The Autopsy

Dr. Goslinoski’s Report – And an Opposing View

Dr. Goslinoski's autopsy report

It all really started here nearly four years ago, with a murder. Then an autopsy was performed to help solve that murder.

And here we are now, 72 hours from the start of the trial that may answer some of the enduring questions about the murder which took the life of an amazing and promising man.

As we draw closer, there seem fewer and fewer words to say, but there remains one last piece of unfinished business.

Consistent with our original goals, offering this document may be an appropriate and sober way to begin the next phase.

And consistent with our C-SPAN pedigree, we present it with an expert’s contrarian opinion.

Excerpts from the autopsy, the complete document, and the expert’s view…after the jump.

AUSA Glenn Kirschner has already said in several pre-trial hearings that Deputy DC Medical Examiner, Dr. Goslinoski’s testimony will be “…powerful…” and that the autopsy’s findings of the method of Robert’s murder (unusual precision), the absence of evidence (no defensive wounds, no blood on his hands) and the confounding time line will provide a forceful indictment against the defendants.

The defense has already signaled a possible line to refute this “powerful” presentation: Goslinoski is not a board certified Medical Examiner and thus not qualified by DC Court rules to testify as an expert.  Additionally, she holds a DO, not an MD degree.  While we take no position on the qualifications of these different medical practices, it’s not beyond belief to think others may disagree.

The autopsy was conducted August 3rd, 2006 in the presence of the MPD’s Det. Gail Russell-Brown from the Violent Crimes Branch and Officers Chuck Egan and Brenda Floyd of the Mobile Crime Lab Unit.

“The body is that of a well-developed, well-nourished adult Asian male that measures 5′ 31/2″ in height, weighs 152 pounds, and appears compatible with the state age of 32 years,” it begins with clinical precision.  Rigor is present and difficult to release and livor is present in the posterior and not fixed – suggesting Robert was lying on his back for a limited period of time.  Sexual assault kit #000418 was used to obtain possible evidence.  In other matters, except the three stab wounds, Robert externally appeared to be in good health with no abnormalities.

There was ample evidence of efforts to resuscitate Robert:

“An endotrachial tube is in place.  Vascular access is established with a left subclavian central line and a right femoral central line, (both with large bore catheters).  Additional needle puncture marks are noted at the left side of the neck, at the left antecubital fossa, on the back of the left hand and on the front of the right ankle.  Needle puncture marks are also present at the central lower chest region consistent with pericardial centesis or a direct injection into the heart.”

This, with the chest tubes found, are consistent with early efforts to resuscitate Robert…the prosecution will argue on scene; the defense may argue otherwise.

“Three stab wounds described below are numbered solely for the purpose of organization of this report, and not to imply any knowledge of the actual order in which these wounds were inflicted.  Paths of stab wounds are defined by consecutive slit-like perforations of adjacent tissues associated with acute hemorrhage.”

Two wounds are in the medial (vertical midline) plane; one is to the right.  All three are “…oriented at the 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock axis…” according to the report.  In each wound the 4 o’clock (or medial) end is “…squared off, or blunt…” while the 10 o’clock (or lateral) end is “…pointed or sharp,” and the direction for all three wounds is noted to be “…front to back, right to left and slightly downward.”

Wound 1 perforates the front of the pericarial sac and penetrates the aortic root – with noted blood accumulation in the pericaridal sac with additional damage to the mediastinum.  Wound 2 pierces the 4th intercostal space and penetrates the middle and lower lobes of the right lung.  Wound 3 perforates the small intestine (“…at the 1st part of the  duodenum”), the pancreas and a single perforation of the inferior vena cava.

“Examination of the gastrointestinal tract revealed an accumulation of liquid and congealed blood in the lumen of the small intestine.  Hemorrhagic intestinal contents is contiguous from the site of the perforations in the 1st part of the duodenum, throughout the rest of the duodenum, and then approximately 24-25” into the jejunum. “

The internal examination yields few surprises.  Serosanguinous – blood or blood-related – fluids are found in various tissues and the external chest tubes, totaling approx. 1250 ml.  Of that, approx. 200 ml of blood was found in the pericardial sac, which had no other defects.  Other than the aforementioned perforations to the lung and G.I. tract, Robert Wone appeared to be in normal or good health in his gastrointestinal, genitourinary, heolymphatic, musculoskeletal, endocrine and CNS systems.

“Samples of blood from the heart and femoral veins, vitreous fluid, bile, urine, and gastric contests were collected at autopsy and submitted for toxicologic analyses.”

If only those samples had not been disposed.

The report was submitted August 18, 2006.

We reached out to a forensics professional who offered their opinion on Dr. Goslinoski’s report.  This person, who wishes to remain anonymous, has advanced degrees and experience in crime scene reconstruction, toxicology, and other forensic sciences, has worked with major U.S. city police departments, and is a court-qualified expert.  They are the opinions of this writer alone.

“The autopsy reveals that the heart, coronary artery and the inferior vena cava were perforated by stab wounds.  The coronary artery and vena cava are major blood vessels.

“Perforation of either one can (and almost always does) lead to death in minutes – four to seven minutes tops, not 30 minutes.  In other words, Wone was not alive for a “significant” period of time after his wounds were inflicted.  Death would not be immediate, but it would probably take less than five minutes.

“What is described as the third stab wound perforates the small intestine, the pancreas, and the inferior vena cava.  The inferior vena cava is a huge vein, and it would have bled like crazy.  The same stab wound opened up the small intestine right next to it.  Therefore, it’s not shocking that you get blood pumping into the small intestine.  It’s a narrow tube, so filling two feet of it is not hard to do.

“And someone somewhere came up with the idea that having blood in the small intestine means that Wone was alive long enough to be “digesting his own blood.”  That’s simply not true.  “Digestion” implies that blood had somehow entered Wone’s G.I. system at some point earlier in the digestive process (mouth, throat, stomach).

“There were no injuries to those areas of the G.I. system and no indications that Wone had been forced to ingest his own blood – he was apparently completely incapacitated and still had his mouth guard in – so “digesting his own blood” is a pretty silly statement.”

posted by The Editors

189 comments for “The Autopsy

  1. CDinDC
    05/14/2010 at 9:45 AM

    Does your forensic professional know the difference between “Digestion” and “Peristalsis”?

    “Digestion” has nothing to do with the movement of material through the GI tract. Digestion is the enzymatic breakdown of solids. Peristalsis is the muscle action that actually pushes the material through your GI tract.

    If anyone what to learn the different, go to the 07/29/2009 posting entitled “Welcome Criminal Justice Legal Foundation” for very detailed information about this.

    WH, a sometime contributor, who is a medical doctor, explained the process to me indepth on that posting.

  2. CDinDC
    05/14/2010 at 9:49 AM

    Here’s a segment of WH’s, our favorite MD on the site, explanation of the digestive/peristalsis process:

    “it’s certainly possible for peristalsis to move liquids through the small intestines very rapidly when someone is alive. The term “digestion” properly refers to the enzymatic breakdown of the blood, not the movement of the blood through he duodenum. This process will continue after death until the available digestive enzymes are all “used up” or until the body is cold, which dramatically slows the process. This could in theory go on for an hour or more after death.

    Peristalsis (the muscle contractions of the intestines which move material through the GI tract) would stop at death or within a few minutes of it; but liquids could easily be moved two feet through the duodenum by a process of cleaning the body which may have involved turning him over once or twice. This likely happened fast, as the blood would have tended to clot in the GI tract (but again, the clotting may not occur as quickly if the blood was diluted by water or other liquids already in the intestines)”

    • Lindsay Bluth
      05/14/2010 at 11:14 AM

      If I’m reading it correctly, I believe the issue is how the blood got to the duodenum. There’s no evidence of blood in the upper portions of the GI tract (e.g., stomach) and no way for blood to have entered the upper portions of the GI tract (by injury or ingestion). Therefore, there’s no way for blood to have made its way down to the duodenum by either peristalsis or digestion. There is blood in the duodenum (which was cut open) which is right next to the vena cava (which was also cut open and was bleeding), both of which were cut open by the same stab wound. I think that was the point.

      • CDinDC
        05/14/2010 at 11:36 AM

        Correct. The blood did not enter the duodenum from the upper GI tract. It entered the duodenum from the stab wound.

        The point of my comments regarding peristalsis, is that the editors “forensic professional” said that “Digestion” implies that blood had somehow entered Wone’s G.I. system at some point earlier in the digestive process (mouth, throat, stomach).”

        Digestion does NOT imply that. Digestion does not move matter. Therefore, blood did not have to be in his “mouth, throat, stomach” to end up in his duodenum.

        I believe the “forensic professional” is using the wrong term.

        IF Robert had blood in his “mouth, throat, stomach” then peristalsis would have carried it into his duodenum. Not digestion.

        So it’s not silly at all to say that Robert “digested” his own blood. From teh moment the blood entered Robert’s duodenum, it was being “digested” (i.e., broken down by acids). And it continued to be “digested” until the enzymes were used up.

        • Carolina
          05/14/2010 at 11:50 AM

          It’s clear the medical expert is not using “digestion” in its clinical definition. The medical report said the blood was being digested, meaning exactly what you said.

          • CDinDC
            05/14/2010 at 11:59 AM

            Makes me wonder how “expert” this “professional” is to make an error like that.

        • Lindsay Bluth
          05/14/2010 at 11:57 AM

          Actually, the term was in quotations (“someone somewhere came up with the idea that having blood in the small intestine means that Wone was alive long enough to be ‘digesting his own blood.’”). That was the term used by the cops who submitted the affidavit requesting an arrest warrant for Dylan Ward and has been quoted a couple of times on this site.

          That’s probably why the forensic professional also stated that “‘digesting his own blood’ is a pretty silly statement.”

          • CDinDC
            05/14/2010 at 12:01 PM

            But it’s NOT a silly statement. Robert WAS digesting his own blood.

            • Linda S.
              04/01/2011 at 6:12 PM

              You cannot digest something that has not passed through the stomach and then proceeded passed the duodenum into the intestinal tract.

          • CDinDC
            05/14/2010 at 12:05 PM

            And again, the “professional” said that ‘“Digestion” implies that blood had somehow entered Wone’s G.I. system at some point earlier in the digestive process (mouth, throat, stomach).””

