Motiveless

In Senseless Crimes, Sex Is Often The Motive

At trial, the of question ‘who did it?’ is bound intimately to its partner.  ‘Why did they do it?’

“This is a head scratcher,” says noted homicide investigator Dallas Drake.  No small remark from a man who’s seen thousands of murders.  “The hardest type of case to solve is the motiveless homicide.”

you can see what's unknown, waiting to be discoveredMotive is crucial for investigators and prosecutors alike.  For investigators because it directs the finger toward the  accused, sorting innocent from guilty.  And for prosecutors, because motive is the one thing that connects the thousand isolated – and hard to digest – facts into a single, coherent, sensible narrative for the jury.

Motive is the story that sells the conviction.  One of the biggest gifts a defense team can get is a charge against their client with no clear motive. 

Still unclear in Robert’s case is what motive the prosecution will settle with.  Sexual assault?  They’ve wavered back and forth on that, and it’s uncertain how much evidence Judge Leibovitz would allow.  Jealousy – but of what or who?  We’ve heard no such theories.  Old standbys money or revenge?  Not a lint-trap’s worth of evidence.

The defense has a similar problem: was the intruder a thief?  Not so, says the evidence.  Was it a targeted killing?  Improbable: how could anyone have known where Robert would stay that night – let alone which room – allowing the “intruder” to enter and depart so unerringly?  Yet similar is not same: the defense doesn’t have to offer motive to win acquittal.

Failing the guilty party/ies coming forward, the Wone case remains impenetrable precisely because it appears to be locked in this black box of being a motiveless crime.

But perhaps science provides a key.Dallas Drake is co-founder and principal researcher at the Center for Homicide Research, a Minnesota-based non-profit.  The CHR began to research GLBT crime and remains home for the National Database for GLBT Homicides.  The center has since expanded its mission to include all homicide research, “…ultimately in the hope of preventing them,” he says.

Obstacles remain.  One may be surprising.

“The GLBT community has been resistant to looking at gay offenders.  Back in 1985 the first report came out that…looked at intimate partner violence and homicide.  That was by the Communities United Against Violence in San Francisco.  And they took a lot of flak for that.”

Motive, says Drake, helps point out particular offenders.  Even in this CSI-crazed-era, 40% of homicides remain unsolved – straight and gay.  “It’s important to look not just at who someone is killing, but why the killer kills.”  Straights kill.  And so go Gays.  Drake’s years of investigation confirm this…and another surprising finding:

“Most motiveless crimes are sex homicides.  (Here) there appears to be some crime scene staging.  Something was cleaned up, somehow.  So if there isn’t an apparent motive, which there doesn’t seem to be in this case, then we start looking to sexual motive.”

In samples of valid (i.e., ending in conviction) murder cases, gays are still killed by straights at higher rates than the other way around.  But compensate for population disparities (and the often murky nature of the crimes) and the proportional numbers come out just about even.  More disturbing: in “motiveless” solved homicides, sex becomes the prime motive in more than 70% of cases.

That may seem counter-intuitive given the amount of coverage the gay press devotes to GLBT hate crime…and deservedly so.  But coverage does not equal actual statistics.

Drake is no homophobe.  But, he cautions, hobbling questions of motive for political or public relations concerns serves no-one, and makes justice less likely.  When it comes to murder, even more so.

Three years plus into the crime, Drake opines “…the chances of solving this case appear slim to none.”  He calls the charges brought against Price, Zaborsky and Ward “…a fishing expedition.”  Still, he’s seen such mysteries unwind.

“A lot of times this has to be sequential.  You have to nail down certain forms of evidence first. Once they realize they’re going to face some serious charges, sometimes one of them will knuckle-under and cut a deal and turn state’s evidence. Then the whole thing starts to unravel, but you have to have some charges to start that whole process.”

When we contacted Mr. Drake a few months back, he was unaware of the Wone murder.  In the weeks following, he and the CHR staff have made clear their intention to work with us to bring every tool available to understand what happened that night.

And finally, there is another group for whom finding motive becomes a matter of special import: those close to the victim.  Especially in a murder – and more so for the ugliness of this crime – closure for Robert’s family and friends will not likely come with just a “who”…but the “why.”  The more brutal the end, the greater the human need to explain it.

posted by Doug

156 comments for “Motiveless

  1. Nelly
    02/03/2010 at 11:43 AM

    Motive, IMHO, was certainly sexual assault and an attempt to cover up rape, fueled by jealousy, arrogance, and drugs.

    • former crackho
      02/03/2010 at 12:36 PM

      I guess I’m the last hold out who thinks they didn’t set out to kill Robert, but stabbed him after they thought he died from drugs. I don’t think they were thinking clearly and panicked. I understand the other arguments, and maybe I’m not thinking like an attorney would, but it is the only think that makes any sense to me. I guess it makes me feel a little better about mankind if I didn’t think they intentionall killed him.

      • Friend of Rob
        02/03/2010 at 1:38 PM

        I would like to believe that is true and that Robert lost consciousness for the last time shortly after taking a drink of water in the kitchen.

        • former crackho
          02/03/2010 at 6:51 PM

          For his sake, that would be the best we can hope for.

        • AnnaZed
          02/05/2010 at 12:36 AM

          Certainly Friend of Rob, I fervently hope so too.

      • Bea
        02/03/2010 at 1:46 PM

        Former, your speculation is as good as mine, of course, but I don’t think anyone could stab a man perfectly three times without making damned sure he was dead – pulse, breathing. And it was still an intentional act to “make sure” he was dead – for what purpose? I don’t follow that they panicked thinking the drugs had killed him so they decided to stab him three times? Maybe if you explained.

        Interesting post, Eds.

        • former crackho
          02/03/2010 at 2:45 PM

          Well, I guess my thinking is that they gave him a lot of K and perhaps something else that really knocked him out and lowered his pulse rate quite a bit. I believe they thought the K would make it so he wouldn’t remember anything. But then I think they came to the conclusion, incorrect or correct, that Robert wasn’t breathing or dead. I am no medical expert, but I think you can still be alive but with such low vital signs you can be mistaken for dead.

          Now, this leaves the choice of either saying we all did drugs together, or saying he died in his sleep, or he was the victim of an intruder who stabbed him. Perhaps they figured the latter would be the furthest off course and would cover their tracks more than the other two. Robert was straight, not a drug user, and I don’t think anyone would buy that they were partying together or separately and Joe knew this. I believe Joe thought the intruder story and the stabbing was the easiest way to hide what really happened (remember, they are thinking with very distorted perceptions of reality).

          Are we 100% certain Robert was definitely alive when they stabbed him? I thought that may be debatable, and, if so, perhaps he did die from the drugs before they stabbed him.

          He had a lot of puncture wounds. It only took one injection of K to mess me up really good. Maybe they did send him over the edge, and the blood found in his stomach does not necessarily mean he was alive when he was stabbed after all.

          • former crackho
            02/03/2010 at 2:52 PM

            ooops…line 6 should be”wasn’t breathing and therefore dead.”

          • CDinDC
            02/03/2010 at 5:06 PM

            So, FCH, do you think rape was premeditated?

            • former crackho
              02/03/2010 at 5:10 PM

              oh absolutely!

              I think the very reason k would be used would be because it can cause amnesia if given enough. Or at least cloud your reality enough to make you guess if something happened.

              By rape, if you mean anal penetration, though…probably not. More like ejaculatory rape.

              • CDinDC
                02/03/2010 at 6:20 PM

                Re penetration….anal penetration definitely occured. But I believe with something other than a penis.

                • former crackho
                  02/03/2010 at 6:47 PM

                  Perhaps with that an electro stim thingy or something or other. And perhaps they used his own ejaculation as lubricant.

                • former crackho
                  02/03/2010 at 6:50 PM

                  Unless Joe’s penis is the only skinny appendage on him.

                  • CDinDC
                    02/03/2010 at 7:18 PM

                    touche

              • Mike
                02/03/2010 at 7:31 PM

                I have a problem with the premeditated rape theory. It’s this: Joe and co. seem much too smart for it. No matter how “into someone” you are, in the clear light of day you would not (I think) plan to drug and assault someone who is basically a colleague. Too many things could slip horribly out of control, and Joe seems to be all about control. Yes, he cuts loose on the weekends, but always in a cautious framework. For him to plan a strange crime like this over weeks in full sobriety feels wrong.

                The drugging and rape seem more like spur-of-the-moment impulses fueled by anger, wounded pride, and drugs. Throw in the special volatility that can arise out of an evening like this and a lot of crazy things suddenly seem possible.

                Militating against the premeditation theory, also, is the fact that everything went so tragically awry. These guys were experienced with drugs of all kinds; they had weeks to plan and this is the result? Whole thing looks like an angry impulse.

                I’m sure Joe was so full of himself, even when sober, that he thought Robert would never spurn him. And the fact that there were three, careful incisions (the kind that work against any convincing intruder scenario) makes me fear the worst. If they had really wanted to stab him JUST to support an intruder story, they would have made it look like a hasty intruder’s work.

                They knew damn well that he was still alive. And they wanted to make damn sure.

                • former crackho
                  02/03/2010 at 8:27 PM

                  Mike, what makes you so sure there was pure sobriety during the week? I am of the mindset that that Joe and Dylan were regular tina users. Most guys I knew eventually used daily. And many still went to work, and kept on the “A” – or t least B+ list for quite a while. I think it is important to consider this, because to me, heavy involvement in crystal is the only rational explanation of how they could concoct such a stupid plan.

                  If it wasn’t premeditated – how did it just “happen”? They had to have the drugs, and the syringes. I really believe that they thought the k would wipe out Robert’s memory of their having sex with him – or whatever it was they did. That is why I believe they thought they could get away with it.

                  Of course a rational, educated attorney. This is why I think they were more into the drugs then many realize. Michael was the supplier – perhaps coming to Joe’s office so Victor wouldn’t know how much was really going down?

                  I don’t think weekend dabblers would suddenly decide to hit on a friend and then kill him when he didn’t reciprocate. If I hit on a straight friend after being fucked up and I had the friendship history Joe and Robert had, they would most likely laugh it off and calm me down if I got upset.

                  I guess I am coming from the jaded view of what I know crystal can do. I think they were partying and feeding their sexual addictions/appetites/fetishes whenever Joe wasn’t at work. Then Joe probably used crystal at work to stay awake and perform. They were probably on a cycle of this, slowly screwing with their judgement. Always looking for the sexual charge, along comes the call from Robert, and the plans start. Maybe not malicious at first, may only a fantasy discussed between Joe and Dylan at first. Then it grew into the plan of sedating and having a sexual scenario take place with Robert, sure that he wouldn’t remember or think it was just a dream. That is how the aftermath of k can feel if you do enough. And they knew this.

                  Of course, I am probably way off base, lol.

                  • former crackho
                    02/03/2010 at 8:30 PM

                    sorry for the tupos..can’t find my reading blasses.

