24

Time Is Running Out

We’ve all had 72 hours to contemplate the outcome of this trial, and have just 24 more to go.

For those who decided to stay indoors away from the heat and catch up on the Defense’s Motion to Acquit and the Government’s Opposition,  many perhaps have formed an opinion on the decision Judge Leibovitz will render in 24 hours.  Both documents strongly summarize each side’s position, emphasizing the key points that the legal teams feel Judge Leibovitz should consider when making her decision.

In lieu of debating courtroom activities or the latest filings, we’d like to take the pulse of the readers and have three survey questions.

For discussion: Was there a turning point for you, and if so, what was it?  Who among the witnesses was most effective, and who among the large legal teams do you think performed the best?  Who of the defendants do you believe most warrants to be found guilty, or acquitted?  And are you any closer to answering the basic questions of August 2nd, 2006?

469 comments for “24

  1. Bill Orange
    06/28/2010 at 8:34 AM

    “Was there a turning point for you, and if so, what was it?”

    For me, the clincher was seeing the crime scene photo of the bed. I just can’t square that image with the place where someone was brutally stabbed three times, followed by a panicked attempt by Joe Price to save someone’s life.

    • Rick
      06/28/2010 at 9:39 AM

      Bill Orange…did you see the crime scene photo’s in court or online? I’m in NC and only have access to what is presented on this blog. Without sounding morbid, I would like to view the pictures if they are online. Thanks

      • Doug
        06/28/2010 at 9:53 AM

        Rick; we have a copy of the photo; thought it had been posted earlier but will try to get it up asap.
        -Doug, co-editor

        • Rick
          06/28/2010 at 11:44 AM

          Thanks Doug…the Multi-media pictures of the “crime scene” did not enclude any of the inside of the home. I’m just curious to try and understand a bit more the logistics of the home.

          • Michael
            06/28/2010 at 11:50 AM

            Rick, If you go to the Multimedia Gallery labeled 1509 Swann Street, you can get a better idea of the layout of the house. They are real estate photos. Also, the Washington Post online series article has a very good rendering of the home.
            – Michael, co-editor

      • cinnamon
        06/28/2010 at 9:58 AM

        They can be found right here on this blog under the multimedia tab at the top. Look for Gallery – Crime Scene Photos.

        • Bill
          06/28/2010 at 10:53 AM

          I just followed your directions into the multimedia tab for the gallery pictures. While there, I viewed the Culuket video. It shows screen shots of “Culuket,” a poster looking for an S&M partner on the alt.com website. The inference due to a shared birthday is that this is Joe Price’s post. While the prosecution tried unsuccessfully to have this accepted into evidence, it didn’t stop the editors of this site to post it — as is stated, it was “created by your friends at Whomurderedrobertwone.com.”

          I find this in extremely poor taste. If there was ever an indication of the agenda of the site’s editors, this is it. This is just shameful and disgusting.

          But this continues a theme. I’ve read the site’s postings for the past few months and have been struck by the gladiator spectator sport of some many — particularly the posts over the past weekend. I believe this Culuket multimedia post — along with the all too common similar posts — insult the memory of Robert, do a great disservice to the prosecution, and are offensive to the defendants who (despite the consternation of many) are presumed innocent.

          I’ve seen that a handful of repeat posters would have been more than willing to just skip the trial and send the defendants directly to prison – with the repeat references to prison rape. This is just sick and is an insult to the life and memory of Robert.

          • Firefly
            06/28/2010 at 11:36 AM

            Bill,
            A good man died. A wife lost her husband. Parents lost their son. We don’t know how he died. One of the three guys MUST know more information. It is inconceivable that they don’t. No reasonable person needs this to be justified by a court. Can you tell us how it is conceivable that none of them have information that is helpful?

            • tassojunior
              06/28/2010 at 1:29 PM

              How is it helpful to find out evidence by immediately telling the housemates they are the murderers so that they’ll lawyer up and shut up?

              We may never know who the murderer is because the ones with the most evidence to help have been forced to shut up. Great way to close a case but it doesn’t solve one.

            • Bill
              06/28/2010 at 2:51 PM

              Firefly – all your points are well taken. However, how do they have anything to do with my comments regarding the Culuket multimedia post?

              • Carolina
                06/28/2010 at 9:18 PM

                Honestly, it’s a simple matter to read or pass over what is too much for you. Try it.

                As for Culuket, it’s Joe. Joe’s a defendant. See how it works?

          • Grrr
            06/28/2010 at 2:12 PM

            Every time I read an indignant comment I must laugh. A special treat in Bill’s comment was the accusation of “poor taste,” and the mention of “prison rape.” My, aren’t we a bunch of nice & proper Miss Marples?

            • Bob
              06/28/2010 at 6:59 PM

              Are you ugly, or do you have a tail under your designer skirt?

              • Clio
                06/28/2010 at 7:26 PM

                Bob, go back to proofreading, sweetie! You were actually more charming in that role than in being Bill’s sidekick, believe it or not.

              • Grrr
                06/28/2010 at 8:15 PM

                Funny? Or just wishful thinking.

                Remember, there even things a 350 pound hooker with go-go boots just won’t do. All of the contemplation on JP’s kink and the “culuket” matter doesn’t bring anything to this case. His predilections in the advertisement assumed willing partners. Robert Wone did not consent to any of this. I think it is a stretch to yell, “see he is a pervert, he did it!”

          • AKA
            06/28/2010 at 2:20 PM

            Are you trying to say Culuket was not JP or the editors should not reveal the fact for whatever reason? Because somehow you thought seeking a S&M partner online was something so disgraceful that people shouldn’t even mention about it? That said, you’re the one trying to judge other people’s life style here.
            And please don’t speak in the name of Robert for the purpose to support your own argument. That rally makes me sick.

            • Bill
              06/28/2010 at 2:48 PM

              AKA – if I can interrupt your sickened response for a moment, it is quite obvious that the editors added the alt.com multimedia post by Culuket as a direct implication that Culuket is JP, and since he is interested in S&M he has to have murdered Robert. I didn’t think I needed to completely explain the connections, but I guess to you I did. Now, please continue being sick . . .

              • AKA
                06/28/2010 at 3:01 PM

                The editors just posted the information they found and may or may not be relevant to the case. There are tons of other information on this sites too. It’s up to the reader that how you interpret it. It seems to me that you’re the one Who jumps the conclusion from conducting S&M behavior all along to murderer, not the editors.

                • Bill
                  06/28/2010 at 3:40 PM

                  AKA – the Culuket post is hardly benign. It’s a very clear message of the editors, particularly since there is NO CONNECTION between that links Culuket to JP. As I stated elsewhere, the intended implication is that Culuket is JP and because of his interest in S&M he murdered Robert. You are defending the indefensible.

                  • Carolina
                    06/28/2010 at 11:37 PM

                    It IS Joe, and even a dullard could figure it out of they’d read the police reports. IPs, they’re not just for breakfast anymore!

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                  06/28/2010 at 3:44 PM

                  Bill and AKA, it was in the original search warrants. It was part of the investitagion.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                06/28/2010 at 3:35 PM

                Bill, the police were going to submit that very alt.com profile as evidence of Joe Price’s interest in torture, but the S&M activity was ruled off limits.

                Not to mention, the email account associated with the profile was confirmed as JPrice’s email account.

                You’re way off base with this argument. The culuket alt.com profile was indeed Joe Price’s profile.

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                  06/28/2010 at 3:42 PM

                  Alos, the email address culuket@yahoo.com was part of the very first search warrants.

                • Bill
                  06/28/2010 at 3:47 PM

                  If so, the Culuket post was ruled as inadmissible (despite the salacious posting here by the editors).

                  Thankfully, there are rules of evidence. You are going to support the ruling that allows defendant’s right to a fair trial aren’t you?

                  • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                    06/28/2010 at 3:54 PM

                    The editors didn’t make it salacious. It’s salacious by nature of what it is. If Joe had posted a sparkly kitty photo on Match.com, it would probably be here as well. The editor’s didn’t make it raunchy. JP did.

                  • new-ish
                    06/28/2010 at 4:13 PM

                    This is a ridiculous argument: rules of evidence ruled it inadmissable, so it shouldn’t be on the website? Rules of evidence for this particular trial. But who murdered Robert Wone – the website as well as the open question – is about more than this one trial. Don’t forget, there’s another trial a mere 6 weeks or so away, with far different rules of evidence and a different sort of question asked. This website shines a light on ALL the evidence that is out there.

          • deduce
            06/28/2010 at 2:29 PM

            Completely, emphatically agree. Called the eds on this some weeks back, to no avail.

            They want to be C-SPAN, but this is Fox, all the way.

            • Carolina
              06/28/2010 at 9:22 PM

              Called them on what? Posting facts? It’s Joe’s ad. The only reason it was inadmissible is because it doesn’t support the CURRENT charges.

          • DonnaH
            06/28/2010 at 4:31 PM

            The alt.com site is linked to Joe Price much more explicitly by the fact that, according to the police search warrant, the same nickname was used by Joe Price for his personal email address, culuket@yahoo.com. Same birthday *and* made-up nickname a coincidence? I hardly think so. And remember, alt.com is a public website that Joe chose to display his interests on, so it is hardly an invasion of privacy.

            You did note that it is a “handful” of posters promoting prison rape as a positive consequence of Joe’s possible conviction. This website is open to anyone to post–comments are not moderated in advance. Given that, the calls for such vengeance are minimal compared to what you will find in the comments section of any online media report on criminal assault. Moreover, they are often responded to by others here declaring that prison rape is categorically abhorrent –and indeed, an insult to Robert’s life and memory. You of course are free to respond to such posters as well.

          • Farmer Ginny
            06/28/2010 at 6:55 PM

            Thank you, Bill, for posting that. I agree with you completely. It is not a simple presentation of the ad as it appeared, but clearly designed to be inflammatory.

            • Carolina
              06/28/2010 at 11:38 PM

              So now that the facts are on the table, what have you to say now?

          • Clio
            06/28/2010 at 7:41 PM

            So, Bill, why are you still here posting and lurking if you find the site so salacious and insulting? Can’t look away, can you? Tell your friend or boss Bernie, though, that this strategy of diverting the chat is not working. His client, Culuket, is still probably toast, beginning tomorrow!

            What I find sickening, Bill, is your blanket accusation about all cops being homophobes; your conclusion that gays should not cooperate with the police is equally abhorrent.

            Silence, secrecy, and denial are/were the biggest insults to Robert’s memory: see the Holder news conference of August 2007. Sunlight, in contrast and however painful, disinfects!

            • cinnamon
              06/28/2010 at 7:50 PM

              Amen to all that.

    • JusticeForAll82
      06/28/2010 at 4:31 PM

      I don’t know how any of you idiots can vote since all of the information on this site is slanted and largely incorrect and that’s what you’re basing your opinions off of… Just a thought, not a sermon.

      • Nelly
        06/28/2010 at 5:12 PM

        If any of the information here is incorrect, please kindly jump in and let us know what’s the truth.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 9:23 PM

          *crickets*

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/28/2010 at 9:26 PM

        oh. thanks for clearing things up.

  2. Bill Orange
    06/28/2010 at 8:41 AM

    “And are you any closer to answering the basic questions of August 2nd, 2006?”

    Unfortunately, no. If anything, it’s all now LESS clear to me, because Michael Price’s alibi appears to have collapsed, and we know that he talked to Joe that evening and then missed his class. So the likelihood that he was involved has increased substantially, and the involvement of Michael Price makes an already-bizarre story seem even stranger.

    • Kate
      06/28/2010 at 8:51 AM

      I’m very much of a like mind with you on this, BillO.

      To me, the dangling Michael has made this bizarre case curiouser and curiouser.

      Who murdered Robert Wone? I don’t feel qualified to even hazard a guess.

      Regards,
      Kate

    • Terri
      06/28/2010 at 9:28 AM

      When did Michael Price’s alibi “collapse”? Did I miss something?

    • Hoya Loya
      06/28/2010 at 9:39 AM

      It didn’t so much collapse as evaporate. Louis Hinton took the stand and nobody on either side asked him the relevant questions.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/28/2010 at 10:39 AM

        Maybe the prosecution is steering clear of that because it’s more relevant to the murder trial?

        • Bill Orange
          06/28/2010 at 10:57 AM

          Perhaps. But why did the defense steer clear or it?

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            06/28/2010 at 12:43 PM

            Out of sight out of mind?

          • Pipestone
            06/28/2010 at 1:13 PM

            “Perhaps. But why did the defense steer clear or it?”

            Probably had something to do with that old trial lawyer’s rule about never asking a question unless you know the answer.

            • KV
              06/28/2010 at 1:25 PM

              Better not to know than to find out for sure.

      • La
        06/28/2010 at 6:16 PM

        I was in the courtroom the day that Louis Hinton testified. There was a huge discussion between the judge and both sides, and Mr. Hinton’s lawyer before he took the stand about what would be asked of Mr. Hinton. There were some 5th amendment issues and the judge also ruled that several areas of questioning were not relevant for this case, so questions about Mr. Hinton’s alibi for Michael Price were not allowed. The blog post from that day covers all of the reasons for limiting the scope of questions for Mr. Hinton.

  3. 06/28/2010 at 8:52 AM

    Excellent poll and discussion questions. But could you add a counter for how many people voted for each poll question? It matters (to me) if 5 people or 500 people voted. Thanks.

    An earlier post of mine got buried under the avalanche of postings (plus I’ve been posting in the middle of the night recently). I’ll re-raise it here: Anyone interested in convening a DC based focus group (which could include a larger group watching) after the verdict? Not a get to know you party but a serious purpose. Not matter the result, I (the psychologist in me) think it would be good to have a face to face, serious discussion, to adjust to life after the hearings and trials.

    • Lee
      06/28/2010 at 9:01 AM

      I think a group would be a great idea. If I lived close to DC, I would probably attend.

    • des
      06/28/2010 at 9:17 AM

      great idea, would love to attend. what would the focus be specifically? just what we’ve all been discussing for the past few years? or something more specific?

      • 06/28/2010 at 9:29 AM

        Possible foci: (1) Reactions to the verdict(s) and to the legal process as it played out; (2) Consideration of next steps in the legal process, e.g., if appealed or a civil trial, how can we be helpful and kept informed?); (3) Citizen journalism represented by wmrw.com. What foci would you like to hear discussed in person?

        Would Skype be an option for linking in non-DC folk?
        A nonprofit Board I am on unsuccessfully tried, this weekend, to link in nonlocals by Skype. Those on Skype could not hear the proceedings, so the nonlocals hung up, frustrated. But the meeting room had no phone line.

        • James
          06/28/2010 at 4:39 PM

          Thanks, Gloria. I think the citizen journalism discussion would be very interesting. This is unlike anything I have ever seen but I have to believe has inspired others to utilize the template for future issues playing out in the media (or not). If nothing else, is this the future of reporting and/or trusted sources of information.

          • YournormalJoe
            06/28/2010 at 9:50 PM

            “is this the future of reporting and/or trusted sources of information.”

            Could be, but it would depend highly on the editors. Alot/most/some wouldn’t carry their site as the editors of this site have, with honest reporting of fact.

    • Bill
      06/28/2010 at 9:31 AM

      I agree with Gloria regarding the number (N) of those voting. The responses are meaningless without knowing how many having voted. Further, it’s important to remember that these polls are an unscientific and non-representative survey of those posters who elect to respond.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/28/2010 at 12:46 PM

        Not to mention, someone could vote multiple times if they are dishonest enough.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/28/2010 at 12:51 PM

          Michael said below there will be no “stuffing the ballot box.”

          Excellent.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 9:26 PM

          And not to mention it means not a hill of beans. People sure do get worked up over BS.

    • Alice
      06/28/2010 at 10:33 AM

      I would find it interesting to meet up and discuss the process, out come, and the blog.

    • Michael
      06/28/2010 at 11:00 AM

      Hi Gloria,

      Unfortunately, the PollDaddy widget that enables us to create the polls is not so flexible to enable capture of raw votes and percentages. Rest assured, with the comments and readership we have been seeing, the numbers will be a solid sample.

      Responders will only have their votes captured once, so there won’t be any stuffing of the ballot box.

      Thanks you and all the followers of the case for your contributions.

      -Michael, co-editor

    • kiki
      06/28/2010 at 12:13 PM

      Great idea to have live group discussion and hope regular contributors, such as bea, will attend.

    • Three Strikes
      06/28/2010 at 11:32 PM

      Gloria. This movement has grown into something that is alive, and needs to continue at least until much more is known about what happened.
      For so many of our own reasons we have become a part of this blog, and for me, it has grown into something with purpose. It has always been much more than just curiosity, while curiosity has fed much of my interest.
      It has to do with refusing to let a cover up just be. It has to do with realizing the many, many facets of this murder and the aftermath, and the myriad players.
      What does it all mean? I think that is what most of us are asking.
      So, yes. I support your idea of a focus group. I am in this for the long haul.

  4. EricFormerlyNewbie
    06/28/2010 at 8:53 AM

    “Was there a turning point for you, and if so, what was it?”

    the day I read the affidavit. I have not wavered much in my belief that the housemates knew exactly what happened that night and that one or more was involved directly in the murder. We have spent months arguing the finer points of evidence (or lack thereof), but the reality is that evidence on hand combined with common sense makes the defense theories impossible to believe.

    • des
      06/28/2010 at 9:19 AM

      same for me. i knew the threesome and was hard-pressed to believe that they had anything to do with it until i read the affidavit and then all the other evidence as brought forth here on this site.

    • CuriousinVA
      06/28/2010 at 9:57 AM

      Yes, the affidavit was it for me.

      Off Topic but on my mind and replies closed on yesterday’s post: someone mentioned the Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo case. I’d forgotten the details of that matter but googled and reviewed. My God. Definitely some eerie similarities there no doubt.

      Bernardo was losing interest in Karla so she began trying to fulfill his fantasies (and probably her own too)by assisting in drugging (with stolen drugs from the vet clinic where she worked), raping and videotaping women, the first being her own young sister who died by choking on her own vomit during the ordeal.

      This didn’t stop them and they were next successfully able to carry off their sick plan with one young woman who was none the wiser as to what had been done to her on film. Interestingly though, on their second drugging of the same woman she stopped breathing but they were able to revive her.

      The third and fourth (known) victims were murdered at the end of the drugging/raping.

      While I still don’t think the murder of Robert was the goal, I was struck especially by how Karla/Paul were testing out various methods of sedation with each victim and again thought about that Dylan/Joe email about trying a third. I also thought about how Karla/Paul’s actions seemed to escalate from the first drugging/raping/filming into extended torture and murder and hoped yet again for an across the board conviction of Joe and Dylan.

      • Kate
        06/28/2010 at 11:13 AM

        Curious – I’d forgotten all about that case. Chilling, very chilling. To do something so heinous to your own sister? Boggles the mind …

        “The things we do for love.”

        Many thanks,
        Kate

        • CuriousinVA
          06/28/2010 at 12:49 PM

          The similarities (more so than other cases that have been raised in the forum) were compelling to me. They even would have gotten away with their involvement in the sister’s death – they cleaned her and the scene up before calling 911 – had they not eventually been caught on additional crimes.

          Eventually Karla turned on Paul, copped a plea and is now free after 12 years in jail. The videotapes documenting all their drugging and rapes were made known after her deal was in place.

          Scary stuff.

      • 06/28/2010 at 2:38 PM

        Karla and Paul– Karla felt the ultimate gift-imho was to give Paul her sister and let him fulfill his desires–it appeared that they felt it was the ultimate bond
        but of course they botch the sedaTion and her sister died and the crime was covered up for years as an accident. Their acts together escalated. The 911 call may have changed the future

      • Bob
        06/28/2010 at 7:03 PM

        That case is even weirder than this one. A sibling may or may not be a suspect in this case, but is not a victim.

    • Jason
      06/28/2010 at 11:43 AM

      Agreed. I don’t hold law enforcement in very high esteem, particularly in our otherwise great city, but the facts laid out in the affidavit seem incontrovertible. How does one’s semen end up in his own rectum? How can so much blood just up and vanish? Why would an intruder pass the door at the top of the stairs (Dylan’s room) and go to the front bedroom, then leave (unheard… there was no second security chime upon exit) without taking the blackberry, watch, wallet, or any other valuables? And on and on.

