The Waiting Game

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. — Carl Sagan

Now, we wait.

After nearly four long years, a verdict will be rendered. Will it answer the eponymous question that this website and committed community of commenters has pursued for nearly two years.  We all know the answer to our question is no.

But, it will be a decision.  A determination of the whether three defendants – Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward conspired to obstruct justice into the murder of Robert Wone.

What happened on that hot, sweltering night?  If you believe the defendants, silent stairs carried an unseen, unknown intruder into their home and took the life a dear and treasured friend. Or, if you believe the prosecution, silent stares from one defendant to another carried the inferences of a conspiracy to mislead, and misdirect the authorities from finding what happened minutes earlier.

So Tuesday will bring a decision, but it won’t offer an answer.

For all of us who have committed so much of our time, talents, heart and soul into finding justice into this sad and tragic case, let us all accept this decision, what ever it may be, but let it not deter us from seeking the answer.

Believe me when I say, this experience has brought the four editors together in ways we never expected.  When I was a kid interning at the legal department of real estate development company where I grew up, the owner would always say to me, “If you have an idea, surround yourself with people smarter than you.”

I look back now and see it more as a platitude told to a young kid who didn’t know anything, but in this case, I lived his lesson.  The three editors who I have had the great joy of conspiring in our own way over the past two years are all ingenious people who brought skills and insights I could never imagine.

We, editor, have all admitted we weren’t lawyers.  When we began this journey we didn’t have the slightest idea what a docket was or where motions where located at Moultrie Courthouse, let alone what Jencks, Brady, Crawford or Bruton meant.  (Maybe Crawford, but we would have thought of Joan) But, what we did know is the murder of Robert Wone felt like it was being swept under the rug, and that was wrong.

Each of us has made our mistakes along the way, and I will be the first to admit, we jumped the gun a couple times (“Culuket defined” as a blog entry comes to mind) or we published entries that weren’t fully steeped (For me, “A Tale of Two Trials” is a recent example). But, our errors were the result of taking this case into real-time, and keeping a constant spotlight on a situation that caused many people to look away and others not to care.

Those who looked away did for their own reasons.  For some in the gay community it might be because this case held up a mirror up to our lives and showed an unpleasant reflection to which we are in denial.  And for those who didn’t care it might be because the victim was not a young, white, blond girl. Either way, this case was slowly, silently drifting away.

In all good conscience, the community who has gathered here at WRMW.com couldn’t and didn’t let that happen. So we all joined together, and now we are left to wait.

While 19 minutes maybe have been a long time on that hot August night, it’s the next 96 hours that will feel like an eternity.

— Posted by David

Editorial note: For those who could not access this morning’s chat session with Washingtonian Magazine’s Harry Jaffe, the transcript is available online: http://www.washingtonian.com/chats/people/16135.html

361 comments for “The Waiting Game

  1. Susan
    06/25/2010 at 10:02 AM

    I’ve been a silent observer of this blog for a while now and with this long journey almost at an end my fondest wish for Kathy and all of Robert’s loved ones is that some measure of justice will be served for what happened to Robert that August evening so long ago.

    Thank you, editors, for doing a spectacular job and devoting all of this time and energy into this project. I doubt those of us who have followed this crime would be even half as informed without your efforts.

    • susan
      06/25/2010 at 1:19 PM

      Just for the record, “Susan” who posted at 10:02 AM is not me (the Susan who has been posting throughout this trial).

      To the editors: You are amazing, great guys and whatever horridness the murderer and accomplices brought to our neighborhood you have brought a counterweight of goodness, civicness, justice and responsibility. It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to comment on this site, which has provided a legal education to so many of us. I also thank all the great posters. It’s nice to know there are so many decent people out there who really care about justice.

      “Justice, justice shalt thou pursue”–Deuteronomy. Probaby the only religious quote I know, but relgious or not, those are words to live by and this forum is doing it.

      While ruminating ever more on this case, a few things came to mind. One–that comment about education and three (white, implied) men–had to be one of the most ignorant statements in the case (how ironic!). Our history is written with the crimes of white collar, educated men. But that’s exactly my following point:

      I know it’s hard for people like BF and others who are friends or family of the defendants to see any culpability in their loved ones. But however the judge rules, the facts are the facts. And the facts implicate the defendants.

      If you look at this case from a remove and replace those three men with three anonymous men you don’t know, without the distracting, subjective adjectives (nice man, gentle man, educated man, loving this or that) and just look at that facts, it is unreasonable to believe there was any intruder.

      Start with the letter from RW about staying over, and work your way through the hard facts. Even hypothetically assuming a ninja assassin out for RW, RW entered through the front door, did he not? But he stayed in a room that could only be seen from the back. How would an unknown intruder know where to find him? How would an unknown intruder determine that small window when RW would be asleep? Being of an ethereal weight, gliding through the house silent as an apparition and finding RW asleep (according to this tale) why not just smother him with a pillow? All has been silent until that point in the story. But, how else to bring the defendants in to find RW? And then, gliding out.

      Also, what kind of assassin isn’t packin’? What kind of assassin has to make a kitchen stopover? Too many preposterous proposals in the ninja story. It Just Doesn’t Work.

    • John Grisham
      06/26/2010 at 1:41 AM

      We know from this trial that very little blood was found on Robert, on his clothes, on towels or on the bed on which he was discovered. This, in spite of the fact Robert was severely stabbed three times around his heart.

      We also know that the leading potential witnesses to his murder – Joe, Victor and Dylan – each claim to have been asleep when Robert was murdered.. Testimony suggests that Robert arrived at Swann St. and was greeted by household members around 10:30 pm, that they made small talk in their kitchen, and then reportedly all retired. Evidence then suggests that Robert was murdered between 11:09 and 11:30, during which time all three male household members claim to have already fallen fast asleep.

      Amazingly, after supposedly hearing Robert groan, discovering his “bleeding” body, and fearing an “intruder” in their house, they still didn’t call 911 from anytime until between 19 to 40 minutes later.

      Without a video camera in the house to document what actually happened, and with the three male household members sticking to their collective story, some argue that there is no evidence to convict Victor, Dylan and Joe of having ANYTHING to do with Robert’s murder and/or obstructing the investigation into Robert’s murder.

      Perhaps Jaffe will be proven right. Perhaps Dylan, Joe and Victor have collectively committed the perfect murder and cover-up, even though it has been well-documented that:

      • Robert’s autopsy revealed multiple needle injection marks in his body
      • There was no evidence that Robert struggled or resisted in the least when he was stabbed, as is usually the case (suggesting he had been previously sedated).
      • The autopsy also discovered Robert’s own semen in his rectum
      • No cameras or video recorders were found in the Swann St. household during a police inventory
      • Rather, an enormous collection of S&M toys were found in Dylan’s room during that inventory, including electro anal dildo shock devices.
      • “Culuket” was Joe’s alt.com name to pick up partners (“Culu” being Spanish for “ass” and “ket” being short for Ketamine, a tranquilizing drug/narcotic). Culuket listed one of his interests as erotic photography.
      • Joe recently attempted to open a porn video business in Adams Morgan
      • Dylan was a licensed masseuse, specializing in the erotic kind.
      • And a host of other anomalies including the knife, the chimes, the fence, Sarah’s absence, and so on.

      Perhaps the US justice system has completely abandoned the hope that justice can be served rationally; that without explicit video or audio evidence, or first-hand witness evidence, there is no means of convicting criminals of their crimes or conspiracies. I still hold out hope that when presented with an overwhelming tsunami of circumstantial evidence and perfect storm of conspiracy, that every reasonable judge and jury should value human reason, common sense and judgment as much as human DNA.

      • Clio
        06/26/2010 at 8:31 AM

        They did it, and Lynn knows it. But did Glenn prove it? Barely, but we’ll see on Tuesday.

        BTW, can Joe run eyecandy dvds from prison with Michael as front man? I am still waiting for my BlueRay edition of 2001’s Manwhore, for research purposes only, of course.

      • gwen
        06/26/2010 at 3:14 PM

        This website has been amazing, taking the place of the old-time newspaper coverage of a compelling story that cries out for justice. THANK YOU!!! All of you.

        Question: will we really never know what happened in those brief minutes after RW walked into that house? The needle marks? The rectal anomaly? Followup question: what do YOU think happened?

      • ClaudiaDC
        06/28/2010 at 4:19 PM

        How sad for Roberts family and friends, that tomorrow someone is getting away with murder.

    • tony
      06/26/2010 at 2:40 PM

      1. Guilty on all counts.
      2. The judge has ALREADY been writing.
      3. And the delay in calling 911 was due to the “boys” trying to decide if and should they dispose of Roberts’ body.

    • Susan
      06/28/2010 at 10:46 AM

      To the other Susan…sorry! I didn’t realize there was someone using the Susan name who was a frequent commenter on this site–so yes, for the record we are different people!

  2. Lyn
    06/25/2010 at 10:07 AM

    There has been much debate about whether the judge will write an opinion supporting her judgment. My understanding is that a written opinion is not required, but would certainly be helpful in laying out the basis for her conclusions in the event of an appeal.

    As we all know, the prosecution can’t appeal an acquittal. But the defense can appeal guilty verdicts.

    So this got me speculating: would the judge, who has demonstrated a very high level of urgency in concluding this case, announce that she needed four days (two business days) to conclude on this case if she did not need that time to write a lengthy, well thought-out opinion? (Remember the scant time needed to conclude on Rule 29 motions?)

    I speculate that the four days indicates that she is going to write out a detailed opinion. I speculate that a detailed opinion would only be written in the event of finding guilt. I believe she is doing this to support at least some guilty verdicts from the inevitable appeals.

    • BadShoes
      06/25/2010 at 10:26 AM

      Agree.

      Also, my sense is that the arguments of the defense are not so much arguments for acquittal as they are arguments for summary dismissal.

      The threshold question (IMHO) in getting to a verdict on this case is deciding how far the finder-of-fact can go in making “reasonable inferences” based on the evidence.

      If Judge Liebevitz accepted the defense view of reasonable inference, there would have been no reason for this case to come to trial. Given that it did come to trial, there would be no reason not to grant the defense’s petition for summary dismissal once the prosecution had presented its case, because the case for conviction must rest on reasonable inferences.

      Given that the judge hasn’t dismissed the case, she is likely prepared to go some distance in making reasonable inferences about the evidence.

      That said, there is one counter-argument: trials serve a public purpose beyond adjudication. They give disputants, defendants, victims, and the public the sense that that the parties have a chance to have their views represented and fairly weighed, and that the result attempts to approximate an ideal of justice. In this relatively high profile case, it is possible (though i think unlikely) that Judge Liebovitz believes that a full trial was necessary to fulfill the public purposes of a trial, even if she felt the prosecution’s case had no merit.

      • Carolina
        06/25/2010 at 12:13 PM

        An eloquent closing paragraph if ever there was one.

    • Mark M
      06/25/2010 at 10:32 AM

      Could be! Obviously the defendants had to worry a bit when the Judge said she would take time, and not rule on their motions to dismiss. But she might just feel that she owes the whole community an explanation of her verdict even if she finds them innocent.

    • Meto
      06/25/2010 at 10:45 AM

      Lyn:

      While your analysis makes sense, it assumes that the good Judge doesn’t have anything on her docket today, Monday and Tuesday morning or that she doesn’t want to take some well deserved time off this (much nicer) afternoon and Saturday and Sunday. So while I went down the identical road of analysis last night, I concluded as with so many other things that the answer is – “who knows.”

      Respectfully,

      Meto

      • Lyn
        06/25/2010 at 11:20 AM

        Good points. But given that dockets are scheduled in advance,I wonder whether she would have scheduled a docket for today not knowing exactly when the trial was going to wrap even as of a few days ago.

        But as you say, “who knows.”

    • Ex-DC res
      06/25/2010 at 1:18 PM

      Four days (two business days) is not a lot of time to write a detailed opinion, especially one that requires citations to a trial record. That can easily take weeks. Odds are she doesn’t even have all of the transcripts yet. I wiould think it’s more likely that she’ll issue an oral ruling, which she’ll explain on the record, with a written opinion to come. Of course, that’s just a guess from 150 miles away.

  3. CC Biggs
    06/25/2010 at 10:16 AM

    One lesson I’ve learned from following this case is that even a full-blown criminal trial can never fully answer all questions about what happened that night. Both sides presented evidence and made their arguments, but the picture of what exactly happened that night is not much clearer. So next week the judge will render her final verdict and the trial will be over, but the ultimate truth as to what exactly took place that night will remain unknown. Some questions — even important questions — never get fully answered. We’ll never know.

    • Clio
      06/26/2010 at 10:37 AM

      We may indeed have to wait for the publication of Miss Sarah Morgan’s Memoirs to know the entire truth, since she admits to “knowing everything” about her (former) boys and their circle. Other important sources that ought to be published or ought to be kept in an archives: Dyl’s correspondence with Needham from 2003 to the present, Mr. Hinton’s diary from 2004 onwards, any post-decision jailhouse interviews, Dyl’s polygraph results, Joe’s erotica on his workplace computer, Michael’s Montgomery College transcripts, Congress’s schedule for August 1-8, 2006, and the brother of Dyl’s account of his stay at Swann right before the murder. Historians, not lawyers and journalists, will take it from here!

      • Bob
        06/26/2010 at 11:25 AM

        Ms. Morgan says that she “knows everything” about the boys, but does she really know everything including the truth about the crime, or is she talking

        • Bill 2
          06/26/2010 at 11:47 AM

          I think that when Sarah Morgan left the house with her toothbrush on August 2nd, she knew that there were some unusual “games” planned by two people for later that night. It’s probable that she doesn’t know everything, but very likely that she knows more than she told in this trial.

    • Bill 2
      06/26/2010 at 11:06 AM

      I don’t think we can be certain that “we’ll never know.” For one thing, there are three, maybe four, people who know more than they’re telling. In the coming years, one of them could blab while under the influence of drink or drug. If the trio are found guilty next week, between that moment and the sentencing, there’s the possibility that one of them could flip in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence.

      An outlook of “we’ll never know” is more probable when just one person is keeping the secret. With three or four people in on it, chances are better that one will slip or flip.

  4. AndJustice4All
    06/25/2010 at 10:17 AM

    Great observation Lyn – I hope you are correct!

  5. Vito
    06/25/2010 at 10:18 AM

    Anyone else having trouble with the Washingtonian site? It seems very slow! or have I just grown accustomed to the instant comments from WMRW?

    • sda
      06/25/2010 at 10:29 AM

      I am!! I wanted to participate or at least follow the “live chat” in real time and can’t do it. It has been really frustrating!

      • Vito
        06/25/2010 at 10:32 AM

        I found that if I keep restarting the chat by going back to the Washingtonian homepage and then clicking on it, I get a continuation of the chat.

        • Vito
          06/25/2010 at 10:34 AM

          Its not working for me.

          Eds., if you can post the chat on the site when it’s over, I would appreciate the opportunity to read through it.

          Thanks.

        • sda
          06/25/2010 at 10:36 AM

          Yes, I’ve found how to work around and follow the chat it just isn’t as easy as I would like. Posting comments here have been much faster.

