009 at 4:58 PM

              Hi Ben,

              So you are saying that one of the defendants may have accidentally laid a TENS unit’s electrodes on Robert’s chest and accidentally given him a fatal arythemia?

              “Electrode gel” was confiscated at the defendants house. If they accidentally laid the electrodes on Robert’s chest, I would think the voltage on the TENS unit would have had to have been rather high to give a fatal “shock.” Robert wasn’t known to have any kind of heart abnormalities. So if the voltage was high, it seems the electrodes would have burned his skin to some degree, (if that scenario had played out.) Electrode gel is necessary for proper conductivity and would be necessary to prevent skin irritation. And skin irritation may have been detected during autopsy, which it wasn’t.

              Also, to produce current you have to turn the machine on. So if they “accidentally” laid the electrodes on his chest the electrodes would have had to have been “live.” They probably would have known they just turned the device on. Alternatively, if the electrodes were NOT “live” and they laid them on his chest, they would have had to intentionally turn the machine on to send current.

              Basically, I think the scenario you suggest would add up to intentional harm. It just doesn’t play out very well as an accident.

              There was also evidence of suffocation. And suffocating a sex partner to the point of bursting capillaries in their eyes isn’t a sign of a “fun and new” sexual encounter.

              • BenFranklin
                10/29/2009 at 6:41 PM

                Hi CD,

                There are quite a few power boxes out there and a TENS unit is the least powerful but most common.

                Electrode gel improves conductivity and eliminates skin irritation but it’s not required. This kind of masturbation/play often delivers multiple, powerful orgasms for men and women.

                Single pole electrodes must be used in pairs and two pairs are often used at the same time. In men, one electrode is usually inserted within the anus near the prostate.

                It is possible that Robert could have grabbed one single-pole electrode in each hand while the power box was on high causing fatal arythemia when the low-voltage high-amperage DC current crossed his chest completing the circuit. A standard TENS unit could not do this to a healthy young man but the more powerful expensive units could.

                The autopsy evidence of suffocation was minimal with no fibers detected. The two tiny capillary irregularities could possibly be attributed to breath control or muffling orgasmic utterances as a courtesy to others trying to sleep in the house. I agree this is a stretch, but it’s possible.

                In this scenario the interrupted stabbing cover-up was orchestrated by true friends to protect the reputation of those living in the house, the deceased, and the loving wife.

                Ben

                • Bea
                  10/29/2009 at 7:51 PM

                  Hi Ben, I think the trouple couldn’t care less about the reputation of the deceased or the loving wife. You don’t stab someone three times (stabbing was specifically identified as the cause of death) to help any grieving widow – and I suspect even if Robert were “dabbling” that night (highly doubtful to me) my guess is he’d rather be outed than dead.

                  Wouldn’t electrical shock of this sort have been noticed by the coroner? I simply don’t know – would seem likely to result in some obvious thing (be it burned hair tips or something of such ilk).

                  • BenFranklin
                    10/29/2009 at 8:36 PM

                    Hi Bea,

                    I don’t think Robert was stabbed until someone mistakenly thought he was already dead. The needle marks could simply be pin pricks to try to arouse a reaction–some sign of life– not necessarily evidence of injection or drugs.

                    I don’t think Robert was gay but was very comfortable around these gay men, even possibly on a sexual/masturbatory level.

                    E-stim toys don’t “shock” and don’t cause “burns” but when mishandled can interrupt the normal rhythm of the heart.

                    Ben

                    • AnnaZed
                      10/30/2009 at 2:11 AM

                      You know Ben, just because you are comfortable with men who cheat on their wives doesn’t mean that most or even that all that many men are into cheating on their wives even in some supposed groovy “back to college days” masturbatory way (as if that isn’t cheating) with other people ~ men or women. Additionally, not one single soul had credibly or even not credibly put forward that Robert Wone engaged in any such antics even before he was married, not one.

