Thoughts on Week Two of the Trial…

Several thoughts crossed my mind this week, while attending the trial:

Stabbed in the back: Remember last week when Joe Price called Kathy Wone and told her  Robert had been stabbed in the back, well it looks like that could be taken several different ways.  One, the way Kathy seemed to take it, was Joe was talking physically as if Robert had physically been stabbed in the back.  It could also have been geographically as in “Robert was stabbed in the back of the house.”  Which might give an actual location that for the crime that would not be consistent with the defendants’ statements.  But last evening a smart person in our group came up with a third inference that could be the metaphorically stabbed in the back, which is an awfully strange interpretation but  in this awfully strange case it could make sense.

My life will never be the same: At one point during Victor Zaborsky’s interview with Detective Kasul he breaks down and says, “My life will never be the same.”  I got to thinking about that statement this week.  If you were just a witness to a crime, how will your life change such that it will never be the same?  And second, while we have heard Joe Price be very self-focused and narcisstic in his interview, it was a surprise to see the gentle soul Victor be the same way. It seems that he isn’t the only one to think that the evening’s events happened to him instead of to the man who happened to lose his life that night.  It it a rare moment of resignation on the part of Zaborsky that seems to show more about what he isn’t telling the detective than what he is revealing.

More thoughts after the jump.

Douglas Deedrick: A group of us began talking yesterday, and thought if Goslinoski was the canary, what animal was Doug Deedrick?  A few of us offered a turtle.  Here is a guy, who looks like he has become a professional witness, just like the defense’s Henry Lee, who did not and would not stick his head out during his defense cross exam.  Every time the defense went at him hard, he just pulled his head back under his shell, especially during questioning about his experimental evidence.  He appeared entirely lackadaisical about the methodology he undertook on his experiments.  For example, to show that he didn’t put much thought in the controls of his experiment  he said he “just got a T-shirt from Goodwill or somewhere like that.”  We know he didn’t get to be one of the top FBI investigators with this type of carefree approach.  Now, Doug Deedrick is a man who has been on the witness stand is several high profile cases, including the OJ Simpson case.  The defense came at him for all the same reasons as they did that time — his testimony doesn’t have scientific validity.  Why then does Deedrick appear as if he is a Supreme Court nominee who can’t recall or remember information. This is not the same venue, unless of course, this is what Deedrick has learned, and he learned not to stick his head out.  He did, though, far better during cross examination when discussing his findings of actual crime scene information from the Wone case, than he did on his own experiments.

Relationships: Speaking of Doug Deedrick, the defense seemed to hit him on the fact that prosecution witness Robert Spalding gave him a towel and some equine blood to conduct his experiments, indicating there was some sort of collusion between these two former FBI agents.  If the defense makes that case, it would seem perfectly acceptable for the prosecution to ask questions of defense experts about their relationships.  For example, the defense has cardiac surgeons Dr. Farzad Najam and Dr. Eric Wechsler who will testify that Robert suffered from a cardiac tamponade as result of the knife wound and died instantly.  Maybe the prosecution should also ask their cardiac surgeons how many conferences they have attended with one of the defendant’s fathers, one Dr. Needham Ward, who from public documents is also financing the brunt of his defense.  That seems like it could be a fair question to establish the objectivity of the defense witnesses and their opinions.

Now we are off to the third week of the trial.

– Posted by David

244 comments for “Thoughts on Week Two of the Trial…

  1. plumskiter
    05/29/2010 at 9:52 AM

    All good points, David. Thanks.

    I have always considered that the “stabbed in the back” statement was, in effect, a Freudian slip that was metaphorically true. now I know i’m not alone!

    I totally agree on “my life will never be the same”. In Joe’s interview, he makes the same statement and then says twice more “our lives will never be the same.” I posted a comment earlier on the curiosity of this – totally egocentric – & way too grandiose for their intruder theory.

    Deedrick sounds like a dud to me. Reputations do not necessarily reflect reality, and there is nothing like a real courtroom to test the reality.

    I hope the prosecution is reading these posts because your ideas about the relationships between Dylan’s dad and the defense experts are excellent.

    And, finally, where is Bea? Should we be worried? I’m getting concerned but wouldn’t know where to begin to check on her.

    • TT
      05/29/2010 at 10:12 AM

      Dylan’s Father is involved not only with the money but has had a relationship with the defense team. How twisted is that? Plum, I posed the same question yesterday, “Where is Bea?”

      • HKG
        05/29/2010 at 11:06 AM

        She is definitely and sorely missed.

        • Bea
          05/29/2010 at 3:08 PM

          I was on a trip but I have been trying to keep up (well, summarily) – I’M BACK! Thanks for asking.

          My quick take: the prosecution needs to keep it shorter and tighter. The Judge has already said ‘this wasn’t a quick in and stab 3 times’ -implying she knows a LOT of crap happened that night. Let’s hope they don’t dick around so much that she loses THAT focus.

          Victor’s comment SO matches Joe’s (our lives will never be the same) that I suspect it was something Joe said when they made the pact and the concocted story was unleashed. Victor is “saying” that while he didn’t kill Robert that he knows that the life he once knew is over – doesn’t make it less self-absorbed and uncaring, but I think that fact is sinking in throughout the interrogation – and in the courtroom. While he may feel bad for Robert and for Kathy, he feels TERRIBLE for himself. Spineless jackass, do something about it!

          My notion is that all the professional witnesses will embarrass their respective sides to a degree. You can dress up a prostitute and pretend she’s your date but sooner or later others can see through it. Works both ways.

          So long as the prosecution makes its case (through the gobbledy-gook of for the truth of it comes to mind), and provided the witnesses come through (including I hope Tara of the “Catch 22” email), then the defense will have to make the make or break call of having the defendants testify. If the Judge thinks the prosecution has made its prima facie case then I think she believes that they’re guilty of these charges – and how the defense will convince her of this particular negative, I don’t know.

          But I am back.

          • blutundra
            05/29/2010 at 4:36 PM

            Regarding Bea’s comment about “Spineless” Victor, for the life of me I still don’t see how any of these defendants can continue with their follow-the-leader stance….and risk going to the slammer…the events of the night just do not add up.

            • Clio
              05/29/2010 at 5:38 PM

              Victor is stubborn, not spineless: he’s determined to stand by his man, even if his man is revealed to be a monster.

              As for Dyl, as CD has pointed out, he follows anyone who would give him the time of day. And, since Mr. Ward at age 40 will probably not become the next Prince Klemens von Metternich or the next Julia Child, he does not have much to lose by a misplaced loyalty to the Price brothers.

              • Bill Orange
                05/29/2010 at 6:35 PM

                I really don’t understand Dylan. He’s walked away from this relationship once, hasn’t he? He seems like an intelligent, reasonably attractive 40 year-old who has spent a good amount of time learning the arts of massage and torture. He seems unfocused and unambitious, but he would still be deemed a “good catch” by any number of professional gay men with a wide range of sexual tastes.

                • Clio
                  05/29/2010 at 6:49 PM

                  BO, his reviews as a “therapist” have been quite good, and he would make a nice housefrau for a retiree or two in Florida, if it were not for that “unpleasantness”up north in DC.

                  • Clio
                    05/29/2010 at 9:11 PM

                    BTW, one historical example of the pernicious effects of parental indulgence into adulthood would have to be Dolley Madison’s coddling of her son Payne Todd. Dolley ended up poor in old age in part because of the dissolute and unfocused lifestyle of her boy.

                    Then again, of course, she was not a prominent cardiologist,either!

                • New Alias
                  05/29/2010 at 9:27 PM

                  Okay, look, I’m only going to say this once, but IMHO, up close Dylan looks batshit crazy. Super-intense stare, like he’s lit from within but not in a good way -like his lightbulb is burning too bright and too hot. Combined with soft, cat-like, controlled body language. Scares me silly, for real. (Other two just look ordinary). My personal opinion of course, very very biased. That is all.

                  • Bill Orange
                    05/29/2010 at 9:36 PM

                    Intriguing. This post–and Nelly’s post about Victor on this same thread–are the first times I think I’ve seen people report negative reactions to direct interactions with either Dylan or Victor. Negative reactions to Joe Price have been a dime a dozen on previous threads, but now it’s starting to come out for Dylan and Victor.

          • Bob
            05/30/2010 at 3:13 AM

            Good evening. I mean good night. I welcome you back.

            • Bea
              05/30/2010 at 3:29 AM

              Thanks, Bob. Goodnight to you too.

              • Kate
                05/30/2010 at 11:43 AM

                Howdy Bea – you were missed.

                Some of us were getting ready to call out the National Guard.

                Hope your trip was a good one.

          • Themis
            05/30/2010 at 3:10 PM

            Welcome back, Bea. Just a couple of things. The judge can enter a dismissal at the close of the prosecution’s case only in no reasonable factfinder could find the defendant(s) guilty. This usually happens when the evidence fails to support a specific element of a specific offense and is very rare.

            As for any of the defendants testifying, the defendants and their counsel have to consider how well any one of them would hold up under questioning by Judge Liebowitz. If the defense decides that testimony by a defendant is required, I would think that they would be best served by putting only one of them up. If more than one of them testifies, they may end up contradicting each other on the stand.

            • Bob
              05/30/2010 at 3:35 PM

              If any of the defendants take the stand, would they be subject to cross-examination? Could Kirschner ask them what happened to all the blood?

              • Themis
                05/30/2010 at 3:57 PM

                If they take the stand, they will be hammered by the prosecution and quizzed by the judge. Their testimony will be subject to the same objections as other witnesses and may be able to claim certain privileges (attorney/client, confidential marital communications, which is held by the parter not testifying). But the Fifth Amendment cannot be selective invoked.

          • kiki
            05/30/2010 at 3:31 PM


            Thanks for coming back and contributing your thoughts. As always, I enjoy and appreciate your insight. You were missed.

  2. sda
    05/29/2010 at 10:08 AM

    As always kudos to the editors for a job well done. I especially respect and enjoy your insight on things the defendants have said or not said. Very interesting and insightful perspective. All four of you have done such a great job with this blog.

  3. cole
    05/29/2010 at 10:17 AM

    Not sure I am in total agreement. I guess the comments about life never being the same are ego centric, but not inconsistent with only having witnessed a crime. Suppose they are innocent. They find a friend dead in the house, they are arrested, they are on trial, they are the stuff of headlines, they are vilified and assumed by many to be guilty…..I think that is enough to change your life forever guilty or innocent.

    • WhatACase
      05/29/2010 at 10:25 AM

      Cole — problem with that is that on the night of the murder, the lads had not yet been “villified and assumed by many to be guilty.” David is right to point out the egocentric angle. If a guest had been murdered in your guestroom, wouldn’t you be screaming for the police to find that killer, pronto?? Or would you be thinking about how it affects you?

      On “stabbed in the back,” I think I recall Kathy Wone on cross being asked whether she was sure that Price said “back” instead of “bed.” It is possible that in the shock of the moment that Kathy heard “back” instead of “bed.” Just seems strange to me that Joe would make that mistake AFTER he had already gotten his story straight with the roommates about hearing a chime, racing down the stairs, etc. Though I’m still confused about whether this Det. Durnham (sp?) is going to testify that Joe first said that Robert had been stabbed on the patio??

      • interestedobserver
        05/29/2010 at 10:47 AM

        The testimony was there was no confusion about “back” and “bed.” Specifically, the testimony was “in the back” sounds much different than “in bed.”
        Joe may have tried to get his story straight before the police arrived, but the numerous inconsistent, implausible statements during the police interviews have already been detailed extensively in this blog. Why is it strange that Joe “messed” up his story right off the bat? It seems to me that it would be hard to get your lies straight right after a friend has been murdered.

        • WhatACase
          05/29/2010 at 11:00 AM

          Interested — I see your point. I had assumed that some of the time lag between “the scream” and the 911 call was spent on getting the story straight. Just went back to read Diane Durham’s report on what she encountered when she responded to the 911 call. She says that after hearing a scream, “underwear guy (joe price) said the victim was at the patio door bleeding, they opened the door, took him upstairs and laid him on the bed.” Joe then called kathy wone to tell her what happened. If Durham is right, the “story” at the time of her arrival was that robert was killed “in the back” on the patio. After Durham left to accompany robert to the emergency room, the “story” apparently changed. But interesting that the first story fits with robert being laid down on a bed, on top of the sheets.

          • ladyg
            05/29/2010 at 1:13 PM

            so if robert was killed on the patio, means they had to lift/transport him on a mat or sheet(leaving a bloody mess..i guess this is where, the hose come in) right?

      • cole
        05/29/2010 at 12:36 PM

        Ok, point taken. Still, I think having a friend killed in your house, and being questioned by the police, and knowing that you will be in headlines is enough to explain a remark about life never being the same. It is ego centric, it may suggest guilt, but it isn’t a strong indication of anything in my view.

        • WhatACase
          05/29/2010 at 1:30 PM

          cole — I see your point.

        • Deb
          05/29/2010 at 6:55 PM

          I agree that the statement should not be taken as one indicative of a guilty conscience. For example, I have post traumatic stress syndrome/disorder? Not sure which one is the chronic one without going to look at my records, but . . . I am awesome during a crisis. It’s after the fact that I fall apart. And then 10 years later, I’ll smell a scent, hear a word or sound, see an image, and the whole prior crisis floods back with the anxiety.

          So, were a friend ever murdered in my home, I am quite confident I would say something to the effect of “I will never get over this.”

          • Clio
            05/30/2010 at 2:23 PM

            Yes, Deb, but if that’s all you said — poor old me, and then tried to diminish your knowledge of and your bond with the deceased, there is something going on there, more than simple “shell shock”.

    • New Alias
      05/29/2010 at 6:13 PM

      This brings up a point that I may have made before – forgive me if this is a repeat.

