Day 5: Wrap

The Anacostia Dialogues

The morning and early afternoon sessions of today’s trial were taken up by two of the first responders: MPD Sgt. Charles Patrick and evidence technician from the Crime Scene Investigative Branch, Curtis Lancaster.  The afternoon session saw the screening of the first thirty minutes of Joe Price’s police interview from the night of the murder.

The upshot of Patrick’s testimony was he reiterated a previous officer’s testimony that Joe Price was shooting “glares” while he, Ward and Zaborsky were first greeting the arriving authorities.

Of Ward, Patrick said, “Everytime he tried to talk, he was shut down.”  After getting glared at, Patrick said, “he seemed to stop talking.”

Patrick was calm and clear on the stand.  Price counsel Bernie Grimm questioned him on who was at 1509 when he first arrived; Patrick wasn’t certain.  Officer Hampton was inside the house while Patrick said Diane Durham, once thought to be THE first responding MPD officer, was “…only outside.”

More after the jump.

Did Hampton take notes, Grimm asked  “Did you (Patrick) see him writing anything down?” Patrick didn’t recall.  Asked when Patrick reported the element of Price’s “stares,” Patrick said he shared it with a Homicide Division detective “a few days later.”

MPD Sgt. Charles Patrick

Zaborsky counsel Tom Connolly was next and once again played to role.  His cross lasted only a minute with just a question or two about his client’s behavior.  Was Zaborsky crying, grieving?  Yes to both.  “Did that appear natural under the circumstances?” Connolly asked.  Yes, said Patrick.

Ward counsel David Schertler’s cross was also relatively brief and centered on where and what the defendants were doing when Patrick arrived.  Did they appear as victims?  Yes again.

Evidence tech Lancaster spent the better part of two hours detailing the procedures that he and his partner Robert McCollom used to photograph the crime scene, the dusting of prints and the bagging and tagging they did of the physical evidence.  Kirschner directed him through the better part of 30 crime scene photos and pieces of evidence including the knife, bloody towel, the bed’s flat sheet and comforter.

Kirschner got Lancaster to say that the house did not look ransacked, the drawers were not rifled and nothing looked like it had been disturbed.  Lancaster also characterized the state of the bloody items, saying the knife was “dry or nearly dry when bagged,” and the sheet was “damp to nearly dry.”  Kirschner got Lancaster on record saying there was no instances of cross contamination.

One photo Lancaster took was of a thermostat right outside the room Robert was found in.  It’s digital readout showed 76 degrees.  This stands out because a topic of conversation of when Robert arrived was how hot his room was.  The thermostat also displayed the time.  More on this later.

The triple cross of Lancaster didn’t seem to reveal much other than what was reported earlier today about  Dr. Henry Lee, an expert witness for the defense, on the loose hairs in the US Attorneys’ Office.  On redirect, Kirschner was about to unfold the bed sheet in the well of the courtroom, but not before Judge Leibovitz could stop him…none to thrilled about a biohazard risk in room 310.

At 4:00pm the government called the case’s lead investigator, Detective Sergeant Daniel Wagner.  Wagner, too, described his observation about his arrival and two hours on the scene.  “Price led us (police) around while he told the story,” he said.  “He told me an intruder entered the house and stabbed his friend.  He came in the backdoor and showed me that it was ajar about a quarter inch.”  Wagner heard nothing from either Ward or Zaborsky.

AUSA Rachel Carson Lieber then asked when he returned to 1509.  A few days later, the same day they recovered the carving set from Ward’s room, in an “up high cabinet over the (Ward’s) bed.”

Let’s go to the videotape.  Carson Lieber rolled the first installment at 4:25pm.  Most have read the three seperate interrogations, but hearing and seeing the interviews offers different impressions.

The interrogation room at the VCB looked cramped and nondescript, the walls, an institutional yellow, and just a few chairs.  The camera was mounted in the ceiling and only showed a wide shot of Price and the two cops.

Wagner sat to Price’s left, leaning back in his chair casually with his arms folder crossed his chest.  Detective Milton Norris sat directly facing Price and was the more aggressive of the two; a definite street cop.  DC Street.  The session did not come off as all that confrontational; the questioning slow paced; it was the middle of the night after all.

Contrasting with Price’s previous statements to first responders about a “black guy” who hangs around the Swann Street alley, Price sanitized his words and told the African-American Norris about “the guy” in the alley.  At no time did Price appear very emotional or upset; he was matter of fact in retelling the night’s events.

While the tape was playing, both Zaborsky and Ward, along with most of the courtroom, watching the screen.  We didn’t see but were told Zaborsky cried at one point.  The screen itself hung nearly over Price’s head and he made no effort to swing around to watch it, even though Leibovitz said the defendants could watch it from a better angle.

The Wone family’s eyes were fixed on the screen, as was Zaborsky’s aunt.  Ward’s father, cardiologist Dr. Needham Ward, watched the playback intently.  Judge Leibovitz appeared to be more keenly listening than watching as the tape played, also reading along with the transcript it seemed. 

The trial resumes at 9:00am Tuesday morning, with Leibovitz at another matter from 10:15 -11:15.

Sketches courtesy William J. Hennessy, Jr.

186 comments for “Day 5: Wrap

  1. AnnaZed
    05/24/2010 at 7:35 PM

    “On redirect, Kirschner was about to unfold the bed sheet in the well of the courtroom, but not before Judge Leibovitz could stop him…none to thrilled about a biohazard risk in room 310.”

    What biohazard? Does this mean that no bloody physical evidence can be shown in court at all? I have never heard of this.

    • Craig
      05/24/2010 at 7:53 PM

      AZ: I just think the Judge may have been a little squeamish today. The towel is one thing to hold up, but the sheet would’ve covered up the entire floor of her well.

      Kirschner’s point wasn’t critical to his case either; it was to demonstrate how evidence techs do “pharmacy folding,” so that no small items or bits of evidence fall out.

      • AnnaZed
        05/24/2010 at 7:57 PM

        Well considering that we do in fact apparently have bits of evidence (hairs) falling out of other evidence then I would think that might be germane.

        • Carolina
          05/24/2010 at 8:45 PM

          Do you have any idea who was with Dr. Lee when he discovered the hairs?

          • New Alias
            05/25/2010 at 12:09 AM

            Viewing of the Hairs was hosted by DA’s office, under the supervision of Officer Lancaster.

  2. KKinCA
    05/24/2010 at 7:51 PM

    Good question, AnnaZed.
    When I read the testimony of how Joe led the police around the house while telling his “story”, I just got chills. I wonder how many people who have a friend murdered in the their homes merely hours ago are able to pull that off without totally breaking down or are in too much shock to even walk or talk coherently.
    Also interesting that Grimm didn’t ask Sgt. Patrick whether Joe appeared to be a victim, or was crying or grieving, while the other defense counsel were able to get yes answers to those questions regarding their clients. I think maybe Grimm knew what the answer would be.
    Lots more in the wrap to discuss! I look forward to all the readers’ posts!

    • AnnaZed
      05/24/2010 at 8:41 PM

      I think it’s some sort of lawyer rule; don’t ask a question unless you know the answer. I think it sometimes applies in the negative; don’t ask a question that you know the answer to but would prefer that the assembled don’t hear that particular answer.

    • David
      05/26/2010 at 11:25 AM

      Come on….does anyone believe these housemates. They are not telling the whole truth about that night. Grilling, looking at bugs on the lights….come on….not finger prints of and intruder…….these guys were into some weird stuff it sounds like. I hope they put these housemates in jail for a long long time.

  3. xxx
    05/24/2010 at 8:00 PM

    I have been following this blog for months. Help me understand this point: if a murder was not pre-planned (and it looks like it wasn’t), if any or all of the trouple were involved, why did they think they could get away with a sexual assault on Robert and not murder him? That is, if they were planning on sexually assaulting him but not murdering him, they had to know that a living witness (victim) via Robert would be available to press charges / testify against them. Why did they think they could get away with it?

    • Clemypooh
      05/24/2010 at 8:12 PM

      Absolutely good question which is why I am thinking that maybe Robert was consentual with the sex. If they were going to sexually assault him, they would have had to kill him to prevent him from knowing something was really wrong the next day, right?

      • Carolina
        05/24/2010 at 8:29 PM

        Then why is he dead, if he was all for it? There is no evidence to support this. In fact, there is far more to support the opposite, including the defendants’ own statements. No one is going to jail to “keep Robert’s secret.”

      • Cecily
        05/24/2010 at 8:40 PM

        I feel it was either consentual or if they were high on ectasy (it was found in the house) or some other drug it could alter their reasoning skills. Though if one were high enough on drugs to do that not sure how that person could handle a cleanup and police interrogation. Did they test the defendants for drugs in their system?

        • Carolina
          05/24/2010 at 8:44 PM

          They were not arrested, so no reason to test. I still cannot fathom the “consensual” part. There is absolutely nothing to support this, not that I wouldn’t be thrilled to have Robert on my team.

        • KKinCA
          05/24/2010 at 8:44 PM

          I recall that after the interviews all 3 agreed to give DNA (mouthswab?) and Dylan actually took a lie detector test. But I don’t recall anything about blood tests. CD, Bea, Hoya, Themis? One or all of them probably know the answer. (sorry if I missed any of the other knowledgeable regulars)

          • Nelly
            05/24/2010 at 9:20 PM

            I never heard about any of them giving blood samples.

          • Bea
            05/24/2010 at 9:28 PM

            First as to ‘consensual’ – we’ve seen nothing to support that Robert had any desires for any of these men or men in general. I happen to believe that there may have been discussion about coming on to Robert – and perhaps they thought themselves irresistible. Possibly it changed from proposition to force, and being high, maybe there was no concern for consequences, or they were confident that with the particular meds cocktail that Robert would not remember. But something changed, or something happened.

            The three LATER gave DNA samples and fingerprint samples, but not that night. Dylan took a polygraph, and we do not know the results – BUT the defense prepared a motion to prevent its introduction at trial (which they’d be sure to win) so I am assuming that the results were not positive to the defense (possibly he failed or the results were ‘inconclusive’).

            Joe said he would take one, noting aloud that it wouldn’t matter anyway because they were inadmissible, but then pretended to be too frustrated to go through with it.