                    • Mike
                      02/03/2010 at 8:55 PM

                      FCH, I want to believe you theory, if just because it seems the more merciful to Robert. Can you talk me into it?

                      Why the execution-style stab wounds? Why three of them, and so precise? With the sharp edge up? This is one of the things that has bothered me the most. If they thought Robert was already dead from an overdose, why not just stab him once? And in a style consistent with the forced entry scenario – whether on the porch or the bed.

                      This detail made me think there was a change of plans in mid-stream. If you seriously want to fake a burglary, you make the stabbing sloppy (after all, he’s already “dead”, right?) and rifle the drawers. Dispense with something valuable. Leave the blood (if unmingled with your DNA). None of these was done.

                      Maybe the rape WAS planned beforehand, and Robert came out of his stupor too soon and Joe decided he “knew too much.” But this was a murderous attack on a helpless, innocent friend. I would like to think there would have to be some anger behind something like that. Would Joe really do it just to escape a rape charge? Yet I think it was clearly deliberate murder.

                      Please convince….

                • AnnaZed
                  02/05/2010 at 12:55 AM

                  Mike, Mike, Mike what the hell.

                  I am just going to have to risk the groans of the assembled by reminding you that sexual assault of women and girls, even sexual assault that culminates in murder, is so commonplace that only a small percentage of these attacks even make it to the news media at all. Generally what is needed is a little extra kick like a pretty blond victim, the uniqueness of a stranger assault (as opposed to family member or friend assault) or the additional abuse of an animal to push the story to the front pages. I don’t know what the statistics are for male on male sexual assault, or sexual assault that escalates into murder, but I would imagine that it’s not that uncommon. Why are these guys any different?

                  • Nora
                    02/05/2010 at 8:04 AM

                    Yes, and many of these rapes of friends and colleagues are carefully planned.

                  • Mike
                    02/05/2010 at 2:12 PM

                    AnnaZed and Nora: I’m sorry that my post was unclear. By “you would not plan to” I was referring to everything I had seen of Joe Price’s personality. Although he has his fun, he is also a professional “people” person who has worked extremely hard to get where he is (was). Connections, discipline, public image are crucial to him. For him to put his head together with other professionals and say, “Let’s give Robert the business” doesn’t ring true for me. Especially since this was apparently a first time and Joe was in his mid 30’s. Maybe it was couched as a “prank” or a “Let’s get Bobby to loosen up” type of deal – some dark acts can be carried off by groups if the words aren’t used and the plot remains implicit. Nebulous even to the mastermind. But a clearcut agenda like the one that’s been proposed doesn’t square with what I think the trouple are like. (Admittedly, all hearsay.) Foremost in a mystery is the mystery of character.

                    I am all too aware that a human being is raped every few minutes on this earth. But usually these crimes are planned by people who are less intelligent and have a lot less to lose, and the victims are usually far more socially vulnerable.

                    • Bea
                      02/05/2010 at 3:06 PM

                      Mike, I do think that there was no plan to murder or even rape Robert before his arrival. But I do think Joe and Dylan may have ‘tossed around’ the notion of coming on to Robert and even ‘pushing’ him a bit.

                      Sadly, when Robert said NO, it likely pissed off Joe (particularly offended in front of Dylan) and it turned into rape.

                      I do think he was murdered after Joe’s fog cleared and he was simply unwilling to face rape charges – he figured in his narcissistic way, that it would be all over for him, and that was intolerable, so (because everything is about JOE) he ‘might as well’ finish off Robert.

                      Agree that it was a change-in-plans after the clean-up was over. Perhaps they’d planned to dump Robert’s body. Perhaps a scream made them sober up. Perhaps one of them said ‘we can’t’. In any event, they couldn’t unring the bell on clean up. Still, they ‘should have’ made it look more authentic of an intruder – rifle drawers, steal valuable things. The only reason I think they didn’t was TIME. Joe had the sense to know that Robert’s time of death would be figured out, and no one would believe they slept all night without knowing (scream). To “steal” would mean another transport of stolen goods – and Michael was long gone with the bloody stuff. And the more ‘rifling’ would be likely to have left fingerprints/other evidence.

                      Joe decided to leave it and just bank on his comrades staying on script until it was over.

          • Hoya Loya
            02/03/2010 at 7:35 PM

            FCH — I’m with you on this. It’s probably the most likely scenario and the one that explains most of the evidence and the trouple’s subsequent behavior. And more and more I’m agreeing with you that the assault must have been premeditated because of the tight time-frame.

          • AnnaZed
            02/05/2010 at 1:26 AM

            I don’t think that the murder of Robert was planned or even that in any coherent fashion the rape of Robert was exactly planned, but something was planned that was more like an idée fixe that morphed into a criminal area without anyone even realizing that the line had been crossed and someone (or someones) was having some pretty addled ideas about what constitutes a good time to be had by all.

            That scenario once it leapt from the reaches of the mind into reality could have had no other outcome (barring Victor growing a dick and putting a stop to things, which did not happen) than an ugly assault and a subsequent murder.

            Looking at the floorplan here:

            http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2009/03/13/open-house-2nd-viewing/

            I am struck by the drawing of what looks like a bathtub with the place where one might rest one’s head towards the door, not a picture of a shower. Recalling that it was a very hot day I think that even if a bath was less convenient than a shower that Robert maybe even started to draw one for himself and that someone entered that room and attacked him with a hypodermic. Were there bath rugs and things still there (or newly and freshly replaced rugs there, fresh from the dryer maybe) when the cops got there? Oh, to know the state of that room would be good information.

            Anyway, after whatever was done to him and the several injections I am with FCH in thinking that someone or someones thought that Robert had expired and began, on the fly as it were, hatching the elves theory. The way the bath-tub is situated the “upside down” knife wounds make sense to me as the wounds made by an attacker who was positioned behind Robert. They were washing him and, given that there was convenient running water there, one of them stabbed him in that local as well. Though, still, one would think that grout was impossible to completely clean of blood in that amount of time. Was that an old claw-footed tub?

            I realize that this sort of puts paid to the comforting idea that maybe Robert felt or knew nothing after that first drink of water, but I am afraid that it makes more sense to me.

            • AnnaZed
              02/05/2010 at 1:58 AM

              Locale that is.

              Jesus, my mind is going ~ just like Joe’s.

      • CDinDC
        02/03/2010 at 1:53 PM

        I don’t think the plan was to kill Robert either, FCH. I think the plan was to seduce Robert. Perhaps things quickly spiraled out of control when anger entered the equation.

        Joe has all the signs of a narcissist. Couple that psychological disorder with drugs, anger and whatever deep seeded feelings Joe may have held toward Robert (jealousy? hatred? desire to control? who knows) and you have a molitov cocktail waiting for a match.

        Joe also seems to have signs of sexual addiction. Again, mix that disorder with drugs and anger, and there may be the ability to rape.

        I stand steadfast in my belief that Joe was the principal offender, and Dylan and Victor were instructed by Joe to help clean up HIS mess. Dylan and Victor show signs of co-dependeny. They both have enabled Joe with HIS personal addictions (drugs, sex, alcohol) and have nutured their own addictions in the meantime. Perhaps Victor is addicted to the ideal life Joe helped him build. And Dylan is a wayward soul that hangs on to a life built FOR him.

        They see themselves as nothing without each other and we see them as a disaster together.

        • former crackho
          02/03/2010 at 2:54 PM

          I agree about Joe being mastermind. Just like I believe he manipulated everything. I also think his brother was there.

  2. SwannStreetDweller
    02/03/2010 at 9:21 PM

    I find this discussion intriguing – it would be interesting to test some of these theories against the known “facts” and the timeline.

    • AnnaZed
      02/05/2010 at 2:01 AM

      Please read up and join in. I for one am afraid that having been here so long I am missing important things that may just be staring me in the face from the known facts.

  3. Meto
    02/03/2010 at 9:29 PM

    For the Prosecution, the KISS principle is key. And while the prosecution wants to Keep it Simple (Stupid), the defense thrives on all of the confusion. So the odds actually favor the defense, but a smart prosecution will avoid the unknown theories and focus on the simple facts: (1) Robert was killed (there is no way he died accidentally); (2) Robert was killed at the defendants’ residence (there is no evidence to suggest otherwise); (3) there was no intruder; (4) the body could not have been found as it was without being tampered with; therefore, 1 + 2 +3 + 4 equals the defendants motive was to cover up the murder (whoever committed it).

    I realize that most of us have become immersed in this stuff, but the Jury must have a simple story. This, with all due respect, is the simple story. The more the Prosecution holds to this, the better chance it has for convictions. The Defense job is to break this up.

    Respectfully,

    Meto

    • Craig
      02/04/2010 at 12:01 AM

      Meto: That’s a fresh take on ‘judicial economy.’

      In the January 15 status hearing transcript that goes up Friday, there’s a lot of discussion on how much within ‘the four corners’ of the indictment Kirschner will be using in the trial. Maybe the contours of his case will start taking shape.

    • AnnaZed
      02/05/2010 at 3:17 AM

      Absolutely yes to all that.

      Isn’t the question really now how the government parlays this obviously un-winnable situation for the housemates into getting the truth out of them? The question also remains; are they willing to just brazen it out and stick together even unto 5-15 years imprisonment for tampering, conspiracy etc. and just never give an inch. In which case would no murder trial would then ever materialize? (maybe, do they risk that?) Say they lose the civil case as well. They won’t have any money by then, but it would be a satisfaction anyway. Still, they brazen it out and after 4 years or 10 years they are free and no one ever knows what happened. That would suck, but it could shake out that way. Would it mean to you (or me, or Mrs. Wone) that really they all must have had a hand in the slaying of Robert or that they are all pathologically entwined and protecting only one or even two of their members? (crazy, but possible)

      Or, as I suspect, are they so volatile and in that sense normal (typical) criminals that now we will start to see them break apart and the real story will come out as they turn on one another? Also, will this volatile situation just generate more lies first. Isn’t that the typical trajectory; one set of lies crumbles (as the elves fiction already has) only to be replaced by another lie, and then another?

      Arg!

      • AnnaZed
        02/05/2010 at 3:18 AM

        Sorry about those extra “woulds” there.

  4. Clio
    02/03/2010 at 10:13 PM

    Drake’s number of 40% of homicides remaining unsolved is unsettling! And, why is there such a connection between sex and murder? And, why would our former golden boys throw it all away to rape a married friend? It just further confirms the irrationality and inherent evil of (most of) human nature to me: the real Ben Franklin’s Enlightenment was dead wrong in seeing all humans as reasonable and good creatures.

  5. Bea
    02/03/2010 at 10:32 PM

    I think a little of everyone’s hypothesis is ‘right’. I agree that Joe expected that THAT would be the night for Robert to play, fully expected it to be consensual, and had bragged to Dylan about this. I don’t think he said “we’ll rape him if he doesn’t agree” – people don’t say these things.

