Get The Red Out

Despite The Judge’s Ruling, The Blood Stays In

Left on the table for next week’s pre-trial hearings are Judge Lynn Leibovitz’ rulings on several matters: Doug Deedrick’s stab wound and fiber experiments, Robert Spaulding’s testing methodology, statements and in turn the motions to sever and suppress, and specific testimony of the EMT and certain MPD officers.

That’s a lot of ground to cover.  Argument on this unfinished business is expected to be completed by Tuesday so the three days of jury selection can begin Wednesday.

The defense racked up a number of wins on Monday.  Tossed out was any “inflammatory” testimony on specific sexual acts, any talk of physical or chemical restraints, and a couple minor elements – The New Yorker magazine found on defendant Dylan Ward’s floor and some titles from his bookshelf.

But it was one key ruling, a gift to the the defense, that stood out yesterday.

The alleged lack of blood found at the scene is considered to be a rather damaging point to the defense and Leibovitz ruled in their favor.  The government’s forensic expert, former MPD crime scene tech Mary Walsh won’t be allowed to testify that more blood should have been found at the crime scene.

A big win for Price, Ward, and Zaborsky?   Well, not so fast.

Mary Walsh was singled out by the government to testify on the amount of blood expected at the scene as her colleagues, David Sergeant and Joseph Anderson, were jettisoned perhaps in hopes of slimming down the jumbo list of expert witnesses.

Whether one expert or three, Leibovitz wasn’t having any of it.  She believed that this testimony was better suited for those techs and cops who were actually on the scene.

So where does that leave the government?  Maybe in a good spot.  AUSA Glenn Kirschner said he may call up to nearly two dozen DC EMTs and police officers.  Of those, it may be a safe bet that a majority of them have seen their share of bloody crime scenes and also had the opportunity to see 1509 Swann immediately after the murder.

These officials will testify without having to rely on any testing, methodology or sophisticated science.  They will speak directly to what they saw at the scene, and in the guestroom in particular, with their own two eyes.   Make that twenty sets of eyes, which could end up being powerful and visceral testimony and evidence.

And if the government follows through on Leibovitz’ suggestion that they prepare evidence binders for the jury, it’s entirely possible that crime scene photos will be included among the exhibits.  While the defense continues to fight on the inclusion of some of the first responder testimony on their ‘opinions,’ first-hand recollections of the scene and the apparent lack of blood found may be harder to rub out.

As to those binders: among the mountains of papers on the government’s desk on Monday, there was one binder that from a distance, appeared to be loaded with photographs.  Maybe this is what gets sent to the copy shop so jurors have them on their laps.

-posted by Craig





47 comments for “Get The Red Out

  1. NYer
    05/07/2010 at 12:26 PM

    Great post Craig- it reiterates what may be for me the strongest, most visceral evidence that was first outlined in the well-written Affidavit to Support Ward’s arrest: the EMT testimony. When I read the Affidavit, I found various statements by the EMT affected me deeply and stayed with me- like W-1 actually eyeing Price’s hands for a weapon on account of his strange behavior at the death scene.

    You make an interesting point about photographs- lawyers on this site might want to weigh in. Team Kirschner might be limited presenting a number of these; under federal rules, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is outweighed by its prejudicial effect. I believe particularly violent/gory pictures are sometimes excluded under this rule.

  2. Anonymous in DC
    05/07/2010 at 2:59 PM

    Nyer, in this case, I think it’s the LACK of gore in the pix that is striking. Not a criminal lawyer and evidence was years ago, look forward to others weighing in.

