VZ VCB-2 of 3

The Late Show Continues

Victor Zaborsky’s first interview with MPD detectives at Anacostia’s Violent Crimes Branch ended around 4:30am on the morning after Robert’s murder.  The night was still young and he would sit for two additional sessions, each growing slightly more contentious that the last.

Again we hear of the flight back home from Denver, the gym, showers, burned steaks, plumbing problems, watering the plants, making the bed, post-nasal drip… you get the idea.

He shares more detail here about finding Robert in the guest room and instead of saying he heard screams, it is now described as  “a really low breathy grunt kind of sound,” that woke him up.

This interview may have happened after the “Mercedes meeting,” in which AUSA Glenn Kirschner accused Zaborsky of changing his talking points after having conferred with Price in Scott  Hixson’s car during a break.

Hixson, their Swann Street neighbor and friend, met the threesome early that morning in Anacostia and testified on day fourteen of the obstruction trial.

The transcript for this second installment can be found here.

After the jump, the forty minute session.  On Friday, the “Lost Episode?”

Victor Zaborsky MPD Interrogation Video 2 – Time: 00:42

151 comments for “VZ VCB-2 of 3

  1. Susan
    07/28/2010 at 12:32 AM

    I’m only partway through the tape, and for the most part VZ comes across very credibly. Then the knife part–I thought on the 911 tape he says very early on that they have or he thinks “they” have one of our knives. But from what he says on this tape, he doesn’t admit to seeing much of anything when he is sent off to call 911. And then when asked if he saw the knife he says he’s “confused.” These points have all been brought up again.

    One just has to wonder, too, how with the doors closed and the a/c on and a sleeping pill he even heard those “low, breathy grunts.”

    And again, he says he saw Dylan W. in the doorway when he walked downstairs, but DW says, in his transcript that he saw VZ when he exited his room. The timing and location of where each says they saw each other seems to be off.

  2. Susan
    07/28/2010 at 12:34 AM

    Meant “before” at the end of that first paragraph.

  3. The Truth
    07/28/2010 at 2:37 AM

    JP and DW were looking for a twist in their s&m routine. From the time RW indicated he would be spending the night, these two must have started plotting. Either they tried something and got carried away or they meant to go all the way…or they just intended incapacitating RW and then using for sex, but were high on drugs and couldn’t stop…these two killed him and are lucky they have been able to make Victor lie too. Like another commenter, I feel the judge messed up. If they were standing trial for murder,I can understand an acquital since prosecutors were unable to “prove” anything. But saying they are not guilty of tampering with evidence, misleading the authorities etc. – that’s a bad call. Someone should break into their minds and make them sing…!

  4. Bea
    07/28/2010 at 5:38 AM

    Victor’s voice has more anxiety in THIS interview when discussing ‘crime’ facts (not airport, flowers) than in the first interview – my guess he’s worried about being ‘on message’ with Joe from their discussion in Hixson’s car (as the Judge said). Too, there is more hedging about when/what he saw and questioning his own memory (literally) as if to get it on the record that he might have gotten things wrong. It’s more than the breathy grunts – too he’s making the point that perhaps the knife was “up against” or “on” Robert, though he’s explicitly unsure about when that was (first or second time he saw Robert). Oddly, he makes the point that he’d been mistaken previously in telling an office that Robert’s hands were clutching his stomach/chest, that he “distinctly remembers” the odd way one arm and hand were positioned above Robert. It seems strange that he characterizes this as “in the air” in a way which one could understand to mean that Robert’s arm was perpendicular to the bed – frankly, I don’t think he truly understood what Joe had said in the car and was trying to rope in his version to match what he thought Joe said.

    Random thought (not particularly ‘new’) – if it had happened exactly as stated, one or both would have been worried about Dylan. Clearly neither was all that torn up about losing Robert (meaning that he wasn’t ‘dear’ to Victor) so they WOULD have run to Dylan’s room but did not.

    I have a sense (with no validation, just gut reaction) in listening to THIS, going back to the first, then listening again to this one again back-to-back-to-back that Victor had spoken little to Joe that night except in a pissy argument. There hadn’t been mention of Robert coming over because Victor and Joe were fighting. I’m not sure the trio had dinner ‘together’ (noting he states that he’s “not sure” if they finished the wine bottle or not).

    Not only had he TRIED unsuccessfully to track down Joe at the gym, and likely wasn’t being shown much love for getting an earlier flight (and WHY did he come home – would love to know if there were any calls/texts between Victor and Sarah), Victor’s account has he and Joe hardly ever in the same room. It struck me that after dinner (if he did eat with them – and maybe he burned the steaks on purpose for all we know) Victor was purposely showing Joe his displeasure. Who hasn’t ‘frozen’ a partner with distancing behavior such as silently going off to water plants – AND to ‘show him’ via passive-aggressiveness that such chores should have been attended to during the business trip?

    My guess is that Victor, after seeing Dylan making the bed (and yet again feeling distanced from the evening’s events), stormed off to bed and turned on the TV to exhibit dissatisfaction that he wasn’t getting necessary attention. I can imagine him being VERY pissy that Joe had gotten rid of a channel (that he watched). Whether Joe got on the phone to re-order the channel because of this, or because he wanted Victor preoccupied (or both) is anyone’s guess. (This is in keeping with Joe’s statement that Victor was annoyed with him for watching TV after Project Runway – I’m guessing the ‘facts’ are untrue – that Joe was downstairs – but the knowing that Victor was mad was very real).

    Besides reinstating channels he’d recently ditched to mollify and occupy Victor, Joe was bent on having his way that night despite Victor being upset. I think it’s quite possible that he had gotten high instead of exercising (as had Dylan had as well when allegedly ‘exercising in his room’) and he WAS annoyed that Victor had come home early (but couldn’t overtly show it). Victor’s repeated statements that Joe had ‘made a big deal’ of keeping the bedroom door shut could easily have been Joe’s answer to Victor not wanting to hear what was planned downstairs. Also in keeping with this is Victor’s refusal to greet Robert – Victor strikes me as a ‘polite’ guy who would have (at least) yelled down his apologies to Robert under such circumstances.

    Perhaps there was a ‘third’ already there BEFORE Robert’s arrival who Victor wished not to acknowledge OR possibly Joe had intimated that Robert was likely to succumb to Joe’s many charms (“I couldn’t tell you five things about Robert’s life”) – something upset Victor’s ordinary sense of decorum in my estimation.

    IF Sarah took off at 6:00, it’s possible that when Victor arrived home at 6:30 that Dylan had ‘company’ with whom he was burning calories in his room. Victor may have been trying to hunt Joe down to stop the party but was not able to do so. Victor makes reference to being alone with Joe briefly upstairs both before and after dinner which, my guess, was the height of the argument (Dylan’s statement that he assumed the noises of Joe/Victor arguing came from that kernel of truth perhaps). I imagine slamming doors and the long-suffering (and frosty) Victor seething as he sat through a TV show he THOUGHT that Joe SHOULD have watched with him (“Dylan doesn’t watch TV” – maybe TV was a Joe-n-Victor activity).

    If Joe HAD been a Project Runway fan (you watch such a show routinely/regularly or not at all) he wouldn’t have cut the cable package – I kept HBO simply for the Sopranos for years and didn’t ‘stop’ it between seasons out of laziness tho I rarely watched it for anything else. If Joe was NOT a fan, he wouldn’t have been interested in watching the last ten minutes – my guess is that at that time (10:45/10:50) Joe came up for the last time and didn’t stay (with a final admonition to keep the door closed perhaps?).

    Victor’s comments about the two of them being in bed together and reacting simultaneously doesn’t ring true – caveat: I have my biases and opinions which color this. But Joe said they didn’t say a word to each other after the grunts (in at least one interview) while Victor said they did (‘what’s that?’ brief talk). The use of ‘we’ and ‘I’ seems odd in how he goes back and forth. The ultimate for me is the way Victor says ‘we paused at the doorway’ and heard the last of the grunt-screams which convinced them/him that the noise was coming from the house – this seems more like something ONE person would experience. Since he was behind Joe, would he even know WHY Joe paused in the doorway? I don’t think so – VICTOR paused because VICTOR was trying to figure out the noises. If Joe was indeed downstairs with Dylan and a third (Robert or not – V might have assumed that Robert might be consensually ‘playing’) then I CAN see Victor pausing in the doorway after strange sounds to determine if they were ‘ordinary’ loud BDSM sex sounds or if they were indicative of something askew.