            The PROFESSIONAL implies that. Not the affidavit.

            • Lindsay Bluth
              05/14/2010 at 1:27 PM

              Actually, the cops used the phrase “digestion”, which was probably how it was explained to them by someone else (the medical examiner?). Doubtful they would understand “peristalsis”. They barely understand “gay”.

              As Doug said in the clarification below, they were trying to establish a time line (Robert was alive long enough for blood to move from one part of GI tract to another). They don’t care about enzymes and stuff. But for their time line to work (blood moving from one part of the GI tract to another) the blood has to BE in an earlier part of the GI tract (mouth, throat, stomach) which it wasn’t.

              • CDinDC
                05/14/2010 at 1:44 PM

                “They barely understand “gay”. Hilarious. LOL

                The blood does NOT have to be in the upper GI tract to be “digested” or for peristalsis to move it along. Peristalsis occurs in the ENTIRE GI tract, which extends from the esophgus to the rectum. Peristalsis will move blood that has entered the duodenum (as well as blood that entered the stomach) as long as the body is living. In this case, the blood bypassed the stomach. It entered into the duodenum directly. It can still be moved by the natural process of peristalsis. The blood did NOT have to begin it’s “journey” from the stomach. It could have started from the duodenum and still moved through his system because peristalsis occurs in the intestines as well as the stomach.

                But even if he didn’t live long after the wounds were inflicted, it doesn’t matter. He’s still dead. And as I said above, if he died at 11:05 or 11:30, they still didn’t call 911 until 11:50.

                AND if he died immediately, the blood could have been moved 2 feet as a result of gravity if the body was moved (that came from WH,MD.) Moving his body is very likely because he probably wasn’t stabbed in the guestroom (bathroom, I believe).

                • Clemypooh
                  05/21/2010 at 4:14 PM

                  Well said CDinDC! Movement of the body would prove them guilty of tampering which is what they are in court for anyway.

  3. Clio
    05/14/2010 at 10:01 AM

    Why does DC have a Dr. G who is not an MD as Deputy Medical Examiner? Is there a shortage of MDs in the federal capital willing to do this public service, or is Dr. G politically connected to the Barry machine?

    Having properly-credentialed staff in place is something that this case and this “vicious” blog can help to achieve.

    • CDinDC
      05/14/2010 at 10:24 AM

      Whoaa, Clio. An MO has as much training as an MD. Here’s some info I found. It’s not like she’s not qualified.

      D.O. vs. M.D.

      •Both D.O.s and M.D.s typically have a four year undergraduate degree prior to medical training.
      •Both D.O.s and M.D.s have spent four-years in medical education. Both take the MCAT and are subject to a rigorous application process. Historically, D.O. schools are more open to the non-traditional candidate.
      •D.O.s, like M.D.s, choose to practice in a specialty area of medicine and complete a residency program ranging from 3-7 years. Some D.O.s complete the same residency programs as their M.D. counterparts.
      •M.D. students take the USMLE exam and D.O. students take the COMLEX exam . Both must pass a state licensing examination to practice medicine.
      •D.O.s perform surgery, deliver children, treat patients, prescribe medications and work in the same settings as M.D.s. D.O.s use the same tools, treatments and technologies of medicine as M.D.s.
      •D.O.s receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, which make up the muscles and bones of a person.
      The main difference between the two types of physicians is that D.O.s have been specially trained to perform osteopthic manipulations on patients. They view the patient as a ‘total person” and focus on preventative care. They view the whole body rather than treat specific symptoms or illness. D.O.s use Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) in their practice. This involves the use of their hands to diagnose injury and illness and to encourage your body’s natural ability to heal. Osteopathic medicine is a fast-growing segment of the United States healthcare field.

      • CDinDC
        05/14/2010 at 10:34 AM

        In addition to being a licensed medical practicioner, Dr. G is forensic pathologist. She’s certainly qualified. She’s just not able to serve as an expert witness. That doesn’t DISqualify her from performing her assigned job.

        • AnnaZed
          05/14/2010 at 11:21 AM

          I am not faulting her credentials, but why would a metropolitan forensics facility (where surely there would be a predictable number of murder victims) elect to employ a person who is qualified to perform an autopsy but not qualified to appear in court in support of his or her conclusions (if I am understanding that right), why?

          • David
            05/14/2010 at 12:04 PM

            If I am correct, Dr. Gosinliski was in the process of becoming board certified when she conducted the autopsy on Robert Wone. She is now board certified.

        • Goose
          05/14/2010 at 11:26 AM

          I believe she may still be able to serve as an expert witness. A Daubert challenge is very common with expert witnesses – it’s something the defense will try, but as a forensic pathologist and a licensed medical practitioner, she is pretty darned skilled in her field.

          Besides, the beauty of an expert witness is that he or she can testify as to his or her own opinion. If the defense succeeds in its Daubert challenge, she can still testify about what she found, just not about her opinion about what it all means. To remedy the situation, the prosecution can then call a physician (qualified as an expert) to testify as to his or her opinion after a review of the autopsy.

          • Goose
            05/14/2010 at 11:28 AM

            To follow up, I originally missed the part about how she was not qualified under DC Court rules to testify as an expert. It’s no big deal because she can still testify as to her findings, and a qualified expert can come in and give an opinion.

            • Craig
              05/14/2010 at 11:38 AM

              This may be why the government may call Dr. David Fowler, Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland, to back up Dr. Goslinoski’s findings.

      • Tallulah
        05/14/2010 at 10:37 AM

        Agree, CD. Back in “the old days” D.O.s were looked at more as second-tier doctors compared to M.D.s – not at all the case anymore. They typically do their post-graduate training alongside MD’s and compete equally with MDs for subspecialty fellowships. It bothers me more that the M.E. is not board-certified; however, given DC’s budget constraints it is likely difficult to attract top-tier candidates.

  4. Hoya Loya
    05/14/2010 at 10:30 AM

    I would actually be relieved to know that Robert may not have suffered for too long a period of time. The thought that Robert might have been alive but unable to respond for 30 minutes while he was cleaned and the scene has always been one of the most horrific possibilities in this case.

    Now that it’s in black and white, does it strike anyone else that the killer seems to have known their anatomy — that hitting those major blood vessels, the lungs and gut was not the result of three random sudden forceful stabs but something more clinical and calculated?

    • CDinDC
      05/14/2010 at 10:38 AM

      “Rigor is present and difficult to release and livor is present in the posterior and not fixed – suggesting Robert was lying on his back for a limited period of time.”

      This is consistent with Robert having been moved from one room to another. Most likely the bathroom where he was rinsed off, and then placed on the bed before calling 911.

      • CDinDC
        05/14/2010 at 11:08 AM

        Also, remember, the knife wounds are upside down, which leads one to believe Robert could not have been on that sofabed when he was stabbed as the “stabber” would have had to have been above him to inflict the wounds in that manner. (It’s not natural to pick up a knife and use it upside down, especially in a stabbing motion.)

        • Jackie Ripperton
          05/14/2010 at 2:25 PM

          Please clarify: 1)What are you understanding “upside down” to mean, relative to the knife wounds? Do you interpret this as blunt edge up /cutting edge down as the tip of the knife enters the body? Or do you understand ‘upside down’ to mean cutting edge up with the blunt edge closer to the body as the tip of the knife enters?

          2) What do you mean by ‘natural’ as a way to pick up a knife?

          • CDinDC
            05/14/2010 at 2:52 PM

            The sharp edge is up. The flat/non cutting edge is down.

            Knifes are designed to be used with the sharp edge down. The handles are contoured to fit a hand and fingers.

            I have NEVER picked up a knife and used it with the sharp edge up.

            That’s why I say the wounds were inflicted with the person above Robert’s head while he lay in a supine position.

            • CDinDC
              05/14/2010 at 2:53 PM

              I might add that it has been suggested by multiple people that Robert was stabbed while laying in a bathtub. (To contain any blood spillage and to clean his body.)

            • Jackie Ripperton
              05/15/2010 at 6:53 PM

              It’s rather a small point, or perhaps it is not, but I have to disagree completely about the ‘natural’ way to pick up a knife which you intend to use to stab someone.

              While a knife’s handle may be contoured to fit a hand and fingers when used for its intended purpose (say, slicing and/or mincing an onion), when used to stab someone, particularly a person located below, it seems to me rather MORE likely (though not absolutely so) that a person would grasp the handle of the knife in his/her fist with the cutting edge of the blade UP, and bring the point of the knife down into the target. One is not slicing at this point, but rather stabbing as if with an ice pick, the tip of the knife being the functional locus, as opposed to the blade. (Imagine using a chef’s knife to break up a clump of frozen ice cubes.)

              In addition, grasping with a fist would be consistent with bringing the knife down forcefully and powerfully, not in a controlled slicing motion.

              Finally, whilst wielding a knife for the purpose of stabbing a person, keeping the cutting-edge of the blade facing up (and away from the stabber) represents a safety measure to the knife-wielder as he/she brings the knife down and toward him/herself into the intended target. If the blow misses or glances, the cutting-edge of the blade is less likely to carry over into the stabber’s body.

              For these reasons, I do not believe it is correct to make any categorical conclusions about the ‘natural’ way to hold a knife, particularly for non-intended and/or non-standard uses such a stabbing.

              In addition, there is insufficient evidence based on the knife wounds alone to determine WHERE Mr. Wone was when he was stabbed, nor even necessarily his postion relative to the knife-wielder. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to assert that he was not below the knife wielder, and thus, it should not be concluded based on this evidence that he was not on the sofa bed.

              • Eagle
                05/15/2010 at 8:17 PM

                JR: Have you thought that it would be wiser to do an assault in the bathroom rather than in the sofa bed room because the extra walls and especially the shower would stifle the noise.
                Heaven knows, the defendants had a lot to say about the showers in the house.
                Methinks too much

              • CDinDC
                05/16/2010 at 11:19 AM

                Hmm…I think we need to agree to disagree on this. I have used a knife to break ice…the sharp edge was down.

              • Clemypooh
                05/21/2010 at 5:11 PM

                I know that my natural reaction is to pick the knife up with the blade down. Maybe I am just anal but I would think when stabbing someone I would want the blade down so that if I missed, I would not hit my face? Such great stuff to ponder!