                      I know all about unfaithful men, and about men who have homosexual contact outside of their heterosexual relationships. I’m not some scandalized prude, but your tune is getting really tired and is, in its particulars, not supported by anything we know about Robert Wone ~ evidence, reputation, life situation or character.

                      Maybe you can’t comprehend this, but every indication is that the idea of being false, cheating in a way that is profoundly dishonest (let alone hurtful) to his wife and additionally hazardous to her health (condoms do not protect against HPV ` which causes cervical cancer in women ~ and a host of other STDs and would place her at serious risk) is not consistent with the portrait that emerges of this man.

                      Every single indicator that you could possibly look for is there that Robert was exactly the straight forward, kind, generous spirited, honest and (yes) straight man who loved his wife that he seemed to be. His mouth guard was in his mouth, he was trying to got some sleep and some sick fucks attacked him, abused him and murdered him. Your posts lead me to think that you just can’t wrap your mind around that concept. Maybe you can’t understand that the sneaky, dishonest and potentially unsafe scenarios that you seem to find so normal and irresistible would not be consistent with the type of person Robert Wone was.

                      I urge you to go somewhere and ponder these possibilities in private.

                    • Nora
                      10/30/2009 at 7:07 AM

                      Ben – for the last time, experts agree that Robert DIED FROM HIS STAB WOUNDS. He had begun digesting his own blood. I fail to see why you are so fixated on this farfetched electro theory.

                      As for your “good friends” scenario – you admit that the intruder theory doesn’t hold up. So, these palsie walsies stabbed him three times, one of them through the heart, then arranged his body, faked a crime scene, lied to police – and you really don’t believe they were capable of doing something sexual w/out Robert’s consent? Huh?

                      Would this butcher knife stuff be the first idea to pop into your head after you thought your DL buddy had stopped breathing?

                      Why is your view of career pig Joe so rosey and your view of confirmed altruist Robert so dismal??

                      As others have said, maybe Robert wasn’t like you and your “friends.” Most people aren’t.

                      No offense, but the most morally depraved man I ever knew (rapist) genuinely believed that most people were just like him. That they did, or at least wanted, all the same things. Great rationalization tool.

                    • Clio
                      10/30/2009 at 8:56 AM

                      Ben: What you posit is more like a script for that discontinued show, “Jackass,” in which men’s men did stupid, extreme things to each other for kicks. Robert Wone was no jackass, and Price and Ward were not just playing (unfortunately).

                      Men are pigs, when it comes to sexuality. But, I do not see Robert agreeing to be hooked up to these specialty devices: if he wanted to get off, then he had Kathy at home.

                      And, if you were a straight man wanting to play, then why would you choose openly gay friends who knew your wife and who would talk about any experience that you had? As others have said, married men fool around with other married men because they’re in the same boat; they like their occasionally male playmates to be as closeted and conflicted as they are.

                • CDinDC
                  10/29/2009 at 8:22 PM

                  Ben, I’ll certainly entertain the use/misuse of an electro device, but I can’t, try as I might, entertain the thought that Robert was a willing participant in “extra curricular” activities.

                  He was a man of extreme honor. Truth. He was in love with his wife. His personality did not reflect that of a man that would dabble on the side for sheer pleasure.

                  That’s why I’m so dedicated to this website. Robert Wone was one in a million.

                  • BenFranklin
                    10/29/2009 at 8:43 PM

                    CD,
                    I live far away and just found out about his death at a W+M homecoming reunion over the weekend and share your grief.
                    Ben

                    • Hoya Loya
                      10/30/2009 at 8:44 AM

                      I think that the initial perception by many that this was simply a play-date gone wrong is, tragically, part of what slowed the investigation and caused this case to be marginalized in the press and elsewhere. I vaguely remember reading brief stories about the case to that effect back in 2006 and not paying much attention to them because it didn’t seem like anything that interesting or remarkable. Reading about the case in a new light this summer changed that for me.