    Victor’s decision that the sounds were ‘wrong’ (OR he made the decision that ‘enough was enough’) IS likely what led Victor down the stairs. What he saw is anybody’s guess, of course, but his description of Robert lying on the bed all neat and tidy sure seems like fiction in contrast to a lot of the rest. I understand how one leaves out a marital spat when it’s not relevant, and he doesn’t seem to choke on any of that, but the ‘pausing’ and the change in the kind of noise, the placement of Robert’s arms, the knife – don’t ring true. We KNOW he’s lying about the 11:43 and we KNOW he’s lying that Dylan ‘discovered’ the open back door (since Victor says it on the 911 tape). That he begins the 911 call with ‘we think someone in our house has been stabbed and is bleeding’ makes clear that he and Joe had a discussion before he went upstairs, and Victor simply had too many lies to keep straight – all my opinion at 2:37 a.m.!!!

    • chilaw79
      07/28/2010 at 9:35 AM

      Now you are going to make me go back at some point and look at whether the investigators ever asked any of the three whether there was anyone there that night other than Robert and the three of them.

      I don’t recall this question ever being asked and answered.

      • Bea
        07/28/2010 at 12:48 PM

        I do not think it was ever asked on tape. I don’t think Dylan would be ‘exercising’ in his sardine can of a room particularly since he was a member of the gym and allegedly Joe was headed there, then Victor. Was Dylan playing host already at 6? Not that this would have been the person who was there at 10, but a possibility.

        • Clio
          07/28/2010 at 7:16 PM

          Was Mr. Hixson a member of Results, or did he exercise in Dyl’s room, too? Just askin’.

          • Bea
            07/28/2010 at 9:08 PM

            Burnin’ calories is burnin’ calories.

            • carolina
              07/28/2010 at 10:22 PM

              Would Victor have interrupted the tryst to ask where Joe was? Would Dylan have paused to say Joe was at the gym? I find that hard to see either one happening.

              • Bea
                07/28/2010 at 11:15 PM

                Could be. Or maybe it was fairly ordinary for Victor to ask through the door at 6:30 pm ‘where is Joe’ in the even that he was behind the door.

                • carolina
                  07/29/2010 at 7:11 PM

                  I think Victor did a of asking for Joe through closed doors.

    • Craig
      07/28/2010 at 10:37 AM

      Zaborsky arrives home and three hours go by which include trips to the gym and dinner – plenty of face time with his housemates, yet he is never clued in to Robert’s visit until he sees Ward making the guest room bed. Sarah knew about Robert’s overnight, maybe others did too, but not Zaborsky? Will they depose Michael Price and ask if he knew about Robert’s visit?

      Why the big secret? Deliberate on the part of Price and Ward, a pattern, or just a simple oversight?

      And the whole Bravo thingie. Neither DishTV, DirectTV, or DC Comcast cable allow for ala carte channel plans. Bravo is on the basic tier of probably every single single service and unless they cancelled the service, Tim Gunn would’ve showed up on their TV that night. Maybe it was a reinstatement of the entire service and I seem to recall they were satellite TV subscribers. Maybe a very small point, but the company service records should certainly clear this up.

      And for the bonus round: Comps and thanks to anyone who can find archival video or still photos of the front of 1509 Swann from August 2006. There’s no real garden out front, maybe a small planter or two, so what exactly was Zaborsky watering? I’ll poke around the media library to see what we have, but if anyone turns up something, drop us a line.

      • denton
        07/28/2010 at 11:29 AM

        Craig, and the Eds – A first time poster and my blog has nothing to do with the case but I want you to know that you and the Eds lead the most comprehensive, most fascinating “investigative reporting” that I have ever been addicted to. There were many types of “reporting” but this was one of them that I was taught in my (grad) Journalism years. I was totally inspired by you guys and the good old school days came running back to me everytime I read your post. “All the News That’s Fit to Print” will do even you guys are not NYTimes.

      • Bill 2
        07/28/2010 at 11:54 AM

        While three hours would allow plenty of opportunity for face time between housemates, I have a feeling that it was not a cordial facetime. It’s easy to imagine doors slamming, walking away from cooking tasks, arguments, pouting in the bedroom, and so on.

        Dylan provided a hint when he mentioned he heard some noise and thought it was Joe and Victor arguing.

        From the time of Victor’s arrival back in DC until after the death of Robert Wone, I don’t think there was any sign of cohesiveness within a loving family unit at 1509 Swann Street. I’m willing to bet that face time included some nasty expressions on some of those faces.

      • Bea
        07/28/2010 at 11:13 PM

        Guys, your long-ago post showing the realtor photos before Joe and Victor purchased has a ‘full frontal’ on the house. Maybe there are three plants between the sidewalk and the house.

        • Kate
          07/30/2010 at 10:30 AM

          The plants out front were of interest to me early on – after reading Victor’s transcript. At the time, I reviewed still photos and broadcast videos of the front of 1509 Swann. It does appear that there are three-four rather scraggly shrubs. What I was distinctly looking for was a water source – if there is no tap out front, where did Victor get the water – back yard or kitchen sink?

          There appears to be something out there, but is it a tap or a meter box?

          Anyone else have an idea? I’ve been musing on this one for a while. Thanks Craig, for bringing this detail forward for discussion.

          • Clio
            07/31/2010 at 12:37 PM

            Yes, Kate, I find that watering to be the least credible of the pre-murder details given to us by Ma’am. Three-four scraggly shrubs would not take too long to water, and why would that chore be a priority on your night home from Denver? I would say kitchen as the source of the water, only because Vic and Dyl cleaned the kitchen minutes beforehand.

            Also, was Washington experiencing a dry spell that summer? Hot and humid was the forecast for that day and night, but I would think that, if the plants were outside, an afternoon thunderstorm would take care of their needs.

      • Nelly
        07/29/2010 at 11:15 AM

        I thought Victor had been watering plants on the rooftop. Don’t remember where I got that impression. Thanks, Craig, for keeping this website going.

        • Rick
          07/29/2010 at 4:04 PM

          Nelly…you’re correct. Victor watered plants on the roof of their home, I assume it had a small sitting area, and he watered the plants in the back of the other homel.

          • carolina
            07/29/2010 at 7:13 PM

            No, he says he watered the plants on the roof, then went to water the plants in front. I thought just as you did, that the back made more sense, but this is not what he says.

            • Clio
              07/29/2010 at 9:28 PM

              Was it particularly dry that summer? Why would it be Vic who had to water plants after an intercontinental trip and a ruined supper?

              • Kate
                07/30/2010 at 10:43 AM

                Yes Clio – it was very hot during that period of August 2006, but with little rainfall. Quite like the weather we’re experiencing this year.

                It appears that the division of chores at Swann Street designated Ma’am as the plant guy. Those plants must have looked pretty thirsty for Victor to go a-watering at that late hour after a long flight, etc.

                I don’t know about Victor, but I would have been a wee miffed that the plants had been neglected in my absence and gone about my duty grumbling to myself, “why didn’t they water the frickin plants!”

                I speak from personal experience. If I don’t leave a big note in 80-point type with bells hanging off of it to remind my beloved to water the plants while I’m away, I come home to lovely cast iron urns filled with dried up, once vibrant flora.

                Cheers,
                Kate – the plant gal

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        07/29/2010 at 3:11 PM

        Bravo is even on the “Digital Starter” package for $29.99 a month.

        Maybe they hadn’t paid their bill and Joe had to cajole them into turning it back on. LOL

        • carolina
          07/29/2010 at 7:14 PM

          Hey, he was doing his own plumbing, maybe he was less Mercedes than he’d like to think.

