The Third Degree: Price

04/07/2010
By Craig

Joe Price’s MPD Interview Transcript

“It ain’t going to get fine.  It’s going to get ugly,” Price is told midway through his long night with good cop/bad cop at the Anacostia Violent Crimes Branch.

There’s a lot in these 120 pages and still a lot we don’t know.  Were these transcripts from the videotaped part of the night’s questioning?  If so, what wasn’t recorded?

The first interview (part I) ended at 5:30am and the second (part II) concluded at 10:30am.

These transcripts were provided as attachments in Assistant US Attorney Glenn Kirschner’s response to the defendants’ motions to suppress; the docs are Attachments A and B.  As far as the motion to suppress, Kirschner may have Price dead in his sights.  At the conclusion of his second interview, Price admitted to Detective Kasul that he returned for questioning voluntarily.  This may effectively neuter Bernie  Grimm’s Miranda charge.

These pages may not be a Rosetta Stone but they do make the straw we see this case through a little bit wider.  Just a few pull quotes:

“I could see there was a lot more blood on the bed in, like two spots.  It kind of went under him.”

“This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”

“I couldn’t stop Victor from screaming… I was yelling we need an ambulance.”

“This is a lot more like TV.”

“…Mercedes, Mercedes, Mercedes.  I mean, people like us. We spent a million two on the house.”

“This isn’t our life.  This is like something out of a bad dream.  This doesn’t happen to people.”

Ward and Zaborsky’s transcripts go up in the coming days.  Maybe when laid side-by-side the straw will widen even more.

At one point, bad cop told Price, “You are coming to Jesus tonight.”  Later in the evening, morning rather, Price finally caved to the detective’s pressure and confessed,  “I believe in God.”

-posted by Craig

Docs after the jump.  Notes: Personal information redacts are ours.  At the end of part II is Attachment F, an email from Joe Price to a friend where he said he and his co-defendants would continue to “volunteer information.”  Those redacts are the government’s.

Price MPD  Part I  Aug., 2, 2006

Price MPD  Part II  Aug., 2, 2006

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259 Responses to “ The Third Degree: Price ”

  1. Robert on 04/08/2010 at 5:54 PM

    DAVID
    Virtually or unvirtually everybody I know who has had personal experience with “deliberately” open,
    “accidentally “open, menage a trois, three-way and so foUrth relationships, has had the same reaction as you and me. There’s always an odd man out.

    Now, I have read have read interviews and oral histories as well as some limited social science research on the subject, but it all seems to get back to anecdotal testimonial experience.

  2. CDinDC on 04/08/2010 at 6:12 PM

    “(On cell phone) Hey, Michael, would you look in Lisa’s (indiscernible) and see if my wallet is in there…”

    Why would Lisa have Joe’s wallet? You’d think Joe’s wallet would have been with Joe from the moment he left Swann Street in the detective’s car. When did he first have contact with Lisa to have her hold his wallet??

    • Just Another Friend on 04/09/2010 at 10:14 AM

      I need some help with the timeline for the morning of April 3. Joe’s first questioning ends at 5:20 am. Did they head to Cosi after that? And then come back to the station later, when Joe is questioned again, from 8:48 – 10:25? Or did they go to Cosi after the second questioning? If they went to Cosi between 5:20 and 8:48, perhaps Lisa had joined them there.

      • Clio on 04/09/2010 at 8:37 PM

        Craig has reported that the Cosi gathering was more a brunch than a breakfast. Did Lisa and Sarah take off work to meet their boys downtown?

        I do wonder what Lisa’s colleagues Nancy Grace and Anderson Cooper thought/think of her getting so personally involved in this mess. Mona Lisa, what other secrets are you keeping?

    • AnnaZed on 04/16/2010 at 12:18 AM

      Could Joe have gone out to meet Michael and Lisa in between the two interrogations? Wasn’t he outside by a car and about to leave when they called him back in? Did he leave his wallet with one of them because he presumed he was about to be arrested and didn’t want the cops having possession of it? That seems “plausible” to me.

  3. CDinDC on 04/08/2010 at 6:51 PM

    Joe went into great detail about the grill catching on fire…..the salvaged a dinner………DID THEY BURN THE EVIDENCE??? (towels, paper towels, rags, etc.) And then wash the ashes down the patio drain??

    Another kernel of truth perhaps.

    I wonder if the grill was examined for evidence.

    • Bea on 04/08/2010 at 7:32 PM

      Good point, CD. The knife left the premises and most of the ‘big stuff’ but it might have been used for the leftovers.

    • Fascinating on 04/09/2010 at 11:37 AM

      CD … Agreed! Good point!

      Joe seems to drop plausible explanations for things the police may find in the house that may be related to the crime … including, I believe, the whole broken/leaky shower thing.

  4. CJ Biggs on 04/08/2010 at 7:08 PM

    Are the transcripts available for Victor and Dylan?

  5. Robert on 04/08/2010 at 7:12 PM

    CDINDC
    I find it interesting that the trio would go to such lengths to plan a murder but the toilet overflows in an upstairs bathroom and the steaks burn on the grill.

    Did Joe attempt to stop the water flow himself or did he hire a plumber? Was the plumber one of Nixon’s that Joe hired to stop the blood flow?

    And why wasn’t Dylan cooking on the grill? He’s the chef? Maybe it’s time for the police to grill him on the cooking?

    What is Joseph’s former housemate Lisa doing with Joe’s wallet? Why does he not have his own wallet? Or if not him, why not his husband, Victor?

    For what it’s worth, the prosecution has evidence from Louis Hinton’s computer? What’s that about?

    • Carolina on 04/09/2010 at 9:04 PM

      Did Joe accidentally leave his wallet in the clothes the Clean Up Lady swept away that night? Surely Lisa wouldn’t be so stupid…

  6. Carolina on 04/08/2010 at 7:25 PM

    Does it strike anyone that Joe is trying to give logical explanations? Not truths, but logical possibilities?