    But they do DO them, convince themselves that really they had been given “a signal” or twisted it into something other than what it was, and then Robert was raped. My theory is that they killed him because he would have them busted for rape (remember, their entire lives are shattered by rape and drugs charges – and Joe, simply stated, won’t tolerate that). Joe might even be a bit indignant and annoyed that Robert ‘put them in this position’ (crazy people think crazy thoughts – especially drug-fueled narcissists/sociopaths).

    I really doubt they’d have stabbed Robert if they thought he was dead. Any lawyer would know “intruder” would fly a lot better with a mess, and that “Robert took too many drugs” might be messy but likely not a life-changer. But under ANY circumstances, stabbing a man to death – three times in a perfect slit fashion with an upside down knife – NO one thinks this is not going to be perceived as murder. It’s all but whistling for the cops to bring their handcuffs.

    I seriously doubt they thought he WAS dead until they killed him.

    Joe likely spewed some eloquent crap to prop up Dylan, and, later, Victor. Much as the ‘why would someone do this to their friend’ bothers me, I do think that Joe’s drugged narcissistic urges beat back all sense of morality and integrity.

    It almost bothers me as much that the non-murderer(s) don’t tell the truth, let Robert’s family know what happened that night.

    • Mike
      02/03/2010 at 11:04 PM

      Agree 100%.

      • former crackho
        02/03/2010 at 11:50 PM

        The perfect stab wounds make absolutely no sense to me. Its almost like it was a ritual killing of some sort.

        But Meto is right, it all comes down to the fact that they messed with the body and evidence, regardless of how Robert died.

        Maybe I watch too much of the Investigative Discovery channel.

        • Eagle
          02/04/2010 at 1:32 AM

          FC
          I have also wondered about those three stab wounds. Wondered about a ritual also.
          Another thought.
          Could it be that each of the three men-one at a time-was deliberately materially involved in at least one one of the three stab wounds (even just barely touching the knife ). Could they have been making a sort of blood compact which bound them never to talk? None of the three would then be less guilty of murder or manslaughter than the other. No one talks and we would never know what really happened i.e., who was the real instigator of the killing either accidental or deliberate or drug-enabled.

          • Bea
            02/04/2010 at 3:45 AM

            I think it’s an impractical thing, this three-way (or two-way) pact, simply because the knife was upside down, suggesting Robert was lying down (but in the bed in which he was found the headboard was against the wall making it unlikely that he was stabbed from above his head) or that he was (more likely) stabbed in the shower. Hard to hold someone perfectly still and switch places to do the knifing – with its perfect slits and no defensive wounds.

            I think Robert couldn’t fight back and one of the three stabbed him swiftly and in cold blood. My money is on Joe. I think he knew Robert was still alive and saw his murder as just a hurdle to clear.

            • Craig
              02/04/2010 at 9:45 AM

              I’ve long wondered about this aspect of the three wounds.

              If you believe Price, and the ‘real killer’ wore a glove; and if three had actually wielded it, did the other two also don gloves, since no fingerprints were found on it?

            • Eagle
              02/04/2010 at 11:02 AM

              Bea
              Those three knife wounds were just too neat. Upside down? What does that mean? Must have been difficult to cut upside down.
              Those three wounds must have some meaning that has not yet been discovered.
              Also, the fingerprints could have been removed.
              Or perhaps another knife?

              • CDinDC
                02/04/2010 at 11:13 AM

                “upside down”….meaning the sharp edge of the knife was upward. That is an unnatural position to hold a knife if you are facing something. The sharp edge is always down.

                • Eagle
                  02/04/2010 at 11:40 AM

                  It just seems unnatural that
                  the knife would be inserted so neatly upside down three times.
                  Why? What does it mean? Does it mean anything?

                  • former crackho
                    02/04/2010 at 12:00 PM

                    What if the knife wounds were made from the side of the body – kneeling from the front of the bed, over the body – and not from the head or the feet. If I gripped the knife that way, I think I would use both hands, and I don’t think I would be concerned whether the blade was facing east or west. Actually, I think I would naturally hold the knife so the blade was facing towards the head, assuming I was kneeling or leaning over from the right side (side opposite the heart) of the body. Then the wounds could have been made while he was in a bed, despite the headboard being against the wall.

                    • former crackho
                      02/04/2010 at 12:01 PM

                      I’m sorry -first should read ” – kneeling from the SIDE of the bed.”

                    • CDinDC
                      02/04/2010 at 12:34 PM

                      Unless the assailant purposefully held the knife like that, it is still totally unnatural for someone to pick up a knife like that. Think of the thousands of times you’ve held a knife in your hand. Have you EVER cut something with the sharp edge up? Me? Never. Ever. A knife handle is contored with a flat edge against the palm and a curved edge where teh fingers grip.

                      I’d bet my house he was stabbed from above the shoulder (possibly from behind), in a reclining position, while immobilized.

                      The knife wounds are in a downward position. so, if someone stabs intentionally with the sharp edge up, they would have to adjust their wrist into a downward position to get a downward thrust wound.

                  • CDinDC
                    02/04/2010 at 12:45 PM

                    Neat wounds wouldn’t be a difficult thing since Robert was possibly immobilized, and forensic studies indicate stabbing a human body is as easy as stabbing a stick of butter (unless you strike bone). It’s all soft tissue and organs are squishy.

                    • former crackho
                      02/04/2010 at 2:06 PM

                      I don’t think I am explaining myself well. I would never cut anything with the knife up either – but I would puncture or stab something with both hands regardless of whether the blade pointing to the left or right. I would. Maybe I am just weird, but then maybe Joe is, too.

              • Bea
                02/04/2010 at 2:00 PM

                What CD says – and note that to add to the oddity, would two/three would-be killers all manage to grab the knife in the same way and stab so cleanly? Robert would have to have been unconscious (deeply so) or comatose to not fight back or MOVE to cause tearing. If the wounds were at the same angle it would seem only one person did the stabbing.

                • CDinDC
                  02/04/2010 at 2:05 PM

                  I agree Bea.

                • former crackho
                  02/04/2010 at 2:06 PM

                  Or already dead.

                  • former crackho
                    02/04/2010 at 2:07 PM

                    Or just short of dead. And why does there have to be more than one person stabbing?

                    • CDinDC
                      02/04/2010 at 2:40 PM

                      some people have mentioned a “pact” . one stab per person (a theory I don’t support.)

            • Hoya Loya
              02/04/2010 at 7:08 PM

              I agree that Dylan, the trained chef with the special knife did the stabbing, probably when Joe was drugged out and fretting over how to handle the situation (a seemingly dead Robert or a Robert ready to file rape charges, take your pick based on your preferred theory). See also my “Countdown” post from a while back — there is just so much circumstantial evidence pointing to Mr. Ward for him not to have been deeply involved. Dylan and Joe cleaned up and Victor the PR man attempted damage control with the 911 call. The big question still on my mind with regard to the stabbing: why plant the other knife?

              • CDinDC
                02/04/2010 at 10:23 PM

                Ohhhh nooooo HoyaLoya…..not the culinary skills = ability to neatly stab someone theory. Say it’s not soooooo.

                If you’ve ever read any pathological forensics you’ll know that stabbing someone is NOT difficult. I mentioned earlier today, that it is said in many forensic studies that it’s as easy as stabbing a knife into butter. As the wounds were so clean, it means that Robert was completely immobilized.

                • Hoya Loya
                  02/05/2010 at 12:30 PM

                  Well CD, not arguing so much that his special skills were necessary or unique, but that he was the one with the chef’s knife that fits the wounds. Also that his relationship with Robert was of the shortest duration and probably most tenuous. Of the three, I’d think it would be the easiest for him to actually carry out the clinical stabbing of a “friend.”

                  • former crackho
                    02/05/2010 at 3:55 PM

                    Not to mention the simple fact that Joe would never get blood on his own hands when a handy minion is there to do the dirty work.

                    • CDinDC
                      02/05/2010 at 6:17 PM

                      I don’t know you guys…..the knife could very well have been in rotation in the house. Anyone could have used it.

                      And I base my theories on the known personality profiles of the defendants. psychological/ personality information provided by individuals close to the defendants. In my opinion, Joe could certainly do a bit of dirty work.

                      Re length of friendship, I feel that familiary breeds contempt. It’s very possible that Joe held some deep-seeded feelings about Robert. Feelings (whether loving or not) that have cultivated over the years. don’t you love all your friends, but see their short-comings (or what you think are short-comings) as well? Aren’t there things about your friends that you love, but you just wish they didn’t or wouldn’t do that other thing?

                    • Nelly
                      02/06/2010 at 10:42 AM

                      Agreed. There’s a very fine line between love and hate. This is more common between siblings and family members, at least in my experience!

                    • former crackho
                      02/06/2010 at 2:39 PM

                      Yes, only I don’t rape and then murder them, unlike some.

                    • AnnaZed
                      02/09/2010 at 1:39 AM

                      Oh, I think Joe would be well up to doing some wet work if he thought it would serve his purpose.

          • Ski
            02/05/2010 at 10:47 PM

            Eagle — Your “Another thought” immediately brought to mind Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.” It’s great fiction.

    • former crackho
      02/03/2010 at 11:30 PM

      yes, that is the damn problem..everything you and Mike says makes pretty good sense to me as well. But why didn’t they make it look like a burglary in either case?

      I am very torn on this, but I do know one thing. You can’t expect a crystal user to make any clear, rational thoughts. They may think their thinking is sane, but it never is.

  6. Craig
    02/04/2010 at 12:59 PM

    Regarding the stab wounds, at the appropriate time we’ll be able share some of the medical examiner’s findings on the exact position of the wounds and they path they took.

    Goslinowski’s descritions and diagrams are pretty specific and could provide some clues.

    • ced
      02/07/2010 at 10:16 AM

      The Dylan Ward affadavit is pretty detailed. Based on this, if you have a diagram of a ribcage that shows the heart and lungs, you can easily visualize the position of the wounds. I can’t embed the graphic I created to do this. To reprise the most significant details of the three wounds:

      All three: “perfect, slit-like defects”; ” same angle: with the sharp edge oriented at 10 o’clock and the blunt edge oriented at 4 o’clock”; 4 to 5 inches in depth… direction is front to back, right to left and slightly downward.”

      First: “central upper chest, 15 inches from the top of the head… seven-eighths of an inch in length… wound path extends through the chest wall with perforations of the bone of the sternum where it meets the cartilage of the right third rib, continues with a perforation of the front of the pericardial sac and penetration into the heart at the aortic root, proximal left anterior descending coronary artery and the left atrial appendage… ”

      Second: “right side of the chest, 17 inches below the top of the head and two and one-half inches to the right of the vertical midline of the body… fifteen-sixteenths of an inch… wound path continues with performations of the skin and underlying muscle at the level of the fourth intercostal space…wound path contiues with perforations of the middle lobe and the lower lobe of the right lung at the hilum…”

      Third: “twenty and three-fourths inches from the top of the head at the central epigastric region of the abdomen… thirteen-sixteenths of an inch in length… wound path extends through the abdominal wall with perforations of the skin, subcutaneous tissue and underlying central mebranous portion of the diaphragm at the level of the lower end of the sternum… wound path continues with perforations of the small intestine, the pancreas and a single perforation of the inferior vena cava.