    • Susan
      07/28/2010 at 11:00 AM

      I will have to read your post again, Bea, because you have a lot of good theories. I think it’s clear that VZ was being left out and his behavior that night reflects that and being somewhat pissed off and third man (or forth man) out. Re the pause by the bdroom door. Maybe by design to let whoever (DW?) close the door to sound the chimes to set up VZ for his story.

      Others here have wondered before, but once an alleged intruder entered and heard the chimes, wouldn’t he/she bolt or just steal what’s on the first floor and run?

      It also seems to me like possibly JP, when he said to call 911, also said “tell them they have one of our knives” or something like that, because VZ can’t really attest to having been clear on seeing a knife at all. He said that all he saw at first was that RW was wounded, yet that knife detail comes very soon on the 911 call.

      Chilaw, I think you’re right, I don’t remember them asking a question about anyone else being there.

      • Bea
        07/28/2010 at 7:51 PM

        Susan, I agree that Joe was telling Victor what to say (‘one of our knives’ is key example) and did so before Victor ever picked up the phone (“we think”). Of course that doesn’t prove that they murdered or covered up for the murderer but it goes against what most of us perceive as normal behavior in assisting cops to find a friend’s murderer.

        KiKi disagrees, but Joe saying that Victor was pissy, juxtaposing all the ‘facts’ of the evening against a mental picture cut-out of how each could have occurred in the context of a fight simply makes sense to me. Otherwise the night is oddly antiseptic but full of too many details (not to mention too many showers and water glasses). It comes down to knowing from email evidence that Joe chose to ‘play’ when Victor was out of town; Victor had come home early from a trip (we know only that he called Joe AFTER arrival at Dulles) and that Joe went to the gym but was not found at the gym. IF Joe and Dylan were proceeding with the party plan, I don’t doubt that Victor was pissed (who wouldn’t be?) and his going up and shutting his door was a representational and meaningful act – in my opinion.

        There will always be a part of me that feels sympathy for the Victor who paused in the doorway assessing the noises from downstairs – BDSM? Something wrong? But his behavior from that point forward has been shamelessly self-serving (and Joe-serving) and his lies are not excused (by me).

        • Susan
          07/28/2010 at 8:37 PM

          Bea,

          I entirely agree with that last paragraph you wrote about VZ. Kiki, I have to say I think it is not the norm to go to the gym and then leave after 30 minutes. And VZ said he went because he was told JP was there. He mentions sinuses and going to bed early because of that and the travel, but why then the rush home and to the gym only to leave so early?

          I wonder how he got to the gym. If he walked it would prob. take btw five and ten minutes, I’d guess. He’d check in, and it would likely be very busy at that hour with people coming in after work. But I agree with what Clio wrote below. Most people don’t go to a gym to work out for 30 min.

          I am open to all theories though so if you or anyone has any others, pls. bring ’em forth.

    • KiKi
      07/28/2010 at 2:56 PM

      How do you know Joe was a “project runway fan?” VZ says “we were talking at dinner, there’s a show called project runway and we were going to watch it.”
      I see no indication that anyone claims they watched project runway regularly. In fact, it seems VZ didn’t even know what channel it was on until Joe told him. Doesn’t sound like a can’t miss TV choice to me.

      And to Craig’s point about picking and choosing your channels, one of the benefits of DirectTV is that at anytime you can change your channel package, and different packages have different channels.

      Second, I am not sure how you can support your conclusion that there is a silent treatment fight occurring unless you believe that all the little details VZ gives are lies, even the meaningless details. VZ says that he and JP discussed some plumbing problems then he helps DW with dinner. JP and him have a conversation about calling their son, VZ calls the son. When DW tells VZ Robert is coming over he helps DW make up the bed. That doesn’t sound like a man who is stomping around the apartment pissed off.

      But it is true that if you only include the points that support your narrative, the theory is a lot smoother.

      • chilaw79
        07/28/2010 at 3:25 PM

        Welcome back, KiKi. I missed you.

      • Bill 2
        07/28/2010 at 3:25 PM

        “unless you believe that all the little details VZ gives are lies,”

        BINGO! I do believe that to be an accurate view of his story.

        • KiKi
          07/28/2010 at 3:40 PM

          Wow Bill, thats more extreme than most people. I would think it would take a lot of effort for each of these guys to make up even the meaningless little details and stick to the same script. But you are entitled to your opinion.

          Thanks chi. Always here lurking just been kind of quiet. Btw I may have decided to go into civil law and make the big bucks had I had you as a professor. You make it seem so interesting. Once we started learning Erie I tuned out. Thanks for the legal ed!

          • chilaw79
            07/28/2010 at 3:52 PM

            I must confess that the intersection of criminal and civil law in this case is part of what makes it interesting. I could see this case making some law on Fifth Amendment and domestic partner privilege.

            At any rate, I think your defense lawyer perspective and intelligent cynicism offer a useful counterpoint.

          • Bill 2
            07/28/2010 at 4:04 PM

            KiKi – You make it sound like it would be too difficult to come up with a story about an intruder, give a quick rundown on what to say, and all stick to the story.

            There was a dead body in their bedroom and their kitchen knife was in the body. You can be sure that they would go to extraordinary effort to point suspicion away from anyone in the household.

            While some of the details from the trio matched, there were others that they didn’t get right. They even changed their stories. Don’t forget how Joe said that Robert was found at the back door. While Victor was on the 911 phone call, you get the distinct impression that Joe was feeding him info. They had plenty of time to work out their stories before they were questioned.

      • Bea
        07/28/2010 at 3:39 PM

        I never said Joe was a Project Runway fan. I said it was the kind of show that if you were a fan, you wouldn’t cancel the channel. If you weren’t, then you wouldn’t make a point of watching the last ten minutes.

        I don’t know how to make it any clearer that this was only my sense of things, not that I know it to be true. Obviously you have a different opinion – just think certain things add up to a pissy Victor (including Joe saying exactly that). If I happened upon a housemate making the guest bed, whether or not I thought trouble was brewing, I might ‘help’ in order to get the info.

        Maybe it was a very pleasant night for all until something horrible happened – but if I’d hurried home to a cool reception and unable to get my partner to wait for me at the gym, I’d be pissy. And my partner doesn’t have another partner or a history of ‘thirds’ or an ad on alt dot com.

        • KiKi
          07/28/2010 at 3:46 PM

          I get what you are saying, I guess it just doesn’t seem odd to me that someone would be interested in a show on a channel that they didn’t have, then watch the show, have to leave to greet a house guest and then be interested in watching the end of the show after the house guest went to bed. I just think that sounds perfectly innocuous.

          And as to your last point, I think your last statement is the key “And my partner doesn’t have another partner or a history of ‘thirds’ or an ad on alt dot com.” VZ’s did. So the treatment that VZ was getting from JP/DW also does not seem odd to me given the dynamic of the trouple.

          But like you said we just have different opinions…

          • Clio
            07/28/2010 at 7:22 PM

            I think that even a person trapped in an unconventional arrangement such as that of the trouple would have found the “casual brush-off” treatment that night intolerable. I would not have returned to Denver, but, after the Robert visit announcement, I would have left Swann for Tom, John, and Sarah.

            • Susan
              07/28/2010 at 9:03 PM

              Honestly, how many people would tolerate their partner bringing in a lover–to live in the house?!

              How many would agree to that same partner also trolling for other intimate rendezvous on alt.com?

              They had a commitment ceremony and two kids together as VZ says in his interview. That with his anniversary note to JP shows that it meant a lot to VZ, so it seems he just tolerated it or hoped it would get better. Who knows.

          • Bea
            07/28/2010 at 11:08 PM

            I tried to watch part of “Project Runway” once and could not do so. The others were involved and knew the various people and backstories but I didn’t. And thus I didn’t care who won or lost, nor did the sniping and backstabbing make much sense to me (despite squeals of delight and ‘she did NOT say that’ comments of my friends). Watching the last ten minutes of any program is dull – and if he’d watched ten minutes’ worth from 10:20-10:30, I don’t know that that would help. My point is that he wouldn’t have killed the channel/package if he was a fan.