      I think it is mighty suspicious that the trouple’s concerns were self-centered. During his ‘interrogation,’ Joe says he’s taken depositions in which he’s questioned people for hours on end. I believe Joe used those skills to prepare Victor and Dylan for interrogation by the police et al, meaning, I suspect the self-centered language uttered by all three is a product of Joe’s coaching. The ‘this is the worst thing that ever happened to me,’ ‘my life will never be the same’ business sounds perfectly natural — for a sociopath. A sociopath, for whom other people aren’t real or don’t count, would naturally focus on how he himself would be affected by the murder. Not that Victor and Dylan didn’t buy in-they recited their scripts with panache. But I think Joe is the author.

      Further, consider the self-centered sentiments in light of the absence of words expressing fear. Both Joe and Victor describe running down the stairs without a thought to their personal safety. Okay. Both claim they didn’t hear anyone running down the stairs and out the door. Despite this, neither reported feeling concerned that the intruder might be hiding on the second floor – in the closet, in the bathroom, or in Dylan’s room. Victor mentions being afraid to go down to the first floor (though he did anyway) because the intruder might be there – but why was he so sure that the first floor was the only place the intruder could be hiding?

      Dylan says he didn’t come out of his room at first because he didn’t know what he had heard. Obviously, Dylan is not the friend you want to have around if you start choking, have a stroke, or break a leg falling down the stairs. A strange grunting sound could be a medical emergency happening to Robert, Joe, or Victor – is that something you stay in your room for? I don’t recall whether Dylan said he was afraid at that point, but if so, why, when a health or accident-related emergency would be the likely cause?

      Would he have us believe that he heard a person make strange grunting/screaming sounds that could have been Joe having a stroke, or Victor discovering Joe had a stroke, and he just stayed in his room to see how things panned out?

      Most telling of all, Dylan never dwells on his narrow escape from death. From the way he tells the story, the goddamn Angel of Death materialized inside 1509 Swann and passed by his doorway not once, but twice – and left him unharmed. This is beyond regular scary – this is terror of legendary status, the sort of stuff entire movie franchises and religious holidays are based on. If the intruder story were true, Dylan should have been dead; if it were true and he was left unharmed, it would be like a goddamn miracle.

      Dylan does not act like a terror-stricken man. He doesn’t act like someone who came within a hair’s breadth of being stabbed in the heart by a vicious stranger. He doesn’t say much about being afraid the killer is hiding on the second or first floor or outside, possibly with the intent of finishing him off. He’s unconcerned that the killer could come back to get him.

      Yes, its natural enough to comment that Robert’s murder was going to change your life. It would and it did. But you know what changes your life even more? Being dead. But there’s no ‘it could have been me!’ ‘I was nearly killed!’ ‘That could have been *my * husband lying there!’ or any variation thereof.

      No fear because there was no intruder. I rest my case. Sorry for the long-windedness.

      • Manopener
        05/29/2010 at 9:12 PM

        Except, of course, had Wone been stabbed admitting some assignation through the back door no one would have known there was an intruder until they discovered Wone’s bloody body at the back door.

        Very few of the folks who post here have ever been through a situation nearly as intense as this was, whether the boys are innocent and guilty, and the propensity to load every word and gesture is a bit tortured.

        As to Victor’s narcissism, have you ever lost a friend/relative in a shocking way, or even in a less dramatic way? Sometimes it takes a while to even begin registering that the person is dead. The human psyche can only absorb so much trauma at once. It is not indictative of anything substantive that the realities of the situation would sink in sporadically.

        • Bill Orange
          05/29/2010 at 9:32 PM

          “Except, of course, had Wone been stabbed admitting some assignation through the back door no one would have known there was an intruder until they discovered Wone’s bloody body at the back door.”

          If this was the case, they’re all STILL guilty, and their actions have virtually ensured that the perpetrator will never be brought to justice.

          But I have to admit that I really don’t understand the “secret sex partner” theory. You honestly think that Wone would hook up with a complete stranger in someone else’s house? THAT seems “discreet” to you? Why not just tell his wife he was going to sleep on the floor of his office and then rent a hotel room for the evening?

          • New Alias
            05/29/2010 at 9:50 PM

            Clearly, Manthing is trying to say that Robert must have asked for it, that Robert’s killer is Robert. Despicable.

            Next thing he’ll be saying Robert was wearing a too-short skirt and showing a lot of cleavage.

            • Manopener
              05/30/2010 at 10:46 AM

              That is Manopener, not Manthing. I know the whole idea of an icky “manthing” terrifies you.

              Please lose this “blame the victim” trope! It is too cliche.

              • Carolina
                05/30/2010 at 12:12 PM

                You, then, are feeding the cliche because it is exactly what you are doing. I suppose Robert would meet his trick with his mouthguard in place? Expect to sneak him in and have sex and wake no one? It’s cliche that you’d continue to make the claim.

                • Manopener
                  05/30/2010 at 1:33 PM

                  I disagree with you Carolina but will not argue specifics here and now.

                  What I was objecting to was the cliched and immediate playing of the “blame the victim card” with any suggestion of some digression from the accepted narrative.

                  Think about it! Isn’t it “homophobic”, a word much misused on this site, to infer that opening the possibility that Robert Wone might have had some homsexual experience is placing blame?

                  Huh? I don’t remember ever saying that this dude cheated on the little missus and therefore deserved to be stabbed three times in the chest. That would be blaming the victim.

                  I just find the small mindedness that trots that old saw out to counter any difference of opinion to be tedious and the sign of a weak and lazy intellect.

                  I fully realize I was expected to back down at even the suggestion that I was guilty of same.

                  • New Alias
                    06/08/2010 at 5:10 PM

                    Blaming the victim is not a cliched trope; its a real phenomenon that happens in real life, and has been observed, studied, measured, and written about by social scientists of all stripes. And by the way, you sound like you might make a good case study.

                    As for homophobia, look within. You’re the one who seems to find it impossible that a straight man could view a gay man as a trusted platonic friend.

          • Manopener
            05/30/2010 at 10:41 AM

            Granted, they are all guilty of being part of a cover up. But, you know as well as I do that guilt as to the cover up is not, in fact, what is being discussed here.

            Hooking up with complete strangers is common practice in the demimonde habituated by Price and Ward. Price represented that other world to Robert Wone who I don’t believe was “gay” or was not necessarily living a double life but who simply might have found some excitement in the occasional fling. He may have grown bored with vanilla. Price had all the accoutrements and a spicy new playmate.

            Couldn’t it strike one as the least bit odd that a 32 year old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania would be wearing his William and Mary tee shirt to the sleep over? Was it some sort of totem?

            Also, quite frankly when I was 32 years old, as I remember it, I had moved on from crashing at undergrad pal’s pads.

            • KKinCA
              05/30/2010 at 10:55 AM

              Manopener – There is absolutely no proof the idea that Robert was curious or was bored by “vanilla”, so I will not comment on that idea. But about the WM tee shirt – I have several tee shirts from my college and law school days, and I treasure them. This is dating myself but I find that the quality of the fabric of old tee shirts (20+ years ago) is so much better than tee shirts made these days – softer, thicker etc.- more comfortable to sleep in. Also, lots of sentimental value. And Robert and Joe weren’t just “undergrad pals” – they appeared to have stayed in very close contact since college: Joe (and Victor) attended Robert and Kathy’s wedding, the trouple hosted Robert’s 30 year birthday party at their home, the trouple recently visited Kathy after she had surgery, and apparently Joe and Robert were pursuing a professional relationship (Joe representing Robert’s new company.)

              • Manopener
                05/30/2010 at 11:59 AM

                …and it is ABSOLUTELY essential that only the accepted narrative convey on this site…

                Robert Wone was and always had been completely, 1000%, strictly heterosexual. He had never engaged in, thought of, or could conceive of engaging in an icky, dirty, homosexual act or bond. Robert Wone was and always had been since the moment he first met her, completely, utterly, 1000%, totally smitten, turned on by, and faithful to the Madonna figure in our story, Kathy.

                As is often pointed out on this site, lack of evidence of guilt does not prove innocence.

                • Carolina
                  05/30/2010 at 12:16 PM

                  Well, we like a little evidence before we go off claiming someone tricked with his CL pick up. Just some. Somewhere. Don’t you think SOMEONE would step up and say Robert liked an occasional hook up? Especially if the Gods of Gay were being accused?

                  • Manopener
                    05/30/2010 at 1:21 PM

                    Logic would suggest that you are right but there are so many variations possible that it is impossible to know.

                • Bill Orange
                  05/30/2010 at 12:17 PM

                  I’m actually open to the theory that Wone was on the down low. I just haven’t seen anything to support the theory. I think we can all agree that Wone’s death wasn’t a planned suicide, so there’s no reason he would have gone out of his way to “cover his tracks” before that night. Yet we’ve seen no evidence of unexplained phone calls, naughty e-mails, porn on his work computer, etc. It’s one thing to be on the “down low” with respect to your wife and your friends. It’s quite another when you try to hide it from experienced investigators with subpoenas and search warrants.

                  Don’t believe me? Let’s try another example: Suppose you’re a gay man in a long-term relationship with a secret taste for BDSM. It’s quite easy to be discreet about this with respect to your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. But when the police start looking into it, they quickly find your toy trunk, your office porn, and your profile.

            • AnnaZed
              05/30/2010 at 11:56 AM

              “…Wone attended the College of William and Mary as a Monroe Scholar and majored in Public Policy. He became active in student government, through which he met Joseph Price. Wone was also active in reviving the 13 Club, whose members went around campus doing anonymous good deeds, and was elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, and Golden Key honor societies. At his graduation in 1996, he received the college’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, presented to a student excelling in “characteristics of heart, mind and helpfulness to others.”

              Third tab on the site, a simple (not too long or hard to read) page about Robert. If you are going to cast theories about, so your homework.

              • AnnaZed
                05/30/2010 at 11:57 AM

                that would be

                “do your homework”

              • Manopener
                05/30/2010 at 12:00 PM

                And your point is?

                • Carolina
                  05/30/2010 at 12:19 PM

                  Here’s another one for you: If he was looking to trick or spice up his sex life with Joe’s cool toys, why did he also ask to stay at Lisa’s? And you know well, or should, that he wasn’t just having a sleep over for the sake of telling ghost stories and making smores. He was there because he had a late night at work and would have required his wife to drive out to pick him up after midnight.

                  • Manopener
                    05/30/2010 at 1:14 PM

                    Late night at work? Ten minutes for a flyover at RFA.

                  • Agatha
                    05/30/2010 at 2:00 PM

                    There is a red herring in the story.

                    He wasn’t working late in the office. He planed this visit two weeks in advance. He decided to do a ‘meet and greet” faster than any POTUS to speed over to Swann Street for a glass of water to speed to sleep to (hopefully) wake up early to have a breakfast meeting with the host.

                    Or – let’s look at this another way – this is the same host who did not answer the door despite a phone call from Wone saying he was on his way over – the same host who supposedly only offered water and then they only chatted for less than 20 minutes. And – this – was the first time Wone was staying over night.

                    This is strange hospitality.

                    If an old friend comes over to stay – gay or not gay – don’t you offer more than water and don’t you stay up talking to catch up – regardless of whether it is a school night or not. This was a rare occasion … wouldn’t you want to know how married life is; the family; old friends from school; how is it living with four people under one roof … etc – or even dive into your business discussion.

                    I also don’t know of any quasi govt office – that would not be supportive of providing a hotel room if it was needed to support a day time staff person in meeting the late night staff. In a way – RFA – should be held responsible for putting a staff member in a risky situation (not that visiting old friends is risky – but – the result of this visit was death). If Wone had to stay late for business – the business is responsible for him. Imagine if he had a car accident – or some other harmful accident. Or – at the very least – RFA should have paid for a taxi to take Wone home. If this was a work related meeting – scheduled two weeks in advance -in my opinion – RFA bears some responsibility for the harm done to Wone – whether he knew his killer(s) or not.

                    Whether the four people at 1509 were gay, straight, drug dealers, upstanding citizens … or not … there is something missing in the initial story of Wone staying over at 1509.

                    If Price had two weeks to think about this visit … what was he thinking? (We know he didn’t tell Victor until the very last minute. When did Price tell Ward and when did he tell Sarah?

                    It would appear as though there was some premeditation.

                    Were there any financial dealings between the Price and Wone? Was Price desperate for new business?

            • Bill Orange
              05/30/2010 at 12:06 PM

              “Couldn’t it strike one as the least bit odd that a 32 year old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania would be wearing his William and Mary tee shirt to the sleep over?”

              Not really. I graduated from William & Mary in 93, and I have a number of T-shirts, jackets, sweat pants, and gym shorts from back then that I still wear. I wouldn’t go to a cocktail party in them, but they’re quite comfy for wearing around the house.

              “Price had all the accoutrements and a spicy new playmate.”

              Yes, but there’s no evidence that Wone knew about Joe’s tastes in BDSM or about the nature of his relationship with Ward. And if you’re “bored with vanilla” and want to try something new, a great way to test the waters with your wife would be to say, “Remember my friend Joe Price? I just found out he’s WAY into the S&M scene, and his dominant just moved in with him. What do you think about that?”

              • Manopener
                05/30/2010 at 1:19 PM

                Granted, Price had certainly progressed since the W&M days and Wone probably didn’t know all the ramifications. What he may have known though was that when he got an itch, Price knew how to scratch.
                This could have been and if indeed true probably was a once in 5 years thhng. Robert may have planted the seed with his initial inquiry and Price seduced the rest of the game, who knows?

                • Bill Orange
                  05/30/2010 at 2:05 PM

                  Could be, but again, I would expect to see something in the e-mail trail about this (even an oblique “Thanks for last night. I REALLY needed that!”) and it doesn’t appear to be there.

                • Ohio
                  06/01/2010 at 10:50 AM

                  So you are saying what? Robert planned a fling with Joe and he ended up dead? By whom? Or, Robert planned a fling with an unknown and he made the date at Joe’s house, unknown to the housemates? And was killed by the unknown? Not sure which you are suggesting.