    • Carolina
      05/14/2010 at 10:50 AM

      It could be just dumb luck when aiming for the general heart area, or perhaps it was someone who was in class for something medical?

      • Mossdog
        05/14/2010 at 11:27 AM

        i’m not a ME or anything close, but i do know a little. imo, the stab wounds would be in the order listed, and would not have done in a repeat type manner. it would seem to me, the 1st wound hit the heart. if done correctly, you could incapacitate someone, next to limp. Lack of blood would have me think the knife was left in place, as he was held down, until possibly presumed dead. the other 2 wounds, could have been in any order, but wound 3 would have been a bleeder wound, such as the one to the heart, so i am guessing there was still a slight sign of life once the knife from wound 1 was removed, or, the other 2 were for good measure. The part of rig setting in, and being sexually assaulted, makes me think he arrived before the time stated, and there is a flaw in that timeline someplace,as well the fact of how long he was dead before paramedics arrived. Had there been an intruder, and the “rushed” to the victim, rig would not have had enough time to set in. The hole in the story. Seeing how dead men cant text, i would have to guess, that there could have been a hit involved, yet from whom, is the question.

        • Carolina
          05/14/2010 at 11:59 AM

          Unfortunately, the time of arrival is pretty well documented.

    • Lisa
      05/16/2010 at 5:03 PM

      hoya loya, i agree with that small comfort you describe. what if the paralytic sex game they were playing was going on and price or ward suddenly stabbed him? maybe they had tried paralyzing animals or others before to play sex games, but the stabbing was not part of the game, just an impulsive action, surprising the other party?

  5. BadShoes
    05/14/2010 at 10:44 AM

    I doubt it. If you stab a person in the chest with a 5-inch knife, you are pretty sure to hit something vital. If you know your anatomy, one wound is plenty.

    Since Mr. Wone wasn’t resisting, it is conceivable (but no evidence) that Mr. Wone was stabbed, didn’t die immediately, and was stabbed again.

  6. JBfromDC
    05/14/2010 at 11:05 AM

    Interesting that Ward is the son of a cardiologist…..

    • Carolina
      05/14/2010 at 11:57 AM

      And that Michael is in school to be a phlebotomist, who one might assume knows where a vein or artery might be.

  7. Doug
    05/14/2010 at 12:46 PM

    All: I’ve been in contact with our forensic expert who asked for a clarification —
    Whether digestion or peristalsis, the mechanics are less important than what they point to. If the prosecution can demonstrate Robert was alive for a period of time (beyond a few minutes) after the attack, their case for torture is stronger – and that in turn strengthens their hand for murder.
    While nobody is being charged with murder now, that may change in the future.
    -Doug, co-editor

    • CDinDC
      05/14/2010 at 1:08 PM

      Can leaving someone to linger and die be considered torture? And why would torture bolster murder?

      Personally, I think how quickly Robert died isn’t a major factor. If Robert was stabbed closer to 11pm and died at 11:05, that means they waited 45 minutes to call 911. If Robert was stabbed closer to 11pm and died at 11:30, that still means they waited 45 minutes to call 911.

      I think the simple fact that Robert is dead strengthens their hand for murder.

      • CDinDC
        05/14/2010 at 1:16 PM

        I do want to add, however, that the “mechanics” of death ARE very important. It’s the basis of forensic pathology.

  8. Hoya Loya
    05/14/2010 at 12:53 PM

    Just want to note that the AP picked up the story today: “Trial Begins in Killing That Has Captivated DC” — the national media silence appears to be over.

    • Jo
      05/15/2010 at 3:42 AM

      Sure hope so. I just learned about this tragic story from the AP article on Yahoo yesterday. My heart goes out to the Wone family. A young promising life taken so tragically for what appeared to be someone’s twisted sexual fantasies. What’s so chilling about this crime is the strong possibility that the killer or killers were someone whom the victim considered his “friend” or “friends” whom he felt comfortable enough, despite difference in sexual orientation, to ask for a sleepover while working late and away from home. This must be unsettling for some straight men who have gay friends as they will likely begin to wonder whether their gay friends have any dark twisted sexual desires towards them.

      I applaud the efforts of this website’s owners for trying to keep this case in the spotlight. I truly hope that those responsible for this cruel crime will be brought to justice. For the Wone family’s sake, for the gay community’s sake, for humanity’s sake!

      Rest in peace, Mr. Wone.

  9. Bea
    05/14/2010 at 1:34 PM

    It’s difficult to read the report – it’s a man’s life turned death and how that happened. My respects to the Wone family and other loved ones.

    CD, I think your point is a good one. I suspect that the anonymous expert is taking a different lead than you are (how long Robert was alive after the stabbing) but both are legitimate points.

    What strikes me is that it makes clear that Joe’s story is false, namely that he heard the entry of the intruder and within five minutes was “staunching blood” next to Robert and sending Victor upstairs to call the cops. Opinions aside, I don’t know who killed Robert, but it seems quite apparent that Joe is not telling the truth.

    • anonymous
      05/14/2010 at 1:44 PM

      Bea — I’m confused (not the first time), and am not as well versed in this case as you are. What about the autopsy report conflicts with Joe’s statement? I’m assuming it has to do with the timing, but am having a tough time putting it together.

      I am also wondering about a couple of other things: 1) on the needle marks (and I know the paralytic evidence is out). Did the ME just assume that the needle marks were from the EMTs, but then the EMTs said that they didn’t make them? 2) Would it be normal for the EMTs to have intervened at that level if Robert was clearly already dead? I guess I just assumed (based on way too much TV) that they would take his pulse, confirm that he is dead, and then take him away. I know that EMTs cannot declare someone dead, but I guess I am surprised that they would take those kinds of actions if he was clearly dead.

      Finally, I agree, Bea — it is sad to read the report and know that he was such a healthy, vital young man when he died.

      • Bea
        05/14/2010 at 2:12 PM

        Hey Anon. My point is based on timing. Joe is emphatic that he heard a chime and within a few minutes (less than five) he heard the “low grunts or screams” which made him (and Victor) jump up and go to see Robert. Joe’s story is that the intruder came in, marked by Joe being awakened by the chime, and that intruder was there for very few minutes before (apparently) stabbing Robert three times and leaving. Forgetting the other time-consuming elements of finding and swapping knives and wiping blood on one (which presumably would require lighting and some focus), and putting aside how very strange it would be for the intruder to jump a 9 ft fence in hopes that the door is unlocked and then NOT stealing anything – – simply to have the intruder enter and stab Robert three times by pushing the bed away from the wall to squeeze in to stab Robert from above/behind three times (without struggle/defense) and then immediately leave (without clomping down stairs) would mean that Robert would definitely be alive when Joe appears and possibly when the EMT appears IF they’d called 911 right away. Certainly he would not have been cold to the touch or have the appearance of being dead for some time.

        Not to mention that bleeder of a gut wound.

        I think CD handled standard EMT protocol awhile ago, but I think that the EMTs do have to do some level of intervention and take him to the ER. While they definitely put in the line and later claimed to have accounted for (I believe) two of the needle marks, the other needle marks are unaccounted for,

        The ruling that paralytics is OUT is evidentiary in nature – it doesn’t mean there wasn’t one used, only that there’s insufficient evidence to raise the question in front of a jury. Of course, now there’s no jury.

        I doubt the ME is supposed to opine on the report about extraneous findings such as needle marks – just as she indicated ONLY that there were eye hemorages and that a sexual assault kit was used but did not go into details. This is cause of death stuff.

        • CDinDC
          05/14/2010 at 2:27 PM

          Bea, you brought up “cold to the touch.” Reminds me of a brief conversation here not too long about about body temperature after death.

          A body will “cool” to it’s surroundings after death. The room was supposedly quite warm that night. Makes a good case for Robert’s body have been rinsed off in cold water.

          • Eagle
            05/14/2010 at 3:20 PM

            I believe that the commenter discussing body temperature said that after death, the body loses .75 to 1.25 degrees per hour.
            That would mean that Robert’s body would have been close to the normal body temperature.
            I’m still not convinced of the time of Robert’s arrival at Swann St.
            However, if he arrived as the trouple says and if they took time for a drink of water and discussion, his body would not have been cold and clammy if the EMT/911 were called right away.

            • CDinDC
              05/14/2010 at 3:32 PM

              Yes, that right, Eagle.

              And cold/clammy to me says Rober was exposed to cold water.

              • Eagle
                05/14/2010 at 3:36 PM


        • anonymous
          05/14/2010 at 2:35 PM

          Oh, now I’ve got it. Thanks!

        • CDinDC
          05/14/2010 at 2:46 PM

          Re EMT protocols, there are two classes of first responders. Those that do simple diagnostics and transport and those that are allowed to do “life saving” procedures. And even the “life saving” procedures are limited. It’s not like an EMT can do anything they want. (It’s NOT what we seen in on TV.) The protocols are limited to standard life-saving techniques. IVs, intubations, oxygen, some medications, but mostly stabilizing and transporting.

          There the DC protocols manual:

          They updated their manual.

          Here’s the old version:


        • MotherOfInvention
          05/14/2010 at 4:25 PM

          They put in the line? What line is that? And I didn’t know two needle marks had been accounted for by the EMTs. Which two (ie where were they on his body)?

          • CDinDC
            05/14/2010 at 4:31 PM

            Page 8 of the autopsy report has a graphic chart that show where the needle marks are.

            • MotherOfInvention
              05/14/2010 at 4:41 PM

              Thanks CD but do we know which marks were accounted for by the EMTs?

              • CDinDC
                05/14/2010 at 4:48 PM

                The chart is marked…”NP marks” (or something like that) are the injection marks.

              • CDinDC
                05/14/2010 at 4:48 PM

                Sorry….the NP marks are not vouched for by the EMTs.