      • chilaw79
        07/28/2010 at 9:04 PM

        I must confess I am not a Project Runway fan, but many people I know are. Google informs me that the summer of 2006 was Season 3 for Project Runway; Season 3 began in July, 2006, so the show was on a relatively new schedule. As others have noted, the episode for August 2, 2006 (aptly titled “You Reap What You Sew”), featured a high-profile disqualification (which I would assume was hyped prior to the actual showing at 10:00 on August 2, 2006 in the DC area).

      • AnnaZed
        07/28/2010 at 11:29 PM

        “…That doesn’t sound like a man who is stomping around the apartment pissed off.”

        Really, it sounds like the behavior of someone sulking to me, and rude in the extreme (to Robert).

      • Rapt in MD
        07/29/2010 at 9:31 AM

        Hello – I haven’t finished reading all the thoughts on this particular conversation, however, I wanted to chime in and say…I’ve been married forever and can say that in my house it is indeed possible to be in the middle of a pissy argument, acting childish and being acutely passive-aggressive while still discussing mundane household items and the remains of the day…up to and including the all important choice of evening television viewing.

        This is particularly the case when one party is more committed to the issue causing the disagreement. In this scenario – Victor is the one committed to the issue and he is stomping around trying to show his displeasure while Joe is going on with his plans for the evening. I think while Victor is pouting and trudging through the chores he is imposing on himself, Joe IS talking plumbing and air conditioning…what does he care? It’s just Victor being needy again. I can definitely see Victor resigning himself to working with Dylan to help make up the guest bed while the the smell of burning martyr drifts out into the hallway and he hopes Joe will catch a whiff.

        • AnnaZed
          07/29/2010 at 10:45 AM

          Rapt, so true. I am totally capable of cooking an entire meal, serving it, clearing the table and loading the dishwasher while my sweetheart follows me from room to room semaphoring martyrdom and I simply carry on, funny!

          • Rapt in MD
            07/29/2010 at 10:56 AM

            Hee hee – this is just how it’s done if you want to stay in it for better or worse! PS – I consider myself to be very happily married, but it’s not always pretty.

            • Rapt in MD
              07/29/2010 at 10:59 AM

              PS – I’m making semaphoring my word of the day and intend to use it as much as possible to annoy my co-workers.

              • Kate
                07/30/2010 at 9:03 AM

                Yes, Rapt – great word for the day!

                As I was reading Anna’s funny post, a mental image of the Monty Python sketch “Semaphore Wuthering Heights” came to the fore.

                Cheers,
                Kate

      • Deb
        07/29/2010 at 11:40 AM

        I think the detail provided by Victor about Project Runway suggests that he is a relatively regular watcher.

        I think the silent treatment is possible, perhaps even likely, although I don’t think it was an out-and-out “battle of the cold shoulder”.

        The only discussion JP and VZ seem to have are “administrative” in nature: close the doors to hold the cold in, tub’s still leaking, etc. The only bit of “intimate” interaction is that JP tells VZ he needs to call the kid (who we learn lost a tooth and learned to ride a bike.) Other than that, there is no other mention of conversation between the two of them. JP does not ask, “How was your trip?” No one says “I missed you.” Nothing. Which lends credence to a certain annoyance factor.

        • carolina
          07/29/2010 at 7:18 PM

          Also, notice no one mentions that it was Michael Price who called with the news of the tooth and bike ride.

          • AnnaZed
            07/29/2010 at 7:23 PM

            Interesting omission, isn’t it.

            • Susan
              07/29/2010 at 7:31 PM

              I thought VZ spoke with both the mother and MP. Was it actually MP who phoned or whom he phoned?

              • Clio
                07/29/2010 at 7:49 PM

                Perhaps, Michael also called to say that he was in the gayborhood and was coming over: yet another unwelcome surprise for Ma’am? Luckily, though, if Uncle Michael did stop on by, then he came in handy as the bag man (men along with Scott?) traipsing out the front just before Joe led the cops to the back.

      • Clio
        07/31/2010 at 1:01 PM

        Kiki, Victor may be a even greater “sub” or submissive in the drawing room than Culuket was in the boudoir. He does what he’s told: it is indeed no wonder that “take-charge” Mr. Price found that blind obedience attractive. Nevertheless, even “subs” have their limits, and Victor may have been constantly negotiating his in characteristically passive-aggressive ways.

        On another note, Editors, in what ways, if any, did the guest room serve as an ersatz play room for “thirds”? Did it have any ceiling mounts or racks for chains, ropes, or restraints? Were there any ceiling mounts or racks in Dyl’s porta-dungeon?

    • Jackie
      07/28/2010 at 9:14 PM

      WOW, Bea, this scenario makes more sense to me than anything I’ve read to date! I think you’ve nailed it. Hope the PD is reading.

      • Bea
        07/28/2010 at 11:02 PM

        At this point, I don’t think the authorities are reading anything. Sadly, unless something major falls in their laps from the civil case, they’ve moved on. But I would focus on the arguments/dynamics of the evening – it’s all a guess as KiKi correctly pointed out, but who among us would not be pissed if we returned early from a trip and got such short shrift? Especially if there was a party planned?

        In thinking about Joe’s email to Dylan that they should play while Victor was away, it reads much like teenagers talking about their parents being away for the weekend. P.A.R.T.Y DUDES!!!

        • Clio
          07/29/2010 at 6:04 AM

          Remember that Mr. Hixson reported that Vicki’s bedtime was much earlier than that of Joe and Dyl. Why then did they all retire around 11 that evening?

          Victor also, in a semi-charming gesture of self-depreciation, apparently said that he went to bed early because he was “old”. This feeds into the self-gratifying posture of Victor as parent with at least two bad boys to raise.

          And, Mr. Hixson gave the impression that he thought that Dyl and Victor had been intimate. So, was Mama putting up with Mr. Ward because he was a better top than Joe in bed? Go figure!

          • carolina
            07/29/2010 at 7:20 PM

            I’m not strangely enamored of picturing Vic as a top. I hold you fully accountable.

            • Clio
              07/29/2010 at 7:37 PM

              LOL, Carolina, I apologize! The pronoun “he” referred back to Mr. Ward as top, although, on second reading, “he” could refer to Vicki, a even greater improbability. Yet, if only Vic was a top, then this whole mess could have been avoided.

        • Tarfunk
          07/29/2010 at 7:07 PM

          I don’t think I’ve read anything stating definitively exactly when Victor was scheduled to arrive home. Even if he were scheduled to arrive later in the evening, it seems unlikely that Joe would have felt he had time to plan any untoward activities with Robert, given Robert’s rather late arrival time of 10:30 pm. Of course, if Victor came home a full day early that changes things, but absent any information about Victor’s original schedule it seems difficult to say anything percipient about what was or wasn’t being planned for that evening.

          Are Victor’s scheduling details out there, and I’ve just missed them?

          • carolina
            07/29/2010 at 7:25 PM

            We do not know when his original flight was scheduled. What we do know, however, is that *if* it was scheduled for the same day, the only other flight would have gotten him home around midnight, assuming it wasn’t late.

            So if the return had been set for the same day, maybe Victor grabbed the early flight to avoid the late night issues of traveling from the airport. But I’d be more inclined to believe he wouldn’t have scheduled himself to fly in that late to begin with, and so did it to avoid spending another night in Denver– or to catch Joe at something.

            • Liam
              07/29/2010 at 9:56 PM

              Let’s assume he did it to catch Joe at something. That is, VZ would have arrived home the next day but he suspected something of Joe.

              And let’s say, hypothetically, that Dly and JP had planned (days before RW’s stayover) on trying to persuade RW to join them in some activities (not forcing him, but trying to persuade him). Perhaps they thought they could assist in that persuasion with a drug (voluntarily taken/involuntarily administered?).

              But, once VZ showed up early, it seems they would have nixed this plan (and been very annoyed).