    For instance, why was he so fixated on explaining the grill’s use? What purpose could that have unless he was either a) still tina’d to the gills or b) thought there might be something found in the grill that needed explaining?

    • Bea on 04/08/2010 at 7:48 PM

      Agree. A second read gives the impression that he’s very willing to be specific about non-essential subjects. Yet he makes a point of saying he doesn’t know if Victor is awake or asleep, but that he “thinks” he’s miffed about the TV.

      Here’s what I read here – Victor pointedly went to bed before Robert’s arrival because Joe and Dylan were high and were “thinking out loud” about what they could talk Robert into. At some point during the night, Joe went up to take Victor’s temperature OR to see if he was asleep, and he got the cold shoulder (who HASN’T made a point of rolling over to show displeasure). He didn’t see Victor again – my theory – until Victor heard something odd and came running down the stairs. Note Joe says HE heard the FIRST chime but that Victor might not have yet VICTOR heard the SECOND chime that he did not hear. He’s told us that the door chimes only after it’s been sealed and then reopened. But there’s something in the importance of the door being “almost flush” but not shut – or he’s trying to make something of nothing. Either way, allegedly Victor heard grunts and THEN the second chime which Joe did not hear.

      Maybe Victor heard it and Joe did not because Joe was “busy”. When Victor descended and got an eye-full, he freaked. Joe concocted the story based on the 11:43 (incorrect) time stamp. He was high and time is abstract so he didn’t account for the additional eleven minutes which should prove critical. KUDOS to the Officer for nailing Joe down that it was only seconds to a few minutes between finding Robert to the 911 call – this will not and cannot match up. Those eleven + minutes went to finishing cleaning, calming Victor, and repeating the story over and over (with a lot of “trust, me, Victors” thrown in for good measure).

      Someone asked ‘won’t it help’ if Joe says well, that means we didn’t find Robert until 11:50 not 11:35 or 11:40 and that just gives the “intruder” more time to kill – sure, the defense will argue this. BUT, the prosecutor will argue (1) the neighbor heard the scream before 11:35 when the newscast ended, and that matches Joe’s original statement that night; and (2) Joe himself is adamant he DID NOT go back to sleep, so why didn’t he hear the racket for a prolonged period? Kind of hard to retrace his timeline AGAIN based on the faulty timeline they practiced in their story – they didn’t ALL come up with the wrong time independently. And Joe is CLEARLY heard asking Victor to ask the operator for the time.

      To me, this will resonate almost as much as W-5 (please, please, Lisa/Michael/interior designer friend from Cosi) if he/she maintains that Joe claimed to pull the knife from Robert’s chest. Then it is GAME OVER.

      If any of VICTOR’s friends are reading this, please talk some sense into him. Seriously – he needs friends to make sense of this with him.

    • CDinDC on 04/08/2010 at 9:09 PM

      Big fat narcissist that Joe is, he probably thinks he can explain away many things. A normal person would say “don’t say anything about the grill…maybe they won’t think about it.” A narcissist is going to wave it around and try to dissuade anyone with charm and, as Carolina points out, logic. “We burned stakes….doused the grill….of course there was water on the patio.”

      • Bea on 04/08/2010 at 11:57 PM

        It proves that Joe is not as smart as Joe thinks he is. To say to the cop “you’ll find stuff around the house pointing to the intruder” is just window dressing to get them to think him innocent, same with the (never intended to go through with it) agreement to take a polygraph.

        I know the Eds want to give us time to talk through Joe’s statements, but BOY do I want to see Dylan’s and Victor’s. My guess is that we’ll see the both of them trying to stay the course on “the story” and chatting around everything (keep talking, say nothing – be as vague as possible about anything meaningful). In trying to put myself in these mens’ shoes (hard as that is), and having done criminal work only very early in my career (but having to bone up again when I moved and had to pass the California bar – never an easy task but more difficult the further away from law school one is), I immediately jump to:

        Robert was fine, everything was normal, made smalltalk, went to bed “around eleven” and throw in some details which make it sound rational (NOTE THE END OF THE TEN PM SHOW, REMEMBER TO SAY WHAT YOU STARTED NEXT – and he likely HAD an answer about what was on SpikeTV though the officer SHOULD have asked what it was about). Memorize that all was well, no one was worried about the chime, all sort of dozing or not quite dozing when we were awakened by grunts. SHOULD have said I have NO IDEA what time that was because I was pretty sleepy and the first chime just registered and then I forgot about it. I “could have” fallen asleep, just don’t know, and then we ran down when we heard the ruckus. ADD major details about how Robert appeared, what he did to address it, that he needed to calm Victor down and give him a task (BUT NO MENTION OF WHAT DYLAN WAS DOING – was he inquiring about whether to get more towels, elevate his head or feet, etc.).

        His blunders were made because this happened quickly once Victor screamed. I have no doubt that they then have to change plans – and that there MUST have been a decision by Dylan and Joe to use Dylan’s knife – pretty stupid so it must have MEANT something to them. Shudder. So with Victor’s scream, they did as much as possible to get the clam-up statements down pat (and finish disposal – they couldn’t unclean).

        The statements that there was blood “in two places” and that it “sort of went under him” tells me that Joe is concerned about that – he knows it’s just plain starnge. Definitely would have handled that better had they not changed plans in a hurry.

        Such a weak story, but they have no choice now. I’m a bit surprised that nobody said they did hear something that could have been footsteps or running downstairs. Or that something valuable wasn’t thrown out or at least pushed over. But Joe didn’t trust either of them to get it right and it was too late – they had to FOCUS – Victor wouldn’t shut up for the longest time, and Dylan didn’t look like he was present. Joe saw it that he had his hands full and the statements were absolutely critical. Nobody could trail off into something besides THE STORY, and it took him a while to feel comfortable that both Victor and Dylan ‘had it’.