            • des
              05/30/2010 at 12:53 PM

              continuing to reply to these baseless hypotheses is a waste of time. if robert wanted to have a fling, he wouldn’t have asked various friends to host him for the night and instead he most likely would have stayed at a hotel where there would be much more privacy than a row house with 3 other people staying there.
              seriously, would you ever take a one night stand or a secret lover to a friend’s house?

              • Manopener
                05/30/2010 at 1:13 PM

                I don’t necessarily believe that Robert Wone was involved. I do believe that accrediting only an accepted narrative in an open forum is disingenuous.

                Certainly much about this case defies logic. Wouldn’t the same illogic that applies to Wone’s staying at Swann Street rather then at some hotel also apply to someone suddenly stabbing their longtime friend three times in the chest.

                • Bill Orange
                  05/30/2010 at 2:10 PM

                  Not really. Robert was, as far as we know, was non-drug-using, non-alcohol-using, and monogamous.

                  The defendants, on the other hand, were a bit wilder and therefore, in my mind, more prone to unpredictable outbursts.

                • Clio
                  05/30/2010 at 2:29 PM

                  The Editors and most posters are not Mrs. Malaprop’s “mistresses of orthodoxy” for maintaining the truism that Robert was straight and happily married. We are just reflecting the known and logical facts, as well as the statements of Culuket himself.

                • Bea
                  05/30/2010 at 3:15 PM

                  Hey Man, I’m late to this thread and read it quickly, but can’t figure out the key premise of your posts. Not being sarcastic. While I don’t think Robert came by for any itch scratching, what difference would it make?

                  • Bob
                    05/30/2010 at 3:28 PM

                    Exactly. Even if Robert was on the down-low with the defendants, what difference does it make? What happened to all the blood?

                  • KKinCA
                    05/30/2010 at 4:20 PM

                    Bea – you drove Maneater away! Darn you for getting into facts!! 😉 GREAT to have you back!

                • Bob
                  05/30/2010 at 3:31 PM

                  I don’t think that there is any attempt to suppress discussion of Robert’s sexuality. However, as it has been pointed out, no one has come forward to confirm any speculation that he was bisexual, and if he had been, someone else would have thrown him out of the closet posthumously. Anyway, his sexual orientation is irrelevant to the fact that he was stabbed and bled to death and that no one knows what happened to all the blood.

              • SJinNYC
                05/30/2010 at 9:29 PM

                Agreed. People, stop responding to these trolls and those who want to purposely disrespect/sully Robert’s memory. It’s just encouraging them, and no amount of factual/logical argument is going to make them change their mind. If you ignore them they’ll go away.

            • plumskiter
              05/30/2010 at 2:23 PM

              i’m 38 years from college graduation and 35 from law school graduation and i still wear t-shirts from my schools. a bit of a digression here, but what i find weird is when people wear school t’s and sweatshirts from schools they did not attend. seems dishonest somehow.

        • interestedobserver
          05/29/2010 at 10:11 PM

          It doesn’t appear from the information gathered so far that Victor and Robert were that close. For Victor, Robert was Joe’s friend. After all, did Victor even bother to greet him when he arrived? Victor just sat up in his room watching his “Project Runway” television show. And Victor had to be reminded by Joe during the police interviews, “Wasn’t he our friend, Victor?”
          Therefore, Victor’s comments that his life was never going to be the same seems more self-centered than anything else.

  4. BadShoes
    05/29/2010 at 10:51 AM

    Yesterday, there was some colluquy on psychological insights into the mindset of the possible perpetrators. I hope the editors will forgive slightly off-topic posting. Here are some suggestions for weekend reading that may perhaps be relevant:

    –It may help to read up on “narcissistic personality disorder.” Some folks may have already read a couple of recent memoirs by adult children of narcissists: “Running with Scissors” by Augusten Burroughs, and “The Glory of it All” by Sean Wilsey. Nobody gets killed or injured in these books, but notice the way that some of the characters ruthlessly use others, while their relentless self-absorption propels them into one avoidable train-wreck after another.

    –There is the late unlamented Jim Jones, of Jonestown infamy. Some of Jones’ writings survive on the internet–their self-absorption is astonishing. Jones abused his mostly ordinary-folks followers in every conceivable way and some inconceivable ways, including inducing parents to poison their children. How far can a charismatic narcissist go? As far as he can. IMHO, Jones actually got a thrill from seeing just much he could degrade his followers.

    –Lastly, I would recommend Stanley Milgram’s classic “Obedience to Authority.” Why would Jones’ ordinary-folks followers undertake deeply repugnant acts at his behest? This book may help provide insight.

    • Clio
      05/29/2010 at 2:26 PM

      Thanks, BadShoes. One cannot read too much fiction, history or sociology; the Milgram stuff never goes out of style.

      Editors, we may need an annotated bibliography section, if only to supplement Detective Xanten’s syllabi on such pertinent topics as narcissism, power and deference, and straight female confidantes of urban gay men. While not as powerful as Oprah’s late Book Club, of course, such a section could get more people to read again.

    • Deb
      05/29/2010 at 7:15 PM

      This is pretty much what I was getting at yesterday with my discussion of the “helpful literature” Joe had prepared for Mr. Wone, which was left un-read on the counter.

      I think it’s possible Mr. Wone rejected Joe and that Joe snapped.

      • Bill Orange
        05/29/2010 at 11:28 PM

        That doesn’t fit with the needle marks and the lack of movement/defensive wounds, though. I think you’re right that someone just snapped, but it really looks like Wone was already unconscious when that happened.

  5. Clio
    05/29/2010 at 11:19 AM

    Canaries, turtles, and spiders, oh my! I think that Doug D. ought to consider permanent retirement from the stage, especially after this week’s flop. It is still early in the trial, however, and Glenn and Rachel may need to have a BBQ of their own to streamline and focus their seemingly rudderless case — but with no burned steaks, please.

    The phrase “stabbed in the back” has been used metaphorically many times in the past. Most notorious was its deployment by Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff in Weimar Germany to describe the actions of those “liberals” who had signed the (to them) ignimonious Versailles Treaty. Nevertheless, its possible use here could have all three meanings — a trifecta even more powerful than the Triple Alliance (formerly at Swann) itself.

    The defense “experts” are apparently not in the mainstream of medical thought on the issues on which they will testify. Did Needham know this and, despite his own diagnosis, did he refer Mr. Grimm and Mr. Schertler to gadflies Najam and Wechsler?

    “My life will never be the same.” That is a true statement by Victor, even if it strays revealingly from the better angels of Mr. Zaborsky’s nature. Victor was/is metaphorically a good girl who just got caught up with the wrong men — I guess s/he wishes that s/he never left Denver early that night after all!

    Bea must be on vacation — let’s hope that we all follow suit in order to be “tanned, rested, and ready” (just like Dyl) for next week’s proceedings.

  6. CC Biggs
    05/29/2010 at 11:42 AM

    The most interesting development of the week is the prospect of Michael Price playing some role in this whole mess. Will he be called to testify? Does the government have more info to establish his involvement in Robert’s death? In the cover up? What is the prosectution’s theory about his role in this case?

  7. Nelly
    05/29/2010 at 11:45 AM

    Sure, Victor cries at a drop of a hat and is probably the lesser of the three or four evils, but I don’t see him as a gentle soul. He gave me the evil eye and stared at me when I happened to gaze upon him in court. I wasn’t even intending to stare at him. I looked away and gave him the benefit of a doubt, but when I looked back at him, sure enough, he was still glaring at me.

    I miss Bea too. Let’s hope she is on a vacation and did not become a victim of a 9-foot fence-leaping ninja.

    • KKinCA
      05/29/2010 at 8:50 PM

      No worries – the ninja is only interested in attacking guests, and intuitively knows which room any guest will be in, even with all closed doors. [Hopefully she isn’t having guests this weekend.] But Bea is back – I spotted one of her posts below! 🙂

    • interestedobserver
      05/29/2010 at 10:18 PM

      Nelly, I don’t see him as a gentle soul either. A truly gentle soul would tell all he knows about the crime. He may be crying in court when he’s feeling sorry for himself, but he’s usually sitting in court smiling and laughing like the trial is so enjoyable for him. It’s not clear what he’s chatting about with the associate attorney who sits with him, but from the looks of it they are chatting about the latest entertainment news.

      • SJinNYC
        05/30/2010 at 9:37 PM

        I’m so glad someone else thinks so too. I for one am tired of all the Victor apologists. I never thought he was a ‘gentle soul’. When I heard him crying on the 911 call, I heard a man crying for himself, for a ‘perfect, domestic’ life that was about to be overturned. I don’t think Victor gives a hoot that Robert is dead; I think he has no problem sleeping at night – except, of course, when he lies awake worrying about HIMSELF and murderous husband. Gentle soul? Please.

  8. Leonard
    05/29/2010 at 12:18 PM

    As to the stabbing on the patio vs the finding him on the bed, I remember a while back some interesting posts on this blog. One in particular struck me. Why would Wone be wearing a mouth guard wandering the patio?

    • WhatACase
      05/29/2010 at 12:24 PM

      The defense is going to have to attack the “in the back” scenario aggressively, as it doesn’t fit with the later story, the knife being on roberts chest, etc. they will have to claim that det. durham completely misunderstood what joe was saying, as joe was understandably upset, in shock, and rambling. yet it does seem that the “on the patio” attack was a cover story at one point, as det. durham’s recollection is totally consistent with kathy wone hearing “in the back” during joe’s call to her (and note that durham was in earshot of joe as he spoke with kathy wone). earlier theories here that joe was very high might explain his interchangeable story.

    • cole
      05/29/2010 at 4:24 PM

      As a former user, it wouldn’t strike me as unusual to learn he was on a patio with a mouth guard. Once I put it in, it was in. If I had popped it in at bed time and then remembered I forgot to turn out a light, or check the door, or if heard a noise, I didn’t necessarily take it out again.

      • Anonymous in DC
        05/29/2010 at 7:19 PM

        But as a guest in a house in a very urban area I doubt that you would have those concerns. Agree that it would be normal for a homeowner to leave in a guard to address those issues.

  9. anon (not currently) in ny
    05/29/2010 at 12:36 PM

    you guys better start hoping Needham doesn’t have any more money left over for the kinds of lawyers who will sue your speculative, defamatory back-ends. Civil lawyers out there, now is your time to shin: Think our editors have anything to worry about???

    • anon (not currently) in ny
      05/29/2010 at 12:36 PM

      shine. my bad

    • tassojunior
      05/29/2010 at 1:07 PM

      Agree 100%.

      • WhatACase
        05/29/2010 at 1:25 PM

        Tasso — there’s so much I could say, but a review of your prior posts suggests it simply isn’t worth it.

    • cinnamon
      05/29/2010 at 1:19 PM

      Yawwwwwwwwn. We’ve heard this kind of fearmongering before. Anything else to add?

      • Clio
        05/29/2010 at 1:40 PM

        Sigh! How can “back-ends” be “speculative” or “defamatory?” My “back-end” cannot type or speak, but it sure can do other things.

        If I had a heart attack in Tacoma, then I would insist on Needham Ward to treat me. If I needed an erotic massage in Wilton Manor, then I probably wouldn’t ask for his son for an appointment. But that’s just me!

      • WhatACase
        05/29/2010 at 1:45 PM

        cinnamon — you seem very up-to-date on this case. do you know whether the prosecution asked the neighbors who heard the scream (the Thomas’, I think) how much time elapsed between the scream and the arrival of an ambulance, fire truck, and police cars, all with sirens, in front of their home?

        Seems to me that trying to tie a timeline to maureen bunyan’s voice is far less precise than asking how much time elapsed between the scream and the arrival of police? If the boys are telling the truth, and the scream the neighbor heard is the same scream that led them to leap out of their beds, run down the stairs, and immediately call 911, then the neighbor should be able to testify that the police arrived just minutes after the scream.

        • mia
          05/29/2010 at 2:07 PM

          Wow that’s a very good question.

        • cinnamon
          05/29/2010 at 2:13 PM

          Yes, that is a good question. I don’t recall hearing if this was asked of them. Perhaps the eds can shed some light.

        • AnnaZed
          05/29/2010 at 2:49 PM

          That is an excellent question, and (alas) it would seem that when the government questioned the neighbors on the stand that this vital piece of information was not elicited.


          • Bill Orange
            05/29/2010 at 5:40 PM

            I’m assuming the eds would have posted it if it had come up in court, but they may not have thought it was relevant. In any case, I’m not surprised the prosecution didn’t ask, since they thought they had pretty firmly established the time of the scream. The fact that the defense didn’t ask, on the other hand, seems quite significant to me, and it leads me to believe that the defense knew that the answer to the question wouldn’t help their case.

            • interestedobserver
              05/29/2010 at 10:22 PM

              Agreed. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Joe and Victor stated that they called 911 instantly after they heard the “screams”, “grunts” or whatever their version is. At best, the news ended at 11:35 and Victor’s call was not made until 11:49. 14 minutes is not instantly after they heard screams.

              • susan
                05/30/2010 at 1:51 AM

                I think there’s a huge difference btw “screams” and “grunts” and I’d venture to say most of us would know the difference.

                Doesn’t Victor describe himself as screaming afterwards. So apparently he is also saying that he heard the same kind of noise from the victim? Yet his partner of many years says he heard “grunts.”

                Screams are very distinct from grunts. We all know the difference. They are not interchangeable descriptive terms.

                As well, you’d need to aspirate a lot more and have a lot more energy for a scream.

                • Bea
                  05/30/2010 at 2:13 AM

                  Agree, Susan. Joe says “low yelling” and “grunts” while Victor says “low screams” yet describes his own as hysterical screaming. EVERY TIME I read the transcripts I find myself thinking that Joe is looking for the word “moaning” but can’t ‘find’ it.

