One year ago…

A Journey Began in Pursuit of Justice

Forgive us for being a wee bit sentimental, but we are marking the one year anniversary of the first blog entry of WhoMurderedRobertWone.com today.

We all knew about the case, especially after having read about the November indictments, so it was fresh in our minds.  What was more surprising, though, was that the four editors, all gay men of a certain age, were each drawn to this case for our own reasons. 

This is remarkable, because as we have discovered, there are some people who want to talk about this crime endlessly, and others who headed for the doors so fast that their heads were spinning.  But, the fact is all of four of us, all good and life-long friends, partners and ex’s, were all interested in the miscarriage of justice occurring, and we knew talking about it wouldn’t be good enough.  Not in this case.

We needed to do something about it.

This is how WhoMurderedRobertWone.com came to be. 

We certainly weren’t the first folks to jump into the abyss.  The good people over at Datalounge had been discussing the case since its earliest days.  From there we got up to speed on the community’s thoughts, and we are so thankful that many of their smartest and brightest commenters have chosen to be a part of this journey.

None of us knew Robert or the defendants first hand. But, because all of us have lived in Washington, DC for more than two decades, it didn’t take long to find out that we were separated by only one degree. We considered this a strength, as we could be honest brokers, always searching for the truth about what happened inside 1509 Swann Street on August 2, 2006.

Over the past year, we have come to know many of the key individuals involved in this case, but in the end, our efforts have been to find justice for Robert Wone, for his wife, family and friends.

We first began on blogspot, but instantly knew that it would not be able to handle everything we needed in order to serve our readers.  We migrated to WordPress, where we could better host comments and legal documents, which we considered crucial to building our community of the committed. With more than 7,500 comments so far, over 250 posts and a worldwide audience, we know we made the right decision.

Traveling on a road that at times seems to be headed only in circles, we have been truly enlightened and spirited by our dedicated crew of commenters. They have time and again brought new information and additional insights, while also challenging us to think anew about past assumptions and conclusions. 

Together, we have experienced new revelations, like when Diane Durham’s statement came to light, that have reordered our thinking about the events that evening.  And we know more is still to come.

As we head into our second year, we are fully aware that Robert’s family and friends have endured this tragedy for an unimaginably longer time.  For this reason, we will redouble our efforts as we head into the year when the trial is scheduled, so we can bring as much light to a case that has broken so many hearts.

Thank you all for being a part of our journey.

— The editors

28 comments for “One year ago…

  1. Clio
    12/08/2009 at 1:16 PM

    Thank you again for providing this interdisciplinary forum to provide some answers about this “complex” and “novel” case. Cathy and Glenn apparently need all the help and prompting that they can get!

    One only hopes, though, that we will not be blogging about this case during the next holiday season. By that time, all of our defendants should be serving time for at least the cover-up. Fingers still crossed! That probable future will not bring Robert back, but it will provide a little closure, if not complete justice.

  2. anonymous
    12/08/2009 at 1:23 PM

    “honest brokers”? whatever. you guys are just the people handing out free pillow cases at the lynching. you are not interested in justice; you are interested in winning. and it is nice that this blog has been reduced to one big circle jerk of similarly minded people, who’ve spent too much time watching CSI and believing that everything a cop writes in an affidavit is true.

    • Just Another Friend
      12/08/2009 at 2:02 PM

      I want justice. I want the person who murdered my friend — and not anyone else — to be held responsible for that act. But I’m working with the information I have. So for heaven’s sake, if you have information that we don’t have here, please bring it.

    • David
      12/08/2009 at 3:06 PM

      Anon,

      As JAF says we are working with the information we have. If you have additional information about why a cop is not being truthful in an affidavit, and what it is that is incorrect or shades the truth, we are all ears.

      David, co-ed

      • BenFranklin
        12/08/2009 at 4:17 PM

        Anon & David,

        You’re both wrong. The editors ARE seeking truth AND prosecutions are NOT always truthful.

        Don’t ever forget Joyce “Black Magic” Gilchrist & that corruption & incompetence are institutions in DC.

        It’s clear to me that the defendants conflated their story & the prosecution promotes creative suggestions in the affidavits to put negative leverage on the defendants. I view them both skeptically through a thick lens of experience.

        The blog is adversarial & collegial & a valuable forum–even if it seems like a lynch mob sometimes–but truth may spring from it.