            The cops could not have forced them to have given drug tests that night (or blood samples of any kind) because they were not under arrest and the cops didn’t have a warrant. I am curious if they’d asked if the defendants would have agreed . . . they were trying very hard to ‘look cooperative.’

            • New Alias
              05/24/2010 at 10:17 PM

              Per what factor might have triggered this attack, all along I’ve thought this crime was part and parcel of JP’s march towards the far end of psycho-sexual extremism, and that it didn’t particularly matter that the victim was a “friend,” a hapless addict, or a sex worker — that the crime was an instance of ultimate objectification. IMHO, of course. But lately…

              … Ive been thinking about JP’s statement about his plan to have lunch with Robert and Kathy, and Robert canceling at the last minute… JP also says in his interrogation (first transcript) that Robert called to say he got the time “wrong” for his impending arrival (I infer he meant that Robert told him he was running late, or planned to arrive later than he’d initially said). JP wanted to talk to Robert about a business matter; Robert blew him off twice (that we know of – maybe he cancelled on breakfast too) within the space of a few weeks.

              Maybe JP was triggered by what he perceived as a lack of deference from his one-time protege… the protege was now an upstart flagrantly bucking his elder’s control. JP wanted Robert to do something (hire Arent Fox) and Robert was not being duly (read: obsequiously) compliant. This would have nothing to do with JP or Arent Fox needing the money; the issue would be purely psychological.

              Of course JP would have had to be in a place (mentally) where such violence was already within his behavioral vocabulary – people don’t turn killer overnight, or because of a single event. But if he were already there, or a hair’s breadth away, and Robert unwittingly pushed his buttons… well, its a thought, anyway.

              I’m given to understand that elite, status-conscious Washingtonians are second only to elite, status-conscious Los Angelenos in reading the tea leaves (and getting hysterical) over who does or doesn’t take a meeting with who.

              • Carolina
                05/24/2010 at 10:29 PM

                That gave me chills. A very interesting line of thought.

              • Phil
                05/25/2010 at 2:07 PM

                Where are the transcripts of the questioning? I cannot seem to find them.

        • New Alias
          05/24/2010 at 9:20 PM

          Cecily, you are aware that men can be, and sometimes are, raped, right? And that people are raped through no fault of their own? And that nowadays, being friends with a gay man doesn’t automatically make you gay? These concepts are no longer avant garde.

          I find it nothing short of astounding that people persist in fantasizing about the victim’s “secret life” when there is not one shred of evidence pointing in this direction. I seriously thought this phenomenon only occurred when the victim was female. This has been a real education for me.

    • Nelly
      05/24/2010 at 9:16 PM

      Because they had drugs to make him unconscious, and they were arrogant enough to think they could get away with it.

      • Jo
        05/25/2010 at 1:25 AM

        You took those words right out of my mouth. I think this theory is most plausible. The murder might not have been preplanned but the sexual assault by drugging was most likely preplanned.

        One thing for sure though, if Robert had never met JP, he would still be alive today. I don’t trust anyone (straight or gay) who’s into torture and dominance. Had Robert knew JP’s secret side, he probably wouldn’t have asked to spend a night at JP’s townhouse that night.

        • Carolina
          05/25/2010 at 8:27 AM

          I suppose that’s possible, but there are many, many people who are into BDSM who never murder anyone or injure anyone who isn’t in a consenting relationship. Robert didn’t seem particularly narrow-minded.

          • Jo
            05/26/2010 at 1:19 AM

            From what I have read, Robert sounded like a very open-minded person with a good heart. I was just wondering had he known about JP and DW’s BDSM activities and the 3-way relationship in that household, whether he would still have choosen to stay overnight there vs. at another friend’s house. Kathy Wone thought that DW was just a friend of JP’s who needed a place to stay. I assume that was Robert’s understanding as well.

            I don’t believe that everyone who is into BDSM is capable of murder but I also don’t pretend to understand why people enjoy inflicting pain on others or on themselves.

            • SJinNYC
              05/28/2010 at 3:02 PM

              I agree, Jo. I consider myself sexually liberal and open-minded,and I can understand getting turned on by a bit of spanking, or being tied up, or the leather dominatrix ‘fashions’, or being bossed around, but for those who are seriously turned on/exclusively turned on by real pain (the kind that leaves marks, electrocution, torture), I always wonder what is going on psychologically, and that it can’t be indicative of the best of mental health. Then again, if that’s what two consenting adults are into, it doesn’t bother me, but it does bother me when people speculate that Robert may have been a willing participant in these kinds of activities.

              • Jo
                05/29/2010 at 6:13 PM

                Exactly. I wonder whether Robert was the only unsuspecting victim that the housemates have experimented with before. Would any amnesia brought on by party drugs be so strong that the victims have no clue what might have happened to them? If there are other drugging victims of the housemates and/or Michael Price, wouldn’t they want to talk to the authorities? Perhaps they are afraid to be dragged into the public spotlight.

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 9:20 PM

      A lot of party drugs cause amnesia, so that would be in the realm of possibility. There also could have been a misunderstanding, in that maybe someone in the house was expecting to have consensual sex and was surprised when Wone said no, prompting a violent outburst. Or this could have been an unplanned murder that had nothing to do with sex.

      • Carolina
        05/24/2010 at 10:31 PM

        What on earth would prompt any of them to think Robert might take the bait after all these years? The simple act of asking to stay over at a friend’s?

    • mia
      05/24/2010 at 10:20 PM

      First of all, I believe I’ve read somewhere that Robert had send out two emails to Price and another friend of him (I think her name is Lisa, if I remember it correctly)who both lived in D.C. area to arrange a sleepover days before. And Price was the first one to respond. Considering he left RFA office at around 10:20 that day (He called from the office 10:22 to confirm his arrival, right?), and it was in fact the first time ever he planned to stay overnight there, I didn’t see anything suspicious or unusual here. If he was not pre-planned to have sex with them, then it would be very hard to believe a straight guy would suddenly decided to have group gay sex with his old friends. Even he want to try something wild, I don’t think he would want to do it with the tri, it was just too much of risk since they were like family friend to both him and Kathy (at least not total strangers).

    • mia
      05/24/2010 at 10:37 PM

      Another thing is, sometimes the victim of date rape would rather keep silence than admit it to his/her family & friends. My guess is not every (straight) man who was sexually assaulted by other men would want to bring this to public. We don’t know how Robert would react under such circumstance, but as a long time friend of him, Price probably would know better than us.

      • Clemypooh
        05/25/2010 at 7:48 PM

        I have been wondering about the rape angle and I think you make an excellent point. I had not thought that RW may have been less than willing to report something if he had been drugged and unsure. The fact that many people would not report a rape, especially a man, is an important point I completely overlooked. Thanks for this insight.

    • William
      05/25/2010 at 1:17 PM

      If Robert were drugged to the point that he could be stabbed without reacting, it is likely that he would have no memory of what they did to him that night if they hadn’t killed him. Nevertheless, he would know SOMETHING happened, of course, and would probably have figured it out and maybe pressed charges and certainly never seen those men again. They would have been as ostracized from their former group as they are now.

      I too get stuck on the why, and why now, after all those years. Why would they rape him? Why would they stab him? It seems like either the drugs were affecting their minds or they are just psychopaths. By “they” I am guessing Price and at least one of the others, probably Ward, and maybe others outside the trouple. I guess the problem is that none of this can ever make sense to someone who isn’t of the same mindset. Why does anyone commit murder? I cannot imagine, because there is never a justification. At least Robert was apparently unconsious as these heinous acts were committed by his dear friends.

      • Jo
        05/29/2010 at 6:22 PM

        I sure hope he was unconscious but what if JP’s statement about hearing “low grunts” is true? It’s a very disturbing thought that he might have been physically paralyzed (thus no defensive wounds) but mentally aware enough to feel pain and grunt. Would a totally unconscious person be able to grunt?

  4. Clio
    05/24/2010 at 8:06 PM

    As per Sgt. Patrick’s account, Joe’s “glares” must have been fierce in order to keep his titular “dom” from uttering one word. Why did Culuket seem so worried about Dyl yet not so worried about his own primary spouse? Fascinating!

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 9:47 PM

      Victor Zaborsky was a successful advertising executive. Dylan Ward seems like he can barely be trusted to order a pizza. Which one would you be more worried about in terms of keeping their stories straight?

      • dcbill
        05/24/2010 at 10:11 PM

        LOL! Thanks for the laugh, Bill.

      • AnnaZed
        05/24/2010 at 10:12 PM

        Yet curiously from my reading of the transcripts I found Dylan the most credible.

      • GU92
        05/24/2010 at 10:19 PM

        I went to Georgetown with Dylan Ward. We were casual acquaintances and haven’t had any contact since. I remember him as highly intelligent, perhaps too much for his own good in that he always seemed weighed down with emotion. I know he had a difficult time coming out to his parents, which could have had something to do with that. I wouldn’t question his intellect, though.

        • NYer
          05/24/2010 at 10:40 PM

          Thanks for the input GU. It is a rare thing that we see posts by someone who has actually met any of the three. Just one question- based on your memory of Dylan, did he seem capable of such a crime, or not? To put it another way, how surprised were you when you learned of this case? Very surprised or not very surprised?

          • GU92
            05/24/2010 at 10:49 PM

            I was absolutely shocked. This may be hard to believe given what we know about his BDSM activities, but I remember him as being a very gentle soul. Of course, this was 18 years ago when we all were much younger.

            • CDinDC
              05/24/2010 at 11:11 PM

              I don’t think one precludes the other, GU92. When I was a bit younger, I knew a lot of people that were into BDSM. They were all wonderful people.

              Dylan strikes me as someone who is looking for himself. He seems to recreate himself a lot. What that means…who knows.

              • GU92
                05/24/2010 at 11:21 PM

                True enough about BDSM, and of course its appeal to many people is the thrill of acting in a way that contradicts one’s public presentation.

                I would agree with you about Dylan trying to find himself, but when I knew him most of us were trying to find ourselves.