    • Michael
      06/25/2010 at 12:21 PM

      The Washingtonian has posted the transcript of the chat. You may access it here:

      http://www.washingtonian.com/chats/people/16135.html

      – Michael, co-editor

  6. CuriousinVA
    06/25/2010 at 10:30 AM

    I think the judge will write a detailed opinion b/c it is inevitable that the defendants will appeal. She wants to make absolutely clear the basis for her reasoning.

    I am disappointed I never made it to the trial. I am so impressed with this judge from all the reports here.

    I am also so impressed with the work the editors (and many commentators) have done with this blog. From the moment I found it it has been daily (repeated) required reading.

    It very successfully shone the spotlight on a case that wasn’t getting enough attention for whatever reason. When I first came here, following the WAPO two-parter, I was very surprised I didn’t know about it at all. Although I don’t know any of the parties, given that there are some connections : UVA, William and Mary, big-firm lawyer(formerly) etc., it seemed like a case that would have registered on my radar if I’d read about it.

    Anybody else shifting their opinions on guilt or degree of involvement? I seem to be moving away from belief in Dylan’s direct involvement in the murder. I’m now leaning toward Joe acting alone with assistance by Michael if not during, then certainly after. I think Dylan and Victor were involved after the fact, only.

    • EricFormerlyNewbie
      06/25/2010 at 10:56 AM

      I still lean towards direct involvement by Dylan. As one poster so concisely put it, Victor’s actions come across as someone without all the facts and as a result his actions are inconsistent. Dylan comes across as someone who knows all the facts and that is why he has said very little.

      • Carolina
        06/25/2010 at 12:17 PM

        I’m sure it would break JP’s heart to realize Dylan was the smartest guy in the room.

        • Bill Orange
          06/25/2010 at 2:26 PM

          It’s slowly become very clear to me that Dylan is the smartest of the three. Joe may think he’s the alpha-male, but Dylan is the one who gets what he wants.

          • AnnaZed
            06/25/2010 at 2:45 PM

            Yeah, that Dylan, crazy like a fox I’m thinking.

            Maybe, just maybe, the gross disparity and shock if Victor gets convicted and Dylan doesn’t will cause Ma’am to talk when no others pressures brought to bear have so far.

            • Clio
              06/25/2010 at 4:49 PM

              Dyl is that trickster of middle-brow children’s lit, still perhaps living in the House of the Tiger Aunt, not even of his own.

              “I had never thought about how texts create their own readers, …, how words and pictures ricochet to ironic effect …,” said Mr. Ward, alum of Simmons. With this blog, I bet he does now know “how texts create their own readers.”

              • Carolina
                06/25/2010 at 7:46 PM

                From here on, I will always see Dylan as the Chanticleer to Joe’s Reynard.

        • Greta
          06/25/2010 at 6:04 PM

          Smart? Or just totally batty/whacked/abnormal? I love the description that one of the posters here used for Dylan: lit from the inside, but not in a good way. I think he’s smart enough to keep his mouth shut. But Joe’s the mastermind of all of this, IMHO.

  7. commonsensewillprevailihope
    06/25/2010 at 10:41 AM

    It’s been a long time since law school (and criminal lawyers correct me), but here goes. It appears some people here think that the defendants can appeal the judge’s verdict, but actually on appeal the judge’s (or jury’s) fact finding is not what is really on appeal; in other words, the appeals court does not re-weigh the evidence and the fact finding stands. What is appealed are procedural issues, such as lack of effective counsel (not an issue here), or improper admission of evidence (my take is that this judge has actually been quite favorable to the defendants), improperly rejecting defense counsel objectins, etc. AND APPEAL ONLY IS SUCCESSFUL IF THE ISSUE AT HAND WOULD HAVE HAD A MATERIAL IMPACT ON TRIAL OUTCOME…or something like that. In other words, appeal is pretty tough, and is not like a re-trial.

    That was rough….some recent bar takers can expound or correct!

    • Nelly
      06/25/2010 at 11:37 AM

      You are correct. Appeals deal with application of the law and whether the law was correctly followed or applied. Evidence from the trial remains the same.

    • BadShoes
      06/25/2010 at 11:50 AM

      However, if the judge offers a written decision, she would probably explicitly characterize the sub-set of evidence she used to reach her decision. In the event of conviction, this would narrow the scope for an appeal, since the admissability of evidence not mentioned in the decision would become moot.

      OTOH, by reducing ambiguity, a written decision to convict that pointed to particular elements would become a big flashing sign saying “appeal here for best results!”

      Assessing the evidence is already three-level chess. Assessing the evidence with a view to a potential appeal would be like four dimensional chess. Probably too hard, even for Judge Liebovitz.

      • Greta
        06/25/2010 at 6:11 PM

        In my practice (civil and criminal defense) we always keep a running list of items we think the judge incorrectly decided (motions, evidentiary issues, jury instructions, witness-related issues, etc.) during the trial so we’re “locked and loaded” for the appeal. Although I have not been there every day, my sense from the days I was in court is that Judge L made sound rulings from the bench on admissibility issues. So I am not sure how much ammo the defendants will have if they need to appeal. Would love to hear any thoughts anyone has on this.

        • Carolina
          06/25/2010 at 7:48 PM

          This was very good to hear, assuming an appeal is even needed.

  8. RichB
    06/25/2010 at 10:47 AM

    I think the judge will be entering a written opinion due to the high profile nature of the case. I believe she will acquit on all charges, but feels the need to provide some sort of summation on the trial and how the prosecution failed (somewhat pathetically) to truly present evidence that would support their case. The judge throughout the entire trial was trying to pull some sort of coherent argument out of the prosecution and they failed constantly to link any evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to the actual charges against them. It appeared as if her questions during closing are just to help her close the holes in her opinion.

    PS-If I’ve learned anything from this case, is that being a gay man in DC still hasn’t changed much. If I am ever in a position to be questioned by the police, I’m going silent and calling a lawyer. They MPD has proven yet again they can’t be trusted.

    • pocohontas
      06/25/2010 at 10:53 AM

      If Culuket & Co. had taken your advice, RichB, it’s quite possible that there never would have been a trial. Good thing Joe was too “smart” to keep his mouth shut.

    • BenFranklin
      06/25/2010 at 11:04 AM

      I agree 100% with your assessment RichB,
      & if you still live in DC,
      for your own safety FLEE!

    • tassojunior
      06/25/2010 at 11:09 AM

      I disagree on the verdict. I think it’s virtually impossible for an admitted homosexual to be found innocent of any crime in DC where sex is a factor at all (and it always becomes one).

      Add to that the USAO’s 90% plus conviction rate and Attorney General Holder’s pressure and you’ve got a show trial. (So strange that Holder, the country’s top lawyer, condemned the defendants for finally “lawyering up”.)

      Any homosexual in DC who voluntarily talks with MPD without an attorney, even in reporting a crime against themselves, is incredibly stupid.

      • mw
        06/25/2010 at 11:18 AM

        If any of the three are innocent, and they cooperated with the police, they wouldn’t be in this position now.

        And the homosexual paranoia stuff is just odd, at least as it pertains to this case. Is there nothing unusual or noteworthy about this lifestyle, with the drugs and the torture devices and the multiple partners? We’re all homophobic if we take note of that?

        • RichB
          06/25/2010 at 12:29 PM

          How are you supposed to cooperate with the police when they’re referring to your partner as your wife, that Robert (who as far as we can tell were good friends at the time of the murder) was obviously gay because he chose to stay with his gay friends for the night instead of with his wife and that this is the time “they’ll come to Jesus.”

          • Lurker
            06/25/2010 at 12:37 PM

            At the very least, they could have cooperated with Kathy Wone, instead of looking for creepy ways to get around her attorney-client privilege and otherwise withholding information that could have given her some measure of peace. That they couldn’t so that makes them out to be poor friends at best, and murderers at worst.

            • BenFranklin
              06/25/2010 at 1:40 PM

              Wone’s widow lawyered up before the defendants did!

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                06/25/2010 at 2:22 PM

                Totally disrespectful, BF.

              • curiousdc
                06/25/2010 at 2:50 PM

                keep rooting for your three friends–I can’t
                wait for the civil trial and hope that Kathy’s
                legal team wipes the floor with those creeps!

                • Greta
                  06/26/2010 at 12:49 PM

                  I hope that Mrs. Wone is able to get a ton of information (documents, emails between and among the trouple and Mr. Wone, depositions, etc.) in the civil suit. If I were her attorneys, I would be looking for possible signs of spoliation (i.e., document destruction) by the defendants. The fact that Joe may have turned over *some* emails to Mrs. Wone’s civil team (I presume voluntarily)makes me suspicious. How did he select them? Did he turn over the ones that helped him and destroy the rest? The civil case will be very illuminating. We’ll see if the trouple has any $$ left to settle it quickly. The scope of discovery in civil litigation is MUCH broader than in criminal cases.

            • tassojunior
              06/25/2010 at 2:09 PM

              Price did give Ms. Wone copies of all emails between him and the victim for a long time back.

              • Carolina
                06/25/2010 at 2:25 PM

                To what purpose? A hollow gesture, save for pointing out when the sleep over was conceived.

                • Clio
                  06/26/2010 at 8:37 AM

                  And, in a sick twist, I bet that he may have kept a copy of said emails as a trophy of his perfidy.

                  Culuket, you do NOT rock!

          • Carolina
            06/25/2010 at 1:05 PM

            Oh honey, I refer to my partner as my wife. Should I join the MPD?

            • Clio
              06/25/2010 at 2:47 PM

              Yes, C., you may look lovely in such a uniform: my husband always does!

          • Deb
            06/25/2010 at 7:29 PM

            Gay, straight, or otherwise . . . I’m sure in any “domestic” crime (involving friends/family) the police quite likely NEED to question whether there was a sexual or emotional situation that may have gone in a bad direction. Say I live with my ex and my boyfriend — we all get along and help to share expenses. My lesbian friend comes to spend the night and ends up dead. You think the police are going to avoid questions of a sexual theme? CTFO!

            The “gay bias” enters, I think, when there seems to be a failure to aggressively follow up on glaringly odd statements by each of the three. It seems the detectives assumed that the gay guys would, of a certain preconceived weakness, fear jail and would easily be scared into confession.

            So maybe Joe was the smartest guy in the room.

            • Clio
              06/26/2010 at 7:33 AM

              Deb, given that the other guys were Detectives Norris and Wagner, Joe probably was in reference to raw IQ: no question there! But, then again, Detectives Norris and Wagner would not be so stupid as to have a wife and a mistress living together under the same roof, as to post kinky photos on their work computers, and as to be caught up into this kind of murder investigation in the role of a person of interest.

      • curiousdc
        06/25/2010 at 11:19 AM

        That’s ridiculous! Any examples to prove your point?

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/25/2010 at 11:27 AM

        oh please.

        What about the guy that lived in an apartment on 16th street? On 2 separate occasions, the police/EMTs were summoned to his apartment to find a dead man each time. Apparent drug overdoses. So they say. The family of one of the victims said that their relative didn’t even DO drugs. These deaths were highly suspicious, but this man was never charged with ANYTHING.

        Give me a break, Tasso. Quit with the histrionics.

        • mw
          06/25/2010 at 11:30 AM

          Links?

          • mw
            06/25/2010 at 11:30 AM

            And were there independent drug tests done? What exactly was the evidence that they ignored?

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            06/25/2010 at 11:32 AM

            let me see what I can find. It was discussed on this site previously.

            • mw
              06/25/2010 at 11:34 AM

              Is there a difference between vilifying all cops and vilifying all homosexuals? Seems like the same kind of limited, paranoid, bigotted thinking.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                06/25/2010 at 11:56 AM

                I’m not vilifying anyone mw.

              • Carolina
                06/25/2010 at 1:06 PM

                Pretty much.

            • tassojunior
              06/25/2010 at 11:40 AM

              I’m the one who discussed it. It’s the Dean Johnson case right close by. Dean was a promoter from NYC. And I said it in reply to a comment that I’d never think a homosexual guilty of anything. I said that’s a gay neighbor I do not appreciate.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                06/25/2010 at 11:55 AM

                That’s case Tasso. But you said “it’s virtually impossible for an admitted homosexual to be found innocent of any crime in DC where sex is a factor at all (and it always becomes one).”

                This is a case in whcih TWO gay men died in the apartment of another gay man under very suspicious circumstances and he has not been charge.

                http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-02-05/news/dean-johnson-s-e-mails-shed-new-light-on-his-strange-death/

                • tassojunior
                  06/25/2010 at 11:59 AM

                  Pigeon-holing cases into a “gay thing” does lead police to also not prosecute or investigate things that should be investigated. Absolutely.

                  • Lee
                    06/25/2010 at 12:05 PM

                    Pigeons? Oh my, I hadn’t thought of pigeons. What if it was pigeons who came into the house through the back door and big-assed pigeon pecked Robert? And then the other (notoriously clean) pigeons cleaned up. Did the MPD check for feathers or bird droppings? No, of course not.

                    I think you’ve really hit on something here, tasso!

                    • galoon
                      06/25/2010 at 1:07 PM

                      that would be ninja pigeons

                  • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                    06/25/2010 at 12:19 PM

                    You just contradicted yourself.

                    Don’t join the debate team.

                  • des
                    06/25/2010 at 12:20 PM

                    can’t have it both ways, hon. so they never investigate and prosecute homosexuals AND they always wrongly convict them. hmmm…..

            • tassojunior
              06/25/2010 at 11:44 AM
              • Carolina
                06/25/2010 at 1:08 PM

                That’s a site. A cite is to reference, as in “citation.” Do keep up.

                • Lee
                  06/25/2010 at 1:11 PM

                  Could be a site cite.

                • tassojunior
                  06/25/2010 at 1:15 PM

                  I was clearly citing a site.

      • emg
        06/25/2010 at 11:53 AM

        I would argue just the opposite. If a woman were found murdered in her home under identical circumstances and police learned that the husband had a mistress living in the house at the same time, I can assure you that would have become the focus of the trial.

        I think the prosecution actually steered clear as much as possible of the more sordid aspects when it may have played a far more important role than any of us know.

      • Bill
        06/25/2010 at 12:54 PM

        Generally – I think tasso has a good point. It is CRAZY to speak to the police. What is needed is to exercise your Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. Check out an excellent video narrated by Ira Glasser l- “Busted: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters.” Found on http://www.flexyourrights.org.

        • sda
          06/25/2010 at 1:16 PM

          Regardless of your personal preferences or persuasion, an EXCELLENT reason why talking to the police isn’t a good idea can be viewed on a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc
          This was worth the 48 minutes of run time.

          • Bill
            06/25/2010 at 1:39 PM

            Yes – I have listened to the great video that you reference above. It is outstanding and clearly explains why the only thing one should say to the police is “I want to speak to an attorney.” SAY NOTHING. There are tons of examples of where police (legally) lie and coerce false confessions. I believe that the three defendants made an enormous mistake going to the VCB the night of the murder. Clearly they weren’t helped by their interviews with the cops that night.

      • BenFranklin
        06/25/2010 at 1:52 PM

        I hope you are wrong tassojr about this being a “show” trial. The Judge is a Bush appointee and is not beholdin’ to Holder.

        The USAO’s 90%+ conviction rate is grossly inflated by their plea deals which rightly count as convictions.

        The defense team’s success rate is as high or higher than the USAO’s for bench & jury trials.

