“We Still Have A Murder Investigation”

And Other News Indicating It’s Not Over

WTOP crackerjack Mark Segraves hosted MPD police chief Kathy Lanier on the “Ask the…” program Thursday.  Good timing.

Segraves has been indefatigable in covering this case, and after a month of daily trial coverage, it’s no surprise the first six minutes of the program focused on the Wone trial.  A WTOP write-up of her comments can be found here, and here’s the audio.

You can listen for yourself; suffice it to say Lanier made clear the criminal investigation into Robert Wone’s murder is still “…open and very active…” and the MPD is working closely with the US Attorney’s office.

“(It’s) been ongoing from the beginning,” she said.  “This is just one piece of it, and beyond that I guess I’m a little restricted to what I can say, but it’s gonna continue to go on.”

Her comments mirror Glenn Kirschner’s on Tuesday, and are nearly identical to previous statements she’s made over the past two years.  A talking point?  Perhaps.  But we have additional reason to think the MPD is wanting this case solved.  

On Tuesday, outside 310 Moultrie, we met Det. Gail Russell-Brown waiting for a seat in the courtroom.  She, in fact, had been a regular presence in the audience…joined by another of her colleagues who also testified.  We noted how unusual it is for MPD witnesses to take such interest in a trial, and asked them both why they were there.  “Because this is important,” they both said, and suggested that many in the MPD – including the chief herself – are troubled that Robert’s murder has remained unsolved.

Also this week we found these, at the MPD website

Early last year we noted with frustration the omission of Robert’s murder from the MPD unsolved homicide list, leading us to printing up and posting our own

Now, Robert Wone is on the list for 2006, and while we have yet to see any of these posted around the neighborhood,  people are free to print and hang these MPD flyers where they will.

Another update: the first status hearing in the civil trial has been scheduled.  September 10, 9:45,  before Associate Judge Brook Hedge;  Craig Roswell will be representing Joseph Price.  A closer look at the civil case and its principals comes next week after the holiday.

posted by Doug

419 comments for ““We Still Have A Murder Investigation”

  1. 07/02/2010 at 9:48 AM

    Only second post on the board.

    First, thank you to the editors. Without question, your efforts brought much more attention to this tragedy than otherwise would have been given.

    Second, I truly hope that this website stays up for years and years to come. In furtherence of this, I would be more than happy to contribute toward the cost of maintenance if the editors need assistance. I expect that other folks feel the same. If any such assistance is ever needed, please simply post a request for assistance on the website and advise where donations can be sent.

    I understand and respect that the judge ruled not guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt is an appropriately and extraordinaly high standard. However, the judge also made clear that she concluded (as has every objective person with a brain who has looked at the case) that one or more of the housemates killed Robert or know who did. Also, to quote the judge, it was “highly probable” that Joe Price obstructed and tampered with evidence.

    Thus, in the future, every prospective employer and person with curiousity as to one or more of the housemates should be able to easily find this website and information about the housemates. The First Amendment, the public record, truth, and karma can be a bitch.

    • Craig
      07/02/2010 at 10:28 AM

      Friend: Thanks for the offer. We appreciate your kind words and are still grappling with how we can best move forward to and through the civil case. We’ll never ask for financial assistance, just moral and editorial support by way of ideas, editorial contributions and legal guidance – crowdsourcing for lack of a better word.

      Any assist is welcome but don’t do it for us, do it for Robert.

      • suburban mom
        07/03/2010 at 10:17 AM

        Thanks to the editors for yeoman’s work on this case. Dominick Dunne would be proud. Please keep the spotlight on this case, which will undoubtedly have many more twists and turns over the coming months, if not years. Your work is appreciated.

    • slwapo
      07/02/2010 at 11:17 AM

      What’s the chance that all 3 change their legal names?

      • DW
        07/02/2010 at 4:18 PM

        If and when they do change their names – someone will find out what their new names are and post them here – linking them to their murky past….

        Karma can indeed be such a bitch!

        • Clio
          07/04/2010 at 2:22 PM

          Desire causes suffering, according to the Buddha. I wonder if Mr. Price and/or Mr. Ward still have the same desires that may have led to the events of 08/02/06. If they still do, then I hope that the Miami police have been briefed on their possible/probable resettlement to southern Florida.

  2. Ivan
    07/02/2010 at 10:13 AM

    Yes, thank you editors for this blog and all of your hard work.

    • Sandra Renee Hicks
      07/02/2010 at 10:19 AM

      Yes, a true labor of love….

      • Clio
        07/04/2010 at 6:14 PM

        Thanks, Editors, for getting the MPD to update their list and to provide a poster.

        Nevertheless, the poster lists the contact info of Detective Waid, who had reportedly left DC for Florida earlier this year. Is that previous info on Detective Waid correct, or is he still with the MPD after all?

  3. wondering
    07/02/2010 at 10:43 AM

    From evidence it seems like VZ was least involved in the murder.

    At this point since he has been found not guilty of obstruction seems like they could compel him to speak to the grand jury by granting immunity for his own involvement.

    • onreflection
      07/02/2010 at 11:15 PM

      VERY interesting point. I’d like to hear what some prosecutor or criminal lawyer thinks about that idea.

      I’ve hardly been able to read the site since this verdict. It just seems unreal. Of course, it was no exoneration but justice has not been served.

      Today it was announced that the Virginia college student murdered when she went to a metallica site in charlottesville was apparently the victim of someone linked by dna to another sexual assault five years earlier in alexandria. Criminals and pschopaths repeat themselves. I truly wonder how the parents here, depending on what they think happened (unless they are in total denial) view the mental health and personal security of their offspring.

      Another point: in this day and age of media and new media scrutiny (like this site) I hold out hope that multi-faceted scutiny will, somehow or other, turnup something. There are three or perhaps four people who know more than they have said (and didn’t testify). Loose lips will happen at some point.

      • dlpeters
        07/03/2010 at 8:43 AM

        Loose lips is a nice theory, but thus far it hasn’t helped to solve the OJ case; although, the big difference is that only one person was involved in that case and in this case at least three, perhaps more, are perhaps involved.

        I believe the best chance for this case to get solved is for one of the defendants to run afoul with the law again at some time in the future and the prosecutor in that case squeezes him to rat out one of the others in exchange for a plea deal or dropped charges on the new offense (e.g. drug trafficking, embezzlement)

        Unfortunately, the likelihood of anything like that happening is probably nil. So all we can do is hope that at some time in the future there may be a ‘coming to Jesus’ moment in the life of someone who can finally provide answers.

        • Bill 2
          07/03/2010 at 10:12 AM

          Another way it may get solved is if there’s a lover’s spat. Somehow, it’s difficult to see how there’s going to be a lifetime of domestic tranquility in that household. According to e-mail, Dylan was trying to pull away. Then there’s Sarah’s testimony that Dylan wanted Victor out of the picture. Now Victor has seen the love of my life e-mail from Joe to Dylan.

          A temper tantrum by any one of the trio could result in a major break in the investigation.

          • Leo
            07/03/2010 at 10:39 AM

            And don’t forget that right after the acquittal, Bernie Grimm told TV cameras that Joe had “lost his family,” in addition to his home, job, money, etc. I took that to mean the trio had sundered.

            • Clio
              07/03/2010 at 12:47 PM

              Leo, I had interpreted that as a cryptic reference to the apparent absence of Joe’s parents/step-parents at Moultrie.

              I think also that Bernie was deploying his standard hyperbole to achieve a “Ray Donovan” moment for Culuket. If you may recall, Donovan was the investigated Secretary of Labor under Ronald Reagan — whose famous quip after being cleared in 1987 was — “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”

              • susan
                07/04/2010 at 12:08 PM

                I agree with you Clio, that that seemed like a reference to JP’s parents.

                • Leo
                  07/05/2010 at 4:56 PM

                  I don’t know, with all the emphasis throughout the trial on the trouple as a family, and never any mention of anyone’s parents by the attorneys, I still feel Bernie was referring to the trio family. Otherwise, was he saying that Joe’s own parents believe he’s guilty of something?

                  • Clio
                    07/05/2010 at 8:45 PM

                    So, then, to you, Leo, Bernie was referring to the estrangement of Sarah and Scott, the bids for more autonomy by Victor and Dylan, possible tensions with Kim and Michael, etc. Possibly.

                    Yet, the Price parents/steparents may have also distanced themselves from Joe, not because they believed that he was guilty, but because of the resulting scandal and their (past or current) military careers.

            • Eagle
              07/03/2010 at 5:38 PM

              If you want to know more about how criminal defense attorneys operate, I highly recommend Jeffrey Toobin’s very readable book ” The Run of His Life: the People vs. O.J. Simpson”.
              According to that case, truth was a weapon only when it worked to the benefit of their client. Otherwise the leading criminal defense lawyers in the country surpressed it.
              As Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law Professor stated in his book, The Best Defense, “Once I decide to take a case, I have only one agenda:I want to win. I will try, by every fair and legal means, to get my client off- without regard to the consequences.”
              Read the book and you will see what that meant in the O.J Simpson case. And…the defense team (Dershowitz was a member) won the verdict.
              Society lost. Truth was buried.
              Who knows what Grimm meant.
              Once again, Joe Price is being portrayed as the victim.
              Seems to work.

              • Themis
                07/04/2010 at 10:40 AM

                Defense attorneys are under an ethical obligation to provide zealous representation to their clients. To that end, they can and should pursue every legal and ethical avenue to obtain the best possible outcome for their clients.

                For those who find that distasteful, blame the drafters of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They specifically chose to adopt an adversarial system of criminal justice devoted to procedural fairness, not a system devoted to ascertaining the truth. Without a zealous defense bar, the system crumbles.

                I have pled clients charged with capital and non-capital first degree murder to everything from involuntary manslaughter to second degree murder. None of my plea clients got more than 30 years. Some got substantially less.

                And while I have encouraged pleading clients to be forthcoming about what happened, to accept responsibility, and to apologize for the harm they have caused, I did so in my role of counselor rather than advocate. Some did, some didn’t.

                Regardless, I sleep just fine at night.

                While I am sure that there are defense attorneys who act illegally or unethically to win at all costs, there are many documented cases of prosecutors doing the same. Those people are the exceptions, not the norm.

                Living in the belly of the beast is a far cry from what is portrayed in the news or other media.

                On that note, I will bid adieu. Special thanks to the editors. And may the person(s) responsible for Robert’s death be fairly investigated and prosecuted.

                • chilaw79
                  07/04/2010 at 10:59 AM


                  I hope you are just leaving for the day (or two). Every one deserves a vacation, but your thoughtful presentation of the defense point of view is welcomed and always considered.

                  I certainly agree that the role of the defense attorney is a vital part of the criminal justice system.

                  • susan
                    07/04/2010 at 12:14 PM

                    Sure, the role of the criminal defense attorney is part of our nation’s justice system–just as the choice is to be one and whether to serve as a court-appointed defense attorney or one in private practice for big bucks. Just as there is the choice to operate as described in Toobin’s book, where the aim is winning, at all costs.

                    You could be a person like Mr. Schertler and go from representing the government in criminal cases, to leaving the govt, taking what you know about how the govt operates, and switching sides for the Big $$% bucks in the private sector on the other side as a defense attorney.

                    I’m glad Themis can sleep well at night, though he sounded a bit defensive. In any case, I think it’s nice to be in a profession, whatever it is, and to make decisions, whatever they may be, and have no need to make such a statement.

                    • Clio
                      07/04/2010 at 12:45 PM

                      Hi Susan, I agree, but Themis is a goddess — as it frequently turns out, he is a she (for real).

                    • DonnaH
                      07/04/2010 at 3:58 PM

                      Susan, I think that some of the same questions can arise in just about any profession or position-(1) do I seek out a well-paying clientele (or work for a profit-making corporation) or those less privileged, or what combination thereof; (2) How do I feel about providingservices to less savory clients? E.g. as a therapist (which I was), do I want to work with an abuse perpetrator?
                      Lucky, perhaps, those whose work presents no morally ambiguous situations–or not so lucky, given the opportunity to learn from such personal challenges–

                • AnnaZed
                  07/04/2010 at 2:45 PM

                  Thanks Themis for elucidating that so eloquently.

                  • susan
                    07/04/2010 at 8:03 PM

                    Thanks, Clio, and apologies for getting Themis’s gender wrong, and thanks, Donna for your points. I did clarify that I was speaking to those attys who choose to operate as those cited in Toobin’s book. That said, Donna, you are right; it is not the profession itself, it is how a person chooses to operate in a profession. But there is a reason there are so many ruthless atty jokes and they didn’t originate with me. Sad that those jokes take down a lot of decent attorneys but, again, there’s a reason for them.

                    • susan
                      07/04/2010 at 8:10 PM

                      P.S. Just to clarify, I am certainly not anti-defense atty (thank goodness they exist. Just anti-the kind who take any case, have no little scruples (O.J. case, par example) and like JP, seemingly, and those who are just in it “to win” likely have no trouble sleeping at night.

                • Nelly
                  07/04/2010 at 3:00 PM

                  Themis, thank you for your enlightening comments and sharing your legal expertise with us. I hope this is not goodbye forever, as you added a lot to the discussion here.

                  • susan
                    07/04/2010 at 8:12 PM

                    Excuse all the typos above. The print width just kept getting smaller and smaller and my ability to type/write coherently was shrinking in kind.

        • Josh
          07/03/2010 at 3:05 PM

          The likelihood of Michael’s doing something in the future that leaves him facing hard time is not remote. Does he know enough to unlock the mystery?

          • Jeana
            07/04/2010 at 11:54 AM

            Excellent point, Josh. Michael may well be Joe’s undoing. Now that would be justice!

            • Carolina
              07/04/2010 at 12:08 PM

              I think it would be even more fabulous if as a result of this mayhem, MP got himself together and it was Joe that relied on MP for a change. It would be delightfully prickly, seeing as how Joe all but threw Michael into the jaws of the cops.

              • Clio
                07/04/2010 at 12:29 PM

                That would be delicious, having Joe to beg Michael for bus money to Miami.

                In that scenario, Michael could insist on a lot for his silence: free massages from Dyl, free marketing of his start-up businesses by Victor, and free room and board in southern Florida for vacation for life.

                While the era of Mercedes meetings and sparkly cats is definitely over for Culuket, the era of good feelings for Michael may just be beginning!

                • Bill 2
                  07/04/2010 at 1:09 PM

                  Thank you for creating that imaginative picture. No doubt, many would enjoy witnessing that scenario in the lead-up to solving the murder.

  4. leo
    07/02/2010 at 10:46 AM

    Joe’s new civil lawyer, Craig Roswell, is an insurance defense guy from Baltimore with the following representative clients:

    State Farm Insurance
    Travelers Property Casualty Company
    CHUBB Group of Insurance Companies
    Hartford Insurance Company

    So yeah, it looks like he did file a homeowner’s insurance claim and his defense is being paid for by his insurance company, at least for now.

    • leo
      07/02/2010 at 10:59 AM

      Victor’s civil attorney, Larissa Byers, is an associate at the Frank Daily Law Firm in Hunt Valley, MD. That firm also does insurance defense work in addition to general civil litigation.

      • 07/02/2010 at 11:44 AM

        Assuming the Swann St. house was coverd by one homeowner’s insurance policy (only), how is the insurance company obligated to engage two different law firms, representing each of the house’s two co-owners? I understand why the different parties should be represented by different attorneys (although the 3 teams of criminal attorneys seemed to work seamlessly, in public), but why is it “on” the insurer to cover each of them with a different defense? If one or more of the guys carried an umbrella liability policy, in addition to the homeowner’s insurance policy, how would the company’s obligations be affected? (Any chance Dylan might have a liability policy, given his current profession? Naaaah.) Also, does it matter (to the insurer) that the house in question is no longer owned by the (former) co-owners? Would it make any difference if their currently owned properties are (are not) insured by the same company as had insured the Swann St. house? Thanks, not only am I getting a legal education for free here, I’m reminded about why I should continue paying the premiums on my homeowner’s and umbrella policies.

        • AnnaZed
          07/02/2010 at 11:46 AM

          Yes, keep those policies current, you never know when a ninja might murder one of your guests.

          • Corgivet
            07/02/2010 at 7:19 PM

            Updating my homeowners policy as we speak cause those ninjas scare me

        • chilaw79
          07/02/2010 at 12:07 PM

          Perhaps the two homeowners have different states of knowledge or one participated in an intentional act and the other did not.

          Most insurance policies are claims incurred policies so the insurance policy in effect in August 2, 2006, would cover the “occurrence” (the death of Robert Wone, the failure to render medical assistance, etc.). Changed ownership of the home or insurance by a different company would not alter the obligations of the insurer on August 2, 2006.

          • Liam
            07/04/2010 at 2:03 AM

            I hope you see this as it is buried in between many posts. I have a question that has to do with what a client can tell his attorney.

            In connection with the different homeowners having different states of knowledge, let us hypothetically suppose that Joe allegedly (see how I’m saying allegedly like they do on the news) murdered RW. Let us suppose that Dylan is basically sure that Joe allegedly did it (but not 100%–he did not actually see the murder being committed). Let us suppose the VB does not know who allegedly did it.

            So, can Dylan tell his attorney that he believes Joe allegedly did it (and explain why he believes this), but he (Dylan) did not say anything to the police because he is not 100% sure Joe did it because he did not actually see it.

            I suppose the question is, if Dylan explains to his attorney all of the above, and it turns out that failure to tell the police was a crime, what is the attorney’s ethical obligation if his client admits a crime to the attorney.

            • chilaw79
              07/04/2010 at 11:05 AM

              That’s quite the question, Liam.

              I do not think revealing this information could be viewed as a crime (or, if it were, it could not be prosecuted as a result of double jeopardy). In your example, Dylan, having been acquitted of obstruction of justice, could not be prosecuted again.

              Of course, in your example, the attorney should not permit Dylan to testify falsely, either in a deposition or at trial, since that would constitute perjury.

              • Carolina
                07/04/2010 at 12:06 PM

                I have always assumed that lawyers prefer not to know too much if their client is, in fact, guilty. In your experience, is this true? How many lawyers would knowingly allow their client to lie under oath? I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, but it seems as if this would be one thing they couldn’t condone, no matter how shady the attorney.

                • chilaw79
                  07/04/2010 at 5:16 PM

                  A lawyer should not permit a client to provide perjured testimony.

                  This is one reason many criminal defense lawyers prefer not to know whether a client is guilty of the crime alleged. By and large, criminal defense lawyers also prefer that their clients not testify at all.

        • ccf
          07/02/2010 at 12:19 PM

          I would think that the insurance company would be investigating the murder to find out if Robert was murdered by their client, which is an intentional act. I wonder if they can both defend and inverstigate him.

          • Nelly
            07/02/2010 at 7:58 PM

            Yes they can! Let the fun begin!

        • Daphne
          07/02/2010 at 2:15 PM

          I live with my unmarried partner and when we got umbrella insurance, we each had to get a policy b/c we’re not married (and if one of us didn’t get it the other couldn’t). The same likely applies to J&V.

          • Carolina
            07/02/2010 at 6:08 PM

            But they’re domestic partners. Wouldn’t that make a difference?

          • Bill
            07/02/2010 at 6:11 PM

            We have been together for 22 years in VA (gay men). State Farm sold us a $3-million umbrella for $170/yr.

        • Deb
          07/03/2010 at 11:26 AM

          If you have an “insurable interest” in something, you may apply for coverage with an insurer. Unless otherwise excluded by your policy, you are not restricted to having just one policy per insurable item, however one policy will be primary and others excess according to financial responsibility guidelines.

          Each insured (person) under the policy is typically entitled to defense up to the limits of liability for each policy in question.

          I would be interested to know if the insurers have sent the obligatory excess exposure letters. These letters inform and insured that he will be defended up to the limits of liability, but that the insurers investigation suggests the insured’s exposure to damages exceeds those limits.

      • chilaw79
        07/02/2010 at 3:31 PM

        Larissa Byers, according to the write-up on her firm’s website, used to work for ABC and teaches media law. She also dances.

        • Clio
          07/02/2010 at 7:56 PM

          How delightful! She can teach Victor how to rhumba in Miami.

          • Meto
            07/02/2010 at 9:29 PM

            Clio my muse. You have no idea how hard I laughed when I read this or just how much I needed a laugh today. Caesar has me out on the front lines and I will be unable to comment or follow much for quite a while, so this was a nice send off.

            As always, respectfully, our goddess,


            • Clio
              07/03/2010 at 1:02 PM

              I trust that Transcisalpine Gaul or its post-modern equivalent has Internet access: if it does not, then we all look forward to your legal analysis when you return at any rate. Bon voyage, dear!