                • Clio
                  05/25/2010 at 8:42 AM

                  I think that, in a very perverse and ironic way, Mr. Ward has finally found himself via the crucible of this tragedy. His confident posting of his massage ads, in particular, displays a jaunty independence from societal and parental expectations. And, he does seem the least culpable for the cover-up at this moment. Happy belated 40th birthday, Dyl!

            • prtyboydc
              05/26/2010 at 1:38 AM

              Dylan’s outward, public demeanor can only be described as quiet and gentle. He is highly intelligent, but has issues with self esteem and confidence. He suffers from depression. He has never been a high achiever and has often felt like he failed to meet the expectations of his family and friends. He is very likable, caring and empathetic.

              • John Grisham
                05/26/2010 at 1:43 AM

                That rings true.

        • Bill Orange
          05/25/2010 at 12:29 AM

          I’m not questioning his intellect. I’m questioning his reliability. He seems to lack focus, and that’s something you have to worry about when you’re trying to tell a coherent story.

        • SJinNYC
          05/28/2010 at 3:08 PM

          Thanks for sharing, GU92. I’ve always been of the opinion that Dylan has gotten the worst rap of the three among the posters here. I too find his interview to be the most credible. In addition, he sounds the most articulate of the three based on his interview. He also strikes me as intelligent, and certainly more intelligent than Joe. Granted, Dylan was no doubt a bit of a ‘lost soul’ and not as successful financially/career-wise as Joe, but I’d be willing to bet he’s much more intelligent.

      • Carolina
        05/24/2010 at 10:33 PM

        Dylan may not have held down a job for any long period of time, but you can hardly say he was incompetent. I don’t think they graduate many of those from Georgetown.

  5. Daphne
    05/24/2010 at 8:24 PM

    Can you describe JP’s demeanor during questioning any more? Did he seem nervous, talk fast, seem high, etc? When I read through the transcript, it seemed like he was talking really fast, almost pressured in his speech.

    • Bea
      05/24/2010 at 9:21 PM

      Me too – curious if he comes across as pompous (my guess) or if there is any shift in speech patterns as the night wears on. I’m particularly interested in when he’s discussing the 11:43 thing and his assumption that the intruder went back OUT by scaling the fence – if there is any registering of fear or discomfort.

      THANKS!

      • Bill Orange
        05/24/2010 at 9:49 PM

        Joe Price would come across as pompous even if all he did was just stand there and recite the Lord’s Prayer. It’s just who he is. I don’t think you can really read that much into his demeanor during the interviews.

      • New Alias
        05/24/2010 at 10:40 PM

        This is just my impression, of course…. he sounded a bit jittery, a bit nervous, but he absolutely did not sound like someone experiencing the shock of a home invasion murder of a long time friend just steps away from where he and his two loved ones were sleeping. Not once does he express anguish, nor does he truly ask – who could have done this? how could this have happened? Instead, he is strangely insistent on his version of the story – the intruder entered (not exited) through the back door, which is when the chime sounded. Even when the detectives offered alternatives – maybe the intruder entered a different way, and the chime sounded as he went out the back door? Maybe someone came in the front door with a key? – he insists on his version with a pretty confident voice. Same thing when he insists the intruder scaled the fence – he doesn’t entertain the idea that the person might have had a key.

        Question: when JP told the detectives that the only people with keys were tenants and a few contractors – and neglected to mention his brother – was that obstruction? Cause if it is, they’ve got a slam dunk.

        It also sounded much more weirdly jarring than it read when JP told the detectives, multiple times, that he knows DW and VZ could not have done it. If he had added “wink wink, nudge nudge” each time he said it I would not have been surprised.

        So, IMHO, his voice sounded a bit emotional or nervous – it was not a completely calm voice – but nothing like what you’d expect from someone who had experienced what he claimed to experience. No exhortation to find the guy who did it. No grief over Robert himself – ‘poor Robert, how could someone do this to him’ sort of thing. No weeping, no wailing, no groaning – no non-verbal expressions of emotion.

        Hearing their voices, my impression was the detectives thought JP was full of shit, and they weren’t shy about letting him know it. But he didn’t really react to that – he never escalated with a – oh my god, look, i really didn’t do it, its not me, we’ve got to find this guy. he pretty much stuck with an even keel – ‘okay, i know you guys have to look at us, its your job, but take my word for it, it was not Victor or Dylan.’

        They didn’t play the whole tape so I can’t say if his speech pattern shifted.

        • HKG
          05/25/2010 at 2:49 AM

          very interesting, and great to hear your reactions and assessment. subtle impressions can be very important. i wonder, will the video ever be released for the public?

          • Carolina
            05/25/2010 at 8:30 AM

            It’s part of public record.

        • Daphne
          05/25/2010 at 9:56 AM

          Thanks, NA. I think demeanor evidence can be extremely important.

  6. Clio
    05/24/2010 at 8:50 PM

    76 degrees may be too warm for comfortable sleeping. I prefer 68 or 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but that’s just me.

  7. Manopener
    05/24/2010 at 9:25 PM

    Robert Wone himself admitted the intruder through the back gate to facilitate a preplanned assignation thus setting off the chime when he opened but did not close the back door. The defendants were in their respective rooms behind closed doors. Knowing Wone was expecting a guest they made themselves scarce. As we have seen clearly from the Betts case there are all kinds of predators posing on the internet and people live double lives.

    It probably became clear to Wone very quickly that he had not been delivered what he had ordered. He tried to get out of the situation but the predator was in the garden and backed him into the house which it was his intent all along to rob. Greatly intimidated and overpowered Wone may have reached for the first means of defense at hand, a kitchen knife, or the predator made aware that there were others unexpectantly present in the house and therefore frustrated in his bid for an easy hit may have acted first. Wone gets stabbed on or near the back steps, he screams, he grunts, the predator flees.

    The housemates think nothing of the chime knowing of an impending visitor but become aware that something may be going on and come to investigate. What they discover is an already dead or dying Robert Wone, blood everywhere “outback” but in truth they have “no clue beyond that what happened.”

    What they do know, even though they are probably understandably in shock, is they have a mess on their hands. The crime scene becomes contaminated by the simple act of trying to get rid of enough of the blood so that they can actually see how badly Wone is hurt and to be able to stand on the slippery blood drenched steps and stoop. From what we know about the nature of the wounds and the missing blood the scene was awash in blood, imagine walking into a scene like that. They were probably like zombies on autopilot after that which could account for all kinds of behavior and demeanor which in reteospect is questionable.

    If you were confronted with a situation wherein you came across your friend gravely injured in an ocean of blood would your first instinct not be to get rid of some of the blood so you could see if there was anyway to help? Only a third rate non-practicing Washington hack lawyer would think the first response would be to preserve the crime scene.

    Would they not have realized they would be primary suspects? Would Joe Price not have known that scrubbing the crime scene would increase that suspicion? Could they not have been motivated by a misguided attempt to spare Wone’s reputation or Price’s career? Who could control the actions of two other hysterical individuals in a situation like that so that everyone’s behavior subsequently appeared rational and orderly?

    I have always been under the belief that the stated reason for Robert Wone’s spending the night in the city that night was that he was planning to visit the late night on-air staff at Radio Free Asia to get a sense of their work. That visit seems to have lasted all of about 10 minutes, “Oh, you spin records and read stuff over a microphone, good to know, gotta go.” Where was he in such a hurry to get to, a five minute tete a tete over water with the boys? We know he called Price to say he was on his way, “clear the decks”, but we will apparently never know who else he may have called.

    It would seem that the accepted narrative on this site is predicated on a rather suspect premise, Robert Wone was unquestionably and unequivocably “straight.” I say maybe, maybe not. If not who would he most logically rely on to discreetly facilitate his secret side other then his openly gay friend of so many years?

    MPD botched this investigation for whatever reasons and motivations. Don’t pretend for a minute this is now about proving a conspiracy as to a cover up. You can’t now make lemons out of lemonade. Where is Robert Wone’s cell phone? Without it there will always be reasonable doubt.

    Does anyone know if there was an open parking spot behind the house that night? Has there been any mention of barking or general excitement amongst the dogs (there are many) in the immediate vicinity?

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 9:32 PM

      Just so we’re clear here: You do understand that you’re arguing that the three defendants are guilty of all of the crimes for which they’ve been charged, right?

      • Bea
        05/24/2010 at 9:54 PM

        Bill is absolutely right. If this is what happened, then the three men are definitely guilty of current charges, and if these facts were established, the three men would be convicted and sentenced.

        I don’t see how you could think this (if you do), but I see no reason to spar.

      • Manopener
        05/24/2010 at 10:17 PM

        Yes, their actions eventually went into the realm of being a cover up but with mitigation and a cover up of what? That is why I stated that it is pretty clear that for most this is not about proving a cover up.

        • Bea
          05/24/2010 at 10:56 PM

          I don’t follow the point you’re trying to make. But clearly with the ‘facts’ as you’ve presented, it’s dead-to-nuts that they’d be convicted of tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. To me, this ‘story’ makes no sense but, regardless, we are in agreement that the defendants delayed calling 911 to clean-up and are lying/have been lying and misleading cops from the very beginning – and they concocted a false story, completing the conspiracy within the triumvirate of charges.

    • Boltz3000
      05/24/2010 at 9:40 PM

      Dude!

      You. Gotta. Be. Kidding. Me.

      • Jo
        05/25/2010 at 4:26 AM

        No kidding. Most ridiculous scenario I have read so far!

    • KKinCA
      05/24/2010 at 9:46 PM

      Your scenario implies a struggle – the nature of the clean and even stab wounds in Robert’s torso and the lack of defensive wounds make this scenario very improbable. And as many of the very patient long-time regulars here have repeated many times – there is zero evidence of Robert being anything than a happily married heterosexual man.

      • Manopener
        05/24/2010 at 10:24 PM

        I can’t speak to the prejudices of others. Robert Wone was a New Yorker, perhaps a bit more sophisticated and casual about these things then those from the outer provinces.

        An occasional homosexual dalliance does not necessarily preclude being a happily married man. Everyone who has experiences abroad the sexual spectrum is not compelled to embrace a lifestyle or political ideology.

        The struggle or lack thereof is problematic I grant you. Was the first blow fatal and/or incapacitating? Were the wounds so identical as we have so far been led to believe? Lack of motive is a bigger problem I think.