      For me, seeing the graphic representation makes me think that the assailant was just to the right of Robert’s right shoulder, facing the tip of his shoulder, at a 45 degree angle to his midline, if we assume that the blade was aligned with the midline of the assailant’s body. Not sure if the “slightly downward” direction supports a semi-seated (reclining on bathtub back) or a lying down victim (seems less awkward).

      • ced
        02/07/2010 at 10:24 AM

        Also, one detail (last excerpted sentence) that should be note about the force required:

        Degree of Force

        “It is easy to over-estimate the amount of force required to produce a stab wound. The most critical factor is the sharpness of the point of the instrument; relatively little force is required to produce a stab wound provided a knife with a sharp point. After clothing, the skin offers the greatest resistence to penetration; once this is overcome, then the blade slips into the deeper tissues with considerable ease (an analogy might be made with the stabbing of a ripe melon). The penetration of bone implies the application of a significant degree of force, e.g. ribs, or sternum…”

        • CDinDC
          02/07/2010 at 5:31 PM

          Excellent posts, ced. Your posts echo many of my posts. The ease of penetration by knife is well documented in many pathological forensic studies.

          Re the postion of the stab wounds, I’d be interested to know if Joe et al are right or left handed.

          • Bea
            02/07/2010 at 6:26 PM

            While perhaps the “downward” motion of the knife wouldn’t matter if Robert were lying in a tub or on a mattress, if he WAS standing, the only one of the defendants to be taller than Robert is Joe Price. Ward/Wone are same height. Joe appears to be close to 6 ft. tall – certainly the tallest among them (and a big boy to boot).

            • CDinDC
              02/07/2010 at 6:48 PM

              good point, Bea.

            • ced
              02/08/2010 at 5:17 AM

              I posted the above because I see the theories of how and where Robert was killed as sometimes not making full use of the available forensic data, which in the absence of an illustration is hard to process (for me at least). Just a couple of points.

              I don’t see how could Robert have been standing when stabbed if he was also unconscious or paralyzed.

              While I can’t suggest a definitive where-how theory based on the affidavit information, I don’t see the bed as a likely possibility (the size of the aorta and vena cava say it all). The killer had the luxury of deciding how to position the body for easiest access to the torso (Robert was inert). I envisioned the bathroom floor as a possibility, or the patio if he was horizontal. (If the detection of blood in the patio drain indicates that the body was washed there, it’s hard to see how he would have been killed upstairs and then carried down to the patio, but of course nothing about all this makes sense.) One detail that might favor the horizontal position is that perforating the bone of the sternum requires considerable force, which might be easier with the help of gravity.

              Another factor I read about is that the organs are not in the same exact position when a person is vertical or horizontal. Presumably an expert would be able to determine the position of the body based what was in the path of the knife.

              I’m looking forward to seeing the editors’ promised additional forensic information and the diagram.

              • Hoya Loya
                02/08/2010 at 1:13 PM

                ced: smart reminder about the patio. Let’s not forget Joe’s initial statement that Robert was found on the patio and carried upstairs.

            • Nelly
              02/08/2010 at 1:30 PM

              Sorry to disagree Bea, but all of them are taller than Robert.

              • Bea
                02/08/2010 at 3:03 PM

                I stand corrected: the WaPo article does list Robert at 5’4 (I thought I’d read 5’7 somewhere), both Ward and Zaborsky at 5’8, and Price at “nearly 6 feet”. The reference to Robert being 5’4 was as a high school senior.

                In photos it sure seems that Zaborsky is taller than Ward and shorter than Price. I wonder if Ward is more like 5’7 and Zaborsky 5’9 (some have commented that Zaborsky appears to be 5’9 or 5’10, with Ward no taller than 5’8). Maybe someone else will remember if its been reported that Robert was taller than 5’4.

                • CDinDC
                  02/08/2010 at 3:19 PM

                  All that being said, I still believe robert was stabbed while supine.

                • Craig
                  02/08/2010 at 3:41 PM

                  Bea: The autopsy shows Robert at 5′ 3 1/2″ and 152 pounds.

                  Although having been in close proximity to the defendants, I can’t judge for certain how tall they are, but Price doesn’t seem 6′ from what I remember.

                  Zaborsky looks a bit taller than Ward in this pic from last month but that may be due to the angle/parallax.

                  BTW: Tom Connolly sure posed nicely for (our) Michael. A bit of a smile. Or what passed for a smile on “not a good day.”

                  • Bea
                    02/08/2010 at 4:48 PM

                    All good to know!

                    And even though Robert was shorter than Dylan, he weighed more than Dylan (according to Ward’s Motion for Particulars, he’s 5’8, 130 pounds – at time of arrest he was listed at 150, but in neither is he a heavier man than Robert).

                    Like some others, I think Robert was supine and paralyzed when stabbed, so the angle/height thing doesn’t matter as much – though by all accounts, Joe is the biggest boy among them.

                    • Nelly
                      02/08/2010 at 5:05 PM

                      The weight has got to be wrong. Whoever typed in the autopsy weight must’ve transposed the digits. Robert was not a pudgy fellow. 152lbs for a man supposedly 5’3.5″ is somewhat heavy. Height seems inaccurate also. And no way is Price 6 feet, maybe 5’10. If we see him at a local Taco Bell, somebody check his height at the door.

  7. CDinDC
    02/04/2010 at 10:25 PM

    I honestly do not believe Dylan had the personality traits of someone that could do this on their own. Joe does.

    • Nelly
      02/05/2010 at 10:10 AM

      Well, unless you knew Dylan Gizdavich Ward, there still is very little information about him floating around. Let’s see. We have heard he’s a drug user, educated ne’er do well son of a cardiologist in Tacoma, Dr. Needham Ward, is promiscuous, massage therapist, possible prostitute, into S&M, and never held a job for long. I see that my comment from yesterday has been removed, probably due to including an expletive?

      • AnnaZed
        02/05/2010 at 11:53 AM

        Taken down, or never posted? Usually expletives r’ us so that shouldn’t have been a problem. Did you try to post a link? Sometimes that results in temporary detainment in the spam filter, ask our generous mods.

      • Craig
        02/05/2010 at 12:00 PM

        Nelly – We adore you and welcome your participation and best thinking, but even by wmrw.com standards, where we are used to sharp elbows, that comment was a little rough.

        • Nelly
          02/05/2010 at 1:03 PM

          Okay, sorry, but sometimes my anger about this senseless crime against Robert Wone cannot be contained. Also, what I posted, which contained the mf word, was from what someone else put online about Dylan’s uncle. Other info about his cousin can be verified through his cousin’s myspace page and official criminal records online. I understand you’re walking a fine line in regards to journalistic standards and trying not to be subject to a frivolous libel suit. There are plenty of stupid postings that people have spewed here, but oh well.

          • Craig
            02/05/2010 at 1:24 PM

            Nelly – We all get angry. It’s cool.

            The MF and salty language doesn’t bother us so much, but you might have gotten a little far down field. We do have some liability exposure here afterall.

            If you want to resubmit without the angry threats at the end, that’s OK with us. XO Craig

          • AnnaZed
            02/05/2010 at 1:30 PM

            Well Nelly, I missed it. I don’t know how that happened. Could you post the non-libelous version?

            • Nelly
              02/05/2010 at 4:26 PM

              Sanitized version, although technically truth is an absolute defense to libel/slander/defamation, opinion is different than knowingly spreading false statements, and the standard is different for matters of public interest, public figures, & media:
              Dylan’s paternal grandfather was also a doctor in the pacific northwest. Their last name was Gizdavich. Dylan’s uncle owns some surf shops in Oregon and is not popular with everyone. An anonymous poster on a surfing website made some angry remarks aimed at Josh Gizdavich, calling him an mf & saying that she or he hoped he rotted in hell. Cousin Jon appears to have had some run-ins with the law based on official court records and appears to enjoy drinking and partying, based on his myspace page. They appear to be a lovely family, and I send smooches to all.

              • Bea
                02/05/2010 at 6:10 PM

                Hey Nelly, I followed up on your lead and see an article where Josh opened the original Seaside store in “his father’s old medical office”. Was Needham’s name also Gizdavich? I think the father’s name was John but I can’t make the connection. If you don’t mind, can you fill us in?

                • AnnaZed
                  02/05/2010 at 6:20 PM

                  Nelly please re-post a sanitized version of your post, I’m out of the loop (a thing I can tolerate only slightly with more grace than Joe can).

                  • AnnaZed
                    02/05/2010 at 6:21 PM

                    Thanks!

                  • Bea
                    02/05/2010 at 6:36 PM

                    He did already – check prior posts.

                    • AnnaZed
                      02/05/2010 at 6:52 PM

                      Yes, Bea I’m caught up now, don’t know where my fervent thanks post went.

                • Clio
                  02/06/2010 at 10:09 AM

                  Fascinating! This both complicates and confirms the Dylan Ward Show, to me. A love of medicine does seem to be in his blood, but, then again, it does show the thinness and assimiliative nature of the Ward pedigree. A taste of outsiders and outlaws beneath a veneer of bourgeois respectability, recently acquired? Who knew that the Pacific Northwest could be that interesting!

                  • Nelly
                    02/06/2010 at 10:41 AM

                    Somebody brought this up ages ago, but did any of the Tacoma press cover this murder mystery? Shall we contact the media there?

                    • Clio
                      02/06/2010 at 11:10 AM

                      Let’s! I’m sure that our Editors have repeatedly tried to interest the Tacoma press in this case, but one more time may do the trick. In addition, I’d love to see a background spread on Diane on the woman’s page.

                  • 06/26/2010 at 2:39 PM

                    I guess the dirt on the Pacific Northwest is only interesting to those of you who don’t have lives & have WAY too much time on your hands w/ nothing better to do.

                    • Carolina
                      06/26/2010 at 2:42 PM

                      Yet here you are, and contributing nothing! Now what were you saying about full lives?

                • Nelly
                  02/07/2010 at 3:43 AM

                  I assume so and that a few of the Gizdavich kids like Needham changed their last name to Ward. Would love to hear from anyone who knew that family in general.

                  • Nelly
                    02/08/2010 at 5:10 PM

                    Send your emails asking for Tacoma, WA coverage to News Tips, newstips@thenewstribune.com

                  • Bea
                    02/08/2010 at 6:03 PM

                    I see in one of Needham’s sister’s obituaries that she was a Gizdavich, as was at least one Gizdavich brother, but there were three Ward brothers – Needham, Mike and Mark. In looking at the ages (the Wards were older), it’s my guess that the mother (Agnes) was first married to “Ward” and second to “John Gizdavich”, who looked to have been the physician. I am assuming from the era that the mother ‘raised’ all the kids. Still can’t find anything on Needham’s father.