              I don’t know. The fact that JP and DW did not say anything to VZ about RWs stay indicates to me that they were annoyed that VZ spoiled their little fun. But why they went through with what hey did is a mystery.

              • Susan
                07/29/2010 at 10:45 PM

                If you look at the evening’s events btw two parties who went through a commitment ceremony and ignore the DW factor (he wasn’t part of that ceremony) then something seems up. Imagine if you were always one step behind your partner–at home, at the gym, and he/she doesn’t even wait for you or let you know where he/she will be.

                Then you find out about an hour beforehand–and find out by sheer accident–that you’re having an overnight guest. So you retire to bed only to find out your partner seems to have rearranged the cable plans–without consulting you.

                And now, DW. There’s another person there–who didn’t make the formal commitment, doesn’t share kids with you, but he’s in the know about everything it seems. He knows where your partner is (the gym), and that there’s going to be an overnight guest, etc. He’s fine about the cable you know, since he doesn’t watch TV.

                And yet, even though you might be annoyed, pissed, whatever, you don’t want to be usurped either. Plus the other guy (DW) seems so sweet and nice to you. You may not know he told your bff that he wants to replace you. He’s so “gentle,” etc. What an unpleasant situation.

                • chilaw79
                  07/29/2010 at 11:14 PM

                  As the editors pointed out in “Zaborsky, The Third Degree,” Victor credits Joe with “evidently” managing to get the cable provider to restore Bravo to the cable menu. It is not clear if Joe made the call to the cable company from the master bedroom or elsewhere in the house.

                  It would be interesting to know if there was a call to the cable company and the details of what happened on the call. Obviously, it was important to Joe to make sure Victor got to watch the program. Was he being nice to Victor or making sure Victor stayed in the master bedroom watching the television?

                  I do not recall any investigator asking Victor about what happened on Project Runway that night. This may be just another lost opportunity.

              • Bea
                07/29/2010 at 11:07 PM

                If I were to guess, what with Victor remaining pissy through the evening (nod to KiKi that this is just an opinion), is that Joe and Dylan were getting high and planning on some BDSM either as a duo or with a possible “date” from alt dot com. It would NOT surprise me if Joe thought it was “cool” that Robert might overhear some stuff. Maybe they hoped to entice him but figured if not that it ‘might be good for’ Robert to hear JUST how much fun Joe got to have. Egotist/Narcissists assume that what they think is cool is cool to others.

                Too, I’d guess that Joe told Victor that he played when Victor was out of town (and took credit for behaving when Victor was around – expected to ‘get credit’ for such a thing). But when Victor arrived home early? Joe-the-lawyer probably said ‘that’s not my problem’ and that plans were set.

                At a minimum, I’m guessing that included that he’d be sleeping in Dylan’s room (and all that entailed). If Victor went to the gym to negotiate that, or worse, if he’d gotten wind of serious party plans from Sarah, tried to stop such plans, then it’s no wonder that Joe made himself scarce.

                Did Dylan “warn” Joe with a call that Victor was en route to the gym? Check them cell records!

    • mia
      07/30/2010 at 11:58 AM

      You made a very good point here Bea. I’ve read a post here by someone who’s attended the trial saying that Victor was quite a gentleman that he would held door and smile to strangers even in the courtroom. It didn’t surprise me a bit. This manner is consistent with being a successful marketing person. So it seems really strange that he didn’t even bother to show up to welcome or at least exchange a few words with a visiting long time friend. Odd.

  5. addicted lurker
    07/28/2010 at 10:46 AM

    Hi Craig,

    Point of clarification: “This interview may have happened after the “Mercedes meeting,” in which AUSA Glenn Kirschner accused Zaborsky of changing his talking points after having conferred with Price in Scott Hixson’s car during a break.”

    MPD let them confer in the middle of the interviews? I had it in my mind that the Mercedes conference happened as they were waiting for Dylan, before breakfast, and that all the interviews were complete at that point? (Disclaimer: “mind” is a term of affection for the big ol’ sieve I try to think with.)

    Thanks for putting this all together, eds. You guys are amazing.

    • Craig
      07/28/2010 at 3:30 PM

      A Lurker: I’ll check my trial notes to see if there was a time stamp on the Mercedes meeting, but I think you’re right; it happened while Price and Zaborsky were waiting for Ward’s interview to end. As I recall, a detective (Waid?) came out to the parking lot and asked the two of them to come back inside for another round of questioning. They agreed and went back into the VCB.

      Denton: Thanks for the kind words. We just show up; it’s the readers that do the heavy lifting here. And to borrow another outlet’s masthead slogan, “All the news that fits, we print.”

      Kiki: My point is that Bravo is on the basic tier for almost every cable or satellite service. Unless the entire service to the home was cancelled or disconnected, Bravo would always be an available channel.

      • KiKi
        07/28/2010 at 3:35 PM

        Bravo was not nearly as popular then as it is now so it would not surprise me at all if it was not included in the basic package. But this should be easy enough to check, right? I am sure DirectTv knows which channells were included in their programming package at the time.

        • Clio
          07/28/2010 at 6:52 PM

          When did “Queer Eye” debut? Bravo’s popularity seemed to grow after that show gained notice.

          • chilaw79
            07/28/2010 at 9:07 PM

            Queer Eye debuted in 2003.

            Both Queer Eye and Project Runway were on Bravo (which always has been part of the basic cable package here in DC).

            • Bea
              07/28/2010 at 10:58 PM

              So Joe had cancelled basic cable and was back to network TV. Strange for such an up and coming Guppie. We know from Victor that “Dylan didn’t watch TV” – was the cancellation a nod to Dylan and a screw-you to Victor?

              • Susan
                07/28/2010 at 11:26 PM

                It seems like the communication in that household was lacking. It would seem like a change in cable would be a household decision. Lots of poor communication that evening.

                It really does seem like Two’s company, three’s…troup/ble. Hard to keep everyone pleased, everyone on an equal footing.

                • carolina
                  07/29/2010 at 7:32 PM

                  If Joe and Victor had discussed watching the show together Joe was the one who knew it was on Bravo, both of which Victor says in the interview, then wouldn’t Joe have thought to say, “Oh, too bad old man, I got rid of the cable while you were gone” or at least sneak in and get it turned on again before Victor realized he was pretty much on the outside looking into his own home?

              • carolina
                07/29/2010 at 7:29 PM

                If that had been the case, you’d think someone would have mentioned it. After all, we got details of burnt steaks and drippy faucets, but nothing about the cable being turned off? Nothing like, “Joe said it was on Bravo, but he’d canceled the cable and had to get it turned on again.”

                Obviously they could get networks in DC, but how long would Victor have flipped around before he realized he was looking at 4 channels over and over again? It just does not ring true to me.

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                  07/29/2010 at 8:00 PM

                  Maybe Victor is a bit of a dolt. Who knows.

                • Bea
                  07/29/2010 at 8:11 PM

                  Someone said that in ’06 Bravo was part of standard cable – in So Cal for a while it was an ‘add-on’ but this was in the 90s.

                  (Carolina – loved the 4-channel thing).

                  One thing seems clear: Joe was a tool. And a controlling one – who turns off an oft-watched channel without telling the one person who watches? Let alone see it as something to be DISCUSSED and not a unilateral decision. You know those dildos and stim machines and urine-drinking devices are pricey, yet Vic is stuck with network TV to watch on all those flat panels?

                  • chilaw79
                    07/29/2010 at 10:39 PM

                    One thing that may be possible is that the cable connection to the set in the master bedroom had been disconnected manually. I find it hard to believe that the cable company would add channels to an individual home at ten in the evening (although Victor says that is “evidently” what Joe made happen).

                    Having done plumbing, maybe Joe went on to electrical work.

                    I do know you need separate connections for each television.

                  • Clio
                    07/29/2010 at 10:43 PM

                    Talk about “catty” and “bitchy”: that cable cancellation really takes the cake!

                  • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                    07/29/2010 at 10:51 PM

                    Another thing to take into consideration regarding the TV service, is that Joe supposedly called outside of normal business hours.