      In such strange circumstances, I can only rely on common sense, which screams out that one or more of them know what happened, and they are all covering something up. After everything we’ve heard from the prosecution and defense, there just doesn’t seem to be another plausible conclusion. Unfortunately the legality of evidence, bungling by MPD and the Secret Service, etc. may be enough to get these guys off. That would be a real tragedy for the Wone family and justice in general.

      • RE girl
        06/28/2010 at 12:12 PM

        Jason,

        You have made some very good points. I too have been wondering why the occupants only heard one door alarm/chime. You would think an intruder entering and exiting would chime once to enter the home and again to exit the house. Was someone in Dylan’s room already, and certainly reason to pass it, or was there another guest in the house somewhere else. It was a friday night, and it seems very odd everyone was going to bed early.

        • ccf
          06/28/2010 at 12:32 PM

          “It was a friday night, and it seems very odd everyone was going to bed early.”

          I believe it was a Wednesday night. Still, 11, 11:30pm is kind of early for an intruder.

  5. WillC
    06/28/2010 at 9:10 AM

    Turning Point…

    When I walked past 1509 one day and was thinking what could have possibly happened that night, and I realized that the house is only 30′ wide. In my mind, it’s just not possible for 3 curious guys (2 of which were in heat) not to have heard the fast footsteps running up and down the stairs, doors opening, grunting… I am sure they would have wanted to peak out and see what they were missing out on…was someone else entertaining and they were not invited? At the very least, one of them knows who did it.

    • Craig
      06/28/2010 at 1:05 PM

      WillC: 1509 may appear wider than it really is. Interior width is actually much narrower, maybe 16 feet, 17 at most.

      • Bob
        06/28/2010 at 7:08 PM

        The standard width of a DC townhouse lot in a townhouse district (R-3 or R-4), according to the zoning code, is 18 feet wide and 100 feet long, with the townhouse itself 18 feet wide and 60 feet long. Many lots are slightly smaller than the zoning provides, either if the house was built before the 1959 code (grandfathered), or the lot was slightly smaller than code when the house was built (variance). I haven’t looked, but it appears that 1509 is typical in dimensions of a DC townhouse, and the scale model is consistent with my knowledge of DC townhouses from living in one.

        • gina a
          06/28/2010 at 9:07 PM

          Regardless of what the zoning code now requires, most rowhouses built around the turn of the 19th c. were typically 16-17′ interior space at most. According to DC real property database, 1509 was built in 1886. I’ve been past it a number of times, and I think it is very similar to my house, on Capitol Hill, circa 1908 which is precisely 16′ wide. I often wish I had 18′-and even though my brick walls shared with neighbors is a foot of brick on both sides, with plaster and lathe, I can still hear my neighbor’s tv at night.

  6. Kate
    06/28/2010 at 9:25 AM

    The turning point:

    Although I have followed this case since the first reports in the mainstream media, I’m still rather new to this wonderful site (about six-eight weeks?) and its extraordinary archive of information. My turning point, therefore, is a bit turned around, as it were.

    Last week, one of the tremendously knowledgeable long-timers referenced Joe Price’s budding online porn business from an editors post of last year. When I first read about it, I exclaimed so loudly that our three very fluffy, but in no way sparkly, cats ran pell-mell out of the room.

    That startling factoid was the final puzzle piece in my efforts to assess the Joe Price psyche. Here is a person who clearly has no sense of boundaries – using his Arent Fox email address as a contact for his “Eye Candy” porn site! My incredulity has yet to fade on that one. He demonstrates, in many, many ways, an individual so completely self-absorbed he’ll do just about anything for his own gain, pleasure or whim. For the thrill of it all? For the excitement of danger? For sating a sexual addiction? I don’t know.

    It was at that moment that the bizarre and rather unbelievable theory of drugging a dear friend for the purpose of erotic photography and “fun” became quite believable.

    Thank you editors and fellow posters for the opportunity to express my thoughts.

    Regards,
    Kate

    On another subject: I may be alone in this, but I felt that Mrs. Ward’s testimony was highly effective, as well. She certainly muddied the waters for me regarding the knife.

    • WhatACase
      06/28/2010 at 10:08 AM

      Kate wrote: “It was at that moment that the bizarre and rather unbelievable theory of drugging a dear friend for the purpose of erotic photography and “fun” became quite believable.”

      Agree with your logic here, but the just-disclosed emails provide an even stronger motive: just weeks before robert was murdered, Joe suggests a threesome to Ward, clearly as a way to get him interested in the relationship again. We also know that Ward had a “thing” for Asians. Joe is panicked that he is losing Ward, believes Ward may like a three-way, and here comes a straight Asian to spend the night. This, combined with Kate’s observations on Price’s lack of boundaries, sealed it for me.

      • Bill Orange
        06/28/2010 at 10:21 AM

        I’m not convinced that Ward had a “thing” for Asians. Do we really know that for sure? Yes, he spent time in Asia, but that’s really not the same thing. The only thing I’ve seen that suggests a sexual attraction to Asian men is a single actor in a single porn video. I think that if you poll most gay men and ask if they have any porn in their house that has a Asian actor in it, the answer will likely be “probably”, even if they’re not really into Asian men.

        My impression is that the gay Asian community in DC is small and fairly tight-knit. Ward obviously didn’t have an issue with having random flings. So if he really had a “thing” for Asian men, why don’t we know about by now?

        • SheKnowsSomething
          06/28/2010 at 10:32 AM

          I’d always heard from Sarah Morgan that Dylan had a special attraction to Asian men.

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

            SKS,

            You heard this directly from Sarah Morgan?
            As in she told this to you directly?

            David, co-ed.

            • tassojunior
              06/28/2010 at 2:58 PM

              I thought Ward was supposed to be a racist.

              • Bob
                06/28/2010 at 7:21 PM

                Joe Price made the anti-black remark. Also, it is possible to be prejudiced against blacks without being prejudiced against Asians. I don’t know if Dylan is a racist or, if so, what sort of racist.

                • Carolina
                  06/28/2010 at 9:35 PM

                  Dylan referred to the first responder as “that black woman.” I’d say there was a chance he wasn’t crazy about AAs, but I find that kind of passive racism in almost any white city dweller.

                  • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                    06/28/2010 at 9:45 PM

                    Carolina, please don’t make racial generalizations like that. I so enjoy your posts, but that one was horribly offensive to me.

                    • Carolina
                      06/28/2010 at 11:49 PM

                      I do apologize, and while I understand why it’s offensive, it’s also offensive to have well dressed, able bodied white males cross the street when they meet an AA male. I know that if they were to meet in a bar, in a business meeting or in the home of the friend, they’d be fabulous people. But on the street, or when making a police report, the black guy gets it. Think of all the murders that have been blamed on the anonymous black man– Susan Smith, Charles Stuart for starters. If you want a convenient scapegoat, look no farther than the boogie man.

                      Most of us don’t even recognize our passive racism until it’s pointed out, and then we justify it. I include myself in this. I *do* recognize that when a white man crosses the street, I assume a motive that may not be true.

              • SheKnowsSomething
                06/28/2010 at 8:51 PM

                Not sure where you would have gotten that impression …

            • SheKnowsSomething
              06/28/2010 at 8:49 PM

              Yes. Sarah is the gossipy member of the “family” who loves telling tales out of school. I believe it was she who coined the term “trouple” and she was all too eager to clue me in on the workings of the relationship between her housemates even before it dawned on me that such an arrangement might exist.

              • AnnaZed
                06/28/2010 at 8:52 PM

                Oh SKS, you tantalize, and so repeatedly! Do you think that it is possible at all that Sarah was asked to make herself scarce on that night (she did bring her toothbrush after all) and that she lied about that? If so, why?

      • AnnaZed
        06/28/2010 at 11:14 AM

        I think your theories are probably pretty sound, but I would not say that “We also know that Ward had a “thing” for Asians”. I haven’t seen that demonstrated or credibly supported (with all due respect for SKS), after all he was attracted to Joe. In the search for lovers/clients/meal tickets I am sure that Dylan would have encountered plenty of moneyed Asian men with spare rooms in DC if that is what he was looking for.

    • Babs
      06/28/2010 at 1:29 PM

      I think Mrs. Ward had her own knife that was like the Dylan’s missing knife. She could have purchased more than one set when she was in Germany. That did not muddy the waters for me. I don’t think she sent her son a set in a box with two of the three pieces?

      • Kate
        06/28/2010 at 4:18 PM

        That’s interesting, Babs. I wonder what the Judge is thinking about the knife – an important piece of evidence.

        Thanks,
        Kate

    • tucsonwriter
      06/28/2010 at 3:16 PM

      Not that it exonerates Joe Price in any way, but one (defining) trait of narcissism is an inability to feel empathy.

      • Kate
        06/28/2010 at 4:16 PM

        Yes Tusconwriter – Joe doesn’t appear to have much empathy for others -( Victor for one).

        Several people who have known Joe in the past have referred to his self-serving nature. I’ve avoided making blanket statements so far, and I can’t believe I’m actually going to write this, but:

        I’ve come to believe that Joe Price had a great deal to do with Robert Wone’s death.

        Thank you for your comment,
        Kate

        • tucsonwriter
          06/28/2010 at 5:15 PM

          All psychological disorders range on a continuum from normal to pathological. Narcissism is a fairly normal developmental trait in teenagers as part of their upcoming separation from the family of origin and moving out into the wider world. The extreme pathological end is Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmler (not sure I have that spelled right). Curiously enough what brings about the condition is referred to as the “narcissistic wound.” For example, Hitler was physically abused by his father as a small child and therefore hated signs of weakness in others.

          Joe Price exhibits narcissistic tendencies. Narcissists tend to get worse in their behavior unless someone stands up to them and backs them down.

  7. BadShoes
    06/28/2010 at 9:40 AM

    Turning point:

    Listening to the 911 call, from the Washington Post coverage. (Many months after the article was published).

    I’ve made three 911 calls. My immediate, gut reaction was complete incredulity. Mr. Zaborsky’s behavior was just–wrong. I couldn’t immediately articulate why the call felt so false, but the elements became clear with further study.

    • EricFormerlyNewbie
      06/28/2010 at 9:52 AM

      agree. the 911 call was disturbing. The odd use of words (“we heard”, “evidently there was an intruder”) Victor vacillating between panicked and totally calm. Clearly discussing with Joe on the side then asking for the time. The one thing that resonates with me is Victor saying that Robert is breathing and Joe is applying pressure to the wounds then the EMT reports Joe was just sitting there. There is no way to reconcile those two accounts.

    • chilaw79
      06/28/2010 at 10:25 AM

      Listening to the 911 call made me uneasy. Reviewing the transcripts of the police interviews of the three defendants cinched it. I wish I had seen the videotaped interviews.

  8. Perplexed
    06/28/2010 at 10:05 AM

    What continues to fascinate me about this case is the great number of intriguing details that fit together in some confounding way to explain what happened that night. Whenever I start speculating on a narrative that explains everything, I’m confronted by another piece of evidence that does not quite fit, or that starts me down a different path from where I started.

    What’s truly maddening about these details is that some of them, while seemingly relevant, are probably complete red herrings. Take, for example, Michael’s possible involvement. The combination of the likely missing blood, Michael’s phlebotomy knowledge and his skipping of class on that particular night intuitively seems like it all has to be related in some way to Robert’s murder. But is it? I can think of a scenario in which Michael is involved, and I can think of a scenario in which he isn’t, and I have nothing other than pure guesswork to determine which is more likely.

    Or the needle marks. The conflicting testimony from the EMTs provides an explanation for at least some, if not all, of the marks on Robert’s body. I can envision a scenario in which the needle marks can be explained away. On the night of his murder, the medical professionals were concerned with only one thing: saving Robert’s life. In terms of the chain of custody of his body, I can see why not every poke was documented, and it seems that no one person would be able to account for everything that was done to his body. On the other hand, my intuition — in attempting to make sense of a senseless situation — tells me that this murder most likely started as a sexual assault. In that scenario, it seems that the pre-death (if you can believe that testimony) needle marks almost certainly were caused by the injection of ketamine or something similar that (infuriatingly) was never tested for in the autopsy. Either explanation could be true.

    Both situations could be the key to unlocking the mystery, or both could be completely unrelated to what really happened. And these are only examples of the numerous facts that somehow fit together in a patchwork to explain the murder. The correct combination of those facts, frankly, completely eludes me as much today as it did when I first read about the case.

    At the end of the day, what I think I am confident of, beyond a reasonable doubt, is that there was no intruder that night. That means that one of the three, or possibly someone known to them (although I see this as less likely) murdered Robert Wone. This leads me back to what I think was a very telling legal and moral dilemma posed by the judge: if this was a situation in which there was only one host at 1509, we would have a murder trial. What’s the significance that there are 3?

    I think Joe or Dylan most likely did it. And I think Victor is covering for them. But do I think the prosecution has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt? That’s a complex legal question that I’m glad I don’t have to decide — one that I am not qualified to decide sitting here. I guess I’m hoping that one of them will stand up in Court tomorrow and simply find the strength to tell the truth.

    • Ohio
      06/28/2010 at 10:16 AM

      Do you not think the prosecution has proven murder, or the charges that are on the table at this point?

      • Perplexed
        06/28/2010 at 10:33 AM

        They have not attempted to prove murder. Yet. And even in my scenario, there is the 33 and 1/3 problem, which, to this layman, seems to mathematically mean that they have not proven who is guilty of that murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

        Having not sat through the trial, I don’t think I can play the role of a fact-finder. I can’t evaluate the credibility of witnesses on cross examination. How something reads here, and what was selectively chosen to print in the media (and done very well here I might add, thanks eds) versus how it came across in court are two entirely different things. I just don’t feel like I can fairly establish the facts on which to apply the law not having been there.

        As for the law, I am completely unqualified to speculate on how to apply it to the facts. In addition to reading the parties’ pleadings, it would take a significant amount of independent research on my part for me to feel comfortable evaluating those pleadings, let alone to decide if the prosecution met its burden.

        If this were a jury trial, I think the jury instructions would have been very telling and an interesting thing to discuss.

        I don’t envy the judge, although I am very impressed with what I read.

      • Bob
        06/28/2010 at 8:57 PM

        I don’t understand the question. It is already established that the death of Robert Wone was murder. Does anyone think that it was anything else? Did he stab himself three times, with wounds that the defense says would result in instant death?

        We know that Robert Wone was murdered. The government is not trying to prove who murdered him, but that the housemates are covering up for who murdered him.

    • WhatACase
      06/28/2010 at 10:26 AM

      Very logical, perplexed. Let’s not hold our breath for one of the lads to do the right thing.

    • chilaw79
      06/28/2010 at 11:33 AM

      This does not seem correct to me. EMTs must keep track of the drugs they administer and so must hospitals, to make sure that the medical professionals know which drugs and what doses have been administered. There is relatively little evidence of drugs in the system of Robert Wone (based upon the testing done by the medical examiner’s office). The time in the ambulance and at the scene was very limited. The hospital is very concerned with malpractice and charts all drug administration. While I am not sure they would document every failure to complete an IV, the people who administer IVs in hospital trauma units are highly competent.

      • Bill Orange
        06/28/2010 at 12:51 PM

        I used to put IVs in patients all the time, and I NEVER documented failed attempts if I was ultimately able to get a line in.

        • Lurker
          06/28/2010 at 3:05 PM

          I thought the testimony from the EMTs was that they failed to get a line in? At least in the ambulance…

        • weaver
          06/28/2010 at 4:37 PM

          I’ve done a lot of them too Bill, and while proper protocol is to document all attempts this isn’t always followed in a hospital setting when, as you say, one is eventually successful.

          But this was an obvious homicide and there was sure to be an autopsy, I imagine all marks would be documented.

      • Lynn
        06/28/2010 at 4:11 PM

        I went into ER in anaphalactic shock — i.e. dying — and it took them 45 minutes to get a line into me. The doctor was on the verge of cutting in. (Not sure what that means and don’t want to know, but that’s what he said.) There were 4-6 medical types simultaneously working on various veins during that 45 minutes.

        As someone with “bad veins” this is not uncommon at all. I agree that drug administration is logged, but I don’t think they log all those failed IV attempts.

        I would not view the needle marks as evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 11:54 PM

          When every medical person and the reporting nurse say they did not attempt to start an IV in either foot, I’m going to believe them. They accounted for the other sticks. It was not in their protocol to use the ankles, particularly since the larger veins had already collapsed.

          In addition, Robert was for all intents and purposes dead when he was placed in the ambulance. The marks on the feet are pre mortem. How would you explain that? Do you have experience that would overshadow the MD ME’s professional opinion?

    • Carolina
      06/28/2010 at 9:40 PM

      The two ankle punctures are definitely not accounted for, and they were pre mortem.

  9. weaver
    06/28/2010 at 10:16 AM

    My turning point happened after a day of reading. I could see there was no way an intruder was in that home, so I knew all three were guilty, and at least one a murderer. Since then I have been trying to make sense of one of the most bizarre cases I have ever read about.

    My best guess goes like this:

    Price and Ward had plans to drug Robert for their own pleasure while Victor was away. Knowing Robert was straight and would not consent gave them and especially Price a heightened thrill and I think they likely talked about it for days as they obtained the drugs and laid out what they would do, right down to the stim thing (semen in rectum). I think when Victor came home early Price and Ward were too excited to let it drop and I suspect Victor was told they had something planned and he went along with the fact that they were going to do it, but opted out of being a participant and went to his room.

    When Robert arrived I think the plan (and what they did) was to incapacitate him very quickly and without a lot of effort. No defense wounds to suggest even the slightest struggle, except- Robert showed signs of being suffocated. That is the reason I think a rag with ether or something very similar was forced over his face and he collapsed with out being able to put up much of a fight. After that initial incapacitation I think he was then injected with drugs because what he inhaled would not last very long. Once that was done I think they did in fact have their way with him, and that is why there were signs of sexual abuse. Semen does not go *into* the rectum at death, period.

    While I believe they wanted Robert to be unconscious for the acts, at some point I think they feared he in fact died or would die. His pulse could have been so faint and his breathing so shallow they thought he was dead, or so close it became obvious he wasn’t going to wake up on is own and was in need of serious medical intervention. They couldn’t call for help without incriminating themselves for rape and maybe murder if he died, so they decided to finish the deed and use stabbings so they could then claim an intruder.

    I think Victor at some point heard the commotion and walked in on Ward and Price– there is the scream. They probably told him he had to go along because he knew of their plan, and he (obviously) went along- out of fear and loyalty.

    Robert never showered, but I think he was cleaned and whatever he was initially laid on was discarded to get rid of evidence of sexual abuse, for example the semen and dna of Price and Ward. I think that clean up is where a lot of the missing blood went. I don’t think they sought to get rid of the blood, as that became and is a problem for them, it was other evidence mixed in with that blood.

    How they got rid of the evidence remains a mystery, but I have no doubt they are smart enough — because they did in fact get rid of it.

    I’m looking forward to guilty verdicts for all tomorrow, but I also hope that Victor will start talking. Not only for his sake, but for the sake of Robert Wone and for murder charges to be filed against the two who were responsible for his death. Price and Ward.

    • mw
      06/28/2010 at 10:40 AM

      If they “forced something over his face”, murder would have to be the plan from the very start. Because at that point, you don’t just wait for Wone to wake up, and send him on his way.

      • weaver
        06/28/2010 at 10:48 AM

        But there was evidence in his eyes of something being forced over his face. Ether would wear off fairly quickly and not kill a person, just give the time to do the injections. We know he was injected. Who lays still for injections without consent?

        • mw
          06/28/2010 at 10:51 AM

          What I mean is, the second Wone “knows” you’re doing something to him (in your example, by putting something over his face), they have to kill him. They can’t let him out of that apartment alive knowing he’s been assaulted, because he’ll go to the police.

          I’m not saying your theory is impossible, just that it requires premeditated murder.

          • weaver
            06/28/2010 at 11:22 AM

            Actually mw those drugs have an amnesic effect.