      • Cat from Cleveland
        07/05/2010 at 10:37 PM

        Where one insurance policy covers more than one person, and each is sued individually, the insurer must provide counsel for each insured. Often they will retain a different firm to defend each insured, for a variety of reasons. It sounds like Joe and Victor are being defended pursuant to a homeowner’s policy.

    • AnnaZed
      07/02/2010 at 11:01 AM

      This scenario confuses me (Bea!). If I am understanding it right the insurance company that issued an umbrella insurance policy would have to pay a claimant if it is concluded by law enforcement that an act of negligence (unlocked door) caused or contributed to the death of a visitor to the covered property but the same company would not have to pay on the claim if it is found in a court (civil or criminal) that the guest was killed due to bad acts on the part of the policyholder. Under that understanding (if correct) then wouldn’t the insurance company’s interests and Joe and Victor’s interests in the civil suit be at odds?

      • chilaw79
        07/02/2010 at 11:18 AM

        It is ever so, AnnaZed.

        The insurance company always is in conflict with the insured. It is the nature of the beast. The insurance company does not want to pay and the insured wants the insurance company to pay.

        There are two possible scenarios where the insurance company should provide coverage: one is where someone else in the household (other than the policyholder) commits the murder (hypothetically, if Dylan murdered Robert and Joe and Victor were upstairs asleep in bed) or an intruder enters and commits the murder as a result of the homeowners’ negligent act, such as leaving the door unlocked and failing to set the alarm.

        • AnnaZed
          07/02/2010 at 11:20 AM

          In that case why are the insurance company’s lawyers tasked with representing the defendants when they are seeking a diametrically opposed outcome?

          • chilaw79
            07/02/2010 at 11:29 AM

            The insurance company usually has a right to approve counsel since the insurance company is paying the defense costs. The insurance company also has an interest in having its policy applied in a uniform manner.

            The insurance company will pay if the coverage falls within (what the insurance industry calls) the “eight corners” of the document.

            • chilaw79
              07/02/2010 at 11:34 AM

              I should explain the “eight-corners rule” for the audience.

              When a tort claim is filed (for example, the wrongful death action filed by Kathy Wone on behalf of the Estate of Robert Wone), the insurance company is supposed to determine whether it is required to provide coverage from the “four-corners” of the complaint and the “four-corners” of the insurance policy. Four-corners plus four corners equals eight. This leads to a lot of case law on whether the insurance company can look at extrinsic evidence (outside of the eight corners).

              • AnnaZed
                07/02/2010 at 11:45 AM

                OK, but then in that sense the insurance company’s interests and Joe and Victor’s interests are opposed so why are the insurance company’s lawyers said to be representing Joe and Victor (if they are) when both entities are desirous of differing outcomes?

                • chilaw79
                  07/02/2010 at 12:02 PM

                  My cynical response would be that insurance companies have the money.

                  The legal response is that if the insurance company denies coverage when it should not have provided coverage, the insurance company is on the hook to the full extent of the policy.

                  As a result, I think the insurance company may seek some sort of declaratory judgment about whether it has an obligation to defend.

          • Cat from Cleveland
            07/05/2010 at 10:52 PM

            Its not uncommon in a civil case for an insurance company to be paying one firm to defend the insured from a claim, while at the other time paying a different firm to try to prove the claim is not covered by the policy. When that occurs, the insurance company can either defend under a “reservation of rights” and wait to fight about whether the claim is covered if they lose the claim, or immediately file a lawsuit asking the court to find that the policy does not actually cover the claim. I do realize this all sounds crazy to a lay person, but there is a comprehensive set of laws, ethics rules and processes set up to protect the insured in this type of situation. The bottom line is this: the lawyer knows who the “client” is (not necessarily the company paying the bill), and the lawyer’s ethical obligation is to protec the interests of that “client.” The lawyer can be sued by the client and disciplined by the bar if he breaches his duty of loyalty to the client or fails to keep the confidence of his client.

        • Deb
          07/03/2010 at 11:34 AM

          The insurer is typically required to pay if harm is caused because of the negligence of the insured. In this scenario, allowing a murderer to dwell within a structure would be negligent entrustment regarding access to the structure. Leaving the door unlocked is negligence. Also, I’m pretty sure that the civil suit addresses the failure to provide appropriate and timely aid as a negligent act.

          Where the insurance company would NOT provide coverage is if their investigation determined the act(s) were intentional. Intentional acts are pretty universally excluded among insurance policies.

      • Vandy
        07/02/2010 at 11:19 AM

        You know, the last few weeks there were so many comments that when I logged on I would first do a search for Bea’s name so I coudl read her comment(s) … and that’s usually all I needed to do to catch up. Her comments are always informative and make lots of sense.

      • chilaw79
        07/02/2010 at 12:11 PM

        As I explain more fully below, the issue of coverage initially is decide by looking at the tort claims set forth in the complaint and the terms of the policy.

        The insurance company is not supposed to look at who law enforcement considers a suspect.

        Also, I would note that nothing precludes Kathy Wone from amending her complaint to add a simple negligence count (for example, leaving the door unlocked). Her wrongful death complaint does allege an intentional act by one or more of the defendants. However, I think the defendants could state that the intentional act may have been committed by someone outside the policy.

        • Deb
          07/03/2010 at 11:36 AM

          Which could be construed as negligent entrustment by one or more of the insureds, affording coverage.

          • Carolina
            07/04/2010 at 10:16 AM

            Deb, can you please explain further? What would be the consequences of this?

            • DonnaH
              07/06/2010 at 4:38 AM

              Carolina, I hope I’m reading your question right–I think she’s just saying the insurance company would have to pay if Victor and Joe maintained someone else (such as an intruder) was responsible, per her earlier statement: “The insurer is typically required to pay if harm is caused because of the negligence of the insured. In this scenario, allowing a murderer to dwell within a structure would be negligent entrustment regarding access to the structure. Leaving the door unlocked is negligence.” But as she also noted, if the acts are intentional they won’t have to pay.

    • chilaw79
      07/02/2010 at 11:05 AM

      I have State Farm coverage (homeowners policy and umbrella liability policy) and I will look at the policy provisions.

      There is a DC case involving a homeowner who shot and killed a man, was convicted of second degree murder, and asked his homeowners insurance company to defend the wrongful death suit.
      Travelers Indem. Co. v. Walburn, 378 F. Supp. 860 (D. D. C. 1974). The insurance company was permitted to use the murder conviction to deny coverage based upon collateral estoppel.

      I think it may be more difficult for an insurer to get out of coverage where the insured has neither been convicted or indicted. If the insured provides an examination under oath where he or she claims an intruder committed the murder, but they homeowner may have been negligent (for example, left the back door unlocked), the insurance company should not be able to deny coverage. Who expects an intruder to kill a house guest?

      Craig Roswell has handled several cases where the insurance companies he represented denied coverage where the insurance company believed the insurer set fires that destroyed the premises.

      • Cat from Cleveland
        07/05/2010 at 11:17 PM

        There is an entire first year law school class devoted to this topic, so bear with me as I try to condense tort law into this post:

        To prove liability in a civil case, one must generally prove that: the defendant did something that a “reasonable person” would not have done, or failed to do that which a “reasonable person” would have done; that harm was “foreseeable”; that harm resulted; and that the breach was the direct and proximate cause of the harm. An unforeseeable intentional act of a third party will “break the chain of causation” and thereby cut off liability.

        What I’m saying is this: Kathy Wone’s claim is not a slam dunk. She has the burden of proving that the Defendants engaged in some act or failure to act that caused Robert’s death. If the jury buys the intruder defense (or, stealthy ninja turtle assassin, as it were), I doubt that leaving a door unlocked, given the 7 foot fence, would result in liability. Similarly, since Joe could not have saved Robert’s life with CPR, failing to provide it will not make him liable.

        Before that claim is heard by a jury, the judge will decide if their is enough evidence to go to the jury. The case could end there – beleive me, I’d hate to see that happen. Its known as summary judgment, and its similar to the directed verdict, but happens before trial begins. Its granted with some frequency in civil cases.

        Finally, I’m more than a little concerned that the judge will enter an order that all information obtained via subpoena and in discovery be kept confidential. If that happens, we won’t hear another word until the summary judgment motion is filed.

        • Bea
          07/06/2010 at 4:45 AM

          Hey Cat. What’s your reason for believing all discovery info will be ‘confidential’ – it would seem some might be under protective order (on a case by case basis) but I suspect Kathy Wone will want it public. She’s motivated to keep the public apprised of these men’s actions and I don’t see a legit argument to have it ALL under protective order or seal.

    • Bill Orange
      07/02/2010 at 11:14 AM

      I posted this on the last thread, and I’ll say it again: I really don’t think the insurance companies are going to stick with them. Insurance is for accidents, and they really don’t even like to pay for those.

      If your house burns down, the insurance should pay out, but you should expect them to hem and haw and drag their feet in doing so.

      If you burn your own house down, your insurance company is not only NOT going to pay out, but they’re going to try to get you charged for insurance fraud.

      And if your house burns down and you invoke your fifth amendment rights in order to avoid discussing what happened that night, I think that your insurance company is going to go out of its way to screw you over. Especially when there’s $20 million on the line.

      • chilaw79
        07/02/2010 at 11:25 AM


        I don’t disagree with you about the basic nature of insurance companies, but state insurance commissioners do not like insurance companies to avoid their insurance obligations.

        One interesting question will be whether the insurance company will seek to use the judge’s determination that there was no intruder to deny coverage. I imagine the judge’s opinion is being read in Baltimore and Hunt Valley to determine what the insurance company will do going forward if, in fact, the insurance company has been defending. It would be easier for the insurance company to deny coverage if the defendants had been convicted, since that might be viewed as hostile to their duty to cooperate with the insurance company.

        I don’t know if Dylan was really “a tenant” in the home or merely a guest. That might impact coverage, too.

        • Bill Orange
          07/02/2010 at 12:08 PM

          “…state insurance commissioners do not like insurance companies to avoid their insurance obligations.”

          I think it would relatively easy for them to get away with in this case. If you start pleading the fifth in depositions, you’re in a tight spot. I would expect that most insurance policies require you to co-operate with the insurance company and their investigations. The arson example seems like a good one to me. If your house burns down, and you plead the fifth when you’re asked if you deliberately burned it down, then I think that the insurance company is going to find a way to avoid paying you. And I don’t think the state insurance commissioner is going to be terribly sympathetic.

          • chilaw79
            07/02/2010 at 12:15 PM

            I agree with your statement. The insurance company typically can require an examination under oath. The insurer will deny coverage if the insured does not cooperate. However, nothing keeps any insured from lying (if they are brazen enough to do so and are willing to take the risk). Of course, there also is the possibility the insured is telling the truth and someone outside the policy committed a wrongful act.

            I anticipate seeing some action from the insurance company on coverage issues, if they are not satisfied with the representations made to them to date.

            • Bill Orange
              07/02/2010 at 12:39 PM

              “However, nothing keeps any insured from lying (if they are brazen enough to do so and are willing to take the risk).”

              And this is where it gets interesting. It is very much in the insurance company’s best interest to maneuver either Joe or Victor into invoking their fifth amendment rights so that the insurance company has a good excuse to jump ship. And lying under oath is risky here, since it would constitute a new crime and could basically give the government a “do over” on the original charges. Mind you, I don’t think this is going to happen. I just think it’s important to realize that the defendants aren’t just facing the government anymore–they’re going to get hit from multiple directions, and while the stakes are arguably lower in civil court, I think the stress of it all is going to go on for a long, long time.

            • Bea
              07/02/2010 at 1:26 PM

              Agree with CC Biggs, Chilaw, etc. that there is a ‘duty to defend’ until such time as there is a determination that there is no coverage (i.e. that it was an intentional act). That may be a long time coming, and the insurance company is already crunching the numbers to see how much to offer to settle (cost of lawyers, etc.) but I suspect Kathy Wone is far less interested in a monetary settlement than using this to determine as much as possible about her husband’s murder.

              Too, while the insurance company has to be worried about NOT providing coverage (called a “vexatious refusal” entitling its homeowner to a significant damage award) my guess is that they have undertaken representation with what’s called a ‘reservation of rights’ such that they can exit easily if there is a finding that “negligence” is not in play here. But what will be sufficient for them to back out is murky to me. As was pointed out, there would be coverage if Dylan (not a homeowner) or another person committed an “intentional” act but the homeowners did not.

              Everyone who pointed out the apparent conflict, but Chilaw is correct that that’s the nature of the beast. Often insurer’s counsel will recommend that the insured hire his own counsel once the issue has clarity. I am sure Covington is working the angles to figure out how long it is in Kathy Wone’s interest to have the men “covered” – they may well prefer to have the men continue with the case so they can get their ‘at bat’ against them instead of having the men agree to a default judgment.

              • Carolina
                07/04/2010 at 10:19 AM

                Bea, I am naming my next horse “Vexatious Refusal.” Belmont, here we come.

                • Bea
                  07/04/2010 at 3:01 PM

                  Love this.

                  How about a celebrity child’s name, nicknamed “Vexy”?

        • BadShoes
          07/02/2010 at 12:35 PM

          If one or more of the defendants plead the fifth in the civil trial, that will tend to confirm the popular impression of their guilt created by Judge Liebovitz’ decision, put a ‘normal’ life even further out of reach, and further discomfit hithero loyal friends and family.

          If pleading the fifth will not only cause a jury/judge to make an adverse inference, but cause one’s attorney to withdraw and cut off further funds for one’s defense, the logic of the situation would seem to favor testifying.

          • Carolina
            07/02/2010 at 6:34 PM

            I know this is a stupid question, but if one of them did murder Robert, lying in court has to seem a lot like littering, doesn’t it? What motivation do they have to do anything but?

            • BadShoes
              07/05/2010 at 8:50 PM

              Well, testifying in court has a bunch of downsides, too:

              1) The cross examination ought to be the stuff of legend.

              2) Many of the potential topics would be prejudicial in a jury trial, even if the reply wasn’t incriminating. The cross could be almost as destructive of the men’s reputation as taking the fifth.

              3) The three men could be for prosecution for perjury, based upon the same story for which they were acquitted of obstruction.

              4) Under cross examination, they would have to add many new details to their story, increasing the risk of testifying to an inconsistency or impossibility.

              5) Answers to potential questions on cross examination would have to be carefully worked out, but without giving their attorneys the impression that perjury was in the works.

              • chilaw79
                07/05/2010 at 9:20 PM

                Prefacing this again with the caveat that I am not a criminal lawyer, but I am not sure the defendants could be prosecuted for perjury. The original statements to the police were not under oath. The defendants all were acquitted of obstruction of justice.

                If the defendants are shown to have lied to their insurance company, that is a separate offense.

                Besides, none of us know what the defendants will say or whether they will provide deposition testimony in the civil case or testify as witnesses in the civil trial. In the absence of such testimony, the videotaped statements may be the only “testimony” from the defendants, with no real opportunity for cross examination. The potential for a negative inference from silence remains.

                • BadShoes
                  07/05/2010 at 10:28 PM


                  my point was that if one or more of the defendants decides to testify in the civil trial, then they would be (I think) potentially subject to prosecution for perjury if it could be proven that they lied.

                  IMHO, if they decide to testify, they would be stuck with telling approximately the same story they told the police.

                  • chilaw79
                    07/05/2010 at 11:05 PM

                    I agree with that, although it is not inconceivable that one or more of the defendants now could say they did not see the attack–only its aftermath–and simply did not believe one of the other people residing in the home murdered Robert Wone. They also could say they saw no evidence that another member of the household committed the attack and assumed it was an unknown intruder.

        • Carolina
          07/02/2010 at 6:28 PM

          Your last sentence has me thinking. Do you think it may have something to do with his criminal lawyer representing him in the civil case? How would he be covered if he was not one of the owners? I doubt he had renters’ insurance. Where *would* that leave him?

          • chilaw79
            07/02/2010 at 7:59 PM

            If Dylan did not have renter’s insurance, then Dylan may be in the same place as he is on the spousal/domestic partner privilege issue–on the outside looking in.

            I don’t know whether Dylan actually paid rent. Perhaps, Joe and Victor simply allowed him to live in their home.

            It sounds like Sara Morgan was a true tenant.

            I have no idea whether any DC statutory provisions are implicated or whether having tenants alters the insurer’s responsibility under the policy. Anybody else have an idea?

            • AnnaZed
              07/02/2010 at 8:04 PM

              Dylan pay rent? Surely you jest. One does wonder to what degree an insurer would be liable for the actions of a live-in prostitute sanctioned by the insured.

              • Deb
                07/03/2010 at 11:45 AM

                By that definition, a stay at home mom is a two bit whore. I’m not picking on you AnnaZ. It struck me funny and I’m lmao.

                • ccf
                  07/03/2010 at 11:50 AM

                  It was Dylan.

                  Technically he’s not a couple with Joe. If not a live-in prostitute, he’s a live-in sugarbaby (except that Dylan is older). Same difference.

                • Carolina
                  07/03/2010 at 6:06 PM

                  Stay at home moms rarely do outcalls at $90/hr.

      • CC Biggs
        07/02/2010 at 12:16 PM

        Many insurance policies contain duty-to-defend provisions, which require the insurer to pay for the defense costs of the policy holder so long as the lawsuit even arguably could involve a covered event. So, if the home owner policy provides coverage for deaths that occur in the home, and it is possible that the policyholders (Joe and/or Victor) are not liable for the killing or otherwise excluded from coverage under the terms of the policy, then the policy’s duty-to-defend provision is triggered and the insurer must pay for the defense costs.

        • Liam
          07/02/2010 at 1:18 PM

          Let me preface my question/comments below with, I’m fairly clueless on these issues of insurance coverage, etc., so my observations are simply based on an attempt at common sense reasoning (key word is “attempt”).

          Because I don’t know much, I’ll keep it simple. It would seem to me that, notwithstanding these “duty-to-defend” provisions, there would be a conflict of interest here.

          Specifically, on the one hand, aren’t the JP and VB lawyers looking out for the best interests of the Insurance Company. On the other hand, aren’t these lawyers supposed to vigorously represent their clients in the wrongful death suit, which would be against the best interests of the insurance company.

          It makes sense to me that if the insurance policy contains a “duty-to-defend” provision, then the insurance company must defend an action brought against the policy holder that involves the insurance policy. But, usually, it seems that such action would, for example, be something like the insurance company defending you because your neighbor claims to have slipped and fallen down your snow covered steps that should have been shoveled. You and the insurance company are basically on the same side on this one. The insurance company wants to prove that you were not negligent in failing to shovel and so do you.

          Contrast the present case. It’s just not that simple (what else is new). The interests are not all aligned on the same side.

          • CC Biggs
            07/02/2010 at 2:09 PM

            That is a good question, but the answer is that although the insurer is PAYING for a defense, the insurer is not directing or controlling the defense. The attorneys have an independent obligation to represent the policy holder, not the insurance company. Kind of like when you get treatment from a doctor. The bills may be paid by medical insurance, but the doctor is not working for the insurance company.

            • ccf
              07/02/2010 at 2:31 PM

              But I would think there is still a conflict. Once, I asked an attorney hired by my insurance company but as far as I can remember I didn’t get a satisfactory answer. The question was that if the policy-holder decided to pay what the plaintiff asks for and make the law suit go away, would the insurance company be willing to do that?

              • CC Biggs
                07/02/2010 at 4:20 PM

                I don’t see how that creates a conflict involving the lawyer. The insurance company could either agree to pay the settlement amount, or disagree to pay it. In either case, the attorney is still representing you.

              • Bea
                07/02/2010 at 4:23 PM

                Insurance companies can reach settlement with plaintiff as to the insurance company’s liability and cut loose the insured (meaning pay the limit of the policy and advise the insured that he will get limited counsel assistance thereafter). Not that I see them writing Kathy Wone a check for $3Mill or whatever the umbrella is for.

              • Carolina
                07/02/2010 at 6:37 PM

                In some cases, the insurance co will settle, whether the insured wishes to or not. It’s cheaper for them in the long term.

            • Liam
              07/02/2010 at 6:07 PM

              I see what you are saying.

              However, you know how you sometimes hear that a doctor will not order a certain test or procedure because insurance will not pay for it (I’ve never personally experienced that (knock on wood), but I’ve heard such stories).

              Well, I doubt that the insurance company is going to pay for an all-star defense. Seems that the insurance company wold only pay for what is legally necessary, but no fancy tests, experts, etc.

