This Memorial Day brings together millions of families. Some will gather to celebrate the three-day weekend, others will gather to honor those who have served. In our particular case, throughout this entire ordeal, the one constant that has remained is the role of family — both good and bad.
Family has defined this case from its earliest moments. During the immediate aftermath in Victor Zaborsky’s Anacostia Dialogue, he described the living situation between the three housemates who lived upstairs, “We’re family.” Gay friends of Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward knew that they were more than a domestic partners (Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky) and their housemate Dylan Ward. Among these friends their relationship coined the new term “trouple”, which combined the numerical word of three in “triple” with the physical and emotional commitment denoted by “couple.”
Certain folks, namely most of their straight friends, were not aware of this family structure. Kathy Wone alluded to this in her testimony when she said quietly and calmly, “I have learned somethings I did not know.”
The mainstream media, and even the gay media, portrayed the household much in the same way Kathy Wone testified, “Joe and Victor were partners; Dylan was someone who needed housing.” With the start of the trial things began to change. The mainstream media has finally begun to describe the three Swann Street housemates as “in a three-way, committed relationship.” It took quite awhile, but they are finally getting closer to the truth. Yes, journalistic standards must be met before they can attempt to use this definition, but, on the other hand, for nearly four years the media has been truly inaccurate by describing the Swann Street housemates as a domestic partnership between Joe and Victor and their housemate Dylan Ward.
More after the jump.
The main stream media is getting closer to a more accurate definition for several reasons. First, the defense counsel has described them as a family. Bernie Grimm remarked during the motions hearing on the defendants’ sexual orientations and sexual histories that the defendants “have from the very first night described themselves as a family.” Second, the prosecution based on their case-in-chief, on the premise, that as a family, Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward have a reason to protect each others’ interests and would therefore obstruct a police investigation into what happened in their house on the night of August 2, 2006. They maintain that Robert was not a member of their family that night.
So all this comes to one central question — is family the reason we do not know who murdered Robert Wone? The prosecution firmly believes that is the case. The defense believes that the police and investigators have been obsessed by the Swann Street family of Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward to the detriment of looking for the unknown intruder.
Judge Lynn Liebowitz has even made a few statements on the particulars of family in the course of this case. During the discussion of the burglary of Joe Price’s Swann Street home by his brother Michael Price and whether it could be admitted as evidence into the trial, she remarked that loyalty to family was a good character trait.
Whatever is the case, family has been front and center as the trial has gotten underway. Each of the defandants’ parents look to have made appearances during the first two weeks, with Victor Zaborsky’s parents being the most consistent. Dylan Ward’s father, Needham Ward has even given his son-in-law, Joe Price, a big atta-boy slap on the back to demonstrate his support and encouragement. Whether this gesture was heartfelt and genuine or just a display of unity in front of the media and observers remains to be seen. On a related note, I offer the definition of Joe Price as Needham Ward’s son-in law since Joe Price admitted on the night of the murder that he was married to his son, Dylan.
Robert’s family has also been a constant in the court house as well. Kathy Wone is there, along with Robert’s parents, Bill and Aimee, his brother, Andrew, and his Aunt.
There is no doubt that when this trial concludes and a verdict rendered, no matter what the verdict is, one family will feel vindicated; the other will feel wronged. Such is the price of family.
— posted by David