        • interestedobserver
          06/25/2010 at 2:23 PM

          Ben: And just what is the defense team’s “success rate”? And where did you get that information.
          Also, just remember you’re not a lawyer so don’t pretend to be one.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            06/25/2010 at 2:26 PM

            He’s probably making stuff up.

            Pony up the proof, BF. Along with those photos you never supplied.

        • Bob
          06/26/2010 at 3:33 AM

          Notice that we have kooks arguing with each other.

      • interestedobserver
        06/25/2010 at 2:19 PM

        Tassojunior: Name some cases where sex “always becomes” a factor for gay defendants accused of a crime. Can you?
        You claim that the U.S. Attorney’s office has a “90% plus conviction rate.” Is this another “fact” that you’ve pulled out of nowhere? Where is your citation for that proposition?
        Do you have any evidence or information that the AG has had any involvement in this case since he left his old firm?
        As usual, you make a lot of statements, but have nothing to back them up.

        • tassojunior
          06/25/2010 at 3:14 PM

          It’s actually 99% federal conviction for all cases and 90% for ones that go to trial.

          “””A 90-plus percent conviction rate isn’t something that should be applauded. I think it’s something you should worry about,” Boas said. “That’s what you see in totalitarian regimes.”

          “”Taking away someone’s freedoms should never be easy,” Boas said. “Unfortunately, it’s become way too easy.””

          http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_464095.html

          If you’re really interested, Google is your friend.

          • Carolina
            06/25/2010 at 7:51 PM

            If only the same could be said of Pittsburgh.

            • Clio
              06/26/2010 at 8:41 AM

              It can be: the former Steel City prides itself on the friendliness of its citizens, believe it or not.

      • bigfatmike
        06/26/2010 at 12:19 AM

        ‘you’ve got a show trial’

        The comments of RichB, BenFranklin and tassojunior struck me as having the ring of sincere belief. Whether these sentiments regarding the interactions of gay men with the judicial system are based on fact or delusion, they present a real problem that needs to be addressed. The judicial system cannot work reliably, as intended if significant numbers are afraid to participate.

        But I was especially struck by the ‘show trial’ comment. I suppose that one might argue that in prompting and questioning the prosecution the judge displayed bias toward the defendants. But the impression that I received from many news articles and comments posted here was that the judge was trying to get the best view of the evidence on the record so that she could render the best possible decision.

        My view is necessarily limited. But from here, the only sense that this was a ‘show trial’ was that this was an example of how a judge should conduct a trial.

        I will be he first to admit that I have no expertise in this area. My legal experience consists of watching re-runs of ‘Law and Order’.

        So I would really like to call on the many thoughtful, perceptive readers of this site. If this was a show trial, take me, and perhaps others, through the facts and show us what we missed.

        • Clio
          06/26/2010 at 6:34 AM

          Again, like the term “lynch mob”, the term “show trial” in this case is a serious historical misappropriation. Real “show trials” happened in Stalinist Russia during the 1930s, and then in other dictatorships throughout the twentieth century such as Pol Pot’s Cambodia. The verdicts of guilty in these real show trials were foreordained with made-up testimony, forced confessions, and forged documents. The charges were simply created to fit the political whims of the regime. Execution or the gulag awaited the defendants, whose families also were routinely jailed or put to death. In no way, then, has the Wone case been “a show trial” for the Swann Street Three, who are still enjoying their freedom and their families nearly four years after the murder.

          BTW, it appears to me that we need two more court systems in this country: gay tribal courts for lapses in hospitality, fashion, and decor, and public history courts for misappropriations of historical terms and concepts. We cannot leave everything to the attorneys after all!

          • WillC
            06/26/2010 at 9:47 AM

            Gay Tribal Court already exists…”E!” News, Judge Ryan Seacrest at the bench.

          • mbz1971
            06/26/2010 at 11:25 AM

            “Show trials” are also endlessly covered on a national or international scale from primetime to the tabloids, hardly the case for this trial. The trouple have had it rather easy as far as the media is concernec this time around. Hope they’re ready for what may be put out there during the civil trial.

    • Lyn
      06/25/2010 at 11:17 AM

      RichB – Suppose you have identical circumstances with the exception of the sexual orientation of the residents. In other words, three straight guys living together as housemates have a friend stay over. An hour after his arrival he is dead, there is no forced entry, and the housemates say “we didn’t see or hear nothin!” despite being within earshot of the victim’s room.

      In that fact pattern, are you truly saying that the police would not have charged the three men because they were straight?

      • mw
        06/25/2010 at 11:19 AM

        No straight men are ever charged with crime in D.C., obviously, everyone knows that.

        • Carolina
          06/25/2010 at 1:09 PM

          No straight WHITE men. Let’s be reasonable!

          • susan
            06/25/2010 at 1:29 PM

            Plus, Carolina, Tasso contradicted himself from earlier posts where he said they’d all be acquitted.

            Also, I think JP knew EXACTLY what they were doing by speaking to police. It was very strategic. If they immediately asked for attys and their miranda rights, then they’d be implying some kind of guilt from the get go. He makes a point, during his interview, of pointing out that they didn’t do that. But then when he sees it isn’t going his way (despite that edumacation! he says he wants a lawyer).

            • KKinCA
              06/25/2010 at 2:02 PM

              And during his interview Joe used verbiage about “buying the story/theory” or something like that before he got a clue that things weren’t going his way and asked for counsel.

            • cinnamon
              06/25/2010 at 3:10 PM

              “I think JP knew EXACTLY what they were doing by speaking to police.”

              I agree. I think he figured they could give their explanations and their reasons for unlocked doors, water on the patio, ninja fence scalers, etc. and be done.

              • cinnamon
                06/25/2010 at 3:18 PM

                …and again I say that thoses interrogations strike me as odd because of all of the answers that they had instead of questions. They didn’t seem to be concerned with “helping” the police find the intruder. It seems that their main concern was to provide all of the details that backed up their “theory”…even as early as on the 911 call.
                None of them were asking “why did this happen?”, “who would do this?”, “how did they get in?”, “have you looked at the windows?”, “did you check the neighborhood?”, “is that our knife?”, etc. They had none of those questions. They don’t seem concerned with getting answers to the horror that just happened. It seems that they just want to explain away all of the add details that fit their story.

                • Lurker
                  06/25/2010 at 3:51 PM

                  I totally agree! We have had to report a crime before, and we definitely had more questions than answers… And we bent over backwards to provide the police with all the information they cared to ask for…because we had nothing to hide.

            • tassojunior
              06/25/2010 at 3:19 PM

              I never said I thought these defendants would be acquitted or found innocent in court.

              Not once.

              • susan
                06/25/2010 at 10:11 PM

                Please excuse me. It must have been some other poster. Apologies for getting that incorrect.

      • Lurker
        06/25/2010 at 11:34 AM

        I found the homophobic statements by the cops abhorrent, but I don’t think homophobia is going to play a role in the ruling. I don’t care what the orientation of the housemates — their behavior was suspicious, their statements inconsistent, and the circumstances very fishy. There’s no rainbow card to play here.

        • Carolina
          06/25/2010 at 1:10 PM

          It’s their job to piss off the person they’re interrogating. Saying please and thank you don’t get you much at the VCB.

          • tassojunior
            06/25/2010 at 1:34 PM

            Insulting a whole race, gender, or orientation is not going to piss a defendant off. It just makes the interrogator look stupid and makes the interrogated think they have no reason to provide information.

            The tactic for “pissing people off” in interrogations is to challenge their own sexual performance or being spurned by the victim or lead on by the victim. That often works.

            This is a lame rationalization for the homophobia that Det. Webster was proud of on the stand.

            • tassojunior
              06/25/2010 at 1:38 PM

              before Carolina jumps- that should be “led”.

            • Carolina
              06/25/2010 at 2:31 PM

              Yes, dear.

            • mia
              06/25/2010 at 2:58 PM

              Wait a minute, when you say race, are you referring the “black man living across street” here?

      • RichB
        06/25/2010 at 1:34 PM

        I was pointing out the fact that the police obviously were biased and acting hostile towards the defendants, which would make any reasonable person assume they didn’t have a chance in hell of getting a fair shot so they went silent.

        I’m not saying the reason they were charged is because they are gay. However, in the situation you described above, without the possibility of some “secret gay hookup” it would just add more speculation to this situation that there are a lot of circumstances in this case that can’t be explained and just because they haven’t been explained doesn’t mean the defendants (whether straight or gay) are guilty. With this prosecution, I still believe a verdict of not guilty should be found regardless of whether or not the defendants were straight or gay.

        • Lyn
          06/25/2010 at 3:12 PM

          “I was pointing out the fact that the police obviously were biased and acting hostile towards the defendants”

          yeah, nothing upsets me more than when police are tough on people who just murdered somebody. that’s so wrong!

    • mw
      06/25/2010 at 11:27 AM

      If you stay silent, and are innocent, you’re much more likely to be charged (and convicted).

      What has the PD done that was untrustworthy here, exactly? It seems they weren’t able to come up with much on these people, and the prosecution couldn’t do much with it?

      Everyone’s not out to get you, even though it makes you feel cool or whatever to believe that.

      • tassojunior
        06/25/2010 at 12:04 PM

        Unfortunately not true very often. “Don’t Talk, You Walk”

        • mw
          06/25/2010 at 12:18 PM

          Definitely true if you’re guilty.

          There’s hardly anyone here that believe that these three defendants don’t know more about what happened that night. Even those of us who think there’s a good chance they’ll be aquitted don’t for a second really believe the ridiculous intruder theory.

          They have a constitutional right not to talk, no doubt. But by waiving that right, they could have done a wonderful thing for Robert’s family. They chose not to, and I do think they’re all disgusting people for not doing the right thing.

          There is a distinction between legal rights, and doing the right thing.

      • Themis
        06/25/2010 at 12:21 PM

        No defense attorney would advise a client, innocent or not, to talk to police without an attorney present.

        It’s perfectly lawful for the cops to lie to you about evidence and apply certain types of psychological pressure. Also, if the statement is not fully recorded, the cops can spin what you say anyway they want in their reports.

        That is not to say all cops are bad or have evil intentions. But they do have a job to do, and if you do end up talking to the one bad applie in the police department, you could be sunk. Innocent people give false confessions more often than you think.

        • mw
          06/25/2010 at 12:30 PM

          No defense attorney would advise a client that because most of their clients are guilty.

          I just disagree with the culture in the U.S. that encourages people to always, at all times, exercise every single constitutional right, even when doing so is morally abhorrent.

          • KiKi
            06/25/2010 at 12:38 PM

            Google “Reid interrogation technique” – Read the Wiki article or any other article and you will understand why Themis makes this point.

            Both sides are not coming into the conversation on equal footing. And I would love to believe in idea that the police are the moral beacon to which the citizenary can bring their troubles. But time and again this is false.

            I had a client who absolutely innocent (real killer later linked by DNA) confessed to the crime because the cops said he found my client’s DNA in the victim – my client’s response “I must have done it then” – the client then gave an 80 minute confession about a crime he did not commit.

            • cinnamon
              06/25/2010 at 1:16 PM

              What? They created 80 minutes of fiction admitting to a crime that they did not commit?

              • tassojunior
                06/25/2010 at 1:43 PM

                again, check out the Riley Fox murder story on 20/20 where the police refused to consider an intruder and forced the father to confess. Horrible, horrible miscarriage of justice:

                http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/prosecution-kevin-fox-conspiracy-10894466

                • cinnamon
                  06/25/2010 at 2:48 PM

                  I am not in the legal field and have no experience with people who this has happened to but it is utterly perplexing that someone would give a false confession. In my wildest imagination I cannot fathom why a father would confess tho killing his own child if he did not.

                  • AnnaZed
                    06/25/2010 at 2:54 PM

                    An alcohol or drug abusing or dependent person might come to believe from manipulative questioning from law enforcement that they committed a crime while in a black-out. It’s been known to happen and subsequently been proved to not have been the case and also conversely to have been demonstrated to be true (though the killer does not remember). In the case of inebriated vehicular manslaughter it is almost the norm.

        • Bea
          06/25/2010 at 2:17 PM

          Themis, I agree that no attorney advises a client (regardless of guilt/innocence) to talk without a lawyer present, but if you’re simply a witness to a crime, you don’t think of yourself as anybody’s “client”. In most instances, people who are witnesses to crimes DO speak to police so they can solve the case. Easy to see the demarcation line in retrospect, but I’ll bet that if you SEE a crime, you’d tell what you saw because it’s the right thing to do.

          • tucsonwriter
            06/25/2010 at 3:28 PM

            An example is the witness with the crushed turtle sandbox in her backyard. She saw the police asked what happened, surveyed her home, and then went to the police with one small aberration in her yard.

            The three defendants had a murder in their home and were not even close to as forthcoming. They offered very little information, what they offered was not supported by evidence, and then they closed ranks.

          • tassojunior
            06/25/2010 at 4:14 PM

            But to some of us (not here) that’s what the 3 homosexuals appeared to be doing. They gave the police permission to search the house hours before a warrant was issued, they volunteered information at length at the scene, and they voluntarily underwent “interviews” for hours after midnight. It seems to have gone past what a guilty party would do to put on a charade of innocence. They could easily have declined the midnight to 5am interrogations in Anacostia and not have appeared unreasonable.

            • Bill
              06/25/2010 at 4:41 PM

              @ tassojunior – I don’t understand why you seem to call forth so much resistance from other posters. I have found your comments (here and elsewhere) reasonable and helpful. I basically have a mistrust for the cops and DEFINITELY don’t believe that “justice” works for the gay community. COPS ARE HOMOPHOBES. Now, I realize that my comments here are a set up for all kinds of vile responses, but I believe what I have written.

              • tassojunior
                06/25/2010 at 5:06 PM

                Thanks Bill. I have a pretty thick skin and don’t let flamers distract me from my beliefs or knowledge learned through life experience. Unprovoked personal attacks usually mean more about the attacker than the attacked.

                • Bea
                  06/25/2010 at 5:24 PM

                  What of your own unprovoked attacks? I think that was his point – why the need to go over the top with language suggesting ALL cops are homophobes when many cops are not, and increasingly the police forces in metro areas have gay officers?

                  • Bill
                    06/25/2010 at 5:40 PM

                    Hello Bea – I also have great respect for your comments and the insight that you have brought to the site.

                    It is my personal experience – both learned and observed – that cops are prejudiced against gays and lesbians. I am sorry to say that those examples of municipalities with gay cops often find that out cops are marginalized which only reinforces the need (and often dangers) for gay and lesbian cops to remain hidden.

                    • Bea
                      06/25/2010 at 7:27 PM

                      Some are, some aren’t. Cops can’t be painted with one brush. I knew gay cops in DC.

                    • SJinNYC
                      06/26/2010 at 7:34 PM

                      I live in the West Village in NYC and my neighborhood’s cops are certainly NOT homophobes. Quite the opposite, they’re incredibly protective of this area’ssubstantial gay population. That all cops are homophobes is an ignorant blanket statement.

                • interestedobserver
                  06/25/2010 at 5:50 PM

                  Tassojunior: OK, whatever. Now it’s the vague “life experience” citation? You obviously cannot cite some specific information or evidence for whatever you’re saying, which is really nothing but your stereotypes.