                  And then I think perhaps the difference is (and you may be implying it) is that Joe DID hear the noises that Robert made, where Victor (IMO) woke up to the noises that the murderer(s) and his accomplice(s) were making during the clean up and discussion. Victor says ‘scream’ because he’s not about to describe what he really woke up to, where Joe can at least fake it with the noises that ‘would have’ made sense.

                  It feels awful making statements like this – very cold as if to imply that this is not a horrifying act – or that these men could behave this way. Every once in a while I do wonder ‘what if the defendants were LESS involved in the murder than I believe from reading’ since I can only know what is before us, but something is terribly amiss in the timeline and the ‘story’ so it certainly seems that at a minimum they are guilty of these charges. But I wonder if others ever find the need to recalibrate to make sure. I wish I could come to a different opinion but I cannot.

                  • susan
                    05/30/2010 at 3:01 AM

                    Hey Bea,

                    Re the “Less involved” prospect, I’d say either they’re involved or not involved in obstruction.
                    Edmund Burke said something like “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

                    The story as presented doesn’t add up. The “black man” in the van; the stabbed in the back statement; the scream vs grunt; the questionable knife; lack of blood; timeline; senseless murder, etc.
                    , etc.

                    If there are “good men” on trial in this case I don’t see them.

                    • Bea
                      05/30/2010 at 3:25 AM

                      Well said.

        • DonnaH
          05/29/2010 at 6:48 PM

          The neighbors did not call the police; though, as previously noted (5/24, posts), Victor’s screams may have led Victor and Dylan, most likely high, to think that someone would call them and their arrival would be imminent. As it was, when the police didn’t show, the boys were left with having to make the decision to call 911 themselves.

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

            or perhaps when they stabbed Robert and he moaned, they realized that he WAS still alive and that they should call 911. However, it still appears as if there was a significant delay in doing so.

        • NYer
          05/29/2010 at 9:13 PM

          Based on the eds recap of the Thomases day of testimony, it seems as if the government was just trying to establish key building blocks, rather than rely on the memory of an elderly couple of a night that occurred 4 years ago. In sum I think Team Kirschner believed: testimony might waver if we rely on this couple entirely, so instead we’ll establish some basic, watertight time markers that will be defense-proof.
          And it was pretty damning:
          Scream time? -With certainty, between 11 and 11:30 pm
          911 call? -11:49 pm
          Result? -A suspicious delay (of between 19 and 49 minutes) of in reporting.
          The prosecution doesn’t have to lay it out any more clearer, though I am somewhat surprised if they did not- unless of course the Thomases were unreliable in some way, and Kirschner decided to Keep It Simple…

        • susan
          05/30/2010 at 2:01 AM

          Doesn’t it also come down to “whose” scream? Victor’s, the victims?

          • Bea
            05/30/2010 at 2:23 AM

            Susan, I concluded a while ago that the three defendants all claim that Victor was screaming ‘hysterically’ yet the sounds made by Robert were (impliedly, anyway) far more muted and broken in time.

            Allegedly, Joe heard one noise from Robert which got him out of bed, another as they descended the stairs, and a third when he was ‘applying pressure’. Not a sustained noise, in other words, unlike how Victor’s is described (and which makes the defendants’ timeline go out the window). Too, I think about how Joe told Kathy Wone the next day that he heard Robert grunt three times in coordination with or response to the three stab wounds – even with the changed story, the description doesn’t sound like the thing which would wake neighbors, especially since Dylan claimed not to be sure what noise he heard until he heard Victor and Joe yelling – possibly a fight or commotion between the domestic partners.

            Regardless, Joe is clear that the time differential from hearing the noise Robert made until Victor began ‘hysterical’ screaming was a minute or less, and that 911 was called “immediately”.

            • susan
              05/30/2010 at 2:48 AM

              Thanks, Bea. It seems clear Joe is lying (about the time re the scream and the grunts).

              I’m thinking too, that Joe’s tale to Kathy where he makes stabbing movements to describe the grunts was a kind of “tell,” a kind of involuntary physical reflect that illustrated what he himself saw–or did.

    • CC Biggs
      05/29/2010 at 1:53 PM

      Commenting on a public trial is quite legal. Sorry you don’t like it. Get over it, baby. This is America.

    • AnnaZed
      05/29/2010 at 2:28 PM

      It is interesting to observe how these not-so-thinly veiled threats to the editors always appear (like mushrooms) when a harsh light is directed at a particularly jarring inconsistency in the the residents’ story. It is as though the one (the highlighting of the inconsistency) engenders the other (the threat of legal action). Why would that be one wonders?

    • Bill Orange
      05/29/2010 at 6:28 PM

      I really don’t understand your comment here. For starters, I don’t see how anyone will be able to win a court case by claiming that something is both “speculative” AND “defamatory”. I’d ask the lawyers out there to please correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that in order to prove something is “defamatory”, it has to be provably false. When someone is speculating (“I think that…”), I really don’t see how you can prove that they really weren’t thinking what they said they were thinking.

      In addition, my understanding is that a good faith statement that one reasonably believes to be true is not considered defamation, even if the statement is subsequently shown to be technically false. That would seem to cover most of the non-speculative statements made by the posters on this site. The three defendants ended up with a dead body in their guest bedroom. The police subsequently found a substantial amount of BDSM gear in their house and BDSM pornography on one of their office computers. They’ve been indicted for obstruction of justice in a murder investigation. In view of all that, there a quite a few negative statements one could make about the defendants that someone could reasonably believe to be true.

      And finally, do you seriously believe that any of the defendants would want to walk into a courtroom to defend their “good character” at this point? Really? Is there a single statement on this site that you think a jury will decide, by a preponderance of the evidence, has seriously damaged the defendants’ reputations?

    • Carolina
      05/29/2010 at 8:10 PM

      Hardly. *points at Perez Hilton*

  10. blutundra
    05/29/2010 at 1:36 PM

    Now I know why traditional media is dying because this website is so much better — and interactive — at following this news story than anything out there.

    Aside from that, I find this story of what happened to Robert Wone preposterous. I liken it to a reverse multi-million-to-one lottery that someone would break into a particular house, and like to have sex with a man, and then take absolutely nothing from the home and run out the door, all is what, 79 minutes!

    I hope the defendants are reading these comments because if he defendants like Victor are holding out on information so he can be with Robert and live forever after, well, it seems to me that will be very difficult to do from prison. To me, it’s time to start cutting a deal before it’s too late. Or maybe, there isn’t.

    • mia
      05/29/2010 at 2:06 PM

      If we counted on the time (11:07) for the last 2 emails he typed on his blackberry, to the point victor made the 911 call (11:49), only 42 minutes in between. Not to mention when the alleged intruder broken into the house, both Joe and Victor on the 3rd floor were awaked by the chime, but surprisingly, neither Dylan nor Robert heard anything on the 2nd floor! Otherwise Robert would at least be alerted.

      • WhatACase
        05/29/2010 at 2:15 PM

        remember that the wone email’s were written at 11:07 but never sent via the BlackBerry, leading some to speculate that one of the lads typed the emails to leave impression that robert was still alive at 11:07. As a devoted CrackBerry addict, I don’t see why robert would write the email but not send, considering the nature of the emails.

        • WhatACase
          05/29/2010 at 2:19 PM

          one further theory: the emails were typed at 11:07pm but not sent, with intention to send them just 10 minutes or so before the alleged scream, to give credence to the timeline of “everything is fine, and then there’s a sudden and quick intruder entering, killing, and leaving.” But in the rush of the cleanup, they forgot to actually “send” the draft emails they had written at 11:07. If the emails had been sent at 11;30, the defense could argue that robert was alive at 11:30, the intruder came in after that time, leaving the 911 call within a reasonable timeframe.

          • AnnaZed
            05/29/2010 at 2:31 PM

            It is a feature of the blackberry that one can type and time-stamp in edit mode anything and stamp it with any time; it is only when transmitted that the actual time of transmission is affixed.

            • Kate
              05/30/2010 at 12:24 PM

              Interesting Anna, I didn’t know that.

              I also have wondered (no doubt it’s been discussed in previous threads), about Robert’s password – isn’t that required on a Blackberry to turn it on or get it out of slumber mode?

              Who, besides Robert, would know the password?

              Any thoughts, folks?

              • apple
                05/30/2010 at 2:32 PM

                I’m also wondering if the Blackberry was dusted for fingerprints before it was turned over. If it was wiped clean, or had only Robert’s prints, that would be compelling evidence either way. Is this information out there any where?

                • Bill Orange
                  05/30/2010 at 3:14 PM

                  If there is, I’m not aware of it, and I’ve been wondering that, too.

              • KKinCA
                05/30/2010 at 4:32 PM

                Kate – That’s a really great point, and great questions. I’ve had a blackberry for many years. The owner can easily disable the lock function, or set the bb to automatically lock after a specified period of time (ie, slumber mode). If the auto-lock function is on, the owner can program a password prompt to unlock, or can disable the password function to permit unlocking by merely pushing on the upper left corner of the bb. When I used my bb for work as in-house counsel of a large corporation, company policy required that all PDAs be programed with auto-lock and be password protected. I would not be surprised if RFA had the same policy for its lawyers.

        • mia
          05/29/2010 at 2:56 PM

          I totally understand what you’re saying. I just want to bring this question for their own accounts.

  11. blutundra
    05/29/2010 at 1:40 PM

    Sorry, I meant Joe in my last paragraph / comment

  12. observingfromafar
    05/29/2010 at 2:22 PM

    So how does the defense explain how someone who was so careful not to leave fingerprints or any trace evidence (for that matter) leave the knife behind?
    Lets say for a minute that the intruder theory is correct. In my mind, it could only go one of 2 ways.
    1. Someone (evil) was walking by the house, or in the neighborhood and some how saw that the gate and the defendants door was unlocked (implausible). Decided to go in and kill someone…happened to have some sort of paralytic drug on him (or maybe he just sufficated him a bit first so he wouldnt make noise)…came in and saw a knife…grabbed it and walked up to Roberts room…killed him…left the knife (in him or on top of him-the latter being even more implausible) cleaned up..snuck out unheard and unseen. OR
    2. Someone knew Robert was going to be there-has the prosecution or defense asked exactly how many people knew he was staying there that night? Someone maybe left the door unlocked on purpose for the intruder to come in. The intruder wore gloves and was very quiet (someone so prepared and sneaky would wait to use a knife from the house?). Went up to Roberts room, drugged/sufficated him, stabbed him and snuck out.
    And Joe who didn’t hear the person come up the stairs or leave down the stairs heard “grunts” in Roberts room???
    OR is it more plausible that Joe and Dylan drugged Robert (what they meant to be just a little bit) to get him relaxed and maybe more willing to do “things out of the ordinary.” Did what they did, maybe used a pillow for a little exfixiation-that went too far. Freaking out, they called Michael to help. Victor heard commotion, came downstairs, saw the body and screamed. Joe calmed him down and they all set out a plan to make it look like an intruder had stabbed Robert. Joe, having legal background would know that without hard evidence, the cops couldn’t prove anything definitively. And if they stuck together, with one story then they would be ok. I don’t think this was a murder on purpose, but by an accident gone wrong. I mean, how do they explain that they only found Robert’s semen where they did? The guy comes over to spend the night with his good friend and decides to do things to himself before bed, and after a shower? Doubtful.
    It is because Joe thought fast and got rid of the hard evidence that they are not on trial for murder. Even the obstruction will be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Even though the story is riddled with holes.

    • tassojunior
      05/29/2010 at 3:23 PM

      But who has ever disposed of a murder weapon but then substituted their own knife? This squad and the FBI still hasn’t found where think they know 4 pints of blood or the way it was disposed of went after months of tearing the house apart. You think they would have found a knife if it had easily been disposed of?

      In the rare cases when a guilty party substitutes a murder weapon it is always to incriminate the owner. To say “That’s my knife and it was used to kill the guy” is only part any confession that anyone seems to be aware of previous to this case.

      • Bea
        05/29/2010 at 3:41 PM

        I totally disagree, Tasso – if the genuine murder weapon is MORE indicative of guilt, of course one covering it up would substitute an intruder-friendly knife he’d pass on his way upstairs. I think it was a screw up, obviously, that they didn’t simply dispose of the murder weapon and leave it at that – substitution was fool hardy and led to incriminating evidence. I’m guessing they decided it was better to have the intruder leave a knife IF he was a burglar, not a murderer, by trade.

        The blood went down a drain and/or on towels which were transported away with the murder weapon – just my opinion of course. Weighing all the facts, including Price’s own emails and statements, and the claim that night that their lives would never be the same, something awful happened that they knew about and helped to hide (if not worse than that).

        • New Alias
          05/29/2010 at 6:34 PM

          Bea, I can’t decide whether the staging of the crime scene indicates Joe is very, very smart, or very, very stupid.

          If his intent was simply to give the police as little evidence as possible by not trying to feign a real break-in, burglary, or struggle – he did a good job. There is no object in that house that Joe’s (or Victor’s or Dylan’s) fingerprints shouldn’t be on, save Robert’s personal belongings. Why throw out a knife that might be found with your fingerprints on it – raising the question of how it got there – when “moving” the knife and leaving it in plain sight gives you plausible deniability? Why take a chance that someone would see or hear you busting a glass door or turning over furniture, when you could just skip it.

          In this way I think the staging is brilliant – give the police as little positive evidence as possible. Force them try to prove a negative.

          On the other hand, he could be a moron who didn’t anticipate that certain additional staging was necessary, particularly to show signs of a struggle in the room and on Robert’s person; who didn’t think the cops would find the set with one knife missing; who didn’t think to say he heard the chime twice or heard a bit of commotion that could have been the intruder running away.


          • New Alias
            05/29/2010 at 6:36 PM

            Rather, “Force them to try to prove a negative.”

          • Bea
            05/29/2010 at 7:18 PM

            Good point – I suspect he got most of THAT right (after the first plan was dashed – that’s my opinion). His downfall is in thinking he could talk his way out of it and getting pinned down to things which will be his undoing (IMO).