            • DCGuy
              06/28/2010 at 11:39 AM

              Did the medical examiner find evidence of sexual assault? I know they found Robert’s seminal fluid in his rectum. I would think evidence of sexual assault would be a key piece of evidence at the trial.

              • Bill 2
                06/28/2010 at 11:47 AM

                This certainly would be a key piece of evidence in a murder trial or if they are being charged with sexual assault.

              • weaver
                06/28/2010 at 11:51 AM

                DC guy the only evidence that I know of is the semen in the rectum. This makes sense to me though since I think the original intent was for Robert to wake up unaware of what happened, so there was no injury to his genitals. Perhaps they would try to blame the needle marks, if he noticed, on bug bites. The same bugs that ended up being blamed indirectly for the door being left open.

                Since Robert ended up dead and had an autopsy we know about the semen, and I can only explain that by sexual abuse.

                • Carolina
                  06/28/2010 at 11:56 PM

                  There was also semen around his genitals.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 9:43 PM

          No, there is no direct evidence of anything over his face. He had VERY mild and FEW petechiae. If he could not breathe, from cardiac arrest or anything else, those would form.

    • Atlanta
      06/28/2010 at 12:30 PM

      I agree with your theories, Weaver. I think Joe felt pride and allegiance to his past at William & Mary of which Robert was a part and so didn’t intentionally plan on his being killed. I think it went down something like what you said.

    • tucsonwriter
      06/28/2010 at 3:23 PM

      As far as the cover-up, I can’t remember which document it was, either the Motion for Acquittal or the Government’s Opposition but one states that Michael Price was down at VCB in the early morning hours of August 3, so he was out and about so to speak. People have said in comments on this site that Joe Price wouldn’t call Michael for help, but he did call him down to VCB.

  10. BenFranlin
    06/28/2010 at 10:24 AM

    The prosecution did not make their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Not one pillar of any of the charges stand after the defense did their work.

    We have here a case where the first responders, the MPD, the detectives, and the prosecution made irrational, bigoted assumptions about the defendants and they literally framed them with theories chasing badly handled evidence.

    This is the clearest case of malicious incompetence by the government that I have seen since the Riley Fox case. The anguish and damage they caused the Wone family and the defendants is unforgivable. I look forward to an outcome similar to the Steven Hatfill civil remedy when the defense turns to offense after tomorrows decision of INNOCENT, INNOCENT, INNOCENT!

    • mw
      06/28/2010 at 10:30 AM

      BenFranklin – what’s your theory about what actually happened? Do you believe an unknown intruder murdered Wone? Do you think there was a motive, or was it just a random crime?

      • BenFranklin
        06/28/2010 at 1:50 PM

        I posit 4 possibilities where intruders are plausible with motive/cause:

        1) was Ni**a gangstaas, gangbangers, spilling random blood to mark their turf as part of an initiation or blood pledge. This is how they earn the tear drop tattoos. The more killings the more tear drop tattoos. That’s the way it is with our local gangsters-And their favorite targets are gays. They stab them and kick their brains out where I come from and steal nothing so loot can’t be traced back to the gang.

        2) It was a psycho trick of Price or Wards who may have come in to murder one of them for payback after a terrible consensual or non-consensual BDSM experience in the house. Fisting accidents can be really bad. It could be any of hundreds of tricks over many years, so the identity of this person is not necessarily known to the defendants.

        4)Conservative political enemies intending to assassinate one of the highly visible gay rights advocates living in the house. Wone was simply in wrong place at the wrong time. We know crazy conservative killers on a “mission from God” will go into churches to murder abortion doctors. Why not put a hit out on the fags running the gay agenda?

        3)The Lunesta® zombie dosed with Lexapro® + Wellbutrin® + wine. These potent pharmaceuticals concentrated in the not-fully-awake zombie’s blood from dehydration after exercise on a hot night so the zombie had no memory of stabbing Wone. This is an inside intruder unknown to the other two.

        In all four scenarios, the defendants are telling the truth to the best of their recollections.

        Unless the prosecution can prove what happened, then they cannot prove the defendants are lying, conspired, or obstructed justice.

        • Mark M
          06/28/2010 at 3:47 PM

          I think this posting says it at! Gangsters, Psycho tricks, militia types and zombies! Why not throw in the Burmese government? Robert worked for Radio Free Asia maybe they were upset about the legal advice Robert was giving. Still, it sure was convenient that the back door was unlocked and you think that the gangsters/zombies, etc., would have brought their own knives rather than having to borrow them.

          • Daphne
            06/28/2010 at 5:37 PM

            And black guys! Like the one living in the alley.

        • incredulous
          06/28/2010 at 5:41 PM

          You’re an idiot. What rubbish…..

          • Craig
            06/28/2010 at 5:50 PM

            Your fifth screen name happens to be your last. Bye.

        • Formerly of 17th & NH
          06/28/2010 at 9:09 PM

          Talk about grasping at straws! Initially, I’d read your posts and thought that — just maybe — you have some information or perspective that really did raise doubt, even if you weren’t sharing it here with us.

          But these scenarios are hilariously absurd. There’s no reason the defendants would have cleaned up the crime scene and have such inconsistencies among their statements if it was some “gangsta.” (That word in this context is the stupidest thing I’ve ever had to write.)

          Pathetic.

          • Elizabeth
            06/28/2010 at 10:09 PM

            or consistencies among their statements, as well

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 9:44 PM

          Just when I thought you could not become more pointless or offensive.

        • Clio
          06/28/2010 at 9:52 PM

          Ben, this piece of scurrilous doggerel really takes the cake. Because of it, I now agree that B-movie actor Ronald Reagan should take your place on the $100 bill!

          BTW, start eating that boiled crow tomorrow — it will taste better with tap water and burnt steaks, trust me!

          • Devin in Arizona
            06/29/2010 at 1:57 AM

            Clio – I have been lurking here quite awhile; this is my first and probably only comment-just wanted to say you always make me smile or laugh-along with other great people here too like Bea, Anna Z, Bill O and others. I want to say a huge thank you to the gentlemnen who run this website!
            I really wish these men would keep blogging even after the trial on other subjects. I hope Robert and Kathy and their friends and family get justice tomorrow (or is it today?-I missed many days of updates and will read back through older posts). This case is so incredibly sad.

        • ConservativeCutie
          06/28/2010 at 11:53 PM

          Well done, Ben. Speaking for the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, I must admit you caught us. During our weekly Bible Thumping class, when Dick Cheney asked if there was “new business”, Rush posited the idea of taking out 1 of 3 men no one had ever heard of. After a quick vote, the group sang the “Battle Hymn”, hit the NRA shooting range, and dispatched our hand-picked Blackwater assasin. Halliburton covered all expenses. The rest of us hurried back to our houses in our non-hybrid SUV’s to homeschool our dozens of children.

          It seems bigotry is not the exclusive provence of any one political ideology or sexual orientation.

          *Side note – I have been an avid reader of this site since Camille Paglia wrote about it, but have never given into the temptation to post until now. I have read many posts that have, perhaps unintentionally, painted conservatives as intolerant, homophobic, or just plain mean. I have been frustrated every time I have read one of those posts. Something for those who believe in the big media portrayal of conservatives to think about: Every conservative I know (and that number is very large as I am involved professionally w/ GOP politics at the state and national level) has either a gay/lesbian sibling, close relative or friend. I have many gay/lesbian, left-wing friends. Every single one of those friends has told me at one point or another that I am his or her first conservative friend. Every. Single. One.

          Robert Wone’s murder is a tragedy. I think the focus of so many on the strange living arrangements at 1509 has nothing to do with the trouple being homosexuals, and if the 3 men had been a couple of women and one man with the same relationship issues, the story would have received more press and the three suspects would have been vilified by the press and the conservative community.

          Sorry to get over a year’s worth of pent-up frustration off my chest in one go!

          • Stephen F.
            06/29/2010 at 12:11 AM

            Here here!

            • grammarman
              06/29/2010 at 12:15 AM

              it should be “hear, hear”

      • des
        06/28/2010 at 2:07 PM

        you asked for it mw….

    • WhatACase
      06/28/2010 at 10:34 AM

      What is your theory of the crime, Ben? Reasonable doubt aside, do you believe the lads were involved?

    • Bill 2
      06/28/2010 at 10:36 AM

      Meanwhile, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, still dead.

      • Bea
        06/28/2010 at 2:12 PM

        Love this.

      • Carolina
        06/28/2010 at 9:45 PM

        Jane, you ignorant slut!

        • Clio
          06/28/2010 at 10:50 PM

          ROFL!

    • mw
      06/28/2010 at 10:36 AM

      Too bad for the defendants they couldn’t have had a jury trial and a few homosexuals on the jury, because it seems like the “officer said mean things about gays therefore everyone’s innocent” defense would be very effective.

      • Bill Orange
        06/28/2010 at 10:46 AM

        I sincerely doubt it. Many of the posters on here are gay men or lesbian women. Most of us are perfectly capable of understanding that (a) homophobic police and (b) guilty gay defendants are not mutually-exclusive options. There has been virtually no support for these three from the gay community, even though they were heavily involved in gay rights issues several years ago.

        • Ohio
          06/28/2010 at 11:19 AM

          I think he was being sarcastic?

          • Bill Orange
            06/28/2010 at 1:10 PM

            I wasn’t sure, and I wanted to clarify for any of our friends across the pond who are just now joining us.

        • JeffB
          06/28/2010 at 5:02 PM

          Oh really? Seems to be that a good number of the homosexuals posting here have condemned the three because of their involvement in drugs and BDSM. I believe the posting was something like “Puts the community in a terrible light.”

          I would say that DC jury pools still leave a LOT to be desired. There was no way they would have received anything close to a fair trial by jury.

          Do I think they’re guilty of at least the charges of this particular trial? Probably, but not without substantial conjecture (of which there is hoards in this blog by both the editors and the commentators. Does the evidence support a verdict of guilty? IMHO, not without reasonable doubt.

          • Carolina
            06/28/2010 at 9:47 PM

            I don’t think there’s a gay man here who has condemned them for sex or drugs. Pretty sure, no, damned sure it was for murdering or allowing Robert Wone to die.

      • tassojunior
        06/28/2010 at 12:56 PM

        Fewer gays on DC juries than you’d think because of the way they’re called.

        You can be sure the prosecution would have eliminated any that had been called in this case. They have that right.

        • Bea
          06/28/2010 at 1:58 PM

          Not for ’cause’ they don’t. You think they’d waste the few gimmes they have on gay people? The defense requested a bench trial in large part because Price made racist comments and DC has a large African American community as you well know.

          • tassojunior
            06/28/2010 at 2:20 PM

            Bea you know very well that each side can exclude a certain number of jurors for any reason. I can’t imagine they’d have kept a gay juror on. Even if it were an exclusion for cause, you bet there would have been a reason found.

            Price identified the man living in the van in the as black. Politically incorrect true, he should have said African-American. But you also know very well that identifying a suspect or a potential witness always involves their race. It’s the first thing police ask too for identification. Twisting that into racism is a stretch. (Though I’m sure the prosecutor would make that stretch).

            DC does have a large fundamentalist AA community who do have a profound resentment at homosexuals moving in. A homosexual getting off in a DC jury trial in which sex comes out is pretty inconceivable.

            • gina a
              06/28/2010 at 4:23 PM

              I have seen comments on the racial makeup of DC juries come up several times on this blog and have to respond. I’ve lived in DC since 1992 and have been called up for jury duty like clockwork every two years since 3 months after we moved into the city. About 5 years ago, my husband and I both noticed that the jury pool had undergone a significant racial shift. Where we had once been one of a handful of caucasians in the room, now we were in the majority. And by a lot. I don’t necessarily think that one can expect a majority black jury anymore in DC. And here’s an article from 2007 that remarks on the same jury demographic shift.

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/14/AR2007071401033.html

            • Bea
              06/28/2010 at 4:57 PM

              Gina, interesting note about the shift.

              Tasso, the strikes for cause could NOT be used because the juror was gay and the number of non-cause strikes is generally very low (2 or 3). It’s nonsense that there couldn’t have been gay jurors.

              You misstate the facts as to Joe Price’s comments. He made a clear implication to the white cop that “the black guy who lives in the alley” might be worth looking into. That would offend people of all races, much like Susan Smith saying that a “black man” had kidnapped her sons.

              • tassojunior
                06/28/2010 at 5:04 PM

                I would think a person actually living in the alley would be an excellent potential witness.

                You’re not going to have more than 3 gay potential jurors and assuming strikes for cause couldn’t be found for any other reason, I’d assume they’d use the free strikes for those.

                • Carolina
                  06/28/2010 at 9:50 PM

                  More importantly, the alley guy hadn’t been living there in some time. Now, the AA family in the “crackhouse” across the street…

                  Really, Joe did himself no favors.

              • KiKi
                06/28/2010 at 5:07 PM

                I don’t have a dog in this race but just FYI in a criminal trial in DC with more that one year imprisonment each side gets 10.

            • bigfatmike
              06/29/2010 at 1:10 AM

              I think I want to call for the advice of an attorney or a lifeline or something.

              Didn’t it go all the way to the Supreme Court that those stikes without cause can be for any reason or no reason, but they cannot be for a bad reason.

              So for example, if one of the opposing attorneys were striking minorities because he did not want, for example, African-Americans on the jury, wouldn’t that would be a reason to overrule the strike or a basis for appeal.

              So wouldn’t the question be, are gay people in the (need a term here) protected or maybe suspect class.

              The point is, wouldn’t striking gay people because they are gay, be cause for overruling the strike, mistrial, or appeal for a new trial.

              Of course, even if there is the principle, there is the practical matter of how one demonstrates the bad intent. If the non-cause strikes are limited to 2 or 3 that might be impossible. But if, as kiki mentioned below, the number of strikes is 10 or so, it might be pretty obvious – statistically impossible to deny.

              I know this may not be on point for tomorrow. But if you are reading this, you probably can’t sleep anyway.

        • chilaw79
          06/28/2010 at 11:06 PM

          I don’t understand this at all. I just had to fill in my DC jury questionnaire and I don’t recall a box for “gay/lesbian.”

          Are you saying that gays and lesbians don’t have driver’s licenses or voter registration cards?

      • Also from the Post Story
        06/28/2010 at 1:22 PM

        I still suspect that the interrogating cop was not a homophobe but was trying to rattle and anger the subject — one of the oldest interrogation tricks in the book.

        • pixel
          06/28/2010 at 1:33 PM

          Bingo.

        • tassojunior
          06/28/2010 at 1:40 PM

          That doesn’t rattle anyone, it just makes the interrogator look stupid and you realize there’s no point in talking to them. You rattle someone by questioning their own sexual performance, whether they were rebuffed or led on, their understandable motive, etc. Not by maligning a whole race, gender, or orientation. That’s just telling them to shut up we don’t want to hear anything you have to say.

        • tassojunior
          06/28/2010 at 1:40 PM

          And the detective was proud of his homophobia on the stand.

          • David
            06/28/2010 at 1:49 PM

            dear sweet tasso, you must keep up if you are going to comment. It was Detectives’ Waid and Whalen who took the stand during the trial, and neither of them were the homophobe-spewing detective. In fact, Detective Waid was very calm, and listened to the defendants entire stories, and may no reference, may I repeat, no reference to their sexual orientation.

            • tassojunior
              06/28/2010 at 2:01 PM

              It was not just Webster who spewed homophobia. The interrogator of Ward also said that Wone had to be homosexual or would never spend the night in a homosexual’s house.

              While you’re correcting posters could you please do so with the semen-in-the-rectum-as-sign-of-rape folks? That horse left the barn long ago.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 9:50 PM

          Nah, pretty sure he was both.

    • EricFormerlyNewbie
      06/28/2010 at 10:38 AM

      Perhaps the defense will be awarded a huge settlement for malicious prosecution. Then they can use that money to fund an effort to find the real killer. Because that’s what a friend would do.

      • Daphne
        06/28/2010 at 5:41 PM

        Just like OJ did after his acquittal.

    • Bill Orange
      06/28/2010 at 10:42 AM

      You know, I think there’s a lot of room for debate with respect to the current charges. That is, after all, the whole point of the trial.

      But if you think that these three have ANY chance of a “Steven Hatfill civil remedy”, you’re simply beyond reasoning with. Robert Wone was stabbed to death in the home of these three men. They admit that they were all there at the time. They were not taking ANY measures to save Wone’s life when the EMTs arrived. Those facts alone are enough to preclude them winning a civil judgement. You don’t even need to bring up the fact that the three men were in a gay three-way relationship, that one of them is a wannabe-pornographer with BDSM porn of himself on his office computer, or that another of them has placed ads for erotic massage. The “anguish and damage” that was caused to the defendants was largely of their own making. A civil jury isn’t going to give them one red cent, and I can’t imagine that there are many civil lawyers who would even bother to try.

      • EricFormerlyNewbie
        06/28/2010 at 10:54 AM

        Bill, unfortunately there is not a sarcasm font similar to italics. I see no civil remedy, and can’t see how BF does. Tough to imagine that Kathy will not win a civil trial.

    • SheKnowsSomething
      06/28/2010 at 11:07 AM

      Ben,

      You’re beginning to sound like you might be Victor’s mother …

      • Bill 2
        06/28/2010 at 11:32 AM

        That’s true, but I think if Victor’s parents ever read this site, they would know their son is in deep doodoo simply for staying with Joe Price. Instead of posting blather like BF, they would be working to get their son free of Price influence.

        • cat
          06/28/2010 at 1:21 PM

          Victor is running out of time to treat this as a “starter marriage” and move on.

    • CC Biggs
      06/28/2010 at 11:16 AM

      “and they literally framed them ”

      No, they were not literally framed. But like a good portrait, the defendants certainly will “hang” a long time for the crime (metaphorically speaking).

    • Firefly
      06/28/2010 at 11:59 AM

      BenFranklin,
      One of the three guys MUST know more information. It is inconceivable that they don’t. Can you tell us how it is conceivable that none of them have information that is helpful?

    • Bob
      06/28/2010 at 9:04 PM

      Can you please explain the difference between a verdict of NOT GUILTY and a verdict of INNOCENT? Do you really mean that the judge will find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendants, including Dylan under Lunesta, had nothing to do with this?

  11. Anonymous
    06/28/2010 at 10:46 AM

    I was on the grand jury that indicted the 3 men for conspiracy and obsruction. I think weaver has got it right from what i can tell. Of course, this is just my personal opinion from having seen the evidence first hand.

    • Bill Orange
      06/28/2010 at 10:56 AM

      Intriguing. Was there are lot of debate among the grand jurors about whether or not to indict, or was this one pretty much a no-brainer?

      • Anonymous
        06/28/2010 at 11:21 AM

        It was a no-brainer. We heard 60 cases over the course of a month (including the Chandra Levy case). The Wone case took several days to work through. While there was debate over the motive and nature of the murder, it seemed “reasonable” (obvious) that they had – at the very least – conspired to obstruct, and had then done so.

        • Anonymous
          06/28/2010 at 11:25 AM

          If I am remembering correctly, one of the more interesting aspects was the fact that a blood-sniffing dog had “triggered” at the lint trap in the washer/drier, and out in the backyard in the drain on their back deck (next to the hose, which was left unraveled).

          • anonymous2
            06/28/2010 at 12:45 PM

            That’s all the blood on the towel? Ridiculous. Having sex with a girlfriend could end up more messy than that.

    • tassojunior
      06/28/2010 at 11:56 AM

      How many out of how many cases did the Grand Jury refuse to indict?

      • La
        06/28/2010 at 12:19 PM

        I was on a DC grand jury recently and we indicted all but one case we saw, out of about 100 cases. It’s pretty easy to anything through a grand jury for indictment.

    • Rule6(e)
      06/28/2010 at 12:37 PM

      Whoa, Anonymous, you just majorly violated your secrecy obligations as a grand juror and now have opened yourself up to prosecution!!! You better hope that the prosecutors aren’t reading this!!!

