Opposition Friday

Government Quotes the Defendants’ Words Back At Them

The Government responded earlier this week, not surprisingly, in opposition to the separate defense filings to suppress the defendants’ statements they gave the night of the murder from being entered at trial. 

In doing so, AUSA Glenn Kirschner revealed new details about what Joe did immediately after finding Robert’s body, and which sleeping aid Dylan used the night of the murder.

In early March, the defendants filed separation motions to suppress their statements they made the night of the murder because their 4th, 5th and 6th Consitutional rights were violated because their statements were obtained in custodial settings.  

Furthermore, since they claimed they were in custodial situation, meaning held against their free will, and not read their Miranda rights, the statements provided were in violation of the law and unusable at trial.

This is a serious claim the defendants have leveled against the government and could dramatically alter the contours of the trial.  Understanding the gravity of the motion, Judge Lynn Leibovitz delayed ruling on the motion at the last hearing.

The Government’s response, in painstaking detail, recounts the events of the evening, from when the MPD first arrived on the scene, to the transportation of the defendants to the Violent Crimes Branch, to the statements that the defendants gave while there.  

In each of these instances, the government notes that they followed standard operating procedure when interrogating witnesses.  They follow-up with the defendants’ own words that they were there voluntarily, and that they understood that.  The response quotes their words back at them.

On the Miranda issue, the government notes that the defendants summoned law enforcement to their home, the defendants ALL agreed to more, in-depth interviews at the Violent Crimes Branch, no weapon was ever drew upon, they were offered water and restroom breaks when ever they needed.  While the government agrees that the interviews were increasingly skeptical and some deliberately “inaccurate”, that does not argue in favor of finding of custody.

In making these points, after the jump we learn new information about Joe and his story from that night.  Questions arise too, like whatever happened to the supposed first responding MPD Officer Diane Durham?

He wasn’t at Robert’s side from the time he found him until the EMTs arrived.

The Government writes:

“Mr. Price replied that he woke up, having heard a door chime, so he went downstairs in the house to check out what was going on.  He said that he noticed that the back door was ajar, so he went outside to look around. 

Seeing nothing, he came back into the residence, shut the back door and went up stairs where he saw the decedent in the guest bedroom with a knife on chest.  He told his housemate to call 9-1-1.”

These details come from Eric Hampton, the first MPD Officer who arrived on the scene.  However, the government notes that Hampton reversed the sequence of events and that he found Robert’s body first, then went downstairs to check the first floor.

Either way, this new detail about Joe’s movement calls into question previous official statements about what Joe did in the immediate moments after the murder, according to the defendants. 

If this is account is true, then it makes Victor’s 9-1-1 call reference about being afraid to go downstairs because the intruder was still in the house less believable because Joe went down there and found nobody, yet Victor is still afraid on the 9-1-1 call.  This is among the many troubling aspects this change in story brings up.

Also, we learn that the sleeping aid Dylan Ward took the night of the murder was Lunesta, not Ambien.  This is an important point because a few folks have speculated that Ambien’s side effects include Zombie-like behavior, and maybe the murder was committed in this state. 

A quick google search shows that while Ambien-users report incidences of Zombie-like behavior Lunesta-users report none. Scratch that theory.

For now, though, it appears that Kirschner may be on solid legal grounds for Leibovitz to rule in his favor on the motion to suppress at this Monday’s status hearing.

And those attachments to this document that were mentioned earlier?  There are nearly 200 pages of transcripts from the interrogations of Price, Ward and Zaborsky from the night of August 2. 

Those remarkable documents to come next week after Monday’s report. 

— Posted by David

85 comments for “Opposition Friday

  1. AnnaZed
    04/02/2010 at 12:51 PM

    Just when I though Joe couldn’t sink any lower we have him telling the responding officers, “There’s a black guy who lives back there,” after drawing their attention to the back door. What a swine. This case has more in common with the Susan Smith case than I thought. I have a really bad taste in my mouth right now, particularly knowing that Joe has every intention of crying homophobia in his treatment by the MPD, yech. I need to go brush my teeth again after reading that.

    • Bea
      04/02/2010 at 1:04 PM

      I’ll have to go back and reread as I thought Dylan was the one pointing the finger at the “black guy”. Anyone?

      • AnnaZed
        04/02/2010 at 1:27 PM

        I think that this:

        Mr. Price explained to these officers that he heard the door chime, and pointed to the back door. Mr. Ward stared at Mr. Price, who then added: “there is a black guy who lives back there,” and then indicated towards the rear of the house.

        puts the racist implications (statements) in Joe’s mouth, though it would seem that Dylan gave him a “you’re forgetting your lines” type of look.