        So he blew the line about NOT HAVING much time between the first chime and when he heard the grunts – he’d done the math in his head and asking Victor to get the operator to say what he remembered as 11:43 made him feel confident. That’s why when it’s raised, he’s pretty sure that it HAD been 11:43 – and thinks his phone will prove it had been. Otherwise he’d have said ‘what does it matter – that’s what I thought he said, but the first chime and intruder must’ve come in 15 minutes before that. His head is racing with ‘what will that matter’. There’s a problem but he’s not really getting it. He’s just happy not to be talking about why there’s so little blood.

        Cops go over and over things for a reason, and Joe knows this – even says so in the statement. If I’d have been the cop I’d have hammered him for how NEAT the scene was. But I love the cop for nailing him down about the time between the chime and the intruder/grunts. That’s so much more important – the blood (or lack thereof) is what it is.

        SO curious where Dylan says he was while Joe was ’stanching the blood’ and Victor was on the phone. . . and how they handle the 11:43 problem.

        Here’s to sending very good vibes to W-5 and his or her honesty. . .

        • Bea on 04/09/2010 at 12:25 AM

          Wow, did I ramble or what? Should have spell-checked too. Apologies.

          I’ve known many self-aggrandizing lawyers, many too who think they can talk their way out of anything. I suffer a bit from the latter – but it’s a trait I try to keep in check. But cold blooded murderers who know the legal terrain – yikes – yet Joe did only an ‘average’ job. He’s not as smart as he thinks he is – the cops would’ve believed him guilty if he’d refused to give a statement (and same with his wives) but there would be NO conspiracy/tampering/obstruction charges right now.

          Ted Bundy made it through two years of law school and was, ultimately, fool enough to act as his own lawyer. But until then he made few statements and only showed for a line up after being served with a subpoena. Joe is a different kind of animal – he thrives on the attention. Speaking to cops, calling a GROUP breakfast, holding court at Arent the same day. Hubris.

      • Carolina on 04/09/2010 at 6:48 PM

        You can almost here the internal monologue, can’t you? “Ha! Good one, man! Just tied up another loose end! Wet patio! Totally logical!”

        • AnnaZed on 04/09/2010 at 7:02 PM

          I love the part where he is describing the outdoor grilling and various activities and he actually uses the words “totally plausible” to describe the door being left unlocked. Like he is telling the police what is plausible and what isn’t plausible. It’s insane.

  7. Clio on 04/08/2010 at 10:14 PM

    I trust, CD, that they had at least a serviceable Chilean merlot to wash down those burned steaks. It is no wonder that Victor was “miffed”: ruined supper, surprise guest, TV watching in bed, chimes, and then the acting of her life! Ma’am becomes Lady Macbeth of a sort?

    Joe’s quotes do reflect the value of a William & Mary education: “I hope that most of it was taped, you know, that if you look at this stuff, you know — you know, I know it may sound fucking crazy, but it is crazy.” The use of “you know” and the f word, in addition to garden-variety racism, indicate that even stints in Williamsburg and Charlottesville could not polish up this turd.

    Mr. Price also protests too much (another Shakespeare riff), having not a “tiny, itty, bitty doubt” that his harem could have been involved in the murder. And, he stresses the irrationality of the situation, not realizing that his “testimony” is making it seem even stranger. It was “like finding a hippo in your house when you came home.” But, then again, I thought that he HAD half-expected Miss Morgan!

    Finally, his less-than-ringing endorsement of Michael on page 21 of part 2 foreshadows the “burglary” of October 2006. Thanks, bro, for helping to come to pick me up!

    • Bea on 04/08/2010 at 10:55 PM

      Curious that he used the hippo example in two different interviews. Sounded so good he tucked it away? Man, the guy loves everything the guy does and everything the guy says? Joe loves Joe!

  8. John Grisham on 04/09/2010 at 1:54 AM

    Can anyone imagine a universe where Dylan was actually knocked out on sedatives (or at least unable to recollect the events of his evening, and his housemates took advantage of this) while Victor was helping Joe to play? In some uncharted worlds the sky isn’t always so clear and blue.

    • Bea on 04/09/2010 at 2:03 AM

      Possible, I suppose, but I doubt Dylan LUVS Joe enough to go to prison for him. He’d have cut bait long ago (like a sensible and moral person).

      • John Grisham on 04/09/2010 at 2:07 AM

        Likely, unless he was so doped up to have any recollection of that evening.

        • John Grisham on 04/09/2010 at 2:09 AM

          Or doped up enough to submit to using his knife to make a few cover-up stabs.

          • Carolina on 04/09/2010 at 9:26 PM

            But the stabbing *is* what killed Robert, no?

            He may have suffered suffocation, but he was alive when the knife went into his heart– at least the first time, because blood was found in his digestive system. If Robert was already dead, this would not have been present. This would seem to rule out any argument that he was stabbed posthumously and therefore account for the lack of blood.

            What has always bothered me was the 3 knife wounds. I would love to know from a qualified forensics expert if it appears all were made at the same time and by the same hand.

            I’m guessing they must conform to that or we’d have heard otherwise, but it still nags at me. Three suspects, three wounds and a dead friend smacks of a sick sort of blood brothers pact– “if we all stab him, no one can turn on the other, and who is to say which plunge of the knife was the fatal blow?” That said? I cannot imagine Victor having the nerve to do it, even if he drew the long straw and got to go last.

            • AnnaZed on 04/16/2010 at 12:33 AM

              Well, there is that plot in a terrific Agatha Christie, but I actually had a strange repulsive vision of Joe standing in the room telling both wives that they each had to make an incision as well. I don’t watch TV, but I read far too many books.

        • Bea on 04/09/2010 at 2:22 AM

          He’d have figured it out eventually and tossed Joe & Co. under the bus.

          • Bea on 04/09/2010 at 2:24 AM

            Whoops – missed your latter comment. If he was that messed up, he wouldn’t have been able to string together sentences for the cops. We’ll see soon when the Eds post his statement to see if he’s remotely coherent.