      • plumskiter
        06/28/2010 at 6:11 PM

        i was just going to say the same thing. grand jury secrecy is forever and grand jurors are not free at any point, without court approval, to disclose what took place during their service. just a bit of friendly legal advice to/for Anonymous.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 9:56 PM

          Considering that Anonymous didn’t tell a thing that wasn’t public knowledge, I doubt s/he was even on the Grand Jury.

      • nowwhat
        06/28/2010 at 10:02 PM

        whether anon was on the grandjury or not, i expect that if joe p is sitting in prison in a few months that he will be filing numerous legal actions including ones relating to this kind of thing on this site; anon should expect to be located (or attempted) by some action vs. this website. Likewise, I expect Joe P, if convicted, would site the family member of prosecutor posts. Legal merit? Probably not much, but if you’re facing years in prison you seek any possible attempt to muddy the waters and support an appeal. If acquitted on everything, not sure what Joe P will do, but wouldn’t be surprised at some action related to this site.

        • Bill Orange
          06/28/2010 at 10:20 PM

          “not sure what Joe P will do, but wouldn’t be surprised at some action related to this site.”

          I’m fairly certain of it. But if I were the eds, I don’t think I’d lose any sleep over it. What’s he going to sue for? Defamation of character? He had BDSM photos of himself on his office computer. He had a fairly descriptive alt.net profile. He was starting up a porn business using his office e-mail. He was indicted for multiple felonies. There isn’t a jury in the country that’s going to rule in his favor. You’d be able to countersue and win back any legal fees, in the event that you couldn’t get free representation, which is unlikely, since there are numerous lawyers out there that would love to depose him.

          • nowwhat
            06/28/2010 at 10:27 PM

            “You’d be able to countersue and win back any legal fees,”..I stand to be corrected, but I thought that is not the way the US system works (if you get sued and win, the other side doesn’t owe you legal fees, i think).

            Some posters have gone pretty far in denunciations, so I don’t know if they would be subject to some action.

            • Bill Orange
              06/28/2010 at 10:34 PM

              “Some posters” might be fair game for legal action, but not the eds. And I STILL don’t see Joe Price winning in court. About the only thing in his favor is that there’s no evidence of devil worship or kiddie porn.

            • Carolina
              06/29/2010 at 12:03 AM

              It’s hard to make a case about public information being discussed and theories formulated. If someone wanted to sue, it seem it would be the celebs on PerezHilton with those nasty white dribbles from the sides of their mouths.

  12. CC Biggs
    06/28/2010 at 11:12 AM

    The theories of the case offered above are very plausible, but two things still don’t make sense to me:

    (1) If the housemates were going to create an “intruder” theory, why would they also clean up the blood evidence? The cleanup does not support the intruder theory, and in fact it badly undercuts the theory, because an intruder would not bother cleaning up. So, it does not make sense to clean up the crime scene AND to offer an intruder theory. The two are inconsistent with each other.

    (2) Second, why were the stab wounds done in so precise and surgical a manner? If the stabbing was done simply to create evidence of an “intruder” murder, then the stabs should have been inflicted quickly and imprecisely. Making very precise and symetrical stab wounds would only raise suspicion that they were not done in the course of an ordinary stabbing.

    • EricFormerlyNewbie
      06/28/2010 at 11:21 AM

      CC,
      1) As suggested elsewhere on this blog, the original plan was to dump the body and all evidence. Under that scenario, Robert never arrived at 1509. It was not until after the scream that they had to change course and go with the intruder.
      2) There is nothing to suggest the defendants had done this before. So combine panic, drugs and inexperience and who knows what they were thinking.

      not presented as fact obviously, just some thoughts.

    • Tim
      06/28/2010 at 11:24 AM

      1) A clean scene doesn’t support the intruder theory. But you know what supports the intruder theory even less? Ward and Price’s bodily fluids mixed with Robert’s blood and photographic equipment memorializing the scene. Also, consider that Price/Ward almost certainly were using drugs to lower their inhibitions/heighten their pleasure.

      2) The surgical wounds make perfect sense if you assume they didn’t set out to stab him in the first place. The stabbing was the beginning of the cover up, and so they did it to try to minimize further messiness. Also, it’s quite possible they were going to dump the body but had to go to plan C when Victor screamed.

    • ccf
      06/28/2010 at 11:25 AM

      (1) As we have discussed and many agreed, the intruder scenario was plan B. Plan A was to dump the body until Victor screamed.

      • DonnaH
        06/28/2010 at 5:31 PM

        I think that plan B, the intruder scenario, did get altered a bit when the police did not show up after Victor’s scream, which, John Grisham once pointed out, they were very likely expected to do due to Victor’s scream reverberating inside the perpetrators’ drug-altered heads. After frantically scrambling around to stage the intruder scenario, and probably relieved to have done so before the police showed up, they began to wait. Only after some time passed without the police in evidence were they forced to devise “plan C”–or maybe “plan B2”–by which they themselves had to call 911, and of course ask for an ambulance (but not police).

        They were very busy bees.

        • tucsonwriter
          06/28/2010 at 6:40 PM

          That’s a nice twist. I like it.

    • cinnamon
      06/28/2010 at 11:33 AM

      Why did they clean up? DNA

      • Bill 2
        06/28/2010 at 11:41 AM

        They cleaned up so it would look as if Robert had not been killed in their home. They wanted it to appear that he was killed where they planned to dump the body.

        • cinnamon
          06/28/2010 at 11:57 AM

          After reading the gov’t document linked above, I believe they were very concerned about DNA. Both Joe and Dylan (not Victor) mentions how and why their DNA may be found on Robert and/or on the knife in their interrogations. DNA was in their mind, clearly.

    • weaver
      06/28/2010 at 11:43 AM

      Hi CC,

      I don’t think the intent was to remove blood, I think the intent was to remove other evidence, like their dna and semen.

      As you say, an intruder would not inflict precise wounds, one would expect it to be disorganized. In this case, the killer WAS organized and knew his victim was incapacitated.

  13. tassojunior
    06/28/2010 at 11:14 AM

    I base my prediction of conviction on the 95% conviction rate in all federally-prosecuted crimes and 90% conviction rate on those that go to trial. Put in Attorney General Holder’s involvement, that the charge is a nebulous “conspiracy” to “obstruct”, and the titillating sexual-cult aspects and you’ve pretty much got a slam-dunk regardless of the case.

    The Martha Stewart conviction appalled me because she went to prison for “obstruction” based on her own volunteered statements on something that was not even a crime. Here we may have a conviction based on a “glare” as main “factual” evidence. That’s downright scary.

    Moving toward a China and Russia type conviction rate doesn’t give me a warm feeling.

  14. Bill 2
    06/28/2010 at 11:22 AM

    “If the housemates were going to create an “intruder” theory, why would they also clean up the blood evidence?”

    It’s thought that the “intruder” theory was Plan B. The original plan could have included cleaning up the house and dumping the body elsewhere to make it look as if he were killed by someone away from Swann St. Plan A ended probably ended with Victor’s scream so they had to invent an intruder.

  15. Hoya Loya
    06/28/2010 at 11:22 AM

    Major U.S. newspapapers, other than the local WaPo still have not touched this story.

    But the Guardian has it today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/28/mystery-robert-wone-death

    • Kate
      06/28/2010 at 1:23 PM

      Thanks for the link, Hoya.

      Now I understand what BillO was referring to above when stating “our friends across the pond.”

      Regards,
      Kate

    • tucsonwriter
      06/28/2010 at 3:32 PM

      FYI: I sent a story suggestion to NPR a few weeks ago.

      • Nelly
        06/28/2010 at 5:26 PM

        I sent a story suggestion to the Tacoma, WA and a Florida newspaper a while back, but apparently, they aren’t interested in the story.

        • Clio
          06/28/2010 at 11:18 PM

          I sent my story suggestion to CNN months ago: I wonder why CNN as a premier news network is still not interested?

  16. Nelly
    06/28/2010 at 11:36 AM

    From the beginning, I felt certain that the 3 were involved somehow in murdering Robert and/or covering up the murder. Nothing seemed to make sense if an intruder did it. The house is very narrow, there’s a high fence behind it, and there were those noisy hardwood floors inside. Who is completely asleep by 11pm anyway, and why would a burglar go in during a time when people were likely to be home, and then take nothing?

    I didn’t think that Joe was the mastermind or actual murderer though. It seemed more likely that Dylan did it. However, my opinion changed after more information was released regarding Joe’s weird behavior in the patrol car (talking about what gym he went to, saying “I can’t believe this happened to me,” & other actions showing little concern for ROBERT, who had just been murdered in his home). Then after hearing the 911 call and reading the transcripts of what the 3 said at the police station… everything about this case points to the trouple as the conspirators, and at least one of them murdered Robert Wone.

  17. chilaw79
    06/28/2010 at 11:53 AM

    I have no idea at this point “Who Murdered Robert Wone,” although I am certain beyond a reasonable doubt that an unknown intruder scaled the back fence, entered the Swann Street residence, murdered Robert Wone, and departed without being seen or heard, or having taken anything from the home (including the murder weapon).

    • Gary
      06/28/2010 at 11:59 AM

      Evidence? please.

    • David
      06/28/2010 at 12:05 PM

      Wow, I am surprised at your conclusion chilaw79. You believe beyond a reasonable doubt in the intruder theory. This catches me off guard.

      David

      • William
        06/28/2010 at 12:12 PM

        Is that really chilaw79? Could someone have just posted under that name?

        Turningpoint for me? I thought I was following things, but the govt dropping the cleaning the crime scene part of the story (what? To make sure everything fit into 19 minutes they gave up on the lost blood issue?) and confusing the issue (it seemed like Michael was involeved but now it’s back to looking like Ward/Joe). I just don’t know any more.

        • tucsonwriter
          06/28/2010 at 3:41 PM

          I think they had to drop this because of the mis-use of Ashley’s Reagent destroyed their evidence of a clean-up. Without supporting evidence it wasn’t worth bringing to the table.

      • proudpapa
        06/28/2010 at 12:53 PM

        My guess is that, in line 2 of his post, chilaw79 meant to write “no,” rather than “an.”

        • Also from the Post Story
          06/28/2010 at 1:51 PM

          Sarcasm can be hard to recognize in plain text.

      • chilaw79
        06/28/2010 at 1:42 PM

        I meant to say that I do not believe that no unknown intruder theory did all those things.

        Should either get an editor or go back to caffeinated coffee.

        • Kate
          06/28/2010 at 1:51 PM

          Chilaw – we knew it HAD to be a typo …

          Caffeine is my friend, from time to time, and far less expensive than an editor.

          And now for a bit of fun – you’ve got a lovely double negative in your above post. I think you did so on purpose? It reminds me of “The Jewes are not the men that will be blamed for nothing.”

          Cheers,
          Kate

          • Kate
            06/28/2010 at 1:54 PM

            Or was that “The Jewes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing”?

            Never mind.

            • Bill Orange
              06/28/2010 at 2:19 PM

              Hmmm. A new variant on the Ninja Intruder Assassin theory, I think. I’m still amazed that old Jack eluded capture back then.

              • Kate
                06/28/2010 at 4:31 PM

                By Jove, I think you’ve got it!

                It had to be “Jack the Ninja.”

                I believe Ben Franklin can add that to his above list of possible scenarios. Fits right in with the other suggestions he’s placed before our weary eyes.

                Cheers,
                Kate

      • Carolina
        06/28/2010 at 10:03 PM

        Pass the sarcasm detector, gentlemen.

        • Bill Orange
          06/28/2010 at 10:27 PM

          I think it was a typo rather than sarcasm.

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

      I think there’s a typo here?

      • chilaw79
        06/28/2010 at 1:42 PM

        Exactly, I forgot the word no.

  18. koki2
    06/28/2010 at 11:55 AM

    My thoughts, prayers, and intentions are with Kathy Wone and the rest of Robert’s family today and in the days to come.

    • cinnamon
      06/28/2010 at 12:04 PM

      Yes, me too. This must be painful beyond belief.

  19. Hoya Loya
    06/28/2010 at 12:04 PM

    Turning point in the case/most effective witness: Dr. Fowler. He brought focus back on the murder after the extended Michael Price sideshow, rehabilitated and bolstered much of Goslinoski’s testimony and his testimony obviously made a lasting impression on the judge. I don’t think the defense came up with anyone equally compelling.

    Best performance: If anyone is found guilty tomorrow, I think we can look to Rachel Carson Lieber’s rebuttal as a crucial factor. She opposed the Rule 29 motion as well (with that persuasive brief posted over the weekend). Assist to Martin for his cross. I think Connolly did the best for his client on the defense — he managed to make subtle distinctions regarding his client throughout despite the all-for-one nature of the defense (and some not so subtle distancing in the summation).

    On the evidence presented, Joe probably should be the most worried — he made detailed statements that could land him in hot water if the judge agrees they do not align with the facts and that those statements are enough to draw inferences to meet the applicable standards. I’ve long thought that Victor’s 911 call was among the clearest evidence of obstruction (“someone’s been stabbed,” “evidently an intruder,” “one of our knives,” “i’m afraid to go downstairs,” Robert breathing, “he’s applying pressure,” the sudden crying jag on the stoop. It’s real time and more direct evidence than the later VCB statements. But it’s not clear the judge agrees from her questioning. Despite the contradictions, the tape seems to be a Rorshach test for many re: Victor’s innocence or complicity.

    Basic questions about August 2: There’s lots I can’t fathom, but to go back to where I was when I came in, if forced to speculate, I still think the circumstantial evidence circles pretty clearly around one person.

  20. BadShoes
    06/28/2010 at 12:06 PM

    Attached pls find a link to the 2002 manual for the Boy Scout “First Aid” merit badge. It is a relatively short booklet. Scouts are required to earn this merit badge in order to advance in rank. I read somewhere (not sure) that Mr. Price was an Eagle Scout. If true, Mr. Price would have received this training, and taught the material to others.

    The curriculum includes training in checking for vital signs, prioritizing treatment, and undertaking CPR if there is no pulse. Its pretty standard stuff. In order to earn the merit badge, the holder must demonstrate proficiency in CPR.

    Compare the content of the booklet to the account Mr. Price gave to the police of his actual behavior.

    Note also that Mr. Zaborsky’s non-responsiveness and the information that Mr. Zaborsky gave to the 911 operator (“he’s still breathing”) at a time when Mr. Price told police that there was no pulse precluded the operator from instructing the defendants to begin CPR.

    http://meritbadgeonline.com/Badges/first_aid_2002_2002.pdf

    • Ohio
      06/28/2010 at 1:43 PM

      Is there a specific page you found relevant info on? 102 pages is more than I can do right now. thanks

      • BadShoes
        06/28/2010 at 2:23 PM

        The relevant material is actually only a small portion of the total:

        The merit badge requirements are on p. 2.

        The discussion of major emergencies is pp. 8-15. There is a handy chart on p. 20, some material on stopped breathing on p.21.

        The same material is also covered in Red Cross first aid and CPR courses, military service training, lifeguard and airline cabin attendant courses, secondary school PE classes, and many, many other venues.

  21. Meto
    06/28/2010 at 12:14 PM

    All:

    First, no prosecutor should want me on a jury because I will hold them to a high standard.

    Second, without naming names, the one (or two or three) verdicts we will not hear tomorrow is “Innocent.” A verdict of acquital is “not guilty.” Sorry to lecture, but at least one here screams “innocent.” That cannot happen. I won’t even bother to discuss the absurd comparison to the Hatfill case.

    Third, I have tried to reason through this without my past personal connections getting in the way (for those who want to know about that, please search this site from 2009).

    Fourth, I guess that a sliding scale result poll would be too tough, but that is where I am. Having been “forced” (okay no one made me vote) to vote for only one option, I chose acquittal on all counts. But I think this is very, very close – so if I were to give percentages, I would assign 39% (deliberately less than 40) to acquittal on all charges; 38% to a mixed result with two or more defendants convicted of one or more charges; 15% to only one defendant being convicted of one or more charges; and 8% to conviction on all charges.

    Starting with the last (conviction on all charges), I posted twice Thursday and late Friday that the Grunewald v. U.S. case appears to me to provide a complete legal out on the conspiracy charges based upon the wording of the indictment. The only reason I don’t say 0% is I can’t find the Defense relying on Grunewald which leads me to conclude that I misunderstand how that somewhat older case applies today to this case.

    Also I was overly harsh on Mr. Kirschner last week in my comments. If Proudpapa or someone else connected to the prosecutors is reading, and if anyone cared about a semi-anonomous comment last week, please send my apology. I have rethought this case and conclude that the prosecution did the best they could with a dreadful mess handed to them by the MPD and the Secret Service (I cannot fathom the bizarre handling of the blackberry). More on this below.

    Anyway, I think it is razor close between options 1 and 3 and won’t be surprised with either result. Option 2 is more sticky. I believe (only an opinion) that if Option 2 happens it logically would apply to Joe Price.

    And of course my percentages are both arbitrary and I realize for many a cop-out.

    Finally, a number have commented on what does WMRW and its community do next. I have a modest suggestion that might just get the support of a broad group. No one who has followed this case, can be content with the manner in which this case was handled by the MPD. Without blaming the MPD, citizens need to demand more – more money (or at least a better allocation of money) for police, better training including handling of our diverse population, and fair treatment of all – victims especially. Having read much by George Pelacanos, how many anonymous (Washington Post page B3) one paragraph murder reports east of the Anacostia are we going to tolerate before we say, “enough is enough?”

    This crime against Robert and society called out for resources and prompt justice for Robert absolutely, but where is the outcry every week in this City or in Baltimore (another 10 shot this weekend?) or throughout this country?

    So, I stand for Robert and I believe that his cause is a bigger cause that finding his murderer(s). I have not readily agreed with many of TassoJunior’s posts, but doesn’t he have a point that justice in this City is badly broken and rarely found? So let’s think really big, let’s turn this forum into a grand vision and action as to how fair and prompt justice for all can make this City shine.

    Okay, I will get off my high horse now.

    Always respectfully,

    Meto

    • chilaw79
      06/28/2010 at 7:44 PM

      Meto,

      Isn’t Grunewald primarily a statute of limitations case? The Supreme Court basically said that the IRS could not extend the six-year statute of limitations for filing a criminal tax case by alleging an ongoing conspiracy to keep the past bad acts quiet.

      The defendants in Grunewald were not choir boys. They basically made criminal tax fraud cases “go away” and got paid for having friends in the right places who could decide not to prosecute. The Supreme Court said the IRS blew the statute of limitations by failing to indict for tax fraud and couldn’t do indirectly (by alleging a conspiracy to cover up what had been done) what the government failed to do directly (prosecute for criminal tax fraud).

      In the case of the murder of Robert Wone, there is no statute of limitations for murder. The prosecution did not seek to delay the indictment for obstruction, tampering with evidence and conspiracy by alleging an ongoing conspiracy.

      I think the government gave the Wone case its best shot with the evidence they had. I am not sure that time or additional forensic work would have improved the evidence given the mistakes made early on in the case.

      • Meto
        06/28/2010 at 7:55 PM

        Chilaw79:

        I agree that the underlying case is as you described, but I am struck by this from the case. The defendants as you describe were convicted by the lower court, 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).

        As you know of course, a narrow holding may have broader implications. Even though as you say, that was a statute of limitations case, how does the quote not apply somewhat more broadly and if one substitutes “murder” for “kidnapping”, then what? I readily admit that until someone else raised this case mid-week (last) I had forgotten it from my days at law school (which are just several after yours), so I don’t know the answer, but I posit the question for reasonable people to discuss.

        I also agree with your last paragraph in its entirety. I especially continue to believe that Ms. Lieber is a fine attorney, but am also rethinking my view of Mr. Kirschner.

        I remain, respectfully,

        Meto

        • chilaw79
          06/28/2010 at 11:19 PM

          Ain’t the law grand?

          You and I can read the same case and see different things.

          To me, the kidnapping analogy was the Supreme Court’s way of saying that permitting prosecutors to allege a conspiracy as an ongoing crime as long as the conspirators kept quiet would swallow up every criminal law statute of limitations. Since many people might view even criminal tax fraud as a victimless crime, the Supreme Court wanted to say this rule would apply with equal force to other crimes. This produced the kidnapping analogy (although softened somewhat by the fact that the kidnapping victim was not hurt physically).