        • Bea
          04/02/2010 at 1:50 PM

          Given the care afforded the English language, I suppose I’m still not certain which of the two made the idiotic comment – though I agree it didn’t matter since it had been “decided” that someone would provide the oh-so critical comment. Susan Smith reference is spot-on.

          • Meto
            04/02/2010 at 8:39 PM


            I too was stuck by the “black guy lives out there” comment, the absurdity of it (as if that explained “everything”) and the overt racism (as if “only black people commit violent crimes in D.C.”). The statement simply makes me very sad to think that after all this time, we have really not moved anywhere as humans.

            I await Ben’s absurd explanation for this latest. Sorry, but I have just so tired of “Dr. Franklin.” Dr. of what exactly? Not of law that is certain and not of humanity.



            • Clio
              04/02/2010 at 9:42 PM

              Did Joe’s East Texas roots start to show with that “black guy” comment? Or, was the gaffe part of the deadly parlor game called “Intruder” — an especially ham-handed part of the cover-up?

            • AnnaZed
              04/03/2010 at 11:27 AM


              I like to think that some of us are a little more evolved as humans than these three men.

              juast sayin’


  2. CDinDC
    04/02/2010 at 1:08 PM

    This confirms my suspicions that Victor had indeed retired to his bedroom before Robert arrived. I’ve always believed that Victor was angry at Joe for not having disclosed that Robert would be staying.

  3. Bea
    04/02/2010 at 1:27 PM

    Pretty much as I expected it would go, legal-wise – the chance of suppression is slim to none.

    One thing I found odd was that Victor was watching television, not sleeping, when Robert arrived. Is he a bad host? Was he told to stay put?

    Random thoughts:

    1. If dinner was over at 9:30 (with Dylan having just worked out ‘at home’ – why so important to note their fitness but to say it was a routine evening, no partying, officer) and Robert expected in an hour’s time, why the scurrying off to bedrooms?

    2. If Joe and Victor were watching “Project Runway” TOGETHER after dinner, why not watch it in the roomier spot with the bigger screen? Especially since they know company is en route to be let in.

    It strikes me that with Victor alone upstairs but not asleep supports that he knew Joe and Dylan planned to get Robert to ‘play’. Either he assumed they would behave if rebuffed (and in his absence was saying he was not part of it) or he thought perhaps they’d ‘make him play’ and he’s a coward and an enabler and basically a rotten human being for not stopping it.

    If Joe and Victor WERE upstairs in the bedroom before Robert’s arrival, Victor was pitching a fit and/or Joe was explaining that he and Dylan hoped Robert would join them in shenanigans.

    I think Robert was assaulted at 10:50 almost as soon as he arrived. That gave them an hour to figure out what to do and carry it out. Chilling.

    • Clio
      04/03/2010 at 9:50 AM

      Why would Dyl work out at home in the evening in “that sardine can?” Was it a legs day for him, or a chest, bis, and tris day? Or, did he just do cardio and stretching?

      The Crew Club and/or Results were nearby, but he decided to work out at home. This is yet another detail in his narrative that does not pass the smell test.

      • Craig
        04/03/2010 at 10:04 AM

        Clio: There’s more to the workout element of the narrative that may also not pass your smell test. Maybe next week we’ll flex our muscles on that.

        Bea: Trolls were big when I was a kid but I was more into Ratfink. Barbie has no comment.

        All: Stand by for another rare Saturday post. The last unfinished business ahead of Monday’s status hearing.

    • AnnaZed
      04/03/2010 at 12:01 PM

      To call Victor a bad host would be rather putting it mildly I say. I have come to think that Victor had very strong indications that something very much not to Robert’s taste was on the menu that night, something that would also be defined as a felony in all states (and no, I don’t mean consensual sodomy) and that he did in fact cravenly hide and enable the other two men failing in every way to respect, honor or simply warn Robert. When he heard the bell he could have just leaned out of his window and yelled “run for your life” to Robert and spared him and his family this worst of outcomes. Shame on him, fuck him actually ~ what a scum sucking coward.

  4. BenFranklin
    04/02/2010 at 2:31 PM

    David-Don’t scratch the hypnotic sedative theory so fast before doing your homework. Lunesta & Ambien work in exactly the same way to hypnotize & sedate the brain into drifting off to sleep.

    Ward’s final statement he didn’t kill Wone “that he can remember” might be truthful.

    From the NYTimes:

    “In each case the consumers had no recollection of the events, which they said had occurred after they took their pills and headed for bed.

    An agency official said yesterday that the activities associated with the drugs went beyond mere sleepwalking.