    • Nyer
      05/07/2010 at 3:54 PM

      Interesting take on this, Anon. Your point that the lack of gore here is well-taken; and that could perhaps be the basis for relevance in itself, i.e., that such a picture in this case IS more probative than prejudicial. While I’m inclined to think it would be difficult to get into evidence for the jury a picture of Robert’s body following the stabbing, I’m no expert, and certainly would like to hear the crim lawyers’ thoughts…

  3. Bill Orange
    05/07/2010 at 6:01 PM

    I really don’t see this as much of a win for the defense. Robert Wone was stabbed through the heart, and more than a dozen people are going to testify that there was very little blood at the crime scene. The jury doesn’t need to be beaten over the head with this–they’re going to wonder where the blood went. It’s going to fall to the defense to convince the jury that almost all of the bleeding was internal. I think they might be able to do this, but it’s going to be one of several hurdles they have to get over.

    • CC Biggs
      05/07/2010 at 8:02 PM

      And if the defendant interviews are allowed in, the jury will certainly want to know what happened to all the blood that PRICE HIMSELF TOLD DETECTIVES HE SAW!! That was a crucial error by Price in his statement.

    • MotherOfInvention
      05/07/2010 at 8:07 PM

      Any thoughts about why they felt compelled to clean it up? Why not just let the “intruder” have made a bloody mess?

      • Bill Orange
        05/07/2010 at 8:46 PM

        Well, you’re assuming that they’re guilty, and I’m not quite ready to make that leap. But assuming that they did clean up the blood, the most likely explanations are that either (a) Wone was killed somewhere else, and the body was cleaned and moved into the guest bedroom to make it look like he was killed by an intruder while he slept, or (b) at least one of the three was uninvolved in the killing, and cleaning up the body was a failed attempt to prevent the discovery of the murder.

      • AnnaZed
        05/07/2010 at 11:54 PM

        I think it’s possible that Joe was cleaning up Robert and the room in anticipation of moving Robert’s body, maybe to the crack house property but was interrupted by Victor and had to change plans. Just a thought.

        • Mano Nimat
          05/08/2010 at 1:17 AM

          What evidence makes you think this?

          • BadShoes
            05/08/2010 at 9:10 AM

            I tend to think that AnnaZed’s hypothesis has merit. There is no real evidence, but the existence of an abortive “Plan A” to move the body solve some logical puzzles.

            The police found evidence tending to indicate extensive bloodstains in the guest bedroom. Then they screwed up the conclusive test, so we will never be quite sure. However, if Mr. Wone was stabbed in the guest bedroom, and his body was meant to be discovered in the guest bedroom, why go to so much trouble to clean up the bedroom, only to put him back?

            Why strip the bed, make up the bed, turn down the sheet, and then put Mr. Wone’s body on top?

            If the defendants went through the motions of rendering first aid, they could offer an innocent explanation for most hair, fiber, and DNA evidence.

            Why switch knives?

            There seem (to me) to be three possible explanations for this behavior.

            a) Plan A was that Mr. Wone never made it to Swann Street (or staggered to the back door). The point of cleaning up the room and the body was to eliminate forensic evidence that Mr. Wone had ever had any contact with Swann Street. Then, for some reason, Plan A was abandoned, and the defendants just had to tough out the various oddities.

            b) alternatively, the crime scene was replete with evidence of whatever it was that led up to Mr. Wone’s stabbing, and it had to be cleaned up to eliminate that evidence.

            c) The defendants cleaned compulsively, rather for than any particular purpose.

            There is no real evidence to show which explanation is correct (or others I may not have thought of), but I think the Plan A hypothesis is the most plausible.

            • AnnaZed
              05/08/2010 at 2:21 PM

              In some moods of rumination on the fate of Robert Wone I have thought that Joe meant to kill him from the very first email. What is up with a needle puncture directly to the heart? What kind of accident could that be? This is not a conclusion, but a line of speculation that relies on certain specifics of what is known.

              Last April when the crack house post was put up and I absorbed the information that the police had a warrant for that property, obviously my first thought was; why? Another more intuitive or superstitious or imaginative part of my mind thought immediately; so this is the place that was intended to be Robert’s final resting place (with an attendant hairs of the neck prickling of horrified disgust).