  9. CJ Biggs on 04/09/2010 at 9:47 AM

    These guys lied to police and then clammed up with lawyers exactly as one would expect from guilty defendants. They are scumbags.

  10. Fascinating on 04/09/2010 at 11:44 AM

    Here’s another confusion I have (and I admit I’ve been busy lately and may have missed some of the finer points building up to the trial, so apologies if I’m covering already covered ground) …..

    Do we know 100% that Robert was sexually assaulted? And are those puncture wounds truly from the “intruder”?

    Seems the defense is trying to disprove this, right? Will we hear this in court?

    (To me, the sexual assault aspect is key. Although, if Robert was not assaulted, it would certainly help the timeline — which is a mess in my mind if you include it.)

    Thanks for any info.

    • DCTim on 04/09/2010 at 7:45 PM

      Fascinating: The prosecutution has stated that they do not intend to promote the idea that Robert was sexually assaulted, nor bring up the alledged use of paralytics.

      There was a recent link that someone posted from an outside (medical) source that posited that when a man dies, it is not unusual for semen to be released from the testes due to muscle relaxation, and it seemed as though the defense was ready to pounce on that reasoning to create doubt.

      Regardless, it doesn’t seem important; they’re not facing murder charges, only conspiracy, obstruction and tampering. Proving sexual assault would be unnecessary.

      • AnnaZed on 04/09/2010 at 7:55 PM

        Well, that posting of that totally unrelated medical study in Norway showing the findings of studying 160 day old corpses and the mixing of body fluids after that considerable period of decomposition certainly did its job of creating reasonable doubt in you at least; me not so much.

        • DCTim on 04/09/2010 at 9:57 PM

          I think you missed the point AZ. This trial isn’t about whether or not Robert was sexually assaulted. It’s not even about murder, per se.

          I think the prosecution is smart to keep their eye on the ball.

          • AnnaZed on 04/16/2010 at 12:41 AM

            Oh, I agree with you there DCTim; I hope that the government can just stay focused. the jury doesn’t need anything but the many, many, many inconsistencies and outright lies that these men have told to do their job.

            I just am miffed that that study which I actually accessed and read (and let me tell you medical terminology is not my thing and it was hard reading for me) does not shed much light on the possible migration of male seminal fluids in the very newly deceased. It’s a study of a group of several hundred male corpses the majority of which were in advanced states of decomposition. Yet the damn thing has taken on a life of its own here and I want to state that I think it has no relevance at all. If they had several studies or there was new thinking in forensic circles on this topic I would be interested, but this is a stretch.

  11. Clio on 04/09/2010 at 11:19 PM

    Attachment F may be an email sent by Joe from work to Kathy or a Wone family member. Its most revealing unredacted line: Joe apparently “told the police everything I could think of whether they asked or not.” Not the truth, mind you, just everything I could think of.

    The email’s date — August 13 around 10 pm — is right before the first round of really negative press for the trouple. My guess is that Joe sensed the public airing of “the questions” and proceeded to preempt them.

    Love, Clio.

    • Craig on 04/10/2010 at 12:24 PM

      Clio: Let’s make this an even 200 comments. The Price email from Attachment F is actually from August 2007.

      Although not as ominous had it been sent in 2006, just weeks after the murder, the 2007 date may be indicative of the heat that Price and his co-defentants felt – days after the one year anniversary press conference held at Covington in which Kathy Wone, Eric Holder, Jason Torchinsky and Ben Razi all spoke.

      Holder’s rather strong comments were specificaly directed to the Swann housemates. Another hot August day.

      • Clio on 04/10/2010 at 1:29 PM

        Thanks, Craig, for that correction. So, then Attachment F may have paved the way for that “lunch” between Joe and Kathy in November 2007. Joe’s offensive “charm offensive” that autumn only hardened folks’ suspicions of the trouple, I am afraid.

  12. BenFranklin on 04/10/2010 at 11:54 AM

    Seeing the original video from which these statements were transcribed would be very helpful.

    Certainly the MPD delivered on their promise to make things ugly–for the defendants & the Wone family.

    I believe that the grunts heard by P&Z could have been wails coming from Ward who was emerging from a prescription induced depersonalization episode after his motiveless stabbing of Wone (suddenly, unexpectedly, forcefully, bloodlessly…) Ward may have gone back into his bedroom before the EMTs reported finding him pacing & unresponsive in the hall after their direct confrontation with him.

    Indeed P&Z may not have known for sure that it was Ward who did this horrible subconscious deed at the time of the 911 call or during their interrogations.

    • Clio on 04/10/2010 at 1:16 PM

      Dr. Franklin, as an Enlightenment philosophe, I would think that you would prefer text to video, and that you would prefer facts over fantasy. But then again, none of us like to be categorized.

      Simply put, grunts are not wails, and Dyl could not have pulled off the murder and cover-up by himself. Dyl probably failed the polygraph test at the station, but only because he was lying for his primary patron, Mr. Price.

      April showers bring May flowers. Fact.

      • BenFranklin on 04/10/2010 at 3:35 PM

        Nonverbal gutteral utterances could be Ward’s subconcious grunts, moans or wails.

        • SheKnowsSomething on 04/10/2010 at 3:59 PM

          If a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump its ass when it hops.

  13. Robert on 04/11/2010 at 5:46 AM

    BEA
    I think you make many good points especially about the relationship between Joseph and Victor, the altered timeline and the questionable chimes.

    CDINDC
    In addition to the unrequited love, I agree with you about the professional jealousy part.

    While you and I might think Robert’s job was superior to Joe’s, others might not.

    But that’s irrelevant. The question is what did Joseph think. And I think that Joe was jealous.

    ANNAZED/CDINDC
    I share your lack of confidence in the DCMPD.

    CDINDC
    First, Joseph says that he thinks their story is “implausible,” then he says it was like something that happened on TV!
    That’s really weird.