    “We do believe that sleepwalking is different from these behaviors,” said Dr. Russell Katz, the F.D.A.’s director for neurology products. “Sleepwalking is considered more of a reflex. These behaviors are complex and they’re different fundamentally because of the complexity. People get up, they take their car keys and they go drive. As you might imagine, that might be potentially dangerous to the patient and others as well.”

    Dr. Katz said that it was not entirely clear whether people reporting the problems had been technically asleep or awake. Although Dr. Katz said the side effects were rare, the agency said that the few dozen reports it had received probably did not represent the full extent of the problem.”

    • AnnaZed
      04/02/2010 at 2:47 PM

      One of the guys I work with brought cookies today.

      • CDinDC
        04/02/2010 at 2:56 PM

        What kind?

        • AnnaZed
          04/02/2010 at 3:01 PM

          Peanut-butter/Chocolate Chip

          • former crackho
            04/02/2010 at 4:13 PM

            Those are my favorites!

    • Friend of Rob
      04/02/2010 at 2:59 PM

      My hovercraft is full of eels.

      • Hoya Loya
        04/02/2010 at 3:12 PM

        My nipples explode with delight!

        • BenFranklin
          04/02/2010 at 6:00 PM

          Turn down the voltage, ladies. Your nipples should not explode.

          There was no paralytic drug, no sexual assault, no torture or restraint, no external bleeding, no clean-up, no conspiracy, no evidence tampering & no delayed reporting.

          It was a sudden unexpected stunningly forceful stabbing by a Lunesta® zombie known to and trusted by Wone.

          Always happy to help! You’re welcome!

          • Bea
            04/02/2010 at 6:22 PM

            Ben – Funniest thing I’ve read in a while. You are quite the comedian!

            Hoya – congrats about the nipples!

            • Hoya Loya
              04/03/2010 at 8:21 AM

              I guess only FCH remembers the Hungarian Phrasebook Sketch?

              • Hoya Loya
                04/03/2010 at 8:29 AM

                I mean FOR (sorry).

          • former crackho
            04/02/2010 at 6:48 PM

            Speaking of meds….how long have your psychopharmaceuticals?

            • former crackho
              04/02/2010 at 9:27 PM

              Oooops…I meant (to BF) “Speaking of meds….how long have you been off your psychopharmaceuticals”?

              • Clio
                04/02/2010 at 9:50 PM

                Ben has been off his meds for centuries: there is only so much mercury that one can consume. Bring on the leeches, though!

  5. galoon
    04/02/2010 at 6:26 PM

    Victor is right about one thing, when he says “I mean, there’s just- there’s no reason in the world..”

    Does anyone think between Monday and the start of trial one of the three will come clean? Or is that wishful thinking?

    • Bea
      04/02/2010 at 7:08 PM

      Hey Galoon, I am a die hard optimist and even I’m giving in to the notion that the three are going down with the ship as one. Not that I mind them all being convicted – they are all three guilty of the charges they face – my hopes were on getting the truth and a murder conviction for the one(s) responsible for Robert’s death.

      Even with the guilty verdict for all three, we won’t know exactly what happened.

      C’mon, Victor. Seriously. It’s time. And Dylan, don’t you want to join him – try to get some time knocked off (assuming that Joe was the one who did the knife work)?

      The crazy thing is that Joe is the MOST likely to sing, would very likely to throw both of them AND his own mother under the bus – but for that gnarly little problem of being the actual murderer. And if he tried to finger Victor or Dylan for it, both of them would turn on him, so he can’t even do that. Maybe he could get them all to finger Michael Price. . . or Sarah. Perhaps Tom and John?

      Speaking of Tom and John, have YOU spoken with the prosecution yet? Let them in on the little innuendos that Sarah has dropped? They may be hearsay but they are likely of use. Clear your friend Sarah’s name – or we’ll all likely remember her primarily as the-most-likely-to-have-disposed-of-evidence.

      Brother Michael – lots has been said about your missing class that night, but I doubt you were the killer. Still, why not prove yourself to be the better man and talk to the cops? Be the hero. You could even get a book deal and be on Oprah – ever think of that? The brother who could not let his brother get away with murder. And they thought YOU were the loser because of the drugs and the small potatoes burglaries – wouldn’t it be nice to be the Price man who did the right thing? You know your sisters know that you’re a better human being than Joe. Prove it to everyone. Hasn’t he been demeaning you long enough – all the tens and twenties he passed you when he was raking in the big money? Using you as his drug connection while his picture was in the news for arguing the big case? Come on, Michael. Oprah.

      • John Grisham
        04/02/2010 at 9:12 PM

        Michael, “You know your sisters know that you’re a better human being than Joe.” LMAO!

