Who is Dylan Ward?
Of the three Swann Street defendants, Dylan Ward remains the most enigmatic. Gaining insight about this man are often feels like a treasure-less expedition. The fact that so little is known about the fair-haired Puck from Tacoma seems to be negative evidence itself though, just like Robert’s negative blood results seem to demonstrate more was going on despite the lack of available proof.
The best glimpse into Dylan comes from his motion for pre-trial release. Here, for the first time, his resume is laid out in chronological detail. It shows an intellectual curiosity and accomplishment yet also reveals a pinball career, careening from one discipline to the next with no firm foundation in any one area. In terms of work, it sure looks like he had no place to call home.
We learn that he is the oldest of five children, and the son of Needham Ward a “well-known cardiologist” in Tacoma, Washington. Accomplishment seems to be important to Needham Ward, as he lists in his medical biography that he is the “father of five children; four have graduated from college.”
The motion for pretrial release notes that Dylan is close to his family. So close that his mother and father, Needham and Diane Ward, attended a birthday party in their honor in June 2006 in same home where Robert Wone was murdered less than two months later.
Not only is education important to the eldest Ward child, but only the finest institutions would do. A summa cum laude graduate from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, to the most prominent culinary institution in the United States, the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, to Simmons College, a tony Boston liberal arts institution which was the first to offer a masters degree in children’s literature. It seems he never gave a second thought to being second-rate.
While all of his accomplishments demonstrated a strong, though not necessarily directed will, his personality seems to stand in contrast. Time and again, Dylan has been referred to as “never taking the lead in conversation,” or “meek” and “quiet.” Many people even had a difficult time remembering if they meet him. One person was surprised that he had sat next to Dylan throughout an entire dinner party and never remembered who it was until he was reminded. Others say the same thing, that he “blended in” and “never stood out.”
Associates have noted that if Dylan was going to take the lead in a project, it was never through alpha-male direction, but rather by offering a suggestion that would persuade people to his point of view.
This invisible streak was never more evident than on the night of Robert’s murder. The police notes from the evening describe traits associated with Joe Price as “wanting to do all the talking” and Victor Zaborsky, “crying hysterically.” But, Dylan was only mentioned as part of the group of three men with no individual characteristic ascribed to him.
His invisibility was firmly in place during the early media reports after the murder in August 2006, referring to him not by name but rather as the roommate, and in broadcast reports when photos of Joe and Victor were displayed, there were none of Dylan.
If his personality never seemed to catch people’s attention, his looks were another story. Paul Duggan, who wrote the two piece Washington Post article about the murder described Dylan, “5-foot-8, wiry with piercing brown eyes.” Friends who knew him after he moved back to Washington, DC say he looked “20 years younger” than he was. In unpublished photos, he has the expression of Ariel, the etherial androgynous spirit from Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest, or maybe the more devious Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Either way, Dylan Ward’s look was not easy to miss, even if his personality tended to blend in with those around him.
Of course, the most telling information comes directly from the original affidavit, the one the defense claims is filled with “speculation and innuendo.” That being said, it still doesn’t remove the fact that a large trove of adult sex toys was found in his small room on the second floor of the Swann Street residence, including an electro-stimulator as well as several books on how to administer pain and torture for the purposes of sexual gratification with several passages highlighted.
In a life that seems to speak so softly and so quietly, these items tended to scream.
And now the peers of this man behind brown eyes have been called to answer if he has been “fated to telling only lies.”
-posted by David