  14. Robert on 04/11/2010 at 6:08 AM

    BEA
    I agree with you about the incomprehensible suggestion that an intruder would leave by other than an open gate. That just makes no sense.

    Not only that, what intruder would come unarmed to kill a “target.” And what “hit man” would rustle around in the kitchen for a weapon expecting not to be heard? And then choose the wrong one?

    Unless the hit man stopped by Dylan’s room to pick up the actual murder weapon and take a look at the New Yorker cartoon along the way. But then would not Dylan have heard him?

    Do you think that Robert only had one change of clothes? Because if Robert had more than one tee shirt, then who would want to dress him up in a William and Mary tee shirt, other than Joseph?

    CLIO
    I have said from the start that Joe had unrequited love for Robert. I think the evidence keeps accumulating in that direction.

    But if the prosecution is not going to get into the sexual assault angle, then it may matter for you &
    me, but I do not think that it would matter for trial purposes.

    CDINDC
    I agree with you about the alarm thing. Much like Michael missing his first phlebotomy class on the night of the murder, one has to wonder why the residents did not arm the security system that night?

    Robert bought ice cream for his Radio Free Asia employees on a prior occasion. Did he bring ice cream to the Swann Street house that night?

    NELLYNDREW
    I don’t think your scenario allows enough time and opportunity for what I think was a longer BDSM session with Robert by Joseph and Dylan.

  15. Robert on 04/11/2010 at 6:50 AM

    BEA
    I tend to agree. I think that if Joseph loved Dylan at all, it was in a boy-toy kind of way. And if Victor was into BDSM, why would Joseph have needed Dylan as a “third” in the first place.

    Your experience with criminal law sounds similar to my own. Like yourself, I am hoping that Joseph is too smart for his own good.

    GAMA
    For me the question is: why would the plumber be obliged to scale the gate? If the residents were home, why could they not just let the plumber in?

    EAGLE
    The whole way in which the ostensible leak was handled does not make sense to me either.

    JOHNGRISHAM
    If Victor was into BDSM, there would have been no need for a Dylan. And and we know that Dylan was into BDSM.

    And there is at least some evidence suggesting that Dylan and Joseph and had an interest in Asian men but none regarding Victor.

    CAROLINA
    The coroner found the stab wounds all to be surgical in nature and of the same depth.

    I have contended that makes it unlikely there was more than one stabber.

    The debate seems to be whether it was Eagle
    Scout Joseph or culinary arts Dylan who did the actual stabbing.

    FASCINATNG
    The coroner found evidence of what she theorized was a sexual assault. But it would appear that the prosecutor has decided not to hone in on this.

    Furthermore, the judge has advised the prosecution that there better be more than conjecture if they want to bring in the coroner on that point.

    The only way “the” intruder could have either injected or stabbed Robert is if there was an intruder. Most of us doubt there was one.

    By the way guys and gals, I was at Azen Lounge last night. That is the monthly Asian dance at Cobalt. It was a special go-go boy event.

    I did not see Joseph there and I was looking. But That does not mean he was not there.

  16. Clio on 04/11/2010 at 11:01 AM

    Dr. Speigel, behave! In your research at Cobalt, I trust that you remained objective and clear-minded, unlike Mr. Price in his heyday.

    In my own cursory Internet research, I have been unable to find a current massage ad for Mr. Ward. Apparently, he has built up a big enough client base to forego any new assault upon our sensibilities.

    BTW, should we entitle Joe’s ramblings that morning — Pride and Prejudice, in honor of Jane Austen, who also had an eye for detail, if only much more realistic and truthful for her time?

    • Robert on 04/11/2010 at 6:01 PM

      CLIO
      I had no choice. Unfortunately, I am not as young, handsome and self-impressed as Mr. Joseph Price.

      Also, I don’t drink. And believe it or not I have never propositioned someBody for money.

      I believe I know the dancer in question.

      If it is the person of whom I am thinking, then he would be a reliable source as the editors claim.

      He knows that I think highly of him and not just in terms of his looks. He is a really nice person.

      As much as I might wish he would come home with me, I have never propositioned him.

      How about “PriCe and Prejudice.” Between Joe’s materialism over fraternalism attitude and his statements about Blacks and others, I do not think that an unfair characterization.

      If it were to be considered so, he can always sue me for libel to pay for his Grimm criminal defense or his backyard fence — both of which are in need of some serious repair.

      Though he may not need our help thanks to the Gay war “chest,” I am sure he has “built up” by “solicitations” at Ziegfield/Secrets.

      That is in addition to whatever “a-mount” Dylan has received in donations which he has gotten by taking a “stab” at the Crew Club.

      And then there’s Victor’s “I got Bilk” campaign.

  17. tiger on 04/11/2010 at 3:44 PM

    “I don’t have one tiny itty bitty doubt that neither Victor or Dylan did a sole thing to Robert…”

    Doesn’t this mean that he KNOWS that Victor or Dylan DID do something to Robert? I know he probably meant to say ‘either’ instead of ‘neither’ but Freudian slip, perhaps?
    Regardless, for a highly educated law firm partner, this guy has a horrible vocabulary, is terribly inarticulate, and sounds like a complete idiot.

    • Clio on 04/11/2010 at 5:38 PM

      Remember, though, that Culuket was under tremendous pressure: off-the-cuff lying can do terrible things to your syntax. Furthermore, under intense scrutiny, his discourse became much more Athens, Texas and much less Williamsburg, Virginia. The lipstick on this pig had been hosed off by the evening’s events, along with the evidence!

      • Clio on 04/11/2010 at 9:28 PM

        The following line from the ungrateful and unsympathetic Veda Pierce to her long-suffering mother in 1945’s iconic film Mildred Pierce could be addressed to Joe, after the publishing of these transcripts:

        “You think just because you made a little money you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can’t, because you’ll never be anything but a common frump whose father lived over a grocery store and whose mother took in washing.”