        • Bea
          04/02/2010 at 9:32 PM

          Glad you got a grin, John. And it was fun to write – though in truth, Michael has an active online life and being in touch with his sisters seems important to him. So it wasn’t a complete shot in the dark –

          MICHAEL: seriously – Oprah.

          • John Grisham
            04/02/2010 at 9:42 PM

            Michael is confying in you? And your sisters? Can you tell us more?!

            • John Grisham
              04/02/2010 at 11:00 PM

              Bea, you are now awefully silent about your peviously adverised communication with Michael.

              • Bea
                04/02/2010 at 11:14 PM

                Uh, my silence came from having dinner. Didn’t mean to mislead – I have NEVER communicated with Michael or his sisters (or any Price family member). I’ve just done web searches and found this info – I’m sure others have as well.

                • John Grisham
                  04/02/2010 at 11:21 PM

                  then please share with us, so we can join in the conversation. Unless it is exclusively between you two.

                  • Bea
                    04/02/2010 at 11:29 PM


                    • John Grisham
                      04/02/2010 at 11:35 PM

                      You said that “Michael has an active on line life.” Where can we find it?

                    • John Grisham
                      04/02/2010 at 11:43 PM

                      I think Bea has been a troll for the defense.

                    • Bea
                      04/03/2010 at 1:39 AM

                      It’s easy to find Michael’s online adventures (start with the article) but I’m not interested in spoon feeding you, John, particularly given your lovely mood this evening.

                      A troll for the defense? In looking at your misspellings earlier tonight, which isn’t like you, I’m guessing you might want to put the cap back on the bottle or you’ll suffer tomorrow. If I’m going to be a “troll” for the defense, can I be one with wild orange hair, maybe purple? Troll dolls were the only dolls my mother could interest me in as a child, well, except for GI Joe and Johnny West.

                    • John Grisham
                      04/03/2010 at 8:14 PM

                      Yes Bea, of course you can.

        • John Grisham
          04/02/2010 at 9:38 PM

          Fortunately for Michael, he can now benifit from some character witnesses from the “sisters” at this site.

          • Clio
            04/02/2010 at 10:15 PM

            The only “sister” whom Michael needs is Louis, her alibi that fateful evening.

            • John Grisham
              04/02/2010 at 10:53 PM

              The reason he cut classes that evening, right?

              • Clio
                04/03/2010 at 10:48 AM

                Yes, what was Michael’s stated excuse to his prof for missing class that night? Illness, or family responsibilities?

            • Vandy
              04/03/2010 at 4:04 PM

              I don’t think Louis is gay. He has an ex-wife and was probably abusive to her too. I think his “relationship” with MPrice was arranged (for the drugs, of course).

              • Clio
                04/03/2010 at 10:10 PM

                No, Vandy, Louis and Michael were partners of a sort: for the Price Sisters, remember that it was always “bottoms up!”

  6. Clio
    04/02/2010 at 10:05 PM

    Detective Milton Norris and “witness” Joseph Price apparently talked about 1509 Swann’s “upscale” interior and kitchen. I wonder if they swapped decorating tips.

    Throughout these transcripts and that fateful morning, Mr. Price does seem to be telling the MPD how to do their job — s/he really is a bossy bottom!

    • John Grisham
      04/02/2010 at 10:11 PM

      Clio, have you been one of the “sisters” who have been in internet dialogue with Michael? Per Bea’s previous post?

      • Clio
        04/02/2010 at 10:26 PM

        No, besides, my ladies all use quill pens and postal cards.

        And, I doubt that the former Maryland butcher can even spell his own name, let alone keep his own electronic diary/correspondence. Louis did that drudgery, after all!

        BTW, what does Michael’s taking that class say about Montgomery College’s admissions standards? How low can you go?!

        • John Grisham
          04/02/2010 at 11:12 PM

          Okay, so Bea must have been referring to some other sisters.

          • Bea
            04/02/2010 at 11:19 PM

            Yes, Michael and Joe have sisters, of the biological variety. Michael’s online presence has him in contact with them; someone here has pointed out that there’s a feature article from a few years back where one sister was doing the AIDS Ride with Louis because Michael couldn’t – don’t remember the newspaper but you can do a web search. It appears that Michael is close to his sisters. Did not mean to create a stir.

            • Clio
              04/03/2010 at 10:22 PM

              Bea, yet another little bird did tell me that these sisters were younger half-sisters to Joe and Michael. Is that true?

              Needless to say, the marriage that produced Joe and Michael did not last long.