              Final questions. Do they use experts at the civil trial? Do they rely on the expert testimony from the criminal trial? (Dumb questions, but I am not familiar with these things.)

              (e.g., you want that that the do you suppose that much like doctors only order tests that the insurance company pays for

              • Liam
                07/02/2010 at 6:09 PM

                please delete that last paragraph….sorry

        • Bill Orange
          07/02/2010 at 2:30 PM

          I think you all are seriously underestimating the level of “weaseliness” of the average insurance company. I also think you’re underestimating how fed up this insurance company likely is with this particular case. First someone is stabbed to death in the guest bedroom, then two months later the house is burglarized by someone with a key (with a delay in calling the police thrown in, just for good measure). The policy-holders have stonewalled the police for over three years. Now they want the policy to cover legal fees in a civil suit and a possible $20 million civil judgement. If the insurance company can’t find a way out of this, they need to fire their entire legal department.

          • ccf
            07/02/2010 at 2:33 PM

            I agree. The insurance company must be trying to get out of it. They are probably investigating the murder as we speak.

          • CC Biggs
            07/02/2010 at 3:04 PM

            It is highly doubtful that the policy would cover the $20M civil judgment. Such judgment would only result if a jury finds that the defendants are liable. That liability probably would fall under one of the exclusions to coverage.

          • RosieRiveted
            07/02/2010 at 9:58 PM

            Imagine the PR for the insurance company that denies Kathy Wone her day in court, her remuneration for the wrongful death of her beloved husband (which no sum of money will ever suffice for that loss), and the opportunity to find out what happened that night on Swann Street and have it validated in a courtroom (something Judge L. denied her). Insurance cos. have bad enough reps as it is (as evidenced by many of the posts here). Now they’re going to throw a widow under the bus for these guys? They’re going to get out of this as fast as they can.

      • Cat from Cleveland
        07/05/2010 at 11:24 PM

        If your house burns down and kills your guest, the insurance company has to pay to defend you until such time as the iinsurance company proves in court that you intentionally set the fire with the intent to injure another. Of course, the insurance company could simply breach the contract and not defend you, but if it turns out to be wrong, and you got hit with a huge judgement because the insurance company didn’t defend you, the insurance company could be on the hook for the whole judgment (even if its in excess of the policy). For that reason, the insurance company typically provides the defense, no matter how obvious it may seem that the claim is not covered.

  5. Clio
    07/02/2010 at 10:59 AM

    Very active and ongoing means just reading our posts, perhaps? I hope that Lanier’s statements are more than mere window dressing, but, without sudden confessions or new witnesses, the criminal case may be essentially closed. To me, Lynn’s “cold comfort” relegates this to the “cold” case file, despite the good faith efforts by detectives such as Gail.

    The civil case bodes better, but no one was in this for the money from the start. September 10 — here we come!

    • Cecily
      07/02/2010 at 12:00 PM

      Maybe the MPD can lean on Victor more to get him to find his conscious that has been buried for 4 years. It is in there somewhere and I noticed he was the only one not looking gleeful or smiling after the verdicts (from the pics I saw on this and the WashPo sites). He had a somber look to him.

      • chilaw79
        07/02/2010 at 12:04 PM

        Victor’s mother also expressed her condolences to Kathy Wone via the Fox television footage following the verdicts. She seemed genuinely remorseful to me.

        • Bill Orange
          07/02/2010 at 12:09 PM

          She was the only person involved in all of this who seemed to understand that, no how bad this was for her family, it was all much, much worse for the Wones.

          • Clio
            07/02/2010 at 5:29 PM

            And, that seeming dearth of empathy is both sad and odd at the same time.

            • La
              07/02/2010 at 5:46 PM

              Does anyone have a link to the video with Victor’s mother in it? I cannot find it on Fox website.

            • Bill Orange
              07/02/2010 at 9:05 PM

              Sad, yes. Odd, not so much.

      • ccf
        07/02/2010 at 12:33 PM

        MPD should lean on Sarah Morgan as well. I think she knows more.

        • Bill 2
          07/02/2010 at 6:18 PM

          I agree. In view of what the judge said about the trio when delivering her decision, anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that she’s pointing to an involvement in the cover-up of the murder. Now that Sarah Morgan has had an opportunity to see how the law is looking at her so-called “family,” maybe she’ll realize it’s time to tell the whole story to the police. The police should also question the couple she stayed with, to find out what reason she gave them for coming over with plans to spend the night.

          It’s possible that the judge’s narrative for her decision may loosen a few tongues of people who now want to distance themselves from the trio.

          Maybe Scott Hixon should be given another chance to tell police what he knows, too.

          • DonnaH
            07/02/2010 at 6:23 PM

            And Louis Hinton and Michael Price sleep in separate bedrooms, so I think it would be interesting to ask what times Louis says he can specifically account for seeing Michael at home that night.

            • Carolina
              07/02/2010 at 7:02 PM

              As I recall, Louis specifically said MP was home *in bed* with him at that time of the murders.

        • LRN
          07/02/2010 at 10:31 PM

          Sarah Morgan’s testimony never sat well with me. In fact I think she outright practically lied. I do hope they come back to her–there was something really creepy about her feeling that she had to leave that night.

          • Carolina
            07/03/2010 at 10:47 AM

            I think she was technically truthful, if not in spirit.

      • interestedobserver
        07/02/2010 at 12:47 PM

        All I know is that Victor routinely appeared gleeful and was smiling and laughing throughout the entire trial. He would be nodding his head mindlessly and smiling in response to various comments from his attorney – I highly doubt they were talking about the case.
        Just like his hysterical 911 call (with numerous moments when he steps out of his role and speaks calmly to Joe before becoming hysterical again with the 911 operator), Victor apparently can put on a good act.

        • ccf
          07/02/2010 at 12:55 PM

          I can understand that. If I was in a stressful situation — a prolonged one like they did, or still do — I would try to act upbeat. Otherwise, I would’ve gone crazy.

          • Bill
            07/02/2010 at 1:57 PM

            I believe your point is well taken. The situation was obviously extraordinarily intense, stressful and, with a month-long trial, ongoing. Of course anyone in that situation would try to act upbeat — if not for appearances, for management of the stress of the trial. I find this a natural reaction.

            A number of posters criticized Victor’s 911 call as “staged and theatrical.” I find that difficult to agree with as well. None of us knows how we would react in a similar situation. As with his demeanor during the trail, I think he was doing the best that he could at the time.

            As with my comments yesterday regarding JP’s “grin,” I think we need to be careful not to read intention into facial expressions.

            • Bill Orange
              07/02/2010 at 2:15 PM

              I agree with you on the 911 call–people freak out in various ways, so I think he gets the benefit of the doubt there.

              I disagree with you somewhat on the demeanors in the courtroom and in the courthouse. This was a multimillion dollar defense. Furthermore, Victor is a PR man. While I agree with you that you really can’t read anything into someone smiling at any given time, I think that someone should have advised these three that if they were going to crack a smile anywhere near the courtroom, they should probably put their hand over their mouth.

              • susan
                07/02/2010 at 8:05 PM

                Even the judge said she thought the 911 call was odd and strange. Can anyone recall the exact words she used?

                There are too many issues in that call to write it off as all stress: The “hysteria” at the beginning and the utter calm when he was talking with J. Price; asking about the time; saying they “had one of our knives”; saying he gave JP the towel;saying JP was applying pressure, and so on.

                • Islander
                  07/03/2010 at 12:21 PM

                  Most people would get fairly hopped up even finding a body on the street. Imagine the adrenaline dump VZ would have had to have when he found RW? It’s involuntary. I did not hear that consistently in VZ’s voice on the 911 call. Doesn’t pas the “smell test.”

              • Cat from Cleveland
                07/05/2010 at 11:31 PM

                As a young associate (not recently-lol), I had trials where my primary responsibility was monitoring (and where necessary, correcting) the demeanor of the client before the jury. Since this was not a jury trial, the lawyers may have been less attentive to their client’s facial expressions in court. They will do better if there is a jury present.

            • AnnaZed
              07/02/2010 at 3:01 PM

              It’s not Joe’s self satisfied grin that disconcerts for me (to be expected really). No, it is the Kabuki rictus that appeared as both a leer and a gaping smirk on the face of Dylan Ward not just in one photograph but on video tape as well. It is one of the most horrifying things that I have ever seen, and it will stick with me for a long time. Frankly, he looks to me like he is completely insane.

              • cinnamon
                07/02/2010 at 3:33 PM

                Watching the video clip of Dylan’s interrogation was disconcerting to me. He is quite the character.

                • Nelly
                  07/02/2010 at 5:04 PM

                  He acted like a high school kid auditioning for a play. Did not seem like someone who barely escaped being the victim of a crazy knife-wielding murderer in his home.

                  • Clio
                    07/03/2010 at 3:43 PM

                    I agree, Nelly: never trust a skinny cook!

            • BadShoes
              07/02/2010 at 5:00 PM

              “None of us knows how we would react in a similar situation.”

              Actually, I have been in a similar situation, so I do know how I would react.

              I don’t fault Mr. Zaborsky for being upset, but for providing both false and misleading information to the 911 operator, and for being non-responsive.

              When a person suffers cardiac arrest, he will suffer irreversible brain damage within about five minutes. If the defendants’ account is true, during the last five minutes of Robert Wone’s life, Dylan Ward sat on the sofa wondering what happened, Joe Price, trained in first aid, sat beside Mr. Wone and maybe held his hand, While Victor Zaborsky frittered away those minutes talking about chimes, intruders, knives, and how he was on the third floor and couldn’t know whether Robert Wone was breathing or not.

              Of course, if the defendants knew that Robert Wone was already dead, then their behavior would be perfectly understandable.

        • Liam
          07/02/2010 at 1:41 PM

          “All I know is that Victor routinely appeared gleeful and was smiling and laughing throughout the entire trial.”

          I can understand that Victor (or any of the defendants) would smile occasionally or laugh occasionally, as these are normal human expressions.

          But you used “routinely” and “throughout the entire trial” to describe the frequency of his behavior. I would think that the attorneys would ask them to maintain a serious demeanor most of the time (because this is a serious matter). So, if you are not exaggerating in your assessment of “routinely” and “throughout the entire trial”, then I think his demeanor to be strange.

          • interestedobserver
            07/02/2010 at 2:29 PM

            I found it stunning the number of times I saw him smile and laughing with the associate attorney sitting next to him. This was, indeed, througout the entire trial. If anyone else had a different observation, I’d be interested in hearing your observations. I would have thought too that his lawyers would have counseled him on this, but they apparently did not. (See supra regarding the person sitting next to him.)

            For those of you who claim he was under a lot of stress and was “doing the best he could,” he had approximately 16 hours a day during every day during the trial to laugh and smile and act however he wanted. It’s unclear to me why he couldn’t show some respect for the process (and the victim’s family) during the few hours that he was in the courtroom each day.

            • 07/02/2010 at 5:12 PM

              From my vantage — only 1.5 days and only during the defense presentations — they were not notably smiling and laughing throughout. There was a little of that, but I (PhD psychologist) considered it normal for the circumstance. And so noted the normalcy of their reactions, given the circumstances, in my blogged observations. Instead, I focused on the signs of stress I noticed.

              Again, I only saw a tiny “sample” of the long trial.

              • Bill
                07/02/2010 at 8:27 PM

                As a psychologist, I believe your perspective is very important. Thanks.

          • Ruth
            07/02/2010 at 5:57 PM

            The job of the young associate assigned to babysit Victor was to keep him calm. His parents were also there and were very supportive and I’m sure he wanted to reassure them he wasn’t freaking out.

          • Carolina
            07/02/2010 at 6:49 PM

            A number of people have remarked on the hughug airkiss airkiss greetings and note-passing during the proceedings. It must have been noticeable.

        • Daphne
          07/02/2010 at 2:20 PM

          Hey, I’ve been known to laugh at funerals.

          • ccf
            07/02/2010 at 2:51 PM

            This is kind of off-topic but I think it would provide some insight into stress and laughter. Almost 20 years ago, my father died of cancer after a long fight. My mourning started when his cancer had spread to his lungs and he had only months to live. We have a large extended family. The dinner following the funeral was an event filled with laughter, as the pent-up stress was released for all members of the family.

            His funeral was a couple days before Christmas. All his grandchildren — my sons, my nephews and nieces — were all small children at the time, so we decided to celebrate Christmas with them. Although my mother’s mood was still somber, still we were laughing hard. At one point, the door bell rang. In synchrony we all stopped laughing. It was my cousin dropping something off for my mother; he probably hear us. It was kind of funny.

          • Carolina
            07/02/2010 at 6:49 PM

            You and Mary Richards.

            • susan
              07/02/2010 at 9:27 PM

              The court proceedings were exceedingly public, unlike a private family gathering. I don’t know what to make of the behavior, except all three, along with the attorneys, knew they were being watched and scrutinized. Hence, the separation of the three during the trial, and their pointedly rarely speaking with each other. I only saw the proceedings two half days but other than VZ periodically whispering something to DW (when I saw them sitting next to each other before they were all separated) they all noticeably stared straight ahead not looking at each other. I think the designed effect was to portray them as not in collusion, and to avoid any readings of their behavior–by displaying very little of it.

      • RosieRiveted
        07/02/2010 at 10:00 PM

        Perhaps Victor just has a better sense of decorum than the others. His demeanor throughout the trial seemed more appropriate for the setting.

  6. Atlanta
    07/02/2010 at 12:31 PM

    You can attempt to appeal to his senses at his P.O. box in Mclean (listed on the web).

  7. Nancy
    07/02/2010 at 12:42 PM

    Does anyone know the maximum penalty the three can face in the civil suit?

    • Bea
      07/02/2010 at 1:30 PM

      Nancy, it’s a dollar amount – the plaintiff, Kathy Wone, requests $20 Million to compensate for the wrongful death of her husband. Because it’s civil, there’s no chance of anything but monetary penalty.

  8. Rich
    07/02/2010 at 1:11 PM

    Bea, George Orange, ChiLaw79, HoyaLoya, CDinDC, AnnaZed, Carolina, and everyone else I cannot remember.

    Basically, all of the senior posters.

    Yes, maybe the target is Joe Price, but I’m not sure where the payoff is. Joe successfully got out from under prosecution. He will clearly get out from under me. I think the authorities need to be held accountable for losing the case. Clearly, somewhere in this nightmare, there was enough evidence to prosecute the defendants for something. Ron Machen, new Obama appointee as US Attorney General, must accept responsibility for his department failing to make any case. I am willing to place my name on a complaint and I will go the distance in holding the authorities responsible.

    However, I need help. I am sure the language in the complaint will require the attention of our “legal eagles,” as I am afraid I will not have enough data or language to successfully complete the application.

    Is anyone willing to help me build the document? Or should I let Ron Machen off the hook?

    Rather than trying to stay on top of this website 24-7, virtually impossible, but you guys seem to have succeeded, why not post your willingness to help between 4 pm and 6 pm? That’s all I need for now – just an understanding. If I have support on this matter, Bea and George Orange, personally, I would be elated if you jumped in.

    If there is help to support me, I will request an application for the paperwork around July 9, 2010 when I return to town and then will ask for more information then.

    If this is a bad idea or I’m going in the wrong direction, just let me know. These guys must be disbarred, fired, or somehow held accountable, don’t you think?

    I can provide a direct email if that’s helpful, but I just don’t know how to do it.

    • Bea
      07/02/2010 at 1:31 PM

      Rich, I appreciate your frustration, but I don’t see it. The MPD definitely screwed up the blood testing with Ashley’s Reagent, but the prosecution did as good a job as one could expect. Others may disagree.

      • Bill
        07/02/2010 at 2:01 PM

        Also, recall that the judge expressly stated: “The conduct and presentations by all of the lawyers for both the prosecution and the defense in this case were at all times highly professional, and reflected the highest standards of ethics and advocacy.” How are you going to bring a complaint with this voluntary assessment from the presiding judge?

      • Bill Orange
        07/02/2010 at 2:18 PM

        Rich, I’m afraid I’m with Bea on this one. I think the MPD blew this case. I think the prosecuting attorneys did the best they could with what they had. I don’t really think there’s a strong basis for an ethics complaint here.

      • Swwrestler
        07/02/2010 at 5:37 PM

        rich: the prosecution had a high burden of ” Beyond a Reasonable doubt”. the judge understood this,and followed the law. There was no “smoking gun” I share your frustrations, but I think your efforts will be wasted.

      • NYer
        07/02/2010 at 10:02 PM

        The main thing that bothered me about the prosecution’s approach: Why did they not pursue the sexual assault angle? If someone can summarize in 3 to 5 sentences, I’d appreciate it…I was never really clear on this.

        • Bill 2
          07/02/2010 at 10:23 PM

          Who assaulted him? They can only prosecute someone for sexual assault if they know who did it.

          • NYer
            07/02/2010 at 10:47 PM

            Not referring to assault *charges*- but rather for the prosecution to argue that he had indeed been assaulted. If you’ll recall, the gov’t opted not pursue that theory, which the defense was going to fight them on tooth and nail apparently. Perhaps the gov’t thought it would be too difficult, given their resources?

            But given the evidence, such as Robert’s semen found on his own body, and the presence of the electroshock device in Ward’s room, I’m curious why this angle was dropped.

            • Bill 2
              07/02/2010 at 11:11 PM

              Can they prove that Dylan assaulted him? Can they prove that Victor used an electroshock device on him? Can they show that Joe assaulted him? Can they prove the electroshock device had ever touched Robert? No. No. No. No.

              None of these men sat in the box to be questioned at the trial. Was Sarah Morgan going to say that Victor assaulted Robert?

              How can they charge anyone with assault if they don’t know who to charge? There is no evidence to prove that any of those men assaulted Robert. That’s why the trail was about tampering and obstruction. It wasn’t a trial about sexual assault and murder. Hopefully, that trial will happen in the future.

              Even the judge knew that crimes had been committed but she did not know who did tampering and obstructing. That’s why they got off. One of them may not have done anything wrong, but which one? She doesn’t know. You don’t know. Police don’t know.

              • NYer
                07/03/2010 at 7:47 PM

                You’re point is well-takenb and I agree with what you write- but for the second time, I was not saying that gov’t should CHARGE any of them with assault. Rather, I was wondering what happened to the prosecution’s plan to introduce the theory that Robert WAS ASSAULTED. It’s a subtle distinction.

                While admittedly hindsight is 20/20, if it could have been proven that Robert had been assaulted AT ALL, any claim that a random “intruder” did this (which is what the troupe did claim) becomes even more untenable. It also establishes greater motivation for obstruction of justice charges.

    • chilaw79
      07/02/2010 at 2:36 PM

      I can’t really fault the prosecutor’s office for their work (once they settled on a theory). I understand your frustration, but I think the focus should be the DCPD since they handled the initial investigation of the crime scene. Machen was not confirmed as the U. S. Attorney until February, 2010, so he has barely been on the job for four months.

      I think any formal request to have the prosecutors disbarred or even reprimanded would be silly. Lawyers have to make judgment calls based on the cases presented to them, especially in criminal cases, where the prosecutors have to work with police, the medical examiner, the Fire Department/EMTs, and other government agencies (including the FBI and Secret Service).

      I really do not know if the prosecutors did anything wrong. The only thing I could fault them for is not settling in on a theory. I think the basic idea of bringing an obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy case was sound. With the benefit of hindsight, the prosecutor might have refused to agree to a bench trial, especially in a circumstantial case, but a jury trial could have led to an acquittal, a hung jury, or a conviction and an appeal. Anything else is armchair quarterbacking (which all of us are guilty of from time to time).

    • AnnaZed
      07/02/2010 at 6:21 PM

      Rich, I’m not even outraged by this verdict why would I sign a petition to protest the prosecution’s handling of it? Additionally, the chances of my sharing the details of who I actually am with anyone but the editors of this site is so infinitesimal that it can’t be calculated.

    • AC71
      07/02/2010 at 7:25 PM

      First of all let me say that I think it is admirable that you want to do something about this injustice. Not many people today are willing to stand up and do something about a wrong. However I think that placing a complaint about anyone having anything to do with this case would be counterproductive.

      Hey this is just a suggestion but if you want to do something about this injustice then why not put your energy to something that would be productive and positive. This is just my two cents.

      I am reminded of the introduction to Law and Order where they state something like in the role of justice first the police investigate then the public attorney prosecutes. Clearly in this case the police made some mistakes. I am not saying you should file a complaint against the police though. I am not a lawyer but I think the prosecutor did the best they could with the evidence that the police collected.

      If you want to do something about this injustice then here are some ideas. These are just a few ideas that I can think of at the moment. I am sure you or others could thing of many more things.