                    I just called Comcast to see how long it takes to “upgrade” or “add to existing service.” The recording said to call back during normal business hours.

                    So unless it was a matter of resetting, adding additional service needs to be done during business hours.

                    • AnnaZed
                      07/29/2010 at 10:55 PM

                      That hasn’t been my experience. They love it when you call up drunk in the middle of the night and order pay-per-view boxing, I know that much.

                      just sayin’

                    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                      07/30/2010 at 2:16 PM

                      I don’t know….just relating what happened to me when I tried to call at 10pm to see if I could immediately change my service.

            • Bill 2
              07/30/2010 at 9:34 AM

              Though I’ve never watched “Project Runway,” there’s a story in today’s news that it is returning for its eighth season on Lifetime.

              • chilaw79
                07/30/2010 at 9:58 AM

                Project Runway was on Bravo through 2008 and then moved to Lifetime in 2009 (following a lawsuit).

                Season 3 (which aired in 2006) featured lots of drama, including the first disqualification of a contestant.

                • Bill 2
                  07/30/2010 at 10:24 AM

                  Thanks. The way the story was written, it sounded as if this was its 8th season on Lifetime. I spent many years working outside the U.S. so I’m not familiar with TV shows after the mid-80s. After returning to the U.S., I never got back in the TV habit.

  6. Anon34
    07/28/2010 at 11:07 AM

    Yesterday I suggested that Victor is very likely lying or dissembling when he touches his face with his hand. I’m only at 1:24, but again Victor confidently recounts how he knows Robert, but as soon as the cop says “And… tonight..” Victor’s hand goes right to his face. As soon as he hears the word “tonight”.

    • Liam
      07/28/2010 at 7:34 PM

      I find that very interesting. Especially because VZ seems, in general, to be so expressive or emotional. In other words, it seems like he would have a hard time maintaining a “poker face” and his persona would have to reflect telling a lie (or anything that makes him emotional) in some way (in this case the hand).

      I also find it interesting that he goes into so much seemingly unnecessary detail about things. For example , when asked how he knows Robert, he tells about gift baskets, etc.

      I would think that most would simply answer the question: “I know him through Joe. He’s been a friend of Joe’s since college and Joe introduced me to him about 6 years ago, shortly after I met Joe.”

      Maybe that’s just the way VZ is. Or, maybe he’s thinking “I’m going to tell them everything I know, I have nothing to hide.

      • carolina
        07/28/2010 at 10:37 PM

        Liam, I think it’s even more telling that they ALL seem to recount the same irrelevant details.

        • Bea
          07/28/2010 at 10:57 PM

          Exactly. I’m really looking forward to seeing Joe’s video and his demeanor, particularly on the known screw-ups. My guess is that he just gets more belligerent when his back is against the wall. Victor turned apologetic and played dumb (“I am even questioning my own memory”).

    • Bruce
      08/01/2010 at 12:44 PM

      Hi Anon:

      Absolutely true story:

      I take French lessons. Yesterday, my tutor pronounced a very difficult french word, and made me watch his mouth and expression so that I could mimic him and my pronounciation would be (more)correct. As I looked at him, I saw him touch his face, and in fact made a joke with him as to whether I should also touch my face when I pronounce that word. Later in the lesson, he did it several times again,one time as if scratching, another just touching his nose or cheek. Damn lying Frenchie Bastard!

  7. KiKi
    07/28/2010 at 3:01 PM

    One point that some posters have made a big issue is the fact that VZ says he went to the gym for only 30 minutes, so he could not have been there to work out. After listening to the tape and reading along with the transcript, this time frame does not seem odd to me at all.

    “so I decided to go to the gym. I think I was only there for, likel, 30 minutes, came home.”

    VZ did not say he was only gone for 30 minutes, he said he was only at the gym for 30 minutes. This seems very reasonable to me. In fact, I bet the average person spends 30 minutes at the gym. Especially, if you are only a couple blocks from your gym. I think it would actually be strange for him to be there for 30 minutes if he was only looking for JP, seems he should have been home much quicker if he just went looking for JP.

    • Clio
      07/28/2010 at 6:48 PM

      My work-outs take at least one hour with cardio and strength training mixed in.

      Which muscle groups did he concentrate on that evening — legs or chest, tris, and bis? Or, did he just hang out in the sauna? Did he change clothes at the gym? Did he shower there as well? These quotidian questions ought to be raised by Covington. Why didn’t Dyl join him in his search for Joe? Fitness and cleanliness were apparently very important to the trouple, but their story just does not add up.

    • Bea
      07/28/2010 at 7:41 PM

      If you go to the FIRST VZ interview transcripts, he says he was gone from home for 35 minutes total. He arrived home around 6:30, talked to Dylan and unpacked, THEN went to the gym to find Joe and was home by 7:15, concluding he was gone for 35 minutes. So I don’t know how much working out one could do – if he drove, the parking issue, if he walked then that took ten each way.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        07/28/2010 at 7:47 PM

        He sure didn’t go to work out. He went looking for Joe.

      • Susan
        07/28/2010 at 8:55 PM

        Agree re the travel issue and time, Bea.

    • chilaw79
      07/28/2010 at 8:39 PM

      Assuming that Victor went to the Results gym at 1612 U Street, it is about one-third of a mile from 1509 Swann Street. Since it is difficult to find parking in that area, I would walk the three or four blocks. That basically means, to me, that Victor went to the gym, looked for Joe, did not find him, and came home–no workout, no shower. In fact, Victor does say he showered after he got back from the gym.

      • Deb
        07/29/2010 at 11:45 AM

        He emphatically says he showered in one place. In another he says he changed clothes, and in yet a third he starts by saying Dylan was in the shower, V went upstairs, J had already showered. . . then V says again that he changed clothes and immediately corrects that adding the shower back in.

  8. Robert H
    07/28/2010 at 8:01 PM

    Well you can’t bullshit a bullshitter……It’s just a rehearsed narrative with no sadness or tears for his friend being murdered in his home. then the parts that arn’t rehearsed well, he just pretends to forget a get confused. How rediculous. It’s just sad that anyone could think this is credible LOL

  9. Susan
    07/28/2010 at 8:53 PM

    BTW, did JP do any work in that house?

    Other than the shower (which I need to read up on since I still don’t exactly understand the problem–if anyone can summarize….)it sounds like the other guys did the cooking, the cleaning, the bed-making, the door answering, etc.

    The restoring the cable thing–someone else posted about that but it does seem like VZ didn’t even know it was gone and JP restored it to appease VZ, because he’d been a bit of a git that eve up to that point.

    And I think the point some posters have been making, myself included, is that it is work enough to maintain one healthy relationship and a whole different ballgame, actually sport, to maintain two sep. adult relationships under one roof. I’m sure most of us posting here have never had the challenge.

    • Clio
      07/28/2010 at 10:38 PM

      As patriarch of a network of friends and dependents, Culuket restricted himself to household tasks deemed “male”. His wife, Vicki, who shared the same first name as his bio-mother of east Texas, was the angel of the house, and his mistress, Dyl, shared a name — Michael — with his feisty, troubled brother.

      In order to manage these unconventional yet familiar relationships, I am sure that Culuket played Victor off against Dyl off against Sarah, etc. Divide and conquer, and play upon people’s sympathies about your “difficult” childhood: yeah, that’s the ticket!

      • Bea
        07/28/2010 at 10:53 PM

        So well put. And I think Joe held the ultimate card with Victor: I don’t love you as much as you love me/I could replace you with Dylan. Joe was worried by mid-2006 that Dylan was losing interest (according to the email) and was paying more attention to Dylan’s needs than Victor’s. Of course, above all, Joe paid attention to Joe’s needs.

        I do wonder if there was a ceremony at all when Joe and Victor became “registered domestic partners” earlier in 2006 – and if Dylan even knew this. One of many questions I’d ask in depositions. They could easily register without his knowledge – and did this act tide over Victor a while as to insecurities? Actually, it seems disingenuous for the trouple to claim trouple status since this domestic partners thing didn’t predate Dylan’s arrival. I think Victor was thrilled and Joe saw it as ‘smart’ – he was comingled with Victor financially and in real estate – why not get the benefit of making him happy (and getting him the ‘marital privilege’)?