              • Bea
                04/03/2010 at 11:24 PM

                As far as I can tell, yes. There were three Price brothers in rapid succession, born to very young parents. They divorced right after (maybe before?) the third brother who I’ve not found anything about (I believe it’s a David, but would have to check notes). I don’t know if both parents had additional children or not, only that there were at least two sisters.

                • Clio
                  04/04/2010 at 7:19 PM

                  So, Bea, according to your sources, is Michael closer to his half-sisters than Joe is? Michael may be slightly closer in age to them. If that is so, I wonder about the familial dynamics of the Prices (besides the obvious age and past income differences)?

                  • Bea
                    04/04/2010 at 7:38 PM

                    I really don’t want to give the impression that I have ‘sources’ – just that the sister is quoted that she does the AIDS Ride (in California) with brother Michael and/or Louis, that they are on social networking sites and are in touch. Nothing one can’t glean from some public web searching. Of course in a way I regret my ‘plea’ to Michael – and yet don’t – because when one has an active online presence, perhaps he’s reading here and may get sick of being cast as the loser brother. If he knows what happened, he should talk – particularly since at this trial his name will be dragged through the mud as the possible killer (largely as a result of his brother’s actions – and I’ve often wondered if Joe didn’t TELL Michael to rob him, thus no charges pressed and no apparent sibling difficulty).

                  • Vandy
                    04/04/2010 at 7:39 PM

                    I thought the purpose of this site was … never mind!

  7. Nelly
    04/02/2010 at 10:17 PM

    Good grief! Can you just picture Joe chatting with the detective about his upgrades and kitchen decor minutes after Robert’s dead body was transported out of the house? No wonder alarms were going off in the minds of the EMTs and officers. So very disturbing.

    • Bea
      04/02/2010 at 11:21 PM

      Good point. Even the blathering on and on en route (what gym he’s a member of, etc.) does show a callousness that’s notable.

      • AnnaZed
        04/04/2010 at 11:47 AM

        Oh yes, we have remarked on this before; Joe, having no idea what is “normal” for a person who is shocked, bereaved and frightened by finding their dear friend murdered in their house goes with networking, bragging, pontificating, showing off and with these new tidbits of information we can add dispensing decorating tips and racist innuendo. Way to go Joe!

        I wonder about Joe’s “black guy” neighbor. I wonder how many “black guys” lived on that block that year. Wouldn’t this “black guy” have to be pretty affluent to live there? I wonder what he would think he he were told about this initial attempt to case suspicion upon him for a sexual assault and murder committed so near his home. Any black man anywhere on earth would at least experience the chilling sensation of someone walking on his grave where he to hear that he had been randomly offered to the police as a suspect in a violent crime simply on the basis of his skin color. All people of color know that that sort of thing can end very badly indeed, and fast.

        I grew up in Louisiana. There was a time when just the tiniest indication that a black man was involved in a crime was all the evidence needed to cost him his very life. I was born in Texas and have a huge family there still. Apologies in advance to whomever I insult by saying this, but people of Joe’s class in Texas continue as a rule to cling to ugly racist ideas that most people in more enlightened parts of the world (like DC) consider to be philosophies of the distant past. Strange and interesting that when faced with the presence of law-enforcement after Robert’s murder that his mind reached back to the lowliest and most abhorrent stereotyping that our society has to offer. It’s like a horrifying glimpse into his psyche, “well officer, we didn’t do it and we don’t know who did it but probably it was a negro.”

        • Clio
          04/04/2010 at 2:31 PM

          Or, did Joe Ray cater to what he thought that the police wanted to hear — namely, that an unknown black assailant may be to blame? Were the arriving officers first on the scene white or black?

          What another blow that this revelation is to the elder Price’s manicured image (pre-murder) as a tribune for the oppressed of all kinds and colors. He turns out to be a secular Elmer Gantry!

        • Bea
          04/04/2010 at 3:23 PM

          AZ, I suspect Joe was saying that a homeless man lived in the alley – I doubt it was a reference to a neighbor (with a house). Of course, that the mysterious homeless man was “black” is very Susan Smith.

          • Vandy
            04/04/2010 at 5:50 PM

            MPrice didn’t burglarize JPrice’s house for nothing. Who was he with????? There’s a price for everything! My suspicion is that the “missing” knife was used in another homicide. Didn’t MPrice have a stint working for a medical facility? My guess is that because of the poor job by the DCPD that this will be another “Chandra Levy” outcome. Considering, especially, that somebody came forward with information about who actually commited the crim, but the police decided not to pursue it. My 2 cents.

        • 1500 block Swann resident
          04/04/2010 at 5:51 PM

          Anna, here’s the answer to your question (“I wonder how many “black guys” lived on that block that year”).