                • Eagle
                  05/14/2010 at 8:46 PM

                  Could the lines have been put in at GWU Hospital?
                  Lines are catheters which are inserted into the blood stream.
                  These were large bore catheters and unlikely EMTs would be allowed to put them in. They usually need stitches to close, unlike an IV line which can be put in by techs and easily removed or restarted.
                  It seems strange to me that if Robert’s body was cold and clammy, anyone would put lines in.
                  We do not have adequate info on what these lines were for or who put them in.
                  Someone must have thought that Robert could be saved or they would not have put in the endotrachial tube. (in the throat/ trachea).
                  I do not believe that EMTs can pronounce death and I always thought that was why Robert’s body was taken to the hospital so he could be pronounced there.
                  The plot thickens.

                  • Bea
                    05/14/2010 at 9:14 PM

                    It seems strange to me as well – I thought I’d read that the police had photographed Robert in place in bed at Swann – not the kind of thing one would wait for if the hospital thought they could save him.

                    Anyone know?

    • TK
      05/14/2010 at 2:17 PM

      Same here Bea, on it being very difficult to read the report. It’s downright painful to read these grisly details. Poor Robert.

    • David
      05/14/2010 at 2:43 PM

      The main point I think our anonymous expert makes that contradicts the defense is that Robert lived for 4 to 7 minutes, not just a second, as Dr. Frazad Najam of the defense will testify. Secondly, because of this length of time, Robert would have instinctively reacted to the knife wounds thus causing blood to have spilled externally, which is not consistent with the way the crime scene was found.

      Also on another note, just for credibility purposes here, we did not shop this around to get an opinion we liked, we found an expert, turned over the report, and and asked for their opinion. None of our opinions were discussed in the process.


      • MotherOfInvention
        05/14/2010 at 2:55 PM

        Well, the anonymous expert says “4 to 7 minutes tops.” It’s syntactically unclear whether the expert meant that the 4 to 7 minute range is the maximum, and Robert may have died sooner, or whether 4 or is the minimum and 7 is the maximum.

      • Bea
        05/14/2010 at 3:12 PM

        David, I appreciate your posting the report and giving us all a review by a professional. I am curious to see the defense’s expert explain where all that blood went – and the prosecution’s field day on cross.

        As a total tangent, I have an increasingly strong sense that the defendants will take the stand.

        • Lisa
          05/16/2010 at 5:07 PM

          bea, as an attorney, i know i would have learned NEVER to take the stand, but you are right that price’s arrogance could have him convinced he could talk his way out of this. it is up to the defendant to decide whether to take the stand. but the fact that no one has talked up until now makes me think he might not. interesting point.

      • Doug
        05/14/2010 at 3:19 PM

        Our expert replies:

        “Actually, I said Robert would have lived 4 to 7 minutes maximum, as opposed to ~30 minutes, which seems to be what the prosecution/cops want to imply with the suggestion of “digesting his own blood” in the affidavit requesting an arrest warrant for Dylan Ward. Stab wound #1 (heart and coronary artery) and #3 (small intestine, pancreas, vena cava) were each fatal but would not be immediately incapacitating. Stab wound #2 (right lung) could have been fatal without treatment but also not immediately incapacitating.

        “More importantly, according to the autopsy report there was no indication of defensive wounds (cuts to the arms, hands, fingers, etc.) or even bruising to suggest that Robert struggled against any restraints/person. There was also no additional tearing along the wound tracts that would indicate that Robert was reacting in any way to pain. As a matter of fact, all the external and internal wounds along the wound tracts were described as “slit like” which means that Robert was completely still. One of these “slit like” wounds was through his sternum, which requires considerable force. The wound through his sternum (Stab wound #1) is the same wound that continued to his heart, which is likely what the defense will try to argue caused instant death. But if Robert wasn’t moving BEFORE the knife got to his heart, then he was already incapacitated. This suggests that Robert was completely incapacitated as he was being stabbed. Not just restrained, paralyzed. Even if he was physically restrained or mildly sedated, you cannot push a knife through someone’s sternum and have a clean tract to their heart without them trying to roll away from you. SO… I’d say the paralytics should be back in.”

        • CDinDC
          05/14/2010 at 3:26 PM


          will you ask your expert what his thoughts are about moving Robert’s body and the effects of this on the blood in the duodenum.

          Ask him if he thinks the blood could have been pushed via gravity.

          It was suggested by WH (a medical doctor) sometime back that this may have been what caused the blood to be 2 ft into his intestines.

          • Doug
            05/14/2010 at 3:36 PM

            Our expert replies:

            “Could be. There was almost a liter of blood in that region at autopsy. Plus, in addition to whatever movement from the suspects moving the body around, the EMTs transported the body onto a gurney and down the stairs and out of the house to the ambulance, from the ambulance to the hospital, off the gurney onto a table, hospital took whatever measures they took which included removing his clothes and putting him in a hospital gown, he was moved on and off of who knows how many gurneys and tables, and finally ended up in the morgue where he was examined thoroughly externally (which likely included flipping him over a couple of times) before being examined internally. So, yeah. There was a lot of blood flowing around inside that could have been pushed into the holes created by the stab wounds.”

            • CDinDC
              05/14/2010 at 3:44 PM

              Thanks Doug and expert!). I guess, unfortunately, we may never know with certainty how long Robert lived after the wounds were inflicted.

              • CDinDC
                05/14/2010 at 4:05 PM

                I wonder if the congealing of the blood would have made a difference in whether the blood could be “pushed” by movement of the body? Right after death the blood would still be liquified. Hours after and up to the autopsy the blood would have solidified.

        • Eagle
          05/14/2010 at 3:33 PM

          Did the expert discuss the manner in which the knife was inserted i.e.,
          upside down so to speak?
          I find it a significant point that the knife required considerable force to get to the heart thru the sternum. Hadn’t thought of that.
          Likely it required some hands- on knowledge of anatomy also. Or at least how to get to the heart.
          This is sounding less and less like a random event.
          Robert- of all people- who was so non-threatening a person- did not deserve this. This must be very difficult for the Mr. and Mrs. Wone and Kathy.
          Thankfully the judge sounds very bright and firm and not likely to be pushed around. (Ex: telling Bernard Grimm that he had talked over here. Obviously he was testing her.)

      • CDinDC
        05/14/2010 at 3:20 PM

        David says: “Robert would have instinctively reacted to the knife wounds”

        But Robert was most likely incapacitated by drugs. Even though “incapacitation by drugs” is not being entered as evidence in this trial, it doesn’t change the fact that Robert was very likely under the influence of something that prevented him from responding to the first stab wound. There are multiple injection sites on robert’s body that speak to that possibility.

        I’m certainly not disputing the possibility of Robert living 4-7 minutes.

        I was only disputing the comment that Robert “digested” his blood was “silly.”

        that’s all. :>

        • differnet
          05/15/2010 at 2:18 AM

          Sorry to harsh on your groove, but incacipation could have happened as a result of the first stab wound. If it indeed did cut the aorta, the rapid blood loss combined with shock would have immediately knocked-out Robert.

          • Carolina
            05/15/2010 at 3:45 AM

            Rare that some involuntary muscle reaction occurs.

          • Clemypooh
            05/21/2010 at 5:41 PM

            Still though, RW would have moved. He would have gotten blood on other places then just a dot on a finger? Wouldn’t he have rolled and changed positions which would have caused blood to splatter on other places?

      • Carolina
        05/14/2010 at 5:02 PM

        But he seemed to know the theories put forth here well enough to call them silly.

  10. Lyn
    05/14/2010 at 2:57 PM

    A couple of questions:

    1. As far as I know, a jury doesn’t have to explain the basis for its decision. In a bench trial, does a judge have to?

    2. Does anyone know whether M. Price is still advertising his desire for pig play or whether Ward is still advertising his full body to body “massages.”

    • Bea
      05/14/2010 at 3:07 PM

      The judge (in jurisdictions I know, anyway) will likely render a carefully worded opinion as a trier of fact. Typically judges are very good at making clear whether certain evidence was relied upon or not deflecting matters for appeal. I suspect that unless the defendants have a leg to stand on with respect to pre-trial motions, the likelihood of winning an appeal of her verdict (obviously I am PRESUMING a guilty verdict, which is far from a given) will be very slim.

  11. Tallulah
    05/14/2010 at 4:11 PM

    With paralytics out based on toxicology results, can the judge consider the issue, or even instead the issue of restraints, from the common-sense standpoint of the lack of instinctive reaction to these mortal wounds? You have not only the character of the wounds themselves pointing to chemical or physical restraints, but also the lack of blood on Robert’s hands. If he were not incapacitated in a chemical or physical manner, the instinctual response is to put one’s own hands to a bleeding wound. Alternatively, can this (lack of blood on Robert’s hands) be used to further bolster the case for bathtub or shower cleanup? Attorneys out there, is there a common-sense and reasonableness standard that can be applied by the judge in her deliberations?

  12. CDinDC
    05/14/2010 at 4:11 PM

    So what’s going on in the courtroom today?

  13. Bea
    05/14/2010 at 4:15 PM

    Doug, any way the expert can opine (or just give a ‘maybe could be’) about how much blood should have been on the OUTSIDE of the body considering that it sounds (from a layman’s perspective) that there was considerable internal bleeding?

    • Doug
      05/14/2010 at 5:04 PM

      Bea: working on either our expert or one of our previous sources, such as Louis Akin or Dallas Drake, for example…

  14. BenFranklin
    05/14/2010 at 4:49 PM

    The autopsy cannot be trusted: it was messed up badly by a novice. She didn’t even get Wone’s body weight right.

    No way Wone weighed 152 pounds!

    This woman deserves the beating she will get for the anguish & damage she inflicted on the Wone family & the defendants.

    • Carolina
      05/14/2010 at 5:04 PM

      Sweet Jesus, shut up.

      • CDinDC
        05/14/2010 at 5:11 PM

        I love you for that. LOL

        • interestedobserver
          05/14/2010 at 8:28 PM

          BenFranklin: The Medical Examiner did not cause anguish and damage to the family. It was the person or persons who killed Robert who did that. You’re unqualified to offer legal and medical opinions since you are neither a lawyer nor a doctor, although you try to “talk” like you actually have some legal or medical training. Spare us the disingenuous suggestions that you actually care…

          • Eagle
            05/14/2010 at 8:52 PM


    • CDinDC
      05/14/2010 at 5:09 PM

      A man 5’3.5″ inches can very easily weight 152 pounds.