        • chilaw79
          07/28/2010 at 11:09 PM

          Bea,

          I am not sure whether you are referring to “marital privilege” in the testimonial context (or in the broader social context). My thought is that domestic partner privilege (as a testimonial matter) had to be extended by statute or it would not exist (even though that seems very unfair to same sex domestic partners). The DC statute did not extend the testimonial privilege to domestic partners until 2009. I can find no evidence either way as to whether the City Council intended the change to apply retroactively. Since DC laws are subject to a sort of Congressional veto, the City Council may not have wanted to pick a fight during the Bush Administration.

          However, as to any conversations between Joe and Victor discussed in the VCB tapes, the privilege should be moot since the statements were voluntary waivers of the privilege and/or a third party was present (Dylan).

          • Bea
            07/29/2010 at 12:15 AM

            Hey Chilaw – what I’d found was that the privilege was amended in April 2006:

            Domestic Partnership Equality Amendment Act of 2006, DC Law 16-79, effective April 4, 2006. By this act in almost all cases a domestic partner will have the same rights as a spouse.

            Section 2 changes the law regarding competency of witnesses in civil and criminal cases by striking references to husband and wife and replacing them with spouse or domestic partner regarding their testimony against one another. This section also exempts clergy from testifying about the confidential counseling provided to domestic partners.

            D.C. Code Section 14-306 provides:

            (a) In civil and criminal proceedings, a husband or his wife is

            competent but not compellable to testify for or against the other.

            (b) In civil and criminal proceedings, a husband or his wife is

            not competent to testify as to any confidential communications

            made by one to the other during the marriage.

            Maybe I am missing something – I did this research a while ago (always wondered if this was the catalyst for Joe proposing domestic partnership. . .).

            • chilaw79
              07/29/2010 at 10:07 AM

              Meant to put the post that appears below here. Short answer, you are right, but I ma not sure it matters much as to what was discussed with the police or in front of Dylan.

        • Susan
          07/28/2010 at 11:16 PM

          From the sliver of VZ’s life reflected on these pages, it seems like he was a dedicated, stable partner. It seems like he didn’t have the same dedication from JP. It seems that if he had a reciprocally dedicated partner, maybe this site would not exist.

    • carolina
      07/29/2010 at 7:36 PM

      “BTW, did JP do any work in that house? ”

      Yes, he was the plumber/bathroom water experimenter.

      • Susan
        07/29/2010 at 9:00 PM

        Joe Plumber?

        Is there one page that explains the whole water issue here?

  10. denton
    07/28/2010 at 10:23 PM

    And to borrow another outlet’s masthead slogan, “All the news that fits, we print.”

    Craig, you know how to tickle me Elmo…by the way, don’t stop.

  11. Susan
    07/29/2010 at 12:40 AM

    This song seems appropriate for the songbook of whoever murdered Robert Wone:

    The Smiths, Suffer Little Children
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YgrN5b2OgM

    “…But fresh lilaced moorland fields
    Cannot hide the stolid stench of death…

    We may be dead and we may be gone
    But we will be, we will be, we will be, right by your side
    Until the day you die
    This is no easy ride
    We will haunt you when you laugh
    Yes, you could say we’re a team
    You might sleep
    You might sleep
    You might sleep
    But you will never dream…

    So much to answer for……”

  12. chilaw79
    07/29/2010 at 10:05 AM

    No, Bea, you are right. It was the Domestic Partner Equality Amendments Act of 2006 that extended the privilege initially. It replaced the words “husband or wife” with “spouse or domestic partner” in what you have quoted above. Although DC first provided for domestic partner registration in 1992, the statutory privilege was not extended until 2006. It was further amended in 2009.

    Still, I think the privilege is going to be hard to assert as to any observations or conversations discussed in the police interviews, or that took place with Dylan or anyone else present.

  13. 07/29/2010 at 2:46 PM

    Having lost power for 3 days (and leery of the current thunderstorm with flickering lights), I’m behind y’all. When I get a clear “go” from the weather gods, I’ll plow into tape #2 to observe Victor. I’ve seen all but that tape. However, a few small points from the ongoing conversation and tape #1.

    First, assuming Victor had been “pissy” that evening, I’d expect to catch some of that attitude in tape #2. In tape #1, all I caught was his saying he assumed that Joe was with him when he (V) fell asleep. He did not expand on that. If he were “pissy,” I would have expected that crankiness to have carried over into the late night’s interviews. Second, I have not seen mention in the comments of the detective’s questioning “style,.”

    It does not appear the detective in tape #1 has any notable interviewing skills. Soooo amateur. He seemed to go all “politically correct” in not pursuing questions about the relationship among the 3 — although that was CLEARLY a critical angle to pursue, given “4 guys in a house, and one is murdered, leaving 3.” He actually says to Vic that he won’t pursue that line of questioning. Which must have been a great relief to him. So many missed opportunities in questioning. Four years later, and Covington has to carry the MPD’s water (do its heavy lifting). Ooops, power out again!!! Internet link going …. No time to edit.

    • 07/29/2010 at 2:56 PM

      Let me add to my comment about Vince’s pissy attitude carrying over into the police interview, that he should have been even PISS-IER because of what Joe got him into that night. Will tape #2 show that resentment. Even if he controlled his resentment (although he doesn’t seem “the type”), you’ll know it when you see/hear it. Can’t wait to delve in!!

      • David
        07/29/2010 at 3:11 PM

        Gloria,

        I think Victor’s pissy attitude went out the door when the full gravity of the night’s events hit him, and he jumped on board. He was now trying to protect his way of life, and that was a greater concern than any pissy attitude he had from earlier in the evening. Secondly, I wonder if Victor feels some guilt — as in his pissy attitude could have set things in motion (i.e. Joe going through with planned sexual assault despite Victor arriving home early) and causing the unintended consequence as a result. It wouldn’t be surprising if VZ felt this way, especially if he was a battered spouse who was always looking for approval and validation from his partner.

        David, co-ed.

        • Rapt in MD
          07/29/2010 at 3:47 PM

          This was my thought, David. I can’t imagine anything making one’s domestic problems look more insignificant (however unconventional your personal org chart may look) than having someone stabbed in your guest room. Pissy pretty much goes right out the window. Not to mention the perverse thought that Victor may have seen this as an opportunity to become “one” with Joe in a singularly unique pact.

          • Susan
            07/29/2010 at 7:36 PM

            My take is even if he was feeling pissy and slighted he also likely felt a continuous low-level anxiety at the constant possibility of people replaced or usurped as the No. 1 by DW. His note re the bond and anniversary sounds pleading. I’m sure he found himself in a personal Catch-22 of his own: slighted, annoyed, but yet hesitant to show too much of that for fear he would push JP away.

            Again, my personal disclaimer: I don’t know him and this is just based on the the public info. out there (which gets pretty personal at times, of course.)

            • Susan
              07/29/2010 at 7:37 PM

              “People” should be replaced by “being” in the first sentence above.

        • Bill 2
          07/29/2010 at 5:32 PM

          I fully agree, David. A murder victim in the guest room changes the entire dynamic of the household. I’m certain that no thought was being given to what channels were available on the cable or dish. All energy would be focused on creating a tale about an intruder and trying to get three people to have matching stories before the cops start their questioning.

    • Liam
      07/29/2010 at 10:25 PM

      “It does not appear the detective in tape #1 has any notable interviewing skills.”

      I certainly don’t know anything about interviewing techniques, but it seems to me that in the first session, if the interviewee wants to go on and on (as VZ did), you let him, without much interruption. Then, in the subsequent sessions you try to trip him up with inconsistencies in what he volunteered initially. For example, in the second session, VZ backtracked and stated that he incorrectly remembered how RWs hands were situated, etc.

      In other words, the initial interviewer does not want to show his hand before he has to.