  18. She did it on 04/11/2010 at 6:54 PM

    cannot wait to review the interview transcript from dylan ward!!!

    keep up the great work — i laughed out loud at mercedes, mercedes, mercedes, sarah is very heavy, dylan is blue and on the following meds, my brother has physical and mental issues, etc. you cannot make up this stuff.

    • She did it on 04/11/2010 at 6:55 PM

      oops – i almost forgot: i am dylan’s type. :)

      • Clio on 04/24/2010 at 11:15 PM

        Dylan’s type is anyone who can pay for his services rendered. Weight, looks, and age apparently mean nothing to him: that’s delightfully egalitarian in a strange sort of way!

  19. Robert on 04/13/2010 at 1:51 AM

    HOYALOYA
    Why did Joe feels the need to make a gratutitous comment about how his protege and good friend, Robert, is “not partnership material.”

    Forget about jealousy. Who talks about any friend like that let alone a good friend? That is really just disgraceful. Who are Joe’s friends? What do they think about Joe’s talking about others like that?

    I know Joseph was a pallbearer at Robert’s funeral.
    Did Joseph travel to Illinois for Robert’s wedding?

    And dressing Robert in his William and Mary tee shirt after killing him? Was that the only shirt available? If not, what would be the intruder’s motive in picking out that shirt in particular?

    I would like to hear from all “Say it ain’t so” Joe’s friends about what they think of him now. Forget about guilt. What about he handled this whole thing even before charges were brought?

  20. Hoya Loya on 04/13/2010 at 9:55 AM

    It’s a real cheap shot isn’t it? Against a “dear friend” who has been killed only hours before.

    There is an element of self-promotion — “He didn’t make partner but I did and he came to me for help . . .” as well as diminishing Robert’s accomplishment.

    Just another sign that something was off in the old friendship.

  21. Robert on 04/14/2010 at 3:29 PM

    HOYA LOYA
    Something was “off” in the friendship alright. It was Joseph “getting off” at Robert’s expense.

    I think that Robert stopped coming to Joseph for help a long time ago. That’s probably just one more thing that “rubbed” Joe the wrong way.

    Wasn’t ir Joe who was trying to persuade Robert to give him some business? Disappointed, I guess Joseph decided to give Robert the “business.”

  22. TT on 04/16/2010 at 10:00 AM

    Sorry if this has been mentioned in an earlier post….Funny how Joe makes the statement we had no time to get our story together. Why mention that if you are not guilty?

    • CDinDC on 04/16/2010 at 11:27 AM

      A lot of Joe’s comments are strange. Especially, that one, TT.

    • AnnaZed on 04/16/2010 at 11:36 AM

      Well, I hope that part of the result of that blatant liar’s “tell” in Joe’s narrative was that the detectives recognized it for what it was (a stupid lie).

  23. BadShoes on 04/20/2010 at 2:59 PM

    There is an interesting turn of phrase in Mr. Price’ interrogation. On p. 48, the police are pressing Mr. Price. Sgt. Wagner says: “We’re not playing a game.”

    Mr. Price replies: “I mean you’re like, you know, trying to get one of us to reveal the, you know, facts, or the screw up or whatever, but we didn’t do it.”

    Screw up? What could he possibly mean, unless, in Joe’s mind, the murder of Robert Wone was some sort of screw up?

    • Bea on 04/20/2010 at 3:11 PM

      Yes. And on P. 20, in talking about how stupid the intruder story sounds, how idiotic it was for Joe to handle the knife, Joe says: “I wasn’t even thinking about that so I think you have to buy this stuff, because, you know, there was somebody in there.”

      You “have to buy” his account?

      I posted before but didn’t get an answer: does everyone think Joe/Victor used the 3rd floor shower despite the leak or did they use the 2nd floor shower in the interim. Many showers that night.

      • TT on 04/20/2010 at 3:49 PM

        Was there blood found in the 2nd floor shower trap? I think I remember reading that. Anyway, some here believe they murdered Robert in the shower/tub. If that is the case, they would have used the 2nd floor shower to get rid of evidence.

        • Bea on 04/20/2010 at 3:54 PM

          I agree. Just wondering, though, if the 3rd floor shower is what Victor and Joe used earlier (and possibly later) or if it was out of commission. Means more foot traffic on second floor if nothing else.

    • TT on 04/20/2010 at 3:54 PM

      Price is so guilty.

      • Bea on 04/20/2010 at 3:55 PM

        Agree – a rereading of each statement makes it clear he’s lying. At least with the other two, there’s an argument that they’re not (though I believe they are). But Joe’s is bad.

  24. BadShoes on 04/24/2010 at 9:19 PM

    Yet another of Mr. Price’s strange and, IMHO, unintentionally revealing remarks occurs when he is asked if Mr. Wone is homosexual.

    Mr. Price replies (p.8):

    “No. Not gay. Never has been. Didn’t think about it. You know, no drugs, no booze, nothing. Robert was like the, you know, best, you know, absolutely straight A, you know, no nonsense guy I ever met.”

    Mr. Price is comparing homosexuality to a vice, like drugs or booze. Mr. Wone has “never been gay,” implying that being gay might come and go. Mr. Price completes his thoroughly persuasive argument by noting that Mr. Wone was a “straight A” and “no nonsense” guy. Since everybody knows gay people are silly and get bad grades? Huh?

    When the police return to this subject later, Mr. Price offers an even less persuasive reply (pp. 24-25):

    Q: “Well, maybe he’s [Mr. Wone] thinking about doing a little experimentation. I don’t know.”…..”Why not?”

    A: “If that were true, I would tell you guys.”

    Q: “Why would you?

    A: Because, why, why not tell you? I mean, why not? I want you to find who did this. You know?

    Except, of course, if Mr. Wone had been murdered by a random intruder, his sexual preferences would have been completely irrelevant to finding “who did this.” Mr. Price sure sounds like he is lying.