                    • Nelly
                      02/08/2010 at 10:02 PM

                      Just that he died a while ago. Both of Dylan’s grandparents are deceased now. Isn’t it creepy that people’s death dates and social security numbers are publicly available? Identity theft could result from this. There is also some family connection to Bumblebee Tuna. Yet it is obvious Dylan did not like fish.

          • 06/26/2010 at 7:37 PM

            Nelly, it appears you have a personal vendetta against Dyaln’s Uncle, cousin & his extended family. Haven’t seen that you’ve dug up any dirt on the other two defendants’ families. Care to share???

  8. Nelly
    02/05/2010 at 4:31 PM

    and editors, I love what you are doing and do not mean to sound whiny, but people such as “BenFranklin” have posted nasty and disrespectful things about Robert, such as the comments about having “a dildo shoved up his ass.” Robert is the victim here. He’s dead. Therefore, please forgive me for being so vengeful and piping mad about Ward-Price-Zaborsky.

    • 06/26/2010 at 12:07 AM

      Whoa………Nelly, you really do need to get a life!!! I know this family, and because one member of the family is questionable does not justify the entire family to be scrutinized. Why don’t you post your last name so we can get your family dirt. You are pathetic!!

  9. Occam's Theory
    02/06/2010 at 6:04 PM

    I am surprised that so many far-fetched theories continue to percolate about this case while the more obvious answer is routinely ignored. There was no motive because no death was intended. As I have explained before:

    If one assumes what is most logical – that (1) the roommates would not deliberately risk their comfortable lives and freedom to rape their friend and try to get away with it; and (2) the roommates would not risk their comfortable lives and freedom by intentionally killing their friend – the pieces fit together fairly easily.

    Wone was neither murdered nor raped. The Wash Post article discusses the fact that Dylan and Price were looking for a third participant in their dom.sub activities. Price must have known that Wone dabbled in the stuff – and vice-versa. Price was his mentor. But since Price was a sub too (as the article noted), he and Wone were not compatible.

    So here’s what happened: Price tells Wone that he absolutely has to try the latest and greatest in this sub-world – a paralyzing drug that prevents one from moving but not from feeling. Ward is a great dom – that’s why he’s even in the picture. There’s no email traffic about this because Wone and Price have long since agreed not to put this stuff in writing (Wone didn’t want his wife to know he was bi). Wone comes over, the three go right to work. Zaborsky, who was more of a straight shooter, skips this party. Wone gets injected, someone gets him off when the drug takes (explaining the semen) but the escapade goes awry. Either one of the guys sat somewhere he shouldn’t, or the restraining went to far, or Wone had a bad reaction to the drug. He dies, or at least, appears dead – the coroner does find that he was suffocated, though does not die from suffocation.

    Panic ensues. The guys believe no one will buy their accident story, particularly since the “accident” involved illegal drugs and “forced” restraint. They concoct the intruder story, shower Wone to get rid of their own DNA, prints, etc. They put him in bed and stab him. They all shower. One of the three takes the murder weapon, the needles, the drugs, their clothes, and whatever else and throws them into a dumpster three blocks away. One of the other two writes generic emails from Wone’s blackberry but does not send then (hard to understand why not). They call 911 rather than wait longer,because they realize that if they do wait, their story – featuring bells and screams – won’t make much sense,

    They all stick to the story because Price and Ward were in the room when it happened, and Zaborsky loves Price and doesn’t want to have to visit him in prison for the next 50 years.

    I sympathize with Wone’s friends and family, but this, or something really close to this, is clearly what happened. But without the knife, needles, and a turncoat, it wil be hard to prove. Still, they are charged only with a cover-up which, consistent with these events, is probably the only crime for which they are guilty.

    As to any possible objections:

    “If Wone were bi, where are the other partners?” — Of course I do not know for sure, but it may be that (a) others are not coming forward out of respect for Wone; (b) some have come forward, but that information has been withheld (possibly to protect the tipper); (c) Price was the only one Wone trusted with his secret; (d) there were no other partners.

    “Why assume an accident over a more violent end?” — My scenario does indeed openly assume that these three guys – never before violent as far as I know, never in trouble, leading what appears to be satisfying lives – would simply not risk everything on a vicious rape. That assumption is there because it makes far more sense than the alternative.

    “What about the blood in the intestines?”

    The blood in the intestines presents a difficulty for my theory. Nonetheless, homicide detectives will tell you that in many, if not most, cases, facts inconsistent with the case theory – or with reality – will present. Particularly given the unambiguous chaos at 1509 Swann that night, its no surprise that such facts would arise there.

    Moreover, people sometimes have blood in their intestines, due to a health problem.

    The bottom line is that one of three things happened that night – an intruder killed Robert, the roommates purposely killed Robert, or the roommates accidentally killed Robert. Virtually all known facts support the third possibility, except the blood in the intestines. Virtually no facts support the first two possibilities, except the blood in the intestines. The best analysis should therefore accept the third possibility and explain away the anomolous evidence as resulting perhaps from a last gulp by the victim after his heart appeared to have stopped, or a coroner’s mistake, or something else.

    “What about the mouthpiece?” — What about it? Wone was dressed in his pajamas by the 3 as part of the cover-up, inserting the mouthpiece just continues that effort.

    “This post is offensive because it assumes the victim was a willing participant in his own death.” — it does assume he participated to a point, but not intentionally in his own death. More importantly, I am sorry to offend. I just want this thing solved.

    • Clio
      02/06/2010 at 8:15 PM

      If it was a horrible “accident,” why are they spending all of this money to lie about it still?

      Self-satisfied and smug people rape other people every day: it shows the irrationality of human nature.

      Nothing in Robert’s past suggests that he would participate in extreme BDSM activity, let alone bisexual indiscretions with a long-time college friend who knew his wife. So, the “accidental” spin remains merely a figment of Bernie’s imagination.

      Occam, I thought that you had a better razor than this one. Next time, try Tranchier.

    • Bea
      02/06/2010 at 10:28 PM

      “Still, they are charged only with a cover-up which, consistent with these events, is probably the only crime for which they are guilty.”

      Ridiculous claim: they are guilty of murder if, as you posit, they stabbed a man to death. If they wrongly assumed him to be dead (unlikely) then they still killed him. That’s far worse than a ‘cover up’. It’s inane comments like this that make people reject the theory out of hand. Had you not thrown in this apologetic comment, I’d have been more willing to accept the theory – in other words, something along the lines that you describe, only that they knew that they were killing him – there’s no way that they could know if he was ‘revivable’ or not if they called an ambulance right away. People with integrity would have had their hands on the phone the instant he seemed unable to wake.

      • Nelly
        02/07/2010 at 3:37 AM

        Occam’s theory is plausible, I will grant. Only those three or so people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking. I was not best buds with Robert Wone, but from what I did know of him, he was highly ethical, intelligent, and responsible. Doing any of the things Occam posits would be ENTIRELY out of character for him. What also make Occam’s theory far less plausible are Joe’s and Dylan’s strange behavior after the stabbing and, as Bea said, the idea that anyone would even stab a friend assuming the friend was already dead, had they all just been having fun consensual sex.

        • Clio
          02/07/2010 at 12:07 PM

          Occam speculates: “Ward is a great dom … ” Really? Was that why Joe was advertising for more tricks?

          If Occam is correct, then Dyl must be a better much thespian than his “sister” Vicki in order to “a great dom” for her hubby Joe. The Oscar in this case then should go to Mr. Ward, not Mr. Zaborsky.

    • CDinDC
      02/07/2010 at 1:07 AM

      Occam says: “As I have explained before”

      Hi Occam,

      Can you direct me to your previous post? I can’t seem to find it.

      Thanks.

    • Hoya Loya
      02/08/2010 at 1:10 PM

      “Virtually no facts” support the theory that Robert was a willing participant in an extra-marital encounter. To further assume that Robert was a willing participant in a gay, BDSM, extramarital encounter involving drug use and voluntary paralysis involves multiple quantum leaps of illogic. I am open to theories that Robert was a willing participant, but they need to be based on something substantial — yes, emails, observations or suspicions by W&M friends, colleagues, people who observed the Robert-Joe relationship over the years, indeed, other partners, if such exist. We have nothing of that sort, only extensive testimony to the contrary.

      The only thing this line of argument does, without factual basis, is to imply that Robert is partially at fault for participating in an inherently risky activity and that the trouple are guilty at worst of involuntary manslaughter. And I do fear that such insinuations will come forward in the defense case. Unfortunately for the trouple, stabbing someone with a knife on the mistaken assumption that the person is dead still amounts to depraved heart murder, as does, IMO, failing to call 911 when the victim might still be saved, instead saving their own skins (or perhaps in a more “altruistic” spin I suspect may have been parlayed to supporters, based on online comments I’ve read elsewhere, “protecting” his reputation and his wife’s feelings out of a misguided sense of loyalty or chivalry) by covering up the botched scene. No dice.

      Unless or until something concrete, not from an interested party, comes forth, the simplest explanation is still that this was a murder, an act inexplicably committed by free people with comfortable lives every day.

      • Bea
        02/08/2010 at 2:34 PM

        Well said.

      • Occam's Theory
        02/08/2010 at 6:05 PM

        The argument that no hard evidence supports Robert’s participation is simply wrong. The body fluids inside Robert are better evidence than the “emails” or “suspicions” you would find compelling. This isn’t to say that the body fluids make participation certain. Once again, the conclusion is simply the more obvious one as compared to the one based on some type of demented device or god knows what.

        The notion that participation equals culpability of some sort by Robert is likewise misguided. The manner of death in the posited theory is akin to a hunter killed by another hunter who truly believed the dead hunter was a deer (and, if you like, lacked a motive to kill the hunter, stupidly tried to cover up the act, etc.). This leads directly to the final point: most prosecutors would not bring murder, manslaughter, or like charges against the hunter. Instead, he would likely be charged with a negligence-based crime, or even, in hunter-friendly locales, cleared.

        • Bea
          02/08/2010 at 6:24 PM

          Occam, even assuming your position as to Robert’s complicity with drugs/sex, I beg to differ on this being the “same” as a hunter mistakenly shooting another hunter. There was no mistake in stabbing Robert – and even if they “recklessly” believed he was dead, the logical next step would be to call an ambulance, NOT stab him three times and wait until he’s dead to call an ambulance. Michael Jackson’s doctor was today charged with involuntary manslaughter – equivalent, legally, to negligent homicide – for a “should have known” better situation.

          Stabbing a man who you believe “might” have been dead – clearly he was not, and a sober/moral person would have called 911 – is an intentional act albeit only to ‘end all doubt’ that he would be dead. That’s a critical difference – this was no mistake.