        • KKinCA
          05/24/2010 at 10:40 PM

          I totally agree that people are often what they seem, and from my own personal experience I know that one can engage in secret and “unconventional” sexual practices while maintaining a pristine and totally contrary appearance in the areas of family, work and social interactions. That said, I haven’t seen one report here or in any other media that supports your theory. And motive is not required for conviction of a crime.
          Please look through the posts for a description of the uniformity and clean nature of the knife wounds – I think the ME testified last Friday. Also read the autopsy if you haven’t already – good description of the knife wounds and lack of defensive wounds.

          • KKinCA
            05/24/2010 at 10:44 PM

            oops – I meant that “people are NOT often what they seem”.

        • New Alias
          05/24/2010 at 10:55 PM

          “Robert Wone was a New Yorker, perhaps a bit more sophisticated and casual about these things then those from the outer provinces.”

          Lol – like the Woody Allen line from Annie Hall – ‘the rest of the country looks at New York like we’re left wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers… I think of us that way sometimes, and I live here.’

          Give it a rest.

        • Leo
          05/24/2010 at 11:06 PM

          What about Robert’s own semen in his rectum? How the hell did that occur during this struggle? I can’t fathom how that occurred under any scenario, even with the use of Dylan’s electrical equipment etc. No surmise or scenario that I’ve read on this site over the past couple years answers all the weirdness of the evidence in this case.

          • John Grisham
            05/24/2010 at 11:10 PM

            Used as a lubricant on a sexual toy or even condom or otherwise.

        • Carolina
          05/24/2010 at 11:19 PM

          And not a single trick, not a single friend who knew, not even the defendants have said a word, not even to save their own hides. Got it.

          I, too, am a NYer. Robert was from Brooklyn, btw. That’s practically bridge and tunnel.

          • New Alias
            05/25/2010 at 12:13 AM

            lol – from Strong Island myself

      • Ex Swann
        05/24/2010 at 11:06 PM

        The cell phone carrier (and most certainly the prosecution) for Robert’s blackberry has the records for all calls coming to and from the phone. What is missing (not imaged) is the unsent emails and unsent texts …

        So Robert spent one of the very few nights away from his wife (and his first ever sleepover at Joe “must have been the intruder” Price’s cave) picking up some random trick on craigslist?

        Anyone find this scenario remotely plausible? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    • John Grisham
      05/24/2010 at 10:05 PM

      “Greatly intimidated and overpowered … Wone gets stabbed on or near the back steps, he screams, he grunts…” Yet there are no signs that Robert moved in the least while being stabbed three times.

      And then the household bands and sticks together, pledging to surrender their privacy, suffer the rath of WMRWcom and spend $1 million in legal fees to protect Kathy from Robert’s deep dark secret? All the while Kathy is throwing a $20 million lawsuit at them?

      Wow. You should be writing fiction!

      • Manopener
        05/24/2010 at 10:28 PM

        In for a penny in for a pound as they say. They at some point clearly understood that their actions, guilty of murder or not, in the hysteria immediately after this gruesome act left them very exposed. Which ever theory one posits can not be based on solely logical behavior.

        We’ll see where Ms. Wone’s suit goes dependent on the outcome of the matter at hand.

        • Carolina
          05/24/2010 at 11:21 PM

          Sorry, but there was little hysteria, then or now. MSM was so very uninterested.

          • AnnaZed
            05/24/2010 at 11:28 PM

            Ok, now I’m confused; who or what is MSM?

            • Carolina
              05/25/2010 at 1:10 AM

              Mainstream Media.

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 10:37 PM

      And the defensive wounds? Where would those be?

    • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
      05/24/2010 at 11:44 PM

      Oh no, no no, not this again. Robert Wone is not on trial here. His sexuality is not in question. Actually, you CAN make lemonade out of lemons, but you cannot make chicken salad out of chickenshit, pal. Old saying among defense attorneys, if the law is against you, pound the facts, if the facts are against you, pound the law, if the law & the facts are against you, pound the prosecution.

      In the sex offense biz that always means suggest the victim is somehow culpable. If an 80 year old nun in full habit is raped and strangled (real case), we all know how hot those nuns are and how much they want it. If an 8 year old girl is repeatedly sexually molested by her own father as well as her uncle, the judge will remark on how she seemed kind of sexy for her age (also real case.)Those smokin’ 3rd graders, how could any real man resist?

      If Robert Wone had any kind of closeted bi-sexual desires hidden from his wife but known to his college friend residing on Swann Street, there would be an electronic record of searches & hidden caches pertaining to said interest on his home computer, as well as in the 2 inches of emails presented to Kathy Wone by Lawyer Price. If Lawyer Price was helping him act out this secret bi-encounter, there is no way no record exists of the prior interaction setting this agenda.

      It is typical in sex offense cases for the victim to raped & murdered over & over again, first in real time, the rest of the twisted & depraved assaults take place in the court of public opinion, the media & now thru blogging, it is performed by trolls like you, “Manopener”. I now declare you “manshut”, be gone!

      • New Alias
        05/25/2010 at 12:18 AM

        Thank you for the work you’ve done, Former Criminal… Prosecutor. I can’t imagine how unbelievably hard it must be to do that job. God bless.

      • KKinCA
        05/25/2010 at 2:00 AM

        RIGHT ON!!!

        • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
          05/25/2010 at 3:01 AM

          New Alias & KK, Thank you for taking the time to read my way too long posts.

          • Kate
            05/25/2010 at 8:15 AM

            I am another who greatly appreciates your experienced and intelligent observations.

            Many thanks,
            Kate

      • Carolina
        05/25/2010 at 8:33 AM

        Thank you for defending the victim, not only Robert but others who have to suffer the crime and then the destruction of their reputation.

  8. Alice
    05/24/2010 at 9:28 PM

    68 is supposed to be the perfect temp for sleep, so I can imagine that 76 might seem warm. What bugs me about all the talk of how hot it was, is that they act as if this were the first time it was ever hot. I would imagine the keep-the-door-closed-because-it-keeps-things-cooler conversation would have happened earlier than August, even a reminder would have happened earlier than August. That little conversation just seemed weird to me.

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 10:40 PM

      Agreed, Alice. This, along with the long-winded discussion of how their bathroom and patio became ridiculously wet seems like something they had rehearsed, hoping the explanation would ward off further inquiry by the police.

  9. Bill Orange
    05/24/2010 at 9:43 PM

    To continue an intriguing discussion on the last thread: What if Dylan had absolutely nothing to do with this? I’d always assumed that he was the one who did the stabbing, because he was the one with experience handling knives, and he was the “dom” in the sexual relationship with Joe. But the more I think about it, the less convinced I am that he’s a true sadist. All of the literature on sadism just seems odd to me. What kind of a sadist needs to read an instruction manual on how to be a sadist? It seems more likely to me that he just has a deep need to please other people, and all of the books represent his research into how to please Joe. It’s clear that Joe Price is the dominant personality of the three. I’m fairly certain that Victor was lying about Joe’s whereabouts that night. But what if Dylan just went to bed after Wone arrived? Is there ANY way that his statements can be consistent with what we know? Or do he statements about hearing the shower and the chimes pretty much lock him into this, too?

    • John Grisham
      05/24/2010 at 10:19 PM

      Actually Bill, Dylan on whole comes across as being the less damaged of the three. And that’s not to say that he’s still not guilty of these crimes. Based on his demeanor at the police station, in the court room and a seemingly less neurotic and career driven personality than his other male housemates, he’d probably be the more enjoyable person to get to know in the household before Aug. 2, 2006.

      • prtyboydc
        05/26/2010 at 1:57 AM

        Bingo, John.

    • BadShoes
      05/24/2010 at 10:50 PM

      I agree that Mr. Ward’s account to the police sounded straightforward and credible. But, Mr. Ward made several statements that the prosecution may contend were solely intended to advance the cover-up; the EMTs thought his behavior when the they arrived was odd.

      Mr. Ward, in his account to police:
      –reported a conversation with Mr. Wone over a glass of water that was different from Mr. Price’s recollection.
      –remembered seeing the bug on the light, the burning steaks, and Mr. Price running water in the upstairs bathroom;
      –heard Mr. Wone take a shower, and heard the latch click on his door circa 11pm.
      –Didn’t remember what clothes he was wearing a few hours before.
      –heard nothing between 11:00pm and 11:45pm (he did say he took a sleeping pill).
      –took no action and couldn’t remember any specific conversation with Mr. Price when he emerged from his room after the Great Descent. He just sat down on the sofa. (Mr. Price couldn’t remember saying anything specific to Mr. Ward, either).
      –Saw the back door was unlocked with remarkable clarity.

      In addition, Mr. Ward didn’t hear “the scream.”
      Mr. Ward said nothing to the EMTs on their arrival, and simply went back into his room.
      Mr. Ward was shushed by Mr. Price when he started to say anything.

      If Mr. Ward is telling the truth, then we must conclude that whatever happened to Mr. Wone happened on a compressed time schedule between 11:00 pm and 11:45 pm. What ever modifications may have been made to the crime scene must also have been made on an even more compressed time schedule.

      We must also conclude that Mr. Wone undressed in an uncharacteristic way, piling his clothes on top of some books.

      If you accept the prosecution’s contention that the crime scene was modified and evidence disappeared, there must have been a lot to-and-fro on the stairs and water running in the bathroom. not to mention the scream, all without waking Mr. Ward.

      • HKG
        05/25/2010 at 3:11 AM

        well said..

      • BadShoes
        05/25/2010 at 9:25 AM

        oh, and two more points:

        If you think Mr. Ward was telling the truth, AND if you also accept the defense’s contention that there was no crime scene modification or disappearing evidence, then you must also conclude that Mr. Wone went to sleep on his back, lying on top of his made up bed and not moving around enough to disturb either the pillows or the bedclothes during the period of time between 11 pm and his murder. [The accounts of the other two defendents, if accurate, would place the murder circa 11:40pm].

        The EMTs thought Mr. Ward looked ‘freshly showered,” an obsevation that cannot be accurate if Mr. Ward’s statement was truthful.