      We are in an election year and politicians love votes so contact your council member, write the mayor, and urge your friends to do the same. The squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say. Urge these elected officials to allocate resources to this unsolved murder. I know a guy that has a relationship with Jack Evans and this guy told me that he is going to call him and urge him to put the pressure on the MPD Chief to solve this case.

      A low tech approach would be to print up the reward fliers and post them up and pass them around. Distribute them and raise the awareness of this unsolved murder. If you are an online person then perhaps you could distribute them online in some manner to raise awareness and such.

      Also as we approach the anniversary of Robert’s very untimely death perhaps a public memorial could be organized. Something that would pay tribute to an awesome person, bring awareness to an unsolved crime, and maybe even help a cause that was dear to Robert. Speak with his friends and folks that knew him and organize it or kick the idea off.

      There is a memorial fund for Robert so you could invite your friends to contribute something to this fund. This is an excellent way to pay tribute to Robert.

      I’m sorry but I just do not think that filing complaints about anyone in the handling of this case is going to accomplish anything. Do something to highlight the fact that this is an unsolved murder, remember Robert, etc. I think that would be the best approach.

    • DonnaH
      07/03/2010 at 2:01 AM

      Rich, I came across a report which offers some suggestions about what is needed to address the high rate (37% nationally) of unsolved murders (and the higher rate of unsuccessfully prosecuted ones when inadequate evidence is obtained by the police–as in Robert’s case). They include better funding for homicide units and for forensic labs, and more reliance on investigative methods instead of interrogation to solve crimes. This website is specifically interested in redirecting monies for the death penalty system into these other areas. You might find it of interest: http://www.californiacrimevictims.org/Publications/The%20Silent%20Crisis%20in%20California.pdf.

  9. interestedobserver
    07/02/2010 at 1:32 PM

    Rich: This is a stupid idea. Are you one of the defendants in disguise?
    What evidence do you have to support disbarment of the prosecutors? They were not the lawyers who lied here. Their performance will be accounted for in their own internal performance evaluations.

    Also, Ron Machen is not the “U.S. Attorney General.” He is the U.S. Attorney.

    • cinnamon
      07/02/2010 at 3:25 PM

      With all that we have seen in the comments in the past of people threatening to sue the editors and the commenters of this blog, my paranoid mind is very suspicious of the recent requests for get togethers in person and joining a law suit, etc. I’m wary that they may be attempts to learn the identities of long time commenters to this blog. Maybe I’m crazy, but that’s what comes to mind when I see this kind of stuff.

      • Clio
        07/02/2010 at 5:22 PM

        I agree, Cin. That Dyl is seemingly such a trickster: I could see him and Joe trying to pull off another surprise — this time, for the Editors and their core of commentators.

        Glenn should NOT be disbarred; he did his job and did not lie. It is true that he did badly with the bad hand he was dealt. His understudies were much better, but they could not overcome the mistakes of the MPD. So, Rich’s idea is a counterproductive one.

        Lynn’s ruling featured an absolutist interpretation of “reasonable doubt”, but her decision, however dreadful, was well within the bounds of jurisprudence.

        • cinnamon
          07/02/2010 at 5:30 PM

          I may be totally off on this and if I am I apologize in advance, but if I recall correctly, it was also Rich who suggested a get-together where people were to wearing name tags of their screen names. I was concerned about his intentions at that point but didn’t say anything but now with this other idea which would also require getting real names of commenters, I couldn’t hold my paranoid tounge. Again, if I am wrong I apologize.

          • DonnaH
            07/02/2010 at 6:15 PM

            I also recall that he (tentatively) suggested that if the trouple walked, they might even be invited, which I frankly thought a ghastly notion.

  10. Ruth
    07/02/2010 at 1:50 PM

    I wonder what the dollar amount of the insurance policy limits are? At some point the insurance company could make an offer in the amount of the policy limits and cut the expenditure on defense costs. That would leave the defendants on the hook individually for attorney’s fees and any verdict amount above the policy limits.

    • Daphne
      07/02/2010 at 2:22 PM

      But as we’ve all noted, KW is not in this for the money. She wants (IMHO)a finding of liability.

      • Ruth
        07/02/2010 at 6:00 PM

        But is a full trial going to happen if the insurance company offers to pay the policy limits?

        • Carolina
          07/02/2010 at 6:59 PM

          They can’t force Kathy to accept.

          • Cat from Cleveland
            07/05/2010 at 11:38 PM

            Exactly-No matter how much money is offered, unless it comes with an admission of liability, neither the defendants nor their insurance company can force the Wones to accept any settlement.

            • DonnaH
              07/06/2010 at 2:17 AM

              Thanks, Cat, I wasn’t clear on the requirement for admission of liability as well. That’s gratifying to know!

  11. JeffB
    07/02/2010 at 2:10 PM

    How do they come up with the dollar amount for damages in a case like this?

    • chilaw79
      07/03/2010 at 11:17 AM

      A variety of factors would be considered. First, the future earnings capacity of Robert Wone would be a major factor. He was only 32 at the time of his death, so it is likely he would have earned several million dollars over his working career. Second, the jury would attempt to place a value on the pain and suffering that Robert may have endured prior to his death. Third, the jury would look at the loss of a husband and potential father.

      I do not recall whether punitive damages were requested, but it is possible they were. These are what they sound like, an additional amount of money designed as a penalty or punishment.

      No amount of money will bring Robert Wone back.

      • Cat from Cleveland
        07/05/2010 at 11:39 PM

        Are there caps on damages in that jurisdiction? Does anyone know?

  12. former crackho
    07/02/2010 at 2:16 PM

    Wow, and I thought the nuances of the criminal trial were difficult for me to comprehend. The civil trial appears to be even more complex! I ask forgiveness in advance if this is a dumb question, or if has been covered and I missed it…but if the civil suit actually goes to trial, would it be one trial against all the defendants, or would there be separate trials?

    And I can’t say this enough – thank you, editors for the amazing job you have done. The amount of work you have all put into this site – including the trial coverage and beyond – is mind-boggling!

    • chilaw79
      07/02/2010 at 2:42 PM

      It should be one trial against all defendants since the claims all arise out of a single event (the death of Robert Wone and related acts). Separate trials in civil cases are more difficult to get than in criminal cases in my opinion. There also are considerations of judicial economy, inconsistent verdicts, and other factors. In this case, damages also may be allocated among the defendants.

  13. Rich
    07/02/2010 at 4:13 PM

    Senior Posters: Specifically, Bea, Bill Orange (how the posting became George is beyond me), and ChiLaw79:

    Thank you for your responses.

    Okay, it’s a dumb idea.

    I just think, even with bad evidence, they need to be held accountable for poorly presenting the case. Yes I know, Ron Machen (I know he is the US Attorney, how “General” got in the posting is beyond me) just got there, but he still had the opportunity to redirect the angle of the trial, as they were not fully providing the judge what she, “begged” them to do.

    Maybe other senior posters will jump in and see the value in chasing down the prosecution. I know the case, but not as well as you “aficionados.” The three of you have consistently provided different perspectives worthy of strong consideration. The civil trial should be fascinating! I strongly believe Joe will land in jail on, “new charges” and they will nail him for murder, even if it’s shoplifting.

    For the record, I am not one of the defendants in disguise.

    • chilaw79
      07/02/2010 at 8:10 PM

      My only comment is that I wish you would stop referring to me as a “senior poster.” Although I am decidedly middle-aged, I have not been posting nearly as long as some of the others you name.

  14. Bill
    07/02/2010 at 7:01 PM

    This is a bit off topic, but I have been thinking of this for a while. Can you imagine a worse job than that of MPD police chief Kathy Lanier? She has to deal with the incompetence of the Fenty administration, an inept police department, the challenge of a heavily minority population with common big city challenges, and “jobs for life” civil employees. It’s a wonder anything can be done.

    • Carolina
      07/02/2010 at 7:50 PM

      And she’s a woman in a “man’s job.” I know it’s 2010, but in a lot of positions, it’s still got to be harder for a female.

      • Clio
        07/02/2010 at 8:20 PM

        Bill, I would think that Dr. G. had a worse job, but, then again, I deal with dead people as an historian all the time.

        Things do get done in DC, Bill, believe it or not. From our Virginia perches, it is easy to criticize the federal capital and its “heavily minority population”. Yet the MPD and other municipal agencies in Washington seem to be as effective or more effective than their counterparts in other American metropolitan areas.

        In this case and to this point, however, the MPD was especially ineffective, and that series of lapses allowed your friends to be acquitted. I do wonder if Joe was banking on that perceived and/or actual incompetence from the get-go: could you ask him for us about that, please? Thanks in advance.

        • Bill
          07/02/2010 at 8:40 PM

          Clio — for the life of me, I don’t understand your statement “allowed your friends to be acquitted” or “could you ask him for us about that, please?” I do not know these people. Do you think that I do?

          Are your comments jest, or are you being provocative? Just because I have asked questions outside of the majority mindset of this blog, doesn’t in anyway mean that I have taken a position or have some clue as to what actually happened.

          The challenge — as noted by the judge and confirmed by common sense — is the lack of a credible motive combined with the “math” problem. In my opinion, until a credible motive can be developed, the murder will remain unsolved.

          • Clio
            07/02/2010 at 9:04 PM

            I am sorry, Bill: I thought that only friends and family of the defendants could have no position or any clue (in reference to what happened) at this late juncture — even Lynn thinks that the defendants may have been involved to the threshold of “highly probable” (for Joe), despite her decision to acquit.

            Lack of credible motive(s)? This blog has suggested plenty of them, and, besides that, even educated people do irrational acts.

            But as a muse, I am supposed to be both humorous and thought-provoking: if I am not being both, Bill, please note it immediately, as I know only you can do.

            • Bill
              07/02/2010 at 9:06 PM

              Clio – as always, you are right. Foolish me!

        • susan
          07/02/2010 at 9:40 PM

          I don’t know what was meant by “heavily minority” population (not referring to you, Clio as you were quoting) but the three defendants don’t seem to fit into that category, do they? In fact, if there is any minority in the scenario it is Mr. Wone. And he comes from a long line of Americans, so I just don’t get the gist of the reference.

      • bigfatmike
        07/03/2010 at 12:47 AM

        Not only that, if memory serves me, she was a single mom at an early age, and a high school drop out.

        What ever any one may say about her performance, she walks with long strides and covers a lot of ground.

    • Bill Orange
      07/02/2010 at 9:16 PM

      She’s not quite “Baghdad Bob”, but I agree that she’s got an awful job. How the investigation can be “very active” at this point is pretty much beyond me.

      • Bill 2
        07/02/2010 at 10:17 PM

        This could be a good time for detectives to re-interview some of the people involved by first quoting some phrases from the Judge’s decision. I’d like to see them press on Sarah Morgan and her two friends to find out the real reason she spent the night away from Swann Street. They could also ask Sarah Morgan if she ever saw digital cameras and video cams in the possession of the trio. The same should be asked of the neighbor across the street, Scott Hixon.

        While many are not thrilled with the “not guilty” decision, the judge delivered some powerful statements that could cause a few people to rethink the way they’ve been protecting the trio.

        • onreflection
          07/02/2010 at 11:43 PM

          I don’t know a thing about Sarah Morgan. It seems inconceivable that someone who is not plain crazy would not tell any and all if a murder ocurred in the house where they were living. No normal person would cover up for friends or landlords. My point: unless she has screws loose (lots of them) it seems should would have been candid.

          I didn’t particularly follow her story though.

          • Bill 2
            07/03/2010 at 1:48 AM

            Apparently, she considered herself to be part of their family – went on vacation with them, etc. While testifying in court she giggled at one point and then grew teary-eyed later on.

            • Clio
              07/04/2010 at 12:58 PM

              I wonder if Sarah has replaced her Swann family with another unconventional, polyamorous/bigamous arrangement: if not, I am sure that she misses the halycon fellowship of Italy.

              And I must admit, if I was a single lady who wanted to watch TV all night long, I would want a gay male couple there just to provide pithy comments and gourmet snacks, too.

              • susan
                07/05/2010 at 10:15 PM

                Good points, Clio! Plus, wonderfully witty, as usual.

      • chilaw79
        07/02/2010 at 10:32 PM

        None of us really have an idea how the acquittals may have changed the dynamics of the investigation, particularly whether any individuals now will have more incentive to speak with the police or the prosecutor’s office. Speaking hypothetically, if I had covered up a crime committed by a friend and was acquitted of obstruction of justice, I might be more willing to talk, especially if I only learned the true facts later. Some concerned citizen might call a tip line or just provide confidential information to the police. Someone might just get drunk or high and blurt out the truth.

        It could be that forensic tests on some items have not been conducted that could be conducted, even at this late date. During the course of the trial, the prosecutors may have focused on facts they had not noticed before, or may have given the police some new avenues of investigation to follow.

        We just do not know what may or could happen. I don’t care whether any evidence points to or away from the defendants. I think the important thing is to try to find out who murdered Robert Wone.

        • onreflection
          07/02/2010 at 11:44 PM

          Your point overlaps with the immunity for vz point someone raised. Strikes me as a very good strategy.

        • Leo
          07/03/2010 at 8:12 AM

          I would also interview Morgan and Hixson and any other friends who knew the comings and goings of the household to determine how frequently, if ever, “third party” visitors spent time at the house, and to identify any such visitors. If the killer was someone other than the trio, my money is on some such playmate/trick who had been in the house before, knew the layout, and for some reason decided to return.

  15. Nelly
    07/02/2010 at 7:57 PM

    You’re right. That’s a dumb idea and a waste of energy. This whole mess and tragedy was caused by the selfish and criminal actions of the trouple. The prosecution did what they could given the circumstances. I disagree with their idea that maybe Michael Price killed Robert Wone, especially since they had no proof and the judge asked them about it, but otherwise I have no other beefs with the prosecutors’ handling of the case.

  16. susan
    07/02/2010 at 8:07 PM

    Does anyone (editors, other posters) know if the MPD will be releasing any more video of the taped interrogations of JP, VZ, DW?

    Is there a reason the Washington Post seems to have special access?


  17. susan
    07/02/2010 at 10:34 PM

    I’m sure this has been documented here before, but I just noticed that on the 911 call, VZ says he heard the door open, that they heard the chimes, but in the videotaped interview he says that he did not hear the chimes. Also, when the 911 operator asks him to calm down the last thing he says before the tape ends (as far as I can tell) is “I’m just nervous.”

    Also, it strikes me, as I’m sure it struck many, that VZ is hysterical at points, yet we never hear JP hysterical in the background or read reports of him being torn up when the police comes, yet he’s the one who is the long-time friend of RW. I’m sure even if one isn’t close friends coming upon the murder scene would make most people hysterical, unless they didn’t just come upon it, I guess. Or unless they were complicit. Just don’t know.

  18. CC Biggs
    07/02/2010 at 11:30 PM

    Victor lied through his teeth throughout the entire call. Another example is that he says that he thinks the intruder left with the knife. What??!! How could that be — he saw the knife in the room, so why would he think the killer left with the knife? The answer is that Victor knows the real knife was taken away from the house (thrown out), and the knife in the room was a fake.

    • onreflection
      07/02/2010 at 11:41 PM

      Yes, just another truly maddening in a long list of examples of what should have pushed the judge over the line. It’s sickening.

    • Also from the Post Story
      07/03/2010 at 10:50 AM

      Okay, let’s suppose that the judge is right about who’s “very probably” guilty, and that (as most people here think) Victor wasn’t in on the murder but only blundered in afterward.

      Then if I am Victor right now, I am scared for my life. I’m in special fear of the others ever thinking that I’m thinking the trouple relationship isn’t going well any more. Because I know that they know that I know I can tell *everything that I know* with immunity from prosecution (double-jeopardy protection). I can take the stand in the civil trial, or before a grand jury, or anywhere else and not take the Fifth, because I’m the only one in the clear.

      I’m the only thing left on Earth that can send them to life in prison, if things go south between us and I get the whim. And they know that I know they know this.

      I also know that they know I know I’m not just dealing with a theoretical possibility, but with an *actual knife murderer!* With a proven self-interested, calculating, narcissistic and/or crazy-unpredictable personality that will kill.

      And they know I know they’re thinking how much easier the rest of their lives will be if this one remaining Sword of Damocles stops hanging over their head. Such as if Victor would just commit suicide, or have an accident, or be killed in a random street mugging. Or — hey, I just had another idea! Victor is found dead with a note saying “This is for Robert,” making it look like a vigilante did it, which muddies the trail and spreads suspicion to millions of possibles — with a motive! Hey Joe, do I have cool ideas or what?

      No, I would not want to be Victor now. His only escape is to bolt from the trouple without warning and tell all. Then he’ll be safe. And they know he knows it.

      • Carolina
        07/03/2010 at 11:10 AM

        I don’t see it happening. If he stood up under that blanket of fear for four years, what has changed? Yes, he may have incriminated himself, but how can that compare with thinking you may not live to see prison anyway?

        • Clio
          07/03/2010 at 12:22 PM

          I see Victor pursuing an amicable and gradual D-I-V-O-R-C-E (another Tammy Wynette classic) from Joe; if they have all but ceased sexual intimacies and most social contact already, I would not be surprised. Joe and Victor still need to put up the front of partnership for financial, legal, and PR reasons, but that’s it.

          Having said that, I do not see Victor ever playing heroine: to me, he had that chance on August 2, and he blew it. So, Victor will eventually leave the Triple Alliance without divulging any secrets, and he will be spared any kind of retribution from the other two as a result.

          • Bill 2
            07/03/2010 at 1:06 PM

            Do you really think he would be allowed to leave? If he knows something that could send a man to prison for life, that man would want to keep Victor under his thumb at all times. Victor is stuck in that relationship and needs to sleep with one eye open in case the “intruder” comes looking for him in order to insure his silence.

            • Clio
              07/03/2010 at 3:14 PM

              Yes, I do, Bill 2, because Joe knows Victor, and he knows Victor prefers to avoid personal conflict rather than to engage it. Thus, I suggest that Victor will both leave the partnership (eventually) and stay silent (always), preferring the easy road of the low profile over the hard choice of telling all he knows.

              • Bill 2
                07/03/2010 at 4:01 PM

                While you may be right that he prefers to avoid personal conflict, there’s one thing that showed up in Victor’s family that may be an unknown quality in the Price family – compassion. Mrs. Zaborsky, at the end of the trial, expressed her sorrow for Kathy Wone.

                OTOH, when it comes to personal conflict, I still think Victor came home early to see what Joe was up to and to confront him.

                • Clio
                  07/04/2010 at 2:00 PM

                  Well, Mrs. Zaborsky apparently did not pass enough of those necessary qualities to her son, who may have chosen self-preservation over compassion for others.

                  I too think Victor did try to confront Joe (over something?)by coming home early from Denver, but I also see that Victor chickened out in the end … only to find a bigger catastrophe than anyone could have imagined.

      • Jeana
        07/03/2010 at 1:30 PM

        Some points re poor, victimized Victor:

        1. Despite his acquittal, he is certainly not innocent of the conspiracy to obstruct;

        2. He may not be innocent of the murder either;

        3. Even if he only stumbled upon the aftermath of murder, he may not be absolutely certain which of the housemates – or both – or either – committed it;

        4. He *would* have to be absolutely certain not only of getting immunity from prosecution on all potential charges, including perjury, but of protection from his co-conspirators as well.

        5. Unless he can give evidence that would *with absolute certainty* result in a murder conviction, he’s not gonna get immunity.

        6. Even if he gets immunity, nobody but nobody can guarantee his safety.

        Ain’t gonna happen.

        • Also from the Post Story
          07/04/2010 at 3:09 PM

          He’s already GOT immunity now, by way of double-jeopardy protection. He was acquitted of conspiracy, obstruction, and tampering. If those are the only things he actually did, as most people here think, he has total immunity to tell the whole truth about everything he knows.

          Would Kathy Wone be willing to drop him from the civil case in exchange for his testimony against the other two about everything that really happened that night? Who knows? The other two better hope that Victor doesn’t sour on their relationship completely.

          At this late date, though, my guess is that he will just quietly disappear and won’t have the guts to talk, even if he turns bitter against Joe for treating him as a castoff and then involving him in a horrid piece of craziness has that ruined his life.

          • Jeana
            07/04/2010 at 6:42 PM

            Sorry I was not clear. I am aware of the double jeopardy protection as to the charges on which he’s been acquitted. The immunity I’m referring to is to any potential charge stemming from a murder case (which I agree is at this point unlikely.) Similarly, my point with regard to immunity from perjury assumes he gives sworn testimony, either at trial or by way of deposition in the civil suit.