          • Occam's Theory
            02/08/2010 at 7:28 PM

            But that’s based on your apparent view — not an uncommon or irrational one — that the trio stabbed Robert while he was still alive. As noted way above, the “not culpable until the cover-up” theory I am positing assumes that Robert was dead before the stabbing, and does not require confusion as to his state on the part of the trio. The stabbing was part of the cover-up, not crime (like if the negligent hunter tried to make his clearly dead friend appear to be a suicide victim).

            I’ve discussed the issue of the contrary evidence (blood in the lungs) before. I’ll only add that if need be, an expert could be produced to say the opposite of whatever the coroner has concluded, so I would not over-rely on what’s been said. The locals know that with D.C. employees, there are great ones, ok ones, and awful ones. We don’t know which the pathologist is.

            The Michael Jackson case charges the doctor with active, not accidental, participation in the star’s demise. Its a different situation. Had the doctor accidentally shot up Michael with cyanide instead of cold medicine, the case would be similar to the one I’ve laid out. Finally, and not that I care for MJ’s Dr., in our justice system one should never confuse a prosecutor’s charge with what actually happened. Prosecutors overcharge.

            • Bea
              02/08/2010 at 8:35 PM

              Occam, you are incorrect. In the Michael Jackson case, the doctor is charged (as of this morning, with negligent homicide/involuntary manslaughter). No one suggests that he intentionally gave MJ a shot intended to kill him.

              If as you posit is true, and the defendants knew nothing and found Robert next to death, and believed him to be dead, you have to look at the circumstances to determine their thought processes. Would a reasonable person (it’s know or should have known) have called an ambulance right away? Did they check his pulse and his breathing? Did they yell for help? I can tell you that one answer that is wholly without logic is “stab him three times in the chest.”

              The only “logical” (using the term loosely) for stabbing him three times is to ensure that he is dead – if they thought there was a remote chance of survival, then stabbing him is an intentional act and 1st degree murder. Why else would they stab him, Occam? Please don’t say to ‘help’ Robert’s reputation – that is pure nonsense. No one would forego ambulance/revival in order to keep the public from speculating that Robert did drugs or played with men. Didn’t happen that way.

              • Occam's Theory
                02/09/2010 at 4:07 PM

                I merely meant “active” participation in the sense that he deliberately and repeatedly provided drugs to Michael ultimately resulting in death(according to the pleading), versus I guess passive participation (like that of his friends who looked the other way) or accidental participation, as in the cyanide example. I don’t believe I said or implied he had an intent to kill Michael, or is charged as such.

                I apologize if I’m repeating myself, and I’m pretty sure I’m responsible, as a newcomer, for creating excess posts and trails that have ended up all over the page, but in the interest of completeness, the reason they would stab him was to support the intruder story. And the fact of cleanup, which someone here has raised, was done in order to wash away DNA evidence.

                Given how poorly the cover up was actually executed, though, there is no way to provide each aspect of the cover up with a rational explanation. So the fact that some aspects of the cover up don’t fit with one theory or another, that in hindsight they ought to have messed up the room more, or not hid or destroyed some of the evidence is not necessarily probative of much: some parts of the cover up could be — really had to be, because it was so transparent — the product of poor, irrational, crazed thinking.

                • Bea
                  02/09/2010 at 5:40 PM

                  Don’t you see, Occam, the notion that “the reason they would stab him was to support the intruder theory” is a bit of putting the cart before the horse? If they stabbed him to death, it’s murder (if they knew or should have know he was alive – and, again, presuming they thought he “might” be dead, the moral/logical next step would be to call an ambulance). No one can ‘get away’ with ‘well, I stabbed him because I didn’t want to be charged with something having to do with drugs (or sexual assault, whatever)’. It MAY have been the REASON they/he stabbed Robert, but since Robert died as a result of that intentional act, it’s murder. Go back and check your crim hornbooks.

                  • Occam's Theory
                    02/09/2010 at 9:29 PM

                    No need to check the books. And, yes, I do see that if the 3 stabbed a man to death there is a homicide-type charge. I’m not a sociopath or anarchist. But I go in with the assumption that he was dead when stabbed. Perhaps we are missing each other as I’m pretty certain we’ve discussed this already.

                    • Bea
                      02/09/2010 at 9:59 PM

                      They had to have a reasonable basis to conclude that he was dead AND prove that he was alive at point of stabbing in order to claim the ‘legal impossibility” defense. The circumstances all come into play for the jury to make the determination – would a reasonable person call an ambulance?

                      Too, it seems highly unlikely that any will be taking the stand (I’m alone in thinking that narcissist Joe won’t be able to help himself).

                      Finally, with regard to the ‘legal impossibility’ defense, it could still be attempted murder (example: wannabe drug dealer sells what he says is illegal drug to cop but it’s not an illegal drug. Still convicted of attempted distribution despite ‘legal impossibility’). And that comes into play only if the jury believes the defendants correctly believed Robert was DEAD at the time of the stabbing. I don’t see the jury going out of their way to give such actions the ‘benefit of the doubt’.

        • Hoya Loya
          02/08/2010 at 6:55 PM

          Robert’s OWN bodily fluids being found where they were makes voluntary participation highly unlikely. Some object or device was surely needed to put it there and againthere is no evidence Robert himself was into the use of such “devices.”

          And let’s not be naive here — while I am not suggesting participation would create “culpability” surely some would use the theory of participation to influence those (i.e. potential or actual jurors) who would not view that alleged participation kindly and hold view Robert as a less than innocent victim.

          Bea addressed the deer argument quite well.

    • CDinDC
      02/08/2010 at 3:28 PM

      Occam, even if your theory is correct, Joe et al are still responsible for Robert’s death. And a fatal injection of drugs given by another person is murder. So, any way you look at it, Joe et al murdered Robert.

      You can take John Belushi’s death as an example. Even though JB was a willing participant in the drug taking that night, Cathy Smith was extradited from Canada, arrested and charged with first-degree murder. A plea bargain arrangement reduced the charges to involuntary manslaughter, and she served 15 months in prison.

      so don’t try to lessen Joe et al’s responsibility in Robert’s death by creating the drug experience gone bad.

      • Occam's Theory
        02/08/2010 at 7:44 PM

        In the Belushi case they were doing something illegal to begin with. The culprit takes her victim as she finds him, and it seems Belushi was at the point where one more bender would kill him. Had she given him orange juice, and he died from an undiscovered allergy, there’d have been no charges. In any event, she pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. While charged with murder initially, that fact is virtually irrelevant (see below).

        I see your point here, and if the guys administered drugs to Robert and he OD’d, they’d be more likely face charges (note however that we don’t hear often about dealers being charged with their customers OD’s). I do doubt they’d be convicted of murder, or that they should be. But if it was a pure accident, and death was unrelated to drug use, and the killing was covered up in a panic because no one would believe it, than there’d be no murder, manslaughter, etc. charges in this case.

        • CDinDC
          02/08/2010 at 8:03 PM

          Occam’s says: “In the Belushi case they were doing something illegal to begin with. ”

          Occam your theory has them doing something “illegal to begin with.”

          Oh dear lord….it’s Ben.

          • Occam's Theory
            02/08/2010 at 8:19 PM

            You don’t appear to be a careful reader so I’m not going to bother with a lengthy reply. Also, I am not Ben, and do not know who that is. I have not been on this site since the days following the Post series. Nonetheless,something tells me he is not as much of a dunce as you imply.

            • CDinDC
              02/08/2010 at 8:37 PM

              Occam, I quoted you. You claim that they were doing something illegal to start with. In your theory, aren’t Joe et al doing something illegal? Taking drugs? Isn’t that illegal?

              Re: “(note however that we don’t hear often about dealers being charged with their customers OD’s).” THIS is completely irrelevant.

              Re: “But if it was a pure accident, and death was unrelated to drug use….”

              An accident resulting from what, Occam, if it was unrelated to drug use?

              You argue your points EXACTLY like Ben.

              • Occam's Theory
                02/08/2010 at 9:09 PM

                Good lord. You quoted me but skipped the part where I immediately followed with “I see your point here.” You argue like basically every lawyer I face off with in briefing — selective quoting, name-calling, shrill, strawman creating, and so forth.

                The point about dealers is not irrelevant. It explains that providing drugs, while yes, a crime, is typically uncharged. In that way, there is an argument no chargeable crime took place before death.

                I discussed the accident in my initial post — the part about accidental smothering — he did die of strangulation, after all.

                Whoever you are — I won’t guess the biggest dope I know, as you do — we’re just not connecting, so I’m content to leave it at that.

                Bea, my job here is to try to eliminate bizarre explanations, not support them. So, no, I dot believe the “reputation” idea, which I hadn’t heard before, and don’t understand really. I’ve said I think the death was accidental, but looked bad for the guys. So they concocted the intruder story and stabbed Robert in support of it.

                • Bea
                  02/08/2010 at 9:16 PM

                  If they concocted the intruder story and stabbed Robert in support of it, as you say, then they were willing to let him die rather than face the consequences of the “accidental” smothering. Breaking it down, logically, they could not definitively KNOW that Robert was dead because he was not. Perhaps they felt no pulse nor breathing, but the decision to NOT call an ambulance was at least negligent homicide. Stabbing him three times (which was the cause of death) AND still waiting even longer to call an ambulance (no bloody towels or sheets, presumed removed) moves it out of the negligent/involuntary into an act with intent. Perhaps they weren’t CERTAIN he was alive, but that’s not good enough.

                • allison
                  02/09/2010 at 12:24 AM

                  One problem I see with the accidental death/intentional coverup theory is that this theory does not explain the lack of blood and lack of evidence of an intruder. If, hypothetically, this was consensual sex gone bad and if, hypothetically, the defendants rather than call for help decided to “stage” the scene so it looked like an intruder killed Robert, why would they have cleaned everything up? Occam’s theory as stated above is that the defendants washed Robert’s body and then placed him in the bed and stabbed him. If the defendants were trying to make it look like Robert was stabbed in his bed, why wouldn’t they have left the blood? Why wouldn’t they have tossed the room to make it look like a robbery?

                  • AnnaZed
                    02/09/2010 at 1:42 AM

                    So one might reasonably think. I think that there was some sort of interruption to the scene setting, causing the guys to have to improvise without much success.

                • CDinDC
                  02/09/2010 at 12:46 PM

                  Occam says: “I discussed the accident in my initial post — the part about accidental smothering — he did die of strangulation, after all.”

                  Occam, your original post was quite lengthy. I isolated the part in your original post about suffucation. However, it was quite difficult to discern that your theory was based on death by strangulation/suffucation. Here is that part: “Either one of the guys sat somewhere he shouldn’t, or the restraining went to far, or Wone had a bad reaction to the drug. He dies, or at least, appears dead – the coroner does find that he was suffocated, though does not die from suffocation.”

                  In any event, Robert had signs of suffucation, but those signs were minor signs. If he had died FROM suffucation, there would have been more signs indicating this. Such as congestion of the face (his face would have turned blue), facial oedema (puffiness),
                  cyanosis (excess de-oxygenated haemoglobin in the blood), carbon dioxide in the tissues, as well as petechial haemorrhages. None of these other signs of suffucation were found.