              I think sometimes that we go too far (or not far enough) on this blog. Too far I mean in our civilized efforts to give every benefit of the doubt to to these defendants. We return again and again to locutions of civilizing assumption. Why would they? How could they? What educated high-functioning person would contemplate such a thing? It must have been an accident. The list goes on and on. Yet what happened to Robert was an extreme, outside of the normal and certainly profoundly antisocial thing. I am not a person who sees serial killers in the trees, but in this instance I am confident that I do see a killer or killers in that house and there is a duty to Robert to determine what exactly happened to him if that can be done.

              So, take the theory that Joe planned to murder Robert from the first emergence of a convenient circumstance. Say that he was jealous, angry, rebuffed, insane and was prepared for this event with hypodermics, drugs, an S&M play mat and an escape plan (the short time line would certainly speak to this). Why not? Victor returns early and Joe is too obsessed to back down and believes against all odds that he can just do this wicked thing and like so many other nights when Victor stayed upstairs and made a conscious decision to “not know” what went on downstairs Victor would simply stay put as usual. Maybe Michael is involved and at the ready to remove the incriminating evidence and to remove Robert’s body as well. Maybe the curiously entwined drug abusing brothers have even done this before. Why not?

              The farcical amount of water at the scene (the broken shower overflowing, the water on the grill), the absence of the murder weapon and any bloody linens that would logically have been there, the wiped down walls and floors (The bungling of this evidence with the Ashley’s Reagent by the authorities is the biggest gaping hole in the prosecution’s case and may just be a hole big enough for Joe and company to drive straight through to freedom, damn their eyes.), Robert’s cold and clean person ~ all speak to another plan to me, a plan like BadShoes’ plan (a), a plan to remove Robert all together and claim that he had never arrived.

              You know, they also did an astoundingly good job of it up to a point. The police did not find much in the way of blood anywhere in that house. What if Robert had been spirited away and the wives both backed Joe in saying that he never arrived. Could a murder case have been built on the a cadaver dog smelling blood in a dryer? I think not.

              We already know that Joe can rely on his wives to back him in whatever he asserts. Victor’s ties of affection along with his co-parenting of the two children guarantees this in his case I think. I am curious about Dylan, who seems much more innocent to me after reading his statements. Maybe Dylan is tiring of this, but maybe he knew too much of this plan from its inception and aided and abetted after the fact to too much of a degree to feel that it would be safe for him to tell all and hope to elude incarceration. So they all stay the course depending on the elves story to pull them through, and it just might.

              • NM
                05/08/2010 at 6:37 PM

                In keeping with the crack house theory, perhaps they collected the blood as it drained, with the intention of bringing it along with the body to aid in the staging of the crime scene.


                • Clio
                  05/09/2010 at 8:39 AM

                  Assuming that Michael as the intruder/bagman took away the stuff from Swann that evening, this low-grade criminal syndicate’s NE “base” may have been a temporary way station for his parting “gifts.” Since the warrant to search that garage was executed in late September 2006, then
                  items comprising the most incriminating evidence — the knife and bloody sheets — were probably moved again to a random dumpster or, as John Grisham has mentioned in discussing their possible Plan A, to a Civil War battlefield in Virginia.

                  I do still wonder if the garage on Lee Street with its “butch” backdrops of tires, etc. provided any of the staging for Joe and Dyl’s glamour shots. If so, they would need bug spray and tetanus shots, at a minimum.

      • Bea
        05/08/2010 at 12:36 PM

        It would have made far more sense to have left the bloody mess if an intruder killed Robert. Because “intruders” don’t clean up after themselves, one does wonder why the defendants cleaned the crime scene. I think there was a plan to move the body but Victor screamed and they knew the neighbors heard it, so they changed plans. No way to ‘unclean’ the place but they did wipe blood on the knife because of the ‘whoops’ of using Dylan’s special knife.

        The other reason to clean was simply lesser of evils – if THEIR DNA was all over the place, mixed in with Robert’s, then better a very strange story of the Mr. Clean Intruder than having the cops find the defendants DNA all over the place.