                  • Bob
                    06/26/2010 at 3:38 AM

                    Tasso Junior has said what his life experience was, and it was not vague. His boyfriend was murdered, and the police screwed up the investigation, and he is bitter. It is true that much of what he says is a lot of stereotypes, but his life experience isn’t vague. He has been wronged, and he spews anger.

                    • John Grisham
                      06/26/2010 at 3:53 AM

                      My bf was murdered too. But that wasn’t the police fault.

                      They actually caught the guy and the justice system sent him to jail. In the Midwest.

                • Clio
                  06/25/2010 at 7:51 PM

                  Really, Tasso? Then, you DO love the catty, bitchy repartee of Ziegfield’s ladies room after all: “unprovoked personal attacks usually mean more about the attacker than the attacked.”

                  Cops can be homophobic, gay, bi, transgendered, lesbian, liberal, conservative, straight, Christian, etc. Homophobia, like racism and sexism, is always there. BUT, as I said here before, official homophobia is just background noise “in the Anacostia dialogues.” The main melody concerns the Brothers Price and their accomplices. Case closed!

              • Lee
                06/25/2010 at 5:24 PM

                tassojunior calls forth resistance from so many posters, because he is a one trick pony: the police are homophobes. Maybe they are. That fits with my experience with cops. Most are arrogant, narrow-minded, and bigoted. Ok. But once you’ve said your piece, let it go.

                This is not a forum for MPD reform.

                tassijunior’s post is typical of the position he has taken so many times in this blog.

                He neglects the obvious difference between the neighbor’s situation and that of the trouple. NO DEAD BODY WAS FOUND IN THE NEIGHBORING HOME. That’s not a minor point.

              • Carolina
                06/25/2010 at 8:00 PM

                The problem is, Tasso is convinced that any investigation involving a gay man is by default corrupt. Long before he finally showed us the axe he was grinding, it was apparent that there would be no justice because of the sexual orientation of the accused.

                None of us have lived long enough to own a computer and not experienced bias and blatant hatred, but to live our lives like The Man’s got his jackboot on our necks is ridiculous and self-defeating.

                Add to that Tasso’s habit of spouting claims with little to back it up, and it became habit to get one’s back up when he starts to pontificate.

                Now, all that said, he has made perfect sense any number of times, and has served as a Cassandra that most of us would rather ignore. I’m sure it would please him to no end to know many of us *did* hear him, and thought far more about his posts than was immediately evident.

            • chilaw79
              06/25/2010 at 5:24 PM

              The circumstances of this crime (and not the fact that the defendants were gay) made it natural for Price, Ward, and Zaborsky to become suspects. If four people are in a home and one of them is killed, it is natural to suspect one of the other three people (particularly if there is no visible evidence of an intruder).

              I do not think the defendants would be suspects if the patio door had been removed from its hinges, or muddy footprints had been found in a shoe size different from those of the defendants.

              That said, the remarks of some of the police officers clearly were offensive and stereotyped the defendants (and Robert Wone). I had hoped the DCPD was better than that.

              • Bea
                06/25/2010 at 5:35 PM

                If only one of them had been home, there would have been a murder trial a while ago. Judge L is quite aware of this in my opinion.

                • susan
                  06/25/2010 at 9:02 PM

                  I think you are right about that, Bea, and I’m sure that’s what the judge was getting at. That one person at home would have been charged with a crime long ago.

                  Re the police, no amt. of homophobic comments (or if they were women, sexist, or Buddhist, anti-Buddhist) creates murder. The only reason they were there was because a man was oddly not bleeding but stabbed to death.

                  They let the police search the place because part of their strategy was that “an intruder” came through.

                  And let’s face it, I’m sure the police, or any average one of us, rarely come across a trouple in our daily lives. Esp. one that has a virtual BDSM store in his bedroom.

            • mw
              06/25/2010 at 5:29 PM

              But unless you believe in the ninja intruder theory, they weren’t truthful with the officers.

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 12:25 PM

      I somehow doubt the MPD killed Robert, and you can raise dust with the rest of the gorillas, but the fact is, there is ZERO evidence of an intruder. That leaves four men in the house. One can assume Robert didn’t stab himself 3 times. So now what? Look for a convenient straight scapegoat because it would be homophobic to accuse the three men in the house, who also happen to be gay? To that I can only say, bitch please.

      The prosecution was faced with showing that they covered up in multiple ways. They’re smart men. Did anyone expect it to be easy to trace? And yet, enough remained that even Dr. Lee couldn’t supply an answer for all of them.

      • RosieRivetted
        06/25/2010 at 1:18 PM

        Carolina, I enjoy you 🙂 LOL

      • Bob
        06/26/2010 at 3:42 AM

        You said that someone raises dust about the rest of the gorillas. I hadn’t heard that theory until now. Please provide the details of the gorilla theory. The last time that I can recall a plausible mystery involving great apes would have been “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Poe. Is there a theory now involving gorillas or orangutans?

    • sigmund freud
      06/25/2010 at 2:53 PM

      Is this Joe or Dylan speaking!

  9. mare
    06/25/2010 at 10:57 AM

    First time poster, long time reader. I’ve been following this site since the Washington Post article last year. Before then, I hadn’t heard of this case. Now I feel very close to it – weird, right?

    I want to say thanks to the editors and the audience – I’ve learned so much here and you’ve all done a wonderful job explaining the issues.

    I hope justice is served – that’s the least I can hope for for Robert Wone’s family and friends.

  10. marymary
    06/25/2010 at 10:58 AM

    Sorry, but it is making me nuts. Only juries render verdicts. Judges make decisions.

    • commonsensewillprevailihope
      06/25/2010 at 12:12 PM

      Well, I think you may be right in the technical legal sense, please explain why one cannot use the term “verdict” to describe the decision of the judge in the colloquial sense that the term refers to basically any decision such as the verdict of history, the verdict of public opinion, etc.

      • commonsensewillprevailihope
        06/25/2010 at 12:24 PM

        And what about this book:

        Tug of War: A Judge’s Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court [Paperback]
        Harvey Brownstone
        Harvey Brownstone (Author)

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 12:29 PM

      MARY! Sorry, the gay in me leaked.

  11. Lyn
    06/25/2010 at 11:12 AM

    My dog is due for her annual vet appointment.

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 12:28 PM

      I guess I’ll have to have mine neutered. My apologies; I try to keep him away from the computer, but I turn my back and you see what happens.

      • galoon
        06/25/2010 at 1:24 PM

        Please uh, take your angry and bitter elsewhere.

      • Lee
        06/25/2010 at 1:35 PM

        Are you trying to come on to her now?

      • Lee
        06/25/2010 at 1:52 PM

        I think you’ve got him all excited.

  12. WolverineKibbitzer
    06/25/2010 at 11:24 AM

    Building on Bea’s post from last night, presumably the other thing that will be in the back of the judge’s mind as she sorts through all this is the result of Dylan’s polygraph. She can’t consider it of course, but might it nonetheless shape how she views the case, at least at the margins? (And isn’t this a case of margins?)

    • 06/25/2010 at 12:12 PM

      What was the result of Dylan’s polygraph?

      • Ivan
        06/25/2010 at 12:25 PM

        I understand not good but they were able to keep it from being presented as evidence. Someone else here (one of the eds perhaps) might know more.

        • Carolina
          06/25/2010 at 12:31 PM

          It’s very curious. At first, there was a flurry of talk the he “passed.” Then it died and was followed by a long silence. It was resurrected as the trial approached and the defense fought hard to keep it out, even though it wouldn’t be admissible for truth, if I understand their argument correctly.

          Make of that what you will.

          • AnnaZed
            06/25/2010 at 12:40 PM

            I tell ya, I hate any talk of polygraph tests, which are not admissible for the very good reason that they are unreliable and prejudicial. I wouldn’t take a government polygraph test on the contents of my lunch let alone a murder inquiry. I sincerely hope that this Judge ignores any and all reference to them.

            In the recent disappearance of a child in Oregon much hay is being made of the Step Mother being subjected to not one but two polygraph tests in relation to the boy’s disappearance. She has been virtually convicted online in part based on statements from law enforcement that they are testing her and retesting her. Even I now think she probably murdered the poor child and can’t sort out in my own mind to what degree these utterances from law enforcement have influenced my thinking, and I am as staunch an opponent of the use of lie detector tests as there could be.

            • Carolina
              06/25/2010 at 12:54 PM

              No doubt there is good reason they’re not being admissible. I’ve always wondered why Dylan agreed. As for Joe, I don’t think he ever intended to follow through.

        • WolverineKibbitzer
          06/25/2010 at 12:52 PM

          My understanding is the same as Ivan’s.

      • Bill Orange
        06/25/2010 at 2:35 PM

        We have no direct evidence, but I think we can draw a very reasonable inference from the fact that he was subsequently indicted.

    • Bea
      06/25/2010 at 2:35 PM

      The judge is a former prosecutor who sees criminal cases from those lenses BUT who’s no doubt realigned her way of “seeing” as a judge. Granted, I wasn’t present, but from what was reported, she takes her role seriously and she’s smart. She knows the law. She clearly didn’t believe the Ninja Assassin theory nor did she put much stock in Dr. Lee (“the only thing he couldn’t opine about”) suggesting that she (in my opinion) THINKS these three are guilty but is trying to decide if there’s a reasonable doubt. Frankly, she likely thinks one or more of them was involved in the murder, and THAT is in the back of her mind as well, which can’t be ignored. I agree with Wolverine that this is a case of how much weight can she give her own inferences – kind of like grading one’s self on an essay exam.

      • WolverineKibbitzer
        06/25/2010 at 3:56 PM

        I think that’s exactly right. She knows with moral certainty they are culpable (when weighing all of the factors, admissible and otherwise), but is struggling with legal certainty — i.e., how much of all this comes close to but doesn’t quite spill over the threshhold of beyond a reasonable doubt, and how much (if any) does. So she’s got an internal dilemma. On the one hand, the Judge in her wants to protect the integrity of the system — that is, put the government to its case — but on the other, the individual in her doesn’t want to see justice (in the looser sense) denied, knowing that an acquittal will likely foreclose any chance of ever solving the murder. One way out, perhaps, would be to acquit on all but one count, whichever one is strongest and most clearly on/over the legal line. That would give maximum protection to the first interest (short of acquitting on all counts), while preserving in some sense the second, as even a sole conviction may be enough to break the logjam.

        • susan
          06/25/2010 at 9:06 PM

          I think you summed it up well WK. It is my hope that at the very least she finds at least one count against JP for tampering with evidence.

          • Greta
            06/26/2010 at 12:59 PM

            I totally agree. Good summary.

      • Deb
        06/25/2010 at 8:52 PM

        And she will without doubt follow her own instructions, considering only admissible evidence in the light it must be considered. I’m sure a jury trial would have been easier on her!

        That said, with an amen to Bea’s comments regarding Her Honor’s intelligence and professionalism, the decision will be just under law — whether we agree with it or not.

        In the end, I hope all of us will accept her decision with the grace of a people who truly embrace jurisprudence. Mr. Wone did — he most recently prior to his murder tried to help spread the concept to people of his own heritage who are disallowed its benefits . . . and, of course, its drawbacks.

        I think the one shining light in all this is that Her Honor is truly top notch. We can all be confident that her decision will be well supported by the foundation of our common law society which, as voters, we help to shape.

        • Carolina
          06/25/2010 at 8:57 PM

          And of course, there’s always the civil suit.

          • Deb
            06/25/2010 at 10:23 PM

            With Regan on that team.

            And he’s a caucasian shepherd.

            Price-less!

  13. Kate
    06/25/2010 at 11:38 AM

    Dearest Uh – Clearly you are not aware that this site is exclusively for the use of those who know how to properly quote Curly and The Three Stooges.

    It’s commonly spelled” “Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck”

    So endeth the lesson, naughty boy.

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 1:12 PM

      He is obviously begging for a spanking.

      • Lee
        06/25/2010 at 1:13 PM

        Be careful, here, Carolina, or you may have a line forming near your front door.

    • Lee
      06/25/2010 at 1:33 PM

      Yeah and he makes a lot of money, as well. Does the word “pud” mean anything to you?

  14. Friend
    06/25/2010 at 11:41 AM

    Just a thanks again to all the editors who have been working around the clock to bring us all information on this website to which we would otherwise not have had the opportunity to view & read on our own.

    I am a friend of Robert’s & his family and I am certainly hoping for justice in his name & memory.

    Thank you again for keeping his memory alive.

    • Deb
      06/25/2010 at 8:56 PM

      Peace be with you.

      • Carolina
        06/25/2010 at 10:38 PM

        This post has stuck with me all day, and I’ve not found the right words to reply. I’d like to second yours, if I might. I cannot fathom the weight of the loss they must be feeling.

  15. weaver
    06/25/2010 at 11:59 AM

    Hi Joe. Enjoy prison.

    • Lee
      06/25/2010 at 1:36 PM

      Hell, uh, it would be awesome if you suddenly became semi-intelligent.

  16. Craig
    06/25/2010 at 12:10 PM

    I’d recognize my mother’s prose anywhere. I’ve been real busy Mom, and I’ll call you this weekend, promise.

  17. sda
    06/25/2010 at 12:18 PM

    I just finished reading the chat the editors had with Mr. Jaffe. Craig wrote, “After this ordeal, I don’t know what justice is anymore. I hope they find peace. It’s a testament to Robert’s life, that nearly four years after his tragic death, that he is still bringing people together. And maybe some things are more important than justice. Truth,for instance.”

    That struck such a chord for me. I’m not sure the prosecution met the burden of proof required for a guilty decision and judging from the editor’s comments during the chat, I didn’t hear any of the four convinced of this either. I pray that the Wone family will find peace. My heart goes out to them. Never knowing how a loved one died, especially when the undisputed fact in this case is that Robert was indeed MURDERED, must be horrific.

    Editors, you have brought people together in Robert’s memory. Thank you again. Where justice fails, may truth prevail.

  18. commonsensewillprevailihope
    06/25/2010 at 12:20 PM

    Did the JUDGE (not just prosecutor) say “ninja”????

    • tucsonwriter
      06/25/2010 at 2:12 PM

      It was the prosecutor – Carson Leiber (hope I spelled that right)

      There was a cool post from her dad late last night. proudpapa

      • Bob
        06/26/2010 at 11:40 AM

        A juror isn’t allowed to follow news discussions of a case, and presumably a judge acting as trier of fact also is not. A prosecutor is not under such a restriction, to the best of my knowledge.

  19. Bill 2
    06/25/2010 at 12:25 PM

    I knew it wasn’t Sr. Mary Giles, my 12th grade English teacher. She knows the difference between a “hyuck” and a “Nyuck.”

    • cinnamon
      06/25/2010 at 1:26 PM

      It looks like it’s time to ban Uh.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/25/2010 at 1:26 PM

      Editors….enough is enough. This individual needs to be barred from the cite.

      Derogatory remarks aside, this person adds NOTHING to the dialog.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/25/2010 at 1:27 PM

      uh on 06/25/2010 at 1:18 PM
      I wasn’t quoting anyone, you stupid bitch. “Hyuck” is an expression as well, indeed in the multiplicative.

      Thought you weren’t quoting anyone?