          I always learn something from you and respect your opinions.

          • Meto
            06/29/2010 at 5:32 AM

            Chilaw79:

            I also very much appreciate your commentary. Thank you. I see your point and it may explain why the Defense hasn’t to my knowledge raised this argument.

            Respectfully,

            Meto

    • Carolina
      06/28/2010 at 10:14 PM

      I hate to say this, but as long as the majority of dead men are African American, we’re not likely to get a lot of change. The attitude is that it just doesn’t matter. Then something like Swann Street comes a long and the MPD is suddenly called to perform. It’s like asking a high school football player to come on the field at his 10 year reunion.

      • Clio
        06/28/2010 at 11:12 PM

        So true. You are on a roll tonight, Carolina!

  22. tassojunior
    06/28/2010 at 12:15 PM

    I think Fowler was the best witness. His clarity and history were appealing. But remember, Fowler also said 1) That the knife could have been the murder weapon and 2) that the amount of blood was not surprising.

    You lose your reps for bringing the prettiest date to the prom if they go home with someone else.

  23. CC Biggs
    06/28/2010 at 12:17 PM

    Assume all three defendants are convicted on at least some of the charges. Their specific sentences probably will not be determined until a later date. This creates a window of time for one or more of the defendants to cooperate with the police in exchange for the prosecutor’s recommendation of a lighter sentence. Do you think it is likely that one of the defendants (whoever is least guilty) will start cooperating with the prosecution at that point? It seems to me that the posecutor could very well be interested in cutting a deal with one of the defendants if it will result in new information to support an indictment/conviction for the homicide.

    • mw
      06/28/2010 at 12:48 PM

      It’ll be too late for the defendants unless they can bring some physical evidence to the table. (photos, a hidden murder weapon, etc).

      I would hope that the prosecution wouldn’t make any deals just for one of these people’s testimony.

    • Bill Orange
      06/28/2010 at 1:01 PM

      At that point, I think all three of them would need to flip and blame an outside party (probably Michael) to get a good deal. The testimony of a convicted felon isn’t worth much, and if one or two of them walk, they obviously have no incentive to bargain. Also, most people here think that Victor walked in on the crime scene, and if that’s correct, then he wasn’t a witness to the actual murder. So Dylan could blame Joe, and Joe could blame Victor, and neither one would have much value as a witness. If anyone wants a good deal, I think they’d have to get it today. If they all get convicted tomorrow, and I were the prosecutor, I’d just ask for harsh sentences for all three and then move on to my next case.

      • Bea
        06/28/2010 at 1:12 PM

        I don’t think it will happen, but if one of them did flip, and it was one NOT actively involved in the murder, there would be more than enough evidence to convict the murderer(s). Like most, I think that’s Victor, and he was told and saw many things that night and ever after. But he won’t turn on his beloved.

      • tassojunior
        06/28/2010 at 1:48 PM

        Most federal convictions on conspiracy are in fact based upon testimony of convicted felons who are usually given immunity. Unfortunately in the federal system at least, it’s often the major criminal given the deal.

        • Bea
          06/28/2010 at 2:16 PM

          I have no idea where you come up with this stuff.

          • tassojunior
            06/28/2010 at 2:53 PM

            Bea you know very well that conspiracy trials usually involve getting testimony of co-conspirators. That’s the tactic that’s been used here too- to squeeze a co-conspirator to flip.

            • Bea
              06/28/2010 at 4:45 PM

              Tasso and you know very well that wasn’t the part of the comment I questioned. You do this often. You said “it’s often the major criminal given the deal” suggesting that it’s the most culpable – which is pure b.s.

        • Cat from Cleveland
          06/28/2010 at 7:06 PM

          I’ve only practiced civil law, and its been a long time since Crim101. Perhaps those who practice in that field can confirm that this is still the law and/or is the law in DC? My memory is that a prosecutor cannot obtain a conviction on the uncorroborabed testimony of a co-conspirator. In other words, if one of the defendants now claims the others killed Mr. Wone, without some corroborating evidence, the testimony is worthless.

          • Bill Orange
            06/28/2010 at 7:27 PM

            What if it it’s two against one? That’s “corroborating evidence”, isn’t it?

  24. 06/28/2010 at 12:18 PM

    Erotogenesis

  25. ladyg
    06/28/2010 at 12:43 PM

    there’s a line(i could be wrong)in a old song, goes something like this “the slide, slick & wicked.” it reminds me of one ot the defendants, (jmo). joe price, was truly not a friend of the late mr robert wone. yes, we all act differently when one our love ones leaves us unexpectly,but then you do a reinactment (the stabbing motions) in front of the spouse ….my goodness, are telling me you witness the crime? that chills me to my bones.

  26. Danali
    06/28/2010 at 12:51 PM

    For me, though I probably started with a presumption of guilt, that hardened into a near certainty after repeated listenings of the 911 call- compared with the published timeline and EMT accounts of their first arrival.

    Three minutes and thirty seconds into the 911 call, Victor repeatedly tells the operator “…he (Joe) is applying pressure” to the dying Robert’s wounds.

    Less than three minutes later- paramedics arrive. Joe is not only not applying pressure, he is sitting in his bikini briefs at bedside, ignoring Robert. Dylan is off in his own world, not saying a word to EMTs. Victor is hysterical- whether sincerely or not, he at least is projecting some kind of relatable human emotions you’d expect to see at a home where the dying/dead body of a friend was only discovered minutes before.

    I already belabored the point before but I keep coming back to this little moment more than any other. The first time I heard the call- I thought it was genuine. But two-and-a-half minutes after Victor assures the Operator that Joe is applying pressure to their dying friend- they arrive. And Joe’s not doing a damn thing but sitting there in his underwear. For an eternity.

    Clearly, Joe wants people to see him in his underwear, presumably so as to remove suspicion that he’s guilty of anything. Yet it doesn’t even occur to him- as his busy projecting his naked vulnerability by way of his Underroos- that he’s projecting something entirely different by NOT attending to Robert. And he’s undermining the credibility of Victor’s 911 call- which is still underway.

    So there it is. Victor appears to be lying about Joe’s efforts to save Robert while talking to 911. Such a small thing- but it’s right there on the record. But that small, easily verified lie becomes a thread that when tugged upon unravels the rest of the 911 call. What else was Victor lying about? Presumably, whatever Joe coached him to lie about… And right there, it seems clear you have evidence of obstruction and conspiracy (at least as I understand them).

    • CuriousinVA
      06/28/2010 at 1:14 PM

      All good points. Add the fact that Joe was not only sitting there NOT applying pressure as described but there was no blood-soaked towel(s) that could have even been used for that purpose!

  27. Bea
    06/28/2010 at 1:05 PM

    I don’t think my take on what will happen will surprise anyone. After a weekend of contemplation, I am about the same place I was before. I will be shocked if Joe Price is acquitted. While I think Dylan Ward was definitely part of the cover-up (if not more) his demeanor in life – shadowy figure on the outskirts, saying little – may save him, meaning the Judge may find there’s not enough solid proof of him entering into the conspiracy. Also, I think it was clear that the Judge was working through whether Victor could be granted a ‘pass’ for being on the periphery and remaining steadfast for his partner (though he was not Joe’s “love-of-his-life”).

    I do think Victor and Dylan will go together on the conspiracy charge – one way or the other. She may NOT find either of them guilty of conspiracy but still find them guilty of obstruction. Joe will be convicted on all three charges – I think she’s focused on him as the ringleader and the centerpiece of most of the evidence.

    I don’t know that there was a turning point for me. I read as much as I could back on Datalounge before this trial, but if there was one ‘stand-out’ thing it was the affidavit in support of the arrest warrant.

    Most recently the thing which sticks out for me is Joe’s comment to Tara Ragone that it’s not tampering to wipe up blood while being freaked out – (1) he did NOT say this to the cops that night; and (2) by the time he DID say this to Tara, he didn’t know that the Ashley’s Reagent had screwed up the blood evidence. He was trying to provide a baseline story for when the evidence came in showing blood clean-up.

    • Bea
      06/28/2010 at 1:08 PM

      Paragraph 3, I read on Datalounge before this blog was started, not this “trial”. Duh.

    • CuriousinVA
      06/28/2010 at 1:21 PM

      Agreed Bea. Joe goes down for all three. Victor and Dylan on obstruction. As much as I’ve returned to my Dylan full involvement position, I’m having a hard time pinning the conspiracy on him.

      Assuming Joe goes to prison for the max, I wonder if Victor, if acquitted, would continue to stand by him man?

      • Bea
        06/28/2010 at 2:19 PM

        Good question but my guess is ‘yes’. Since he’s gone this long risking everything he has, I’d hazard a guess that he’d move near the prison so he could do each visiting hour. Finally he’d get the chance to prove he loves Joe most of all!

        • Kate
          06/28/2010 at 4:36 PM

          Bea – great analysis, as always.

          As a non-lawyer, I do have one question for you:

          If Joe is found guilty of all charges, including conspiracy, wouldn’t one of the other defendants have to be found guilty of conspiracy, as well?

          I thought there had to be at least two people involved for a conspiracy to exist.

          Looking forward to your response,
          Kate

          • Bea
            06/28/2010 at 4:44 PM

            Kate, unless the Judge finds an ‘unindicted co-conspirator’ (such as Michael), yes.

            • Kate
              06/28/2010 at 5:34 PM

              Ah, thanks for the clarification.

              Any further thoughts on Michael at this time?

              • Bea
                06/28/2010 at 6:12 PM

                Personally, I don’t think he’s the killer. If he was there, maybe he added to the ‘cauldron’ but I doubt he was “the one” these defendants are willing to do prison time for.

                • Kate
                  06/28/2010 at 6:16 PM

                  I agree.

                  The “dangling Michael” does add to the bizarre nature of the case, but I’ve never been able to see how he fits into the scene.

                  Thanks, Bea

    • Carolina
      06/28/2010 at 10:18 PM

      If the other two walk on conspiracy, with whom did Joe conspire?

  28. Nora
    06/28/2010 at 1:16 PM

    My real turning point came while reading the opinions of old timers on this blog, long ago. I had read the afidavit, but was still undecided because the non-intruder scenarios seemed as crazy as the intruder scenario. Nothing seemed to make sense, and I was unsure of whom to trust. But after reading so many brilliant minds on this blog offer convincing explanations, I slowly decided against the trouple.

    The Government’s Opposition is a great read, and gets a lot of mileage out of the defendents’ spoken inconsistencies. That was well put together. I was very disappointed in the Defense’s Motion to Acquit, however. I understand a defense attorney’s reliance on spin, but it is something else altogether to state known mistruths. One example is claiming that Robert “sent e-mails” from his Blackberry at 11:00 PM that night. He did nothing of the sort – according to testimony there were unsent messages in his Blackberry that could’ve been composed by anybody, and the time-stamp altered to present whatever time that person desired. To fabricate “evidence” like this is unconscionable and should be firmly discouraged.

    To a lesser extent, I’m annoyed by the government’s continuing claim that there was “pollen” on the eight-foot fence. Any pollen deposited there in the springtime would have long since been washed away. Claims like this endanger the prosecution’s case by making the detectives look sloppy at best.

    Nevertheless, I predict that at least two of the defendents will serve time. Which is, indeed, “some justice.”

  29. Firefly
    06/28/2010 at 1:21 PM

    Adrenochrome
    Were the guys seeking the ultimate drug? Please consider this:

    Author Hunter S. Thompson mentions adrenochrome in his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In the book it is derived from a living donor’s adrenal gland (removing the gland kills the donor; it cannot be taken from a corpse). As such, it is purported to be very exotic, and very intense: if you take it you will hallucinate for several days even up to a week “the first wave felt like a combination of mescaline and methedrine”. Thompson reported a significant perceived rise in body temperature that led to paralysis. The adrenochrome scene also appears in the novel’s film adaptation. In the DVD commentary, director Terry Gilliam admits that his and Thompson’s portrayal is a fictional exaggeration. In fact, Gilliam insists that the drug is entirely fictional and seems unaware of the existence of a substance with even a similar name. Thompson also mentions the substance in his book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

    In Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel “A Clockwork Orange” the Korova Milk Bar (a fictional establishment) is mentioned to serve milk drinks laced with either opiates, synthetic mescaline or Adrenochrome.

    Adrenochrome also features in Whom The Gods Would Destroy (an episode of the UK detective series Inspector Lewis)

    Aldous Huxley discusses adrenochrome in his essay “The Doors of Perception”, in which he recounts his experience as a test subject for research into the effects of mescaline.

    From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenochrome

  30. mw
    06/28/2010 at 1:32 PM

    It seems strange that the plan may have changed from “Dispose of Wone’s body and plead ignorance” to “Stab him three times and leave him in our house”, all because of Victor’s scream.

    Victor obviously got himself together enough to be trusted to make the 911 call. He was on-board in the conspiracy, in that scenario. If he stood silent for so much, why stay silent to dispose of a body?

    If they had cleaned up, and disposed of the body (and they had all night to do it), we’re left with Victor’s scream as evidence. If that even ever comes to light.

    Something’s still missing there – what was the hurry? Why call 911 at all, and not just make the problem go away?

    • mw
      06/28/2010 at 1:33 PM

      Meant to type, If he stood silent for so much, why would they worry about him not staying silent while they dispose of a body?

    • Bill 2
      06/28/2010 at 1:39 PM

      “what was the hurry? Why call 911 at all, and not just make the problem go away?”

      The hurry was the police they figured were on the way because of the scream. It was said that you could hear a baby crying in the next house, right through the walls. The scream could have easily broght the police. The 911 call probably was due to the possibility they had changed to the intruder plan and needed an emergency call close to the scream, not hours later.

      • mw
        06/28/2010 at 2:16 PM

        Could be that they just guessed wrong on the neighbor’s reaction. But somehow I bet that those neighbors have heard all sorts of weird stuff coming from that house.

        If the police responded to someone else’s 911 call, and came across the defendants and a body (and the defendants hadn’t called 911 yet – likely considering the time between the scream and the defendants’ 911 call – they’re toast anyway.

        Leaving the body of the person you murdered at the murder scene, when that scene is your house, is just stupid. Perhaps they were just stupid.

        • Bill 2
          06/28/2010 at 2:50 PM

          Not stupidity, mw. More likely it was drugs.

      • tassojunior
        06/28/2010 at 2:41 PM

        The stairs or hall from which Victor would have screamed were next to the wall with 1511. A nursery was through that wall. Somehow I don’t think shrieks were too uncommon in this household. With all the bars in this U Street neighborhood shouts, etc. around 11:30 are pretty common.

        What’s most surprising is that Billy Thomas at 1507, who’s notoriously hard of hearing, not only clearly heard a distinctive scream at least 20 feet away through insulated walls, but also distinctly recognized and remembered Maureen Bunyon’s voice in another part of the house.

        • AnnaZed
          06/28/2010 at 2:56 PM

          Are you suggesting that Mr. Thomas perjured himself?

          • tassojunior
            06/28/2010 at 3:32 PM

            I’m saying that he had four years of “help remembering” this and motivation from prosecutors.

            This whole “date-stamping” and “time-stamping” events by radios or tv’s in the background is such a worn cliche. I’ve only seen it used where it involves videos or recordings with a radio or tv playing in the background and even then it’s not convincing.

            I’d prefer hard physical evidence every time to practiced rememberances. If the subjective recollection doesn’t jive with what the earliest time of death could be from the EKG at the ER, I’ll take the EKG.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              06/28/2010 at 3:57 PM

              Tasso, are you a defense attorney?

              • Mike
                06/28/2010 at 4:42 PM

                No, he’s Shaft. Only a Superspade icon would use “jive” so often in place of “jibe.”

                • gina a
                  06/28/2010 at 9:19 PM

                  Ha! I noticed this too!

            • galoon
              06/28/2010 at 9:35 PM

              You didn’t answer AZ’s question. Yes or no?

            • Carolina
              06/28/2010 at 10:24 PM

              On the other hand, if Victor was standing in the doorway to the guestroom, he’d be screaming right at the Thomases’ wall.

          • Bill 2
            06/28/2010 at 3:48 PM

            It’s even worse than that, AZ. The GIA (Gay Informants Agenda) rigged the Thomas’ TV so that it plays all the programs ten minutes before they’re seen live outside the Thomas home on Swann St. Luckily, we have Tassojunior keeping things in line. That’s how we know when Mr. Thomas really heard Maureen Bunyon’s voice. Tasso is saving his special information for the murder trial.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/28/2010 at 3:26 PM

          I used to live in a townhouse on Riggs place. Not only did I hear voices through the wall, I could hear people going up and down the stairs.

          And I could distinguish from what direction (i.e., next door, in the alley behind the house or on the street out front) the noises were coming.

          and I CERTAINLY could tell whether a noise orginated from WTIHIN my home.

          Last but not least, I rarely heard noise on the street outside.

          So, Tasso, you generalize based on your own experience. My experience is completely different.

        • Craig
          06/28/2010 at 3:42 PM

          Junior: The days of you spreading mistruths, half-truths, and deliberate falsehoods are rapidly drawing to a close.

          1.) The Thomas’ bedroom shared a common wall with the guestroom of 1509. That means adjacent to, not 20 feet away.

          2.) The closest bar, nightlclub or restaurant is nearly two blocks away from 1509 and in 2006, there were far fewer in operation in the area. There would’ve been negligible bar patron traffic on that block of Swann on a Wednesday night in the middle of an August heatwave.

          3.) If Mr. Thomas’ poor hearing is so well known, how did that obvious fact escape Connolly, Schertler, Grimm and their cross examinations?

          A quick audit of some random comments of yours shows that you simply and rather unconvincingly confect “facts.”

          • tassojunior
            06/28/2010 at 3:55 PM

            Craig-

            1)The stairs and hall on which Victor would have been are on the opposite side of the house from the Thomas’s wall. The stairs are on the wall against 1511 and the houses are 18 feet wide.

            2)The bars are two blocks away but every open free on-street parking space in the neighborhood is taken by their patrons who come back after drinking and are a constant source of irritation to residents ad nauseum.

            3)It’s not my job to defend the defense team. I would have put up a hell of a lot more than the 3 days they did for sure.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              06/28/2010 at 4:00 PM

              Tasso, have you been in the Thomases’ house?

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              06/28/2010 at 4:09 PM

              Tasso says: “1)The stairs and hall on which Victor would have been are on the opposite side of the house from the Thomas’s wall. The stairs are on the wall against 1511 and the houses are 18 feet wide.”

              1511 is the Thomases address.

              TAsso, here’s the cross section of the house from the Washington Post article.

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/06/01/GR2009060101137.html?sid=ST2009053102566

              • tassojunior
                06/28/2010 at 4:15 PM

                The Thomas house is 1507.

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                  06/28/2010 at 4:47 PM

                  That’s right. Sorry.

                  The Thomases still share a wall to the right side of the guestroom.

                  The guestroom in 1509 goes across the entire front of the house. From east wall to west wall. The Thomases share the east wall.

                  • tassojunior
                    06/28/2010 at 4:49 PM

                    Yes but unless Billy had his ear on the wall there would be a minimum of 20 feet between the stairs in 1509 to where he was.

                    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                      06/28/2010 at 5:00 PM

                      Tasso,the screamcarried through the guestroom. Do you understand that sound carries? Sound will actually carry from outer space. Did you know that?

              • tassojunior
                06/28/2010 at 5:17 PM

                The WaPo diagram you cite isn’t the one that shows the door from the master suite to the roof of Ward’s room. The door is in another WaPo diagram and has been there since the house was re-built. Why there’s not rails around that roof over Ward’s room is strange but there is most certainly a door to it.

                The deck on the roof of the master suite looks older than 2006 but it may be newer. I don’t remember it being built recently.

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                  06/28/2010 at 9:10 PM

                  Tasso, who cares about roof decks?? 1) price and zaborsky were supposedly in their room and did not mention any ninja turtles traipsing through the bedroom while they slumbered, and 2) dylan was supposedly sawing logs right next to the window and HE mentioned no pixies skittering past his sleeping body.