          There’s no homeless person in the alley; never has been; there’s no room for that sort of thing – the alley is very narrow.

          Across the alley from 1509 there is a black family who has lived in the neighborhood for a very long time. As far as i can tell the rest of residents along that stretch (south side of 1500 block T street) are white. The owners of 1507 Swann are black; they too have been in the neighborhood a very long time. Ditto for one set of neighbors across the street from 1509 (on the south side of Swann). That’s all I can think of at the moment. The alley also includes the back ends of 15th and 16th street – no idea who lives along those stretches.

          If our police had been inclined to arrest the nearest black person based on Joe’s word, he might very well have put the freedom of one of my neighbors (or neighbors’ visiting friend or relative) in jeopardy.

          Utter, utter scum bastard.

          Of course, this sort of thing comes easily to a narcissist, who doesn’t understand that people are people, not props.

          • AnnaZed
            04/06/2010 at 11:58 AM

            Thanks for this information, that’s rather what I would expect in this day and age as to local demographics.

            I had a lovely kind, handsome erudite boyfriend in the early 90’s who was a French professor. We lived in New York at the time and he told me in no uncertain terms that accouterments like his nice suit, credentials, spotless record, well spoken manners or even demonstrable proof that he was not involved in something would stop law enforcement from making his life very frightening were he to be implicated in even the smallest way in anything illegal that might occur. Those he said are simply the rules of engagement with our culture for a black man.

      • Carolina
        04/05/2010 at 7:53 AM

        I’m going to do the unthinkable and say a word on Joe’s behalf.

        In such a situation, I’m not sure I *wouldn’t* babble just as he did, guilty or no.

        Talk, talk, talk about anything and everything that I know to be absolute or in my control so that no one asked me about the dead body in my guest room, or worse, have time to be left alone with my own thoughts and fears.

  8. Clio
    04/02/2010 at 10:43 PM

    Did Joe think that his first lawyer (not Bernie) was going to kick his behind literally for talking without counsel to police?

    But, then again, he had to blather on and on about how intuitive and nuanced his own interviewing style was: it was no wonder he was free to go by mid-morning. He was boring folks with his boasts.

    • Bea
      04/02/2010 at 11:28 PM

      Hey Clio, I doubt Joe had contacted a lawyer when he said this, though most lawyers would tell clients NOT to talk to cops. His first lawyer, Katherine Voelkner (if memory serves), appeared to have been a personal friend – maybe he did call her that night. Technically, she represented Joe and Victor for a while before Bernie climbed aboard.

      Like you, I think it was simply part of his posing. And I think he really thought he could talk his way out of it that night or he’d never have agreed to answer so many questions (or “let” Dylan and Victor do so). That’s why I think it will be hard for him to pass on testifying – he loves the attention and believes that his smarts and persuasiveness will do the trick. As for that night, I’m sure it struck him that if they didn’t cooperate that it would look terrible – a midnight slaying of a guest sleeping over? But frankly, he did do himself a disservice by agreeing to be questioned, as did Dylan and Victor – without the ‘misleading’ and ‘obstructing’ of that night, the charges wouldn’t likely be brought (though perhaps the tampering charge would still be viable). I for one am glad that Joe’s huge ego prevented him from doing what every lawyer knows to do.

      • Hoya Loya
        04/03/2010 at 8:33 AM


        I think they fully expected to be charged that night (especially if they really are guilty — that would be part of the defensive mindset). They were probably a bit shocked and surprised that none of them were. And then gained confidence over time that they had fooled the MPD as the investigation dragged out over 2.5 years.

        • AnnaZed
          04/03/2010 at 12:14 PM

          I think that you have something there Hoya. I can certainly see that once having “pulled it off” to the extent that they all three emerged to breath free air and bask in DC sunlight after their night with the detectives followed by the protracted inaction of the MPD in their direction could quite likely have created an outsized sense of entitlement in these men, a hubristic sense of the inevitability and “rightness” of their getting away with it. In fact given my belief that mental illness of one type or another is pretty much always a feature of sexually motivated crime I think it is possible that one or more of these men has come to almost believe (even in the face of all evidence to the contrary) the elves story as told out of the sheer psychological need to keep cognitive dissonance at bay.

          • Bea
            04/03/2010 at 1:25 PM

            You may be correct, Hoya, all but Super Joe that is. I think he liked the all-in gamble of talking that night – without talking, of course, they may well have been charged with something as a stop gap measure in the ways that cops have (material witness?).