  20. AnnaZed
    06/25/2010 at 12:29 PM

    This from the Washingtonian Chat:

    http://www.washingtonian.com/chats/people/16135.html

    “Doug: And Harry: Craig’s got a priceless story of a surprise courtroom guest…if he wants to tell it…”

    Craig, I think we want to hear this anecdote.

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 12:33 PM

      I hope it involves a squirrel running up his pantleg. No, really.

    • KKinCA
      06/25/2010 at 12:45 PM

      What a great tease!!! Craig – we NEED to know!!! And Carolina – you never fail to crack me up with your posts! You rock!

    • Clio
      06/25/2010 at 8:48 PM

      Who was that mystery guest, Craig? Joe’s dad? Sandra Day O’Connor? The sitting Attorney General? Mr. Hixson’s latest BFF? Hillary Clinton’s electrologist?

      • Craig
        06/25/2010 at 11:56 PM

        Even better Clio. It was Doug and my old boss Brian Lamb.

        • Clio
          06/26/2010 at 6:48 AM

          Wow! After Lynn renders her decision this week, Brian should moderate a media roundtable on this case for CSPAN; the panel should consist of Harry Jaffe, one of the Wa-Po writers, Lou Chibbaro, one of yourselves, Lisa G., etc.

  21. Occam's Razor
    06/25/2010 at 12:41 PM

    I will use these next three days, to the extent that I can, to prepare myself emotionally and otherwise for seven “not guilty” determinations on Tuesday morning.

    The genesis for that predicted outcome is my own version of Glenn Kirschner’s “thirty-three-and-a-third” problem (his referring to the inability to determine, as among the three defendants, exactly which one did — or didn’t do — exactly what); namely, that the anticipated”not guilty” determinations here will have three roughly equal parents: (1) poor police and detective work in the immediate aftermath of the discovery of Robert Wone’s lifeless body at 1509 Swann Street at approximately 11:59 PM on August 2, 2009; (2) the truly impressive solidarity among the three defendants in holding to their story through all of the pre-trial and trial twists and turns; and (3) the high burden that the government bears in proving the elements of a crime of specific intent beyond a reasonable doubt.
    As in the O.J. Simpson case, we may have to wait for the follow-on civil case to bring about a more complete exposition of the facts surrounding the crime and the culpability of the defendants.

    • Clio
      06/25/2010 at 8:15 PM

      “Truly impressive solidarity” equals obstruction and conspiracy beyond even unreasonable doubts, even the irrational fantasies peddled by Dr. Franklin and her pet dragon, Tasso.

      Yes, Glenn sucked, and not in a good way, but the Dream Team sucked even more. Glenn 1, Bernie 0.

      • Carolina
        06/25/2010 at 9:15 PM

        I question is whether Glenn is really that incapable of stringing together a smooth narrative, or was he juggling so many irons behind the scenes that he was still mentally writing his arguments as he stood before the judge?

        • Clio
          06/26/2010 at 7:25 AM

          The second. He’s an Award magnet, but he cannot seem to clinch anything significant. His understudies were/are quicker on their feet than he was/is, but, then again, they did not play football at Washington and Lee.

  22. Sandra Renee Hicks
    06/25/2010 at 12:49 PM

    This is some of what TomDC posted on http://www.washingtonian.com about WMRW, and my subsequent comments: (when I posted this earlier today, a message appeared that stated that my comment was pending moderation – not sure what that means because that message never previously appeared when I posted on WMRW)

    To TomDC: Your post last night stated, “It is disgraceful that you’re coddling that cyber lynch mob… They are the most vile of people.”

    Fortunately, many know that your comments are not accurate. They are not a lynch mob nor are they the most vile of people. You should be ashamed to utter such fallacy.

    Posted below is what I posted yesterday. It will be posted again today for emphasis.

    COMMENTS posted on http://www.whomurderedrobertwone.com posted Thursday June 24, 2010 at 4:34 p.m.

    The intelligence displayed here has been of such benefit. My heart hurts for the Wone family for what they know and for what they don’t know.

    Contributors here have provided insightful, contemplative, and incisive commentary.

    Kudos to the editors who gave gripping thorough accounts of courtroom observations. This site hit the mother lode. Thank you for the brainchild. This novel approach to justice should be emulated and copied for its obvious judicial value. Also, it has the value of the development of soul connections – caring people united with the common goal to honor a man whose blood cries out for justice. I am humbled, editors, by your mission and impressed by how you dignified this process.

    This website’s innovative approach/application could be used in case studies. I hope that it the start of many more such sites. It is indeed a quality community service that has proven to be a worthwhile exercise. I motion to continue….

    Appreciation is extended to the others who attended the trial and reported their findings, critiques, and observations to the audience on this site. Thanks also to those who did not visit the courtroom but proffered “aha” moments. “Posters” asked pointed questions in bountiful supply, and many wise and knowledgeable viewpoints are on the record here.

    This website is, to my knowledge, the first of its kind. With few exceptions, the consistent quality comments posted here succeeded to inform, enlighten, and constructively challenge. It is on record in an unprecedented form that citizens care much about justice.

    Thank you to all here who gave care, energy, wisdom, and knowledge for a cause that is priceless.

    • Clio
      06/25/2010 at 3:40 PM

      I agree wholeheartedly, Miss Hicks. Our Editors have greatly added to the public discourses and civic impulses of the federal capital and beyond. At the very least, they should be honored with a ball to be held at Halo with an after-party breakfast at Cosi.

      The term “cyber lynch mob” is an especially “vile” calumny, an historical misappropriation of the worst kind. By being inaccurate, it trivializes the real lynch mobs of the past, which did not play any “waiting game” at all. Our defendants have enjoyed foreign and Florida travel since their late-night sessions at Anacostia: which victims of real lynch mobs got to do that before their forced fates!

      • Carolina
        06/25/2010 at 8:09 PM

        You made me get all sniffly with that. Thank you for recognizing that the term “lynch mob” does not even approach anything that these men have faced. I want to reply to every one of them with a photo of Emmett Till.

      • Deb
        06/25/2010 at 9:07 PM

        Clio:
        Sometimes I feel like you’re snooty and go a bit catty on folks who you do not feel are in the clique, but I must tell you — very well said!

        Peace,
        Deb

  23. Sandra Renee Hicks
    06/25/2010 at 1:03 PM

    There is another unpleasant comment posted on Washingtonian.com
    about WMRW. The thought came to me that it could be from one of the defendants or one of their supporters. I wonder….

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 1:15 PM

      Gosh, ya think? I have to wonder what they hope to gain. Are they worried someone might read the blog and not want to sleep with them?

  24. 06/25/2010 at 1:04 PM

    Troilism

  25. Goodrock
    06/25/2010 at 1:07 PM

    “Justice is what comes out of the courts” is a saying my cousin learned at the U of M law school, and often repeated to me during trials. His prof meant that American justice is a system; not the “Justice” with a capital J that we commonly think of where truth is divinely revealed and fairness restored. Like all things human, it is imperfect.

    I believe the civil suit will expose more facts about Robert’s murder and the actions of the current defendants, and will reveal to public scrutiny the behavior of these defendants during that summer, including their sado-masochism activities and drug use. That should resolve the doubts of those still bothered by an apparent lack of motive. I think anyone with much knowledge or experience in either area can understand how they could contribute to this tragedy. I have had experience with both, and some experiences with the federal criminal justice system, so many things about this sad and ugly event have resonated with me on several levels.

    As someone who has followed this for almost 2 years since early posts on Datalounge and the earlier version of this site, I want to add my appreciation to the editors for their dedication to the pursuit of justice for Robert Wone. Well done gentlemen!

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 1:21 PM

      Agreed. Saying that BDSM could NOT have played any role is like saying being gay means they can’t be guilty.

      Here’s a thought to ponder. In BDSM circles, those who don’t “play by the rules” are ostracized quickly and efficiently. No one want to end up dead. Did Joe have other, regular scene playmates? He was certainly looking for some, enough to advertise for it. Maybe he was bored with what he found, or maybe he was just getting into the scene and hadn’t established himself. Or not.

      • Lee
        06/25/2010 at 1:38 PM

        Maybe Joe had been ostracized for not playing by the rules.

        • Clio
          06/25/2010 at 3:57 PM

          Or, he and Dyl were such duds in the boudoir that their increasingly desperate ads went unanswered: so, the rape and murder of anyone available as an option may have suddenly popped on the proverbial table! Who highlights a sex manual!

          • Carolina
            06/25/2010 at 4:25 PM

            Clio, you were missed this last week.

            I wouldn’t know how Joe and Dyl were perceived in the BDSM community of DC, or if they even had a place in it. But I have been thinking a lot the last 24 hours, and it did strike me that no one in the scene stepped up and said yea or nay, even on an anonymous board.

            Another thing crossed my mind as well. There seem to be these emails that may or may not indicate Dylan was “pulling away.” I wonder if, like all his other careers, he had grown tired of having to learn or was simply bored with his job as Joe’s Dom. I wonder what his next incarnation will be?

            • mw
              06/25/2010 at 4:30 PM

              Dylan’s next incarnation? I don’t think he’s done with sexual predator/murderer just yet.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                06/25/2010 at 4:38 PM

                =:O

              • Carolina
                06/25/2010 at 8:11 PM

                I’m not going to assume he’s anything of the sort, but everyone is open to interpret the facts as they see them.

            • des
              06/25/2010 at 9:23 PM

              if dylan was “pulling away” and price was obsessed with him, maybe dylan somehow convinced joe to “prove his love” by hurting his good friend robert? sick and crazy i know, but this whole thing is. and i assume of course that they were high as kites at the time.
              (oh, i just heard something outside. it’s “gunshots or fireworks?” season here in dc.)

              • Carolina
                06/25/2010 at 10:13 PM

                I think there are many possible explanations. The problem is that most people only consider what is reasonable to *them,* and as most of us aren’t murderers, or in a threesome, or actively advertising for yet another BDSM playmate, we find it hard to reach beyond that.

                I think that’s what allows us to go out at night, to sleep with both eyes closed, and to maintain some degree of faith in the world. It doesn’t solve many mysteries, though.

                Take a less horrific crime– the astronaut lovers. If a anyone had written that as fiction or put it forth as a possible explanation, it would have seemed ridiculous. But yes, a woman really did wear adult diapers to make her way to FL because it would screw with the timeline.

                Drawing the ramble to a close as I get dressed to go out, I guess what I’m saying is, just because it seems impossibly far fetched to the general populace doesn’t mean it didn’t happen just that way.

                • Greta
                  06/26/2010 at 1:08 PM

                  Agreed. Plus, lawyers and cops in general (obvious exception: Joe Price) are pretty straight-laced, whether gay or straight, and are simply not exposed to the uber-edgy world Price and Ward inhabited. The cops and prosecution would have been well-advised to bring in a S&M/drugs/crazy sex consulting expert witness or profiler to try to understand that world a little better.

                  • Carolina
                    06/26/2010 at 1:44 PM

                    I would have volunteered, or at least worked for tips!

                  • AnnaZed
                    06/26/2010 at 1:46 PM

                    I wouldn’t be so sure of that; our judge as a prosecutor and even as a judge has probably seen worse. I would say that she has definitely seen worse in the form of criminals and drug abusers (more like Michael Price) who skate around the functioning world and wreck havoc wherever they go. Until that August night Joe was functioning pretty well by most measures of social interaction, leading a double (or triple, har!) life but managing to keep everything pretty well compartmentalized.

                    • Carolina
                      06/26/2010 at 2:00 PM

                      A very good point. A judge is also far more likely to see these defendants as their compartmentalization springs a leak.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/25/2010 at 4:36 PM

        Agree, Carolina. I think Joe et al may have been a bit rogue in their activities. The DC BDSM community I’ve been exposed to (not into it myself) is highly organized and safety is paramount. The organized events have strict rules prohibiting sexual contact of any kind. If you want to mix sex with BDSM, you do it on your own. (And drinking urine isn’t exactly the safest practice.)

        • des
          06/25/2010 at 9:24 PM

          yeah, can’t you get really sick doing that? yuck. is there ecoli in urine?

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            06/25/2010 at 10:26 PM

            you can get hepatitis, and any virus that may be living on the surface of someone’s genitalia (i.e., herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and/or CMV).

          • Deb
            06/25/2010 at 10:27 PM

            Although salty and bitter to the tastebuds, urine is sterile.

            Not entirely my beverage of choice, but really no harm from it.

            Good for wound cleansing, too.

            Hmmmm.

            • Carolina
              06/25/2010 at 10:36 PM

              Once upon a time, it was said that if you were lost in the woods without water, urine would keep you alive. This isn’t exactly true.

              Urine carries with it any bacteria thrown off by the kidneys, bladder or urinary tract. That’s why you pee in a cup for tests of that nature. Sure, if the donor is healthy, you may be safe, but that’s a big IF.

  26. Nora
    06/25/2010 at 1:13 PM

    There has been speculation about why the judge is waiting until Tuesday to render her decision. Is it at all possible that she’s giving the trio a few days to think about the likely consequences of their alleged actions, in hope that one or more will fold? I know they’ve come very far – four years – but it must be especially nerve wracking for them right now. There may be a now-or-never feeling.

    If I were one of the trio I would not be encouraged by what I saw yesterday, and I might be thinking about legal escape routes.

    • 06/25/2010 at 1:17 PM

      Saturday is next round in World Cup with USA against Ghana, only the winner moves on (sort of like this case). The good Judge surely has allocated her time appropriately, so should all of you!

  27. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/25/2010 at 1:29 PM

    Don’t feed the animals, folks.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/25/2010 at 1:30 PM

      Even though I just did. Sorry.

  28. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/25/2010 at 1:39 PM

    Editors, please delete these remarks. They can still be read and their ugliness still continues on.

    • Craig
      06/25/2010 at 1:43 PM

      Apologies. I was a distracted for a few minutes. Wave bye-bye to Dipshit.

      • KKinCA
        06/25/2010 at 1:51 PM

        Good riddance! What a waste of oxygen! Thanks Craig.

  29. Lee
    06/25/2010 at 1:47 PM

    “Goodbye Dipshit.” My favorite quote on this page, Thank you, Craig!

  30. Kate
    06/25/2010 at 1:47 PM

    Three cheers!

    I’m officially a bitch!

    Move over Carolina, you get to keep company with me – and I am honored to do so.

    • Bill Orange
      06/25/2010 at 2:40 PM

      Congrats! But you’re going to have to try much harder to achieve “Traitor!” status.

      • Clio
        06/25/2010 at 3:12 PM

        But only I achieved the honorary titles of “the S.M. of the Wannabee Street Quartet” and the “catty, self-hating fem-queen” from “the ladies’ room at Ziegfield’s.” Nevertheless, bitch and traitor status may be much more appropriate for the defendants, who have betrayed the transparency of Stonewall by stonewalling and (at least two of) who have shown a peculiar penchant for petulance and arrogance.

        This trial ended much more “with a whimper rather than with a bang,” much like what one historian has written about the end of the Hohenzollerns and the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm in November 1918. Yet, after a bitter, nearly four-year struggle, the Allies — the Wone family and the WMRW virtual family — will finally prevail: the oracle at Delphi forecast that to me privately last night over cocktails!

      • Kate
        06/25/2010 at 3:37 PM

        Bill O and Clio – I do indeed have to keep plugging away. Your name-status is awe inspiring.

        And one day, I too, may enjoy cocktails with the Oracle of Delphi!