      I am 5’4″….I’ve gained a few lbs, but prior to that I weighed 140lb and wore sizes 6 & 8. A man of the same height could easily weight 12 lbs more than a woman of the same size as they generally are leaner (less fat) than a woman. (Muscle weighs more than fat.)

      And, Ben, I must point out that your comment about “the beating she will get” sounds a bit threatening. Easy now.

      • AnnaZed
        05/14/2010 at 5:14 PM

        Massive blood loss after sustaining mortal wounds and other fluid loss attendant to becoming a corpse (no longer a living person) results in considerably lower body weight at time of autopsy.

    • MotherOfInvention
      05/14/2010 at 5:18 PM

      AND if what you said were true about her being a novice, then any botching would be the fault of her supervisors, not her own. Another reason she does not deserve a beating.

    • Bea
      05/14/2010 at 5:34 PM

      Ben is worth a laugh today. Not only is she medically incompetent, she can’t even read a scale to determine weight!

      I will give a mini-lecture to my kids this weekend on the value of giving credit where credit is due within the context of any discussion to maintain one’s own credibility.

      Did you find those pictures of Dylan yet, Ben? You know, showing how incredibly buff and strong he is even though in every other picture he appears to be a man of slight build?

    • rk
      05/14/2010 at 7:03 PM

      Let me imagine how this would play out in court….

      Q: Dr. Goslinoski, your autopsy report says Mr. Wone weighed 152 pounds during your examination. Is this correct?

      A: Well, yes, that’s what the scale read, and that’s what I recorded in my notes.

      Judge: Dr. Goslinoski, according to a reputable online quasi-attorney/doctor/weight expert, there is no way that Robert Wone could have weighed 152 pounds. You must be incompetent! Come to the bench and take your beating. Case dismissed!!!!

      Ben – you’ve opined in the past that the detectives conspired to frame the couple (insert motive here). Was Dr. Goslinoski part of the conspiracy too? Was the Dr.’s scale in on the conspiracy? What about the EMT’s? What about the first arriving officers from the MPD? Were they in on it as well? Do you really think that individuals from four different departments (emergency response, beat MPD cops, MPD detectives, and medical/autopsy) would all come together to create a conspiracy and keep it hidden for four years? Perhaps Diane Durham, EMT #1, EMT#2, EMT #3, the detectives and Dr. Goslinoski are all part of a Illuminati/Freemasons/Stonecutters society…..

      • MotherOfInvention
        05/14/2010 at 7:18 PM


      • CDinDC
        05/14/2010 at 9:25 PM

        I wonder if crop circles has anything to do with this.

    • Eagle
      05/14/2010 at 9:10 PM

      How do you know how much Wone weighed?

      • Carolina
        05/15/2010 at 3:49 AM

        Obviously, he sleeps with a copy of Robert’s driver’s license.

  15. Hoya Loya
    05/14/2010 at 7:17 PM

    Ben is confusing defense tactics with reality. The ME is qualified but it is the defense’s obligation to shed doubt on her testimony. The fact that the defense is trying its best to do so does not disqualify her findings — unless their expert convincingly, reasonably contravenes her findings. I don’t think even Bernie has thought about challenging the calibration of the ME’s scales.

  16. Themis
    05/14/2010 at 9:15 PM

    Ole Ben may or may not have issues. Not for me to say. But he is right that little things often matter. A person 64 inches tall and weighing 154 pounds would have a BMI of 26, which is considered overweight. I don’t know if those numbers are correct, but Robert was anything but overweight.

    • Eagle
      05/14/2010 at 10:14 PM

      Once again, how do you know that Robert was not overweight?

    • Carolina
      05/15/2010 at 3:51 AM

      Shouldn’t be hard to check a man’s driver’s license and medical records. If it turns out he weighed 155, will that mean it’s a conspiracy?

    • Hoya Loya
      05/15/2010 at 7:16 AM

      Themis: agree that little things may matter to the defense that can use them to impeach the credibility of the ME. But to paint the ME with a broad brush as incompetent is rather strong as a general observation. The defense may want to paint her as such and may succeed, but the little things in this report don’t immediately give rise to such a conclusion on their own.

      Also, BMI can be misleading if the weight is made up of a substantial amount of muscle as opposed to fat.

  17. Themis
    05/14/2010 at 9:38 PM

    No crop circles. But an ME’s office that doesn’t calibrate scales or issues an autopsy with typos is going to be questioned about every observation that cannot be verified by photo or video. You can’t help but wonder what the bench notes say…

  18. BadShoes
    05/14/2010 at 9:39 PM

    I always thought that the description of the autopsy in the original indictment, which suggested that Mr. Wone could have lived for “a considerable period of time” after being stabbed, was intended to address a somewhat different issue.

    Back when incapacitation was part of the prosecution’s case, one potential line of defense was that Robert Wone was already dead when stabbed. If the cause of death were uncertain, then it would be harder to establish that a murder had actually occurred–as opposed to, say, an accidental drug overdose.

    The prosecution’s point about the blood in the digestive tract was to show (I thought) that Mr. Wone was alive when he stabbed, and hence to demonstrate conclusively that he had been murdered.

    Thinking about it now, WMRW’s expert’s view that Mr. Wone ought to have died within minutes of being stabbed in the heart, sounds highly plausible to me. I would not characterize 4-7 minutes as “a considerable period of time.”

    However, the prosecution’s case doesn’t depend in any way on how long Mr. Wone might have lived after being stabbed. I would think that even covering up an accidental death would still be construed as obstruction of justice, but I defer to the lawyers on this point.

  19. BadShoes
    05/14/2010 at 9:56 PM

    The toxicology report indicates that the test for the date-rape drug GHB was performed on a urine sample.

    If GHB had been ingested less than 30 minutes before death, would the drug have had time to make its way into the urinary tract?

    • MotherOfInvention
      05/14/2010 at 9:57 PM

      I thought that GHB didn’t leave traces, that it dissolved or something.

      • MotherOfInvention
        05/14/2010 at 10:09 PM

        Ok, I looked it up and it leaves the system after 12 hours, but it can be detected prior to that.

  20. CDinDC
    05/14/2010 at 9:59 PM

    Re Robert’s weight/height.

    Here’s a profile and a couple photo of Denison Cabral. He’s on the Baltimore Blast soccer team. He’s 5’4″ and 152 lbs.

    Doesn’t exactly look overweight, now does he?

  21. CDinDC
    05/14/2010 at 10:01 PM

    If anyone wants to see what 5’4″ / 152 lbs looks like, look up Denison Cabral of the Baltimore Blast soccer team.

    My links are “awaiting moderation.”

  22. CDinDC
    05/14/2010 at 10:02 PM
  23. CDinDC
    05/14/2010 at 10:03 PM
  24. MotherOfInvention
    05/14/2010 at 10:23 PM

    Did you catch this snippet from Dyl’s testimony this week from the AP article?

    “Any decent person would want to help,” Ward testified at a recent hearing. “Robert Wone was our friend. Kathy Wone was our friend. Even if they hadn’t been our friends, I would have wanted to help. But that doesn’t mean that I had a choice that night.”

    • MotherOfInvention
      05/14/2010 at 10:24 PM

      “Not having a choice” refers to whether or not he was at the police station voluntarily.

      His little speech sounds like coaching to me.

    • Lyn
      05/15/2010 at 10:22 PM

      Any decent person would want to help?

      Ward, aren’t you the one who failed to respond to an EMT asking you “what’s going on?” as the EMT climbed to the 2nd floor of Swann? Ward, aren’t you the the one who was so decent of a person that you didn’t bother to direct the EMT to Wone but instead turned away from the EMT and walked away without answering?

      You are right, any decent person would want to help. But you didn’t.

  25. Themis
    05/14/2010 at 10:29 PM

    That comparison might be apt if Robert was larger boned and a professional athlete. Facts are stubborn things. How those facts are construed is another matter. Anthony Porter had his conviction and death sentence reviewed and affirmed more than 8 times (often with dismissive comments) before he was exonerated at the 11th hour. That’s not to comment on guilt or innocence in this case, but is merely an example that factfinders who believe they are completely neutral can be wrong. Just ask Jennifer Thompson who testfied that Ronald Cotton raped her and believed that for years.

    By way of disclosure, I am a public defender who has worked at the state level and the federal level (4 circuits, 6 district courts) on trial, appellate and post-conviction cases on capital and non-capital murder cases. So you can assess potential bias as you see fit.

    • CDinDC
      05/14/2010 at 10:44 PM

      Perhaps Robert worked out. Muscle weights more than fat. :>

      • Hoya Loya
        05/15/2010 at 7:06 AM

        IIRC, Robert and Kathy went to the gym that morning. It may have been part of a regular workout routine.

  26. Themis
    05/14/2010 at 10:34 PM

    Look at the pics and judge for yourself.

  27. CDinDC
    05/14/2010 at 10:59 PM

    Maybe this will put the weight issue to rest.

    This Robert’s tribute video from youtube. There is a still photo of him at 1:00. He’s a solid guy. He’s not a small boned man.

    • MotherOfInvention
      05/14/2010 at 11:06 PM

      I had not seen that. Heartbreaking.

      • CDinDC
        05/14/2010 at 11:49 PM

        It is indeed, MOI. I’m glad i posted it. I’m sure there are many people that have not seen it.

  28. Themis
    05/14/2010 at 11:18 PM

    According to most reports, Bruce Lee weighed 165 at his heaviest and he was 67 inches tall. I’m a female who is 62 inches tall, 18% bodyfat, but can do 100 push ups (straight-legged military style) and weigh 104. All that proves is that the autopsy results are subject to question. Charles Harlan is exhibit A when it comes to MEs making mistakes.

  29. John Grisham
    05/14/2010 at 11:23 PM

    Would Robert have not been recently subjected to medical exams for his insurance policy at his new job at RFA? That data should put an end to this debate.

  30. Bill Orange
    05/15/2010 at 1:47 AM

    My take on all of this is that it mostly helps the defense. There are several key points here:

    1. The resuscitation effort by the EMTs and the hospital staff was substantial, and included intubation, multiple chest tubes, and multiple IV lines in the large veins. It seems likely to me that some, if not all, of the other puncture wounds on the body were attempts by the medical team to place peripheral IVs. When that failed, they went for the deeper veins in the leg and the chest. The puncture wound in the middle of the chest would fit with an attempt to release a cardiac tamponade. I don’t think the prosecution is going to be able to convince the judge that the puncture marks were failed attempts by an attacker to inject Wone with something, particularly since the ME called them “Evidence of Medical Intervention”.