        I don’t think they intended to kill Robert in a premeditated sense (prior to whatever-went-wrong did go wrong) so like most crimes they really didn’t think ahead. That, and they were high. Stoned people aren’t known for their excellent judgment. But Joe knew that having their sperm on the guest bed meant they needed to get rid of those sheets, but then they were stepping in blood and dragging it places – had to clean everything. I suspect they washed Robert (may have taken him to the shower to stab him) because of the DNA problem as well.

        When they remade the bed (Joe had said there was blood under the sheets) they did so quickly as they ordinarily do (very very nicely) and placed dead Robert on top, as the EMTs said (looked like he hadn’t moved at all).

        One opinion.

        • Alo Lejos
          05/08/2010 at 1:47 PM

          “…one does wonder why the defendants cleaned the crime scene.”

          Not only why, but when and how.

          Reading through some of the wilder, wildly-detailed theories kicked about here, I keep coming back to the idea that as a juror I would have to see evidence of what DID happen, not simply be told about ‘what-must- have-happened’ because of ‘what-should-be-here-but isn’t’.

          How do two (or three) drug-addled defendants lure a man over, subdue him, murder him, remove all evidence of what ‘should have been’ an extremely bloody crime scene, and co-ordinate their stories in….90 minutes max?

          If they were drug-addled why wasn’t this noted by officers and EMTs on the scene? Why weren’t they tested for drugs? Shouldn’t being under the influence of drugs make them more prone to mistake in cleaning up an extremely bloody crime scene and destroying almost all of the incriminating evidence, save for the body?

          Where is the blood trace evidence? Certainly for what people speculate would’ve been a massive bleed-out, there should be plenty of blood trace evidence.

          Occasionally someone posits that the murder occurred earlier in the evening. Wouldn’t that make the timeline of the defendants’ account all the more vulnerable to inconsistency? Has the taxi driver who delivered Wone to Swann St. around 10:30PM ever been located? Wouldn’t that kind of limit the time frame? (Or alternatively, if a taxi driver delivered him much earlier, wouldn’t that critically discredit their account?) Wouldn’t Wone’s departure from his office be verifiable either from co-workers or security cameras?

          I think most people want to see a conviction. But for myself, I would want there to be a conviction DESPITE shoddy police work, not BECAUSE of it.

          And somewhat similarly, I would want to see a conviction WITHOUT REGARD for the defendants’ lifestyles, not BECAUSE of it. Reading through some of the more familiar posters’ perspectives, I have an uncomfortable sense that they want to see a conviction, with or without evidence, and if necessary, by wildly and salaciously indicting the defendants’ alternative living arrangement. That, to me, is ultimately more dangerous than a meth-fueled, knife-wielding, leather-wearing, harem-hoarding narcicist barrister.

          Unrelated: Has the REM behavior disorder angle been considered/investigated for defendant Ward? Recently saw a news story on people who become violent in their sleep, one man having attacked and battered his wife, by her account all while he was asleep. The report showed sleep lab video of people becoming violent in their sleep, getting out of bed, and swinging violently. Just a thought.

          • Bea
            05/08/2010 at 2:40 PM

            Hi Alo,
            I for one am willing to entertain the notion that the defendants (one or all) are not guilty of conspiracy/tampering/obstruction. But having spent over a year reading the filings, studying the crime scene information, and reading here, I am convinced that something happened that night which ended in Robert Wone’s death and that the three defendants either knew WHO did it or one/all are guilty of the murder themselves.

            You’re right that the timeline seems odd. It is a travesty that the MPD wrecked the blood evidence using Ashley’s Reagent, and thus we’ll never know, but the MPD was confident that there was blood trace evidence on walls, floor, door of that bedroom.

            The fact that there was NO blood but for the tiny spots IS evidence.

            That the defendants faked a murder weapon speaks volumes.