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 10:15 PM

      I have ordered you the letterman’s sweater. Welcome to the club.

  31. tucsonwriter
    06/25/2010 at 1:54 PM

    Athough you didn’t ask Harry – In terms of lessons learned, maybe the criminal justice process is too important, and possibly too broken to remain the exclusive domain of attorneys.

    From the chat with HJ at the Post.

    Eds. The post from today and this quote from the chat represent what is unique about what you have done. The thorough postings twice a day to provide relevant information, the evidentiary documentation, etc. All the work over the years to bring light on this. I was especially interested in the quote also about Robert Wone not being a blonde, white female who disappeared. There is a purient interest in the regular media in terms of what they feed to people; the ole “If it Bleeds it Leads.” There was never an element of that in your extraordinary coverage. Many things are broken in our society right now. The focus needs to be on positive, new ways to get things fixed. This website is one example of that. Rupert Murdoch owning most of the media is not going to keep us informed of what we need to know.

    The future of the media is the internet and you have shown us a powerful new model.

    • Liam
      06/25/2010 at 6:58 PM

      I agree wholeheartedly. This site is obviously far superior to the cookie cutter stuff pumped out by the main stream media.

      And, speaking of “cookie cutter”, I don’t watch Fox News anymore, but back when I did, I always thought Bernie Grimm (who was usually being interviewed by Greta Van Sustern(sp?)) gave the most cookie cutter, rote, uninteresting answers I’ve heard from a guest commenter. I mean, to me, it almost sounded like the type of answers that athletes give when asked a question. Things like, “We’re going to give it 110%.” “We have to forget about the first half and come out and play our kind of ball.” “We’ve got to get our heads into the game.” etc., etc., etc.

      • Carolina
        06/25/2010 at 8:17 PM

        Ah, the glories of 21st century journalism. No hard questions, no investigative journalism, and for god’s sake, don’t piss off anyone who might keep you from getting a good seat at a free dinner.

        An independent press is a thing of the past, save for the internet.

        • Clio
          06/26/2010 at 7:15 AM

          We’ll have to wait for Lynn’s decision, but I do not think that Bernie’s reputation was helped by his performances during this trial. I do not think that he’ll be dancing topless on a bar in the Caribbean to celebrate whatever outcome that there is here. Only Spag seemed to shine for the defense, but Greta likes her men straight (who knew!): so, do not look for Spag to show up on Fox any time soon.

          • Hoya Loya
            06/26/2010 at 8:07 AM

            Bernie had the toughest job in this case. He had to represent a lawyer (and as a lawyer whose done that and also been a lawyer-client I can assure you it is very difficult), who made a great number of detailed statements, is being painted as the ringleader by the prosecution and has a personality and courtroom demeanor that has struck some posters and observers as, shall we say, “strong.” He also drew the short straw in the closing (the tampering argument). I don’t envy him his task and think he did a remarkable professional job under the circumstances.

            • AnnaZed
              06/26/2010 at 1:52 PM

              You do? I think more that Joe is entitled to a rebate or at least some sort of discount on his balance. That spectacularly stupid closing stuff about “these guys are too smart to have thought of an obstruction fiction as lame as the intruder theory” is up there with Dr. Lee blurting the word “restraint.” It’s pathetic. I will grant that Joe is probably the source of that moronic construction, but Bernie should know better.

  32. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/25/2010 at 2:00 PM

    heeeeeeeeeeeee’s baaaack.

  33. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/25/2010 at 2:03 PM

    He’ll get bored.

  34. 06/25/2010 at 3:04 PM

    I’d like to thank the Editors for maintaining this site. It’s been surreal.

    Whoever was behind Robert Wone’s murder will get what’s coming to them, regardless of what Judge Leibovitz decides. From what I’ve heard, there’s a lovely spot in hell set aside for cowards who get away with murder.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/25/2010 at 4:52 PM

      Karma.

  35. nels
    06/25/2010 at 3:19 PM

    The four editors of this blog did an incredible job. I have never seen such dedication and even handed coverage. I was deeply moved by what you have accomplished. It will be a very long time before I see something as powerful as this blog.

  36. Tim
    06/25/2010 at 3:23 PM

    A number of the most well-informed commentators (Jaffe, the editors) have expressed skepticism about whether the government has met the high standard of proving the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. With respect, I think many of these opinions are conflating the standard of proof (the highest in our legal system) with the standard of the “culpable mental state” that must be proved to convict.

    It’s clear from the judge’s comments that she doesn’t believe the “Intruder Theory.” The question then becomes: when the defendants collectively promoted facts intended to make that theory accepted by authorities, what degree of knowledge about the falseness of that theory did they have to have to meet the legal threshold for “intent to obstruct”? Really, I think the whole trial turns on this issue, and that’s precisely why most of the judge’s interruptions during closing arguments seemed “appellate-like” in her focus on this standard.

    There are at least three plausible standards that have been urged in court and/or adopted by commentators:

    THE “DIRECT KNOWLEDGE” STANDARD
    What the government must prove to convict: That a defendant at least had actual knowledge of the circumstances of Robert’s murder when he spun the intruder theory. Who holds this standard: Jaffe, the defense

    Case Outcome: Not guilty on all of the obstruction charges, tampering still in play.

    THE “KNOWING LIE” STANDARD
    What the government must prove to convict: That a defendant at least believed himself to be lying about the circumstances of Robert’s murder when he spun the intruder theory.

    Who holds this standard: Me. Judge L?

    Case Outcome: Price and Ward guilty of obstruction and probably conspiracy. Zaborsky not guilty because he might have “believed the best” about his loved ones when spinning the tale, so his deception was in effect but not in intent.

    THE “DELIBERATE INDIFFERENCE TO THE TRUTH” STANDARD
    What the government must prove to convict: That a defendant at least was deliberately indifferent to the truth of the circumstances of Robert’s murder when he spun the intruder theory.

    Who holds this standard: The government.

    Case outcome: Everyone is guilty of obstruction and conspiracy.

    • cinnamon
      06/25/2010 at 3:29 PM

      Thank you for this breakdown.

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 4:30 PM

      So much more clear than the Know Know and Knew Knew in the closing arguments. Thank you, Tim. I hope you are correct, but I’m not holding my breath. It’s been a long, long time since I have found satisfaction in the findings of a court.

    • Kate
      06/25/2010 at 4:38 PM

      Many thanks Tim,

      That cleared things up for me quite well.

      Regards,
      Kate

      • Meto
        06/25/2010 at 4:53 PM

        Tim:

        Thank you for this analysis. Now is there case law in D.C. on this subject? If not what about Maryland since what is left of D.C. after the 1840’s Act of Retrocession to Virginia left D.C. only with territory from D.C. and unless in direct conflict, D.C. tends to “borrow” Maryland law.

        And if no law under D.C. or MD then we must look to persuasive authorities elsewhere.

        Anyone? I simply don’t know.

        By the way, I am also interested in whether or not our discussion of Grunewald v. U.S. yesterday eliminates Conspiracy case since the amended charging documents clearly said that conspiracy was to prevent police from finding out truth about the murder. That sounds to me like the quote from Grunewald that I put on here yesterday about kidnapping. For now, I am stumped by that such that I conclude (for now) that the Conspiracy case is not viable under Supreme Court precedent.

        Respectfully,

        Meto

        • Themis
          06/25/2010 at 9:22 PM

          I’d love to know where the extended discussion of Grunewald is. It doesn’t show up in my searches, and Kiki is the only other poster who has posted about it as far as I can remember. It’s a seminal (no pun intended) case for defense attorneys who use it often, much like Davis v. Alaska on the issue of snitches.

          • Meto
            06/25/2010 at 10:59 PM

            I will try to find it tomorrow, but it should be in yesterday’s updates (Day 22) and with Meto discussing it among others.

          • Meto
            06/25/2010 at 11:15 PM

            Themis:

            There were so many comments yesterday that there are now “older” and “newer” comments and the search engine doesn’t capture the “older” comments – I was hardly the only one commenting so you may want to find my post at about 12:34 p.m. yesterday – but for convenience I am copying it here (I note that I got my wish and Ms. Lieber handled rebuttal):

            Meto on 06/24/2010 at 12:53 PM

            All:

            I thought I would start a new thread, but this post relates to Kiki and others discussing Conspiracy. You have sent me to read some actual law – the Grunewald case is a case in which alleged tax evaders were charged with conspiring to hide their tax evasion. They were convicted, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed reasoning that covering up the principal crime is different from conspiring to commit a crime. Covering up a committed crime is as the Court describes below, not an actionable conspiracy.

            “More closely analogous to our case would be conspiring kidnappers who cover their traces after the main conspiracy is finally ended — i.e., after they have abandoned the kidnapped person and then take care to escape detection. In the latter case, as here, the acts of covering up can, by themselves, indicate nothing more than that the conspirators do not wish to be apprehended — a concomitant, certainly, of every crime since Cain attempted to conceal the murder of Abel from the Lord.” Grunewald v. U.S., 353 U.S. 391, 405-406 (1957).

            So to the points raised above – was the conspiracy the murder, the obstruction, or what?

            I continue to await the summaries of closing argument before providing my prediction, although this morning’s admonition from the Court to the prosecution to provide her specific facts does not bode well for it. Could Ms. Lieber please Rebut?

            Respectfully,

            Meto

        • emg
          06/25/2010 at 9:43 PM

          If Conspiracy is not viable why didn’t the Judge throw it out in pre-trial or after the prosecution rested?

          Couldn’t the Conspiracy be to obstruct jutice, rather than murder?

          • Meto
            06/25/2010 at 11:02 PM

            emg

            I had the same thought about the Conspiracy and obstruction issue, but then I looked at the indictment and the conspiracy expressly references the murder and not the obstruction. Also, again I will try to find it tomorrow, the quote from Grunewald appears to rule out a conspiracy to obstruct justice when it functions as a cover-up of the completed crime.

            Respectfully,

            Meto

    • BadShoes
      06/25/2010 at 4:50 PM

      very interesting post. thank-you.

    • Rick
      06/25/2010 at 6:50 PM

      Thanks Tim…I’ve been treading water for weeks reading the blog and trying to understand legal jargon…I understand your logic!

    • CuriousinVA
      06/26/2010 at 10:20 AM

      Very thought-provoking summary. Thanks.

  37. Kate
    06/25/2010 at 3:27 PM

    Afternoon All –

    Re-reading all of these disjointed quotes from our earlier “Uh-moment” today, puts me very much in mind of something Harold Pinter might have written.

    All that lovely subtext!

  38. Leonard
    06/25/2010 at 3:30 PM

    The decision will depend on how willing the judge is to draw inferences from the circumstances surrounding the case as opposed to specific evidence that proves beyond a doubt the charges of obstruction and conspiracy. It’s impossible to say what happened that night and the memories of witnesses could be faulty as could interpretation of some of the physical evidence. One point that I cannot explain and which strongly points to conspiracy is “11:43”. One person making the mistake is a possibility, two unlikely but perhaps some confusion in a discussion during the 911 call, three people getting it wrong defies belief. The only conclusion is that the three all must have discussed details of their story before providing testimony and that they agreed to use that incorrect time stamp. Without that one point I would lean strongly toward acquital. With that point it basically makes the testimonials a mix of fact and fiction purposely constructed to mislead the investigators.

    • cinnamon
      06/25/2010 at 3:51 PM

      You know, I have to admit that I never really got the significance of 11:43. I understand that there was a misunderstanding on Victor’s part as to what the 911 operator said, but I don’t understand why is it significant that they all used that time? It seemed that someone in the background (Joe?) asked Victor to inquire about the time, which he did. So is it odd that Victor would have relayed that info to Joe and Dylan? (albiet incorrectly)

      I should go back and read the transcripts for the context in which they all mentioned 11:43. I didn’t catch it on my first read through and have never understood the significance when others have brought it up.

      • Ivan
        06/25/2010 at 5:05 PM

        It was actually later than 11:43. Stating a time earlier than it actually was reduced the appearcne of any delay in placing the call thereby allowing more time for the alleged cleanup. Don’t know if that makes sense of not but I believe that is what it’s all about.

        • whodoneit
          06/25/2010 at 5:22 PM

          I went back and looked through Dylan’s statement and I could not find the 11:43 reference in the transcript. Perhaps it is in the video, though.

      • BadShoes
        06/25/2010 at 5:42 PM

        On the 911 tape, Mr. Zaborsky asks, appropos of nothing, what time is it?” The operator replies “2354,” and we hear Mr. Zaborsky repeating to someone “11:54.”

        Mr. Zaborsky’s position at that moment was probably on the second floor. The EMTs would arrive momentarily (11:55), finding both Messrs. Ward and Price on the second floor, so both men were probably within earshot for Mr. Zaborsky’s relay.

        Later, when the defendants are separately questioned by the police, they say the ambulance arrived at 11:43pm, and Mr. Price, challenged, bases his remark on the 911 operator telling him it was 11:43.

        So, somebody simply mis-remembered what was said, converting 11:54 to 11:43, a garden variety sort of error. What is interesting is that whoever mis-remembered transmitted and reinforced his error to the other defendants. The other defendants ignored their personal recollection in favor of the ‘official’ recollection.

        The episode suggests the defendants were working to coordinate their stories and establish a joint timeline even after the arrival of EMTs.

        While establishing an earlier EMT arrival time would have helped compress the timeline for any possible nefarious activities, it seems unlikely (to me) that anyone might have thought that moving the reported time of the call forward as a deliberate untruth could possibly work. So, I don’t think that the “11:43” remarks are plausible as a direct attempt at obstruction. It was (IMHO) just a screw-up.

        • BadShoes
          06/25/2010 at 5:45 PM

          oops. “Mr. Price, challenged, bases his remark on learning from the 911 operator that it was 11:43.” Mr. Price never spoke directly with the 911 operator, and never claimed to have done so.

          Also, I haven’t been back to check the transcripts of the defendants’ statements, so I don’t remember right now who besides Mr. Price mentioned 11:43.

          • cinnamon
            06/25/2010 at 6:08 PM

            Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. I didn’t realize that Victor was heard on the 911 call relaying the correct 11:54 time to someone else. So I see how the the use of 11:43 by both Victor and Joe (not sure if Dylan mentions this time as well) indicates a further discussion with regard to time. However, I still don’t understand what they had to gain by altering the time to 11 minutes earlier. Surely they knew that the 911 call and the ambulance arrival would be documented. Joe even mentions a few times in his interrogation that the police can track that info.

            Further, I don’t even understand why the police would expect them to know what time it was when they called 911 or when the ambulance arrived. This was an emergency situation. Who pays attention to the time?

            I’m sorry but I’m still confused.

            • BadShoes
              06/25/2010 at 8:28 PM

              “I don’t understand what they had to gain by altering the time to 11 minutes earlier.”

              I don’t either. I suspect it was just an accident.

              I think one highly talkative person just mis-remembered, and told the other that the time was 11:43. In order for the stories to match, the other person had to go with 11:43 as well.

              The police didn’t specifically ask them to remember the time. Both men volunteered the time. Mr. Zaborsky volunteered to police that Joe Price asked him what time it was, and the 911 operator replied “11:43.”

              Mr. Price told police that “the person on the phone” told Mr. Zaborsky that it was 11:43.