                      I also wonder if this perception (and the trouple’s connections) did not have something to do with the special task force being assigned to the case. Could the investigator from that unit have been bamboozled by the trouple along these same lines (“We fooled around but didn’t kill him, an intruder did that . . . please don’t hurt his family more by outing him”)???

                      The more you read the testimonials, watch the videos and read posts from Robert’s friends, the more you realize this characterization cannot possible be true.

                • David
                  10/29/2009 at 9:50 PM

                  Ben,

                  The electro device that Joe lists in his Alt.com profile is TENS units, so while a more powerful unit could have been in the house, the indication from the evidence available so for is that he was not.

                  David, co-ed.

                  • BenFranklin
                    10/30/2009 at 1:19 PM

                    David,
                    Thanks for the info. Do we know a model number? TENS has become a generic term for referring to all power boxes.

                    BenFranklin is a gay man with technical knowledge about electro-sex equipment. He also shares a W+M undergraduate experience with the victim and one of the suspects, but did not know them at the time.

                    His intent here is to explore technical issues that might be relevant to figuring out what went wrong in the hour and a half that left us Robert’s corpse, and does not believe that anyone involved wanted him to end up that way.

                    The problem Ben has with current theories is that they rely on paralysis-inducing drugs when none have been found.

                    Ben’s speculation includes the possibility of initial willing victim participation in some kind of masturbation/play scenario, which many who knew Robert find offensive. For this he is sorry, but something stopped Robert’s heart before the knife! Was it drugs or electricity?

                    Ben

                    • Craig
                      10/30/2009 at 1:50 PM

                      Ben – The smart money says that paralytic drugs will not be found in the remaining 3 cc’s of Robert’s blood.

                      If there was even the slightest chance, Tom Connly woundn’t have been so accomodating to the G to let them consume what’s left.

                      Nothing will show 3+ years later.

                    • Bea
                      10/30/2009 at 2:05 PM

                      Hi Ben, whether drugs or electricity played a role, the fact remains that Robert was intentionally stabbed three times, and the stabbing killed him. I don’t care how drug-addled one may be, or even if he/they wrongly think Robert is dead, the reasonable person – never mind moral person – does not think it a ‘good idea’ to methodically plunge a 4+ inch knife into a friend’s chest three times.

                    • CDinDC
                      10/30/2009 at 3:30 PM

                      Ben says: ” but did not know them at the time.”

                      Do you know them now?

                      Why is Ben talking in 3rd person now? CDinDC wants to know.

                    • Hoya Loya
                      10/30/2009 at 4:37 PM

                      BF: I don’t think it is the theory of willing participation that some have trouble with, although most here have discounted it by now due to overwhelming testimony to the contrary by friends and family — but the fact that a “blame the victim” excuse can be inferred therefrom (i.e. “that’s what he gets for playing with electricity behind his wife’s back”), even if that is not your intention.

                    • BenFranklin
                      10/30/2009 at 6:17 PM

                      My browser (firefox mac) seems to be having some bugs with replies at the right point of the conversations, or we’ve reached a software limitation.

                      @Craig–so the paralyzing drug theory will likely not go forward into the case?

                      @Bea–agreed–no reasonable person would do such a thing.

                      @CD–Don’t know anyone now, either. The third person was a way to change tone, apologize to some, and re-focus my possible areas of contribution to the conversation here.

                      @ Hoya– considering possible equipment issues only, not to blame the victim

                      What triggered this?
                      Sex, drugs, equipment,
                      control, jealousy, or premeditation? I’m struggling to get my head around it as we all are.

                      Ben

  12. CDinDC
    10/28/2009 at 10:35 PM

    David says: “acupuncture needles are very fine, and nowhere near the width of a hypodermic needle. ”

    That was my thought David. I just looked it up on the internat and an acupuncture needs is half the diameter of an injection needle.

    I think this is a theory that has no basis. Dylan has documented Thai message training, but nothing has been disclosed about acupunture. we may as well say he has training in organ transplants and this was a botched harvesting operation.

    However, there IS documented evidence that Joe is a drug user.