    2. There was a substantial amount of internal bleeding (about a liter, which is about 20% of an adult male’s blood volume). There was probably still more blood that was drained from the chest tubes, which would be recorded in the hospital record, not the ME’s report. The defense is going to argue that this internal bleeding accounts for the lack of blood at the crime scene.

    3. The stab wounds were quite forceful, and there were no signs that the attacker(s) was hesitant (i.e. no shallower wounds that were inflicted prior to the fatal ones). The placement of the wounds suggests to me that Wone was stabbed three times in rapid succession by someone who was aiming roughly for the middle of the chest. I don’t really see anything to suggest any special knowledge of anatomy (such as clustering of the wounds in the lower left side of the chest, where the heart is). Given that there is supposedly a special knife missing from a case in Dylan Ward’s room, I’m a bit surprised that no one has raised the possibility that this was some sort of ritual sacrifice as opposed to a sexual assault that escalated to murder.

    4. The lack of absolutely anything positive in the tox report obviously helps the defense. The most obvious conclusion is that either (a) no drugs were used on Wone, or (b) a drug (or drugs) was used that won’t be picked up on routine tox screening. If it’s option b, I’d guess it was some sort of inhalant, which would fit with the eye findings. A question for the BDSM enthusiasts out there: Do people in the BDSM community ever use inhalants on one another?

    5. While I agree that Wone would have survived for several minutes with these injuries, I think that he would have lost consciousness much sooner. I would guess that he would have had anywhere from a few seconds to one minute to react the the stab wounds (if he hadn’t been drugged first). The natural reaction to a stab wound like this would be to grab at the wound site, so you would expect to see blood on the hands. However, like I noted above, he underwent a pretty serious resuscitation, which included cutting off his clothes and putting him in a hospital gown. It wouldn’t surprise me if any blood on his hands was washed off during this time. It also wouldn’t surprise me if blood was transferred to his hands at this point. So I don’t think you can make much of the presence or absence of blood on Wone’s hands.

    Just my two cents. The only thing I see here that in any way helps the prosecution is the absence of defensive wounds. The defense will argue that either the attack was so fast that Wone never had a chance to get his hands up, or he was able to react but simply never got his hands in front of the knife.

    • John Grisham
      05/15/2010 at 1:57 AM

      “no one has raised the possibility that this was some sort of ritual sacrifice as opposed to a sexual assault that escalated to murder.”

      The possibility that three stabs by three household members to bond their common fate has been raised.

      • Bill Orange
        05/15/2010 at 7:52 AM

        Mea culpa–I should have said “no one on the prosecution team”.

      • 05/16/2010 at 11:21 AM


        Meant to send you a direct response to your e-mail of 5/15/2010, but don’t think it went through (first time using this blog). I’m resending this below.

        I suspect it could very well be a ritual sacrifice. However, if each of the three household members was to inflict a single stab wound, they would need to make sure the three stab wounds would result in a death to seal their bond in a common fate.

        They would have probably researched this prior to the killing and had sufficient time to do this.

        I remembered the case of Rick Follin who in 1994 killed his two daughters in a very similar fashion after he sensed his marriage was falling apart. Each was stabbed three times in a very similar fashion to the way Mr. Wone was stabbed.

        Here’s the pertinent part of the transcript from the court synopsis:

        “The children were Rick and Sherri Follin’s 3- and 4-year-old daughters, Hanah and Kylie. Autopsies showed that each girl had three stab wounds from a single-edge knife in the chest and upper abdomen area. There were no cuts in the clothing because each girl’s left arm had been removed from the sleeve of her clothing, thus exposing her chest. The fatal wound for each of the girls perforated her heart. In the pathologist’s opinion, the wounds were inflicted by a person with “a knowledge of anatomy to know the location of the heart, and for the knife to be placed between the ribs and not go through the bone.” There were no wounds on the girls’ hands or arms that would indicate they had tried to defend or protect themselves. The pathologist noted that Kylie had some bruises and scrapes that may have been produced at about the same time as the stabbings.”

        The household member that was a lawyer could have easily researched this case and got the particulars on the placement of the three stab wounds Mr. Follin used.

        I wonder exactly how similar the wounds were in each case and if the three household members may have copied Mr. Follin in the placement of the stab wounds.

        • John Grisham
          05/16/2010 at 12:16 PM

          I’m not convinced that this was a ritual sacrifice. However, three similar stabs into an incapacitated, immobile body seem to suggest some kind of internal covenant was being sealed (coinciding with their practical efforts to prepare Robert’s body to be uncovered weeks later far away, apparently having been robbed and murdered). I believe that Joe’s first order of business upon discovering Robert died from their overdose was probably to quickly guarantee the household’s collective responsibility and allegiance to him concerning what had just transpired. Either through common finger prints on the real knife (not the one in custody) or with photographs of the each of them at one time having a hand on the main hand that held the knife that stabbed Robert three times.

          • Eagle
            05/16/2010 at 12:36 PM

            I wish this did not make sense, but it does.
            How do you account for the needle marks?
            Do you think this was done in the bathroom?

            • John Grisham
              05/16/2010 at 12:50 PM

              My theory, from many months ago, has always been this. That Joe and Dylan greeted Robert at the door, immediately volunteed that Robert looked tired and stressed, and suggested that Robert go upstairs and relax with one of Dylan’s famous massages.

              While Robert was laying on his stomach in the guest room, with Dylan working different parts of his back, Joe injected something into those specific parts. At least five times it seems. The same way your dentist rubs your gums before sticking a sharp needle full of novocaine into them which you seldom feel.

            • Nels Andersen
              05/16/2010 at 1:17 PM

              I’m still struggling with the needle marks. My first thought is they might be points for injecting a congulant to limit the amount of bleeding, but I have no real clue. Think this was a very carefully thought out murder. I’m not sure about the needle marks.

              I think the murder might be part a ritual sacrifice and part a revenge killing. Mr. Wone and Mr. Price went to college together and worked at the same law firm. Mr. Wone was killed within one month of leaving this law firm for a new job. What was the real reason for Mr. Wone leaving and was Mr. Price upset at him? Suspect something bad happened between Mr. Wone and Mr. Price that was so bad Mr. Wone left the law firm. Mr. Price probably felt he had the upper hand in this disagreement because Mr. Wone left the law firm. But Mr. Wone could have made it look like a victory for him and this might have upset Mr. Price. Perhaps Mr. Wone went to Mr. Price’s house to re-connect their long standing relationship and Mr. Price was more intent on revenge. This coupled with Mr. Ward’s suspected tendency toward ritual sacrifice may have led to Mr. Wone’s death.

              Still think they may have copied Rick Follin’s placement of the three stab wounds to ensure the death.

              • AnnaZed
                05/16/2010 at 1:38 PM

                Robert and Joe did not work at the same law firm.

                I have seen no evidence that Dylan Ward had anything like a “suspected tendency toward ritual sacrifice.”

                What are you talking about?

              • Hoya Loya
                05/16/2010 at 2:57 PM


                Although Joe and Robert were at different firms, there was an incipient client relationship between Joe’s firm and Radio Free Asia. Client records were subpoenaed as part of the investigation and Joe mentions in his statement that he had pitch materials on the kitchen counter for Robert to review that night (interesting to me since legal business development is my current line of work).

                One of the very few times I have been abruptly slammed on this site was when I speculated that Joe might have needed to land the new account and been upset not to get it — I was told in no uncertain terms that Joe’s practice was just fine thank you.

                There was also some speculation here that perhaps Joe was professionally jealous of Robert’s lower paying but more lifestyle-friendly general counsel position. Much disagreement ensued on this point.

                In any case, I have trouble seeing how jealousy, professional or otherwise, could lead Joe to murder an old friend.

                Other facts we know of regarding the relationship in the months prior to 8/2/06: a few months earlier the trouple paid a visit to Kathy as she was recovering from hip replacement surgery and one week before Joe had lunch with Kathy, whose new job was near his office — Robert was supposed be at lunch as well but could not, according to Joe, because of some pressing obligation at work. Kathy indicates that catching up with Joe was a motivation for Robert’s visit.

                As far as a ritual, lest we be accused of being “vicious,” let’s keep in mind that there is no evidence of any such interest on the part of any of the three defendants, though the nature of the wounds does provide basis for such speculation. However, I once wondered whether a possible reason for their silence is that the knife is in safe keeping somewhere with one or more sets of fingerprints on it, ready to be disclosed if someone talks.

                • John Grisham
                  05/16/2010 at 3:07 PM

                  If you had to guess, who would you think is still holding that knife, HL?

                  • Hoya Loya
                    05/16/2010 at 3:19 PM

                    Keeping in mind that the whole theory is pure speculation, my guess would be a third, or rather fourth party: Michael as a first guess. Second guess Sarah.

                    • John Grisham
                      05/16/2010 at 3:24 PM

                      I’d agree

                • AnnaZed
                  05/16/2010 at 3:38 PM

                  I think that’s a strong possibility John, my guess would be Michael.

                  Don’t forget the considerable speculation about the whereabouts of any cameras and camera equipment these men would likely have possessed (Joe’s computer was full of photographs) but were not in the police inventory from Swann Street after Robert’s murder.

                  I think it is quite possible that concrete evidence in the form of the knife and possibly photographs stashed elsewhere could be keeping the trouple loyal and taciturn.

                  • John Grisham
                    05/16/2010 at 3:46 PM

                    You got it.

                    • Anonymous in DC
                      05/17/2010 at 12:08 AM

                      What about Lisa? Still can’t figure out exactly how she would have come to be in posession of Joe’s wallet that night – weren’t they transported from the house to th e station? Where did Lisa come in if not before the police arrived? Perhaps I’m missing something. I can see calling Michael from the station but how would he give something to her? Anyone more familiar with such procedures?

          • Nels Andersen
            05/16/2010 at 12:37 PM


            Is there any way you can check out exactly how similar the position of the stab wounds were in Mr. Wone and Mr. Follin’s daughters? I know I can’t do this.