  10. New Alias
    05/24/2010 at 9:46 PM

    I’d like to add a perspective on the matter of the loose hairs that fell from the evidence bags containing the knife and some of the clothing Mr. Wone was wearing at the hospital. Defense stated that their own expert Dr. Lee noticed these hairs while examining evidence at the prosecution’s offices, under the supervision of Officer Lancaster. Lancaster explained that the errant hairs were retrieved and placed back in their respective evidence bags.

    This line of questioning seemed to lead up to one big, ostensibly damning question – did MPD send these “new” hairs to a crime lab for testing? The answer – an unequivocal “no” – was a big hit for the defense, who want to show that the MPD didn’t follow up on even the most direct evidence related to the “intruder” story — and thus undermine their claim that there was no intruder (how can they say there wasn’t an intruder if they never even *tried* to look?)

    This bomb blew up in their faces when Prosecution asked Lancaster if Defense had ever themselves requested that the hairs be sent to a crime lab for testing. They had not. Can you imagine??? If the defendants really believed there was an intruder, surely they would have asked for the hairs to be tested. Ultimately, the whole line of questioning by Defense ended up making the defendants look worse, not better. Suddenly it didn’t seem strange at all that MPD didn’t ask for tests – the defendants would have the greatest interest in having this potentially exonerating evidence tested, and if they didn’t ask for it, why should MPD (who didn’t believe the intruder story in the first place)?

    This wasn’t the only development that made the defense attorneys look sloppy today, IMHO. Their questions were repetitive and at times they went nowhere. Once again the judge had to interrupt to ask them to get to the point and remind them that she “gets it” – she’s not an idiot who needs to be led by the nose down a long meandering garden path. For example, Defense took a painfully long time asking about the minutiae of MPD’s evidence drying cabinets, just to make the following point: multiple items were stored in the same evidence cabinet, and what with air circulating, perhaps there was cross-contamination. That can be explained in a few sentences, not what felt like a few hours.

    Prosecution – at least Kirschner – is far more direct. They seem very confident. They’ve agreed or conceded a few points to Defense without making a drama over it — for example, in one sentence they rendered the discussion of Ashley’s Reagent and Luminol moot. Apparently, all of the samples sent to the FBI lab came back negative. Prosecution could have made hay over the reliability or lack there of the FBI lab, but instead they simply said they wouldn’t contest the statement – all of the samples came back negative. Apparently, they don’t feel this is necessary to their case. Prosecution sounds supremely confident and isn’t wasting anybody’s time – something the judge seems quite sensitive to.

    Reminder – I have no legal expertise and where my recollections differ from the editors’, I defer to them.

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 9:56 PM

      Why are they arguing about “cross contamination”? As far as I know, there isn’t any evidence that they need to argue was “cross contaminated”. The blood is all from Wone, and you’d expect to find the defendants’ DNA on their own knife. Is there something I’m missing, or is the defense just racking up billable hours here?

      • New Alias
        05/24/2010 at 11:31 PM

        I don’t know. But Defense went on and on about the knife being in an unzipped Ziplock bag on a shelf in the cupboard, the towels and other textiles hanging on hangers to dry (unbagged), the holes in the shelves that allow air to pass through… and on, and on, and on…. and at the end, what they ascertained was that air circulates in the cupboard among the materials, all of which are exposed to some degree to the air. They had also asked about how the cupboards were secured (they are individually locked, and live in a locked evidence room) and cleaned (with a decontaminant called sporicidan, which is premixed by the manufacturer and which has to sit for 20 minutes and then be washed out with warm water, which is let out through a drain…)

        And this is just a fraction of what I learned today about MPD procedures, courtesy of the defense… let me know if you’d like me to describe the exact procedure for bagging evidence, which fingers Lancaster used to pick up the knife and place it in the bag, whether the towel went into a bag that was plastic or paper…

        And don’t get me started about defense asking the detectives to identify photos taken on the patio facing East and West (‘does this photo appear to be facing East, Officer Lancaster?’) and the photos identifying every fricking item on their kitchen counters…. “and does this appear to you to be a photo of bottles of oil and vinegar, Officer Lancaster? and next to it, would this be a basket holding lemons and limes? and I believe this item is what we used to call a Mixmaster, is it not? and does this appear to you to be a Cuisinart?” I am not kidding.

        I had this nagging feeling that they were trying to run out the clock, but that doesn’t make sense in this context. I think you’re right – billable hours.

        • KKinCA
          05/24/2010 at 11:36 PM

          oooh – do you remember if there were any water glasses on the kitchen counter or in the sink?

          • New Alias
            05/25/2010 at 12:51 AM

            Nothing about water glasses. Good question!

            • KKinCA
              05/25/2010 at 2:09 AM

              Thanks New Alias. Given the boys’ Olympian skill of quick and thorough cleaning, those water glasses must have been sparkling clean and back in their places! I wonder if the detectives looked in the dishwasher?
              Anyway, thanks for sitting in court through those mind-numbing moments. I, for one, really appreciate everything that you shared with us! Are you planning on attending every day?

        • Bill Orange
          05/25/2010 at 12:38 AM

          Hmmm. Maybe there’s another shoe that’s going to drop.

          Do you remember which lawyer was doing the questioning? My take on this so far is that Zaborsky’s lawyer is the only one who seems to be focussed. I’m wondering if he’s going to close by saying Joe and Dylan did it alone, and then Joe went got into bed and woke Victor up and said he just heard something downstairs.

          • New Alias
            05/25/2010 at 12:57 AM

            I’m pretty sure it was the one with the dark ‘Hair Club for Men’ look, the one who has been doing most of the talking – is that Zaborsky’s?

            • Nelly
              05/25/2010 at 9:33 AM

              Sounds like David Schertler, the attorney for Dylan Ward. Zaborsky’s attorney is the shorter, pudgy guy.

    • David
      05/24/2010 at 10:03 PM

      I also want to note something about the crime scene photos that were shown in court today. One of the most interesting photos showed the grill with the cover on it. Now, we have all read the transcripts, and are very aware that they grilled out that night, even burned the steaks, and that they would grill out in the summer “four or five” times a week. It struck me as odd that the cover was on the grill. I rarely put the cover on the grill during the summer, and only when a big rain is predicted.

      It looked like they already had a busy night that evening with everyone working out, the steaks burning, eating dinner, and getting ready for Robert’s arrival. Nowhere did I read that they also put the cover on the grill. Were they that absolutely fastidious that they would put the grill cover on every night after grilling? It just struck me as very odd.

      David, co-editor

      • Bea
        05/24/2010 at 10:15 PM

        David, during interrogation, Joe says something to the effect that he ‘wasn’t even sure’ if he put the grill cover back on because the night was so busy – the implication being that he DID regularly put the cover on. Of course, that could be total BS to explain (in advance) why it was on.

        • Carolina
          05/24/2010 at 10:47 PM

          It’s not like you can turn it off and slap the cver back on, either. At least, I wouldn’t, even with a flame retardant cover.

      • tassojunior
        05/25/2010 at 12:03 AM

        Rats. The neighborhood’s infested with them and they get into grills for the left-over meat and the greasy fats.

  11. Leonard
    05/24/2010 at 10:12 PM

    As to a planned assignation it would have to be someone with whom there was either phone, text, or email contact and no evidence has been introduced supporting that. The idea of cleaning up a wounded and dying friend is ludicrous. Even Martha Stewart would be out there ripping her 2000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets to stanch the bleeding with. If the story played out that way then why hide the cleaning up of the body if it was done in all innocence?

    How do you explain Wones semen then – self stimulation foreplay?! And what about three wounds and no signs if any struggle at all? And who cleaned up so quickly and neatly and why? Did the unwelcome unknown guest stay on to do the laundry? And what about the needle marks and the petechiae?

    GHB in a glass of water to get Wone out of it and horny. Injections of Ketamine to make him completely submissive and a dose of some inhallant with traces of Xylene. Inserting an Electrostim to force an erection and involuntary orgasm and… Oops cardiac arrest. A cold shower to try to revive him isn’t working. Clean up the body fast to get rid of any further DNA. Onto the bed. Hold the knife in both hands to get a good grip kneel on the bed above him and three hard stabs to the chest. Perhaps he revives for a second due to the sharp blow to the chest but alas though his heart beats a bit he is mortally wounded. Little external bleeding and much internal bleeding into his digestive tract where the blood is partially absorbed and digested even though he is dead.

    Cardiac arrest is a big risk with any of the drugs mentioned above. It is also a major risk with an Electrostim. A body on average had 5 liters of blood more or less. A halfh litre lost through external bleeding and 2 liters absorbed internally post mortem. Unless of course the latest in Vampire fads was part of the scenario and I wouldn’t rule that out.

    This story is almost as unbelievable as the mystery intruder story and while I doubt that one is true I hope to God this one is false.

    • John Grisham
      05/24/2010 at 10:30 PM

      Well stated Leonard. That is the most plausible scenario.

      • John Grisham
        05/24/2010 at 10:40 PM

        Add in the use of playsheets, more bleeding than you account for, and more relatively easy clean up and disposal of evidence by the perps, and your account might be even more accurate.

        • HKG
          05/25/2010 at 3:18 AM

          perhaps stabbed in the shower instead, to let the blood drain..

          • cinnamon
            05/25/2010 at 11:29 AM

            Yes. This is a plausible scenario but, perhaps stabbed in the shower which would produce the orientation of knife wounds described in the autopsy and the lack of blood found…then placed on a playmat and dressed in his sleeping clothes therefore explaining the blood that pooled on the back of the shirt but not the bed sheets…then placed on the bed.

    • Manopener
      05/24/2010 at 10:35 PM

      Thank you Leonard for finally and succinctly laying out the alternative plausible scenario. I have done a lot of wading throughout this site recently and this is the first. I would add to this by suggesting that the silence of the dogs in the neighborhood speaks volumes. Anyone with a dog will get that.

      • John Grisham
        05/24/2010 at 10:47 PM

        Be careful not to offer any potently viable book and movie titles. One of the household’s psychotic members might fund his appeal on the basis of your “Silence of the Dogs” suggestion.

      • dcbill
        05/24/2010 at 10:47 PM

        Wouldn’t the ME have found signs of cardiac arrest?