  9. Bea
    04/03/2010 at 10:11 PM

    Many may think me a lightweight (and John Grisham will think me a bigger troll than last night), but on rare occasion I find myself asking “could it be that the defendants did NOT murder Robert?” On the one hand they (apparently) have no criminal records, have no reason to want to ruin their lives, and on the surface had no animosity toward Robert. Don’t get me wrong – logic kicks back in quickly thereafter – the small house and close proximity, that Robert did not fight back and had no visible markings, that the defendants had only gone to bed minutes before it had to have occurred, that there was no robbery, no mess, no other ‘motive’.

    Even forgetting Dylan’s special knife in his closet, forgetting Joe and Dylan’s love of torture and love of living dangerously, the murder by an unknown makes no sense. HAD it occurred at 4 am when others were sleeping soundly, had the unknown man stolen things or made a mess, had Dylan (or any of them) seen or heard someone clomping up or down the stairs, had things been knocked over as he made his way through the dark (and never-been-seen) house, then perhaps I could say ‘well, it’s unusual that he’d have passed up Dylan’s room’ or if the murder weapon (the genuine one) was left at the scene, that it seemed odd but still at least remotely viable. It’s the totality of it that just can’t find a ‘home’ in general range of ‘sensible’ or ‘possible’. I won’t bore everyone with all the many other reasons these men aren’t telling the truth, or why I think Joe/Dylan actually murdered Robert, or that each of them is guilty of conspiracy/obstruction/tampering.

    Anyone else find themselves doing this? I think it comes from wanting a clear conscience about giving each the benefit of the doubt, and likely more, that I just have no context in which to understand HOW on an ordinary Tuesday in August took the life of a friend and ruined their own lives in the process – for WHAT? How could they have done such a thing? This is not being robbed by a parent trying to feed his/her kids. This doesn’t on its face fall into the categories of WHY people usually kill – a crime of passion in the ordinary sense. If anything it falls (in my mind) in only one ‘category’ – chillingly, rape. That they were likely high didn’t help.

    I don’t think all three of them are sociopaths – frankly it’s statistically highly unlikely – so it’s almost impossible that two of them DON’T feel some sense of remorse. But that begs the question that none of us can answer – why one won’t step forward.

    Too many questions. I’m inclined to delete this post, but I am curious whether there are insights out there.

    • Craig
      04/04/2010 at 12:39 AM

      Bea: I’m glad you didn’t delete this.

      We did another birthday dinner tonight and I think we had a few moments of clarity too.

    • Nelly
      04/04/2010 at 8:07 AM

      Of course, we all want to believe that no one would do this to a good friend. But let’s also remember the weird positioning of Wone’s body similar to that depicted in Ward’s New Yorker magazine. Very very strange and unlikely to be a coincidence.

      • Clio
        04/04/2010 at 11:42 AM

        They did it, and they are/will be paying for it. Humans are inherently evil and irrational beings whose behavior cannot always be explained. Add street drugs and extreme BDSM practices to the mix, and you have this tragedy.

    • CDinDC
      04/04/2010 at 11:51 AM

      You’re not alone, Bea. Of course, the only thing anyone sees posted here are my conclusions, but even I contemplate their guilt and/or innocence. Even I, a person that seems to others completely incapable of seeing the other side of the coin, doubt the evidence at times. Yes, there are times when I think “how could they?” “Why would they?” But the overwhelming evidence that an intruder was not present that night, forces me to look at the evidence as it relates to the 3 defendants. And, why would they allow themselves to be remotely considered as the murderers, if they did not have a hand in it?

      I look at myself as a member of the jury. I take the evidence at hand and evaluate it. I’ve been given the luxury of 1,000s of hours to come to my verdict. The real jury will not. How will THAT effect the outcome?

    • John Grisham
      04/04/2010 at 12:10 PM

      So Bea. You have chatted with Michael on line?

      • Bea
        04/04/2010 at 3:27 PM

        John, will you be best man at our wedding? I think the next line should be Bea and Michael sitting in a tree. . .

        • John Grisham
          04/04/2010 at 7:40 PM

          Only for your sake, certainly not for Michael’s. Which prision will it be held at?

    • AnnaZed
      04/04/2010 at 8:41 PM

      “…I don’t think all three of them are sociopaths …”

      You don’t? In some moods I sort of do. How else tp explain this bizarre behavior?

      • Bea
        04/04/2010 at 10:27 PM

        I understand what you mean, AZ, but I just checked and the American Psychiatric Association estimates that 3% of the male population are sociopaths – seems unlikely all three would be. How to otherwise explain their behavior – and their ability to sleep at night or look themselves in the mirror – I don’t know.

        • CDinDC
          04/05/2010 at 9:40 AM

          Plus Dylan nor Victor display any signs of being sociopaths. Spineless, nelly p***ies, but not so much sociopaths.