        Respectfully,

        Ben

        • CDinDC
          12/08/2009 at 5:22 PM

          I had to look up Joyce “Black Magic” Gilchrist, but now that I have, I see that her participation in trials as a forensic scientist was in the 80’s.

          Forensic science has progressed light-years during that time. It’s much more of a precise science now.

          • BenFranklin
            12/08/2009 at 8:32 PM

            Hi CD,

            I think Gilchrist worked her forensic black magic well into the 1990’s–sending 23 people to death row with 11 wrongful executions before she got caught.

            The science is better but humans have the same failings & prejudices.

            Ben

      • Clio
        12/08/2009 at 4:28 PM

        As a proper lady, I would not engage in a lynching or circle jerk in any century, and I have never watched CSI. Everything that a cop writes down — the spelling of “Dillion,” for example — is not accurate, but the defendants (at this point) are the only persons of interest to the police, far beyond any shadow of a doubt.

        Now, if Ben Franklin comes up with some “black-helicopter” stuff showing the involvement of the governments of East Timor and Papua New Guinea in Robert’s murder, then and only then may the narrative shift. But I’m not holding my proverbial breath on Ben’s phone calls!

    • cdindc
      12/08/2009 at 11:57 PM

      Anonymous,

      I continue to think about your lynching analogy and it sickens me. In no way can the arrest and trial of your friends be compared to a lynching. The defendants are given the right to fair trial by a court of law, not to mention the luxury of high-end attorneys. The three little piggies you squeal about have silver spoons in their mouths. No one is taking the law into their own hands. Your friends will have their day in court and their fate will be determined by a jury of their peers. And we have as much a right to discuss the case as you do to be offended by the opinions stated here. So, if you don’t like the fact that many of us find your friends guilty as the day is long, may I suggest you “turn the channel.”

    • AnnaZed
      12/09/2009 at 12:42 AM

      Oh anon, I don’t think that you have a very firm grasp of what a lynching actually is. Are you another William and Mary graduate of the Ben school of logic? Oh, my.

      For the record I may be the last person remaining on this earth who never (really never) watches television at all, let alone CSI, and you could not find a more skeptical soul than I when it comes to the statements of police officers, seriously.

      I came to this site, in fact, in the belief that three gay men were maybe being disproportionately scrutinized because of their life styles, every aspect of which I would defend as the inalienable rights of any consenting man or woman to my dying day. Much reading and research later I have formed my own opinions about the potential guilt or innocence of these men in Robert’s sad, horrific murder and have come to the conclusion that these man can not be scrutinized enough in this matter. My own strong feeling about fairness and even reasonable doubt (though this is not a courtroom) have not thus far been offended by the posts on this blog.

      A lynching (or as Judge Thomas once complained “a high tech lynching”)?

      I call nonsense on that characterization of the efforts on WMRW.com.

    • Nora
      12/09/2009 at 8:08 AM

      Anonymous – I have a deep instinctual distrust of cops, and don’t even know what CSI is. But I do know that Leo Frank, Emmett Till, and untold thousands of others who who were brutally murdered by mobs w/out trial or even a scrap of human dignity would be disgusted by your comparison.

      You’re supposed to be the voice of justice and mercy? Cold. Going by all available evidence, it’s easy to see what you and your “friends” have in common.

    • Friend of Rob
      12/09/2009 at 10:55 AM

      As a previous friend of Joe, I would give ANYTHING, ANYTHING if somebody could offer a credible account of how Joe was not involved in at least the cover-up of Rob’s murder.

      I think I speak for a lot of people (who were friends of both men) when I say that we would all have been able to accept what happened and cope with it if we thought that this was just a tragic, random act of violence.

      Honestly, the fact that one of us hasn’t gone to Joe’s new abode and beaten the shit out of him in light of this damning evidence shows that this is anything but a lynch mob.

      I will not be satisfied until we know what happened that night. Putting Joe and his friends in jail is not why I visit this blog.

  3. Bea
    12/08/2009 at 3:19 PM

    Anon, I hazard a guess that many gay and lesbian commenters would love it if the poster couple, Joe and Victor, and Joe’s boy toy, did not have anything to do with the murder of Robert Wone or the cover-up. Part of the reason I’m so frustrated by this case (far behind the anguish I feel for Robert Wone’s loved ones) is that these guys give us a bad name. If the “real killer” and the “real conspirators” (not to mention the “real cleaning crew”) were to materialize and absolve these guys, I’d be very happy. I’m just not holding my breath. You are right that the affidavit may not paint the entire picture, and even that there are misleading comments in it – but too there is the crime scene, the coroner’s findings, the timeline, and a whole host of other issues one has to consider. But I’m with David – by all means, educate us.