    • AnnaZed
      05/24/2010 at 11:16 PM

      well, except Robert didn’t die of cardiac arrest.

      • Angela Channing
        05/25/2010 at 12:05 AM

        What if the perp thought he died but he really was not dead at that point? (Very shallow breathing?)

        • BadShoes
          05/25/2010 at 10:06 AM

          If you believe the evidence shows that Mr. Wone was assaulted prior to his death, then there are several possibilities:

          The hypothesis that Mr. Wone has accidentally overdosed or overstimulated would be reasonable and consistent with the available facts.

          An alternative hypothesis would be that Mr. Wone regained consciousness and recognized his attackers, or didn’t lose consciousness fast enough. The multiple needle wounds–some IM, some IV, some in the chest–suggest an escalating effort. (Izzat a correct characterization of the puncture wounds?]

          A third hypotheiss would be that Mr. Wone was never intended to survive the evening. The argument in favor of this view would be that the expected absence of Ms. Morgan and Mr. Zaborsky, and the speed with which Mr. Wone’s fate overtook him, all suggest premeditation. Mr. Wone’s attacker(s) could have no realistic expectation that Mr. Wone wouldn’t notice being drugged and assaulted. (Though people have unrealistic expectations all the time).

          While Mr. Wone’s death may have been intended, the actual method used to kill him may have been connected with the circumstances under they expected the body to be found.

          • HKG
            05/25/2010 at 12:07 PM

            “multiple needle wounds…suggest an escalating effort” — very interesting. been wondering what reasons there could be for so many needle marks..

    • David R
      05/24/2010 at 11:54 PM

      Sounds good to me too. The thing is though I just can’t imagine doing this to your longtime friend. I mean for what reason. And if the people involved were drugged out wouldn’t the police have picked up on that when they got there or during the interviews later at the police station?

    • Angela Channing
      05/24/2010 at 11:56 PM

      A variation of this could have been a fourth person perpetrating the GHB in the water, etc, perhaps invited by one of the housemates that they did not know very well. When Robert dies, the guy flees and the others have to concoct some kind of story. Of course, if it were a Craigs hookup, that would have been on one of their computers. But a fourth person that was allowed into the house could be the basis for their stranger story with some pertinent facts left out. Under this scenario, one of the housemates is involved or at least knows what is going on.

      I still cannot get over the fact this happened so quickly after Robert’s arrival.

    • Angela Channing
      05/24/2010 at 11:56 PM

      A variation of this could have been a fourth person perpetrating the GHB in the water, etc, perhaps invited by one of the housemates that they did not know very well. When Robert dies, the guy flees and the others have to concoct some kind of story. Of course, if it were a Craigs hookup, that would have been on one of their computers. But a fourth person that was allowed into the house could be the basis for their stranger story with some pertinent facts left out. Under this scenario, one of the housemates is involved or at least knows what is going on.

      I still cannot get over the fact this happened so quickly after Robert’s arrival.

  12. Plumskiter
    05/24/2010 at 10:40 PM

    Leonard’s theory seems very plausible to me.

    • whodoneit
      05/25/2010 at 12:00 AM

      Expanding on Leonard’s theory – I had earlier thought the stabbing might have taken place by the patio drain and the blood was hosed down. After more reading and cogitation, my thinking has evolved. I now think Robert was stabbed while naked on a playmat. At some point they determined to stage the intruder story. They took Robert’s shirt and made the corresponding holes in it. Robert was dressed into the shirt and was then laid down on the bloody mat before they picked him up and moved him onto the bed. Hence, the back of his shirt is bloody, but not the front. Not sure how far into this scenario Victor heard the commotion and came upon Robert’s body and freaked out, screaming. From whenever Victor came down until the 911 call, whatever cleanup and disposal still needed to be done was accomplished (including the mat obviously) and a unified story was agreed upon. This scenario also explains why a cleanup was both necessary and fairly quick. If Robert’s corpse had been left naked on the bloody playmat, the intruder story would not have worked. My sense is that they may have planned on dumping the body, but that plan was scotched when Victor stumbled onto the scene and screamed bloody murder (pun intended).

      • John Grisham
        05/25/2010 at 12:34 AM

        Think of the evening’s events as the unfolding of three separate unforeseen Shakespearean scenes: 1) sexual assault, 2) disguised murder, and 3) intruder-story/clean-up/evidence-removal.

        Scene One: Premeditated drugging, seduction and rape of Robert, expecting he would not recall anything the next morning, yet unfortunately for all, this drugging unexpectedly leads to Robert’s apparent death.

        Scene Two: An attempt to cover-up Robert’s unintended death by creating the appearance he was stabbed in a robbery, with a view to relocating his stabbed body far from their home later that evening.

        Scene Three: An unexpected household member (Victor? Sarah?) wanders to the second floor and discovers Robert stabbed on the his guestroom bed (or floor) and loudly screams. The drug-heightened PNP household members assume that scream was heard everywhere and the police will soon be on the way. The Intruder Story is quickly borne. All hands are enlisted to clean up the scene, remove the evidence quickly, agree on a common Intruder storyline and eventually call 911.

        • Bill Orange
          05/25/2010 at 1:00 AM

          I wouldn’t call it a “seduction”, but otherwise, I think that’s a reasonable theory.

          • John Grisham
            05/25/2010 at 1:03 AM

            Agreed.

        • DonnaH
          05/25/2010 at 5:58 AM

          I hadn’t thought up until now that they might have believed the arrival of the police was imminent, but it’s certainly likely and it adds an interesting wrinkle. They clean frenziedly, rehearse their story, find they have time to shower, then they wait…but where are the police? As they slowly realize the cops might not be coming, the relief they start to feel immediately gives way to anxiety about the need to control their frazzled nerves and make yet another plan. They work out the “call 911” plan, and Victor is chosen to call partly because he’s the only one who is still, understandably, upset by the event; Joe and Dylan are enervated by this point, while still trying to keep in focus the latest version of their story, and that’s what the police saw when they came in. Joe recovers enough to keep the others under control and give his spiel.

          • AnnaZed
            05/25/2010 at 10:34 AM

            Donna, that is very compelling. I’m pretty sure the idea that the scream itself set them scurrying thinking the police would be on their way any minute, only to have to summon the police themselves hasn’t been presented on this site before and it makes a great deal of sense.

      • HKG
        05/25/2010 at 3:24 AM

        wow, good details. scary.

  13. Danali
    05/24/2010 at 10:40 PM

    Question for regulars / experts:

    Joe Price states the following in his police interview: “I know both Victor and Dylan a lot better than I know my own mother. They couldn’t even punch someone, let alone kill anyone. That’s ridiculous.”

    Is a statement like this one considered relevant to the matter of Price’s credbility as a witness (or suspect)? It seems that- if Ward is inflicting pain upon Price as part of their bsdm lifestyle- that it is one of the many statements Price has made that disprovable on their face. But if the true nature of their relationship is offlimits to this trial, then presumably the matter can’t be brought up by prosecutors looking to prove Price’s untrustworthiness? Because to ask the question “what kind of violent or degrading acts has Ward committed against Price in the course of their relationship? And if he DOES commit violent acts against Price, it tells us something seemingly relevant to both parties. More immediately, that Price lied when talking about Ward’s incapability of inflicting harm. Secondarily that Ward is capable of more than perhaps the average (ahem) Joe.

    I guess I am one of those folks very confused by the fact that most matters pertaining to the (to me at least) peculiar three person family structure are off limitsin this trial. Even if they aren’t on trial for murder – it seems their arrangement – oddities and all – should be relevant for questioning. Particular since they dont have to worry about a jury at this point!

    Any opinions?

    • Greta
      05/24/2010 at 10:57 PM

      I wondered that myself, but then isn’t the defense presenting the theory that the prosecution is hung up on this “gay sex lifestyle” and like the police, are homophobes? This would play right into it and give the defense some points perhaps. It would be a risk for the prosecution. I don’t think they need to do it. Price is pretty incriminating on his own without having to have the State introduce this character evidence.

    • KKinCA
      05/24/2010 at 11:00 PM

      Danali – I imagine that one of the regulars who are prosecutors or crim defense attys will address your question, but I believe that none of that sexual information is relevant due to the defendants being charged with obstruction, not in fact with the alleged sexual assault and murder.

    • New Alias
      05/24/2010 at 11:11 PM

      I agree with you (last paragraph), but i get the impression that the prosecution is shedding all information and evidence that can be considered problematic. I feel like they are paring things down to some core, essential facts, though I’m not sure which ones they are…

      Also, Defense insisted today – and Prosecution and judge both concurred – that the tapes of the interrogations (my choice of words, for lack of a better term) were being introduced to place the detectives’ testimony in context, not to show or prove ‘truth.’ I don’t really understand what that means – its not being heard for ‘truth’ – but it sounded relevant to my inexpert ears.

      Perhaps they were using a term that sounded like ‘truth.’ For a while on Friday I was very confused – for a while I thought everyone was talking about ‘tapenade.’

      • New Alias
        05/24/2010 at 11:34 PM

        argh – my comment was meant to directly address Danali.

  14. dcbill
    05/24/2010 at 10:42 PM

    Since they were up all night being interviewed by the detectives, I am wondering, on the videotapes, did they show any signs of getting tired as the hours passed by? Was Joe yawning? Or was he animated and talkative throughout? Did they eat anything at Cosi?

  15. des
    05/24/2010 at 10:42 PM

    A little off-topic but are BSDM play mats absorbant? Could that account for some of the”missing” blood? Then the clean up would have been easier. Just a thought.

    • John Grisham
      05/24/2010 at 10:50 PM

      No, they’d be like an easily cleanable plastic tarp or sheet. Not like yoga mats. Actually easier to wrap up with all the blood and remove from the house than something absorbent.

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 10:54 PM

      No, the whole idea is not to have fluids soaking in. You want something easily cleaned and disinfected.

      • des
        05/25/2010 at 9:34 AM

        ok, got it. thanks john grisham and carolina.

  16. Leonard
    05/24/2010 at 11:04 PM

    Two words I recently learned: haematophilia and phlebotomy. My vampire comment was sarcastic but I Googled a bit and indeed there is a population of Gay BDSM haematophiliacs. Who knew?