            • Bea
              07/06/2010 at 5:01 AM

              I don’t think Victor’s unwillingness to talk had anything to do with concern over his own predicament – I think he was covering for his beloved. Yes, he COULD tell everything now, but he won’t. There may be lingering concerns over accessory charges in any event, but if he’d wanted to be a stand-up guy, he’d have turned prosecution witness a while ago. That said, I’d still rather see him find that long-lost spine of his so that murder charges could be brought. Much as I want Kathy Wone to have her day in court in the civil trial, I’d bet big money that she’d definitely prefer a murder conviction than a favorable ruling in the civil trial no matter the damage award.

  19. slwapo
    07/03/2010 at 12:35 AM

    If no new evidence turns up by next year, then none will ever turn up, and they should file murder charges against the trouple as a last ditch Hail Mary pass. With a jury, it might actually work. Plus the fact that the prosecution will know what arguments worked and what didn’t work the first time around.

    • onreflection
      07/03/2010 at 1:23 AM

      Interesting idea!….so…the prosecution can reject defandants request and insist on jury trial?

      They won’t do a murder trial without SOME new evidence I suspect. And SOME may emerge in the civil trial, or through happenstance. Or through some clever new strategies by the prosecutors or civil litigators vs. VZ or ….who knows.

      • Bea
        07/03/2010 at 1:54 AM

        Perhaps in the civil trial, the plaintiff will depose Tom and John as well as Sarah, go through exactly what and when the invite was extended, how it came to be THAT night, when had it happened before, etc. I would also depose Michael, Louis, and Phelps Collins. While Collins has the ick factor (cat charges) and is a criminal (Oct. 06 burglary + others) and (if I recall correctly) a person with a drug problem, he may know more than anyone suspects – and sooner or later he will need a “deal” with prosecutors. I’d be following him around a bit, seeing what he’s up to and calling the cops if he’s doing anything illegal. But of course I’d depose him first, seeing as how he was involved in the burglary a few months later.

        I’d also get the ticket info as to when Victor was SUPPOSED to be home (was it even that night? His flight arrival, extrapolated with airlines, shows that he could have had an 11-12 flight arrival, but what if it was the next day?). I’d do a major re-do on talking to neighbors and of course depose Scott Hixson and lean on him. I’d try to get alt dot com records as to whether there ever hook-ups for Culuket and depose each trick.

        One thing that hampered the prosecution was the shorter leash on depositions and perhaps manpower/cost concerns (anyone know for sure?). Covington has no such issues. I’d cast a net far and wide and then use each bit in deposing the next (such as starting with Tom and John before deposing Sarah). Not that Covington isn’t WAY ahead of me.

        • Clio
          07/03/2010 at 8:14 AM

          Oh my, Bea: these prospects are indeed promising, and they could help both the civil and murder investigations.

          Thanks for lifting the pall — let the counteroffensive begin!

        • Leo
          07/03/2010 at 8:16 AM

          I’m sorry, who are Tom and John?

          • Clio
            07/03/2010 at 9:34 AM

            They are the gay male couple with whom Sarah watched TV on the evening of August 2. Their residence was 5-6 blocks from Swann. Beyond that, not much is publicly known about them.

        • Bill Orange
          07/03/2010 at 10:22 AM

          I’d also ask Scott Hixon who his mystery trick was, and then depose that person, too.

          • Bill 2
            07/03/2010 at 10:48 AM

            And every one of them should be asked about camera equipment they may have seen in the household.

            • Carolina
              07/03/2010 at 11:02 AM

              Ask who took the photos in Italy, for the alt.com profile, the photos that were displayed in the house.

              It’s a shame someone didn’t try pulling camera info off the .jpgs online. It’s extremely hard to remove that information, but it can be done and I suspect it has.

            • Clio
              07/03/2010 at 11:10 AM

              I agree with both of you Bills, but what if Scott does not know the name of this particular gentleman caller? And, would Scott or Sarah or even Victor know about the glamour shots and where (and with what) they were taken?

              Who was the photographer for the pictures found on the work computer? It couldn’t have been a member of the Family, could it?

              • Clio
                07/04/2010 at 10:11 AM

                I also wonder if Joe and/or Dyl kept any pictures of local dungeons or play rooms that they may have visited; perhaps, the abandoned NE house and garage provided a forbidding backdrop to their naughty escapades.

                If they did not go somewhere else to play, then I do subscribe to Carolina’s “tourists in kinkland” concept. How could anyone get a scene (im)properly going in that 1886 “sardine can”? If they were serious about BDSM and that’s a big if, then they had to do most of their performances somewhere else.

          • Craig
            07/03/2010 at 2:11 PM

            How far and deep into the lineup can the plaintiffs go in depositions? Can Morgan, Tom, John, et al, conceivably protest and avoid being deposed or are they command performances? So much to learn…

            • Leo
              07/03/2010 at 3:17 PM

              If Kathy’s attorneys can make even the barest argument that deposing these people “could lead to admissible evidence,” and the client’s pocket is deep enough (and they are doing this on their own dime), then yes they can secure subpoenas to compel Sarah, Tom, etc. to appear for deposition. Of course, if any of these has information that could incriminate them, they can plead the 5th too.

              • Leo
                07/03/2010 at 3:22 PM

                Read Fed. Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b) for scope of discovery in civil cases (DC will typically have something similar in its civil rules of procedure):

                (b) Discovery Scope and Limits.

                (1) Scope in General.

                Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense — including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter. For good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

            • Leo
              07/03/2010 at 3:23 PM

              Bottom line for discovery: If the information is relevant (even just a little), it’s discoverable. It doesn’t even have to be admissible at trial under the rules of evidence.

              • DonnaH
                07/03/2010 at 4:12 PM

                If that’s the case, then I assume that they can ask questions that would be considered hearsay in a trial; e.g. ask Tom or John about things Sarah has said to them regarding the trouple’s behaviors, statements to her, etc.–?

                • Leo
                  07/03/2010 at 6:20 PM

                  Oh yeah, definitely.

            • Bea
              07/03/2010 at 3:26 PM

              Craig, as others have said, I don’t doubt that Covington can and will depose Sarah, Tom, John, Scott, and any trick they can confirm. “Scorched earth” is not something I made up.

        • Carolina
          07/03/2010 at 10:58 AM

          Bea, what you did there is something I see as of great importance.

          I think what this site excels at is brainstorming. Yes, some people come up with a red herring and stick to it despite evidence by the boxful, but most of the time something can be batted back and forth until it either stands on its own or is questionable. It’s like braiding together the strong strands, testing others and disposing of the weak ones.

          I feel like that is something that was missing from the prosecution’s approach. I hope that Covington is able to do that– sit around a table and bat these things around. What if, what about what did they say about… All of that

          • Bea
            07/03/2010 at 3:25 PM

            Agree. Much can be done. Especially with a powerful firm and extensive resources. The insurance defense attorneys will be on a very tight budget (often insurance cos. pick counsel in part because of lower rates, or forces lower rates on the ‘bulk purchase’ idea – going up against Covington will be daunting).

            • Cat from Cleveland
              07/05/2010 at 11:53 PM

              Do we know who is paying the costs of the Wone suit? Is the firm volunteering their attorney’s time? Who is paying for the court reporters, invesigators, etc? Is this firm experienced in handling wrongful death claims on the plaintiff side? A great corporate defense lawyer is not necessarily a great plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer. And the costs will be huge. Just wondering. . .

              • DonnaH
                07/06/2010 at 4:11 AM

                Covington is providing legal services pro bono, but I couldn’t find whether they were covering expenses are not; the most recent poster I could find on this of a few weeks ago didn’t seem to know. I’m glad I’m not the only one to wonder about how well-suited Covington’s extensively talented lawyers are for this case. Covington deals primarily with corporate law issues, though a search on their website uncovers a number of lawyers who have a wrongful death case or two listed under their pro bono work. However, trial lawyer Patrick Regan, from another law firm, has joined the case pro bono; his practice consists entirely of personal injury and wrongful-death claims, and he is acclaimed by various publications as one of the top lawyers in Washington (see his bio under the tag “Legal Teams,” above). I wonder how big a role he will take in directing the investigation by Covington.

        • chilaw79
          07/03/2010 at 11:36 AM


          I also would subpoena the hospital and EMT records (although, presumably Kathy Wone has had access to these all long as Executor of Robert’s Estate), and fully depose all of the personnel. Sadly, I am sure some memories have faded. However, I would want to drill down into the medical evidence to see if I could figure out whether there was more blood and where it went.

          I also would obtain transcripts of the criminal proceedings and copies of all of the trial evidence that is in documentary form. I would want my own experts to look at the forensic evidence.

          I also would subpoena all of the telephone and e-mail records of the three defendants (including those that may be covered by privilege).

          Although there is a great temptation to get directly to depositions, I think it is important to get the documents together first.

          I am virtually certain that Covington probably has done a lot of preliminary work, even though discovery was stayed. There certainly is nothing to preclude Covington from seeking to informally interview potential third-party witnesses. Individuals like Tara Ragone may be willing to speak informally.

          There have been some great ideas about photographs and photographic equipment. I don’t know much about these topics, but this may be a fruitful line of inquiry. It does seem surprising that no photographic equipment was found at Swann Street.

          • Bea
            07/03/2010 at 3:22 PM

            I agree that the depos will come after the homework has been done and baseline discovery has been sent, but the Tom, John, Sarah, Scott and any tricks will be deposed fairly quickly in my estimation because Covington has been moving on this for a while as you’ve said.

            I wonder too how many resources the cops/prosecution put to camera equipment (purchases, tags in jpegs, what people remember about cameras there – matching something to the Robert’s 30th event or other ‘known’ photo opps would be telling). While one might truly dispose of towels and things, would they really trash the cameras or just pawn them (if, for example, Michael Price was tasked with this). Oh, if only the telling little media card would turn up . . .

            • Leo
              07/03/2010 at 6:22 PM

              If you read the civil case pleadings in the Legal Documents tab above, Covington already propounded its first set of interrogatories and requests for production, and noticed depos, at the very beginning of its case. I assume they will now request timely responses and renotice the depos of Joe, victor and dyl.

            • chilaw79
              07/03/2010 at 6:24 PM

              I went back and read some of the old entries. Covington did conduct some third-party discovery, particularly of the employers of the defendants. Covington also was pressing forward with third-party discovery requests to telephone and Internet service providers.

              There are not many hints about what was found. Personal e-mail (perhaps including those photos) presumably was a target.

              Despite living in DC for years, I have little or no experience with the DC Police Department forensics work. I was robbed at gunpoint at 7 pm in a street-level parking lot on a major street and there was little or no investigation. The Washington Post stories on local crime do not seem to discuss forensic work.

              I would be interested in hearing what personal experiences other DC residents may have had. Absent fingerprints or ballistic evidence, you do not hear about local cases being solved by forensic work.

        • Josh
          07/04/2010 at 4:06 PM

          Bea, your suggestion about Victor’s flights raises a related question. I haven’t followed assiduously, so I may have missed, but as I recall, Joe’s e-mail to Dylan about arranging play with a third partner referenced “Thursday evening” but it wasn’t clear which week exactly that was although it was around the time of the murder. Has Victor ever been asked whether he was scheduled to be away any other Thursday in those weeks? If not, it would be illuminating to nail down that that Thursday was the one that Joe was speaking of.

          • Bea
            07/04/2010 at 5:31 PM

            Josh, agree that Covington should/or already has looked into Victor’s work schedule. If he routinely was away on business, then I’d like to know whether Joe & Dylan routinely “played” on those nights in the weeks preceding the murder. From what I’ve read about the BDSM community, there might be cooperation because, like most folks, this would be considered so far afield and rogue (and a undeserved black eye on their community) that they’d want to aid the investigation. If the ‘thirds’ could be tracked down, it would be very helpful to know what was used in play – cameras? ketamine? who did what?

            I’ve wondered if the duo quickly escalated things to make it more and more ‘intriguing’ and Robert’s ill-timed plan played into their fantasy.

            For crying out loud, Victor – come to your senses!

  20. weaver
    07/03/2010 at 12:44 PM

    I think new evidence lies with additional toxicology. Advance testing on tissue, fluids… whatever it takes. It’s obvious Robert Wone was drugged, and the prosecution needs to do whatever it takes to prove it. Surely there is a lab somewhere that can do the kind of advanced testing to prove the presence of incapacitating drugs.

    • Carolina
      07/03/2010 at 10:11 PM

      There’s nothing much left to test, and if it was K, it’s not going to be found now.

  21. AnnaZed
    07/03/2010 at 2:17 PM

    Deb, to take your earlier remark: “By that definition, a stay at home mom is a two bit whore…” and put it in a wider context (both in social terms and in terms of the ever narrowing reply format of this blog).

    I would say, not quite (and I’m not taking offense, merely parsing). It is recognized part of the civil contract that married or cohabiting partners, having children or not, occasionally engage in sex with each other and that in some cases one partner may work outside of the home and the other not ~ so one may be in effect supported by the other. Generally this is not considered prostitution.

    In Dylan’s case I have specific and incontrovertible evidence that he engages in sex for money in the form of his online ad for “erotic massage” ($90 an hour). To those who say that “erotic massage” is not “sex” I would answer that this is a distinction without a difference. Even before seeing that ad I believed that Dylan was a sex worker and that he had been for quite some time before his appearance in Joe and Victor’s life. Dylan does not have a sexual relationship with Victor and the definition of a “trouple,” or three-way equal relationship, is a falsehood promoted by Joe and Victor to shore up the facade of decency that they choose to present to the world. Joe brought a person who is a professional sex worker into his home and his relationship with Victor demanding that this person be accorded equal standing in the household but probably not that this person be required to make an equal contribution to the household in a monetary sense. Ergo, Dylan is nothing more than a sex worker who has made a better deal for himself, that of being “kept” as opposed to charging by the hour. Dylan may be the love of Joe’s life, but Joe is Dylan’s John (it’s just a matter of scale, it is still a transaction).

    There are some who find some socially sanctioned partnerships to carry more than a whiff of exploitation be it the classic wealthy person with a trophy partner or an person (male or female) with what is termed a “gold-digging” partner. The world of homosexual male relationships is of course not immune to relationships that incorporate exploitation. Virtually all exploitative sexual relationships are defined by inequities in income of the participants, Joe and Dylan’s relationship is not unique in that regard. I would say that in this exploitative relationship the power lies not with the moneyed partner (Joe) but with the sex worker (Dylan), and that too is not unusual. The unusual thing is the public acceptance of this situation by Victor.

    There are those that make various interesting intellectual cases in favor of sex workers being afforded a higher social and legal standing than they have historically been in the public discourse. I keep those in mind when I think of Dylan but so far have not been convinced that his entering Joe and Victor’s marriage was anything but a toxic and volatile event. I will even go so far as to say that this poisonous shift in the balance of power in that household marked the beginning of the events that lead to Robert’s death.

    • Leo
      07/03/2010 at 3:30 PM

      Anna–are you really Camille Paglia? This is an astute analysis.

      • AnnaZed
        07/03/2010 at 3:39 PM

        I am pretty sure that Camille Paglia takes a more generous view of sex workers than I do.

      • AnnaZed
        07/03/2010 at 4:21 PM

        Oh, and thanks!

    • susan
      07/03/2010 at 8:17 PM

      Wasn’t D. Ward’s ad developed during his stay in Florida? Does anyone know if he was an “erotic” massage person then? Also, does anyone know for a fact that he wasn’t contributing $ to the household? He clearly was able to go to Georgetown, go to culinary school, write children’s books/co found a Taiwanese (?) publishing co., study massage, etc. He might have had his own $ from family ties, etc.

      I don’t know that I’ve read on this site that there is definitive evidence of his $ role in the household.

  22. Seekerman
    07/03/2010 at 2:37 PM

    Alas, in big media events, such as the Wone murder case, I tend to see a lot of significance in the facts which are not being discussed, over those facts that that are repeatedly gone over.

    Robert Wone was a very intelligent man. And he placed full trust in his close friends’ good character. Was he wrong?

    Wone had just been placed in a very important position. One of international significance! Such persons can be targets for unknown political reasons. His assassination just might have been job related. His visit with his weird Swann St. friends, would have provided a most convenient opportunity for anyone stalking him. (Why else was the FBI interested?)

    No, events don’t suggest that a crazed intruder/thug from the streets broke in and committed the murder. But a highly competent killer could easily have entered the house and done so. A professional would have left no trace.

    Joe Price and family are neither incompetent nor unintelligent. Doesn’t it stand to logical reason that if they staged an elaborate scene before dialing 911, they would have taken a moment to back up their story of an intruder by providing some evidence for one?. It would take only a moment to smash a window-pane from the outside and to throw the knife over a fence. Yet bloggers believe that these guys somehow staged an elaborate scene involving cleaning up blood evidence and leaving a bloody knife at the scene for no clear reason, while at the same time they failed to establish any evidence whatsoever of a break-in. The fact that they didn’t try to do so, rather proves their innocence in my mind.

    The Swann Street men behaved, following the murder, just as one would expect an innocent, loving family to behave. There was shock, confusion and inconsistency. That’s the way people behave in such circumstances.

    The government’s insistence on prosecuting these men, following an obviously botched up crime scene investigation, is consistent with their great need to find someone guilty of something, at any cost. That’s the way governments behave.

    The media’s insistance on bringing up the sexual inclinations of all involved, is consistant with what they do,to gain readers.

    • ccf
      07/03/2010 at 3:11 PM

      “Joe Price and family are neither incompetent nor unintelligent. Doesn’t it stand to logical reason that if they staged an elaborate scene before dialing 911, they would have taken a moment to back up their story of an intruder by providing some evidence for one?”

      You underestimate their competence and intelligence. I believe that the best lie contains the most truth. Altering the crime scene more than necessary runs the risk of leaving behind evidence of tampering. The best approach is to do the minimum necessary to get the job done.

      • Seekerman
        07/03/2010 at 3:27 PM

        And yet, by all accounts they didn’t do nearly enough to relieve suspicion, that is if they did attempt minimal tampering. They really couldn’t have anticipated such a botched crime scene investigation. An intruder would be a necessary and much needed fall guy if they were staging a scenerio. If they weren’t, things would have been left just as they were. And they were.

    • bigfatmike
      07/03/2010 at 3:16 PM

      ‘ His assassination just might have been job related.’

      I personally am not a fan of the hypothesis that Robert’s murder was job related.

      But I do have two questions that could be somewhat related:

      1. Why was the Secrete Service involved in the investigation. From one perspective, he was a high government official. But he is not an elected official, or so high up that I would have though that the Secrete Service would be involved in protecting him or investigating crimes against him. Does anyone know why they were involved.

      2. How is that the examination of the Blackberry was botched? I am not very impressed with the ability of federal police agencies to get the big picture right. But it was my impression that they have great technical ability. It is really puzzling to me that the FBI would make any mistakes examining and documenting the Blackberry. If one were writing a spy novel, I suppose this is where incriminating or embarrassing emails would be deleted. Of course this does not even rise to the level of ‘pure out of the blue speculation’. But what did happen to the Blackberry data?

      • chilaw79
        07/04/2010 at 11:22 AM

        My understanding is that the DC Police Department does not have a top-notch forensics capability. Since DC is not part of a state, it relies upon federal government employees for more complicated forensics work, just as U. S. attorneys prosecute felonies in DC.

        The FBI was called in for forensics rated to blood and fiber evidence. The Secret Service was asked to deal with the Blackberry, after the DC Police looked at the two unsent messages. The Secret Service was supposed to duplicate the contents of the Blackberry. Although the Secret Service for unknown reasons failed in this task they thought they had successfully copied the material. The Blackberry, for reasons I find difficult to comprehend, then was returned to Radio Free Asia and recycled.

        I don’t think the referral of this work means anything other than that DC relies upon the federal government for various tasks, given the special nature of the District and the lack of state resources to assist.

        • bigfatmike
          07/04/2010 at 2:43 PM

          ‘The Blackberry, for reasons I find difficult to comprehend, then was returned to Radio Free Asia and recycled.’

          Thank you for your knowledgeable post.

          It seems to me that with the messages themselves lost or deleted, and the actual Blackberry recycled, then this tangent must be truly at a dead end. Even if the Blackberry could be recovered, say by serial number, what ever contents remained would be hopelessly compromised as evidence.

          But just one last point and then I will leave this alone. You are an attorney. So by training and perhaps by temperament you say careful and thoughtful things like:

          ‘for reasons I find difficult to comprehend’.