                  But I suppose if a ninja can heave themselves over the fence without touching it, they could certainly fly across the patio and up to the second floor or higher a la crouching tiger style.

            • Craig
              06/28/2010 at 4:11 PM

              You are simply unfamiliar with the evidence and testimony just like you were wrong about the roof decks of 1509 and whether Ward’s bedroom faced the alley or Swann. You are wrong and you are tedious.

              I’m over your games, plain and simple, and other readers should know you make things up.

              • tassojunior
                06/28/2010 at 4:26 PM

                Sorry if I can look out and see things that are not what you think. Look at your own pictures and you will see that there’s a door from the master suite onto the roof of Ward’s room. Call it a deck or walkable surface or whatever. And the roofdeck that spans the 3rd floor doesn’t look new by any stretch.

                Sorry if it’s impolite or tedious to you to point out what I can plainly see with my own eyes. Obviously it’s been too much to expect you to even look at your own photographs on your site. The arguments over whether there are decks or not when I can see them is infuriating to me.

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                  06/28/2010 at 4:40 PM

                  Maybe TODAY there is a door/deck, but then there was not. The crime didn’t happen today.

                  • tassojunior
                    06/28/2010 at 4:44 PM

                    The Post’s diagram shows the door from the master suite to the roof of Ward’s room. And anyone can look and see it.

                    And the Thomases have never lived at 1511, always 1507.

                    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                      06/28/2010 at 4:55 PM

                      those look like closet doors and a bathroom door. Are you saying you’ve been in their bedroom and know where those doors lead?

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            06/28/2010 at 4:00 PM

            Craig, you keep giving him chances.

    • Ohio
      06/28/2010 at 2:15 PM

      That is why I lean toward Victor not being involved in the beginning. Things went awry, Victor discovered Joe and/or Dylan with the deceased, and at that point they told Victor, “someone must have broken in and killed Robert.” Victor knows now, and he did very shortly afterward, but I am not thinking he was involved at the very beginning. I think he was just parroting what Joe told him to the 911 operator, and he didn’t have time to question whether it made sense or not. jmo of course, but if this scenario is true, his loyalty is truly misplaced.

      • CuriousinVA
        06/28/2010 at 3:17 PM

        This doesn’t work b/c Dylan said he was awakened by Victor and Joe’s “commotion” so he wasn’t there according to his story. So then if you have Victor coming upon Joe and a dead Robert why wouldn’t Victor express concern about Dylan? He never even claimed to do so! Now, maybe this is b/c they’ve lied themselves into a corner and Dylan was right there when Victor arrived on the scene but even if Vic honestly didn’t know how Robert was killed, why is he lying?

        • Ohio
          06/28/2010 at 3:23 PM

          But, I don’t believe Dylan. I think he was there when Victor came in. regarding lying? could it be love? I don’t know. There is a lot I don’t know about this.

          • CuriousinVA
            06/28/2010 at 3:39 PM

            My point is that it is just not believable that Victor bought the intruder story.

            • Ohio
              06/28/2010 at 3:58 PM

              I think he could have right off the bat when he made the 911 call. After that, I think he knew it was a lie. All this is just flailing about trying to reconcile some kind of scenario that I believe. I should stop trying, it is probably never going to happen.
              THanks.

    • new-ish
      06/28/2010 at 4:59 PM

      The scream has always bothered me, too. I live in the neighborhood, and I’m not going to call the police when I hear a single scream. If they’ve got BDSM going on, aren’t neighbors hearing a lot more on a semi-regular basis? A scream happens, I maybe turn down my TV and listen, and if there’s no follow up, I’d go about my night. Maybe there was something wild on TV. Maybe someone got some news via phone that caused an outburst. Maybe there was a fight.

      I get the drug addled state some or all of the defendants may have been in, but it’s just always bothered me. Even if the cops were on the way, one person answers the door and says, no problem here officer, just was surprised by a mouse, thanks for checking. The police have no cause whatsoever to enter the house.

      • Bill 2
        06/28/2010 at 5:32 PM

        “one person answers the door and says, no problem here officer”

        That makes sense and the police would probably walk away. What happens when five hours later, a body is found of a person who was supposed to be staying in the house where the scream was heard? Don’t you think some cop is going to remember going to that location at 11:15 p.m.? Then they could track the taxi driver who dropped Robert at that location the evening before.

        It was the scream that totally wrecked their plans.

      • CuriousinVA
        06/28/2010 at 5:35 PM

        But, if you have a scream coupled by a story that your friend who was supposed to stay with you and you claim he never arrived, it looks a little suspicious.

      • cinnamon
        06/28/2010 at 5:42 PM

        …and then the next day when the person who was staying at their house ends up missing and/or dead?

  31. cat
    06/28/2010 at 1:49 PM

    “…who among the large legal teams do you think performed the best?”

    I have a little crush on Tom Connolly and also on Michael-the-editor’s cat. I like their chubby faces.

    • tassojunior
      06/28/2010 at 2:26 PM

      and Connolly’s a ninja.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/28/2010 at 3:29 PM

      I love Michael’s cat. I want to squeeze him. The cat, that is. 😀

  32. weaver
    06/28/2010 at 2:24 PM

    Will the judge be giving her verdict tomorrow at 10:30 AM?

  33. DCGuy
    06/28/2010 at 2:27 PM

    One thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that if you think you have killed someone by overdosing them and you are planning to drop the body somewhere else and make it look like a random murder by stabbing someone, why stab him at your house, why not wait to get to whatever field you are going to leave the body. Additionally, wouldn’t you assume that if and when the body is found that an autopsy will be performed and the drugs and cause of death will be determined and found not be from the stab wounds. So much about the actions of these three just don’t make sense, but their intruder story is even more preposterous.

    The other thing I don’t understand is if you are going to ditch the body and VZ sees it and screams and he is now complicit in the cover-up why not just continue with the ditch the body plan. I wouldn’t assume the neighbors were going to call the cops or paramedics based on a scream. It could have been a horror movie they were watching with the TV too loud. Maybe in the end maybe they were just too high or too shocked at what had just transpired or acts they had committed to be thinking straight.

    • weaver
      06/28/2010 at 2:40 PM

      Robert was dropped off by a cab at the townhouse with plans known by others to spend the night, so I don’t see how moving the body was an option.

      I don’t think the murder was planned. I think they acted on impulse when the plan for a discrete sexual assault went wrong and Robert’s condition went downhill.

    • Bill 2
      06/28/2010 at 3:02 PM

      “I wouldn’t assume the neighbors were going to call the cops or paramedics based on a scream.”

      You seem to be forgetting that you are most likly sober as you’re writing these thoughts. It’s easy to envision that they could have been on drugs in order to enhance their planned playtime. Further, we don’t know if the scream was something that would be heard in the next room or the next block. A loud and very sudden scream could easily cause all kinds of panic to people who just murdered a man.

      • DCGuy
        06/28/2010 at 3:59 PM

        🙂 It’s a work day I try to confine my bouts of insobriety to weekend evenings but point taken about the scream.

  34. Stephen F.
    06/28/2010 at 2:36 PM

    The most remarkable thing for me about this trial is learning and appreciating how rigorous the trial process actually is. The court case is much more constrained in scope and based on hard evidence as opposed to what has been discussed in the press. Props to the American justice system for working well.

    I found the prosecution’s case to be based too much on assumptions and speculation. Still, I side with them based on specific evidence to be discussed below.

    The defense made a crucial mistake in taking the defendants off of the witness stand. Obviously, defendants do not testify when their statements may do more harm than good. Instead of making a case for how the shock of the murder caused the defendants to not remember the details of the night correctly, the defense is relying on the prosecution not being able to put together a strong enough case for conviction. The defense’s entire case is questioning the validity of the prosecution’s case (a good strategy considering its many weaknesses). Nevertheless, the defense does not present a strong enough argument for their clients’ innocence under the established circumstances of the case.

    This case is extremely difficult to unravel because so much of it is not solid, but enough of it is based on hard evidence that all of the defendants should be convicted of obstruction of justice for the follow points:

    1. It is unlikely that there was a break-in as there is no evidence as such. There exists the possibility that the intruder found a way over the fence without disturbing dirt, detritus, etc. But the overall state of 1509 Swann’s back of the house heavily indicate otherwise. (The crushed sandbox next door does not help the defense. Why use the house next door for entry into 1509 Swann? Better security or lights on at 1511? The defense never addresses this.)

    2. The Thomas’ of 1507 Swann indicate a scream came during a newscast between 11pm and 11:35pm. An event such as this followed by police and EMTs swarming your neighbors’ home is not something where one is apt to forget the defining details. The delayed defendants’ call to 911 (at 11:49pm) can only be for getting stories straight and staging the crime scene.

    3. For the sake of argument, let us say that Wone was stabbed to allow a burglar to do his/her work. But the burglar left as soon as he/she killed Wone. Price and Zaborsky supposedly went to check on Wone almost immediately after hearing some grunting noises. Was there time for a burglar to rifle through and scatter Wone’s personal effects and then leave unseen and unheard? If the burglar went through the effects first and Wone awoke and therefore had to be dealt with, then Wone’s wounds should have shown signs of movement/resistance. Here, time and the defendants’ statements lean against the defense.

    4. Dr. Fowler’s testimony about cardiac tamponade and incapacitation is the most convincing of the tamponade arguments. Even the defense medical witnesses agree that there would have been a window of at least a few seconds or more before incapacitation took place. Therefore, if not defensive wounds, at least reflexive movements of the body should have taken place during the stabbings. Wone’s symmetrical wounds and the unexplained needle marks on his ankles and chest indicate that Wone was incapacitated. Too bad that the Metropolitan Police Department was unable to definitively prove that Wone was drugged. But under the circumstances, I think the needle marks in themselves buttress the case.

    5. Finally, Price and Zaborsky did not say they checked on Ward after finding Wone. How could they have been sure that an intruder had not also attacked Ward? How could they have been sure that an intruder was still not in the home and a threat to them all? The defense never attempted to address or correct this point to protect their clients from incrimination, which could have been easily done by citing confusion caused by duress from the murder. While logic cannot be expected under the duress of an extraordinary situation, instinct to protect one’s family should have kicked in. One can only see this statement as the result of a badly constructed cover story.

    For the record, Henry Lee proves that the knife in custody is the murder weapon by indicating the blood, fatty tissue and body hairs on the knife blade as consistent from being used for multiple stabbings.

    Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine perpetrator(s) or motive from the evidence and arguments introduced at trial. If Wone’s semen was indeed found in his rectum, then a motive as well as definitive evidence that the defendants fabricated the timeline would be found. But the prosecution abandoned that angle for reasons I have yet to discover.

    In conclusion, it seems to me that the prosecution has proven (despite a lot of extraneous and speculative stuff) a cover-up. No motive. No idea who killed Robert Wone. Sadly, Zaborsky, the sympathetic one of the trio, may have to go down with the other defendants.

    • incredulous
      06/28/2010 at 2:56 PM

      “Sadly, Zaborsky, the sympathetic one of the trio, may have to go down with the other defendants.”

      Uh, say wha??? What is your logic here? You think P and Ward are guilty, so why is it sad if there is a conviction for a guy who has tried his best for four years to help keep the perpretrators (those who you say are guilty) of a terrible crime from coming to justice, who has participated in preventing closure for the family of the victim, who will dance with joy if the perpetrators are acquitted????????

      If the others are guilty, and VZ has participated in a heinous coverup, then he richly deserves many, many years in prison.

      • Danali
        06/28/2010 at 4:07 PM

        “Sadly, Zaborsky, the sympathetic one of the trio, may have to go down with the other defendants…”

        I’m only speculating here- so discount as appropriate.

        It is true that Victor appears to have helped cover up for another’s crime. And if he did, he should be punished for that. What is at least somewhat tragic is that his devotions are so misplaced. Very few people who disbelieve the Intruder theory believe Victor had anything to do with the murder. It would appear he stumbled into witnessing something utterly horrific and reacted with understandable alarm and terror by screaming at the top of his lungs- hence setting in motion the chain of events that ultimately have brought them all to this moment.

        What motivates him to keep quiet and play along with what most here believe to be a charade?

        Is he doing so because his adoration of Joe is so deep that he’d rather risk everything just on the slim chance he and Joe might be acquitted and thus free to pursue the domestic future he previously longed for?

        Is he doing this because he fears that exposing what he knows might also risk turning him and Joe from the once safe “Portrait of Gay Domestic Bliss!” (as seen in USA Today!) into the “Portrait of Psychotic Deviants Hellbent on Drugging/Raping/Killing their Heterosexual Friends!” if the Conservative Media decided to promulgate the story?

        Is he doing this because there are innocent children who call him Father- and the thought of permanently destroying their lives by confessing that Father #2 did something unthinkably evil is even more painful than the prospects of having to forever live with the knowledge of that act (even if they get away with it in the end)?

        Is it all of the above?

        I find it easy to imagine sympathetic reasons why Victor would choose silence- even though I don’t think any of them are right. It just feels like the utterly desperate act of a man who keeps clicking his heels together and saying, “There’s no place like home” over and over again, hoping to be transported back to the simple life he had in Kansas.

        But more likely than not, when the verdict is rendered, his future is going to be in Oz… (And I don’t mean Frank Baum’s version…)

        • Kate
          06/28/2010 at 4:47 PM

          Well said, Danali.

          • tucsonwriter
            06/28/2010 at 7:00 PM

            Is it possible that Victor is battered/physically abused by Joe? There was this weird comment by Dylan about hearing the scream and thinking it was ‘the boys fighting’ in his testimony to police about the scream.

            • Bill 2
              06/28/2010 at 8:24 PM

              “There was this weird comment by Dylan about hearing the scream and thinking it was ‘the boys fighting’ in his testimony to police about the scream.”

              I think there may have been a lot of discord in the household that night and that’s why Dylan used ‘the boys fighting’ as part of his story. If the truth were known, I think we would find:

              1. Victor came home early because he suspected Joe and Dylan were up to no good.

              2. Victor rushed to the gym to verify Joe’s whereabouts. Joe wasn’t there.

              3. Victor rushed back from the gym to confront Joe.

              4. Ensuing arguments resulted in burnt steaks.

              5. Victor got further upset upon finding they were keeping Robert’s sleepover a secret from him.

              6. Victor became more angry so he went to the third floor bedroom and stayed there watching television – alone.

              • Kate
                06/28/2010 at 8:44 PM

                Hmmm, interesting, Bill 2.

                Thanks,
                Kate

              • AnnaZed
                06/28/2010 at 8:48 PM

                Sounds about right. One contemplates the many nights of his life Victor spent cowering in his gilded prison on the third floor and feels (briefly) ever so sorry for him. As to his new not-so-gilded cell, not so much.

              • Clio
                06/28/2010 at 10:52 PM

                Right on, Bill 2. That trickster is up to something!

        • Bill Orange
          06/28/2010 at 7:52 PM

          Ditto. I know I’m in the minority here, but have zero sympathy for Victor at this point. I can understand how he went along with things that night–he had just gotten back from a business trip, he was exhausted, he walked in on something horrible, he freaked out, and he just did what Joe told him to do. I can even see Joe telling him, “You have say that this is how it happened, or the police are going to think we did it!”

          But within 24 hours, he had to have realized that something was horribly amiss. And when the indictment against Dylan Ward came down, his lawyer had to have sat him down and said, “Look, you seem like a nice guy, and this is some REALLY fucked-up shit. Are you sure you don’t want to talk to the prosecutor and see if we can work out a deal?”

          By now, he’s had over 3 1/2 years to think this over, and he’s gotten some of the world’s best legal advice. And he’s STILL unwilling to take the stand and just say what happened. And all to ensure that no one finds out what Joe and his live-in dom we’re up to that night.

          I’m sorry, but no. There’s just no way I can sympathize with him. A talented young man is dead, and Victor Zaborsky is one of the main reasons that his killer may never be brought to justice. He belongs in prison for a long, long time.

          • cinnamon
            06/28/2010 at 8:08 PM

            “But within 24 hours, he had to have realized that something was horribly amiss.”

            I think he realized the gravity of what he had agreed to while he was still on the 911 call. As soon as the EMTs arrive, he becomes hysterical. I think the reality of seeing the EMTs coming into the house was like splashing cold water on his face and the situation hit him like a ton of bricks and he begins to cry uncontrollably…but he chose to go through with the plan anyway.

            • susan
              06/28/2010 at 8:40 PM

              My guess, pure speculation, is that the reason he hasn’t come forward isn’t due to allegiance. I think at some point reality of the gravity of it all sets in.

              Someone posted something awhile back about maybe all three entering into a pact with a stab each. (Horrible writing that.) If he didn’t put his hand on the hilt symbolically I think he must have either helped pack things away, something. Something more. I also start to think more and more that that “scream” the neighbors heard was his.

          • Bea
            06/28/2010 at 8:31 PM

            Whether one can still harbor “sympathy” for Victor Zaborsky is not really the question to me. I don’t think he was involved in the murder, and that’s where I make a distinction between him and the others (whether the other two are murderers, I can only speculate).

            I wish he had the guts to do what’s right, but since he doesn’t, he may very likely pay with a prison sentence equal to the others.

            I think there was a lot of “high drama” in the 911 call and some sober, truthful moments (“he was stabbed. . . in the chest”). And by the time he was interrogated, and there was the “Mercedes meeting” shift, he did say “my life will never be the same” which seems an unlikely comment given that he’d told the cops he wasn’t really close with Robert. Granted, seeing even a stranger stabbed (and in one’s home) would have great impact, but “my life will never be the same” doesn’t come to mind.

            I am truly frustrated that the murder case may never be solved, and I think that because Victor holds the cards that I can understand Bill O’s point of view. But is he cut from the same cloth as Joe Price? I don’t think so. If I had a dollar for every time here that I’ve wished he’d come forward, I could buy . . . something less expensive than a Prada shirt, but if Joe is convicted and Victor is not, perhaps he’ll get the necessary distance to see just what Joe put him and his family through (including children).

            If they’re both convicted, there will be even more rigid “distance” and maybe he’ll begin to see that the man he loves would’ve sold him down the river long ago if tables were turned – likely would’ve traded him in years ago for Dylan if not for financial entanglements and the sons (and why trade him in if one can keep both?).

            • susan
              06/28/2010 at 8:45 PM

              Good point, Bea, about his statement that his life “would never be the same.” I think that does speak to his complicity.

              You may be right about the murder. But I think he knows that he has a potential out with this trial and a definite or close to definite prison sentence with a confession of complicity, even if he wasn’t the actual murderer.

              Hopefully we will get some justice tomorrow. I’d like to think whatever way it works out there will ultimately be some justice, sooner or later.

              • Three Strikes
                06/28/2010 at 10:59 PM

                I keep thinking about seeing Victor’s parents outside the courtroom. “We’ve been here every day for four weeks” his mother told some of us waiting to enter the courtroom.
                And when there was mention of testimony by a new witness, she mentioned that “Who do you think is paying for this?”
                Victor was raised by the most loyal of folks…and it is sad to see them have to go through so much.

                • Carolina
                  06/29/2010 at 12:11 AM

                  I see it as Victor being brought up by people who excel at turning a blind eye, and he has learned well.

    • Carolina
      06/28/2010 at 10:47 PM

      Lee did not establish that the knife was the murder weapon.

      Blood and adipose from a *gaping* wound would present no issue at all.

      There were no rayon fibers on the knife, only cotton, virtually ruling out that the knife had ever passed through the tee shirt worn by the victim.

      The bruising around the one of the wounds would indicate the knife was stabbed to the hilt. The depth of the wounds indicated that while the knife *may* have been capable, it would be on the extreme outer end of the range, whereas the missing carving knife falls almost dead center.

  35. 06/28/2010 at 2:49 PM

    The Canadian Nen and Barbie case
    Karla Homolka and Paul Bernado-from what I read felt that they had a formed a special bond with the other from their heinous sacrafice of her teenage virgin sister. Paul wanted her sister. Paul was her king/special. He was the blond white knight that had swept her off her feet –Karla had to fulfill that wish and they would be bonded forever. They botched the sedation but it of course was a plan that their corrupted minds thought was perfect and of course for years it was ruled an accident. But there were tapes kept and their unremmiting desire for fear/submission/control

    • Bob
      06/28/2010 at 9:10 PM

      Do you mean Ken and Barbie?