            • KKinCA
              05/29/2010 at 8:21 PM

              Yay! Bea’s back! I’m in the middle of moving this weekend, so am off-line a lot, so apologize for the late cheer! Welcome back! As you can see, lots of work cut out for you. Tassojunior has his work cut out for him now. Agree with you and New Alias above.

  13. tassojunior
    05/29/2010 at 3:02 PM

    “Deedrick admitted white cotton fibers are very common and “in most cases” have little value as evidence. Deedrick also admitted under cross examination he only did one fabric imprint test on a replica knife similar to the one found at the crime scene.

    Deedrick admitted he conducted the test against what is considered best practices and may have created what is called “confirmation bias. That is when a test starts with a conclusion and tries to recreate or replicate it. Seeking data to support the conclusion rather than trying to disprove it”.

    That together with Deekrick’s admission that blood transfer is not an exact science and probably not good evidence just might lead one to think the judge isn’t going to say she disagrees with him. If she does then she also admits his statement it isn’t. Catch-22.

    Spinning this as a good two weeks for prosecution is incredible. The heterosexual press is doing a much fairer job of reporting the testimony summary unvarnished. Reading these is like sitting on the sidelines and trying to watch a football game through the cheerleaders.

    The ME testimony etc. last week about the autopsy etc. we already know will be disproven. The semen found around the rectum the government admits did not contain sperm (as even the Blade has reported). Unless the victim was 100% impotent, which they did not evidence, this will be shown to be normal after death when semen not containing sperm spreads into the body.

    The timeline is going down further as the detective admits there were two unsent emails on the victim’s Blackberry at 11:05 and 11:07 which the detective destroyed. (yes, I know, obviously emails typed by one of the three homosexuals drinking wine with a straight guy to cover the conspiracy, just like the semen after it was later discovered to be the victim’s HAD to have been inserted on a dildo). (DON’T get me started on the ninja rear fence and now the cobwebs and dust). When the photo of the trash can upside down outside the fence comes out a lot of us will wonder if maybe a ladder propped there might have even alerted this crack squad.

    Another good two weeks for the prosecution like these past two may indeed mean Dr. Ward can save his money to go after the instigators.

    Differences with my admittedly skeptical view are honest but I find when the lives and livelihoods of several people and children are at stake it’s perhaps better to remain that way until there’s conclusive proof. Even if that doesn’t make for good Nora Roberts. Call me old fashioned.

    I don’t respond to the posters with the catty insulting comments or hectoring. That’s not a game I ever cared for. I apologize I don’t stay on here 24/7 as seems to be too normal. I’ve never met the defendants that I can recall even though I live very close.

    • Bill Orange
      05/29/2010 at 5:48 PM

      I’m fairly skeptical about the fiber analysis, too. The evidence of “semen” hasn’t been offered yet, so I don’t know what do make of that. But how do you explain the timing of the scream that the neighbors heard? The unexplained needle marks? The lack of defensive wounds or any signs of movement during the attack?

      • tassojunior
        05/29/2010 at 6:17 PM

        Lack of defensive signs concerns me more if it’s true because that means either asleep and instant death or drugged, which there’s no evidence of other than needle marks. I’m not so sure about either the compelling evidence that there was absolutely no struggle or about the needle. If, in fact there really are fresh needle marks my first expectation would be the ambulance. I shutter to think EMTs wouldn’t use any sort of shots to try to revive a potentially recussitatable person. They’re called instead of the morgue for a reason.

        The timeline is getting shorter with the Blackberry and it’s already too short for anyone to have had any pleasure much less planning. I’m hard headed and still want to be convinced the victim couldn’t have made the scream and how it happened so fast after the 11:07 email. Even if it was indeed Zaborski that Blackberry makes timing too close to normal.

        • Bill Orange
          05/29/2010 at 6:50 PM

          “…there’s no evidence of other than needle marks…”

          That’s a little like saying, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” There are needle marks in the neck and on the foot that the EMT and the ER nurse both say were not made by their teams–they say they put lines in the left arm, followed by deep lines in the chest and groin.

          There’s no “instant death” here. The defense is going to be able to argue that Wone would’ve been rapidly incapacitated by his wounds, but I’m fairly certain that a brutal stab wound to the chest would wake someone up and cause them to move.

          The Blackberry doesn’t really tell me much, because the messages weren’t sent, which seems odd to me unless Wone regularly wrote e-mails and didn’t send them. The timestamps can be faked on unsent documents, and they seem more likely than not to be fakes to me.

          • tassojunior
            05/29/2010 at 7:33 PM

            I guess I rather hope EMTs do everything including shots to revive. If the needlemarks are so clear and convincing I think the pros. did itself no favor cross-contaminating it with all the other lousy evidence.

            My first assumption if the scream was Z and there was no struggle would be victim asleep. I’d give falling asleep at 10 minutes after 11:07. I’d also assume he slept on his back for posture.

            BTW, just had to return real fast from an outing as a non-nice guy has been outside in the alley most of the day and me and the other feared he’d jump the fence, a foot taller than 1509’s , when he saw us leave.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              05/29/2010 at 7:56 PM

              I had potato salad at a picnic today. It was yummy.

              • Deb
                05/29/2010 at 8:26 PM

                YAY! Potato salad is yummy.

            • cinnamon
              05/29/2010 at 8:53 PM

              “BTW, just had to return real fast from an outing as a non-nice guy has been outside in the alley most of the day and me and the other feared he’d jump the fence, a foot taller than 1509’s , when he saw us leave.”


              • AnnaZed
                05/29/2010 at 9:16 PM

                After a certain hour with tasso you have to factor in his probable alcohol level to decipher the posts, even when he’s cutting and pasting and repeating himself actually.

                • Clio
                  05/29/2010 at 10:34 PM

                  No, Tasso was just using self-parody to show the absurdity of the intruder theory.


        • New Alias
          05/29/2010 at 6:52 PM

          The EMTs and emergency room staff already testified as to which needle marks were theirs. An emergency room supervisory nurse was present for Robert’s medical intervention and she recorded every action the medics et al took, including where they poked him. The needle marks on the feet were not caused by the medical intervention; I don’t recall if other marks were similarly “unclaimed.” Why someone commented here that medics will sometimes try to start a line via a foot, that was not done to Robert.

          I didn’t like Deedrick at all, but I don’t think confirmation bias played a role in his finding. The test he did was not meant to find all the possible things that could possibly cause the pattern on the knife. He tested to see if particular items sent to him could recreate those marks. It seems that he rather easily reproduced the marks using the towel – getting it on the first or second try.

          All this proved – and all that he claimed it proved – is that the marks on the knife COULD HAVE BEEN caused by the towel found at the scene. It didn’t prove, nor did he say it proved, that that particular towel was used on that particular knife. He could not conclusively exclude other objects that could have caused the marks – who knows, maybe the ‘intruder’ was carrying a sea sponge or piece of shag carpet.

          He might have found that the replica towel he used in the test could not have caused that pattern. That would have been an important finding. But that’s not what happened. The towel can’t be excluded.

          This is why some (including myself) have concluded that the Defense’s cross of Deedrick, while painfully boring to sit through, didn’t do much damage to the Prosecution’s case. Deedrick’s method of analysis could not have produced an absolute ‘truth,’ unless perhaps some really unusual fibers or objects were involved. He was, however, able to give his opinion on the likelihood that the fibers found on the knife came from the towel found nearby.

        • Bea
          05/29/2010 at 9:45 PM

          Tasso, what would make you accept that the scream came from Victor? We’ve got Joe AND Victor saying so, and no one except you questioning it. Were you there? If not, it’s silly to spend time espousing silliness. Joe and Victor described what came from Robert as ‘low grunts’ and what came from Victor as “hysterical screaming” in which Joe had to shake Victor.

          I suppose it’s possible that they’re LYING but now that wouldn’t do them much good now either, would it?

  14. Clio
    05/29/2010 at 3:39 PM

    I don’t think that the Editors have spun this as an unalloyed good two weeks: see their allusions to canaries and turtles above. They have been remarkably fair, and they have allowed you to continue to post, even though you were not gentlemanly in some of your responses.

    Yet, what should the prosecution do, in your mind, that would win a conviction? Should they be focusing on Michael rather than Joe?What specific advice would you give to Rachel and Glenn — other than dropping the charges?

    • Bea
      05/29/2010 at 3:46 PM

      Agree – hardly think the Eds are putting a positive spin on what transpired. Actually fairly in keeping with the news reports – some good points for the prosecution, some for the defense.

      Tasso, is it remotely possible that any gay person in DC could be guilty of a violent crime – my point is that it APPEARS that you are so blinded by the MPD’s homophobia that it would be almost impossible for you to believe that a gay person is guilty of anything. What would it take for you? Removing the entire department and starting fresh? I understand that you’ve really been through it, and I loathe homophobic people, yet I am not convinced that all DC cops are bad and all gay people are good.

      • tassojunior
        05/29/2010 at 4:56 PM

        I agree Bea. It’s just that homophobia adds let another layer to whatever incompetency there is, especially when motives and common sense are involved. The fact that a guilty murderer could go free in my neighborhood concerns me just as much as if it’s an innocent party being found guilty. The thought that a truly guilty gay murderer goes free here would endanger me twofold but I won’t get twice as prejudiced. IMHO the Dean Johnson case close by was handled too mildly recently. A man dying of an overdose in the same apartment another man had died of an overdose a week before? I don’t care they’re all gay, that’s not a gay neighbor I appreciate or want floating in the community. In fact “it’s a gay thing” may be the problem. I wouldn’t want that attitude if I were murdered by another gay person.

        I didn’t start out prejudiced but tried so hard to work with police for so long in spite of what over years my life education showed me was homophobia. After many years I worked accepting it was a fact that had to be worked with regardless. But it’s really time now it starts going away, however slowly. I just read yesterday on TPM where the Family Research Council is using this as yet more evidence that gays are “three times as likely to commit a rape” and be violent in it for not overturning DADT. This could be a Pandora’s Box but I still would like to know who’s guilty of the murder.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          05/30/2010 at 11:30 AM

          Tasso says: “I just read yesterday on TPM where the Family Research Council is using this as yet more evidence that gays are “three times as likely to commit a rape” and be violent in it for not overturning DADT.”

          You’re actually concerned about what FRC says? They cater to a tiny segment of the population who would be homophobic even if FRC didn’t exist. They preach to the choir.

          That’s like thinking Fred Phelps can change the world.


    • tassojunior
      05/29/2010 at 4:21 PM

      If they can prove a certain theory that is understandable and convincing beyond a reasonable doubt they should do so.

      So far they seem to have been throwing dirt in the air. Often you’ll see a defense team do this where they simply want to raise doubt as to guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Putting on a blood transfer expert who they already had to have known was going to say that his science was not good science or reliable makes me not conclude misconduct necessarily but makes me very skeptical of their motive. I fear a lot it’s to create an abundance of smoke to create an aura of guilt of something.

      There’s several theories of guilt as involves Price and/or his brother or a friend, and Ward especially and why one or more would cover for the other. Price and/or Zablosky covering for Michael and/or Ward or themselves/self. Throwing them all up at once as possibilities doesn’t get beyond a reasonable doubt, it just creates confusion as who is actually guilty. Even to prove a conspiracy you still should prove beyond a reasonable doubt you know who the conspirators are and why they conspired. I’m afraid next week’s Michael the errant gay brother blood-withdrawer-in-training session could devolve into yet another possibility of what maybe could have perhaps have happened.

      A boat owner always knows that just because a big object appears on your sonar it’s not absolutely a big fish. It may be a school of red herring.

  15. WhatACase
    05/29/2010 at 4:00 PM

    Bea — would appreciate your input on a question I posed about a 20 posts up on this thread: did the prosecution ever ask the neighbors who heard the scream (the Thomas’) how much time elapsed between the scream and the arrival of the paramedics, fire truck, police cars with sirens blaring? If we have the answer to that question, we can triangulate the time with the 911 call and maureen bunyan’s voice.

    • Bea
      05/29/2010 at 4:09 PM

      It’s a good question – I simply don’t know the answer. Would seem quite helpful. Perhaps the Eds will recall if it was asked in court. I don’t think there’s any public access to the Thomas witness statements either.

      Curious, too, why the defense didn’t pounce on that if it was favorable info – “was it just 5 minutes after the scream that you first heard/saw the fire truck, ambulance, etc.?” That would have been a huge point IF they knew the Thomases would respond that way – but they wouldn’t dare ask it if the answer was ‘bad’ or if the lawyers simply didn’t know the answer. Given that they were hammering them about length of time since the night, since the Grand Jury testimony and the like, does seem like an excellent point IF the answer they wanted was there.

      • WhatACase
        05/29/2010 at 4:26 PM

        If it wasn’t asked, all I can assume is that the prosecution either 1) just didn’t think to ask (and the defense wasn’t about to ask for the reasons you outlined), or 2) they did ask and the Thomas’ couldn’t recall, or they slept thru most of the commotion (which would suggest that the scream was one hell of a scream), and again, the defense isn’t going to ask a ? they don’t know the answer for.

        • Bea
          05/29/2010 at 7:20 PM

          The prosecution is fine with the scream occurring 11-11:30 because they know when the defendants called 911. It seems the defense WOULD have asked the question if the answer helped them – so it likely didn’t.

          • AnnaZed
            05/29/2010 at 8:23 PM

            I can’t totally agree with that Bea (though, hi there!). The Prosecution may be “fine with it,” but it would have been easy and triangulated their point very effectively if the neighbor had said “I heard a scream and a half an hour later the police came. I think it was a missed opportunity.

            • KKinCA
              05/29/2010 at 8:39 PM

              Good point AZ. But as I recall the time of the broadcast new was established to be between 11:05 and 11:35 (during which the scream was heard by the neighbors), so either way there is a delay for the 911 call by Victor at 11:54. But it is a good point that asking the neighbors what time they were aware of the EMTs arriving may have been helpful to narrow the time frame for the delayed call. Can the prosecution recall a witness who already testified?