          But wasn’t the Blackberry evidence in a significant crime? Shouldn’t that evidence have been preserved? Shouldn’t the Blackberry have been returned DC metropolitan police rather than RFA? So, finally, can’t we conclude that returning the Blackberry to RFA was a fundamental error.

          As I said, without the messages, we really are done here. But, without putting too fine a point on it, or pointing the finger at anyone, returning the Blackberry seems to be just one more error in a long list of errors.

          One final clarification. Someone might erroneously conclude that I believe that the Blackberry contained important evidence in its mail messages. I do not. My point is that it is normal procedure to preserve items from the crime scene, even when they seem innocuous, because it is impossible to know what might later be found to be relevant.

          • Carolina
            07/04/2010 at 3:47 PM

            Do you find it odd that the judge used the emails from the BB as evidence of her timeline, and that furthermore, she stated they were *sent*, not simply composed as we had been told all along?

            • bigfatmike
              07/04/2010 at 4:23 PM

              Yes, that sort of jumped out at me. And I do not believe that this particular judge would confuse a fact that is a point leading to her conclusion.

              Some one, sorry I do not recall who, suggested that the sending of the emails might have been stipulated. I do not know why the prosecution would agree to something that did not happen, unless a little horse trading was going on with the defense in regard to what ‘facts’ to accept.

              And it begs the question, how do we know who actually composed and sent the email used in the timeline.

              I suppose that if Wone’s Blackberry were password protected (not unusual) then that would be substantial evidence that he composed any messages on the device. I really do not see this crew cracking a password in the time that they had. Given sufficient time any security can be breached.

              • chilaw79
                07/04/2010 at 4:35 PM

                It is known that the DC police saw the messages that were composed and the time stamps associated with those messages. The defense may have stipulated to the content of the messages and the times because a shorter window of time was to their benefit in the case.

                I also might remind you that since Robert Wone was counsel to Radio Free Asia, many of the messages on his Blackberry may have constituted attorney-client privileged information.

                I am sure Arent Fox did not just run over Joe Price’s computer and other firm-provided technology for the same reasons.

                • bigfatmike
                  07/04/2010 at 5:21 PM

                  Good points.

                  Thank you for the clarification. It really helps to have someone with real expertise as a guide.

                • bigfatmike
                  07/05/2010 at 12:56 PM

                  ‘The Legal Times reported that Kathy Wone wanted to examine the Blackberry in order to obtain contact information. ‘

                  ‘many of the messages on his Blackberry may have constituted attorney-client privileged information.’

                  You just about had me convinced, with the issue of ‘attorney-client privilege’, that the Blackberry and any associated email messages were handled reasonably and responsibly.

                  But I am a real bug regarding openness and transparency.

                  Why would ‘attorney-client privilege’, even at a federal agency’ trump evidence in a murder trial?

                  At one point you seemed to be saying that, because the Blackburry and emails might contain matter relating to ‘attorney-client privilege’, the Secrete Service sent the Blackberry back to RFA. Sorry, I realize I sort of jammed some words in you mouth. I am really not trying to mis-quote you. But that was sort of the gist of the meaning that I gathered from you previous remarks.

                  It would seem that the Judge could easily preserve the privacy of those communications, thereby preserving ‘attorney client privilege’, while still preserving the evidence and making it available for inspection by the prosecutor and defense attorneys to absolutely assure that there was no relevance to the crime.

                  If the Secrete Service had returned the Blackberry to DC MPD then presumably the chain of custody would be preserved. That way, even if the job of removing mail messages was botched, there would still be the Blackberry and a chance, maybe a very good chance, of recovering the emails and determining valid time stamps.

                  I look forward to you comments regarding the Blackberry, ‘attorney client privilege’, and interaction between DC MPD and the Secrete Service.

                  To my mind, in retrospect, the handling of the Blackberry seems to be a real problem.

                  • chilaw79
                    07/05/2010 at 4:39 PM


                    There are a variety of ways this could be handled. First, Radio Free Asia could waive the privilege. Second, to the extent RFA did not waive privilege, it could ask the judge to limit the information available to preserve the privilege. For example, the fact that a message was sent and the time of sending might be relevant, but not the content of the message.

                    I agree that the Blackberry should have been maintained as evidence. For whatever reason, the contents of the Blackberry were not imaged by the Secret Service and the Blackberry was eventually “recycled.” Whether there is another method of recreating the information is not clear.

                    In my opinion, this was a mistake, but I am not sure it is a terrible mistake.

                    I do agree with you the Blackberry should have been held as evidence in light of the fact that this was a homicide and not a less significant crime.

                    • bigfatmike
                      07/05/2010 at 5:31 PM

                      Thank you for your patience, and your informative remarks.

                      Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

            • AnnaZed
              07/04/2010 at 5:27 PM

              Yes Carolina I found it very odd, and I still wonder where in the evidence it was stated that those emails were “sent.” I think that somehow she got that wrong, but what on earth?

              • chilaw79
                07/05/2010 at 10:37 AM

                I went back and reviewed various sources on the Blackberry, including the blog of the Legal Times. At some point, the defendants questioned whether the DC Police Department could establish that the Blackberry was in the hands of the Secret Service.

                The Legal Times reported that Kathy Wone wanted to examine the Blackberry in order to obtain contact information.

                Also, an individual who commented on the Legal Times blog said the time stamps on a Blackberry could be manipulated.

                Anything further on this topic may be speculation.

                • AnnaZed
                  07/05/2010 at 11:59 AM

                  I too posted that to my certain knowledge a message not sent on a Blackberry can have any time stamp you want to give it (the user can as you say “manipulate” it). However, once you send the message an actual real-time time stamp affixes that will be different from a manipulated time. That is why the difference between an email sent and email not sent on that device is huge in this case, incalculable in significance to me. It was speculated at some length on this site that anyone with knowledge of blackberry devices knows this and that the emails may well have been placed on the device and not sent by Robert’s killer or by co-conspirators of his killer in an effort to pervert the understanding of the time-line of when Robert was alive and when he lost his life. If these emails were sent after all then I would like to know that because it would seriously effect my thinking. If they were not sent, as had previously been my understanding, then why is the judge making very important decisions based on the faulty premise that they were?

                  • chilaw79
                    07/05/2010 at 12:26 PM

                    My recollection was that one of the messages was to Kathy Wone and the other to an individual with whom Robert Wone had a luncheon appointment.

                    The prospective recipients of the messages should know whether they received the messages.

                    I thought it a little strange that Robert would send a message to Kathy so soon after speaking with her, but that may be consistent with his regular practice.

                    Covington (or the prosecutors) should have been able to nail this down, even if the Blackberry were not retained.

                    • Bea
                      07/05/2010 at 12:38 PM

                      I thought it had been established that Kathy Wone did NOT receive the message. Don’t know about the associate.

                  • bigfatmike
                    07/05/2010 at 5:04 PM

                    Thank you for your timely, relevant information.

                    A southern belle, who likes to cook, knows movies, speaks her mind, and provides solid technical information at the right time.

                    Is this as good as it gets, or what?

                    You make me want to be a better man.

                    • AnnaZed
                      07/05/2010 at 5:07 PM


              • Craig
                07/05/2010 at 7:48 PM

                I think Leibo really got that completely wrong about the 11:08 email. It compressed the entire timeline of the evening for her. I still don’t get it.

                • AnnaZed
                  07/05/2010 at 8:42 PM

                  That’s mind-boggling, and it is huge. I am not quite prepared to set aside my respect for the judge so I need somehow to come to understand how such a mistake could ever have been made. When were the email messages even mentioned? Are they in the mountain of things stipulated (and as sent or not sent)? If so do we have the wrong information here or does Judge Leibowitz have the wrong information? How could the prosecution have overlooked such a thing? She used it as a key point in making her decision. Frankly, I think this deserves a WMRW post of its own.

                • Carolina
                  07/05/2010 at 9:41 PM

                  But if you will recall, the evidence stipulated in the last days of the trial included SENT emails, which I guess must have been the two much discussed here. If it was a mistake, the mistake was made by the prosecution.

                  • apple
                    07/05/2010 at 10:54 PM

                    Defense’s Motion to Compel Brady information, available here
                    states that the government is in possession of interviews with witnesses regarding the email transmissions.Anyone know what ever happened with this?

      • 07/05/2010 at 4:42 PM

        Several posters have referred to Radio Free Asia, Robert’s new employer, as a U.S. government agency and here, to Robert as “a high government official.” To set the record straight, its website states: “RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts news and information to listeners in Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable.” It was founded in 1996, “under provisions of the 1994 International roadcasting Act (P.L. 103-236), as a private non-profit corporation. RFA is funded by an annual grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Its mission is outlined by legislation.”

        • Bill
          07/05/2010 at 6:52 PM

          They are funded by a single government grant of $34-million. You can review their most recent IRS filing (FY08, IRS Form 990) on Guidestar here: http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2008/521/968/2008-521968145-052d668a-9.pdf.

          You can review the top five personnel salaries on the return. RB would have made less money at RFA than he would have been making at his previous law firm.

          • Josh
            07/05/2010 at 9:43 PM

            The US does two kinds of foreign broadcasting (since the 1940s). One is VOA which is the explicit voice of the USG with news of the world and of America. The other is called “surrogate” broadcasting, which includes Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Radio Free Asia; Radio/TV Marti (to Cuba); al Hurra and Radio Sawa (Arabic); Radio Farda (to Iran) and perhaps more (I think that’s all). Surrogate broadcasts are not about the US but about the countries to which they are beamed. The theory is that they present what domestic news media in those countries would present if they had free media. Since there is no free press in China, RFA, which concentrates on China, broadcasts mostly news about China that Beijing’s censors will not allow in their domestic press.
            The surrogates as well as VOA are under the aegis of the Broadcasting Board of Governors which is appointed by the President and receives its funding from Congress. The activities of the surrogates (and VOA)are mildly controversial: of course, dicatators don’t like anyone circumventing their censorship. But if Beijing has an “enemies list” the counsel to RFA would not be among the top thousand.
            RFE was founded in 1994 following a recommendation from a presidential/congressional study commission of which I was a member. Our decision was a split one and controversial, and various pro-Beijing lobbyists tried to convince us not to recommend it. I was one of the leaders on the pro-RFA side. I can assure you there was never a scintilla of a thought that Beijing would try to harm us individually. And the decision to create RFA in the first place was a much bigger negative to Beijing than anything that the counsel of RFA has had to decide since its creation. To anyone familiar with this stuff the idea that Robert was murdered because of his job or job-related political reasons is way beyond ridiculous, less plausible than attributing the crime to extraterrestrials.

            • Bill
              07/05/2010 at 10:09 PM

              Josh – Thank you for your informative response. In no way did I imply that RW’s murder was linked in anyway to his job at RFA. I was simply providing additional information regarding the organization.

        • bigfatmike
          07/05/2010 at 7:45 PM

          Facts are good. I have found facts to be useful in almost every conceivable conversation. And it can get tiresome just making things up.

          Thanks for setting the record straight.

    • Bill
      07/03/2010 at 3:16 PM

      Seekerman: Yours is the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that is critical to beginning to understand what happened on the night that RW was murdered. Congratulations. As I have stated, I don’t believe that a credible motive has been developed despite the fact that a number of scenarios have been suggested.

      What is so critical, and what I find lacking do to ongoing group-think, is an ability to see things anew. That’s why newcomers offer a true opportunity to view the “facts” of the case in a new way.


      • Clio
        07/03/2010 at 4:10 PM

        The only problem, Bill, is that this particular conspiracy theory is pretty old. One of the earliest posts on this blog had to do with the assasination scenario. Been there, done that.

        Your anti-police, anti-government streak must be the reason behind your inability to see the former defendants as complicit/involved in Robert’s murder. So, to you, a government plot is credible, but a drug-fueled assault is not credible. Wow, we’ll just have to disagree there.

        • Bill
          07/03/2010 at 4:50 PM

          Your ad hominem attacks are getting very tired. Also, we aren’t following your perspective of what can and cannot be considered. As I stated before, since you are so intent in only allowing those who follow your opinions to participate, contact the editors and turn this site into a private, password-protected community. That way you can keep the site pristine for comments, theories, or scenarios that you find fitting to your preconceived notions.

          • Carolina
            07/03/2010 at 6:36 PM

            Honey, we’ve talked about RFA and the Ninja assassin. We know Robert wasn’t on the job long enough to piss off anyone, let alone Kim Jong Il or the like. Before that, he was in real estate, for god’s sake.

            He’s not thinking out of the box, he’s pulling things out of the trash.

            Now listen, please. I do find you valuable to the site. Yes, I know, I’ve told you not to be so much of a dick, but it’s mostly because the important things you say get lost when you take adopt that mode of discussion.

            • Bill
              07/03/2010 at 8:16 PM

              Thanks for your advice, but I have lots more to share, challenge, contradict and I definitely intend on continuing.

              • Carolina
                07/03/2010 at 10:14 PM

                That’s my point, Bill. No one here, at least that I can tell, wants you to disappear. I only wish you’d get things said in a way that wouldn’t put everyone on the defensive.

    • Wulfila
      07/03/2010 at 3:30 PM

      Except they did not behave in any respect “as an innocent loving family”. That’s one of the biggest, reddest flags of all–how the EMT’s found them upon arrival. Neither Joe nor Victor seemed to have any thoughts whatsoever about Dylan’s safety, as no one checked in on him “after the murder” (he “found out” because of the ruckus across the hall). In the 911 call, Victor was obviously taking cues from Joe (you can hear him discussing things, and it seems Joe was the prompt for the non-sequitur “What time is it?”), apparently to help establish evidence in their favor. During the call, there’s no panicked shouting or screaming for Robert to “hang in there” (when Victor states he is alive and breathing, though the EMTs found him cold to the touch and believed him to have been dead for quite a while). And no one is apparently performing any life saving tasks, no CPR, no mouth-to-mouth, and likely not even applying pressure (I think there’d be a tad more blood on that single, solitary towel in evidence). When the EMTs arrived, Joe was simply sitting on the edge of the bed, not attending to a dying friend. Assuming that most bleeding *was* internal (I have my doubts), there would have been considerably more blood gushing out everywhere from lifesaving techniques such as CPR. Dylan himself states in his police interview that he saw no lifesaving attempts on the part of Joe or Victor. (Which makes sense if you already know he has been dead for some time, but NOT if you think he was stabbed literally minutes before). The EMTs felt that the 3 had just showered. Not sure who does that after their friend is murdered in their house. Having had to make a few 911 calls myself in the past, with frantic pleas for an ambulance and family crying and screaming in the background at the loved one, and greeting EMTs with pleas for help, I can say that their behavior does indeed appear odd to say the least. There’s a difference between being stunned and being completely detached.

      As for the ninja assassin intruder theory, I think that’s been rehashed enough to be completely dismissed. Robert was newly employed as the General Counsel. Surely there were bigger and better targets at Radio Free Asia than him (though just as surely, there were NO targets at Radio Free Asia; it’s not exactly the CIA). In addition, few people knew of his plans that night, and the ninja would have had to have taken a cab to follow Robert’s cab, a la silly action flicks. And a real assassin probably would have gone to assassin school and know that s/he should try to cover up the murder as a burglary gone bad (nothing was taken). Or, um, maybe thought enough in advance to actually bring a murder weapon with him/her, rather than just *hope* one would be available, and hope, at 11:30pm everyone in the entire house would be asleep. Surely, they would have brought a few ninja stars along with them, as would any good ninja. And they probably would have been smart enough to then take that murder weapon with them, to ensure its proper disposal, and, thereby, any potential evidence.

      For those reasons and many others it seems highly likely the trio was either involved or at least knows more than they are saying. I’m just sayin’.

    • Josh
      07/03/2010 at 4:13 PM

      I was involved in the creation of Radio Free Asia and can assure you that there are no political reasons why anyone would seek to assassinate its counsel. Moreover, I doubt you can cite any case in history in which an American was assassinated in America by agents of a foreign government for political reasons.
      You concede that the trouple’s “theory” than an intruder killed Robert in a robbery attempt while forgetting to steal anything is far-fetched, but your theory is more hilarious. By your thesis, a “professional” killer so “highly competent” that he “left no trace” snuck into the house to assassinate Robert but forgot to bring any weapon with him so he had to borrow one from the kitchen. Boy, if I am the foreign government who retained his services that is the last contract he gets from me.

      • cinnamon
        07/03/2010 at 4:44 PM

        Thank you.

      • addicted lurker
        07/04/2010 at 6:47 AM

        Not endorsing the ninja theory, by any means, just fact-checking the “no foreign political assassination of Americans on American soil for political reasons.”


        While Orlando Letelier was a Chilean citizen and the main target, Ronni Moffitt was his assistant and ally, and an American.

        • susan
          07/04/2010 at 7:46 AM

          He didn’t say “no…assasinations” he just said he “doubts” that person could cite any.

          I think the point he was making was that he was/is affiliated with RFA and he knows there is no reason anyone would want to assasinate Mr. W for political reasons.

          I’m sure also, that a potential assassin/crazed taxi driver/anonymous intruder wouldn’t have x-ray vision and also be clairvoyant enough to be able to see which bedroom Mr. w was sleeping in, know the backdoor would be unlocked (just for him/her!) have tinkerbell-like weight in order to be unheard, etc., etc. Doesn’t come armed but has enough time to make three uniform stabbings, wipe up the handle, door knobs, etc. and depart unheard and unseen–all in a home where three other men lived and all at an hour some might be awake. That is some assassin!

        • Jeana
          07/04/2010 at 10:33 AM

          I thought of the Letelier/Moffitt case as well, although that error does not undermine the point he’s making – that there was nothing in Robert’s work for RFA that would invite an assassination.

          • Josh
            07/04/2010 at 3:55 PM

            Addicted lurker, you will find several cases in which a foreign government assassinated one of its own nationals in the US (Khomeini’s henchmen killed someone named Tabatabai), but I do not believe you can find any in which an American was the target. Chilean agents attached a bomb to the underside of Letelier’s car. They had no idea (and because they were dim thugs, didn’t care) that he would be giving a ride to Michael and Ronni Moffitt.

    • Carolina
      07/03/2010 at 6:28 PM

      Dude. Robert had only been on the job two weeks. We’re back in Ninjaland again.

    • susan
      07/03/2010 at 8:20 PM


      I think it’s good to hear other voices here, and I think we are all equal in terms of being guests on this site.

      One way to understand more about this case is to look at the wealth of information in this blog’s archives. There are legal documents, writings from the defendants, clips of media coverage and so on. You will learn a lot. I also think it’s good to re-visit the information because new angles might present themselves, etc.

    • chilaw79
      07/04/2010 at 4:26 PM

      You refer to Joe, Victor, and Dylan as “weird.” However, their public persona was much different (from what I have seen and read about on this blog). Robert knew Joe from college. Joe and Victor were domestic partners and presented themselves publicly as “family” men. Joe was a partner at a major DC law firm and did pro bono legal work on behalf of Equality Virginia and other organizations. Victor worked at a marketing organization and people who say they worked with him there say nice things about him. Dylan also was employed and his father is a cardiac surgeon.

      Obviously, being gay does not equate with being “weird.” So what is it you think Robert knew? What evidence can you present that Robert knew these things?

      As to the potential of some type of “political assassination,” it is difficult to understand how the assassin would have known where Robert was in the home or why the assassin would use a weapon from the home. There also is the issue of how the assassin entered the home so soon after the men went to their rooms. Why not wait until it was more likely the men all were soundly asleep?

      • AnnaZed
        07/04/2010 at 6:27 PM

        Good points all Chilaw (as usual). By employed do you mean as a masseuse (erotic or otherwise) as to Dylan? Because his fund-raising job was a thing of the past by that time for reasons unknown to me.

        • chilaw79
          07/04/2010 at 11:50 PM

          Covington sought records from Dylan’s employer, which if I recall correctly, went by the acronym DFA. I do not know what his job duties were.

          • Bea
            07/05/2010 at 12:29 AM

            It was some direct marketing outfit if I recall correctly. Rather, that was his day job. Don’t know how his record-keeping was for being a masseuse or if he was practicing in 2006.

            • Nelly
              07/05/2010 at 10:32 AM

              I thought it was AB Data.

              • chilaw79
                07/05/2010 at 12:32 PM

                That could be it. I seem to have misplaced my notes.

                Covington also wanted to look at e-mails and telephone traffic between and among the defendants from July 1, 2006 through August 31, 2006 from Verizon. This discovery was stayed and presumably now is moving forward.

                In looking back at the discovery materials, it also appears that the judge overseeing the civil case wanted the parties to move expeditiously once the criminal trial was over with depositions taken within 75 days following the verdict. Whether this schedule slips with the dog days of summer will be another question.