            That they concocted a story – marked by all using the wrong time (11:43) and use of the word “intruded” – is evidence.

            That Victor and Joe, upon hearing the screams, did not check to see if Dylan had been stabbed is extremely odd.

            That they all remember a spider on the light alluding to having left the back door unlocked, and, in the ruckus after the EMTs arrive, Dylan sees across the room that the door is unlocked, is at best very odd – as is Joe being certain that the “intruder” came over a 9 foot gate on the off chance the door was unlocked – AND that he’s likewise certain that he went over the fence on his way out. How would he know that the DOOR in the gate hadn’t been used and would have been unlocked or open? He was on the sofa.

            I suspect at 10:30 the party between Dylan and Joe was in full swing and that Robert was dead by 11. Joe (my guess) typed the emails on the Blackberry and decided to wait to send (one good reason not to send THEN was Kathy Wone may still have been awake) – setting up a false timeline perhaps, though he didn’t return to it.

            I don’t know why they stabbed him to death, but my guess is that they thought he’d died from the ketamine or whatever they injected him with – this will NOT be evidence in THIS trial (nor should it be). But they were unwilling to have him claim assault/rape, which they knew he would do, so they killed him.

            I think Victor was upstairs and was unaware – until he came down and screamed. But he’s guilty of THESE CHARGES.

            To me, this is the most logical scenario I can come up with. If I’m wrong, I’ll be pleased – I hate that these gay poster boys will give OUR gay community a black eye. But I’m not an apologist for them BECAUSE they’re gay. A murderer is a murderer, and if none has the balls to come forward with the whole truth about that night, then they have to pay the price.

            There are so many reasons for how I reached my opinion – that Joe claimed all was well until 11:30ish when he heard the chime and five minutes later he heard the grunts – that the “intruder” could come in and stab Robert and CHANGE THE KNIFE and not awaken any of them (or be heard/seen clomping down the stairs) makes no sense.

            That Joe tried to find out WHAT the cops asked Kathy Wone before Robert was even buried is very strange. That he much later emailed an old friend and said they were in a Catch-22 in that if they told all they knew, one or more of them could be arrested.

            On and on. I really would like to hear what you think might have happened that gels with the known facts.

            Best to you.

            • Clio
              05/08/2010 at 3:03 PM

              Indicting the Price patriarchy for its excesses and limits is NOT more dangerous than a murderer or two on the loose. Critical analysis, unlike a certain missing knife owned by a defendant, never killed anyone, Spag!

              • Bea
                05/08/2010 at 6:12 PM

                Agreed, Clio.

            • BadShoes
              05/09/2010 at 11:40 AM

              According to Paul Duggan’s Washington Post article, Mr. telephoned the Swann St household on departing from Radio Free Asia at 10:22 pm. (I presume Mr. Duggan’s source is the police, who, in turn, relied on phone records and accounts of RFA employees).

              All three residents made statements that allow for some chitchat, an entomology field trip, and showing Mr. Wone his room and bath, all complete before 11 pm. I am inclined to accept the residents’ word on Mr. Wone’s approximate arrival time.

              So, “about 10:30pm” is pretty firm, as facts go in this case.

          • BadShoes
            05/09/2010 at 4:07 PM

            The REM behavior disorder hypothesis has the same problems as the Lunesta hypothesis. In both cases, the hypothesis seeks to explain the absence of apparent motive by positing a stabbing without intent.

            However, the available evidence suggests a sequence of incapacitation, assault, stabbing, and cover-up. A stabbing without intent doesn’t explain the needle marks, the evidence of suffocation and assault, the precision of the wounds, the absence of any defensive injuries, nor the cold corpse problem.

            Under this scenario, Mr. Wone’s assailant would have to get out of bed, open his own door, walk (or descend stairs) to Mr. Wone’s room, open Mr. Wone’s door, move to Mr. Wone’s bedside and then stab him without ever rousing Mr. Wone sufficiently to even squirm.