    To the editors – thanks for all the hard work. It’s a lot to give, and you deserve serious kudos.

    • JusticeForRobert
      12/08/2009 at 5:32 PM

      Very well stated Bea. Thanks also to the editor’s who’s tireless work has brought yet another voice for a man who had his own taken. Each individual is entitled to opinions of their own, yet we can not deny that Robert deserved to live and that right was not afforded him. Robert’s family deserves at the very least to know the truth. It is the simplest of human compassion from any perspective.

  4. Anon. in Arlington
    12/08/2009 at 4:20 PM

    Thanks to the editors and contributors to WMRW for their many hours of dedication in the search for answers, and for trying to make sense of the senseless. This site is not about sensationalism, but searches for the truth as to what happed on 2 August 2006, and why.

    I, for one, am grateful for the insight and thought-provoking (most of the time) commentary from contributors. I cannot say “Happy Anniversary” as it is not a happy event that this site must exist, but a hearty “Congratulations” to the editors for their hard work this past year. The next 6 months will prove to be interesting as well!

  5. CDinDC
    12/08/2009 at 4:20 PM

    To the eds: Bravo.

    And to Anonymous, if you or the defendants can come up with one good reason to make me believe they are innocent, bring it on.

  6. Clio
    12/08/2009 at 6:52 PM

    A would-be headline for the defunct Blade: Quadruple Continues to Scrutinize Trouple: Four Kings Trump Three Jacks in Pursuit of Truth?

    • John Grisham
      12/08/2009 at 10:23 PM

      Bully for you. You didn’t even venture to comment about what most of the other Queens are doing around this case!

    • cdindc
      12/09/2009 at 12:00 AM

      Clio, we are losing another Washington DC institution……Lambda Rising is closing their doors. 🙁

      • Clio
        12/09/2009 at 12:22 AM

        Say it’s not so, CD, dahling! I love Lambda Rising — I trust that the chain’s Rehoboth Beach store is not closing, too.

        I had helped to bring the chain to founder/owner Deacon Maccubbin’s native Norfolk in the mid-1990s, and, alas, that outlet closed several years ago. Even if Deacon was/is a bit of a rogue himself, his store(s) and their legacy will be sorely missed by this muse.

        The Mayans may have been right after all about this new century: with one catastrophe after another, it is starting off worse than the twentieth!

        • former crackho
          12/09/2009 at 12:14 PM

          Sadly, I believe Rehoboth has already closed.

      • Nora
        12/09/2009 at 7:58 AM

        cdindc – that breaks my heart. It was always so much more than a bookstore. 35 years! But is this necessarily a terrible thing, or a sign of how successfully lgbt books and issues have been mainstreamed? Sometimes movements, watering holes, etc., are so effective they make themselves obsolete.

        • crackho
          12/09/2009 at 11:48 AM

          The closing is a terrible thing, especially if you want to find the newest gay novel and not want to wait for days to order it online. “Mainstream” book stores have limited gay sections. Very limited. While we may have made much progress over the years blending in to the mainstream, we still need our independent places to play – much like we have ethnic bookstores, christian bookstores, etc.

          I miss the gay ghetto!

          • former crackho
            12/09/2009 at 11:50 AM

            Sorry, that name should have been “former crackho”. One and the same. And still “former”.

            I don’t want to lynch anyone. Piggy Joe would enjoy it too much.

      • Bea
        12/09/2009 at 4:10 PM

        How awful! When I lived in Dupont that was at least a weekly shopping spree for me! We are all going to feel the pinch of the disappearance of gay papers, bookstores, and the like, all over the country.

        • CDinDC
          12/09/2009 at 5:40 PM

          It’s hard to tell Dupont Circle is considered a gay neighborhood these days.

          • Mike
            12/10/2009 at 6:49 PM

            Yeah, when’s the last time you heard the loving term “Fruit Loop”?

            • Clio
              12/10/2009 at 7:07 PM

              Those were the days! And, “you knew where you were then, girls were girls, and men were men?”

              Assimilation of LGBT cultures to the mainstream, the public goal of Price and Ward before 2006, has only brought disappointment and fragmentation. Thanks again, Joe and Dyl!

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