              • AnnaZed
                06/26/2010 at 12:55 AM

                “…one highly talkative person…”

                Wonder who that could be?

                BadShoes, you are so bad you are good.

            • Carolina
              06/25/2010 at 8:32 PM

              “This was an emergency situation. Who pays attention to the time?”

              The person who asked Victor to ask the operator, for one.

              A lot of people think it’s evidence that Joe was perhaps under the influence, thinking he was securing a timestamp around which he could spin a story and then screwing it up.

              He used it to concoct a story and then taught it to the others. It, along with the use of words like “intruder” were so uniform as to seem written and rehearsed. Maybe they all thought of the word independently, but would they also independently recall the time incorrectly? To the minute?

              • susan
                06/25/2010 at 9:33 PM

                My thought has always been that something actually happened at 11:43. Something related to the murder. And that when VZ asked the time they were taking note of how much time transpired since the event of 11:43, so that when the time comes up in JP’s and VZ’s respective interviews they BOTH mention 11:43. A significant time to them both. This makes more sense (to me at least) than that they both coincidentally transposed numbers and then both coincidentally transposed them minus one number from 11:54 to 11:43.

                • Carolina
                  06/25/2010 at 10:21 PM

                  To me, it seems less likely that someone would stab Robert and then say, “Oops, what time is it? 11:43? Okay, remember that guys.”

                  On the other hand, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if they initially intended to say it was 11:43 when they came downstairs. It would still be a gap, but less of one and possibly understandable in the confusion.

                  • susan
                    06/26/2010 at 12:00 AM

                    I wrote I think something happened at that time, something related to the murder. What you wrote supports that idea. I think at the least it marks a point of collusion and so it stuck in their minds and they both incorrectly cited that very same time as the time given by the 911 operator (if I got that right).

  39. tassojunior
    06/25/2010 at 3:41 PM

    In a conspiracy case it’s almost always a conviction by testimony of a “co-conspirator” who’s usually given immunity or light sentence. Unfortunately for American justice a “co-conspirator” will usually say anything a prosecutor wants to get immunity for themselves from lengthy federal sentences, but that’s the way conspiracy trials work and I understand that “squeezing” of co-conspirators was a tactic here. But it’s failed miserably and I don’t know of any other case where it has failed so totally.

    I understand that’s why Kirchner alludes to the homosexual family as so tight, in a Manson Family sense. But even in the Manson case it was “family” members who provided evidence. I just don’t sense that Victor or Price is that committed to Ward, or even each other, as to spend 38 years in prison to protect an innocent person much less a murderer if they had anything to bargain with.

    • Bea
      06/25/2010 at 5:33 PM

      From all that has been written, and from one discussion with a person I know with ties to Joe Price (recent), Joe was completely devoted to Dylan Ward. One (of many) reasons that I believe Joe Price and Dylan Ward were indeed involved in the murder was that facing THESE charges (and a possibility of 38 years) was A MUCH BETTER ALTERNATIVE. That’s saying a lot. No way would Ward risk this for any other person but himself, likely true of Joe as well, tho possibly Joe jumped in to assist Ward and got too involved (not my pick of theories) to back away or turn prosecution witness. Victor seems the only one likely to be facing prison “for” someone, that being Joe.

      • tassojunior
        06/25/2010 at 6:16 PM

        A better alternative to blanket immunity or minimal charge?

        Ward and Price don’t seem to have had any special devotion to each other sexually. In fact both seem to have had revolving bedroom doors, fast zippers, and no lack of alternative partners. Certainly not the bond to justify giving up immunity and getting one’s own life back. Co-conspirators are never housed in the same prison anyway so the relationship is dead one way or the other. May as well take immunity, say whatever the prosecutor wants, and at least go on with your own life.

        • Bea
          06/25/2010 at 7:31 PM

          I agree that Victor should have taken immunity and served up the murderer(s). I don’t think the other two were in the position to get such a deal because of complicity, but beyond that I disagree as to Joe’s devotion to Dylan; if I had to guess it was Joe’s own ass that was at stake, not just Dylan’s,

          • tassojunior
            06/25/2010 at 7:56 PM

            You are aware that, at least in federal cases, there’s a lot of complaints that they make deals with the major criminal to turn on the minor player. (That’s not to say they could get away with giving a confessed murderer immunity to flip on an obstructionist).

            But I think any of the three could have gotten immunity or light sentence (and maybe a get-out-of-jail-free card for life) for flipping on one of the others whether true or not.

          • Bob
            06/25/2010 at 8:03 PM

            I am confused. At what point should Victor have taken immunity and come clean? Does Victor have any corroborating physical evidence, or has it all been destroyed? If he does decide to tell what really happened, how will either the prosecutor or the judge know that the United States’ evidence witness is now telling the truth, given that he is admitting that he has been lying, and so is a liar? I will never be on a murder jury. However, if I were on a jury for a crime other than murder, such as stock fraud, for which justice had been obstructed for a while by lies, I would be skeptical of any story told by one of the defendants to reduce their sentence. Why should the judge or the jury believe someone who admits that they have been lying in the past? If this were a stock fraud obstruction of justice trial that then went into actual stock fraud, there would be financial records that were not destroyed. However, why should anyone, prosecutor, judge, or jury, believe the uncorroborated account of one of the defendants in how a murder happened?

            I really don’t understand why the prosecution would take a plea from anyone, Victor, Dylan, or Joe, unless there is evidence other than sworn statements by people who will have to admit that they lied to the police.

            Please explain. I am not a lawyer, but I have a graduate education, and I think that I can understand some complicated things. I don’t think that the idea of a plea at this point, when the physical evidence either never existed or was destroyed, makes sense.

            There is obviously something that is well understood by most of these bloggers as to why Victor should roll (or why Dylan should roll). I don’t see it. How can they get out after 4 years, with nothing but their own statements, which they will have to admit were lies?

            I just don’t understand, but maybe this is something that cannot be understood by ordinary humans.

            I know that the truth will never be known except to God.

            • tassojunior
              06/25/2010 at 8:28 PM

              Every conspiracy case I’ve witnessed had a co-conspirator flip and in the trial it’s always put in evidence that the witness got immunity. And it’s often the major confessed criminal that gets the immunity.

              And you know the weird thing is the attitude is always sort of “so what” from judges and juries don’t usually get it either. It’s just the way “justice” “works”.

              • Bill Orange
                06/25/2010 at 9:45 PM

                As the saying goes, it’s called a “plea bargain”, because if you don’t take the plea, you don’t get the bargain.

              • Bob
                06/26/2010 at 3:28 AM

                Neither Tasso Junior nor I will ever be on a murder jury, but I was not posting to get an answer from Tasso Junior, but maybe from someone who can reason.

            • KKinCA
              06/26/2010 at 3:46 AM

              In terms of what evidence could be offered in the event of a flip of a defendant (other than such defendant’s testimony that may or may not be believed by judge or jury), I have often wondered where all the expensive camera equipment ended up when it was quickly removed from the Swann house that night. Would Joe really want to just toss out that equipment, given his interest in “erotic photography”? Maybe the equipment was hidden somewhere for resumption of use once things “blew over.” Maybe a flipping defendant can provide a location? Just a thought I had.

        • Carolina
          06/25/2010 at 8:40 PM

          I will not claim to speak for the BDSM scene as a whole, but I will tell you, loyalties between D/s couples are deep. You can f*ck around all over town, but the tie is far deeper than sex. If you have no experience with this, then I can understand you thinking that Joe and Dylan don’t have anything special.

          If Dylan was, in fact, ready to start life over yet again, I can see Joe doing just about anything to keep him. If Dylan was, as whatsername claimed, trying to break up Joe and Victor, it would have been easy to manipulate the situation to secure his place as Joe’s #1.

          Again, if you do not have experience with the scene, it would appear improbable, but it isn’t.

          • DonnaH
            06/26/2010 at 2:56 AM

            Hadn’t come across this perspective before, Carolina. Very interesting, thanks.

          • KKinCA
            06/26/2010 at 3:29 AM

            Great point Carolina. I am far from the gay BDSM scene in DC, but I have had some experience with it (straight BDSM scene) in a certain western state, and I concur with your post regarding the strength of the bond, emotionally and physically. I have seen Joe described on this site by posters as a “bossy bottom”, but given the “normal” dynamics of a “Dom/Sub” relationship, a bottom (assume = sub) can’t be bossy or the whole dynamic would fall apart, sexually and otherwise. And often the submissive partner is in all other aspects of his/her life totally in charge and in control and appears to others to be the LAST person in the world who would enjoy being a sub. It is quite complicated, and I think Carolina has hit upon an important issue in the above post. It goes way beyond the “mother – child” dynamic that the Judge questioned the prosecution about last week.

    • wolftownjeff
      06/25/2010 at 7:01 PM

      I think Victor was in fact close to JP but now is sick over what is about to happen to him, jail.
      Ward and Price are committed to no one.
      The judge has been professional.
      Joe and Ward are sickos and killed Robert.
      They will be held accountable one way or another.
      Justice was slow but I predict a win here for Robert.

      • KKinCA
        06/25/2010 at 7:10 PM

        I hope and pray you are right! Do you know any of the three defendants? Do you think it is possible that Victor will flip before Tuesday?

      • tucsonwriter
        06/25/2010 at 7:20 PM

        Well I think only one person stabbed the victim (I hate to use his name because I like to think of him before he entered the home). And I think Joe witnessed it because of the details he let slip out. The stabs were precise (Ward’s father is a cardiac surgeon, maybe Dylan picked up tips over the dinner table conversation) and extremely similar looking if the drawing on the autopsy report is to be believed. Joe mentioned details almost compulsively that lead me to believe he witnessed the stabbing – thumb tucked into fist, the conversation he had with Kathy Wone were he mimed the stabbing and grunted, etc.

        Just my opinion from the Peanut Gallery.

        • tassojunior
          06/25/2010 at 7:41 PM

          Ward also is the strongest in spite of the doughy boy look he has. And he likes Asian men. Plus he’s the only one who would have staged the garbage can, etc., taken a kitchen knife and left the door open to look like an intruder. HOWEVER, he could well have planned and carried out this without any knowledge of Price and Z. AND he’s been judicially determined to have not tampered with evidence which takes us back to square one.

          • Hoya Loya
            06/25/2010 at 7:45 PM

            This is sounding familiar.

            Did Dylan do it all by himself while on Lunesta?

            If he did it, and I’m not saying he did, at least one of the other two would know and maybe even helped.

            • tucsonwriter
              06/25/2010 at 8:05 PM

              One person actually did the stabbing… the other was there and witnessed it, possibly suggesting it as a cover-up. The clean-up was done by two or more. I do not think Dylan was alone. I think whatever hanky panky went on with JP, Dylan and the restrained and drugged victim, who hopefully never regained consciousness and felt no pain.

              • tucsonwriter
                06/25/2010 at 8:10 PM

                Wait! I’ve got it. I’ve solved the case. Dylan is a ninja! He lived in far east for an extended period of time on more than one occasion.

              • tassojunior
                06/25/2010 at 8:11 PM

                There’s already a judicial determination only one (Price) could have done clean up.

                • anotherbill
                  06/25/2010 at 8:23 PM

                  Not really…the determination was that the prosecution had not presented sufficient evidence of tampering against Ward and Zaborsky, which is not the same as ruling that it could not have happened.

            • tassojunior
              06/25/2010 at 8:09 PM

              Ward was never tested for Lunesta, just his word. If he were planning a murder he may have decided not to take it. And the trip back to his room would be short so Price and Z wouldn’t have even known. (I’m NOT saying he did it).

              What’s less likely is Price coming down saying “oh Dylan you’ve done a bad, go back in your room and I’ll cover up”. But that’s where his acquittal on tampering would lead.

          • Carolina
            06/25/2010 at 8:43 PM

            I don’t think the garbage cans were staged. If you don’t wash them out and turn them over, you end up with rats.

            • tassojunior
              06/25/2010 at 9:00 PM

              No.

              No reason to wash out just one. And furthermore out of thousands of times I’ve seen those cans and all the others in the neighborhood I’ve never seen a single one upside down (they have hinged tops). I’ve been watching since this became an issue. And unfortunately I know of no one who regularly washes those city cans out. If Sara Morgan is right about Price washing the cans out I applaud him for that at least.

              • Carolina
                06/25/2010 at 9:03 PM

                Are you serious? Dear god, how do you stand the stench? How often do they pick up?

                • tassojunior
                  06/25/2010 at 9:14 PM

                  Twice a week and they leave them out in the alley where cars can’t pass like the other 3 in the photo. It was a green can which is garbage and not recyclables like the blue. Our block listserve has daily complaints on neighbors who don’t police their city trash cans, including people who take photos to shame them. But no one would ever expect anyone to wash those things out. We just call 311 and get new ones free. Usually when rats have chewed holes through them.

                  • Carolina
                    06/25/2010 at 9:17 PM

                    Of all the things I have read, this will be the thing that gives me nightmares.

                  • susan
                    06/25/2010 at 9:56 PM

                    Your post (about city trash cans) is okay with me. I don’t think you were offensive and I believe with these recent few posts you were sincerely trying to contribute. Don’t agree with the extent of your homophobe posts but welcome hearing what everyone has to say. To that end, does anyone else think that “Uh”‘s posts had the ring of M. Price in tone, language and hostility to women?

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                06/25/2010 at 9:17 PM

                Tasso, you are unbelievable. One cop is homophobic, they are all homophobic. One gay person is persecuted, they are all persecuted. Now it’s a blanket statement about trashcans. No one washes out their trashcans and turns them upside down because they all have hinge tops. Well, the trashcan in question DID NOT have a hinge top. But you must be right because you’ve been watching. How many of those many-millions of trashcans in the city, Mr. Know-it-all.

                • Carolina
                  06/25/2010 at 9:18 PM

                  I have tea in the kitchen, sweetheart. Sugar or milk?

                  • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                    06/25/2010 at 10:14 PM

                    Both, please.

                • tassojunior
                  06/25/2010 at 9:36 PM

                  They all have hinged tops.

                  • tassojunior
                    06/25/2010 at 9:52 PM
                    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                      06/25/2010 at 10:13 PM

                      The back trash can is not the same as the green can in front. Where are the wheels, Tasso?

                  • Bill Orange
                    06/26/2010 at 12:41 AM

                    “They all have hinged tops.”

                    Um, are we still talking about garbage cans, or am I just too vanilla to know what a “hinged top” is?

                    • Bill 2
                      06/26/2010 at 5:13 AM

                      Don’t know who’s a top around here but there’s one who seems unhinged.

  40. DonnaH
    06/25/2010 at 4:21 PM

    I have a question about the judge’s task. It seems to me that there are an incredible amount of evidentiary documents in this (and no doubt many) cases, including the stipulations that most recently came in. Perhaps it’s because I’m a slower reader–but how do judges possibly have time to read all of them? How much do they depend on their assistants to read and index the materials? How much of their normal working hours are given over to this? And how much reading of such documents might they do before the trial itself begins? –Well, alot of questions there–but any clarification would be appreciated.

  41. Leonard
    06/25/2010 at 7:20 PM

    One wonders about a BDSM participant’s view on prison.Do they think it will be like a rerun of “OZ”? Prison is an awful place and not the BDSM fantasy of the Mercedes, Mercedes, Mercedes, set. How would Victor react if Joe and Dylan wioundup in one place and he was sent somewhere else?