                  And I’d appreciate if you would refrain from being so personal. All I said is that you argue just like Ben. Attacking me as you have was a bit overboard.

                  • Occam's Theory
                    02/09/2010 at 3:42 PM

                    While I still do not know who “Ben” is, the comparison seemed intended to read like a putdown. It remains hard to believe it was not. Regardless, you did selectively quote in order to make a point I’d already conceded.

                    As an act of compassion to you, I will simply say that distortion-centered arguments and ad hominem attacks may work ok in law school or in comments to blogs, but here in the big leagues they almost invariably backfire. You either get caught and suffer the consequences, or you get by but demean the profession.

                    • AnnaZed
                      02/09/2010 at 3:47 PM

                      91, here in the big leagues we make make important distinctions between strangulation and stabbing.

                      Robert did not die of strangulation.

                    • CDinDC
                      02/09/2010 at 4:05 PM

                      occam, one can only attack one argument at a time, as I am doing.

                      Again, just like Ben, you avoid discussing hardcore evidential discussions.

                      Let’s discuss suffucation forensics, so we can debunk your suffucation theory.

                      and it’s your theory….as you directed me in your original post.

                • CDinDC
                  02/09/2010 at 12:51 PM

                  Occam,
                  Re the drug dealer analogy, this isn’t good precedent. A drug dealer doesn’t administer the drugs to the buyer. He merely sells them to the buyer. It is the buyers choice to use them or not.

                  However, the Belushi precedent is identical to this situation. The drugs were administered by one person to another that resulted in death.

                  (Not that I support death by drugs…..I believe Robert was alive prior to being stabbed.)

                  • Occam's Theory
                    02/09/2010 at 3:50 PM

                    The point you either keep missing or deliberately ignore is that these wantonly selective, “teach-em-a-lesson” prosecutions of celebrity enablers do not happen in “real” life, and so are of extremely limited utility here. Dealers, enablers, friends, injectors of regular folk are not prosecuted. Users themselves — never mind enablers — are relatively rarely ever prosecuted. Its a crime like sodomy is a crime (or was pre-Lawrence) — prosecutable, but not prosecuted. So we have sort of gone far afield without good reason.

                    • CDinDC
                      02/09/2010 at 4:22 PM

                      Mmm hmm.

                  • Occam's Theory
                    02/09/2010 at 8:22 PM

                    It is true as the two of you have said that the state’s allegation is that Robert died from the stabbing, not suffocation. I think I knew that 2 days ago but forgot that yesterday, so kudos. It will be interesting to see if that allegation is challenged by a defense expert at trial, as doing so would indicate a change in defense strategy. One assumes that defense counsel haved moved beyond the intruder idea and have come up with something different by now.

                    As to my identity and motivations, I am no one relevant to these discussions — just another faceless lawyer in a city lousy with them interested in this remarkable case. I know, or knew, none of the players, and am not an apologist for someone I have never met and would likely never have hung out with if I had — I’ve been married a decade, with 2 kids, and don’t go out much. I confess to a natural, generalized inclination towards the defense, not unlike what we require of jurors as they are seated before a criminal trial. But if the gov can add on and prove a homicide charge beyond a reasonable doubt, I’d be delighted to see Joe and Co. go away for life.

                    • Bea
                      02/09/2010 at 8:35 PM

                      The defense would have “moved beyond the intruder theory” in what way? Are you suggesting that they might NOW propose that there was no intruder and that Robert died “accidentally” and that the stabbing was done – what? – “foolishly” or “under the influence”?

                      Hard for me to see how one can make the judgment that a man is “probably” dead and NOT call 911 UNLESS they wanted him dead. Even if, as you say, the coroner was wrong and the stab wounds were NOT premortem, and he died before the stab wounds (not the evidence, but for argument’s sake), what jury is likely to believe that the stabbing showed anything other than a ‘cover up’, ‘conspiracy’, and ‘obstruction’? Besides being about as cold-blooded as one can imagine – especially considering Robert was a friend.

    • AnnaZed
      02/09/2010 at 12:05 AM

      With reference to Occam’s Theory’s post:
      Reposted segments of his post look like this when re-posted:
      >>>”…blah, blah, blah”
      because I don’t quite know how to quote other posts on wordpress blogs.

      Offered with some responses:

      Please note:
      No real Occam’s Theory utilizations were harmed in the formulation of these posts.

      >>>”If one assumes what is most logical – that (1) the roommates would not deliberately risk their comfortable lives and freedom to rape their friend and try to get away with it; and (2) the roommates would not risk their comfortable lives and freedom by intentionally killing their friend – the pieces fit together fairly easily.”

      Why is that the most logical?

      Dylan didn’t have a comfortable life, he was a live in prostitute clothed, fed and housed at the whim of a man in a committed relationship with another man who was also a drunk and a drug abuser. Dylan was living the unhappy and tenuous life of a parasite. He didn’t have a lease, didn’t have a job unless Joe got him one (trained “masseuse” just goes to my previous characterization), didn’t have a car and still doesn’t have a life that Joe doesn’t control. In fact he seems never to have held a real job for long and his youth and promise were circling the drain as his boyish looks morphed into those of a slight, balding, ineffectual, inconsequential man.

      Victor didn’t have a comfortable life. He made a lot of money, but the man he loved had brought a third person not only into his relationship but into his home. Regardless of what he may have said to investigators; no lady likes to share her man with another person, even if that person is socially and economically inferior and depends on the kindness of others.

      Joe’s life doesn’t seem comfortable at all. He seems to suffer from an extreme version of the classic American male overarching need to “have it all”; a wife, a second wife, a child, money, position, the adulation of others, endless ideas of entitlement to sexual satisfaction at the expense of others (by that I mean Victor) and the heavy alcohol abuse and illegal drug use that is the hallmark of such men and hardly a sign of a person living a comfortable life.

      Significantly, Joe and Dylan were already endangering this so-called comfortable life by bringing strangers and tricks into their home. In fact, incorporating Dylan into their home, regardless of how they attempted to frame it, engendered risk. Illegal drug use threatens the very foundations of any home or career, everyone knows this. Giving the keys to your home to your brother who is a something of a small time career criminal is a risk too.

      As far as risk taking goes; they were already there.

      >>>”Wone was neither murdered nor raped.”

      Leaving aside for the moment the supposition that whatever took place in that house sexually was not rape (which I will address later, but will here state is absurd) I must profess absolute amazement at the notion that Robert was not murdered. He absolutely, categorically was murdered in cold blood. There is no waffle room on that fact. I opined earlier that a new-comer to this site might conclude from the bizarre convoluted theories of some posters that Robert was not even murdered. Yet, I did not think I would see the day that I would read those exact words as an actual submission. I am astounded.

      >>>”So here’s what happened: Price tells Wone that he absolutely has to try the latest and greatest in this sub-world – a paralyzing drug that prevents one from moving but not from feeling…”

      Illegal drug use, though as mundane a choice for Joe and Dylan as coffee vs tea would for Robert have been unthinkable. Participating in anything sexual or otherwise that included extremely risky illegal drug-taking is so inconsistent with Robert Wone’s character and life-style that attempting to rhetorically gloss over this glaring anomaly constitutes the real far-fetched theorizing percolating here.

      >>>”Either one of the guys sat somewhere he shouldn’t, or the restraining went to far,…”

      Robert’s body does not show signs of having been restrained in so far as I am aware.

      >>>”– the coroner does find that he was suffocated, though does not die from suffocation.”

      This is what? Some sort of S&M blunder? I call the suffocation further proof of the intent to do harm to Robert, attempted murder first before the actual murder.

      >>>”The guys believe no one will buy their accident story, particularly since the “accident” involved illegal drugs and “forced” restraint.”

      They would be right about that. I for one am not buying it.

      >>>”They concoct the intruder story, shower Wone to get rid of their own DNA, prints, etc. They put him in bed and stab him…”

      Robert was not stabbed on that bed, this much is clear from the evidence. The amount of blood that the fatal wound to his aorta would have instantly produced would have soaked the bed.

      >>>”They all shower….”

      Yes, this is known from the statements of the EMTs and police when they arrived.

      >>>”One of the three takes the murder weapon, the needles, the drugs, their clothes, and whatever else and throws them into a dumpster three blocks away.”

      I think this is the case as well. I am not much of a believer in the presence of Michael or Sarah or anyone else at this scene. I also think that this activity explains the presence of blood in the outside drain. Someone rinsed off before venturing out.

      >>>”One of the other two writes generic emails from Wone’s blackberry but does not send then (hard to understand why not).”

      These fabricated Blackberry messages were created long after Robert was dead, washed and repositioned by these men. The risk in sending them is that the false times placed on them in edit mode (any time can be attached to a message in edit on a Blackberry) would become real send times with time stamps as they do with that technology. Also, what if Mrs. Wone had answered? They wouldn’t have known what to say, what endearments Robert used, what tone, what syntax, besides Robert was already dead and the police would be able to prove that much. there was no way that they could risk actually sending those mails.

      >>>”If Wone were bi, where are the other partners?” — Of course I do not know for sure, but it may be that (a) others are not coming forward out of respect for Wone;…”

      Why? If there are such partners how does it show respect for Robert to fail to come forward?

      >>>”(b) some have come forward, but that information has been withheld (possibly to protect the tipper);…”

      Protect the “tipper” if such a person exists from what, from whom?

      >>>”(c) Price was the only one Wone trusted with his secret;…”

      To first clarify, I am not speaking from a position of one who finds any person’s bi-sexuality, taste for S&M or any other sexual taste offensive in any way. Consenting adults, do your worst, have fun!

      I do however find the notion of sexual dalliances pursued outside of a marriage under cloak of secrecy offensive and entirely inconsistent with every know representation of Robert’s character. That he would deceive his wife and place her at substantial health risk, not only from the big ticket killers like the HIV virus or hepatitis, but also from common and practically unavoidable pestilences like the human pamplona virus know to cause cervical cancer and not effectively guarded against by the use of prophylactics, would have been profoundly out of character for Robert. Additionally, (as Hoya Loya succinctly puts it ~ so I’ll just quote him): “To further assume that Robert was a willing participant in a gay, BDSM, extramarital encounter involving drug use and voluntary paralysis involves multiple quantum leaps of illogic.” I suggest that you actually apply Occam’s theory to these conjectures and start again.

      >>>”(d) there were no other partners….”

      This would be the most obvious answer, per Occam.

      >>>”Why assume an accident over a more violent end?”

      There is no scenario known to man in which the stabbing of a defenseless man is an accident ~ none. What exactly could be more characteristically violent than stabbing someone?

      Robert Wone was the victim of criminal homicidal violence.

      These are the facts.

      >>>”— My scenario does indeed openly assume that these three guys – never before violent as far as I know, never in trouble, leading what appears to be satisfying lives – would simply not risk everything on a vicious rape….”