            • Bea
              05/29/2010 at 9:47 PM

              While there have been problems, I doubt that the prosecutors missed an opportunity (maybe the Thomases just plain don’t remember). I suspect both sides let it be for a reason.

        • Nelly
          05/29/2010 at 9:58 PM

          It wasn’t asked, probably because Mr. Thomas couldn’t remember.

          • Craig
            05/30/2010 at 12:01 AM

            I seem to recall Mr. Thomas went back to bed after hearing the scream. Mrs T. came upstairs at some point, he awoke and they looked out the bedroom window to see all the activity. Inconclusive.

            • WhatACase
              05/30/2010 at 12:10 AM

              Well, somewhat conclusive, because if the scream that Thomas heard was the same alleged scream that Price and victor heard, Mr. Thomas would have seen the commotion within 7 minutes of the scream, as victor called 911 within a minute of the scream, and the first responders were on the scene less than 6 minutes into the 911 call.

              • Bea
                05/30/2010 at 12:35 AM

                I think Craig is saying that the testimony itself was vague, not that it wouldn’t have been helpful if it had been more precise. It would have been quite telling (for either side, depending) if the Thomases said ‘it was at least a half hour’ or ‘it was within five minutes’.

                • cinnamon
                  05/30/2010 at 8:36 AM

                  I agree that it’s vague but it was enough time for Mr. Thomas to go back to sleep and for Mrs. Thomas to finish the dishes and go upstairs.

                  • WhatACase
                    05/30/2010 at 9:59 AM

                    Exactly. If the EMTs had arrived very soon after the scream, I think thomas would not have had difficulty in remembering that.

  16. Josh
    05/29/2010 at 5:42 PM

    I am not here regularly so I apologize if my question has already been thoroughly discussed, but blutundra’s comment above provokes a thought.
    blutundra wrote: “I liken it to a reverse multi-million-to-one lottery that someone would break into a particular house, and like to have sex with a man, and then take absolutely nothing from the home and run out the door.”
    This, however, understates the problem. Apparently there is no dispute that Robert’s own semen was found in his rectum and elsewhere. (This seems so odd that I assume the forensic people must have retested and confirmed the finding.)
    Under what circumstance did Robert produce semen? Despite his marriage and Joe’s claim that Robert was “straight as the day is long,” perhaps Robert did have a sexual affinity with males. But with knife-wielding intruders? That is implausible. Perhaps there were involuntary acts that night, but simple rape would not account for Robert’s semen.
    The only other possibility I can imagine is the one alluded to by the DA, i.e., the use of an electric device of the kind that is used in animal breeding (and that apparently Dylan owned). Of course Dylan does not own the only such device, but are we now supposed to picture an intruder who scales fences, a knife in one hand and an electric machine that produces ejaculation tucked under his other arm? This would surely be unique.
    In sum, the intruder theory was always far-fetched, but is it not absolutely incompatible with the presence of Robert’s semen?

    • mia
      05/29/2010 at 6:06 PM

      I believe the police has seized some sort of electronic sex toy from Ward’s room that could cause ejaculation even one was unconscious at that time.

      • Clio
        05/29/2010 at 6:14 PM

        But didn’t the manufacturer of Dylan’s device claim that its current was not strong enough to place one’s own sperm that deep in one’s own body? I half-remember a post by our Editors about that subject.

        • New Alias
          05/29/2010 at 7:06 PM

          I’m sure they’d claim their device did nothing but make the lovely violets bloom in Spring if they thought their liability was on the line.

          • Clio
            05/29/2010 at 7:23 PM

            LOL! So true, New Alias.

        • Carolina
          05/29/2010 at 8:23 PM

          All you need do is search xtube using their device name. They are really undermarketing their product!

      • Josh
        05/29/2010 at 6:24 PM

        Yes, but surely that is incompatible with the intruder theory. And so is any other explanation I can imagine for the presence of semen. So I wonder how any of those who defend the defendants’ claim–be they defense attorneys or posters here–can reconcile it with the presence of Robert’s semen.

        • Josh
          05/29/2010 at 6:31 PM

          Sorry, Clio, we crossed in the mail. I was replying to mia’s reply above. But your reply confuses me. Is anyone claiming that Robert’s semen was ejaculated directly into his rectum? I doubt this is anatomically possible in any case, but since the electronic device works by insertion in the rectum, this scenario seems doubly impossible.

          • mia
            05/29/2010 at 6:39 PM

            That is my guess, too.

          • Clio
            05/29/2010 at 6:44 PM

            No, Josh, from I remember from that post (Editors or others, please help me out here!), according to its manufacturer, the specific brand or model of electrostim found in Dyl’s room could not have stimulated the placement of one’s own sperm that deep in one’s body.

          • DonnaH
            05/29/2010 at 7:30 PM

            I don’t know the particular brand Dylan had, but one brand of e-stim toys ( does not require anal insertion. As I recall, in previous discussion here it was suggested that after use of the e-stim, the perpetrators then used his semen as a lubricant for some kind of anal penetration.

          • AkaZappa
            05/29/2010 at 8:53 PM

            The defense has brought up “voiding” the process by which the body gets rid of fluids ater death, and this could account for seminal fluid (though not semen), and we don’t yet know which it was. Further, the defense, I believe, has suggested that samples may have become cross-contaminated. But since Dr. G already testified, I am surprised we don’t have more clarity about these questions by now.

            • Deb
              05/29/2010 at 8:58 PM

              I don’t see why seminal fluid (or semen) in the rectum is an issue in an obstruction trial in the first place. Seminal fluid (or semen) in the rectum could have occurred in any number of non-violent ways.

              Had the swab shown excessive amounts of glycerine, however . . . That would really speak more to obstruction, etc.

              • Bill Orange
                05/29/2010 at 9:23 PM

                I agree that it’s suggestive but not conclusive, but it’s pretty highly suggestive in this particular case, seeing as Wone’s movements that evening are pretty well known. The only “innocent” way I can imagine that it could’ve gotten there was if Wone engaged in a rather creative masturbation session in the shower. Otherwise, it indicates obstruction. I think that all of the defendants explicitly denied a sexual relationship with Wone, and evidence to the contrary is evidence of obstruction, regardless of whether the sex was consensual or not.

                • New Alias
                  05/29/2010 at 9:44 PM

                  I don’t know, Bill…. how would this work as evidence? Defense would say they have no idea how it got there, that the prosecution can’t prove it didn’t come from some other activity during the day or early evening.

                  If they wanted to take if further, Defense could drag out a urologist or two to testify that a man’s system can back up like that for any number of medical reasons, and if the victim hadn’t been specifically tested for these conditions, he wouldn’t know. They’d say Prosecution couldn’t even prove the semen was present because of sexual activity, much less tie it to a particular assailant.

                  I think it might be a non-starter.

                  • New Alias
                    05/29/2010 at 9:46 PM

                    Clarification: by “sometime during the day..” I mean something Robert did before he arrived at 1509, not something he did with the trouple.

                    • Bea
                      05/29/2010 at 9:49 PM

                      Much as it is relevant, I thought the prosecution decided to let it go. Murder trial perhaps.

                  • Carolina
                    05/30/2010 at 12:42 PM

                    I’m confused. Semen just naturally deposits itself in my rectum if I go too long between sexual encounters? And how would seminal fluid be dumped into the rectum and not into more likely receptacles?

                    • Bill Orange
                      05/30/2010 at 12:49 PM

                      It wouldn’t be. I think this is just an assumption by someone who doesn’t know one way or the other.

  17. cole
    05/29/2010 at 5:46 PM

    Seems I remember evidence of suffocation? I am getting lost in all the evidence. Do we know for sure that Robert died as a result of being stabbed? Was there ever indication of the wounds occurring after his death? Sorry, I am forgetting what I thought I knew.

    • Bill Orange
      05/29/2010 at 5:56 PM

      The ME ruled that the cause of death was stab wounds to the chest. The finding of petechial hemorrhages (I think Robert had two.) is suggestive of strangling or smothering, but it isn’t conclusive proof, as there are other causes. More conclusive evidence of smothering would be something like finding fibers in the throat.

      • Carolina
        05/29/2010 at 8:25 PM

        It can also indicate inhalation of certain chemicals.

  18. Holly
    05/29/2010 at 5:57 PM

    I am coming late to the game, just finished reading most of the posts on the trial. I too am wondering why Victor doesn’t just give it up to save himself–I saw one person commenting that maybe he truly didn’t know anything, just bought Price’s story. But who would not question their partner about what really happened in a case this bizarre? He’s got to know more. I’m wondering if they are still together? I can’t tell from what I’ve read. If they aren’t still together, then I really don’t understand why he doesn’t turncoat.

    • NYer
      05/30/2010 at 10:28 AM

      My opinion is that Victor sees it as a no-win scenario. Give up JP, and he loses his partner. And I have posted before that I believe that the prosecution is not offering him any sort of a deal; therefore even a confession of whatever he does know won’t benefit him in any way.

      • Bill Orange
        05/30/2010 at 11:50 AM

        You know, I think that a lot of people on here view the three defendants–Victor Zaborsky, Dylan Ward, and Joe Price–in much the same way that Bob Dole once described ex-Presidents Carter, Ford, and Nixon: “See no evil, hear no evil, and evil.”

        In other words, the theory is that Joe Price is the brilliant mastermind, and the other two are just caught up in his spell. I wonder if that’s really what’s going on. Dylan Ward seemed to have a rather strong fascination with both BDSM and death that went well beyond idle curiosity. And Victor Zaborsky’s tolerance for Joe Price’s extracurricular activities seems to go far beyond that of most “open” relationships that I know of. It’s one thing to be okay with your partner having a fling on the side every once in a while. I

        t’s quite another to have his BDSM dominant partner literally move into your house and set up shop in the room below yours. And the fact that both Ward’s and Zaborsky’s other family members are, at a minimum, tolerant of the whole arrangement makes me think that they’re all aware of the fact that these three are co-equals here. I know that if I had a son or a nephew that I thought was in an emotionally domineering relationship, to the point that he’d be involved in a crime like this, I’d sit him down and say, “Look, I want you to know that I love you, and I’m willing to support you through this, but only on the condition that you get yourself out of this insane relationship and get some counseling.”

        • Carolina
          05/30/2010 at 12:45 PM

          I would say co-dependent, rather than equals, although I guess one could say they are equally co-dependent.

        • Clio
          05/30/2010 at 2:05 PM

          Great quote, BO. Dole’s legendary wit (and quest for Viagra) make him an honorary member of the Family.

          I don’t think that Victor has told Aunt Marcia the whole story, and I don’t think that family members want to know every wart and wrinkle of the unusual arrangement at 1509 Swann. And, we don’t know what Needham and Diane really think of Joe, when he is out of earshot. These intimate heart-to-hearts about counseling and distancing have probably already happened, but, in order to win the legal and media battles, the Triple Alliance and its supporters may see a seemingly unified front as the best defense.

          • Eagle
            05/30/2010 at 5:39 PM

            Bill Orange:
            It’s really hard for an outsider to help an insider detach from
            a loyal faux family-like, almost cult-like group.
            In fact, if one brought it up to that insider , the outsider would risk being cut off from communications.
            I think that leaving a group like this Swann St. group has to come from a realization by one of the participants- a sudden light coming on for one reason or another. And then, it would take courage.
            We all know how one charismatic leader can keep loyalties of his/her followers despite real apparent danger to the members of the group.
            Never thought of Joe Price as running a cult-like group, but there are similarities.

  19. Danali
    05/29/2010 at 7:04 PM

    Questions for the informed:

    1) do we know the exact content of the unsent Blackberry emails ? Or just that police found some- and then they were ultimately deleted?

    The reason I ask is that I would imagine- if the actual text was preserved somewhere- they could be interesting to analyze, particularly against a longer record of emails from Robert to Kathy.

    It is so often the case – even in young marriages- that husband and wife develop their own language of interaction. Whether nicknames, or signoffs, or shibboleths or some other kind of shorthand that only they know and use with each other.

    These things would be difficult to fake- unless one had the time to read a history of exchanges. If assailant(s) were attempting to fabricate timestamped evidence with the Blackberry- it’s doubtful they’d have the time to dive into older correspondence with Kathy to recreate the spirit of marital shorthand (if it existed here).

    This may seem like a dumb point- but it seems to me still worthy of investigation. If I send mail to my wife, even a very short one, I still usually use my nickname for her. If I sent something totally generic and perfunctory, “Hello (wife’s name). I am going to bed soon. Goodbye.” – she’d either think i was really mad, or was acting very odd, or that it wasn’t me.

    It’s possible Robert’s tone in mail with her was generic- and the messages then don’t seem suspicious. Or that the tone is note perfect, likely authentic, and thus the timeline needs to accommodate their creation (I know timestamping is in question because of their unsent status- but, if he wrote them sometime after retiring, then he wasn’t drugged/passing out or incapacitated right at the dinner table or wherever…)

    question 2 – did Police believe any of the Trouple to show signs of intoxication / drug effects during their initial sweep of the crime scene? Speculation abounds about Joe and possibly Dylan having done a heinous deed to Robert partly in a chemical haze. But do any reports corroborate this? The cleanup and story synchronization between Trouple members is impressive- even given the very real inconsistencies and contradictions of known facts or other testimony… If drugs were used, they seem unlikely to be the sort that diminish cognitive capacity. Yet if had used drugs of some sort, wouldn’t a cop or EMT note this?

    Some speculations here and elsewhere have suggested Price had used serious drugs before the murder and was higher than Victor’s voice on that 911 call. That seems unlikely to me to have been missed by early folks on the scene.

    • New Alias
      05/29/2010 at 7:14 PM

      No one knows for sure what the text messages said, who wrote them, or at what time, because they were erased by the geniuses at the Secret Service (if I’m not mistaken) who were supposed to preserve the data, not destroy it. Must have been Opposite Day over there.