    • John Grisham
      05/24/2010 at 11:08 PM

      Zaborsky’s family did hail from Eastern Europe.

      • whodoneit
        05/25/2010 at 12:02 AM

        And Michael’s brother was a phlebotomist.

  17. Susan
    05/24/2010 at 11:37 PM

    I haven’t read the comments here yet, but it seems that the taped testimony given by Price indicates he heard the chime first, the groans from Wone second. But in his acct. to K. Wone, it’s been reported that he made a slaying movement three times with his arm with each groan. That would imply he heard the murder as it was happening not after the murderer left and the chimes sounded.

    • whodoneit
      05/25/2010 at 12:06 AM

      Yes, the implication from Price’s interview is that he heard the murder and accompanying grunts. He said he was awoken by the chime, but thought it was the basement tenant. He said he did not fall back asleep and stayed in bed until he heard the grunts, which woke Victor. They both went downstairs to investigate. Victor says he heard a chime on the way down the stairs.

  18. Leonard
    05/25/2010 at 12:20 AM

    A major dilemma for the judge will be who did what. Without any direct proof that a specific person or persons actually took specific actions it would be a difficult judgment. What if you believed one of the three but not the other two did nothing and knew nothing? You can’t prove he did and can’t prove he didn’t. From what Ive read so far I find much strains credibility but not beyond a slim shadow of a doubt – I couldn’t tell you who did what specifically. Perhaps a case of either prison gang justice where you punish everyone regardless of guilt versus letting everyone off so as not to wrongly convict.

    • Bill Orange
      05/25/2010 at 12:57 AM

      That’s why this is an obstruction case, not a murder case. The prosecution needs to prove that all of them were involved in the cover-up, not that all of them were involved in the murder. I don’t know if they’re going to be able to do that beyond a reasonable doubt, but if they’re able to prove that a cover-up happened, it’ll be relatively easy to convince the judge that all three of them were in on it.

  19. slwapo
    05/25/2010 at 12:27 AM

    Why would the detectives let Ward be “shut down” by Price? If I were a detective, I would tell Price to stop interrupting Ward, and ask Ward to tell me the whole story.

  20. Bill Orange
    05/25/2010 at 12:49 AM

    GU92’s post above made me curious about something. I’ve seen a handful of posts by people who say they know (or used to know) Victor or Dylan, and all of those posts have been positive. On the other hand, I’ve seen a number of people say they know (or used to know) Joe, and a lot of those posts have been quite negative. Do anyone remember seeing ANYTHING negative posted about Victor or Dylan?

    • Ex Swann
      05/25/2010 at 1:14 AM

      Victor is an affable dolt and Dylan is a gullible loner.

      • Bill Orange
        05/25/2010 at 8:09 AM

        Is that a direct observation, or just what you concluded from reading about them?

    • KKinCA
      05/25/2010 at 1:57 AM

      A while back there was a post from someone who knew Victor and his family for many years and as I recall the poster agreed with the idea that Victor could fall under the power of a Joe-like person. But the poster disappeared pretty quickly when s/he was peppered with questions and urged to try to prevail on Victor to “do the right thing.” I will check to see if I can find those posts and direct you there.

  21. Ex Swann
    05/25/2010 at 1:10 AM

    Regarding the temperature outside Robert’s room … In all fairness to the subhuman filth on trial here, it would have been warm on the second floor with even the best cooling systems installed. This house probably had two systems. One for the basement and first floor and a second system for the second and third floor. In our August heat, the upstairs systems struggle to keep top floors comfortable. Additionally, Robert’s room faced south. It absorbed additional direct summer sun all day. Even the walls absorbed heat during the day. They feel warm. Further, most of those houses have tin roofs (and no attic or real ventilation). More heat absorption.

    It would not be uncommon at all for Robert’s room to be 6 – 10 degrees warmer than Dylan’s room. Both on the second floor but Dylan’s facing north and Robert’s facing scorching south exposure. Dylan’s room could still be 76 – 80 degrees at 10:00 at night with Robert’s room a toasty 80 to 84.

    Evil and the Dolt’s third floor bedroom would be hotter than hell. OK, I don’t have any idea how hot hell might be … Let’s ask Victor …

  22. Farmer Ginny
    05/25/2010 at 6:06 AM

    The Washington Post seems to have an error in its report this morning. “The men stood in the kitchen, Price says on the tape, talking and drinking wine.” It was water, according to the transcript, not wine.

    • SavvyG
      05/25/2010 at 4:03 PM

      That’s right.. the detective accused them of “sitting around and drinking wine” and deciding it was a “come to Jesus night.” Price and Zaborsky clearly stated that it was water.

  23. newbie
    05/25/2010 at 6:57 AM

    Leonards post above and the next 15-20 responses have to be the best comments on this site that I have seen. Leonard has a theory…it is added to and made better…Leonard is prompted by comments to expand on his theory. Good job and hats off to all. The most plausible explanation of the semen I have seen. Electrostim? Learn something new everyday…the involuntary erection and ejaculation.

    Anyway….talk about being violated.

    • Bill Orange
      05/25/2010 at 8:11 AM

      Not sure if you know this, but there was some sort of “electrostim” device found in Dylan’s room, which is where that particular element came from.

  24. Kate
    05/25/2010 at 9:03 AM

    Good morning, all –

    I have a question regarding the “wild hairs” discovered by Dr. Lee for those who understand police procedures:

    If the murder of Robert Wone is still an open and/or active investigation, why oh why have those hairs not been tested?

    I do understand that such testing is expensive and time consuming. I also understand that if the hairs turned out to belong to one or all of the residents that a defense team could explain their presence as natural. But for the sake of thoroughness, and quite possibly justice for Robert Wone and his family, shouldn’t those hairs have been tested? Or be tested (although four years is a long time for DNA to be laying around)?

    As a taxpayer, I certainly wouldn’t mind if money was spent to assist in putting the perps behind bars and out of our community.

    Many thanks for your insight and thoughts,
    Kate

  25. Dr Jeff
    05/25/2010 at 9:15 AM

    I have no axe to grind and would simply like to see the true perp(s) identified and brought to justice. So I’m trying to analyze the facts in a logical manner and separate them from speculation, supposition and inference.

    Theories of the case should be based on the former rather than the latter, and should certainly not run contrary to the physical evidence. For example, theories involving GHB ingestion are unproductive by virtue of the negative urine tox screen for GHB per autopsy. (While this doesn’t conclusively rule out all possibility of GHB ingestion, it does render theories which invoke it unproductive.)

    There are mysteries both great and small here. Again, potential explanations need to be based on logic in order to be credible. Most of the proposed explanations for the “missing blood” don’t pass this test, unless the theory is that the perpetrators had a portable black hole into which they disposed of it. Much the same can be said of the other requisite “cleanup paraphernalia” which the government has so far failed to produce.

    The defense was prudent to choose a bench trial, where the chance for emotion and conjecture to prevail is minimized. The trial so far — and its surrounding reportage and commentary — has been fascinating. But based on the evidence presented so far, compared with the allegations in the charging document, I don’t believe the prosecution has met the burden for conviction. Unless prosecutors produce some unforeseen and damning testimony or evidence (it’s always a possibility that they’re saving the “best” for last), as of now I’d anticipate an acquittal.

    • Bea
      05/25/2010 at 10:09 AM

      Are you a doc, Jeff?

      It’s still very early in the prosecution’s case – nowhere near the ‘best for last’ stage. And nowhere near sufficient time to ‘call’ an acquittal. As for assessment of this short period of time, I see it the other way. The judge has to know something was very strange that night (EMT/first responder cops), that Robert should have lost a lot of blood but didn’t appear to have that blood on/near him for reasons unknown. We haven’t come close to the heart of the prosecution’s case. Why the need to ‘call’ it if you’re trying to be so impartial?

    • Hoya Loya
      05/25/2010 at 10:13 AM

      Dr. Jeff:

      It is true that Robert’s blood screenings were negative for the drugs for which tests were run (except for trace amounts of xylene). Tests were not run on all possible drugs and some drugs that might have been in Robert’s system would have dissipated before it was thought to test for them. It is also true that no evidence of Robert being drugged is being presented in court and in the end, its relevance in a conspiracy trial is questionable anyway, which may be part of the reason why the prosecution dropped it.

      However, for those speculating as how Robert might have actually have been murdered, as opposed to what might be proven in court in this trial, they are not without facts to back up their ideas. Robert had certain injection marks on his body which the EMTs, the ME and the ER staff indicate were not from efforts to revive Robert. Robert’s wounds indicate that he did not move while being stabbed. And the defendants admit that Robert had a glass of water in the kitchen. I don’t think posters are off-base if they draw certain conclusions from these facts any more than if they choose to discount them.

    • Phil
      05/25/2010 at 10:24 AM

      What is your theory as to the “missing blood?”

    • BadShoes
      05/25/2010 at 10:37 AM

      One question has puzzled me: if one ingests GHB, how long would it take after ingestion for the drug to show up in the ingester’s urine?

      • Dr Jeff
        05/25/2010 at 11:19 AM

        Could be anywhere up to an hour. The urine test is for GHB itself, not a metabolite. This means there’s no additional time required for the body to break it down into the metabolite, hence as soon as the GHB enters the bloodstream it will start being excreted by the kidneys.

        GHB is metabolized quite quickly, therefore it’d be unusual to detect it after 24hr post-ingestion, although the GC-MS technique used in the autopsy could potentially detect it up to 72hr post-ingestion. Note that this would be for a living subject. If the subject had expired, of course one would expect to still find it in blood or urine after demise.

        • BadShoes
          05/25/2010 at 12:09 PM

          So, if Mr. Wone ingested GHB at, say, 10:35pm, and was dead by 11pm, then the urine test might be negative?

  26. Dr Jeff
    05/25/2010 at 11:01 AM

    Offering an opinion on the likelihood of conviction vs. acquittal based on the present evidence and testimony may demonstrate prematurity, perhaps, but not partiality. I could offer as an example the common practice of betting on a sports event before the game even starts, but sports analogies are inappropriate for something of this nature.