            I still suspect the three house members copied the placement of the stab wounds Mr. Follin inflicted because it so successful.


            • John Grisham
              05/16/2010 at 1:16 PM


              I don’t believe the male household members were copycats.


            • Clemypooh
              05/21/2010 at 10:41 PM

              Honestly, all that would take time and planning. Do we really think this was a planned event?

    • MotherOfInvention
      05/15/2010 at 2:49 AM

      People in the BDSM community do use inhalants on each other, it’s an unusual fetish but it exists. It’s known as KO play. Chloroform on a rag is a common one.

      • MotherOfInvention
        05/15/2010 at 2:53 AM

        Clarification: I mean some people in the BDSM world use inhalants, not everyone into BDSM of course.

      • Bill Orange
        05/15/2010 at 8:03 AM

        Are there any other common ones? Chloroform could definitely knock someone out, but it has a fairly strong odor.

        • MotherOfInvention
          05/15/2010 at 12:43 PM

          That’s the only inhalant that I have heard of being used, but I am sure that people who are into KO have explored other options.

    • 05/16/2010 at 10:52 AM

      I suspect it could very well be a ritual sacrifice. However, if each of the three household members was to inflict a single stab wound, they would need to make the three stab wounds would result in a death to seal their bond in a common fate.

      They would have probably researched this prior to the killing and had sufficient time to do this.

      I remembered the case of Rick Follin who in 1994 killed his two daughters in a very similar fashion after he sensed his marriage was falling apart. Each was stabbed three times in a very similar fashion to the way Mr. Wone was stabbed.

      Here’s the pertinent part of the transcript from the court synopsis:

      “The children were Rick and Sherri Follin’s 3- and 4-year-old daughters, Hanah and Kylie. Autopsies showed that each girl had three stab wounds from a single-edge knife in the chest and upper abdomen area. There were no cuts in the clothing because each girl’s left arm had been removed from the sleeve of her clothing, thus exposing her chest. The fatal wound for each of the girls perforated her heart. In the pathologist’s opinion, the wounds were inflicted by a person with “a knowledge of anatomy to know the location of the heart, and for the knife to be placed between the ribs and not go through the bone.” There were no wounds on the girls’ hands or arms that would indicate they had tried to defend or protect themselves. The pathologist noted that Kylie had some bruises and scrapes that may have been produced at about the same time as the stabbings.”

      The household member that was a lawyer could have easily researched this case and got the particulars on the placement of the three stab woulds Mr. Follin used.

      • Eagle
        05/16/2010 at 12:01 PM

        Or.. if one had the habit of reading crime descriptions (like the article on the death of Shakespeare), one could have run across it.

        • Eagle
          05/16/2010 at 12:31 PM

          Shakespeare’s death was not a crime.
          Should have said ‘if one had the habit of reading death scene descriptions.”

      • Anonymous in DC
        05/17/2010 at 12:19 AM

        That’s creepy, I had not heard of that case before. Was there a theory in that case why there were no defensive wounds?

      • NM
        05/17/2010 at 8:59 AM

        Wow. Why no defensive wounds????

  31. John Grisham
    05/15/2010 at 2:26 AM

    With 48 hours to go until opening statements, I still have these following procedural questions:

    1. Will Sarah be cross examined?
    2. Will Tom and John be called to the stand?
    3. Will the next door neighbor who heard the scream be called to testify to this fact?
    4. Will Michael Price, his “roommate,” and his burglary partner be questioned by the prosecution?
    5. Will Kathy Wone be asked to testify concerning her last communications with Robert?
    6. Will reported evidence of Robert’s semen in his own rectum be admissible?

    • John Grisham
      05/16/2010 at 3:16 PM

      No replies? Either nobody knows, or I am really out of the loop.

  32. Bill Orange
    05/15/2010 at 8:07 AM

    Anyone know if there are photos of Wone’s shirt that have been published? It could be interesting to compare those to the pattern of wounds on his chest.

  33. Themis
    05/15/2010 at 8:56 AM

    For all I know Dr.G is a fine forensic pathologist. This thread got started because some posters thought Ben’ point about Robert’ s weight was idiotic. Ben may be, not my call, but that point shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

    Moreover it is Dr. G’s work on this case that matters. If, and I have no way of knowing at this point, she did get that detail wrong, it will hurt her credibility, more so than not being board certfied IMHO.

    And BMI absolutely can be misleading as can so many other things if you don’t consider all the variables. That’s one of the benefits of a jury. You have 12 pairs of eyes looking at an issue rather one ( though I am sure that the judge has clerks and uses them.

    • Bea
      05/15/2010 at 2:29 PM

      Themis, much as I respect your insight here, I think your defense of Ben’s “point” is misplaced. It took until this morning for me to get an answer from my very average-framed male friend who is no more than 5’4. He weighs 155. I think it’s silly to jump on an ME for a matter as simple as this.

  34. Themis
    05/15/2010 at 7:18 PM

    I didn’t jump on the ME. What I stated was that the info on Robert’s weight could be incorrect as Ben opined. I’d certainly check it out if I was defense counsel.

    It also shows that perception differs according to a variety if factors. In my experience, a guy 64 inches tall weighing 154 would be best described as soft or roundish if he doesn’t lift. My trainer who is Robert’s height is built like a BSH to the extent that term applies to men, 50 pull ups doesn’t make him break a sweat, and he weighs 165. I asked him.

    Again though it only matters if the ME was wrong. Then it’s like pulling on a loose thread to see if you can unravel the sweater.

    • Bea
      05/15/2010 at 8:07 PM

      Just a difference in opinion that the number seems off. My friend at 155 lbs, 5’4, runs and is generally athletic but not a lifter or gym-body boy. But not at all soft or round – looks sort of like the photos of Robert in terms of body/frame.

  35. AnnaZed
    05/16/2010 at 12:19 AM

    Themis, do you think any of the men are on the verge of pleading? If any one of them were your client would you advise it?

  36. Eagle
    05/16/2010 at 12:35 PM

    I wish this did not make sense, but it does.
    How do you account for the needle marks?

    • Bill Orange
      05/16/2010 at 4:12 PM

      I know I’m in the minority, but I still think the needle marks were all made in the resuscitation effort. The EMTs said that they didn’t stick any needles in those spots, but what about the hospital staff? At autopsy, Robert Wone was intubated and had two chest tubes and two large-bore deep vein IVs in place. While it’s possible that the EMTs did all of this, it’s much more likely that the EMTs got him to the ER as quickly as possible, and a major effort was made to revive him in the ER. In a setting like this, what usually happens is that the patient is intubated, and one person is “bagging” oxygen into the lungs while another is doing chest compressions. Other people are trying to get IVs in place, and there are usually several people trying to do this at once. The sites of the needle punctures are entirely consistent with this. The “bagger” would be standing at the head of the exam table, and the person doing chest compressions would be standing to the patient’s right. Someone at the foot of the bed could have been trying to get a line in the right foot, and someone on the patient’s left could have been trying to get a line in the left hand or arm. When this failed, they could have tried for the neck, and when that failed, they would have gone for the deep vein IVs that were still in place at the autopsy. This looks like SOP for a resuscitation to me.

      • MotherOfInvention
        05/16/2010 at 6:19 PM

        I agree. I think the needle marks may have all come from resuscitation efforts. I still think it is likely, if not certain, that Robert was drugged, but with inhalants or his drink in the kitchen was drugged.

  37. AnnaZed
    05/17/2010 at 1:08 AM

    Answering Anonymous in DC (that thread was getting a bit too narrow).

    It seems that that Joe called both Lisa and Michael to meet him at police station. He had one interview (of which we have a partial transcript) then left and was all the way out in the parking lot when the detectives asked him to step back inside and answer a few more questions. I think that at that point he gave Lisa his wallet, phone, watch and whatever else of value he might have had on him (knowing better then to give them to junkie Michael) because he thought he was going to be arrested. He talked to the police some more (and we have a transcript of that as well) then, amazingly enough (probably really amazingly enough to him) he was not immediately placed under arrest. So, he got on the phone to Michael and mentions in that call that Lisa has his wallet.

    • plumskiter
      05/17/2010 at 8:10 AM

      Will the prosecution argue that Joe’s decision to give Lisa his wallet, etc. shows “consciousness of guilt”?

      Will the defense argue that it merely shows Joe’s recognition that the police suspected him?

    • Hoya Loya
      05/17/2010 at 10:10 AM


      Thanks for restarting the discussion down here. No way Lisa was involved, but she is intriguing as a friend of both Joe and Robert. Joe felt close enough to her to call her when he went to VCB for interrogation. Given her media job and central role in the old W&M circle was that calculated? I think she probably bought into the intruder story early on — wonder what she thinks now?

      I’ve mentioned before that it struck me that one of the first things she mentioned in her eulogy was her memory of walking trough the W&M campus with Robert and Joe Price. She knew better than any other outsider at that point that Joe was a suspect. He was sitting in the front of the church as a pallbearer. Very few, if any of the other eulogists mentioned anyone else’s name. This was Robert’s service after all. Was it a reach out of sympathy for Joe’s loss? An appeal to his conscience, via a nostalgic reference, to do the right thing? A reminder to everyone that suspect Joe was Robert’s friend? Not sure what, if anything, it meant — I’m probably reading way too much into it.

      But I do think that she knows, perhaps better than many, the full arc of the Robert-Joe friendship and its dynamics, starting in the W&M student government days and later. She may be able to shed some light in that regard if she testifies.

  38. Anonymous in DC
    05/17/2010 at 1:20 AM

    Thanks AnnaZed, I had the flu when I read his transcripts and that part must have sailed right over my ailing head. Thanks for clarifying that mystery. Makes sense he’d had the stuff to her rather than Michael. That kind of makes me think Michael is unlikely to be the one holding other “valuables”. Would Joe really trust Sarah that much? I hope she does take the stand, still don’t have too much of a sense of her.

  39. AnnaZed
    05/17/2010 at 1:42 AM

    John G will disagree, but I don’t think that Sarah had a thing to do with this crime. I think that she was told to make herself scarce that night and did so. I am also sure that it was probably one of many nights that she had been told to vacate the premises (say when hook-ups were expected for fun and games). I hope that she told the police about that and I hope that the prosecutors have that information.