      There has been much deliberation in the comments here about what drugs have what kind of effect on the user. I didn’t follow the discussion closely, but I believe it covered a variety of uppers, downers, and everything in between. I don’t believe anyone who came in contact with the trouple the night and morning after the murder remarked on what appeared to them to be drug-induced behavior or telltale signs, but i could be wrong.

      It was announced in the closing minutes on Friday by the Prosecution that an MPD officer and possibly others would testify about the “odd’ behavior of Michael Price at Robert’s funeral. That could give some insight into the drug situation.

  20. Danali
    05/29/2010 at 7:52 PM

    Also, I just have to say (in echo of earlier commenters) that the continued suggestions about Robert possibly having some totally secret homosexual (possibly BSDM) relationship with Joe (and possibly others) is an especially unfair line of speculation.

    Unless that stack of emails Joe gave Kathy were erotic love sonnets from Robert or something, we have NO EVIDENCE that Robert was cheating on his wife. He was- by all accounts- an honest, generous, tolerant heterosexual male – devoted to his causes and his wife. He was an entirely better class of man than those now under suspicion of involvement in his murder / and/or it’s cover-up and he deserves the benefit of the doubt – certainly more than anyone else in this tragedy. Ironically, his tolerance may have in this case blinded him to the dangers that might befall him in the home of his former college friend.

    Robert needed a place to crash for the night. He mailed two friends- Joe responded first and thus was the designated host. If Robert was looking to engage in some totally on-the-downlow BSDM games with Joe, why would he bother mailing someone else looking for a place to stay? If there were evidence of a sexual relationship between Joe and Robert, would it REALLY be immaterial to this case? Really? Would It remain a secret still? Would no evidence surface after all this time?

    Just because Joe emphatically denies something doesn’t automatically make it true. Give Robert the benefit of the doubt as to the question of his marital fidelity- even if if means you have to take Joe at his word, as well. Until damning evidence proves otherwise, he and Kathy deserve as much. And much, much more.

    ;Rant off.)

      • Carolina
        05/29/2010 at 8:30 PM

        It’s their job to rattle the person they’re interrogating. If they hadn’t asked, the responses wouldn’t have been on record and worse, everyone would be asking WHY DIDN’T THEY ASK.

        • Bill Orange
          05/29/2010 at 8:56 PM

          I’m with Carolina on this one, and frankly, I don’t think the questions were all that homophobic. If this case involved three straight men and a female house-guest, the very first question to each of the defendants would’ve been, “Were you sleeping with her?”

          • Deb
            05/29/2010 at 9:07 PM

            Touche. Interpersonal relationships are the first thing that should be looked at.

            I really don’t see “gay” coming in until the interviews were well underway. At that point, the interviewers failed to follow up on very curious statements — like the grill caught on fire. I think, as I’ve posted before, there was a presumption that gay=weak and that a confession was on the near horizon.

        • New Alias
          05/29/2010 at 9:04 PM

          Exactly right. The prosecution made mincemeat of the defense on this very point. I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that Det. Wagner is a homophobe; the defense elicited that nicely. But in a few sharp questions, prosecution showed that an investigator ALWAYS works the relationship angle, and that a number of factors including lack of evidence of a break in or struggle that led MPD to suspect all was not right with the trouple’s story.

          While the defense will no doubt keep trying to milk the homophobia angle, I think this issue has been put to rest in the mind of the Judge. She has already indicated in various comments that she believes there was plenty of reasons to suspect and investigate the trouple.

  21. mia
    05/29/2010 at 8:36 PM

    When I first read the case online, I had the same doubts that it was merely a tragic accidental resulting from consensual sex behavior probably involving drug use. But the more I engaged into this case, the less plausible it sounded. The only thing suggests the speculation was solely because he decided to stay in the household with three other gay men. But his reason sounds legitimate and the emails he sent to both Joe and Lisa asking for a sleepover further confirmed there’s nothing suspicious regarding his sexuality.

    • Bill Orange
      05/29/2010 at 9:10 PM

      One addendum here: He really didn’t decide to stay in the household with three other gay men. He decided to stay in the household of what he thought was a gay couple, their gay male housemate (that he apparently did NOT know was in a three-way relationship with one of the other two), and their (presumably heterosexual) female housemate. I’m still not clear on why Sarah Morgan wasn’t there that night. The story was that she often didn’t come home, which I find a bit hard to believe, considering it was a weeknight. That’s obviously a piece of the puzzle that we don’t have yet.

      But my point is this: Robert didn’t know that he was walking into a house of three gay men involved in a bizarre love triangle. He thought he was spending the night in a house with a long-time friend and his partner, both of whom were comfortable sharing the house with another gay man and a (presumably) heterosexual woman. That’s a pretty “safe” situation to put yourself in. I think that if he had known that it was a three-way relationship between the men, and the woman was going to be gone for the night, and there was a dungeon-in-a-trunk down the hall, then he probably would’ve said, “Thanks, but I really want to catch up with Lisa.”

      • mia
        05/29/2010 at 9:38 PM

        You made a very good point.

      • Bill 2
        05/29/2010 at 9:56 PM

        I don’t find it unusual that Sarah Morgan sometimes didn’t come home on a weeknight. When I lived in the MD burbs and worked days in DC, I was also singing with the National Symphony concert chorus, did shows at LTA, and sang in a church choir.

        I always had a change of clothes in my car for when I would crash with one friend or another after a late rehearsal or opening/closing night party. Not being home every night was a regular part of my life. A late night commute home could be a royal pain and DC people are always generous with guest beds. When I moved into the city, the guest room often had someone there during the week as well as nearly every weekend. That’s one reason I’ve clearly understood Robert e-mailing two friends to get a place to crash.

        • Clio
          05/29/2010 at 10:12 PM

          Yes, but didn’t Sarah have a much less painful commute than Robert? She was not “bridge and tunnel” at all, and her overnight stay was very nearby Swann.

          • Bea
            05/30/2010 at 12:10 AM

            Right, Clio. Sarah apparently stayed with Tom & John solely to socialize, and if I recall correctly, it was nearby and did not factor into her commute. I’m curious to hear from her (and T & J for validation) as to WHY she’d sleep over elsewhere on a school night and it wasn’t an intimate relationship. As in, did she choose to sleep at the other boys’ house when she knew Joe & Dylan planned to play? Did that occur when Victor was expected to be away? What about “it” was troublesome if she HAD ever stayed?

            Robert’s stay at Swann was convenience oriented with a bit of catching up/hearing Joe’s pitch re the trademark issues RFA was having. Sarah’s was either solely to socialize with T & J or that combined with not wanting to be present when Victor was away or Dyl & Joe planned to play??

            • KKinCA
              05/30/2010 at 12:40 AM

              Does anyone know how long Sarah lived with the trouple, and how deep her friendship is/was with them?

            • KKinCA
              05/30/2010 at 1:26 AM

              Never mind. I just read the “Upstairs, Downstairs” post and got my answers.

            • Craig
              05/30/2010 at 2:24 PM

              Bea: We’ve meant to check whether August 2 was really a school night for Miss Morgan. It’s possible Congress was on recess that week and we’ll dig around for that.

      • ladyg
        05/29/2010 at 11:57 PM

        BO, my thoughts exactly. my line, would’ve went something like this… hey, lisa what’s up girl.

    • New Alias
      05/29/2010 at 9:14 PM

      Its a great irony that the accusation of homophobia is based on a detective’s belief that no straight man would stay overnight in the home of three gay men, and yet so many people (a fair number of whom are probably gay) presume the Exact Same Thing when they speculate about Robert’s sexuality.

      Just like the MPD officer, they can’t believe a straight man would stay overnight in the home of three gay men without an ulterior motive.

      Worse yet, some people suggest “he asked for it” by postulating consensual sexual activity that just “got out of hand.”

      I wonder how many of these same people consider themselves enlightened, and look down on the homophobic MPD officer.

      Some people need to examine their own attitudes towards sexuality and rape.

      Just sayin’.

      • Bea
        05/30/2010 at 12:21 AM

        Hey New, are you alleging that that’s the case with most bloggers here? I don’t think it’s strange in the least that a straight man stayed over with gay men friends. I’ve stayed over with single straight men friends (I’m a dyke) and never gave it a thought – and I’d even had one of them previously express interest before he knew (and certainly knew afterward – and this was decades ago). Didn’t matter because we’d worked that minor issue out and we were then friends.

        That said, I agree that some of the wording of the cops’ questions were ham-fisted at best but believe they did have to ask exactly those questions – it was relevant as to why he was there. Some married men do have male lovers, of course, and some married men ‘cheat’. Some people in all walks of life are known to take recreational drugs – and these questions had to be asked because the cops were investigating a murder.

        I don’t know the stat, but my guess is that most murder victims aren’t murdered by strangers. Especially if they are asleep when it happens (as opposed to, say, walking in a tough neighborhood or being gunned down in a convenience store and the like). OF COURSE the cops investigated and it’s not confined to gay people to have the cops try to get under the skin of the person being interrogated. It’s pretty standard, much the way of good cop/bad cop and any number of conventions. To be frank, much as I hate reading/hearing any kind of homophobia, I figured that the questions would have been worse.

        • Bea
          05/30/2010 at 12:32 AM

          Oh, just to make it clear, I don’t think Robert had any interest in men or recreational drugs based on what I’ve read.

          And I wouldn’t have cared if he had begun the evening with the intention of doing drugs or having sex – he didn’t consent to being stabbed to death.

          Your post is interesting – it reminds me, too, that Robert’s heterosexuality mattered less that night than his gender. In other words, I doubt that a female friend would have met with the same fate regardless of her sexual orientation. Of course that opinion presupposes that I find the intruder theory implausible for many, many reasons, and even if the defendants did not participate in the murder, the murderer was likely a gay man (I admit to ruling out the straight woman as murderer possibility).

          • Clio
            05/30/2010 at 10:03 AM

            Among educated urban elites below the age of 50, a straight, married man staying at an openly gay friend’s house would NOT have the DL or “come to Jesus” ramifications that it would raise in very different contexts of class, region, age, and religion. The friend by being openly gay (itself a sign of awareness and schooling) ends the sexy secrecy so valued by the closeted. Men who have sex with men (MSM) yet who have a heterosexual identity usually avoid gay activists of any sort — the activists’ very being raises too many issues too close to home.

            • Clio
              05/30/2010 at 2:59 PM

              Also, in my experience in this lifetime, relatively close friendships between a (really and not just for show) straight man and an (openly) gay man can come in these arrangements:

              (1) The straight man is protective of and chivalrous to the gay man, who is treated like a sister or child to be shielded from the rougher edges of the locker and board rooms.
              (2) The straight man wants to emulate the permissiveness and promiscuity that he sees in gay male culture, hoping to use gay men friends as bait to get a woman or women in bed.
              (3) The straight man appreciates the candor and creativity of the gay man, hoping to partner with him on an intellectual plane of equals in collaborative and/or professional pursuits.

              Now, Joe and Robert’s relationship is more 3 than anything else, with the twist that the straight man may have had the upper hand in candor and creativity. Hope that helps.

        • New Alias
          06/08/2010 at 5:28 PM

          Heck no, Bea. By “people” I meant certain individuals. I probably shouldn’t leave comments in first person passive-aggressive tense.

  22. Very New Eyes
    05/29/2010 at 9:03 PM

    My sentiments EXACTLY, New Alias! No Judge is going to buy their Intruder story! Can’t be, everything they said makes zero sense, and they knew no common sense jury would buy it either. There are betting on their celebrity attorney’s to win based on their abilities to twist testimonies and some technicalities to cause a reasonable doubt about something. Not going to happen, it’s too surreal! A couple defense posters here have been trying those same ridiculous tactics for months and it hasn’t changed anyones beliefs. LOL!

  23. Deb
    05/29/2010 at 9:20 PM

    Here’s the rub . . . Whether the judge “buys their intruder story” or not is moot.

    Her decision must be based upon DC jury instructions. All juries are instructed as to what they may and may not “do” about evidence, argument, statements, etc. She must instruct herself with the same stuff, and employ those instructions in her decision.

    I think the defense opted for bench because they know she will follow her own instructions, as she has said herself. Juries frequently believe they are following instructions, but are allowing emotion to taint their interpretation of the instructions. Don’t take that negatively of juries. I actually firmly and fully believe jurors take their jobs as jurors VERY seriously. But they are new to the scene.

    The judge is well-practiced. She will follow her instructions to the letter.

    • New Alias
      06/08/2010 at 5:21 PM

      So true, BUT… Defense didn’t anticipate the judge changing the rules! It appears they made a big mistake assuming that the pre-trial rulings on evidence that the judge made in anticipation of a jury would be set in stone if they opted for a bench trial at the last possible moment. Ooops! Now that the judge has invited reconsideration of her pre-trial rulings, the instructions are a moving target. Assuming Kirschner makes some moves of his own, that is.

  24. AnnaZed
    05/29/2010 at 9:58 PM

    “Here’s the rub . . . Whether the judge “buys their intruder story” or not is moot.”

    How’s that exactly? If she “buys” it (as Joe urged the police officers to do using that exact term) then there is no problem, they are innocent. If she doesn’t “buy” it then she has to consider whether the government case for conspiracy, tampering and obstruction is proven, it’s not a “moot” element of those considerations.

  25. Deb
    05/29/2010 at 10:03 PM

    Because she must follow the jury instructions, and she understands the instructions so she will follow them well.

  26. Leonard
    05/29/2010 at 10:33 PM

    As Whatacase says above, Durham stated that Price told her Wone was found at the patio door and that they brought him inside and laid him on the bed upstairs. That directly contradicts Price’s later statement that Wone was found on the bed. Price could say he never told Durham that but I don’t think we will hear any direct testimony refuting her statement. It appears that there are two choices: either Durham was mistaken in what she believed she heard and later repeated, or Price told two different versions of what happened. Would be interested in anything further as to Durhams competency and the veracity of her statement.