                • chilaw79
                  07/05/2010 at 12:40 PM

                  I found my notes and Dylan’s employer was A. B. Data Ltd., a direct marketing firm.

                  From reading some of the discovery materials, the employers of the three defendants did provide responses to the discovery requests while the defendants did not.

          • AnnaZed
            07/05/2010 at 2:30 AM

            Dairy Farmers of America? (surely not!) In any case I consider myself corrected though I can’t find that.

            • chilaw79
              07/05/2010 at 12:41 PM


              Dylan’s employer was A. B. Data, Ltd.

              • AnnaZed
                07/05/2010 at 12:52 PM

                Interesting and thank you very much. One wonders why the son of a wealthy surgeon who at one time work towards a degree in diplomacy would somehow end up doing a service job (AB data appears to have several sectors so I’ll not assume that he was reduced to the cold-call area) with a side-line in erotic massage.

                • Clio
                  07/05/2010 at 2:12 PM

                  AZ, he appears to have been something of a “call girl” in all of that term’s many meanings.

                  Yet, to be an crackerjack courtesan, one would need diplomatic tact, cooking skills, the ability to tell a good bedtime story, foreign travel, and the ability to persuade people to donate to causes and persons that they may not have considered. Dyl’s resume apparently had that all and more.

                  A demure, shy exterior would be a plus to keep a loyal client; no one (outside his clientele) would probably guess how high the temperature would be under those dowdy shorts.

    • BadShoes
      07/05/2010 at 10:19 PM

      “his assassination might have been job-related.”

      Personally, i think the assassination theory is ridiculous. But Let us imagine, for argument’s sake, that Mr. Wone was assassinated. How does the assassin know where to find Mr. Wone?

      Prospective assassins can be divided into two categories:

      –An inside assassin with advance knowledge of Mr. Wone’s movements;

      –An outside assassin who doesn’t have to know much more than Mr. Wone’s home and office addresses.

      While Mr. Wone’s decision to spend the night at Swann Street wasn’t exactly a secret, only a very small number of people would have known about it. How does the inside assassin get his information?

      The inside assassin chooses to murder Mr. Wone at Swann Street. Why? Since he has advance information that Mr. Wone will be present, the inside assassin can reconnoitre the location, learn about the inhabitants, examine the burglar alarm, possibly even get inside the house. But why bother? Why not just stage a mugging?

      The outside assassin, on the other hand, must actually be maintaining surveillance over Mr. Wone. Note that, in order to follow Mr. Wone to Swann Street, the outside assassin would be part of a team, since there has to be a person on foot in case Mr. Wone takes the metro, and a person in a car in case Mr. Wone hails a cab. So, the person in the car follows Mr. Wone’s cab to an unknown house, containing an unknown number of people, for a purpose that the assassin can’t discern.

      When the lights go out, our assassin decides that Mr. Wone has probably gone to sleep, but can’t be sure which room. For some reason, our assassin decides this is the best moment to kill Mr. Wone. Why?

      Our assassin lucks out that the back door is unlocked, and doesn’t worry about the alarm chime. He goes into the kitchen, and lucks out again: he doesn’t have to rummage noisily through the drawers looking for a knife. Its right there in the knife block. One would think that an assassin would bring his own weapon. Mr. Wone could be sleeping upstairs or downstairs. Our assassin correctly guesses upstairs, and finds two bedrooms. He correctly guesses that Mr. Wone is in the far bedroom.

      Both the inside and the outside assassin then open the door, circle the bed, and kill the sleeping Mr. Wone instantly with the first blow, so that he remains unmoving for the subsequent blows. Then Mr. Wone starts loudly moaning or screaming or grunting after his death while the assassin silently flees.

      Even if you make the leap and decide that somebody wanted Robert Wone dead, it still isn’t clear why they would want him dead at Swann Street, and an assassination still isn’t consistent with the physical evidence.

    • Cat from Cleveland
      07/06/2010 at 12:07 AM

      I wondered early on about the involvement of the FBI and Secret Service. Asked a friend in federal law enforcement who worked in DC. His simple answer was that there are all kinds of “task forces” and sharing arrangements between the feds and the DC police and their involvement is meaningless.

      Personally, I like a good spy story and enjoy an occasional tale of conspiracy. If Mr. Wone were involved in a tale of international espionage, however, there would not have been a trial. I’m confident of that.

  23. Bill 2
    07/03/2010 at 2:48 PM

    “Joe Price and family are neither incompetent nor unintelligent. Doesn’t it stand to logical reason”

    You’re forgetting about drugs. Couldn’t the use of drugs make a total change in what may have been competent and logical with someone not using drugs?

    • Seekerman
      07/03/2010 at 2:54 PM

      What evidence is there that the suspects used drugs? Successful people like Joe Price seldom do drugs in my experiance.

      • Bill 2
        07/03/2010 at 3:00 PM

        Successful people don’t put BDSM photos of themselves on their office computers in my experience.

        Successful people don’t use their office contact info for starting an online pornsite and a porn store in my experience.

        • Bill
          07/03/2010 at 8:18 PM

          Why would you think that being successful and putting inappropriate photos on his work computer as being mutually exclusive?

          • Carolina
            07/03/2010 at 10:15 PM

            Agreed. Success isn’t the point. JP was definitely successful. Irrational, though, that’s another matter.

      • AnnaZed
        07/03/2010 at 3:07 PM

        Drug sniffer dogs indicated the presence of drugs in more than one location in the Swann St house and a small amount of the street drug “ecstasy” was found there and entered in evidence after Robert’s murder.

      • Bea
        07/03/2010 at 3:17 PM

        While it’s possible that posters are lying, we’ve had a number of folks claiming that Joe used drugs vociferously during that time – and people who have one ecstacy pill that they FORGOT to get rid of tells me that they got rid of other stuff that was more troubling.

        • Bill 2
          07/03/2010 at 3:30 PM

          Regarding the other stuff that may have left the house that night, I can’t help but wonder if the person doing the disposing, may have kept the camera equipment for self use at a later time or to sell at a pawn shop. (I had to change that since first I wrote porn shop.)

          • Bea
            07/03/2010 at 3:48 PM

            Great minds, Bill2, as I said the same thing above – if M. Price was given this task, it wouldn’t surprise me if he pawned the cameras. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the media card show up??

            • Bill 2
              07/03/2010 at 4:52 PM

              Wouldn’t it be nice to discover that police detectives are now looking in this direction and making some new discoveries?

          • Bill
            07/03/2010 at 4:56 PM

            The difficulty that I have here is that it requires the completion of a tremendous amount of tasks — not to mention agreeing upon a story/coverup — in the time between RW’s murder and the arrival of the EMTs. It doesn’t seem possible or credible.

            • Bill 2
              07/03/2010 at 5:18 PM

              Maybe you’re slow moving or not used to the completion of tasks when time is very short. That cleanup, while putting out the framework for the story could easily have been done in the time they had.

              I was in the military so this brings to mind how I observed civilian shipyard workers take more than a month to paint a battleship. Two years later, when word arrived that the Secretary of the Navy was coming for an overnight visit during our Persian Excursion, our sailors and marines repainted the ship, inside and out, in a day. With great determination and strong incentive, an impossible task can be made possible.

              • Bill
                07/03/2010 at 5:22 PM

                If find your comment: “Maybe you’re slow moving or not used to the completion of tasks when time is very short,” both rude and uncalled for.

                Further your comparison is weak, even the judge called it a “math problem.” You don’t account for the heightened amount of stress.

                • Bill 2
                  07/03/2010 at 5:39 PM

                  It wasn’t meant to be rude. One of my Navy friends was with me last Sunday and he mentioned that he couldn’t keep up with me. He just happens to be slow moving. That’s the way some people are.

                  Now for the rude part — though I have no idea if you are slow moving or not and I see nothing wrong with people who are slow moving, your martyr complex is tiresome. People might agree with things that you post if your ideas demonstrated a modicum of intelligence. Now, I hope you can recognize “rude” when you see it.

                  • Bill
                    07/03/2010 at 6:03 PM

                    As always, you are right. Foolish me!

                    • Bill 2
                      07/03/2010 at 6:09 PM

                      No, I’m not always right and have survived many people letting me know. OTOH, I’ll agree with your view of yourself as being foolish.

                • Carolina
                  07/03/2010 at 6:40 PM

                  I think her math problem was dividing the guilt correctly.

                  • Bill
                    07/03/2010 at 8:20 PM

                    I understood her math problem as a time problem from discovering RB and calling 911. Is that a mistake? Was it an apportionment of guilt?

                    • Leo
                      07/03/2010 at 8:34 PM

                      Yes, she and the prosecutor had a dialogue during closing about the “33 1/3 problem,” referring to the apportionment of guilt. No one could do it.

                    • mw
                      07/04/2010 at 4:39 PM

                      The math problem has NOTHING to do with the timeline of the murder.

                      It’s about knowing that at least one, and probably two are guilty. But the judge can’t tell which two. If you have three people, and you know two of them committed a crime, you can’t convict all of them.

                      The fact that you missed that part of the judge’s opinion is telling.

              • Bill
                07/03/2010 at 6:18 PM

                As I stated before, since you — and others like you — are so intent in only allowing those who follow your opinions to participate, contact the editors and turn this site into a private, password-protected community. That way you can keep the site pristine for comments, theories, or scenarios that you find fitting to your preconceived notions.

                • AnnaZed
                  07/03/2010 at 6:34 PM

                  Bill, I know that it makes you feel important to keep posting this (is my count off or is this the fifth time?), but many of us have been here at this site discussing this evidence for literally longer than a year (almost two years). Nothing that you have posted is in any way new or particularly insightful. You are having a conversation with one other poster (the only one who can be bothered I expect) and drawing inferences based on that conversation that are not only not in evidence here on this site but are offensive and they are stupid. Either take the time to read the posts here or stop drawing idiotic unfounded conclusions based on your own lack of thoroughness.

                  • Eagle
                    07/03/2010 at 6:40 PM

                    Were these offensive ad hominum posts necessary.
                    I think I will take a vacation for a while and come back when you clean up your acts.

                  • Bill
                    07/03/2010 at 6:47 PM

                    What you and others are doing is pushing so many people away from the site who have something to contribute.

                    Certainly, you aren’t foolish enough to believe I am the only one with a contrarian opinion — just one of the few that speak up and wouldn’t be bullied or condescended to.

                    Why don’t you and your ilk just take my advice and set up a closed community? Then you wouldn’t have to be bother by me, my foolish and uninformed comments, and you can continue to reinforce your collective opinions.

                    Did you learn NOTHING by the judges opinion? So many of you were convinced of a pending guilty verdict that you didn’t stay in the trial and with the evidence and testimony as presented.

                    But go ahead, set this up as a private site – you’ll certainly be much happier.

                    • cinnamon
                      07/03/2010 at 7:39 PM

                      “Did you learn NOTHING by the judgesopinion?”

                      That’skinda the problem here.
                      You see the judge doesn’t think there was an intruder. She think that one of the three was either the murderer or knows who the murderer is. You can take the the judges opinion on the verdict and forget the rest of what she said. She said it for a reason.

                    • cinnamon
                      07/03/2010 at 7:44 PM

                      Sorry, That line should have read CAN’T.

                      You can’t take the the judges opinion on the verdict and forget the rest of what she said.

                  • Bill
                    07/03/2010 at 8:21 PM

                    BTW, I only mentioned twice about establishing a password-protected site.

                • Bill 2
                  07/03/2010 at 6:36 PM

                  There’s your martyr complex rearing up again, Bill. Everyone can participate. If you put forth a reasonable idea, people will agree. I’ve been spouting ideas on this case for three years and eleven months. Many times, I’ve posted things that others found to be strange, wrong, bizarre, etc. I’ve had brain farts and mixed up names involved in the case. You obviously can’t deal with an online forum and that’s your problem and it doesn’t signal a need to make this a “private, password-protected community.” Come down from your cross and learn how an online forum operates. Post a significant idea that relates directly to this case and you’ll discover people who agree with you. I already agreed with you in my post at 6:09 PM.

                  • Carolina
                    07/03/2010 at 6:43 PM

                    As I asked before, how many people have to look at the evidence and come to the same independent conclusion before we begin calling it “group think” and “mob mentality.”

                • cinnamon
                  07/03/2010 at 7:31 PM

                  I can think of a few people who would probably prefer if this was a private, password-protected site that wasn’t available for the general population to see…

            • Bill Orange
              07/03/2010 at 5:18 PM

              Leaving aside the issue of innocence or guilt, and just focusing on what’s “possible”, I can tell you that I knew Joe Price in college, and I thought of him as a highly-intelligent and highly-capable man. He could’ve organized and implemented most–if not all–of the major scenarios that have been suggested on this site, and he could’ve done it all in under 45 minutes.

              • Bill
                07/03/2010 at 8:23 PM

                I hope that your important comment here doesn’t get lost in all the conclusions. Thanks for sharing.

      • Carolina
        07/03/2010 at 6:29 PM

        HAHAHHAHAHA! Oh god, are you deluded. (BTw, the found e in the house. Just sayin’)

  24. Seekerman
    07/03/2010 at 3:09 PM

    What evidence do you have for that? Are you saying that Joe wasn’t successfull? Your observation makes little sense.

    • Bill 2
      07/03/2010 at 3:17 PM

      Joe was successful, Seekerman. He also had BDSM photos on himself on his office computer. He also contracted for a pornsite using his office e-mail for contact info.

      You claim successful people, in your experience, don’t do drugs. I’m pointing out that successful people do a variety of things that your successful friends may never consider doing. Success is not a guarantee of a drug-free person.

    • Carolina
      07/03/2010 at 6:46 PM

      If that didn’t make sense to you, there’s really not much point of going on.

    • Bill
      07/03/2010 at 8:26 PM

      Seekerman – As you will see from responses to my comments, contrary opinions to the site’s status quo are generally not well received. But, I appreciate your obvious logic. Thanks.

    • Cat from Cleveland
      07/06/2010 at 12:18 AM

      How do you define success?

  25. AnnaZed
    07/03/2010 at 3:15 PM

    Who are you replying to Seeker?

  26. Seekerman
    07/03/2010 at 3:35 PM

    Juat trying to bring up some new thinking. This case has all of the earmarks of people being tried and convicted with almost no evidence. In our society, folks need not to have to prove their innocence. The accussers have to prove guilt. And this has not been done so at all.

    • AnnaZed
      07/03/2010 at 3:40 PM

      Should I take that as a “no comment” on the verified evidence of illegal drugs at the residence Seeker?

      • AnnaZed
        07/03/2010 at 4:03 PM

        Cuing up Simon and Garfunkel “The Sound of Silence” on my ipod.

    • Bill Orange
      07/03/2010 at 5:13 PM

      “This case has all of the earmarks of people being tried and convicted with almost no evidence.”

      Not really. For starters, there was a dead body in the guest bedroom. That’s generally considered “evidence”.

    • Carolina
      07/03/2010 at 6:45 PM

      Let me guess. You started reading about this the day of the decision, right?

      • Bill
        07/03/2010 at 8:46 PM

        Carolina – the underlying assumption in your comment is that no one new can have an insight or bring anything new to the conversation. Do you really believe that?

        • Carolina
          07/03/2010 at 10:23 PM

          No, sir, I do not believe that. This poster didn’t bring anything new, however. He simply restated an old and rather irrational possibility. Being the brand new counsel at RFA isn’t going to get anyone a parking ticket, much less murdered. It’s also been hashed, rehashed, re-imagined and re-tuned, and still came to naught. That is what made it obvious he had not taken the time to read much on the site.

          You see, when someone comes here and says RFA could have gotten him killed, and we’ve had many posters who are involved in or familiar with RFA and they laugh at this thought, it doesn’t mean we’re the thought police if we tell someone their barking up the wrong tree.

    • CC Biggs
      07/03/2010 at 7:15 PM

      Please. There was a massive tsunami of evidence against the defendants. Even the judge who (reluctantly) found them not guilty believed that it was “highly probable” that they were involved in the killing or know who did it.

    • Bill
      07/03/2010 at 8:28 PM

      Great response! And the result is that since there is such a barrier to new thinking, the opportunities for understanding are greatly reduced.

      • Bea
        07/03/2010 at 9:22 PM

        Bill, I’m glad that there are people here who disagree. I like reading new theories and perspectives. What gets old is having folks disagreeing about whether someone else is welcome, and more specifically, having people complain that they’re unwelcome. You’re welcome – just don’t expect agreement with denials that these three men did anything wrong if there’s nothing to offer up instead that has any basis in reality. Judge Leibovitz listened carefully but said that she couldn’t be sure all three are guilty, that she had to acquit because one of them may have been innocent – and while she found Joe Price to very likely have obstructed justice and tampered with evidence, her conclusion of ‘moral certainty’ didn’t reach the high level of ‘evidentiary certainty’.

        If you want to offer up other facts, things most of us are missing, great. But don’t complain that no one agrees with you – get us to agree or start a thread here where people who think these men are innocent can discuss YOUR theories. But ninja assassins was ruled out by the Judge who acquitted them. Hard to ignore.

        • cc
          07/03/2010 at 10:39 PM

          These three men will be retried for murder once chief lanier gets all the facts. It is a damn shame that the trial took place with a racist judge who doesnt think a chinese life is worth anything. If a white guy or american had been killed common sense would have prevailed. I cannot beleive not oneof these scumbags got any prison time. I just hope and pray that there will be a new trial or street justice will prevail. Also I hope this bbitch judge loses her licence and burns in hell.

          • Bill
            07/03/2010 at 10:43 PM

            WOW — how the hell do you get that the judge was racist? Everyone, everyone prior to the verdict expressed tremendous support and respect for her. You have made an enormous jump, and I think one totally unfounded, that because her verdict didn’t go your way that it was due to racism. Very disturbing.

          • Bea
            07/03/2010 at 10:44 PM

            I too hope these men (or the correct subset of them) are tried for murder, assuming of course, that no evidence is disclosed pointing instead to another. Regardless, I do want the murderer tried and convicted.

            I have to say, CC, that I had no indication from this judge that she was racist, nor do I think she deserves to lose her license. Much as I wanted a guilty verdict, I believe she rendered what she believed was the honorable and correct decision – I do credit her for going out of her way to make finding and to give comments as to ‘moral certainty’ versus that necessary for a certainty beyond a reasonable doubt based on evidence.

            I don’t know her but what I’ve read of her, so I can’t speak to whether she’ll burn in hell, or if there is a hell, for that matter.

          • cc
            07/03/2010 at 10:46 PM

            I also hope she gets inoperable colon cancer and shits all over the place because she is a big piece of shit. They should put a piece of shit in her coffin. God bless

            This is way over the line and it’s your first and last warning. -Craig

            • ccf
              07/03/2010 at 10:59 PM

              Are you serious? Or are you trolling?

            • Carol
              07/03/2010 at 11:48 PM

              You are sick.

            • Elizabeth
              07/04/2010 at 10:49 AM

              You can honestly type “God bless” after that comment? Dear Lord, protect me from your followers.

          • ccf
            07/03/2010 at 10:58 PM

            I am Chinese and never for a second think Judge Leibovitz is racist. Although I was hoping for a guilty verdict in at least some counts, I think her decision was fair.

            • Bea
              07/04/2010 at 2:00 AM

              My dog has perfect pitch.

              Now go away.

              • Bill 2
                07/04/2010 at 1:42 PM

                I laugh every time I see this comment, Bea. If your dog really has perfect pitch, you should loan him/her out as a vocal coach for some of the pop singers of today. Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers could use some help with their pitch problems.

              • Bea
                07/04/2010 at 3:10 PM

                The posting sequence seems to have gone kaput – just to make clear: I meant this in relation to “cc” of the nasty “racism” claims who wanted terrible things for the Judge. I think he’s been banned, but I didn’t want my ‘go away’ misunderstood.

                • Clio
                  07/04/2010 at 3:26 PM

                  With 304 comments and counting on a holiday weekend, Bea, it does seem that our so-called “Island of the Flies” (the endearing sobriquet for this blog by a critic in the comments section of another website) has only a few “flies” going away, either by being banned for bad taste or by self-exile for personal reasons.

                  • Carolina
                    07/04/2010 at 3:52 PM

                    I’ve been told that if I check my bb or laptop one more time, I’ll be as single as JP is likely to be. Happy 4th.

                    • Leo
                      07/04/2010 at 6:44 PM

                      Enjoy the fireworks and the barbecue! A lot of us keep checking back. Was it Bill or Ben Franklin who talked about that boat leaving the island? I know they were being derogatory, and I don’t believe this blog is an “island of the flies.” I sincerely hope that one day the truth is known. In our lifetimes.