      See above. It happens to women and girls every day, why not to a man? Men risk their livelihoods and freedom to sexually attack women all of the time. It’s not a rare crime at any level of society, not at all. Why not a an attack on another man, why not? In statistical terms the odds the victim of a solved murder was not a stranger to the murderer are 1 in 1.28 or 78% (I got those numbers from http://www.bookofodds.com/).

      >>>”That assumption is there because it makes far more sense than the alternative…”

      Murders don’t “make sense,” a murder is chaos incarnate.

      Watchers of TV and readers of Agatha Christie yearn for logic in violence that in the real world scarcely ever exists. It is a burden for prosecutors I am sure, this cultural yearning for the orderly solution as typified by the formulaic detective story, but the truth is more mundane (or as Hannah Arendt would have it, more banal) than that.

      I am not a person who is prudish about drug taking, I worked for 20 years in the music business in New York and am no stranger to drug use. I don’t disapprove or approve of drug taking per se. I am however keenly aware of the fact that most recreational drugs are either illegal to begin with or consumed in a way that constitutes illegal use and am not one of those who consider this activity to be normal. Neither, I am sure, was Robert.

      I know from first hand experience that for some people the deleterious effects of prolonged alcohol and drug abuse can be so frightening as to be otherworldly. There are amongst us some that harbor hidden and astonishing ill-will towards others. Prolonged drug and alcohol abuse for these souls can liberate these ugly impulses in very real, illogical and criminal ways. It’s quite common actually. I think that habitual inebriation over a long period of time is the driver in this crime.

      >>>”What about the blood in the intestines?” The blood in the intestines presents a difficulty for my theory.

      Well, yes. Yes it does. In fact, it conclusively demonstrates that Robert was not dead when he was stabbed. Ergo, Robert was murdered in cold blood.

      >>>”Nonetheless, homicide detectives will tell you that in many, if not most, cases, facts inconsistent with the case theory – or with reality – will present…”

      Those types of inconsistencies are usually along the order of a maroon car turning out to have been black, not linchpin, game changing forensic evidence. I believe that you know that. Don’t play fast and loose with the facts, it’s tedious.

      >>>”Moreover, people sometimes have blood in their intestines, due to a health problem.

      I would call that extremely unlikely in a young fit man like Robert. I would also think that such a condition, if it existed, would have been evident to the medical examiner.

      >>>”The bottom line is that one of three things happened that night…”

      >>>”– an intruder killed Robert,…”

      Ah, the elves, Joe’s poor sad long abandoned friends; the only friends who could save him he thought, but alas that is not to be.

      >>>”the roommates purposely killed Robert…”

      This is what obviously happened, whether or not they set out to do so at some earlier hour by 11pm they (or one of them, or two of them) had formed the intent and had done so.

      >>>”, or the roommates accidentally killed Robert.

      Again, there are no circumstances in which the stabbing of an incapacitated, unarmed man can be characterized as an accidental act, none, that is not possible.

      >>>”Virtually all known facts support the third possibility, except the blood in the intestines. Virtually no facts support the first two possibilities, except the blood in the intestines. The best analysis should therefore accept the third possibility and explain away the anomolous [sic] evidence as resulting perhaps from a last gulp by the victim after his heart appeared to have stopped, or a coroner’s mistake, or something else.

      I think you are wrong and that the evidence simply doesn’t support your argument. With support from Sir Arthur (Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. …) I say that your option two is what remains.

      One, two or all three of these men murdered Robert Wone, of that I have no doubt.

      >>>”What about the mouthpiece?” — What about it? Wone was dressed in his pajamas by the 3 as part of the cover-up, inserting the mouthpiece just continues that effort.

      I too have come to this conclusion. It is one of those anomalies familiar to forensics of which you previously spoke. I don’t think Robert had a chance to go to bed. Quick and foxy thinking on someones part though I will say.

      By the way, they dressed him in a William and Mary t-shirt and took the time to make misleading slits in the shirt in an unsuccessful attempt to make it appear that Robert had been wearing the shirt when he was stabbed, not pajamas.

      >>>”This post is offensive because it assumes the victim was a willing participant in his own death.” — it does assume he participated to a point, but not intentionally in his own death. More importantly, I am sorry to offend. I just want this thing solved.

      You seem to be the only person who is saying this, sort of arguing both sides of this argument. I don’t think that your theory assumes that Robert participated in his own death. I don’t see that anywhere in what you posted.

      I am curious as to why you feel the need to preemptively defend yourself against that charge though.

      • Occam's Theory
        02/09/2010 at 3:31 PM

        It was raised the last time I discussed it, so I thought I’d save a step.

        • AnnaZed
          02/09/2010 at 11:48 PM

          Care to address anything else that I had to say?

    • CDinDC
      02/09/2010 at 6:37 PM

      Occam says: “Price tells Wone that he absolutely has to try the latest and greatest in this sub-world – a paralyzing drug that prevents one from moving but not from feeling.”

      By the way, Occam, ketamine is an anaesthetic AND painkiller. Contrary to your comment, it WOULD prevent one from feeling pain.

  10. Clio
    02/07/2010 at 2:46 PM

    LGBT domestic violence has been the focus of a special, grant-funded initiative at Equality Virginia, an effort that began after the departure of Ward and Price from EV.

    Nevertheless, it would be curious to found out the takes of the organization’s present leadership on their fallen “heroes” of the recent past: what does current Executive Director Jon Blair think of this case?

    • AnnaZed
      02/09/2010 at 12:27 AM

      Oh my, the irony of this is colossal.

  11. Occam's Theory
    02/07/2010 at 10:10 PM

    I understand these objections to the theory but I disagree. The Swann Street Trio are sticking to their story because they have no better choice. If they back out now they will be revealed as liars and cover ups, and open themselves up to being charged with a more serious crime (murder, if they are not believed, or negligent homicide perhaps, an obstruction of justice add-on, or something else). That is, once they concocted their story, and took (unsuccessful) actions to make it seem plausible, they had to stick to it. As others have mentioned, the only way we’ll ever find out for sure what happened is if one of the trio flips (and, of course, tells the truth, which is not guaranteed).

    As to the notion that they committed a crime beyond the cover-up even if what I say happened did happen, that assumes the stabbing was pre-mortem. If so, then it is true there was another crime, such as negligent homicide, or, certainly, battery. But, as noted, I lean towards the belief that the stabbings were post-mortem, and part of the cover up, not crime. If Wone was a relative stranger, then maybe this all could’ve been done on purpose. But the notion that these guys cooked up a terrible murder plot of an old friend and, perhaps more importantly, relatively prominent professional, simply begs an alternative and more plausible explanation.

    To CDinDC, I discussed this with several supporters, and (very angry) dissenters, at abovethelaw.com over the summer, when the Wone case was discussed there. And Clio, I appear to be less informed than you on the facts you mentioned regarding ads and a sister, so cannot respond, other than to say that if Ward wasn’t any good at whatever he did than he would seem to have had no use whatsoever to the other guys, who would have no reason to allow Ward to freeload off of them.

    • CDinDC
      02/07/2010 at 10:52 PM

      Occam’s Theory says: ” If they back out now they will be revealed as liars and cover ups”

      They have already been revealed as liars and cover ups. The real question is whether they can be revealed as murderers.

    • Bea
      02/08/2010 at 2:37 AM

      Occam, I appreciate your perspective and I’m willing to entertain (at least for argument’s sake) that the stab wounds were post-mortem – but where we wholly is that such actions would not be a crime. Since the Medical Examiner said that the wounds were pre-mortem, that he died from the stab wounds, then even if they didn’t know he was dead when they stabbed him, that would be at a minimum negligent homicide, possibly 2nd degree murder (hard to not impute intent – jurors are not likely to believe someone who stabbed a man three times if he says ‘I was pretty sure he was dead and didn’t want to call an ambulance to see if he could be revived’).

    • Craig
      02/08/2010 at 1:09 PM

      Occam – Thanks for the clear thinking and well written comments. And please don’t fret about offending anyone.

      ced – When the time comes, you’ll be able to compare your stab wound diagram to that of the DC medical examiner’s. Thanks.

      • Clio
        02/08/2010 at 11:29 PM

        Occam, dearest, do you really believe that Dyl was such a good dom and that’s why Joe kept him? You must be having one of Connolly’s bad days!

        Joe kept Dyl around because Joe’s boorish personality made Dyl the only and best mistress that Joe could have. Dyl isn’t/wasn’t good at anything, but he was/is good enough … to be a maid-of-all-work at Aunt Marcia’s. As CD has convinced me, Dyl did not have the personality to pull off the dom act or the rape/murder by himself: the highlighted pages betray the student and not the coach.

        • Occam's Theory
          02/09/2010 at 4:14 PM

          I’ve been trying to provide some kind of response to the various responses to my posts but, without intending any offense to you, I do not understand your posts. It is probably my fault for not learning some of the shorthand employed here.

          • Clio
            02/11/2010 at 8:03 AM

            Occam, I could translate our discussions into medieval Latin or Greek for your convenience, but I think that our populist Editors might balk at such scholastic pretensions. Just, whatever you do, do not quote Aristotle in your fanciful speculations; doing that set off a firestorm on this blog last fall. X,O Clio.

    • AnnaZed
      02/09/2010 at 2:59 AM

      Noting this: “…I discussed this with several supporters, and (very angry) dissenters, at abovethelaw.com over the summer, when the Wone case was discussed there.”

      I just went over to abovethelaw and reread that entire thread of comments, which was tiresome in the extreme let me tell you, not least because of the many many ugly homophobic comments anonymously posted there by lawyers but also because almost every single post is a double post (don’t they have moderators, how sloppy is that?). It didn’t look to me like you were besieged with supporters over there either, double posts notwithstanding. Wow, I knew that some lawyers were a bunch of pigs, but what a wallow that site is. I read it last summer and forgot about it, just blanked it out!

      Anyway, “Occam” (or shall we just call you 91 as they do over at abovethelaw?) you just decided to come over here and cut and paste then post exactly word for word what you posted there last year at this moment why exactly? Heavens forbid that you would have given this matter any extra thought in that time yet you seem so invested.

      How odd.

      • CDinDC
        02/09/2010 at 1:06 PM

        It’s probably “you know who,” AnnaZ.

      • Occam's Theory
        02/09/2010 at 3:30 PM

        What’s the difference? Something jogged my memory about the case so I checked out the site. Seeing the same confusion as before, I chimed in. As to the post, no sense reinventing the wheel.

        • AnnaZed
          02/09/2010 at 3:33 PM

          91, you “saw some confusion” so decided that you would drop in and set us straight?

          That’s fucking totally hilarious.

          Things are looking up if this is the best on offer from the Joe apologists wing.

          • CDinDC
            02/09/2010 at 4:00 PM

            As he said, it’s “his job.” LOL

  12. CDinDC
    02/09/2010 at 4:06 PM

    suffocation. pardon my misspelling.

Comments are closed.