    • Bill Orange
      05/29/2010 at 11:19 PM

      This theory has merit, in that there are two people who support it: Kathy Wone and Officer Durham. The prosecution obviously wants to push this, because they made a big deal about it during Kathy Wone’s testimony. But in order for this theory to work, the defendants would’ve had to be on the couch together for a significant period of time in order to revise their story. The prosecution should’ve established when the call went out to Kathy Wone. How much time after that were they on the couch together (and getting dressed) and out of earshot of the police? Revising the story is a huge risk, so the only reason they would’ve done it is if they thought they’d made a mistake. (Such as, “How does someone stab Wone on the patio with a knife that they would’ve had to go into the kitchen to get?”)

      Also, I don’t think the patio theory fits with Victor’s 911 call, does it? I think the call makes it clear that Victor, at least, said he first saw the body on the second floor. I’d need to read the transcripts again, but I don’t think that this theory would work with the 911 transcript. You’d have to assume they changed the story twice, which doesn’t seem likely to me.

      Just thinking out loud, but I think the call to Kathy Wone was a Freudian slip (i.e., Robert was figuratively “stabbed in the back”, not literally), and Durham misunderstood what they said to her (possibly they said of the intruder: “He went out the back, through the patio”, and she thought the “he” meant Robert instead of the intruder).

      • WhatACase
        05/29/2010 at 11:29 PM

        Agree Bill. As much as the Durham report and the “stabbed in the back” comment to Kathy Wone support the patio stabbing scenario, it doesn’t make any sense, as the 911 call establishes finding Wone on the second floor in the guestroom, and the first medic on the scene reported comments from various lads that the intruder likely came in from the back door.

        Durham did report that she left the trouple to accompany Wone to the hospital, and that’s when they had plenty of time on the coach to revise and/or confirm their story. If Price was high on something, it could explain the different stories if, in fact, the stories were different and not just misunderstood by Durham. But wouldn’t it be fascinating if Price was the one who screwed up the story at first.

        • Bea
          05/29/2010 at 11:38 PM

          Did the Prosecutor’s opening statement make any reference to calling Officer Durham or is she on any witness list that we know of? I would imagine he would have made mention if he planned to put her on the stand. Perhaps she’s capitulated or is otherwise too ‘dangerous’ – don’t want that blowing up in your face as the Defense will definitely do their best to discredit her (‘why did no other officer hear this?’ among other things).

          • WhatACase
            05/30/2010 at 12:04 AM

            Great question, Bea. My guess is that she wasn’t referenced, and won’t be testifying, for unknown reasons. If she were, I doubt Schertler would have based his opening statement on the argument that the boys never wavered on their story of what happened that night, even after tough interrogations. Washington Examiner reported: “If these men were not telling the truth, they would have broken that night,” said defense attorney David Schertler during his opening statement.

          • Craig
            05/30/2010 at 12:15 AM

            WB Bea. I don’t think we’ll ever see or hear from Durham. Another mystery. After Waid, maybe we’ll see Russell-Brown next week too.

            • Bea
              05/30/2010 at 12:40 AM

              Sadly, I agree. I wonder if Durham just didn’t feel confident that she got it right or if she just wouldn’t have made a good witness or what. There’s a lot of weight given to how credible her testimony would be – the prosecution doesn’t need a public meltdown. They try to cull that stuff out beforehand (trying not to feel miffed given what we saw this week, though I know there were points made for both sides and I suspect the Judge will take what’s to be had from it).

              • Clio
                05/30/2010 at 9:31 AM

                Drat! I was so looking forward to Ms. Durham’s recollection of her surreal encounters with “underwear guy”, whom she had urged to put something else on. I had thought four queens — Officer Durham, Dr. G., Mrs. Thomas, and Kathy — would beat the three jacks of the trouple, and now a new fourth card — Sarah or Gail or a turncoat Victor? — needs to be found for a credible, clear-cut victory.

        • BlondeAnon
          05/30/2010 at 1:11 AM

          I think the original story was to say they found him outside and then brought him upstairs. Joe started with that, but then one of them realized that that wouldn’t hold up as there was no blood trail from outside to upstairs as there would be if they were helping him inside and up the stairs. (they had already cleaned up the crime scene). Also, why take him upstairs to the 2nd floor? Just drag him into the kitchen. After thinking through this, they had to change the story to finding him in bed (with a bloodied shirt that doesn’t jive with the surroundings). Also makes no sense but better than the 1st version.

          • Bea
            05/30/2010 at 1:59 AM

            Agree, Blonde. There was a lot of seat-of-the-pants thinking going on. OR possibly they’d ruled that one out easily but Joe (being high) forgot? Given that he appears to have changed his stories depending on the listener (telling Kathy Wone that he’d heard three moans matching each stabbing), it’s possible that with the first responder, and thinking possibly that he’d be persuasive and not have to go further, he’d see if it stuck. Also, it paints him a little more the hero since he went out to get Robert and “saved” him in a sense (given that he too could have been stabbed by walking outside).

            • WhatACase
              05/30/2010 at 10:12 AM

              YES YES YES. Joe as hero—absolutely. This theory also blows away the “perfect crime” element here, which has always bothered me. How was it that in such a tight timeframe the trouple could do everything from create the cover story and then execute on it with cleanup, etc. Your theory, Bea, suggests the far more realistic scenario of mistakes being made and conflicting statements being said. Bravo.

            • Carolina
              05/30/2010 at 1:20 PM

              Bea, I have always felt Joe was holding court and playing the hero at Cosi and AF, telling his story of pulling the knife free and how he had tried to staunch the blood, *heroically* trying everything to save Robert and being the *one in control* while everyone panicked. Then he got to Act II, where he got to play co-victim after being implicated in crime.

              I think his variations in the stories he put forth were fine tuning. I believe he figured that even if anyone picked up on them, he would do exactly what we’re about to see– claim he was misunderstood.

  27. srb
    05/29/2010 at 10:47 PM

    If the theory were correct that Wone’s murderer(s) originally intended to dispose of his body until the plan was disrupted by someone else stumbling across the scene and screaming (which forced a call to 911), maybe the second knife at the scene was the product of necessity.

    What if someone had already left with the bloody materials (sheet, tarp, mat, what-have-you) and the knife? They couldn’t at that point ask that person to come back or retrieve it from wherever it had already been dumped. But they couldn’t also have a body found in the house without a weapon in sight, which might encourage the police to look around the house for the missing knife. So, grab a knife from the kitchen that looks a lot like the real knife, cover it with blood, and leave it next to the body.

    • Bill Orange
      05/29/2010 at 11:25 PM

      I really don’t think much thought went into the knife. I think someone just wanted to make sure the crime scene looked “tidy”, and the knife was on obvious thing to leave there.

      Still, I think it was a wise move. Had the knife been missing, there would have been a search for a blood trail, as well as a search for the missing knife. Since there was a knife right there, there was no reason to think anything was missing from the crime scene, and no reason to start an intensive search for a knife. Assuming that knife isn’t the murder weapon, the “real” knife could’ve been dumped down the drain on the patio and retrieved later on, before anyone realized that anything was missing.

      • New Alias
        05/29/2010 at 11:32 PM

        I agree 100% with your second paragraph – my hunch is that the knife was left there in order to give the police the least amount of clues. No blood trail if the knife doesn’t travel. That said, my sense is that MPD did do a very thorough search of the scene – after having heard the evidence techs describe their procedures, I would be very very surprised to find they’d overlooked any blood droplets, etc.

        • Bea
          05/30/2010 at 12:48 AM

          If the ‘intruder’ had brought his own murder weapon then it would have seemed less like a botched burglary. I agree with your assessments as well (Bill O and New A).

          Too, if the decision was made while very high, if he only got so far as “this knife is TOO personal and points to one of us” then in haste may have decided to fetch a less personal replacement knife without having fully considered having the weapon be gone entirely.

          I am very curious about the missing knife from the set and what likely will be ‘solid’ evidence that that knife was always in Seattle – perhaps it was a knife kept with the sex toys and the video and still cameras (the latter of which likewise disappeared). Ones that the ‘intruder’ could easily pick up en route is at least plausible on its face – if not for the array of other questions anyway.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            05/30/2010 at 11:20 AM

            Maybe the alleged original knife was disposed of because it had a fourth person’s fingerprints on it. It would be logical to have the 3 defendants fingerprints on it. But not necessarily a “4th person.”

            • Clio
              05/30/2010 at 6:52 PM

              Interesting point. And, that fourth person could have been Michael Price, either as garbage man or as killer.

  28. Anonymous Friend
    05/30/2010 at 3:17 AM

    2 quick clarifications: (a) what public docs support claim that Dr. Ward is paying for the defense; and (b) in suggesting cross of the defense’s experts, are you thinking/brainstorming or do you have information that these doctors have some connection with Dr. Ward.


  29. YournormalJoe
    05/30/2010 at 10:09 AM

    STOP !! Omg I haven’t been this addicted to a crime/court case since the Menendez Brothers.

    Sorry, I have nothing else to input because I’m not legally savy, I’m just a lay person that’s following every single word of this whole situation.

  30. Ohio
    05/30/2010 at 11:14 AM

    Regarding Diane Durham’s statement, since the Prosecution has been admonished to decide if they are using the defendants’ statements for truth or not, if they are not, her saying Joe said he found Robert at the back door does not dispute anything. I know we all know that they have said they found him in the bed, but for trial purposes, the judge won’t consider their statements unless they are entered as truth, right? If the prosecution does decide they are for “truth” then Officer Durham’s statement comes in because they all said something different in their statements. Do I make sense?
    Help me out lawyers.

    • CC Biggs
      05/30/2010 at 1:46 PM

      I don’t think so. For the purpose of this trial, the alleged statement by Joe that Robert was found in the back is valuable NOT for its truth (i.e., not to establish that Robert was in fact found in the back), but to show that the housemates had a shifting, inconsistent story about what happened that night.

  31. Bob
    05/30/2010 at 2:33 PM

    Maybe this is an ignorant comment, but it seems to me that much of the testimony and argument is essentially irrelevant. For instance, did Robert die instantly, as the defense argues, or did he survive for several minutes, as Dr. G. thinks? Was Robert on the down-low with the defendants? Is the fiber evidence indicative of anything? What knife was used? I am not a lawyer, but I don’t see what these peripheral issues have to do with the case.

    They may be relevant to who wielded the knife, that is, who actually committed the murder, but this isn’t a murder trial, but a trial for obstruction of justice in the investigation of a murder. The real questions that the defense will (in my non-expert opinion) have to answer are what happened to all the blood, and why the delay in calling 911.

    Can someone explain why these peripheral issues are relevant to what appears to be, unless rebutted, a clear case of crime-scene tampering? That is what I would be wondering if I were on the non-existent jury. (Neither Tasso Junior nor I will ever be on a DC or other murder jury.)

    • Bill Orange
      05/30/2010 at 3:19 PM

      I agree with you on the down-low and the fiber evidence.

      The length of time Robert was conscious after being stabbed is important, because the lack of movement or defensive wounds suggests that he was incapacitated at the time of the stabbing, which would be inconsistent with being stabbed by an intruder. Thus, the defense is arguing that he was incapacitated immediately, while the prosecution is saying that he had time to react.

      The knife is important, because Joe Price said that he pulled it out of Robert Wone’s chest, so if that knife isn’t really the murder weapon, then Joe Price pretty much has to be guilty of the charges.

      • Bob
        05/30/2010 at 3:25 PM

        But even if he was stabbed by an intruder, what happened to all the blood? Even if the knife that Joe Price says he pulled out of Robert’s chest was the murder weapon, what happened to all the blood?

        • Bill Orange
          05/30/2010 at 4:27 PM

          Oh, he can still be guilty even if the knife at the scene really was the murder weapon. My point is that if the prosecution can convince the judge that the knife Joe Price says he pulled out of the body was NOT the murder weapon, then they’re pretty much done.

      • Jo
        06/02/2010 at 3:46 AM

        How can the defense argue that Robert was incapacitated immediately when the defendants said they heard grunts or low screams? How would the defense explain this obvious contradiction?

  32. commonsensewillprevailihope
    05/30/2010 at 5:00 PM

    A thought: remember the Michael Skakel case -a murder trial two or three decades later based in part on confessions to third parties (not police). How long would these guys crazy or drug-addled enough to kill a visitor in their home be able to resist telling someone what happened over the years. My point: even if they were to get out of this trial, the story isn’t over. (I believe they will be convicted here).

  33. Hoya Loya
    05/30/2010 at 5:47 PM

    Yes I certainly remember.The murder happened barely a mile from my house when I was 12. Neighborhood kids knew what happened early on while the cops zeroed in on the wrong brother, though both were untouched for years. The murder and the cynicism around the investigation left a lasting mark on me.

    I knew the lawyers and judges involved professionally. The conviction is still controversial in some circles due to testimony from shady characters from Skakel’s drug rehab center and the use of a highly effective/overly suggestive? slideshow used in the summation.

    But all appeals have held up so far, including the one spurred by Robert Kennedy, Jr. based on supposed accounts by Kobe Bryant’s cousin that a friend of his was guilty (or the black guy did it).

    • commonsensewillprevailihope
      05/30/2010 at 5:59 PM

      Again..I wonder if a drug user (or anyone crazy enough to kill) can really keep their mouth shut….FOREVER….Have they already told some what really happened?.

      • Clio
        05/30/2010 at 6:18 PM

        Well, the younger Price may have tried to spill the beans at the funeral, but Joe’s dirty looks probably kept him (as well as Lil’ Dyl) in line.

  34. Joe
    05/30/2010 at 6:41 PM

    Can you imagine 12 shines trying to comprehend this testimony?

    • AnnaZed
      05/30/2010 at 6:47 PM

      Jay, I think only a few aliases used by posters already commenting have been banned from this blog. You may be our first candidate for a straightforward 86.

      • SJinNYC
        05/30/2010 at 11:47 PM

        Yes, please. Editors, ban this guy “Jay” please.

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