    • CDinDC
      10/28/2009 at 10:37 PM

      typos galore…..internet and acupuncture needles are half …

  13. AnnaZed
    10/28/2009 at 11:53 PM

    JFR: ” …I seriously think there is a connection to acupuncture in this case, apparently so does an interested party in Kathy Wone’s lawsuit.”

    Wait (!) … who thinks that? In what sense is this person a “party” to Kathy Wone’s lawsuit (you can tell without giving names I hope)? Do you mean privy to the details (which is not the same thing) as opposed to being a party to? I did not understand that Mrs. Wone had any other parties attached to her suit, on what basis would they be?

    Sorry to pepper you, but that is some startling information. Are you saying that Mrs. Wone and her lawyers believe that Robert was pierced with acupuncture needles? That would be the first that I am hearing of that conjecture being part of her civil suit. Interesting if true.

    • JusticeForRobert
      10/29/2009 at 12:17 AM

      Hi AnnaZed: No worries, I say if peppering leads to answers, by all means, fire up the mill! I was referring to Paul Duggan’s answer, after being asked about acupuncture and its connection to this case.

      Venice, Fla.: Mr. Duggan, has anyone looked at whether the needle marks could have been the result of an acupuncture-type event? Since the housemate is schooled in massage therapy and has trained in Thailand, it seems plausible that he may have picked up some training in the use of acupuncture to sedate or immobilize someone — something that would fit in with his fetish lifestyle and also would leave no traces of drugs in the victim’s system. Thanks for a great series and for keeping the attention on this case.

      Paul Duggan: That’s a very interesting question, on the acupuncture, and I know it’s been looked into by at least one interested party, in Kathy Wone’s wrongful-death lawsuit against the three men. Perhaps it’s been a focus of interest on the criminal-investigation side, as well. I don’t know.

      • AnnaZed
        10/29/2009 at 12:44 AM

        Damn you are thorough. I like thorough and am embarrassed to have overlooked this. Good one. Of course, on wonders what on earth Duggan means by “interested party.” I suppose he means private investigator or something maybe.

        All that having been said I hope that the ME can clarify as to if these are “injection sites” or acupuncture sites. I have had a lot of acupuncture and the needles are significantly thinner and also significantly are not hollow. So, wouldn’t they each leave a distinctive type of hole? When I get acupuncture I have nothing to show for it, not even a red area. Whereas if I get a shot I have a hole that can been seen with the naked eye and needs to be cared for and kept clean to heal properly.

        For my own part I still believe that Robert was injected with some sort of drug, otherwise why would he not defend himself? I would be reluctantly impressed if it emerged that little Dylan (that dark horse) was so efficient with acupuncture needles that he could render someone helpless with them.

        • AnnaZed
          10/29/2009 at 12:44 AM

          Make that “..one wonders…” oh the typos, oh the humanity.

          • JusticeForRobert
            10/29/2009 at 1:10 AM

            LOL! AnnaZed, one thing I am certain of, humanity is a good trait! My experience with acupuncture is much less than yours or David’s. From what I have read and thus far come to understand is that the needles are smaller as you and David have indicated, however, they do come in different sizes. Also, it is not just the size of the needle but also the depth it is inserted into the acu-point that triggers a reaction. Having said that, I am not ruling out that instead of just plain ole regular needles, Ward used hypo as well. They could have been used in combination or hypo could have been the only type used, but used in a acupuncture pattern at the sites. For example: If I wanted to shoot someone up with a drug, I would not go to the trouble of making a pattern on their body. I am going to go for a vein that looks good or where I know that a good vein is usually located. I would not bother with a hand, a foot, a neck, and a dot to dot on the chest. That is way too much work. Consider that time is a tickin here. We have to make all of these injections, cause an ejaculation, get it into the rectum, clean up the mess, take a shower, and plant a body in a bed and not necessarily in that order! Oh and did I mention take a sleeping pill in the process?
            I am considering at this point as well that Ward could have had his own little acupuncture recipe that could have included hypo needles and some electric charge.