                    • KKinCA
                      07/05/2010 at 12:42 AM

                      In Robert’s parents’ lifetimes especially!

                    • Craig
                      07/05/2010 at 7:53 PM

                      The files continue to swarm, even on a holiday weekend. Resolution in the trial was almost a week ago and Sunday traffic was still 10x higher than the norm. Thanks to all the flies and assorted pests.

                      Clio: Waid is indeed a Floridian now. I don’t expect the MPD to update the flyer; it took them three years to publish it, after all.

                    • 07/05/2010 at 8:19 PM

                      Reportedly, Chief Lanier will be on Kojo Nnamdi’s July 15 radio show (WAMU – public radio). We can get to Kojo now and ask him to grill the Chief on why the MPD fliers asking for information related to Robert’s murder are outdated, if she is soooo concerned to solve the murder (reference her Ask the Chief interview with Mark Segraves). If Kojo does not bring it up himself, place a call on the air and press the point. She always says, on these call-in shows, “I’ll look into it,” so LET HER (look into it). Perchance to make the flier accurate and thus credible. I mean, how hard could it be ….?

                    • susan
                      07/05/2010 at 9:43 PM

                      Hey Gloria,

                      And I just posted about the flyers and printed them up myself and didn’t notice they were out of date. Still don’t see what is outdated, pls. elucidate. BUT, they still have the MPD phone numbers and stil mention the murder so they are still useful for the time being.


                      You can email your questions about the case to Chief Lanier at this site:


                      Use the drop down item to the right to change it from Ask the “Governor” to Ask the Chief.

                    • susan
                      07/05/2010 at 9:49 PM

                      Oops, reading these out of order. I see Craig pointed out what is out of date. And the office number seems to be out of date as well. I think that is what we can ask Chief L about and just write in the new numbers ourselves. I will do that. The hotline number is still there and it will still get the word out.

                    • Bea
                      07/06/2010 at 5:07 AM

                      A belated giggle out of this one. With luck, you’re back with us and no longer under ‘holiday arrest’. I’ve been given a few ‘concerned’ looks myself.

                    • Bea
                      07/06/2010 at 5:08 AM

                      Argh – my post was supposed to follow Carolina’s that her partner had told her to knock off the posting during the holiday weekend.

                    • Carolina
                      07/06/2010 at 7:26 AM

                      I followed it, even if the thread didn’t! Thanks, Bea.

        • Bill
          07/03/2010 at 10:40 PM

          Bea – generally, I have appreciated your comments. But I want to clarify the assumption that I “think these men are innocent.” I never claimed that nor am i certain that they are. I do have significant questions about their degree of involvement and other factors factors related to RB’s murder.

          • Bea
            07/03/2010 at 10:46 PM

            Bill, thanks – on which facts can we agree? Maybe that would be a good starting point to mend fences. Perhaps you won’t get ‘called out’ and perhaps you’ll stop referring to “us” as a mob. Hope you’ll post what the common ground is.

      • mw
        07/03/2010 at 10:40 PM

        You need to get over this idea you have that anyone that disagrees with you is attacking you.

    • chilaw79
      07/04/2010 at 4:39 PM

      Thus far, the defendants have been tried and acquitted. At present, they stand accused of no crime.

  27. JusticeWasNotServed
    07/04/2010 at 1:25 AM

    I disagree that the verdict was fair. One of them or perhaps even all of them were accountable for the death of Robert Wone. They know who did it and they’re covering each other’s lies. If an innocent man was truly indeed indicted, he could speak up and tell the truth. Even if the judge is racist, she could definitely be biased. If they three were blue collar men, had prior convictions…do you truly think the outcome would have been the same? Perhaps not…!

    • Clio
      07/04/2010 at 5:39 PM

      Social class certainly is a factor in people’s perceptions of guilt or innocence, and fears of a reverse snobbery on the part of a mainly working-class, African American jury may have pushed the Four Horsemen to choose Lynn, whom they guessed (correctly)would be overly fastidious in her definition of “reasonable doubt”.

      I think that, based on her absolutist interpretation of reasonable doubt, Lynn would acquitted even blue-collar defendants on this evidence … even if the defendants were Michael, Phelps, and Louis. She also essentially did say that “they know who did it and they’re covering each other’s lies,” hardly an endorsement for an Academy Award, let alone a Clio.

      • Bea
        07/04/2010 at 6:40 PM

        Agree, Clio, that the Four Horsemen chose a bench trial over a jury trial knowing her rep as a stickler for detail to the law – though they clearly preferred Judge Weisburg who was showing the defense a lot more love than Judge L ever did. The verdict notwithstanding, her opinion was in only a small way some salve for the wound, though I respect her for going that extra mile.

      • Bill
        07/04/2010 at 6:53 PM

        Clio – Can you tell me on what page you found: “they know who did it and they’re covering each other’s lies,” I can’t find it and want to read the context for the quote. Thank you.

        • Clio
          07/04/2010 at 7:03 PM

          Bill, I was quoting the previous poster, JusticeWasNotServed, there. Lynn’s opinion said the same thing to me, but, of course, in a more tactful and lawyerly way. Hope that helps.

        • bigfatmike
          07/04/2010 at 8:23 PM

          ‘Despite the many suspicious and even damning circumstances, despite the implausibility of the intruder story, and despite the discordant and inappropriate demeanor and conduct of the defendants, I am constrained to conclude that the government has not eliminated, beyond a reasonable doubt, the real possibility created by what I have termed the “math problem” in this case. It is very probable that the government’s theory is correct, that even if the defendants did not participate in the murder some or all of them knew enough about the circumstances of it to provide helpful information to law enforcement and have chosen to withhold that information for reasons of their own. Nevertheless, after lengthy analysis of the evidence I conclude that the government has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the essential elements of obstruction of justice as to Mr. Price, Mr. Zaborsky or Mr. Ward. ‘

          This is not exactly on point. But it is taken from approx pg 35 and does indicate the judge has serious doubts about these three. She explicitly states that the governments theory is probably correct. However, she makes it clear she cannot get to ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.

          We all understand, ‘not guilty’ does not mean innocent, absolved, or vindicated. But most of us understand and support that this is the system. Not guilty is what it is, and this case on these charges is concluded.

  28. Sandra
    07/04/2010 at 11:21 AM

    I’m relatively new to this site (I only came upon it a few days ago when Wayne Madsen mentioned it on his site) and have a few questions that haven’t been answered from reading lots of the archived posts and comments. So, I apolgize in advance if this has already been talked about, but does anyone have any thoughts on why there were so many injections and why the injection sites were in such random places? I kind of think Ward and Price put something in Roberts drink to get him initially subdued and then injected him w/something so he was paralyzed to respond or fight back (maybe ketamine). But it seems sort of weird that those injection sites were scattered all over his body. Is that typically for people using ketamine? Or is it typical for using another type of drug? Could it be a sign that the initial injections weren’t working, so they kept giving him more and more? Also, this may seem like a strange question, but have there been any psychologic evaluations done on any of the defendants? (I’m a clinical psychologist and during my training I did a rotation w/the judicial system in Virginia, so I know such things are done on occasion, but perhaps not on cases of conspiracy and obstruction of justice). I personally would be very interested in an eval on Ward. I think Ward was on sleeping pills and antidepressants, but do we know whether these were prescribed by a psychiatrist or primary care physician? I also wonder about the interaction of these meds w/the other drugs he was supposedly using.

    • Carolina
      07/04/2010 at 12:22 PM

      You raise a lot of questions that have been tossed about throughout the life of the site, but it’s hard to pin down when and where. They’re excellent questions, though, which is why they keep popping up.

      There are really only two, or at most three injection sites unaccounted for: one in each ankle and one in the neck. The neck may well have been from resuscitation attempts and for sake of argument, let’s go with that.

      The other two have been denied by any and all medical personnel who have gone on record about them. The EMTs as well as the ER nurse said these spots are not protocol, indicating that it’s just not a location that they would try.

      Add to this the fact that Michael Price was in training as a phlebotomist AND that his first absence from class was the night of the murder, and it seems– odd? Maybe a total red herring, but strangely coincidental.

      So what did they inject? K isn’t usually injected. There are others that are, but for which the ME tested. Others have short halflifes and may have been under the radar by the time Robert finally expired.

      Half answers to haunting questions.

      • Sandra
        07/04/2010 at 3:01 PM

        That’s interesting about Michael’s first absence from class being the night of the muder. It would be especially interesting if the class was really late at night as opposed to a 7 or 8 pm class. Sounds like people are uncertain about where (if at all) Michael fits into this. I was kind of thinking that he could have been called by Joe to take away the evidence (knife, syringes, whatever they injected him w/), but that doesn’t fit w/Michael robbing the house a couple of weeks later. I would think that if Michael had knowledge of (but wasn’t involved in) the murder, he would have blackmailed Joe for the money he needed instead of stealing from him.

        • Jeana
          07/04/2010 at 3:22 PM

          This may be a tad off the wall, but has anyone considered that the robbery was a robbery in name only? Perhaps Michael was directed to retrieve additional evidence that the cracker-jack investigators had overlooked and he or his accomplice helped themselves to a few other things while they were there – either to cover their real purpose for entering Swann or simply because the temptation was too great. Did the housemates file an insurance claim? Perhaps reporting stolen camera equipment?

          • Carolina
            07/04/2010 at 3:51 PM

            Yes, it’s been speculated that was the case. Shame no one’s been able to get any evidence. The electronics that were reported stolen were recovered. Of course, if they didn’t report the cameras, I have serious doubts that the MPD would have looked for them. They didn’t seem to think outside of the obvious.

      • observingfromafar
        07/04/2010 at 3:52 PM

        But the class would have been over before the murder, so does it matter if he missed the class? I mean, I think the 3 did it and Michael had nothing to do with it. Do you think after all his issues that Joe would trust him to help with this and/or not tell anyone. Someone who has a drug problem could be made to talk rather easily-just deny him drugs…I bet Michael doesnt know anything at all. I feel the key to the case is Hickson (is that his name?) the neighbor who saw someone in their underwear, and then a body but never came over. He is the one who knows what happened.

        • Clio
          07/04/2010 at 4:10 PM

          Michael’s class was an evening one, and the “Tooth Fairy” excuse of an indulgent uncle simply does not hold water, even DC tap water. Missing an evening class means much more than skipping a daytime class; they are longer and have more material packed into one session. So, he did something that evening besides sleep with Mr. L. Hinton.

          Or, perhaps, Mr. S. Hixson did come over briefly to Swann, just before the arrival of Ms. D. Durham, to get rid of the cameras, etc. The Mercedes meeting may have an after-action review component to it, after all.

          • Bill 2
            07/04/2010 at 4:24 PM

            You’re not alone in thinking evidence may have taken a very short trip across the street.

  29. observingfromafar
    07/04/2010 at 1:01 PM

    I feel that if the police would have collected and tested the blood from the lint dryer and the drain-that they would have been nailed. That was the key evidence-the only hard evidence they would have had.

    • Bill
      07/04/2010 at 1:11 PM

      Then why didn’t they test the blood? I have wondered what the admissibility of the dog “alerting” on the link dryer of the outside patio drain. So what if the dogs did alert . . . it is inconclusive UNLESS is can be tested and tired directly to RW (i.e., is his blood). If it could be directly connected to RW, then it would present a nearly unassailable fact for the prosecution. For me, this is another example of how the MPD screwed up. I am not as hard on the prosecution as others here. I think they did the best with what the had.

      • AnnaZed
        07/04/2010 at 3:01 PM

        I absolutely agree with you on this Bill. I think that there are many missed opportunities in this case and they represent opportunities for cries of grievance from both sides.

    • Carolina
      07/04/2010 at 3:51 PM

      They did. Nothing was found.

      • Bill
        07/04/2010 at 5:16 PM

        If I understand you correctly, the MPD tested the lint in the dryer and found nothing. Then what was the significance of the dog(s) “alerting” on the lint? Do you know if they tested the drains outside in the patio? These sound like missed opportunities, to me, for the prosecution.

        • Leo
          07/04/2010 at 6:41 PM

          The dog “alerted” to both the dryer and the drain in the patio; but MPD forensics unit found nothing. You can’t just fabricate evidence. If it’s not there, it’s not there. Yes, I wish we had some evidence. More than the prosecution was able to present. I believe they went as far as they could with what they had to work with. The Judge’s decision was fair, under our criminal justice system. Many jury verdicts are not really fair, because they don’t [can’t, aren’t expected to] scrupulously apply the law to the facts, or even find the facts in a reasonable manner. There’s always hope that more evidence comes to light, or one of the trio blabs something to someone at some time.

          • Bill
            07/04/2010 at 7:06 PM

            I believe the most important decision made by the defense was to elect for a bench trial. EVEN I believe they would have been convicted by a jury based on the complexity of the law as applied to the evidence, the issue of homophobia (and BDSM), and that of social class. I think the combination of these factors would have been insurmountable.

  30. observingfromafar
    07/04/2010 at 3:49 PM

    So if something comes out in the testimony during the civil trial-can it be used as evidence in a murder trial?

    • Leo
      07/04/2010 at 6:42 PM


  31. susan
    07/05/2010 at 1:43 AM


    I’m sure I’m late in noticing this, but don’t recall it being discussed recently. In this item reported on Fox, V. Zaborsky says that he heard “Joe say Robert’s dead” while he was on the 911 call. Yet he goes along with the operator and doesn’t even report that to the operator. He just goes on, doesn’t react, doesn’t scream, break out in tears, anything. Just gets into hysterical mode when the paramedics come and says “Help” we need your help.

    I think it’s interesting, too, that he doesn’t say he hears Joe say “He’s not breathing,” but the definitive “He’s dead,” which suggests that he had stopped breathing earlier but it wasn’t reported to the operator. That is, if we are to believe their timeline.

    Then there is that comment by VZ about the chime–hearing it in one account, not hearing it in another account. I have to say, I’m not sure I agree with the judge that there wasn’t a fourth involved–involved with the three, that is. And more and more I realize how all the individuals in this crime have the common denominator of J. Price.

    Another thought–Other than the masseuse reviews, has anyone who personally knows D. Ward ever posted on this site? I’ve seen posts from old friends of VZ and JP but not DW.

    • susan
      07/05/2010 at 1:46 AM

      You were right, Bea, these are not posting in order! Anyhow, I know your dog perfect pitch comment was meant for that crude poster from earlier. I thought this would be at the very bottom of the posts.

    • Bea
      07/05/2010 at 12:32 PM

      Susan, I hadn’t noticed this, that if reported correctly, it’s quite odd that Victor did not advise the 911 operator of something so important, namely that he was “dead” as that’s not the impression he gave. Nor did Joe say it was clear to him as he “staunched blood” and awaited the ambulance that it was too late. Would love to know if the quoted statement of Victor stating “Joe said Robert was dead” while on the 911 call jibes with recordings or is misquoted. Well done, Susan!

      • susan
        07/05/2010 at 6:43 PM

        Thanks, Bea!
        It is odd, I agree, but there it is, in his own words.

        BTW, going over WaPo’s that I haven’t finished reading I saw that it was reported on June 30th that 81 percent of people who took a Washington Post poll “didn’t agree wtih Judge Lynn Leibovitz’s ruling” in the trial.

    • BadShoes
      07/05/2010 at 7:58 PM

      Fox just got it wrong. (or possibly the transcript is wrong).

      If you go back to the transcript of Mr. Zaborsky’s interrogation, the exchange reported by Fox occurs on p.7 of the first recorded interview. The remark reported by Fox is verbatim, except for the last sentence, “I heard Joe say ‘Robert’s Dead'” does not appear at all.

      Possibly the transcript is wrong, but it is more likely that the Fox reporter didn’t hear or recall videotape correctly.

      It would have been an extraordinary remark for Mr. Zaborsky to make, because, at about that time, Mr. Zaborsky was telling the 911 operator that Mr. Wone was still breathing. However, it was also at about this point that Mr. Zaborsky updated the 911 operator on Robert Wone’s injuries. His initial account was that Mr. Wone had been stabbed in the stomach, but mid-way through the call he told the operator that Mr. Wone had been stabbed in the center of the chest.

      • susan
        07/05/2010 at 9:16 PM

        Thanks, BadShoes.

        That is interesting. Wonder where Fox got that from……
        I’ll see if I can find out anything more.

      • susan
        07/05/2010 at 9:26 PM

        There were two taped interviews. On that link, it is the second Fox report with __ Wagner and the interview was with Detective Lewis. It’s quoted in the Fox video report and the written report. It’s a very damning statement. Where does it come from–“I heard Joe say: Robert’s dead.”

        Anyone out there?

        • Bea
          07/05/2010 at 9:33 PM

          In a hurry right now – are you saying YOU can hear it in the interview? If so, HUGE.

          • susan
            07/05/2010 at 9:51 PM

            No, no! I was confusing the 911 call and the Fox quotes. Sorry for the confusion.

            • susan
              07/05/2010 at 9:53 PM

              Still wondering where Fox got that specific language. And why they cite it twice.

  32. 310 Observer
    07/05/2010 at 6:09 PM

    I’m looking back through the archives on this site with a focus (out of sheer curiosity) on Sarah Morgan. I’ve stumbled across several comments that reference things Sarah heard (for example, on the post from 1/17/10 a commenter discusses “Ward telling Sarah that one reason the cops were still in the house was because “they found drugs in the house.”) I’m curious to learn more about what information Sarah has provided–I definitely think she knows more than she’s saying. Even if she wasn’t involved the night of the murder, she lived with the defendants and at the very least would be able to provide valuable insights into the dynamics of their relationship.

    • Clio
      07/05/2010 at 7:07 PM

      This may be just more data debris, 310, but Mr. Ward was the only one to express concern about Sarah returning to the house that evening after the murder in his own “Anacostia Dialogue”. In his interview with detectives, he also was the only one to mention Sarah’s penchant for morning walks, a routine apparently forgotten that particular sunrise due to the extraordinary events that had just unfolded.

      • chilaw79
        07/05/2010 at 11:16 PM

        Joe Price did call Sarah at around six am of the morning following Robert’s death and told her or suggested that she not go to Swann Street.

        • 310 Observer
          07/06/2010 at 8:15 AM

          Thank you, Clio and Chilaw!

  33. susan
    07/05/2010 at 9:36 PM

    Hey All,

    I hope everyone will join me in printing up the flyers here and distributing them around your neighborhoods. I’m generally not a flyer-posting-type person, but it’s for a good cause and it will let everyone know the case is still open. I think if you live in Ohio, California, Pennsylvania, etc., it would be great if you even posted five of these around town or left them around your various ‘hoods.

    Friends of the three recent and upcoming defendants/the so-called “trouple”: Why not help out? You believe your friends didn’t do it? Help solve the crime once and for all. And if they did do it, help bring some peace to the world and probably some ultimate peace to them too, by restoring some order to this unsolved crime.


    I hope that wherever any of us travel in the coming months, we will spot one of these flyers or hear from friends that do.

  34. Anonymous
    07/06/2010 at 7:14 AM

    Hello Carolina,

    Ketamine IS usually injected if used as it is supposed to be in a clinical setting. Common routes are intramuscular and intravenous. It is much faster acting this way, and much easier to titrate correctly.

    • Carolina
      07/06/2010 at 7:25 AM

      Yes, if you’re a cat. Injecting on the dance floor is a bit of a faux pas. That said, yes, it could have been what went in the ankles.

      • Anonymous
        07/06/2010 at 8:53 AM

        There is a common misconception that Ketamine is a veterinary use drug only. It is not, it is widely used in humans in many places because it does not require complex and expensive equipment to dose correctly or to monitor the level of anesthesia at the surgical plane. Because it separates respiratory depression from cardiovascular function (does lower heart rate, but to a markedly lesser extent) you can have a fairly good sense of how you are doing with the titration. There’s a reason tt is a WHO essential drug, the bare minimum acceptable for appropriate clinical care during surgery.

        Ketamine is not much of a dance floor drug either. Recreational use is more common at late night afterparties than in clubs – for obvious reasons. Dissociated, anesthesized folk don’t dance like they just don’t care.

        Regardless, there is nothing to hint at Robert Wone being a recreational drug user. This is simply unsubstantiated speculation as to why there were a number of punture marks on his body.

  35. Michael
    07/06/2010 at 8:17 AM

    Seekerman – an “assassin” would not have risked killing Robert inside a house with three other occupants. If he was skilled enough to murder Robert inside that house, he could have easily killed him on the street.

Comments are closed.