  10. Clio
    04/04/2010 at 12:23 AM

    It must have been hot and muggy that night. A lot of water was offered and drunk. Mr. Price offered the officers water, the same beverage (with “roofie” earlier) that he had offered Robert just several hours before. Joe then used the bathroom three times during his questioning in Anacostia. Victor and Dyl made sure that they were hydrated, too. The fan in Victor’s investigation room was first turned off for acoustics and then turned on for his comfort. Are all “witnesses” treated with such hospitality?

    I am glad to see that all of our boys found time to exercise, if separately, on 08/02/06. Fitness did seem important to them and, in Dyl’s new career, it is now a must.

  11. Clio
    04/04/2010 at 12:35 AM

    Editors, is there any way to identify which flights were scheduled to arrive at Dulles at 6:30 pm on 08/02/06? Victor touches down, works out (at Results or Crew Club?), and then joins his husband and their cook for dinner at 9:30 pm. Then, it’s Project Runway, followed by a brief snooze, and his life changes forever with the impromptu cover-up. Mad Men is about the advertising world, after all!

  12. Carolina
    04/05/2010 at 6:33 PM

    To whom was Victor speaking on his cell when the EMT arrived? Has that ever been determined?

    • Bea
      04/05/2010 at 6:42 PM

      It seemed like he was speaking to 911 dispatch when they arrived (in listening to tape). I don’t know if called anyone after that. Certainly I’d want copies of ALL the defendants’ cell phone records before, during and after.

  13. Robert
    04/06/2010 at 1:40 AM

    I tend to agree with you about Robert’s being assaulted shortly after he arrived. If I am not mistaken, date rape drugs work pretty fast.

    If Robert had first been administered a paralytic by Dylan for play and later by Michael for death, the fact that Joseph may have orchestrated the whole scenario, that Dylan played a part in the show, that Dylan or Joseph may have stabbed Robert thinking he was alive when he was really dead, the primary murderer would be Michael.

    I can understand your sometime wish that the defendants are innocent. I can only say for myself, I have never doubted their guilt.

    I agree with you about the trio’s expecting to be charged. But how did Dylan and Victor know their legal posture? Because Joseph explained the law to Dylan and Victor and told them what to expect.

    I could agree with you that Victor may have been angry with Joseph for failing to inform him that Robert was coming over.

    But I think that Victor would have gone to bed in any event, because I believe this was his normal routine on Joe and Dylan’s “play nights.”

    But even if Victor believed that Robert would be volunteered or seduced into sex play with Joseph and Dylan, I find it hard to believe that Victor would have known the play would end in murder.

    If CDINDC is correct about Victor’s being angry about not being informed about Robert’s visit, that might account for Victor’s being a bad host.

    The only people ever to call me a “fag” were my fellow antiwar and civil rights comrades. The only people ever to call me “schizo” were my fellow LGBT activists.

    Thus, I really do not appreciate people characterizing people with whom they disagree in terms of being on or off their meds. If that’s the best you can do, maybe you need them yourself.

    Similarly, I could say that you don’t know what you are talking about and nobody should listen to what you have to say, because you are nothing more than a “crack whore.”

    Michael ostensibly robbed his brother’s house for items which could be easily be liquidated into cash he could use for drugs. However, most of the stolen goods were found in the trunk of his car.

    The missing knife that is believed to have killed Robert matches one missing from a set of culinary knives that Dylan, a trained chef, kept in his room.

    I would be dubious that this particular knife had been used in previous murders and that those murders remain unsolved.

    Admittedly, I have not had your experience of growing up in the South though I do agree with your general characterization. That is the main reason that this civil rights worker would never want to live South of the Mason-Dixon line.

    But when I bring up the subject of racism at LGBT forums, nobody wants to hear about it. During the DC marriage campaign, there were not a whole lot of White LGBT volunteering to go into Black communities such as Shaw or Anacostia.

    Having participated in antiwar, civil rights, feminist, disability, farmworkers and native american rights movements, I would not say that there was no prejudice in those communities.

    But I would say that I have never met such a bunch of classist, racist, sexist, ablist and ageist not to mention hetero/bi/trans phobic people as I have in the LGBT community including leadership.

    To put it another, we may not have evolved as much as some of us would like to believe.

    I also used to think that murder was always a product of mental illness. But if by mental illness one means bipolarity, schizophrenia, psychopathy or sociopathy, I am not sure that I would agree.

    Though I have to admit that it would make me feel better to know that such behavior is somehow a product of mental illness, I would not wish that all of it would be the kind of mental illness which leads to a reduction in charges or sentences.

    I have to say that I do not share the view to which you are entitled, namely that human beings are “inherently evil.”

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