            However, Mr. Wone had been dead “for some time” by midnight. Once could still posit that the motiveless perpetrator (with or without help) cleaned up the crime scene, but then Mr. Wone (and the perp) would have had only a few minutes to fall asleep.

            Finally, even if Mr. Wone were killed without intent, cleaning up the crime scene and/or lying to investigators would still be a crime.

        • Izzydc
          05/08/2010 at 7:13 PM

          Bea: Your scenario is basically what I believe happened. I think that Dylan and Joe were involved in the murder while Victor was upstairs. I don’t think the original plan was to clean up and then call for the ambulance, but instead to dispose of the body and then say that Robert was fine when he left the house in the morning. Since he probably came by cab, I don’t think they could say he never arrived.

          When Victor came down and discovered what had happened and screamed loud enough for the neighbors to hear, that disrupted Plan 1 and they decided they had to call 911. Perhaps by then the original knife had already been disposed of which is why they used the other kitchen knife, instead of just placing Dylan’s set in the kitchen.

          I wonder if one way that Victor has been “kept in line”, is that Joe has told Victor that he is responsible for their current situation because they could not carry out their original plan.

          • Bea
            05/08/2010 at 8:07 PM

            Izzy, I think you may be right about Joe’s insistence that Victor is to blame for messing up the plan. That’s the tip of the iceberg though in a sense – Joe appears to be able to manipulate Victor in everything, including getting him to agree to a live-in mistress! No spine at all, yet I’m sure he thinks of it as unconditional love and devotion. If the tables were turned, Victor would be in prison (for life) by now!

            • Izzydc
              05/08/2010 at 8:21 PM

              Totally agree!

          • John Grisham
            05/08/2010 at 8:23 PM

            Izzy, I think you may be wrong that Victor is to blame for messing up the plan. Victor evidently had some spine in experimenting with an unconventional arrangement. No evidence have been presented to date to suggest that Victor was “spineless” in his relationships. Thats just the stuff some folks like to read into unconventional relationships to rationalize them.

  4. Clio
    05/07/2010 at 8:44 PM

    As an historian, I can appreciate Lynn’s penchant for primary sources, but those sources need to be compared with (and supplemented by) secondary data from experts in order to make a relevant story. Even a W&M undergrad knows that!

  5. MotherOfInvention
    05/08/2010 at 5:12 AM

    Where can I read about the crackhouse property.

  6. Clio
    05/08/2010 at 7:14 AM

    Mother, see the Editors’ post of April 3, 2009: North by Northeast. Apparently, Phelps Collins, a friend-in-crime with the younger Price, “stayed” nearby?

    • MotherOfInvention
      05/08/2010 at 12:13 PM

      Thanks Clio!

  7. NM
    05/08/2010 at 6:54 PM

    I seem to remember something about a lack of photo/ video equipment on the list of items taken by police from the house. Maybe I dreamed this is up, but did the police recover any a/v gadgetry? A camera? webcam?

    Separate point – the lack of panic among the trouple, that they stayed on-message throughout the interrogations, that the crime unfolded very quickly — this speaks to one thing only: they had been through this before. It was not a novel or shocking experience.

    • John Grisham
      05/08/2010 at 6:58 PM

      You are correct. Evidently the household members did not own any cameras or video equipment.

      • Bea
        05/08/2010 at 7:03 PM

        I think there was one disposable camera. With a flat screen in the kitchen and a large one on the second floor, not to mention the master bedroom – and the fact that brother Michael STOLE $7,000 worth of electronics equipment, it sure seems like these boys liked their electronic toys. Odd, really, not to have any cameras!

        • AnnaZed
          05/08/2010 at 7:14 PM

          We have touched before on this lack of camera equipment at the scene immediately following the murder when the police inventoried the place. I wonder if the MPD inventory turned up things like warranty cards and instruction manuals for cameras that weren’t there? In any case, if there is photographic evidence of one or more of the trouple doing harm to Robert and (say) Michael has it; it would go a long way towards explaining the other non-sibling men and their otherwise inexplicable loyalty.