      I can’t find pictures of either of them. Were they really as empty and attractive as a real Barbie and a real Ken?

  36. QStreet
    06/28/2010 at 2:53 PM

    Is the judge’s decision still set for 11am tomorrow? Thanks

  37. 06/28/2010 at 2:59 PM

    I wonder if any of the parties every saw that MSNBC special on Karla and Paul that comes on at night on cable–A dark heart or something—there is even a movie “Karla” that delves into the psychiatric aspects of the pathologic narcissist and the need for someone to fullfill his every desire as well as the bond betw sadist and companion. Having your partner and boy toy in same house is like the arrogant billionaire who takes wife and mistress on his vacation trip to the alps–p

  38. incredulous
    06/28/2010 at 3:01 PM

    Here’s my rant of the day:

    The morally confused on here who keep talking about how VZ is a sympathetic figure are mixing apples and oranges. The immature, but good-guy teen who succumbs to peer pressure and tags along with the bad older guys to commit a crime is a sympathetic figure because he made a bad rash judgement. VZ, if these guys are guilty as charged, engaged in not a night of rash judgement, but years and years of coverup of a heinous crime. I don’t even begin to fathom how a “nice” person or “sympathetic” figure could do such a thing.

    • Wulfila
      06/28/2010 at 6:32 PM

      I couldn’t agree with you more! No sympathy for any of these 3 if they did indeed help to cover up a murder. That’s not what good, decent people do…

    • Carolina
      06/28/2010 at 10:48 PM

      Yes, the world is all black and white with no hidden details.

      • Three Strikes
        06/28/2010 at 11:01 PM

        Spoken like the true Carolina will do! : )

  39. tucsonwriter
    06/28/2010 at 3:04 PM

    Not that I ever believed the intruder story, but the turning point for me was reading the Defense’s Motion this morning. I was quite shocked as it seemed to read more like the Defense’s Motion to Hand to the Prosecution Some Nails With Which to Seal the Coffin of the Defendants.

    Of note in the Motion: an item I don’t think anyone to date has noticed. Victor’s testimony that he was watching Project Runway until 11:10pm. (Supposedly Joe and Victor were watching it together.) What this tells me is that Victor did indeed watch Project Runway until 11:10 pm and was then able to coach Joe in the details of the show, so that if he had been questioned on this he would have been able to answer accurately. This means Victor’s scream came after 11:10 but before 11:30.

    In the Defense’s Motion for Acquittal they also include contradictory testimony of Price and Ward, each of which states that they showed Robert Wone to his room, neither of which states that there was anyone else with them.

    The Defense actually included a dictionary definition of a legal term in their Motion. I am sure the Judge just loved reading that. That is something a high school student might do in an essay.

    I couldn’t even finish reading the Defense’s motion past page 30 or so. They quoted, to build their case, statements made by prosecution’s witnesses on cross-exam. They couldn’t even use or find any evidence to substantiate their Motion.

    Prior to reading the amazing Govertment Opposition document – which was written in outline form, had substantial evidence to back up each count and subsection – I thought Victor was fairly innocent of the tampering with physical evidence. However (and it is interesting to note that the only mistake in the whole document is the mis-numbering of inconsistent statements Victor made. There are 2 #4- so that the recorded number of statements is 5, whereas it should be 6 statements- Joe and Dylan both are itemized at 13 misleading statements.) he is directly involved with the towels. According to Victor’s statement – there should have been two towels at the scene. He brought two towels to the scene.

    Any closer to an idea of what happened? Based on inconsistencies in statements and the number of inconsistencies – Ward and Price are involved in the murder, Victor and Price are involved in the clean-up. No idea if Ward was involved or not in the clean-up or if they all multi-tasked – some with the body, some with the room.

    In terms of what the government actually proved beyond a reasonable doubt- I think they proved ever count except Dylan Ward for tampering with physical evidence. 6 our of 7.

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

      6 out of 7. Guilty.

    • Bill Orange
      06/28/2010 at 8:03 PM

      I agree with you on the defense motion–I couldn’t finish it, either. Their whole strategy seems to be of the “baffle them with bullshit” variety. They had a pretty straightforward case–they needed to establish that it was possible–possible!–that the defendants were telling the truth in their statements to the police. They never looked like they were trying to do so. They always struck me as a legal team that was simply trying to throw out every legal argument that they could in the hopes that something would stick. I wish they would’ve at least TRIED to make their clients look a little less guilty.

  40. Lyn
    06/28/2010 at 4:21 PM

    Turning point: None. Ever since I read the arrest affidavit, it was clear that they covered up the murder. Nothing the defense presented has changed my mind. And actually, some of the defense arguments have convinced me even more of the trouple’s guilt (e.g., defense claiming tamponade, thereby highlighting Zaborsky’s lie about Wone still breathing during the 911 call).

    Effective Witnesses: None at all for the defense. They were a bunch of clowns that the judge will see right through. She has common sense in spades and some of the defense claims were, quite frankly, insulting to her intelligence. Prosecution witnesses were impressive to me, particularly Gosilnoski, Fowler, and Deedrick.

    Verdicts: As I said a few days ago…

    “I believe all three defendants are guilty. I believe Price and Ward murdered Wone and all three were involved in the cover up. I believe the rank of culpability is Price, followed very closely (if not tied) by Ward, with Zaborsky bringing up the rear.

    For some reason I fear a somewhat perverse outcome in this trial: Price and Zaborsky being found guilty, while Ward goes free. I believe such an outcome will infuriate Zaborsky, who was probably assured of his freedom by Price and who will justifiably be outraged that Ward (who he probably knows was directly involved in the actual murder along with Price) is walking free while he is sent to prison for a helping to cover up a murder which he himself didn’t commit.”

    And finally: Eds, It has been said many times before, but bears repeating – thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you have done in covering the investigation and trial. Your efforts and your outputs have been amazing and is the absolute best tribute to Wone and his memory.

    I am anxiously looking forward to tomorrow at 11am.

  41. new-ish
    06/28/2010 at 4:31 PM

    Beenreading and tracking for over a year, but today is my first time commenting.

    I’m very cuious, and did not see it covered (but may have missed it in the extreme number of posts) of the current relationship with Scott Hixson. Is he on the defense’s ‘team’ so to speak, believing the trouple innocent? Or was he a willing witness? I just feel that given the sexual and emotional dynamics at play here that there is more to him than I’ve seen covered. I get the parents standing by their children during this trial and experience – but what of the friends? Not just Scott, but Tara – where is she now, after reading all this? Sarah Morgan? The mothers of the defendant’s children? These were the closest people to the trouple – I just wonder if they’ve stuck through hearing all of this come out.

    I’d also like to know if there will be a multi-million dollar defense in the civil trial, or whether they’ve been advised to expect the worst and hid assets, declare bankruptcy, and start all over again after that trial concludes.

    I think we’ll know far more about this case after the civil trial. I don’t think the judgement there will come close to providing a satisfacotry conclusion, but I think we’ll all be much further to knowing who murdered Robert Wone then.

    • Bill Orange
      06/28/2010 at 8:08 PM

      I think Sarah and Scott Hixson both said that they haven’t spoken to the defendants since 2008, which tells me all I need to know. It was pretty clear from the “Washingtonian” article that Tara thinks Joe’s guilty.

      • cinnamon
        06/28/2010 at 8:12 PM

        This is why I was surprised by Sarah’s testimony. It seems she must know more than she it telling. She moved out of the house right away. It was reported that she only went back to retrieve her belongings and then broke off contact with the three them.

        • Bill Orange
          06/28/2010 at 10:10 PM

          I think that these were good friends of hers, particularly Zaborsky, and she didn’t want to be seen as stabbing them in the back in open court.

          At the same time, I think that when she started talking to her parents and her friends right after this happened, they probably all tried to reassure her with statements like, “An intruder could’ve struck ANYWHERE! These were three normal guys–it’s not like there was a bunch of really creepy shit going on in that house before this happened.” And then Sarah responded with, “Well, actually…” And at that point, pretty much everyone told her she needed to get the hell out there and never look back.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 10:54 PM

          I think her attorney had more to do with Miss Morgan’s change of scenery than anything else.

  42. She did it
    06/28/2010 at 4:49 PM

    good day, and love to all, especially craig!

    a turning point for me came when the trial started and the evidence began to be presented. witness after witness for the prosecution left me wondering is that all there is? the government got my attention with the affidavit; but i think that is where they blew their load; much that came after that has been a let down or a series of so what. though i admire so many on here (bea, clio, cd) who have managed to make chicken salad out of the government’s case, i would have prefered something tighter, more crisp, and more organised out of the box. it appears that the government pulled it together very late in its case; but by that point i was alread asking where is the beef. though i admire the judge, i don’t think she will be able to do all of the work and analysis that was done here by many who followed the case. i am not certain you can convict someone by negative inferences and much of that needs to be done here to convict. i therefore think that miami shores by wednesday is more probable than not. i will be in the stalls at badlands just in case aunt marcia throws a victory party. meet me there, ms hixson.

    • CC Biggs
      06/28/2010 at 5:21 PM

      Read the government’s opposition brief that was posted on the site this past weekend. It is a very tight, detailed, and powerful presentation of the facts and reasonable inferences to be drawn from the facts, and (in my judgment) establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s not even close.

      • She did it
        06/28/2010 at 6:06 PM

        i did read the opposition – thought it was great. wish i had seen more of that caliber earlier and more often in the case in chief.

        i think it is close, close enough that there is reasonable doubt – i could be wrong and we will find out tomorrow how the judge views it. reasonable doubt did not enter my mind until the government put on its case – which says something of their presentation. to be fair, the defense case stunk out the joint too. after the affidavit, i expected more.

    • Firefly
      06/28/2010 at 5:48 PM

      She did it – I have similar feelings. It seems both sides could have done better at presenting more powerful facts.

      Question for the lawyers. A civil case is imminent, and there may be criminal murder trials to come. Is it likely that both legal teams held back on presenting more facts to help them win subsequent trials?

      • Cat from Cleveland
        06/28/2010 at 7:33 PM

        Here’s my $0.02. No way. The prosecutor may not get another chance, and will give this everything they have in hopes of getting whatever conviction they can get. The defense is far more concerned with keeping their freedom than with losing their money.

    • Bill Orange
      06/28/2010 at 8:16 PM

      I think you may just be getting distracted by the lack of bombshells and a lot of boring prosecution witnesses. This is a no-nonsense judge who would not put up with a lot of craziness in her courtroom. This was never going to be a show trial, despite what the critics have claimed. You’re left with four men in who were in the house that night, one of them was stabbed to death, and the other three are all telling the same story that is totally inconsistent with the evidence. That’s obstruction and conspiracy to obstruct.

  43. Hoya Loya
    06/28/2010 at 4:52 PM

    I will be driving tomorrow and unable to check in until mid-to-late afternoon. I will be envious of those of you who will be able to get the breaking news as it happens thanks to our eds.

    I think it is worth noting the evolution that this site has gone through — it started as a simple clearing house of information on an unsolved murder, then morphed into real investigative journalism, enlivened by speculative comments by posters trying to solve the crime.

    But the biggest change came with the trial coverage which was always informative and fair, indeed in the CSPAN mold which the eds have aspired to emulate. I followed as much other coverage as I could via Google News, but no other outlet had the same level of accuracy (including frequent corrections and clarifications when necessary) or the vivid description which practically put all readers in the courtroom. In turn, I think most of the community here followed along, objectively evaluating the evidence presented and the trial skills of the various lawyers, reconsidering assumptions and on many welcome occasions adding their own eyewitness accounts. Kudos to all.

    I’ll be hoping for justice to be done tomorrow morning (while trying to keep my eyes on the road).

    • TT
      06/28/2010 at 5:42 PM

      Hoya, you have been one poster who is always on task. I so much appreciate you. Following this site for almost a year in half has me now sitting on pins and needles for tomorrow. Very anxious, I have to trust that justice will be served.

    • Clio
      06/28/2010 at 11:00 PM

      I agree, Hoya, with your positive assessment of the site, which may have revolutionized (and democratized) legal news coverage for the better.

      I too will be working and not lurking at 11 am: even a goddess has to labor for pay these days. But I am confident that our Editors will provide comprehensive team coverage, with or without Shaky Cam. And, I cannot wait for the possible reappearance of artist renderings … one last time.

  44. Just Another Friend
    06/28/2010 at 5:05 PM

    Not so much a turning point, but a no-turning-back point for me:
    Reading in the interrogation transcripts that all three men speculated that the intruder must have used their car as a launching pad to get over the back fence.

    I could understand if one of them came up with that under questioning. The fact that all three mentioned it tells me that they talked about that detail before the police arrived.

    • Carolina
      06/28/2010 at 10:56 PM

      And not a scuff on the car. A very kind, careful ninja, was he not?

  45. Lynn
    06/28/2010 at 5:24 PM

    I found this blog a few weeks before the trial started and have been reading daily since then. Based on the disturbing information here — the alt.com, the stimulation machine, etc– I initially thought they would be convicted.

    But, at this point, based on what I’ve read here, I would have to vote to acquit if I was on a jury. I don’t know whether they did it or not after reading the blogs and the posted statements. But, whatever really happened, I don’t think the prosecution met the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. Especially when you consider how much of the stuff on this site is NOT in the evidence.

    The key points that would lead me NOT to convict:

    * I’ll start with the point that will be least popular! I discount anything related to the idea that defendants were not sufficiently upset/hysterical when police arrived or later at the police station. Some people respond to crisis by becoming very silent and focused, others scream and cry, others get angry, others focus on mundane things, etc. I can’t remember the name, but I read a very interesting book years ago about women who are wrongly charged with murder because they were too calm when police arrived. Police expected hysteria, they were calm, therefore guilty. So, for me, the demeanor is not compelling evidence. (Either way — doesn’t say guilty or not guilty.)

    * The neighbor’s time stamp is critical to a conspiracy verdict, as you only have time if he is right about when he heard the scream. He heard it, his wife didn’t… maybe he’s right about time, maybe he is not. If he is wrong about the time by say 15 minutes, then there is no time for clean up or organize a conspiracy.

    * If the stim machine was used to assault Robert, leading to semen found in anus, there should be evidence to back that up. I haven’t heard of any DNA found on that machine and haven’t read the prosecution using that as part of the case. So, while that is one of the most damning bits of info I’ve seen here, I couldn’t even consider it if I were the judge.

    * I hear what posters are saying about the defendants going out of their way to explain how their DNA could have been on scene. But none of those explanations would explain incriminating DNA — in genital area, for example. (And none was found or introduced in trial.) Is it reasonable that they could have cleaned up enough to remove their DNA but not his?

    * When the medical examiner said the knife at the scene could have been the weapon, that really threw reasonable doubt on the knife tampering. And, from a common sense perspective, why would they remove the actual knife but substitute another knife they own? (As opposed to say, putting Dylan’s knife set in the kitchen?) Again, suggestive, but not beyond reasonable doubt.

    * Joe telling the police knife was on body but telling friends he pulled it out — couldn’t a reasonable explanation be that he dramatized the event when telling the story to friends?

    * The needle marks could have been caused by medical response.

    * Blood or lack of blood — without spatter evidence and without strong evidence of blood in drains or in bathroom, I don’t see how the blood can be used either way. The medical witnesses said the wound didn’t have to cause extreme bleeding. And, the police didn’t properly process the scene. I’d say this is non-conclusive.

    * Victor asking for time on phone and all three defendants saying 11:43. Weird, yes. Probably means something. But enough to reach reasonable doubt standard? Not when I consider that Victor could have misremembered it and said 11:43 when they were downstairs, leading to all using the wrong time. Is that what happened? I have no idea. But I can’t be positive that the prosecution’s version is correct, either.

    * Drug use by Joe/Dylan is used frequently in comments to support scenarios, especially those where their actions seem illogical. That’s fine when we are speculating — but when coming to a verdict, no evidence of drug use that night was presented. (Unless I missed it.)

    * Re Dylan said Robert showered but it looks like he didn’t. If a house guest says they are going to take a shower, goes into bathroom and I hear water running, I’d probably say they took a shower. They may have decided not to, but I wouldn’t know that. If I see a reasonable way he could have believed Robert took a shower, I can’t say that the statement itself is proof of lying.

    * Re the two towels: Victor brings “another towel” to Joe, who he says is already applying pressure. What if Joe kept using the first towel? The second towel then becomes one of the unused towels found in the room.

    * Re the scream forcing them to call police: why? Why not find him dead in his bed the next morning and call police then? (And if police turned up before then because neighbor heard scream, you let them find the stabbed body.) All you have to do is say that you were asleep and didn’t hear any scream.

    * Re the emails in government motion: Dylan thought the idea of introducing a third person was “scary” just a month or so before the murder. Before I read that, I was thinking that the S/M angle + date rape OD theory might be the key to what happened. But… how do you get from being scared about adding a third to drugging/assaulting a straight friend six weeks later? Not impossible, but seems awfully fast. I don’t think the S/M stuff is in the evidence at all, so can’t be considered for verdict anyway.

    * Re not helping police solve murder: all three went in and made statements. The police clearly behaved in a homophobic way. Whether that was strategic or real, the defendants had to be aware of the bias, and they had to see that they were being viewed as suspects. Which would then make it perfectly rational that they decided to lawyer up. That wouldn’t erase any lies in the statements as evidence, but I would not hold it against them that they stopped cooperating or that they did not testify at trial.

    So, who murdered Robert Wone? I have no idea. Did one of these three murder him? I have no idea. Did Michael murder him? I have no idea. Did some other intruder murder him? I have no idea.

    I completely and totally understand why the ninja intruder seems farfetched. But, doesn’t it also seem farfetched that Robert arrived, was drugged and assaulted, murdered and cleaned up, all evidence of the cleanup removed, and a conspiracy planned, all within an hour and 19 minutes? I can’t say that it didn’t happen that way. But, I don’t look at the evidence and say that this definitely happened, beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The only thing that is crystal clear is that somebody killed Robert. And, if it was one of these three, it will be an awful thing if they are found not guilty and walk out tomorrow. But… isn’t that a risk built into our judicial system by the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard? We risk letting some guilty people go free in order to protect the rights of all of us.

    I don’t know what the judge is going to decide. I am glad I am not in her position.

    • Bill 2
      06/28/2010 at 5:43 PM

      “If the stim machine was used to assault Robert, leading to semen found in anus, there should be evidence to back that up.”

      Thus you’re not going to consider the stim machine that left the house with the camera equpment and bloody sheets?

      • Lynn
        06/28/2010 at 5:57 PM

        I don’t think you can consider anything that there is no evidence of. I’ve wondered whether they were Dexter fans and had the room wrapped in plastic wrap and packed everything up in plastic bags to carry off. But, without evidence, I can wonder forever… doesn’t prove anything one way or another.

        • Bill 2
          06/28/2010 at 6:30 PM

          There is no evidence of blood that would be cast off in a stabbing. Does that mean he wasn’t stabbed?

          Both Price and Zaborsky mentioned all the blood to the police. There is no evidence of all the blood. Did it evaporate?

          Zaborsky said he brought another towel to Price. It wasn’t found. Since there is no evidence of another towel, did Doug Henning stop in to make it disappear?

          It’s not the evidence that will convict. It’s the missing evidence, when added up, that will convict.

          • She did it
            06/28/2010 at 6:50 PM

            missing evidence – that is where i struggle. is it ok to hold anyone responsible for missing evidence where there is no direct evidence that they destroyed/removed the evidence in the first instance; just common sense suggesting that it could have been no one else? as wonderful as all of the theories on here are that support a conviction, i think that they all require an application of common sense that I am not convinced is allowed. we will find out very soon . . .

            • chilaw79
              06/28/2010 at 7:54 PM

              Common sense is allowed.

              Jurors always are instructed to use common sense in analyzing the evidence. The same axiom would apply in a bench trial. Judge Leibowitz is not required to check her common sense at the door when she puts on her robe.

              • nowwhat
                06/28/2010 at 10:59 PM

                commonsensewillprevailihope

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 10:59 PM

          The stim machine was found. What’s the question?