    As to the injection marks, the autopsy notes “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”. All of these, with the possible exception of the last, are entirely consistent with medical attempts to gain venous access — starting with the back-of-the-hand vein (often easiest to hit), working upward to the inside of the elbow, and then the jugular — going from smaller to larger vessel as each previous try was unsuccessful. If there’s a link to a copy of the first responders’ report, I’d love to read it — though DC ambulance records aren’t renowned for completeness or accuracy. I’m not willing to conclude at this point that any of those needle marks were caused by some unknown third party, as opposed to routine resuscitative efforts.

    Speculation about drugs, even those screened for but not found, is quite understandable but so far I’ve seen no evidence that any such drugs, residue or related paraphernalia (vials, etc.) were recovered. Correct me if I’m wrong here — there doesn’t appear to be a site search function. Pure speculation sheds more heat than light, it seems to me.

    Lastly, I have no theory as to the “missing blood” (in whatsoever quantity — I’ve seen “4 liters” mentioned here more than once, which hardly seems credible). If I wanted to snark, I could speculate it was removed by the same aliens responsible for the cattle mutilations, and I say that for a reason. My point is that, given the amount of time available and the totality of the circumstances, I doubt any significant amount of blood could have been cleaned up so thoroughly and expertly as not to leave behind some discernable evidence of such. Getting rid of blood evidence is damned hard these days.

    • KKinCA
      05/25/2010 at 11:10 AM

      Dr. Jeff – What are your thoughts about the lack of defensive wounds?

      • Dr Jeff
        05/25/2010 at 11:31 AM

        The Deputy ME, if I recall correctly, stated she had never seen a stabbing case in which there were no defensive wounds (and I believe she said she’d seen roughly 40 stabbing cases). IMO, defensive wounds are frequent but not universal and I consider her testimony to be anecdotal based on her personal experience.

        Lack of defensive wounds can be explained by restraint (the autopsy didn’t document any signs of such, though soft restraints, hands etc. could have been used), incapacitation due to drugs/alcohol (ditto) or simply the circumstances (attacked while asleep, and so on). To me, lack of defensive wounds is a negative rather than a positive finding. It’d need to be combined with other relevant findings to have much probative value.

        • KKinCA
          05/25/2010 at 11:49 AM

          Thank you. I have another question for you – assuming your explanations for lack of defensive wounds are correct, how do you explain the uniformity of all three stab wounds – depth, orientation, very “clean”, etc? There have been many posts and discussions regarding the body’s autonomic response to physical pain, and I believe this issue came up during the ME’s testimony. I apologize if I am not using the correct terminology. (I have no medical experience or special knowledge in this area)

    • Hoya Loya
      05/25/2010 at 11:19 AM

      The first responder testified that he did not make the marks, as did the ER nurse, backed up by testimony from the ME.

      • Dr Jeff
        05/25/2010 at 11:40 AM

        The Deputy ME could only have testified that she herself didn’t make the marks, which is self-evident because she describes them as already present at autopsy. She can’t offer an opinion on who else might have made the marks, as it would be hearsay. IMO it would be quite unusual for first responders NOT to attempt to obtain peripheral venous access on-scene to start fluid resuscitation in a shock trauma patient, including even a jugular puncture as a last resort. Apparently central venous access was achieved x2 in the ER (per autopsy findings). I’d need to read the first responders’ report and the ER report to comment further.

        • Hoya Loya
          05/25/2010 at 12:20 PM

          Dr. Jeff:

          With all due respect, please read the posts from Days 3 and 4 of the trial describing the testimony of the ME, first responder and ER nurse, all of whom address the marks, and then let us know your thoughts. Our editors have gone through a great deal to make this information available and since we have it, there is no longer need to guess as to what the EMTs or ER staff might have done — we have testimony as to what they did do.

          Thanks.

    • Bill Orange
      05/25/2010 at 11:36 AM

      My first assumption on the needle marks was that they were from resuscitation efforts, too. But both the EMT and the ER nurse said that no one ever tried to put a needle in the feet or the neck, nor did either of them think it was common protocol. That testimony is a bit hard to get around.

      I think the speculation about the drugs arose from the fact that Michael Price (Joe Price’s brother) had keys to the house, has a known drug problem, and was enrolled in a phlebotomy course at the time or the murder.

      I agree with you about the “missing blood”. I still haven’t reached any conclusions there. The numbers I’ve been seeing really don’t make any sense to me. A number of people have pointed out that BDSM enthusiasts generally have a supply of “party mats” the are specifically designed to collect body fluids, so it’s conceivable that a large quantity of blood could have been disposed of without a trace. I’m a bit surprised that someone could be forcefully stabbed three times in the chest and abdomen with absolutely no signs of any blood spatter on the walls, ceiling, or floor, but I suppose it’s possible.

    • Phil
      05/25/2010 at 11:59 AM

      Either there is missing blood, or there isn’t. If it is missing, it went somewhere.

      I assume it is your opinion that there simply is no missing blood? (Despite the deputy ME’s findings.)

    • tassojunior
      05/25/2010 at 12:36 PM

      Dr. Jeff- (Hope you’re around). What do you make of the ME’s report that there were traces of the victim’s own semen in the area of his rectum as clear indication of a rape via an object smeared with his own semen? Do traces of one’s semen ever occur in areas close to one’s genitals? Is the test for semen immediately followed by results of the DNA or is the DNA done later and how much later. Is testing for semen around a rectum part of normal procedure or would it indicate an ME had been told by (possibily accompanying EMT) that this was something to look for because of the crime?

      My own concern (and I’ll guarantee I’m the only one here with it) is that the semen would have been found first because of the assumption of rape and would have prompted the ME’s report of semen before it was determined who’s semen it was. Then when it tested as the victim’s semen the only way to explain it consistent with the theory already developed was that it had to have been on an object inserted into the victim even though this would probably have meant forced ejaculation of a dead or comatose person.

      • Phil
        05/26/2010 at 8:35 AM

        Too bad Dr. Jeff doesn’t seem to be around anymore. I would have liked to have heard his response to the concerns raised (ie. blood, semen, injection marks.)

        One possible conclusion from his absence is that he did not have an answer to the concerns. (Or that he was going to have to say that he simply did not believe the people who testified.)

    • BadShoes
      05/25/2010 at 12:56 PM

      One of the reasons why reasonable people disagree about the evidence in this case is that the “facts” or inferences drawn from the facts can’t all be correct. So, people form opinions by choosing an anchoring fact, supported by the evidence, which they believe to be true, (call it an axiom) and then use their personal axiom to decide which other facts cannot be true.

      No matter what theory you find most plausible, something very unlikely, deeply irrational, and ultimately senseless happened at 1509 Swann Street. Victor Zaborsky and the ninja do share one thing: lack of any obvious reason to wish harm to Robert Wone.

      So, Dr. Jeff argues that there wasn’t time to do an effective clean-up. This is a fair point. The ME takes the view that living people who are stabbed in the heart and/or have major trunk arteries severed ought to bleed profusely.

      So, EITHER, even though there was little time for a clean-up, someone must have accomplished it somehow, OR, Mr. Wone was stabbed in the heart and somehow didn’t bleed much. (Perhaps because Mr. Wone was already dead or nearly so, the ME to the contrary).

      The ME found clean regular wounds and no defensive wounds. So, EITHER Mr. Wone died instantly without ever awakening, OR he was incapacitated at the time of his death.

      Mr. Wone was found lying on top of his made up bed, with the covers undisturbed. The blood stain on the back of his t-shirt didn’t match the blood stain on the bed he was lying on. His clothes were piled in an uncharacteristic way. EITHER Mr. Wone actually went to sleep in the odd and unaccustomed fashion, not moving enough to disturb the bedclothes until the time of his murder, OR somebody must have altered the crime scene, even if there wasn’t much time to do so.

      If you think Mr. Wone was incapacitated, then somebody did something to incapacitate him, even though no drugs were detected, and even if all the needle marks were made by the EMTs and in the ER.

      If you think the ninja theory is preposterous, then Mr. Wone must have been murdered by one or more of the defendants or perhaps someone known to them, even if there is no obvious motive.

      If you think the defendants have no reason to harm or assault Mr. Wone, and would never do so for ethical or prudential reasons even if they had a motive, then the ninja theory must be true, even if its preposterous.

      • KKinCA
        05/25/2010 at 1:00 PM

        Well said!

      • Phil
        05/26/2010 at 8:30 AM

        One of the clearest descriptions I’ve read of people’s reactions to the whole affair.

        That said, I’m glad it’s in court, and we’ll have a verdict. The judge is going to have to choose which “facts” she believes, and base a decision on them. I’m glad she seems engaged, competent, and fair.

  27. DR
    05/25/2010 at 12:53 PM

    A little off-topic here, but does anyone know whether it has been established that the newscast with Maureen Bunyon aired at its normal time of 11pm that night, and was not delayed due to sports or another special event as late newscasts sometimes are?

    • Ivan
      05/28/2010 at 8:47 AM

      I don’t know but August 2, 2006 was a Wednesday.

  28. emg
    05/25/2010 at 1:46 PM

    While murder never makes sense, none of these scenarios do either. These were 3 successful, educated people who could have brought in a stranger rather than a friend.

    This was not premeditated because of the close proximity of other homes and the high probability of witnesses to the aftermath. They simply would not plan a murder of a friend when several people knew Robert was going to be there. What would they say? He never showed up?

    I am beginning to believe it may have been a crime of jealousy. Perhaps Victor knew Joe liked Robert and was incensed when he found out that Robert was coming to the house and he had not been told. Perhaps it was Victor who did it and then screamed when he realized what he had done. And Joe, being the take charge guy is protecting Victor who is emotional and a loose canon. Joe is now implicated after the fact as is Dylan who may or may not know the whole story. That’s why Joe has said-I’ll do all the talking.

    • DR
      05/25/2010 at 2:00 PM

      Hello? Joe’s second love interest is living under the very same roof as Victor, and he tolerates it, but somehow he is jealous of a crush Joe has on Robert? I can’t see that happening.

    • Clemypooh
      05/26/2010 at 2:40 PM

      I’m having trouble imagining why Victor would be jealous of Robert whom is a heterosexual man but not of the relationship going on between Joe and Dylan? My impression of Victor is that he is a follower and definitely ruled by Price in the relationship.

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