    • Eagle
      05/08/2010 at 9:17 PM

      What ever was going on, this /or something like this had happened before.
      Too cool not to have been rehearsed or to be a replay.
      I see some elements of a possible ritual in this also: the three almost identical stab marks and the
      9 needle marks.
      what proof do we have that Robert arrived by cab and at 10:30?

      • BadShoes
        05/09/2010 at 11:54 AM

        As noted above, Mr. Wone phoned Mr. Price at 10:22 pm, on departing Radio Free Asia.

        All three residents’ accounts have Mr. Wone arriving well before 11pm, and I am inclined to believe them.

        I don’t recall seeing any indication that the police found Mr. Wone’s taxi driver. (Note that if the taxi driver’s testimony didn’t advance the prosecution’s theory, he wouldn’t appear in the pre-trial documents even if the police did find him).

        We know that Mr. Wone left his personal vehicle at home. google maps estimates that it is a 22-minute walk and 6-minute drive from 2025 M to 1509 Swann. (six minutes in downtown dc? That algorithm thinks its in Kansas).

        So, no direct evidence that Mr. Wone took a taxi, but it makes sense to me.

        • BadShoes
          05/10/2010 at 11:00 AM

          Also, FWIW, Mr. Price says (Part I, p. 8):

          “He called me before he left the building, said, hey, I’m catching a cab right now, took the cab…”

          Mr. Price estimated Mr. Wone’s arrival at just after 10:30pm, based on the progress of the TV show that Messrs. Price & Zaborsky were watching.

  8. John Grisham
    05/08/2010 at 7:38 PM

    Facebook postings, photo albums, altcom picture profiles, massage adverts, etc. sugguest there were quality cameras at one time in the household.

    Can the prosecution access credit card records over the past few years? Especially for purchases at Best Buy, Circut City and the local Conn. Ave. camera shop?

    • Craig
      05/08/2010 at 7:53 PM

      And those alleged racy pics from Price’s computer, which won’t be entered as evidence, had to be taken on someone’s digi-cam.

      • John Grisham
        05/08/2010 at 8:11 PM

        Unless they were web cam shots.

      • Clio
        05/08/2010 at 8:20 PM

        Or, the pictures could have been taken by someone’s phone. Were such phones available in August 2006?

        If those work computer pictures cannot be entered as evidence, can they be released to the general public with pasties photoshopped over the naughty bits?

        • Bea
          05/08/2010 at 9:02 PM

          My guess is that the defendants had plenty of digital cameras and video cameras – and that they disappeared that night. More evidence if you ask me – $7000 of electronics and not a single camera or vid cam?

          Clio, love the notion of the pasties, tho I personally would not wish to see Joe and Dylan naked, let alone doing the nasty.

          • MotherOfInvention
            05/08/2010 at 10:45 PM

            In culuket’s profile, he lists taking erotic photographs as one of his interests.

            • Bea
              05/09/2010 at 12:32 AM

              Excellent point! Doubt a guy like Joe used a disposable camera for his hobby!

          • Hoya Loya
            05/08/2010 at 10:50 PM

            John, Bea, AnnaZed, Clio, Eagle and, of course, Craig:

            The million dollar question — if this had happened before, if it was part of a repeated ritual or at least a photo session, how did “dear friend” Robert come to be at its center?

            An AF insider recently discounted the professional jealousy motive I floated. Was it just plain jealousy on the part of Vic or Dyl? A test of Joe’s loyalty? Or was there newfound animosity towards Robert on the part of at least one of the three, possibly Joe? As I’ve wondered before, even if this was part of a sick fantasy, how in the world does the knife come into play if the fantasy object is a “dear friend” seemingly beloved by the world?

            If someone was sick enough to take photos of any part of this event, wouldn’t they also be sick enough to keep at least a token keepsake somewhere to be worth the risk taken?