          • Bill 2
            06/28/2010 at 11:14 PM

            One stim machine was found. If someone is going to assume that a stim machine wasn’t used to assault Robert because there was no evidence on that one to back up an assault, I’m just pointing out that we could also assume there may have been a second stim machine that went away with all the photo equipment.

            • Carolina
              06/29/2010 at 12:15 AM

              Well, you don’t, how shall I say this… One could use the machine and not have DNA on it for the next use? Is that delicate enough?

    • Denimama
      06/28/2010 at 5:48 PM

      Lynn,
      That is the most rational analysis I have ever seen on this site. Thank you for the detailed, non-hysterical, point-by-point assessment of the case. I completely concur.

      • shea
        06/28/2010 at 8:34 PM

        I agree
        (Denimama) – nothing about this case makes much sense and Lynn takes a very smart, if not very popular, approach

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 11:03 PM

          The problem is, she has not in any way accounted for the evidence that *is* there.

          I have no theory about which of them killed Robert, but you can bet your ass it was not a Ninja.

          Tampering with the knife? Let’s assume it’s The Knife. How does one stab someone and only get towel fibers on the knife? How does one avoid getting blood on the cutting edge? How do you jam it into someone up to the hilt, hard enough to leave a bruise, and yet there is no blood on the hilt?

    • DCGuy
      06/28/2010 at 6:06 PM

      You probably made a better case to acquit than their attorneys’ did in their closing arguments. I still think you might be able to get to “beyond a reasonable doubt” when it comes to Joe especially on the tampering.

    • Mike
      06/28/2010 at 6:28 PM

      Lynn, thanks for your very calm and concise analysis. You have nailed all of my doubts about the case. But – when I look at it all in total, common sense demands that the trio MUST know more than they do. It’s just too many “maybe’s”, “it’s possible that’s” and “who’s to say’s”. I can’t say whether these three did all or any of the things that have been suggested on this site (drugging, raping, murdering, etc.). But when I put all of their assertions in one big pile, the sum total is ridiculous. I can grant them some latitude on two, three, maybe four points, but then it all breaks down. They were caught in a closed house with a dead body, a murder weapon, a scene that confirmed experts have testified was very, very unusual, and absolutely no signs of forced entry. Their stories have not been consistent. I don’t know how or why they would’ve hurt Robert, but these kinds of things happen CONSTANTLY. If we were required to fully understand human evil in order to render a verdict on some crimes, almost everyone would walk. What was Hitler thinking? I can’t explain it. But he did what he did.

      Whenever I talk to people who are actively involved in law enforcement there is a collision of worlds. I have lived a sheltered life and tend to bend over backwards to give people the benefit of the doubt. I think most people from my background are this way. City cops, especially detectives, deal with human evil in all its irrationality and perversity almost every day. They are surprised by very little. Judges see many troubling things also. And – the more dealings I have with people, the more duplicity and cruelty I see in those who once seemed just fine, the less patience I have with things like the defense attorneys’ huge stack of odd coincidences.

      • Bea
        06/28/2010 at 7:03 PM

        Well said, Mike. And if there had been only one Swann resident at home that night when Robert appeared then was found murdered, that person would have faced murder charges. All the dancing and maneuvering has kept the defendants just out of reach on murder charges it would seem to me. I do think the facts together show conspiracy and obstruction against all three, but certainly obstruction and tampering against Joe Price. He practically said so, more than once, to different people.

    • cinnamon
      06/28/2010 at 6:33 PM

      This sound alot like how I would expect the defendent’s parents to rationalize the evidence.

      • Carolina
        06/29/2010 at 12:18 AM

        Agreed. I also don’t think Lynn has read all the information. Few of us showed up at this site a month ago and came to these conclusions. It has been four years. We’ve seen information and evidence, seen some be discredited and other reinforced. It wasn’t a matter of simply deciding they were guilty because that was the easiest, or that it was more amusing to pile up on the defendants.

        • Lynn
          06/29/2010 at 1:33 AM

          I don’t think I in any way said that was what you were doing. What I did say was that in reviewing the evidence that was in the trial, I did not see as convincing a case as posters make in comments here. There is far more information being considered here than has been admitted into the trial.

          You are correct that I have not been following this case for four years. I have read the statements posted here from the indictments onward, have read the background material posted, and have read all the daily threads since a few weeks before the trial. That certainly does not compare to those of you who have been on for far longer. And, not having been in court, I have not heard or seen everything presented. Still, my point is that when I separate out what appears to be in evidence and disregard the background information that was not presented, I don’t feel the prosecution met the standard of reasonable doubt. I didn’t say what I thought the judge would do and I didn’t accuse you or other posters of being biased. I don’t think it is reasonable to decide that I am ignorant because I don’t agree with you.

    • mw
      06/28/2010 at 6:39 PM

      Lynn, you didn’t quite convince me, but that was a terrific analysis. You are either a criminal defense attorney, or you should be.

      • Kate
        06/28/2010 at 6:54 PM

        I agree – very well done and she would make a great defense attorney.

    • CuriousinVA
      06/28/2010 at 6:44 PM

      Really well-reasoned analysis but I can’t get past the lack of blood and I believe the prosecution expert testimony on the subject. Even if you might think an intruder did the stabbing you just can’t think that same intruder did the cleaning. That gets you to obstruction and tampering for some or all of the housemates, in my opinion.

      • CuriousinVA
        06/28/2010 at 6:50 PM

        Oh also, in addition to expert testimony both Joe and Victor talk about blood. WHERE DID IT GO??????

        • Bea
          06/28/2010 at 6:57 PM

          Yep.

      • Lynn
        06/28/2010 at 9:48 PM

        What bothers me is the lack of evidence of clean up. I suspect that if the blood spatter analysis had been done correctly the picture would be much clearer. But it bothers me to convict on the grounds that “they must have done it because there is no evidence that someone else did it.” Putting aside this case, I don’t want ANY case decided on those grounds. That gives way too much power to the prosecutors.

        I understand and respect those who evaluate the evidence differently. My response goes to why I decided I would have to vote to acquit if it was my decision.

        • cinnamon
          06/28/2010 at 9:58 PM

          All I can say is that if my husband went into a house with three men and was found murdered an hour and a half later with absolutely no signs of an intruder I would hope that there wouldn’t have to be 100% proof positive of their guilt in a cover up at the least. It’s called REASONABLE doubt for a reason. Otherwise all you have to do is clean up and claim to know nothing and you get to walk scot free. That doesn’t seem like justice to me.

          • Lynn
            06/29/2010 at 1:41 AM

            I am not looking for 100% proof. But, I can’t get past the lack of evidence of a clean up. Are these guys so good that they were able to whisk away every blood-stained object without dropping so much as a drop of blood or leaving evidence of a clean up in the drains? Maybe. I can’t look at the evidence and say they are innocent. But, it’s up to the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and I didn’t see much, if any, evidence to support that there was a cleanup.

            You state that this would mean that “all you have to do is clean up and claim to know nothing and you get to walk away scot free.” Think about the flip side. If lack of evidence = guilt, then all the police or prosecutors have to do is “lose” evidence that doesn’t back their case. Do we really want a judicial system that gives the benefit of the doubt to the prosecution instead of the defense?

            I completely understand that many here are convinced that the defendants are guilty and have good reasons why they have come to that conclusion. You may well be right All I’m saying is that the evidence that was presented doesn’t reach that standard for me. (Which was intended as a response to the question posed by the editors, not as a critique of anyone else.) I think this is a difficult case, and I would not want to be in the judge’s position.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 11:04 PM

          I honestly don’t think you’re looking at the totality of the evidence. I’m not talking about the “well, it has to be because nothing else makes sense” approach, either.

    • Liam
      06/28/2010 at 7:06 PM

      I agree with you Lynn.

      I believe that the fact that it seems so implausible that an intruder did this has colored the way everyone views the things that happened after the murder (which are the things that would lead to the cover up…the conspiracy, tampering, obstruction).

      More specifically, I don’t think that the inferences that the prosecutor would have us draw from the evidence to find these guys guilty are the only reasonable inferences that can be made. Picking the blood as a simple example. On the one hand, one might infer that the lack of blood means a clean-up after the crime. On the other hand, based on the expert testimony, you could conclude that such stab wounds don’t necessarily create much external blood.

      I don’t know who is correct, but both explanations are within the realm of reasonable to me.

      For example, Victor’s acting weird on the phone and I don’t find peoples interpretation of the acts f it did not seem so implausible that

      • Liam
        06/28/2010 at 7:09 PM

        PS That last sentence should be deleted.

    • Tarfunk
      06/28/2010 at 7:45 PM

      Maybe they made a mistake requesting a bench trial, since had you and I served on the jury, it certainly would have been hung. I might give you reasonable doubt on one or two points, but reasonable doubt on all your 15 separate points in toto simply defies common sense. Added all together, I think your analysis spells definitely guilty for Joe, quite likely quilty for Dylan, and very possibly guilty for Victor.

      • Lynn
        06/28/2010 at 9:59 PM

        I think they might have done better with a jury. In a case like this, how you personally define “reasonable doubt” plays a large role. Getting 1 or 2 out of 12 might be easier than getting one judge. Guess we’ll know in the morning.

    • Leo
      06/28/2010 at 8:25 PM

      You don’t have to be “positive” in order to be sure beyond a reasonable doubt. That standard doesn’t require you to be positive, or to have no doubt at all. You also have to use common sense. A lot of the points you cite are not in evidence and can’t be considered (e.g., the stim machine, S&M stuff, semen, drug use). Some of that stuff may have been able to be put together to fashion a motive, which is what many on this site have been doing for months. The fact that some (or even all) of the evidence CAN be looked at another way doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable to look at it that way. All of that is a judgment call, which the judge will be making tomorrow. What’s reasonable can and would be debated among jury members. The judge can only debate with herself, which I think is why she asked so many hypotheticals during the closing arguments. She was having a debate with the attorneys.

      • Carolina
        06/28/2010 at 11:07 PM

        Thank you. Being able to dream up a scenario where the defendant is not guilty doesn’t mean there’s reasonable doubt.

        • Liam
          06/29/2010 at 3:47 AM

          True. But is it enough that a defendant SEEMS guilty because it SEEMS that nobody else could have done it and it SEEMS that the defendant did it.

          As a matter of general principle, I would want more concrete evidence against me if I was on trial. I would not want to be evaluated based on how I looked at somebody or what I said on the telephone when I was hysterically out of my mind. I mean, there are many people who can’t put together a coherent line of thought or reasoning when they have plenty of time to think about it under no stress.

          As I’ve expressed before, my opinion is that at least some of them are guilty, but I don’t know if they should be found guilty.

          PS And I also believe that the level of how well this case was investigated overall is demonstrated by the Ashley’s reagent screw up and the Blackberry screw up. If they can’t get the important stuff right, then at what level did they really care about the other stuff.

    • shea
      06/28/2010 at 8:28 PM

      well said, Lynn

    • Mark M
      06/29/2010 at 1:03 AM

      I am happy to hear this side of the debate here too. I am reminded of the Jonbenet Ramsey murder, where many of people were convinced that the father did it, and I think of the pain that it must have caused the Ramseys to not only lose their daughter but be suspected of her murder, and I believe that Mr. Ramsey was eventually exonerated but the mother never lived to see it. So I have tried to keep an open mind but I don’t think you can look at the evidence in isolation, you have to look at the whole and I am inclined to think they are guilty.

      Your last point first- the Defendants may have only had an hour and twenty minutes to conduct an assault, rape and cover up. But they had over a week to prepare for it, and there were potentially three in concert with all or part of the activities. The crimes are not foreclosed by the time line.

      But overall we have a highly improbable break in story with an assassin who must borrow his murder weapon but has no finger prints, and who isn’t interested in anything of value, selective hearing by the three defendants, lack of defensive wounds in the victim or evidence that he moved or thrashed around after being wounded, some evidence of unexplained injections, a possible 19-20 minute delay in calling the EMTs, unsuitable unusual behavior from the Defendants when the EMTs arrive, failure to follow the 411 operator’s instructions, unsuitable dismissive behavior during the police questioning. Claims that Joe Price made to some witnesses but not police, that he had pulled the knife out of Robert’s chest. (So he either lied to police or lied to Tara and his neighbor about this). Its interesting to say that they could have waited till the morning to report the stabbing, and they could have not talked to the police at all, but maybe they were just overconfident.

      As far as the claim that it is invalid to draw conclusions from the manner in which people handle emergencies, I beg to differ. As human beings we constantly draw judgments about what people know, or what people did from their manner in a given situation. Sometimes we are wrong, but even in a court of law, this is done all the time. Judges make determinations of truth based on body language, and manner of speaking all the time. Police can question people on suspicion, based on their manner, lack of eye contact etc. So I feel the Judge could legitimately draw conclusions from the reported manner of behavior of the defendants by the EMTs. It is interesting that you say in time of crisis people will get hysterical or focused, but these folks didn’t do any of that. They are reported by a disinterested witness to be turning their backs on the situation, and I think that a reasonable judge could conclude that was because they knew what was going on but were covering it up.

      I don’t put much stock in the emails. But I don’t think they help the defendants as you do. The Emails along with the statement of the neighbor that he had sex with two of the three show that the “trouple” was not steadfastly exclusive. The claim that Dylan Ward was “scared” of having a threesome rings a bit hollow when we now know he had what can only be described as very advanced SM gear in his room. (I am not saying sm gear=criminal, hardly — but it does prevent a person from claiming to be Bambi in the woods. Nevertheless, it was Joe that was pushing the idea of the three-way and there was no indication in that correspondence that he was scared of a three way.

      I hope that justice based on the evidence of record and the rule of law is done tomorrow, whatever the outcome. My thoughts are with the Wone family, and to any of the defendants who may be innocent of these crimes as well.

      • Lynn
        06/29/2010 at 2:12 AM

        I agree that we constantly make judgments based upon how people act and whether or not their behavior meets our expectations of how they should act. My point was that there are a significant number of people who don’t respond emotionally when confronted with a crisis, and that there is some history of police/prosecutors equating lack of emotional display with guilt. If you look at research on personality type, you’ll find that not acting emotionally does not equal not having emotions.

        Re the evidence as presented in court (excluding what we know that was not presented) I can’t say beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty. I also can’t say that they are innocent. But, the burden is on the prosecution to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As many here have discussed, the way the three men have stuck together makes it very difficult to establish which of them may have killed Robert. Theoretically, Joe could have killed him and told both Victor and Dylan that an intruder did it. Or Dylan could have done it and told Joe and Victor that an intruder did it. I have seen strong scenarios against both Joe and Dylan on this site. But, the only theory that supports convicting all three is if they all know they are lying — and when two of the theories of guilt lead to different guilty parties, how do you decide who to convict beyond a reasonable doubt? Does the evidence prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Joe and Dylan did it together and that Victor witnessed it? No, and that’s why they are not on trial for murder. My guess is that’s why the prosecution introduced the idea of Michael as killer — if it was an outsider they would all protect, then you can more easily get to all three knowingly covering up and lying. But, in my opinion, the prosecution didn’t fully develop or prove that theory.

        Again, I’m not saying they are innocent. I’m saying that the things I itemized in my post are the reasons that I decided that I would have to acquit if I were on a jury. Based on reading the summaries here, I thought that the defense witnesses raised questions about the knife, the fibers, the lack of defense wounds, and the lack of blood. They didn’t convince me they were innocent, but the prosecution did not convince me they were guilty. In our system, that means I’d acquit.

  46. Mike
    06/28/2010 at 5:25 PM

    For me it was the 911 call. Hearing it with my own ears made me realize that the situation was contrived. Who asks “what time is it?” when your friend is dying in the next room. Also, when Victor says “the person has one of our knives” how did he know, if none of them went downstairs and were afraid to?

    • CC Biggs
      06/28/2010 at 5:51 PM

      Also, on the 911 call Victor suggests for a moment (before changing his story) that the killer may have left with the knife. This makes no sense if the housemates found a bloody knife in Robert’s room, as they claim. There would be no knife in Robert’s room if the killer left with the knife. To me this suggests a mental slip by Victor. He knew that the real knife used in the killing had been disposed of, and he was thinking of that when he suggested that the killer may have left with the knife.

  47. allison
    06/28/2010 at 6:03 PM

    The turning point for me was reading on this site about Joe’s alt.com profile, the dungeon-in-a-box in Dylan’s room, the office porn (featuring himself) and that Joe somehow had arranged to have a live-in BDSM partner as well as a domestic partner.

    I came to this site after reading about the case, thinking there’s no way successful educated guys would be involved in the murder and/or cover up of a college friend in their own home and that there must be something else going on. After realizing how completely implausible the intruder theory was, to me the extreme sex stuff – including interest in torture and mulitple parties was the “something else”. While I can’t begin to understand the personality or psychological make up that makes Joe so interested in BDSM/torture/multiple parties, I have to believe that somehow that interest, perhaps combined with drug use and/or Michael Price led to Robert’s death. It’s either that or the ninja intruder. Since I know most of the sex stuff did not come into evidence, I have no prediction about which way the Judge will rule.

    • Carolina
      06/28/2010 at 11:09 PM

      To be very honest, I doubt much of the BDSM equipment was used. I’d love to see if they MPD did any DNA tests.

  48. plumskiter
    06/28/2010 at 6:33 PM

    what time is the verdict being announced tomorrow please?

    • cinnamon
      06/28/2010 at 6:36 PM

      11am

    • Tallulah
      06/28/2010 at 11:26 PM

      Your insights have been missed! Hope you have been well.

  49. mw
    06/28/2010 at 6:43 PM

    I just learned that D.C. is the only jurisdiction in the U.S. that completely prohibits audio/video coverage in the courtroom, in every circumstance. It’s odd that D.C. is the holdout. Too bad, this would have been fascinating to watch tomorrow.

  50. VeryNewEyes (Jackie)
    06/28/2010 at 7:26 PM

    Thanks to all of you for educating me in so many areas! I thought I knew a lot about homosexuality, but found out I knew a teaspoonful. I have a few questions now but I’m learning. I have the greatest respect for anyone who stands up for truth and doing what’s right and you all truly always tried hard to do that.
    I live way down in the Shenandoah Valley and if this happened here, like all big trials, they (gay or straight) would have been arrested for murder and all the rest, gone to trial in 6 months of the event and would be convicted and facing death penalty within 5 years of convictions. And I wasn’t too impressed with the DC highpowered attorney’s. I’d rather have one here for $25k for murder trial. Of course our trials go till 10-11 PM if necessary. But they don’t mess around. If I ever decide I want to knock any body off, I’ll go to the District, because it seems to me one is quite unlikely to be caught there and if so, quite unlikely to be convicted in any event. Of course we don’t have many murders here, because everybody knows what will happen to you.
    Thanks for all the education and God Bless! PS I would be stunned if the Judge doesn’t convict them all tomorrow of all charges or most charges.

    • Tarfunk
      06/28/2010 at 7:55 PM

      If you’re using this case to educate yourself about homosexuality….I cannot even finish the sentence.

      • VeryNewEyes (Jackie)
        06/28/2010 at 9:03 PM

        Tarfunk, I didn’t say one thing about using this site to educate myself on homosexuality, but it was simply one of the side benefits. Don’t be such a smart ass. READ, stop judging and lose the anger.
        I love True Crime, whodunits, that’s what got me involved in this site.

        • Clio
          06/28/2010 at 10:31 PM

          Remember that “smartassedness”, though, is what attracted Joe to Dyl. Does “smartassedness” come with anger, both real and suppressed? Maybe.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 11:14 PM

          No offense to you personally, but I hope to god this doesn’t turn into some bullshit cheesy True Crime bit. A very good man is dead. That’s all this is about.

        • Carolina
          06/28/2010 at 11:17 PM

          I’d also like to state for the record that I don’t think there was much anger in Tarfunk’s post. If he were angry, I feel sure he would have mentioned that not a thing those wicked gay boys got into hasn’t been played out in many a straight home.

          • Nora
            06/29/2010 at 6:51 AM

            Yeah, it’s funny…VeryNewEyes seems like the angry one….

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