    This is particularly weird because all the evidence suggests that Mr. Price was actually telling the truth. There is ample evidence that Mr. Wone was a happy heterosexual, and none to the contrary. Compare Mr. Price’s answer with that of Dylan Ward. Mr. Ward says that Mr. Wone is married. When pressed, he says: “there was no vibe.” That reply, while unverifiable, sounds like the truth.

    So what can we conclude? At minimum, it appears that the Mr. Wone’s sexuality was an acutely sensitive subject for Mr. Price, one which induced a cloud of obfuscation. While there is no evidence that Robert Wone had any doubts about his own sexual preferences, Joe Price perhaps had his doubts about Mr. Wone’s sexual preferences.

    • Clio on 04/24/2010 at 11:02 PM

      What an interesting difference in tone that that is! Good job, BadShoes.

      I attribute part of Joe’s defensiveness there to his “military family” background, while Dyl’s more privileged upbringing in Tacoma allowed for a more nonchalant attitude toward sexuality, especially under pressure. I love the military, and my husband is a veteran, but even he goes out of his way to defend an obviously straight man as straight. It must be the effects of the century of legalized discrimination in the services.

      In addition, throughout these transcripts, when confronted by authority, Joe overdoes the truth and, in other parts of the interview, the lies. He does so to cater to what he thinks the authority figure wants to hear.

      • David on 04/25/2010 at 9:04 AM

        BadShoes,

        Again, smart analysis.

        Clio,

        While your husband maybe a veteran, was he also a gay rights activist who founded a state organization and was developing a national GLBT legal presence as well?

        My point is Joe’s take about Robert’s sexuality is shocking, in the sense, that as a well-regarded gay activist himself, which the movement began by divorcing itself from the rhetoric that homosexuality is the same as alcoholism or drug addiction, Joe Price knows the movement’s talking points better than most and his statement didn’t just miss the mark, but rather violated them.

        David

        • Clio on 04/25/2010 at 9:53 AM

          No, David. Point well-taken. My husband is many things, but he is not an LGBT activist. On a side note, he hates to go to EV’s Commonwealth Dinner: I had to bribe him to get him to escort me there next week!

          Simply put, Joe was/is a chameleon, who knew that anti-gay rhetoric (probably from birth in his “military family”) and who knew to deploy it if it would preserve his own liberty. Recall the rumors at W&M that he started off as a “conservative” who, only by Robert’s arrival, had begun to come to terms with his sexuality. His mother wore combat boots, after all!

    • Robert on 04/25/2010 at 1:11 PM

      BADSHOES
      Much as yourself, I find Joseph Price’s likening homosexuality to a vice to be very telling.

      My mother has a saying about “one’s telling on oneself.” I think that for Joseph sex, drugs and booze go together like hand in glove and knife.

      And I find his pretend “buy in” to a police officer’s insinuation that Robert might have wanted to take a “walk on the wild side” either the product of wishful thinking, cold calculation or some combination of the two. Whatever the case may be, it is insulting to Robert’s memory.

      I also find it remarkable that Joe would declaim:
      “my [younger] GAY brother beat the shit out of me.” Is that to imply that Joe is a closet heterosexual? Do Ask, Pray Tell.

      So now if the intruder story ultimately fails, Price has the option of both the “straight panic defense” AND the “gay panic defense”!!

  25. BadShoes on 04/25/2010 at 11:11 AM

    Here is a parallel response by Mr. Price to another question. He is asked by a detective whether he is a violent person (p. 72):

    “A. No. No. Thank God. No. Are you kidding me? My gay brother beat the shit out of me, you know, for however many years. I mean, it was an ongoing family–my younger gay brother, mind you. No, I’m not violent.”

    I don’t know why Mr. Price answered these questions the way he did, but I suspect that Clio is right that the experience of answering questions from the police swept him right back into his childhood. (And perhaps the origins of his documented taste for masochism).

    Only certain questions elicit this sort of reaction. When Mr. Price went off on a baroque tangent, it probably means that the police hit on a point that is central to the crime. In some sense, Mr. Price has already taken a lie detector test. The questions he flunked may give us more insight into what actually happened.

    • Clio on 04/25/2010 at 3:43 PM

      Well, was Joe’s reference to Michael as childhood bully an attempt to shift suspicion onto his ne’er-do-well sibling?

      I am not violent, but my druggie troll of a GAY brother is, said the lavender Eddie Haskell. I could not have done it because I am such a doormat that even my GAY brother beat me up. Translation: I agree with you cops that gays are weak sisters, and for that reason we did not do it.

      Beyond Joe’s posturing, imagine Michael beating up Joe on Okinawa and in Massachusetts. Did that bullying have a sexual side, and did his parents do nothing to stop that bullying — hoping that it would toughen their two sissies up? Then, of course, it would be Joe becoming a bully as an adult with Michael relegated to bagman at best.

      • Bea on 04/25/2010 at 4:02 PM

        This makes me think Michael was NOT involved – if he had been, and if the trouple had made a PACT to protect Michael, Joe would NOT have brought him up, especially in such a negative context.

        Besides, I’m not sure I buy that Michael routinely beat up Joe since Joe is the older and larger brother. There are posts on some Okinawa military brat site from Michael in which it seems Michael has long adored Joe.

        • Clio on 04/25/2010 at 6:26 PM

          Abusers can adore their victims, especially if they are relatives.

          I find it quite “plausible” that Michael beat up Joe as a child because of the oral history, some of which surfaced here, of Joe being “a sissy.” So, even though Joe was older, taller, and smarter than Michael, he did not fight back, or he did not want to fight back.

          So, flash to 2006, Joe as “sissy” does not want to get his hands dirty — so, for that evening, he has bro to get drugs and Dyl to assault/execute Robert. His wife is an even bigger “sissy” upstairs: and, that comparison makes him feel like a man. He controls the purse and psychological strings by then, but he does not want to get caught. So, he spills some of the beans about Michael and Dyl, but only just enough to muck up the waters.