    I would say it is one thing to involve your strange drug abusing brother in a crime (familiar territory for him) and maybe not have any choice but to give the bloody knife and other incriminating evidence to him once Victor screws up one’s plan by screaming before you have removed a dead body and quite another (curiously enough) to hand this same drug abusing brother one’s wallet and credit cards. Makes a strange druggie kind of sense to me.

    • Nora
      05/17/2010 at 7:07 AM

      Sarah is the most interesting one in this case to me, and I would love it if she were called as a witness (I’m not sure if the names of the witnesses have yet been released). If I had been one of the detectives investigating this case, I would have zeroed in on her as the housemate least likely to be involved in the crime.

      I definitely would have walked her through the house – which she probably knew quite well, despite Joe’s comment about her weight – asking if anything leaped out at her. Did it look cleaned up? Was stuff out of place? In all the shared houses I’ve lived in, I think I would’ve known right away if an operation like that took place. I just hope the investigators made full use of her memory at the time.

    • Hoya Loya
      05/17/2010 at 10:20 AM


      I tend to agree that she was not a knowing participant — that’s why she is my second guess. I could see a scenario where she might have been duped somehow — given a package for safekeeping, but not knowing what it contained or maybe initially convinced that there was an intruder and that the trouple would be unfairly persecuted for the crime unless she helped protect them. That might explain her distance from them since then, as the reality of what might have happened dawned upon her.

      Along with Lisa, she could be a very interesting witness.

      Nora’s excellent walk-through idea — do we know for sure that something like that didn’t happen?

  40. Leonard
    05/17/2010 at 10:22 AM

    If one were to sedate / anesthitize a person to a point where their heart rate and blood pressure were so low that they were close to cardiac arrest, I would expect significant decreases in blood flow coming from stab wounds. GHB,Ketamine,Chloraform and a host of other drugs could produce severely depressed heart rate. Electroshock could also produce arythmia and heart failure. A crime scene with a stabbing victim might produce a large amount of external blood flow from the wounds. If that person had a pulse rate and blood pressure that were extraordinarily low you’d see far less external bleeding. A sedated victim would not struggle so wounds would be cleaner. Perhaps Wone was on the verge of death from cardiac arrest and seeing this the perpetrator(s) might have panicked and stabbed him in order to create a more plausible intruder story?

    • Clemypooh
      05/22/2010 at 6:35 PM

      Still, the blood would have been accounted for during the autopsy.

  41. jeffrey davis
    05/19/2010 at 10:48 AM

    I have been reading about this case in the Washington Post, and a wild thought crossed my mind in regard to the theory of a paralytic agent having been used. Is it possible that one of the three accused had access to succinylcholine? This is a drug that is typically given intravenously, but can be administered intramuscularly, with a very rapid onset of one to two minutes, and a very short duration of around 4-5 minutes. Its effect is to paralyze all of the skeletal muscles of the body while having no effect on mental functioning. It is not looked for in any routine toxicology screen of the urine, but given that 10% of the drug is excreted unchanged in the urine, you would find it if specifically looking for it.

    Another possibility would be the drug midazolam (Versed), a benzodiazepine with a similar chemical configuration to Xanax and Ativan. Midazolam can be administered IV, IM, and there is even a “lollipop” delivery system. Its onset is rapid and the half-life is short, and even more importantly, not all toxicology screens will detect it in the urine. People given this drug for medical procedures are very quickly in “la-la land,” and generally have amnesia for the event.

    Just wondering if the prosecution was complete in looking for drugs that may have been in Mr. Wone’s body, and very possibly put there by a gruesome threesome?

    • BadShoes
      05/19/2010 at 11:52 AM

      the tests run by the medical examiner’s office are listed in the autopsy report.

      A second set of more recent tests found trace amounts of xylene, but I do not know what other drugs may have sought in the later tests.

  42. 05/19/2010 at 11:05 AM

    I read the autopsy report and it does not seem to reference the allegation that Mr. Wone’s semen was found in his own rectum. When and where was the examination performed that prompted this allegation? I would have thought this would be part of the autopsy, although it may have been done at the hospital.

    • Bill Orange
      05/19/2010 at 11:31 AM

      I think it’s part of the sexual assault kit referenced in the autopsy, but the actual results would be in a separate report.

  43. prtyboydc
    05/20/2010 at 4:05 AM

    Im intrigued by the theory that Robert was stabbed in the bathtub or bathroom, hence the lack of blood evidence in the house. Do we know what the remaining volume of blood was in Robert’s body at the time of autopsy? Might this be an indication of how much blood he lost at the scene?

    The defense is suggesting that the nature of Robert’s wounds were such that they may not have produced a significant amount of external bleeding. Is the volume of blood found in Robert’s chest cavity, abdomen and small intestine consistent with this assertion?

    • DonnaH
      05/22/2010 at 3:31 AM

      From the Day 3 report, on testimony by Dr. Goslinoski:

      5: The Blood. The tally from the autopsy of blood recovered in Robert’s body: approx. 2 liters. What she would expect to find in an average man of Robert’s age and build: 6 liters. Very little more was said. Message delivered.

  44. jeffrey davis
    05/20/2010 at 2:06 PM

    I looked at the autopsy report: urine tested only for gamma-hydroxy butyric acid (GBH); blood was tested for benzodiazepines as a class, but I’m not sure if that would pick up any use of something like Midazelam (Versed) that might have been administered in the time before his death.

    Another thought on a drug to check for: Ketamine. It can be given IV or IM.

    Methinks a forensic toxicologist would be worthwhile.

    • Doug
      05/20/2010 at 2:28 PM

      Jeff Davis: Ketamine has been speculated on for quite a while as a possibility. However the opportunity for testing has now passed. -Doug, co-editor

  45. emg
    05/20/2010 at 8:01 PM

    Dumb question. Did PD ever find cab company that dropped Robert off to confirm time of arrival? Robert had called his wife at 9:30 to say he was leaving. It does not take an hour to get to Swann. Who last saw Robert and what time? Every minute must be accounted for if we are to believe so much transpired.

    Having come in late on this I intitally thought Dylan was the culprit. I absolutely believed Dylan’s interview. He was not involved but is terrified of Joe. His interview lines up with both V & J’s interview as it relates to him. Joe and/or his brother Michael are at the center. Victor is a question mark, but my gut tells me he is saying and doing what Joe tells him. Dylan can’t turn because he doesn’t know anything. Victor is the key. Not only because he knows more of what actually happened (whether or not Joe really came upstairs at 10:45), but because he may be more terrified of prison than Joe.

    • DonnaH
      05/22/2010 at 3:49 AM

      When he called his wife at 9:30, he was leaving the workshop he’d been to that day and was on his way to meet the evening staff at Radio Free Asia, for which he was just beginning to work as legal counsel, before he went to Swann. Kenny Swift, the night shift supervisor there, recalled that the visit lasted until “about 10:30 p.m.” (from Day 2 Wrap). You can see that for a discussion of this issue in the comments. Your question about taxicab records has been asked before but never definitively answered, from what I’ve read.

  46. Just Curious
    05/28/2010 at 2:30 AM

    I’m from Nebraska and have spent the past 6 hours or so, reading up on Robert Wone’s murder and all these comments. I am not a lawyer, nor a doctor, but I do watch too much crime TV. lol

    I read that Robert had no blood on his hands. I also read that the hospital my have washed it off while removing his clothing. If indeed there was blood on his hands and he did hold his wounds, wouldn’t there be blood present under his nails?

    Also, even if he was cleaned up in a shower/tub, Luminol would show the blood collected around the drain, wouldn’t it? I haven’t read anything as of yet that stated if there was any blood traces found by using Luminol.

    I would also like to add that I am 5’2″ and weigh 158lb. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me as I’m mainly muscle mass. Muscle does weigh more than fat, so BMI goes out the window in some cases.

    I don’t believe for a minute there was an intruder. I believe someone had an axe to grind with Robert and he was lured to their home with the promise of legal matters being resolved, given the papers on the kitchen counter. I could be wrong, but it’s just my thoughts.

    So sad, this story is. Very interesting to read about though. I pray his killer(s) will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Nobody deserves to die like that.

    Thank you. 🙂

    • Jo
      05/28/2010 at 4:13 AM

      Good point. It would be pretty hard to scrub blood from under finger nails. It further strengthens the theory that he was incapacitated while stabbed. I had a similar question about Luminol, whether it could show trace blood after bloody clothing/towel has been laundered. No one seem to have an answer on the site so far.

      • Just Curious
        05/28/2010 at 11:22 AM

        Typically, in murder cases, scraping under the nails, or even clipping them, is part of retaining evidence. I haven’t read anywhere that states this had been done. Even if you painted over dried blood after scrubbing it with bleach, Luminol will show it. I’m not sure about laundery clothing though. Like I said, I’m no pro.

        I do believe he was incapacitated when he was stabbed. No defensive wounds at all would support this fact. One, or all three of these men know exactly what happened. It amazes me that after all this time, not one person has fessed up. These men went to great lengths to cover up their crime, but no crime is perfect.

    • DonnaH
      05/28/2010 at 5:30 PM

      As for the motives, I’ve read somewhere on this site–though I can’t locate it now–that Joe and Robert were going to discuss some legal business over breakfast, but as I recall it was about some legal work Joe was trying to get for the company he worked for, Argent Fox, for whom Robert (if I recall correctly) had also worked at one point. Nothing contentious between them. I believe that it’s more likely that Joe had been secretly enamoured of Robert for years, and together with Dylan made a plan for incapacitating Robert prior to sexual play, and then wound up believing they had O.D.’d him, and decided to make it appear he was the victim of a violent crime. You can read more about this possible motivation in the comments to the section (which you can search for), “Chinese Handcuffs.”

      • AkaZappa
        05/28/2010 at 6:28 PM

        This scenario makes the most sense to me too.

      • AkaZappa
        05/28/2010 at 6:29 PM

        I don’t think Robert worked for Arent Fox though. He was at Covington.

  47. Grrr
    05/31/2010 at 8:48 PM

    I may have missed this, but a 10-4 o’clock stab wound orientation may suggest a right-handed person.

  48. 09/05/2012 at 6:01 AM

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