            • CDinDC
              10/29/2009 at 12:41 PM

              JR says: ” If I wanted to shoot someone up with a drug, I would not go to the trouble of making a pattern on their body. I am going to go for a vein that looks good or where I know that a good vein is usually located. I would not bother with a hand, a foot, a neck, and a dot to dot on the chest.”

              JR, not all drugs are intraveneous. Many drugs (and many that are in the party scene) are intramuscular. Ketamine can be inject IV or IM. It can also be insuffulated (snorted).

              In this case, Robert was injected intramuscularly. Ketamine being a distinct possiblity, given the defendants documented history of drug use by the court (Joe in particular).

              • Former Crackho
                10/29/2009 at 4:13 PM

                Just my two cents, and I know I have gone on about their drug use and its involvement before, but I have always believed that the initial bottle of water given to Robert was spiked with G, and then the shots of K were used to keep him under while they did their thing. Dylan and Joe were both in on it, and were probably high as kites themselves. Victor probably knew something was going to go on with someone, but that ain’t his particular brand of tea. And he was probably so used to this type of thing happening, he just ignored it, and went to his room to do his own thing while the boys played. I believe that Victor had no idea that it was actually Robert who was coming over. He just went to once he learned there would be company, and didn’t find out who it actually was until he was summoned to help clean up the mess. Then he screamed. Sarah was conveniently away playing with her other gay boys. Joe and Dylan probably told her they were having a playmate over, and since her boys weren’t available to entertain her, she went elsewhere. They surely wouldn’t want her to see that it was actually Robert coming to visit.

                I don’t believe they ever intended to kill Robert. I think they devised the plan to “play” with him once he announced his visit, and thought they could get away with it without him finding out. The meth use, fused with their sexual fetish, set up the perfect scenario in their warped little heads, and they couldn’t resist taking advantage of the situation. On some level, in their twisted minds they believed that Robert wanted them to do what that planned on doing to him. That’s how Joe could rationalize it in his head.

                Frequent meth use changes your brain chemistry (just look at how bad I write, lol). Throw in a twisted sexual fetish with a drug that makes you hyper sexual, and anything is possible. In their crazed state, they thought Robert died from the drugs. Maybe his pulse was so low they couldn’t feel it. Then came the panic, and the stabbing, and the intruder story, and the rest is history. They never meant to kill him, until they decided to “kill” him after they thought he was already dead. And that is just pathetically sad.

                Why would anyone perform such acts on a good friend from college? I have seen people do things on crystal that I know they would never had done if they weren’t a user. I have crossed many lines myself during my meth addiction (mind you, killing a person I thought was already dead was never in my repertoire – though I can certainly see some of the tweaked out messes I used to know do something as stupid). Take someone with an extreme sexual fetish, add some crystal, perhaps some G, K, E, who knows what else, and it’s a perfect storm. I know this seems hard to believe for someone who has smoked a joint or done a line or two of coke here and there, but crystal meth is truly calling in the witch doctor when it comes to drugs that cause brain damage. It is in a class of its own. I can’t stress this enough. It steals your heart and soul.

                The question of the day to me is why they have all stuck together and haven’t cracked. Which leads me to the conclusion that there is much more going on between these boys than we will ever know.

                • CDinDC
                  10/29/2009 at 5:17 PM

                  Great post, FC.

                  Not to mention, Ketamine is in the same class/family as PCP. And everybody knows what PCP does. The horror stories we used to hear back in the 80s when it was super popular on the streets. People dismembering their children because they thought they were possessed by the devil.

                  • Former Crackho
                    10/29/2009 at 6:08 PM

                    I forgot all about those microwaved babies cooked by mothers and baby sitters smoking “love boat”.

                    • CDinDC
                      10/29/2009 at 8:13 PM

                      ack…sorry to remind you.