  26. BadShoes on 05/03/2010 at 1:46 PM

    Mr. Price spent much of his second interview elaborating on the answers he gave in his first interview. Some of the elaborations were not–umm–entirely accurate. The errors are, however, instructive.

    For example, on p. 24, Mr. Price says, elaborating on an earlier reply to a question about whether or not Mr. Wone’s body had originally been found downstairs:”

    “I found him on the bed. I said to that guy, you
    know, “I believe he was stabbed on the bed.” There was a lot
    of blood. It was on the mattress. The covers looked like someone had pulled them back, like, as if they were sitting
    up, you know, like somebody come in the room and you’re
    surprised or something. Yeah. So I don’t know where the (indiscernible) came from.”

    Except, according to the indictment, Mr. Wone was lying on top of the covers of the made-up bed, and the covers hadn’t been pulled back. Mr. Price was describing what he should have seen–not the actual situation. In the following paragraph, Mr. Price adds some odd language about the blanket that I didn’t understand.

    On page 25, describing his efforts to help Mr. Wone:

    “I did touch his neck and wrists, you know, looking for a pulse, and I got close to, you know, mouth-to-mouth, like, should I do that or whatever, but, you know, [indiscernable] Victor saying, “Just apply pressure, just apply pressure.” That was it.”

    So, Mr. Price didn’t attempt CPR because Victor told him not too? Oops. That did not happen. It isn’t clear, from the evidence, that Mr. Price ever applied pressure, or how he learned that he ought to apply pressure. I don’t recall Mr. Zaborsky telling Mr. Price any such thing on the 911 tape, so how did Mr. Price know? Unless Mr. Price was listening to the 911 call on the second floor phone…

    On p. 25, Mr. Price elaborates on his assertion that the 911 call took place about 11:43 pm.

    “And I know that they were giving us some grief about the time–about the call, or whatever, but, you know, I am sure that Victor asked about what time. I think–I mean, after the fact. He didn’t tell me at that second, but later, sitting downstairs, he said, you know, to me or one of the officers–he was asking about the time of what happened when, it was 11:43…”

    So, in this account, it was Mr. Zaborsky who asked about the time. Oops. Mr. Zaborsky said that it was Joe Price who asked Victor about the time, and Mr. Zaborsky relayed the query to the 911 operator. In my recollection,(no access to the tape just now) the 911 tape supports Mr. Zaborsky’s version, and I believe I heard Mr. Zaborsky relaying the actual time (11:54) back to Mr. Price.

    Mr. Price and Mr. Zaborsky did jointly settle on the erroneous time (11:43) subsequently. It is not obvious why Mr. Price should have been particularly interested in the actual time, especially in view that Mr. Wone’s Movado watch and Blackberrry were present in the guest room.

    I infer that Mr. Price was anxious to avoid any discussion of why gettting the time on record was important to him.

    • Bea on 05/03/2010 at 3:46 PM

      Hi BadShoes, very interesting post. I was struck how Joe really didn’t deny in the FIRST part of the transcript how he told officers (or they heard him say) that he’d pulled the knife from Robert’s body.

      But great point that Joe was listening in on the 911 call – would explain why Victor needed to go upstairs to make it. I do think Victor was the safest bet, beyond being a marketing guy, in that if his information/knowledge is limited, he can’t tell what he doesn’t know. OF COURSE he’s in on the conspiracy, at least after the murder and with enough need-to-know to make the call, but Joe on the 2nd floor extension was puppeteer.

  27. Just Curious on 05/11/2010 at 2:55 PM

    Not to sound rude because I think it’s awful what happened to Robert… but don’t you guys have jobs?? Seems to me like you’re just typing away on here all day long. Make yourselves a useful part of society… either that or join one of the legal teams because you obviously have so much to say.

    • Bea on 05/11/2010 at 3:01 PM

      Hey Just Curious – you’re reading our “typing” at 2:55 pm.

      If you don’t like what’s being posted, then remark about your own assessment of the facts.

      What is your assessment of the facts, Just Curious?

      • Just Curious on 05/11/2010 at 3:03 PM

        Actually I didn’t read much. I just saw that it was all the same people typing… and I did it during my lunch. My assessment is they definitely killed him.

        • Bea on 05/11/2010 at 3:12 PM

          What sticks out that leads you to that conclusion?

    • TT on 05/11/2010 at 6:22 PM

      Just Curious, why the judgement? I loved the editors (David) comments in Washingtonian magazine, “We are doing everything we can to show that what happened to Robert was not normal for gay people”. As a gay woman, I follow this site for this very reason. Are there other reasons, of course. I think these guys are slimy. I believe one or two of them participated in the crime. All three were certainly involved in the cover-up. Being a victim of a crime I find justice for the victim a joke. As I have stated, I hope and pray that Wone’s wife, family and friends get the justice they deserve. And, yes JC, I have a job, and follow the posts on the website and do my job. Woman are so good at multi-tasking.

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Purpose of this Site

On August 2nd, 2006, Washington attorney Robert E. Wone was murdered at 1509 Swann Street. Over two years passed before any criminal charges were filed - and then only conspiracy, obstruction of justice and crime scene tampering charges were brought against the Swann Street housemates, all present in the home on the night of the murder: Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky.

On May 17, 2010, a DC Superior Court trial got underway and all three defendants were all acquitted in that bench trial on those pending charges.

Nearly four years later, very little seems clear about what happened that night and who murdered Robert Wone. A cloud of suspicion remains over the Swann Street defendants who have denied any involvement in the murder of their friend or in the alleged cover up.

Judge Lynn Leibovitz found a moral certainty in their collective guilt, but not evidentiary certainty. Civil proceedings in a wrongful death suit filed by Robert's family is the next chapter in this tragic story.

We continue to work together seeking answers to the mystery of Robert Wone's murder and in finding justice for his memory and legacy.

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