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 8:45 PM

      I don’t think any of these men are stupid enough to think prison is going to be a blast. Big difference between picking your sex pig and him picking you. And as someone said, a jailhouse lawyer is a popular man. Not so sure about milk marketers or an author of children’s books.

      • Clio
        06/26/2010 at 8:15 AM

        I think that the resourceful trouple will turn their lemons into lemonade in prison: they will all use their pricy educations to great effect, teaching some of their less-privileged peers how to read and write. They will design cutting-edge license plates and office furniture; they will have plenty of time to exercise, becoming buff (finally!) and really tough. Indeed, they may become more dangerous inside the pokey than outside it.

        • Bill
          06/26/2010 at 11:16 AM

          I don’t find this type of cavalier, “gallows humor” appropriate or called for whether from you or anyone else. We are waiting for a verdict that will change the lives of these three men as well as attempt to find justice for this horrible crime against Robert and his family. I think Robert would be the last person to support such banter. Can’t we just cool these types of unnecessary and inappropriate comments?

          • Clio
            06/26/2010 at 11:32 AM

            Well, I was just trying to look on the bright side for our trouple, the alleged victims of both a “lynch mob” and a show trial.” But I do not equate “changing the lives of these three men” with “finding justice for this horrible crime.” neither should you. Thus, save your concerns for something more significant than “changing” their lives.

            Yet, when and if you and Tasso stop bashing the police, I’ll temper my pen with mercy; as you may recall, mercy was something that the trouple seemed to lack on August 2, 2006. Deal, sweetie?

            • Bill
              06/26/2010 at 1:36 PM

              No you weren’t looking “on the bright side,” you were being vicious and vindictive. Further with more than 35 post thus far, this is your constant style and theme. I find that your comments cheapen the site and add nothing to the serious nature of the trial. You would do well to listen to Hoya Loya’s wisdom and recommendations.

              • Carolina
                06/26/2010 at 1:50 PM

                The scroll bar is a marvelous thing. I trust you have one.

                Wasn’t it you who chided some of us for suggesting the new onslaught of posters read a bit before posting? Something about an open forum?

              • Clio
                06/26/2010 at 1:53 PM

                Thanks so much for your well-considered critique, Bill, but I am afraid that I do not need a Hoya Loya to tell me to be charitable to others such as yourself. We’ll let the Editors to decide whether my comments “cheapen” the site or not — until then, ciao, Clio.

          • Hoya Loya
            06/26/2010 at 12:02 PM

            “I think Robert would be the last person to support such banter.”

            Bill, you do have a point there. From everything I’ve read about Robert, I think he would want justice to be done, particularly for Kathy and his family, but I don’t think he would be vindictive.

            Part of his legacy has been bringing together random strangers on this site, another is the foundation and a fitting lasting legacy would be if more of us tried to emulate the founder of the 13 Club, the doer of anonymous good deeds, the dedicated pro bono lawyer in our everyday lives.

            • Clio
              06/26/2010 at 12:30 PM

              Well, HL, you’ve done your anonymous good deed for today by excusing Bernie’s less-than-satisfactory performance. And, I thought that I was doing mine by remaining optimistic for our defendants. Go figure!

              “Vindictive” is serious; banter or speculation is not, dear. Vindictive banter is an oxymoron, I am afraid, and one that could only stem from the mythical “cyber lynch mob” trope, which really needs to be put to rest. XO, Clio.

              • Hoya Loya
                06/26/2010 at 1:46 PM

                “. . . the mythical “cyber lynch mob” trope, which really needs to be put to rest.”

                O muse, I agree. There has actually been quite a bit of balance here, particularly since the trial coverage started.

                Didn’t mean to single you out — just something that’s been on my mind the last few days and this seemed as good a spot as any to set it down.

                • Carolina
                  06/26/2010 at 1:54 PM

                  Let me add to this that all of us deal with stress, fear of the outcome and anger at Robert’s death in our own ways. For some of us, myself included, what Bill may perceive as cavalier is a decompression method. Perhaps his motherly scolding is his way and if so, let him have it. I’m not one to let that stop my typing.

  42. Bob
    06/25/2010 at 7:51 PM

    It appears that many posts are talking to or about a “man who isn’t there”. Did the editors totally delete a post by a troll? Was the troll someone with the screen name of Uh?

    It has been previously said that the trolls only come out when the court is not in session.

    • cinnamon
      06/25/2010 at 7:57 PM

      Yes, there was a commentor by the name of Uh. He was being verbally abusive and using profanity so those comments were removed and little ol’ Uh was banned.

      • Bob
        06/26/2010 at 3:23 AM

        The trolls only come out when the court is not in session. I am not sure what that implies, except that Maximum Lynn is very much in charge in her own courtroom.

      • Bob
        06/26/2010 at 2:46 PM

        In that case, I thank the editors for getting rid of Uh and the sockpuppets. We only need one kook, and we have Ben Franklin for that purpose, and he is amusing in his absurdity rather than abusive.

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 8:46 PM

      Yep, I said that, and I don’t think I was wrong.

      • Hoya Loya
        06/26/2010 at 7:51 AM

        Except that “Uh” notably first surfaced while closing arguments were being held. Told me my post said “nothing interesting.” Sniff, sniff. Unfortunately much worse was to follow . . .

  43. Sarah
    06/25/2010 at 8:12 PM

    Watching this trial from up in Maine, and this is what I think……
    that we will still not know who killed Robert Wone….that the prosecution has gone out on a limb to try to prove some sort of case against the three defendants, under pressure from the widow, family, or friends of Robert Wone…that one life was ended and three others have been pretty effectively destroyed, and that doesn’t even take in to account the family members of the defendants and the victim…that this case has been sensationalized from the start and the defendants are being hung in the Press, and shockingly so in the Gay community to some degree, for their lifestyle…and that people are quick to believe everything they read.

    • cinnamon
      06/25/2010 at 8:14 PM

      Quick?…honey it’s been almost 4 years.

    • Carolina
      06/25/2010 at 8:47 PM

      Well, you’d be wrong, but don’t let that stop you.

    • DonnaH
      06/25/2010 at 9:04 PM

      This trial is not about determining who killed Robert Wone, but about the obstruction of justice and the conspiracy which prevents the state from determining that very fact. Sorry you are finding sensationalized accounts; that’s why I particularly like this website, where information about the crime and the trial is presented in a dispassionate manner, various views about the events in question are treated with respect, and many posters clearly work to separate out issues of lifestyle from the crime itself.

    • Clio
      06/25/2010 at 9:13 PM

      Sarah (Morgan?), dear, I did not know that you had moved to Maine: give my love to Delores Claiborne.

      How are members of our trouple “being hung in the Press, and shockingly so in the Gay community to some degree, for their lifestyle??” Harry Jaffe, a leading member of the Press, agrees with the defense, and the mainstream media outlets have given little comfort to Team Wone. This vehicle has helped to balance that bleak picture: it was/is “the little blog that could.”

      As a goddess in a gay man’s body, I have no problem with others participating in/with BDSM, tricks, slutty pictures (although never posted at work!), three-ways, whatever. I do have a problem with rape, murder, cover-up, conspiracy, etc. A gay tribal court, if it existed, would also indict the Swann Street Three on poor cooking and hosting — burned steaks, cheap wine, and tap water, indeed!

      • Carolina
        06/25/2010 at 9:20 PM

        So sensationalized that the Zaborskis can still lunch at the club and no one’s the wiser!

        • susan
          06/25/2010 at 10:04 PM

          I have to say, I did see some of the Z family (mom, pop, brother?) dining at a small salad bar type place near the courthouse during a break and I did feel for them. They didn’t do anything, after all.

          • Carolina
            06/25/2010 at 10:31 PM

            I feel for them, in that no one should have to see their child’s life ruined. However, I think their heads are in the sand about the realities of this case. Mama Z should have read the riot act to her son about the evidence, not played passive aggressive games with the judge.

            • susan
              06/26/2010 at 12:08 AM

              I prob. didn’t convey what I really meant. I more felt for them because of what VZ might be putting them through (though I’m sure they’d prob. take offense at that), and that they looked like they were strangers in the city, and how strange life is that there they were and sort of all alone as a unit.

              I’m sure they see their son as totally innocent, and I don’t think it was very nice of the mother to have that outburst about time in response to the judge. It wasn’t polite at all.

      • susan
        06/25/2010 at 10:00 PM

        You are so funny! Thanks for the laugh, Clio.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/26/2010 at 11:19 AM

        “give my love to Delores Claiborne”

        Absolutely hilarious.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/26/2010 at 11:12 AM

      sensationalized? Hardly. The editors created this website because there was NO media attention. And even after that, the attention came in dribs and drabs. AFter a hearing or on the release of a document made public. No Nancy Grace here. Drew Peterson and Casey Anthony got all the attention. Sensationalized? Far from it.

      Have you seen one news broadcast about this on your local news? I bet not.

      • Hoya Loya
        06/26/2010 at 12:06 PM

        As Victor’s mother noted the other day in her comments to a poster, it has never made the national press.

        • AnnaZed
          06/26/2010 at 12:10 PM

          Victor’s mother? How did I miss this?

          • Carolina
            06/26/2010 at 1:55 PM

            Mama Z told a poster that no one in their hometown in PA is the wiser, thank god.

            • AnnaZed
              06/26/2010 at 1:59 PM

              Really? What thread and under what name? (how on earth could I miss such a thing) That’s amazing. One can only assume that the members of her garden club do not read Gawker.

              • Carolina
                06/26/2010 at 2:05 PM

                It was under, I believe, Gloria’s court reporting. You must read it.

  44. Corgivet
    06/25/2010 at 8:26 PM

    It has been a long haul for the editors and an even longer haul for Kathy Wone… I can only hope that the Judge makes the appropriate decision and finds the trio guilty…
    Keeping my fingers crossed…..

  45. Chris
    06/25/2010 at 9:25 PM

    If I was one of the three and I didn’t murder my dear friend Robert, and I know that none of us did or know who did !!!, so I, and we, are truly innocent, then wouldn’t I want to get on the stand and say that? Convey the terrible loss I feel, and be open to any questions, and try to help every one with anything I might know, to make sense of what could have happened to poor Robert?

    Out of integrity I think I would want to do that. And wouldn’t that effort, that sincerity, make an impact, and make a difference in convincing people of my innocence. Compared to hiding behind lawyers, and not helping, or talking.

    If I faced a 30+ year prison sentence, and we were innocent of any knowledge, I would want to be completely open, heartfelt, and helpful about this terrible tragedy in my home.

    Yes? What would you do if you knew that you and the others were really innocent of knowing anything. Or am I way too naive, and my effort would only make my situation worse?

    Given that is how I would feel, and how they have responded in the investigation and the trial, it makes me feel they are hiding something they know. Doesn’t that make sense?

    • tassojunior
      06/25/2010 at 11:51 PM

      Your effort would make your situation worse.

      • Clio
        06/26/2010 at 7:06 AM

        Only if you were truly guilty of something, Tasso. Why didn’t Dyl testify — even if he looks (at this juncture)the least culpable on paper? He’s probably still complicit in the lies of the Brothers Price.

  46. BadShoes
    06/26/2010 at 10:38 AM

    An Alternative Knife Hypothesis

    Okay, suppose that the kitchen knife found by Mr. Wone’s body really was the murder weapon. The discrepancy between the length of the knife and the depth of the wound is just an artifact–possibly because Mr. Wone’s back was curved a bit when he was stabbed, and straight when he was examined.

    Perhaps someone cleaned the kitchen knife to remove forensic evidence. Perhaps a bit later, someone recognized that a shiny clean knife would itself be very suggestive. Quick solution: dip the towel in blood, then wipe the knife. Then it isn’t so obvious that the knife has been cleaned.

    • Hoya Loya
      06/26/2010 at 12:11 PM

      Interesting hypothesis. As I noted the other day, I don’t think that taking “Dylan’s knife” off the table as the murder weapon is fatal to the prosecution’s case so long as one can draw the inference that the kitchen knife was tampered with in some way and for some reason.

      I believe both Fowler and Dr. Lee mentioned that the depth of the wounds could vary based on whether Robert was inhaling or exhaling, etc. The bruising (from a knife hilt?) and the presence of blood on the kitchen knife in a smear longer than the depth of the wounds do suggest another knife, however.

      • cinnamon
        06/26/2010 at 12:21 PM

        …and that there was no apparent blood on the sharp edge of the knife.

  47. AJ
    06/26/2010 at 10:56 AM

    One thing nags us. Many people feel if the roommates are found not guilty then this murder will never be solved. Never.

    Does this or should this present a dilemma for the judge? What happens if she thinks the defendants have not been completely honest & know more than they have admitted, but at the same time she feels the prosecution has not presented a strong case for guilt? Can she, or should she make decision in a vacuum. How much will she use her intuition?

    Found them not guilty & in all likelihood no one will ever be convicted in this case for murder. If you believe it, not guilty means someone will have gotten away with murder.

    Find one or more of them guilty, & we are sure to learn more & come closer to what happened on that August night. Once tight lips will start talking.

    • Bill 2
      06/26/2010 at 11:15 AM

      I have total confidence that this judge will base her decision on the evidence and not on “what if.” At the same time, I really hope that she finds all of them guilty so that we move into your final thought: Once tight lips will strt talking.

  48. counsel
    06/27/2010 at 4:22 AM

    I am a first time substantive poster, having discovered this web site, and learned about the Wone murder, in an article I read in the Washington Post this spring. I am an attorney and live in a State far, far away from DC, but began subscribing to the Post on my Kindle while I was overseas beginning this past January and have continued to do so, along with the NYT. As virtually all of this site’s reader have stated, this web site is unique and truly providing an amazing and otherwise unavailable amount of information, insight, and frank dialogue about this murder that is not otherwise available, and probably has had a lot to do with the fact that the case was pushed to trial. The creators and authors of this web site have provided an invaluable service and done an incredible job, particularly for laypeople, and I join with those who have suggested it should be used in courses as well as in a variety of forums. I have been struck with the overall lack of name calling, homophobia, as well as the insightfulness of the commentators, in addition to the professionalism of the editors.
    Not having been at the trial nor having access to the exhibits, I cannot predict what the judge will decide nor will I venture a guess. I do believe, from what I have read on this web site and in other publications, that she is a very thorough, thoughtful, extremely bright and concientious judge who is rarely overturned on appeal, so I anticipate she will render a well-researched, legally and factually correct decision based on what was presented at the trial. It is truly tragic that so many mistakes were made and opportunities were overlooked by law enforcement. Had those not occurred, or been missed, the likelihood of actually knowing what happened to Robert Wone and who did it would in my opinion be much greater.
    While the decision rendered by the judge will end one phase of this event, it will not solve the underlying crime of Who Murdered Robert Wone. None of the defendants have been charged with murder, and jeopardy will not attach by the Judge’s decision in this case as to their individual guilt or innocence to the charges. Therefore, I would anticipate, regardless of the verdicts, that one or all of them will take the 5th amendment when deposed in the civil case. That won’t play well in front of a jury, but it also won’t help answer: who murdered Mr. Wone?

  49. 08/08/2010 at 1:29 PM

    LOL! That was an odd POV. I am not sure I agree.

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