                  • Bea
                    10/29/2009 at 8:24 PM

                    CD, I remember in the WaPo story that the standard drug blood tests conducted included PCP which, the article said, “depending on how conducted” might have shown Ketamine. I’m wondering if the remaining blood could still be tested (or would the residuals have dissipated) – do you know offhand?

              • JusticeForRobert
                10/31/2009 at 1:51 AM

                CD: I see your point. Intravenous or intramuscular, that is still a great deal of needle marks and why the pattern of acupuncture? I glanced at a acupuncture book about a month ago in the library. It showed a diagram of some Thi techniques, it was almost verbatim of what was described in the autopsy report. Could be a coincidence, maybe not.

            • AnnaZed
              10/29/2009 at 12:50 PM

              You and possibly investigators that have more facts than I do may see a pattern to these needle sites, but what I see at this time is the random markings of an attack with a hypodermic loaded with a drug that was administered via intramuscular injection, repeatedly. Sadly, I think that the repetitions had the effect of subduing Robert whenever he began to revive to ensure that he could not defend himself.

              • CDinDC
                10/29/2009 at 1:31 PM

                Agree 1000%

              • Former Crackho
                10/29/2009 at 6:12 PM

                Or be aware of what was going on…I believe their hope was that Robert would wake up in the morning and thought he had a bad dream. More likely, a nightmare.

                In my sick, twisted mind, I think they were gathering his semen to sell on the black market.

                • Anonymous in DC
                  10/29/2009 at 11:46 PM

                  Sperm is not viable for very long periods of time when out of the body (speaking as a lesbian mom here). It would need to be kept warm and “used” or frozen fairly quickly to maintain fertility. I think it was some S&M game unless Sarah happened to be home and was jonesing for a baby. In that case, one of the 3 in the house could have obliged. I think you may be on to something with your “bad dream” theory but what about all of the needle marks?

                  • Former Crackho
                    10/30/2009 at 12:26 PM

                    I think they were hoping he wouldn’t notice them. Weren’t most of them in inconspicuous places? I wouldn’t imagine their thinking would be very rational.

                    But their cleaning would be…fast and fairly fastidious. As Andre Agassi recently admitted, meth made him want to “clean his house all night “

                    • CDinDC
                      10/30/2009 at 5:16 PM

                      FC, I’ve always believed that they tried incapacitate Robert to the point of not realizing what was happening. (And ketamine would be a perfect choice in drugs for that purpose and they probably had it handy at all times). But the plan back-fired when Robert realized what was happening. Then they had to murder him to avoid sexual assault charges.

  14. CDinDC
    10/29/2009 at 8:26 PM

    Eds,

    Do any of you recall if an electro device was confiscated from the house? My recollection is no.

    So, if no, did they dispose of it. The confiscation of electrode gel, certainly speaks to the possibility that one was in the house.

    • Clio
      10/29/2009 at 11:21 PM

      The list of items in Mr. Ward’s or Miss Morgan’s Hefty bag grows ever longer; for either a “man” or a woman, it must been hard lugging that junk down the street unnoticed. Did “the contraband” require one to be as strong as a “man,” but, out of necessity, it was made for a woman (to carry)?

      • John Grisham
        10/30/2009 at 1:56 AM

        All of the evidence was in a “rolling” suit case. Perhaps a Price brother — or more likely a Victor hag — rolled one of the household’s oldest pieces of luggage — full of so much stuff — over to 16th Ave. in order to flag a cab (I now agree with CD on which street she/he departed . . . most likely up 16th to Silver Springs, rather than taking Connecticut).

    • Craig
      10/29/2009 at 11:50 PM

      CD – Page 11 of the affidavit mentions electro devices found at 1509. That’s backed up in the search warrants too.

      • CDinDC
        10/30/2009 at 11:08 AM

        Thanks Craig.

  15. CDinDC
    10/30/2009 at 10:46 PM

    Ben says: “@CD–Don’t know anyone now, either. The third person was a way to change tone, apologize to some, and re-focus my possible areas of contribution to the conversation here. ”

    I look forward to it, Ben.

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