            • Eagle
              05/09/2010 at 12:37 PM

              Hoya Loya: You have posed a million dollar question.
              I am hoping that some of the witnesses will give us some direction.
              I do not rule out that Joe had developed some animosity toward Robert. But enough to assault/ kill him? Maybe enough contempt of Robert to
              belittle him in some way and it went wrong.
              Looks like something sick was going on here,
              Sick people often keep a token keepsake. A picture. A piece of the victim’s clothing. Or, in this case, a knife.
              Yes, I think the absence of photographic equipment could be very significant.
              Was Robert unable to sense anything wrong?
              He did arrive late in the evening and they all went to bed rather quickly.
              The recessional at Robert’s funeral was “It’s a wonderful world”. That was Robert’s way. However, how could a born and bred New Yorker who took the subway to high school not sense/ be alert the early signs of danger?
              Very smooth operation. That is why I think it or something like it had happened previously.
              There is definitely a predatory tone to this whole event.
              At this point, I’m still guessing, but basically stumped.

            • AnnaZed
              05/09/2010 at 5:16 PM

              I don’t know Hoya, but my speculation does not run to the ritual or exotic. Question; do we even ask why when a beautiful woman is sexually attacked and murdered?

              She may be a lovely intelligent person (loved by all) yet it is part of the social contract that she is also an object and that a deviant portion of the population has motivations to attack her. Why is this not the case with an attractive man?

              One reason is that male on male sexual violence is in fact not as common a crime as male on female sexual violence, not by a long shot. It just isn’t. Statistically male homosexuals are far far less likely to be perpetrators of any type of violence (sexual violence included) but it is not unknown. I will even go on to say that I think practitioners of S&M sex practices are no more (maybe even less) likely than people who prefer more vanilla sexual experiences to commit sexual crimes. I realize that I am repeating boring old feminist cant, but it bears repeating; this type of crime happens to women and girls all of the time.

              I think that, for reasons maybe best left to professionals to discover, Joe (or someone else in that house) had objectified Robert ~ depersonalized him ~ and desired to murder him for some sort of deviant enjoyment. Though I somewhat perversely (ha!) don’t think that a predilection for so-called deviant sex would predispose anyone to this type of violence I do think that in some people drug abuse can lead to extreme antisocial behaviors and criminal ideation and violent action.

              My mind returns again and again to the injection wound that Robert sustained to his heart. That to me is no accident. I can’t conceive of how it could be.

              On another note, I wonder if the defense’s proposition that there are circumstances where a knife wound to the heart would not produce as much blood as one might expect, the blood might not pulse out for example. Would one of those circumstances be that of a knife wound sustained after receiving a paralyzing drug injection to the heart? Does this assertion (like the “there was blood under him on the sheet” statement) tell another but but inadvertently story?

              • AnnaZed
                05/09/2010 at 5:31 PM

                make that last bit read:

                …tell another but inadvertently TRUE story?

              • NM
                05/10/2010 at 6:58 PM

                Thanks, Anna, for making that point. As a woman I have found the doubts expressed here about motive to be fascinating – its not something I’ve ever encountered before, because the only sort of crime I’ve ever looked into before was violence against women. Its a cultural conceit that women are prey; and labeling a woman “co-ed,” “college student,” “cheerleader,” “young mother,” “stripper,” etc is cultural shorthand for motive (a predator chose her because she’s sexually desirable, and being sexually desirable is practically asking for it). When crimes like this are committed against women, not only is motive beside the point, but trying to prevent such crimes by identifying and correcting predatory behavior (and factors that influence predatory behavior) is seen as useless. These crimes “just happen,” will always happen, and the only thing women can do about it, we are told, is lock our doors and dress conservatively.

                Nothing could be more ordinary that Price traveling the typical path of violent criminals from ‘practice’ brutality to full fledged horror, aided by plenty of coaching / instruction, positive reinforcement, and the human talent for dehumanizing others.

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