  14. chilaw79
    07/29/2010 at 3:34 PM

    I am having a hard time assessing the tapes of Victor’s interviews. I think the third tape may be the most important to me. I want to see how his demeanor or tone changes.

    Is Victor a classic enabler or did he just get swept up in a situation not of his own making? He is clearly tired. I wonder what the combination of Sudafed, Unisom, and wine does, especially after a huge jolt of adrenaline. (I am not suggesting that anyone try this at home).

    • Craig
      07/29/2010 at 4:04 PM

      C79: The final installment of the Zaborsky trilogy goes up tomorrow morning. It’s a helluva 20 minutes.

  15. Clio
    07/29/2010 at 9:42 PM

    This clip could be called — “Pissy Pussy As Mama Grizzly: Victor Z. Taking the Big One for Team Price?”

    I cannot wait for Sparkly Cat’s audition, though. And, no one will be seated during the Culuket Show which, 30 years ago, would have come to a drive-in near you.

  16. Cat from Cleveland
    07/29/2010 at 10:02 PM

    Interesting that he refers to the “intruder” as “they.” Like he knows two people killed Robert, not just one.

  17. susan
    09/06/2011 at 9:20 PM

    I don’t think I saw this addressed elsewhere but in this interview there are two or three times where VZ “questions [his] memory” or says his thinking is “cloudy” and one time is when he is asked if he would hear someone running down the stairs. He says he thinks so but he said that he and JP were running down the stairs so maybe they wouldn’t hear it, BUT “I think I heard the chime again.” He couldn’t have heard it AGAIN because earlier he says he didn’t hear a chime when waking up (it was JP who said that).

    • Bea
      09/08/2011 at 6:58 PM

      I was on a long, dull conference call (no, I wasn’t “billing” for my time) and after reading Susan’s post, watched the WaPo excerpts of the interrogations of the three defendants with the sound off (for obvious reasons).

      Strangely, I found it interesting. Particularly:

      Why is Dylan wearing a jacket zipped up to his neck? Everyone else, including detectives, are in shirt sleeves and they look hot. I realize some people are always “chilly” but zipped up to the neck? Maybe he wasn’t wearing a shirt underneath? Showing my ignorance here, but do any particular drugs make you cold?

      The body language couldn’t be more different. Joe is all over his chair using wild gestures – leaning forward, then back, then forward again, his hand motioning constantly. Victor is slumped back in his chair and his hands are motionless. Dylan (besides being chilly) sits up straight and his hands are on his crotch or legs – even when he gestures, his hands are never more than a couple of inches off his legs, then back down again.

      Minutia, but curious.

      • susan
        09/08/2011 at 11:06 PM

        Bea,

        I think there is so much to be learned from revisiting these tapes and you make that point in your post. Dylan Ward’s jacket is a great point and it stands out even more after listening to Pt. 2 of Victor Zaborsky’s interview, where he asks the detective before the det. steps out of the room to Turn on the Fan. And VZ was in a thin t-shirt. Also, we know that with the AC on in the home, DW sleeps in the nude as JP mentions in one of his interviews that DW had nothing on under his “f–king robe!”

        • AnnaZed
          09/09/2011 at 12:17 PM

          I believe it was speculated about at the time, and I certainly don’t think it’s a leap in Dylan’s case, that it is common drug user behavior to wear long sleeved clothing to conceal visible injection sites from casual observers.

          One of the major (major) elements of Joe’s strategy that worked really well for the trouple is that by deflecting police scrutiny even temporarily (even causing doubt and hesitancy in their minds) the men were not photographed and examined (for bruises, injection sites and such) and their nails weren’t scraped for signs of having struggled with Robert or any kind of examination like that.

          Alas, I think that it is the case that Robert was unable to struggle or defend himself, but I do think that if Dylan had been examined that fresh injection sites on his person were quite likely to have been observable under that jacket. How on earth is it that every cop in the world doesn’t think junkie the moment they see a incongruously bundled suspect seated in a gaspingly hot interrogation room?

          • Bea
            09/09/2011 at 2:06 PM

            Susan and AnnaZed, well said. I would so like to get Dylan’s polygraph report and see which questions showed untruthful/reactive responses. Perhaps the result was only “inconclusive” instead of a “fail” but I’m doubting Joe mentioned this to his friends when he complained that cops had no reason to focus on them as suspects and should be looking for the “real killer.”

            Perhaps Dylan was wearing his zipped-to-the-neck jacket because he was eager to go back to his room to “exercise” some more. . .

            • Clio
              09/13/2011 at 12:08 AM

              A cold heart may need a warm jacket, and a courtesan may not need to show any cleavage. But why Mr. Ward was not strip-searched for unusual markings could only happen in the good old USA — thank you, Earl Warren (who as Governor of California in the 1940s ironically led the Lavender Scare) — fingers no longer crossed!

              • 09/13/2011 at 10:41 AM

                Hi, Dear Clio:

                What is with all this strip-searching and bosum uncovering drama?

                Doesn’t everyone agree (or virtually everyone), based upon the evidence we do know about, that there was apparently no struggle, no fight? Thus, there should be no markings from any struggle.

                What exactly do you think a strip-search or bosum uncovering would reveal, other than all orafices and a bosum?

                Track marks on Lil Dyl’s arms? No one seems to have thought that any of the Swann 3 were high on anything at the station soon after the murder. I can’t see a hint of it in the long taped interviews, but, agreed, I am no expert. Scratches? From what?

                I understand that everyone is upset that the civil trial is over, and there is a general sense of wanting revenge and justice.

                But I hope we don’t get bogged down in wierd and fruitless fantasies on here, which are really not helpful to determine WMRW.

                Love and kisses, as always.

                • 09/13/2011 at 10:48 AM

                  errrrrr….”bosom” instead of “busom.”

                • Bea
                  09/13/2011 at 2:04 PM

                  It does seem strange that everyone else is sweating in shirt sleeves but Dyl has his jacket zipped up to the neck. Not illogical that his being “chilly” had something to do with his intake that night, whether oral or otherwise. Another logical step is that if he wasn’t “chilly” then coverage of his body was the reason. Either is strange on an oft-described “sweltering” August night where all needed showers to cool themselves. . .

                  • Craig
                    09/13/2011 at 6:11 PM

                    I vaguely recall questions during the summer trial about whether or not the then defendants were examined for any wounds or cuts.

                  • Bea
                    09/13/2011 at 9:30 PM

                    I’m curious. I know they LATER gave DNA samples but I didn’t think anything was asked of them that night (or volunteered) other than Dylan giving a polygraph (and the others SAYING they would).

  18. Clio
    09/13/2011 at 10:30 PM

    Would a burnt steak or a bottle of red make one feel a chill on a hot summer’s night in DC? Perhaps, and then again, the prospect of prison may have called for a literal cover-up.

    “It’s a messy world out there,” Bruce, and someone’s got to be able to provide “the Lazy Man’s Yoga.” Did Victor actually write that crap for a commission? Pray tell. Is it indeed pure energy, pure inspiration, or pure BS as always?

    • susan
      09/13/2011 at 10:45 PM

      Clio, I think the name was a hack job. There are other massage studios and indeed just other businesses in Florida with variations on that name. Maybe he did write it. His job was to pursuade with words as a fundraiser for Equality VA, Joe P’s job was to pursuade with words to win legal cases and VZ–same thing for the drink cow’s milk campaign.

      If VZ had to ask for the air to be turned on and he was in short sleeves, I think DW must’ve been warm. He slept in the nude (by JP’s acct) in his air conditioned Swann home.

      The polics screwed up (can that ever be said enough?). And has others have pointed out, based on lack of evidence of a break in, it’s a wonder they didn’t detain those fellas that night, at the very least. Police all over the US (and the world for that matter, and right or wrong–often wrong) have arrested individuals with less cause.

      • susan
        09/13/2011 at 10:47 PM

        And as others have pointed out (above).

      • Bill 2
        09/16/2011 at 8:10 PM

        The fact that Ward was so covered up on that hot August night should have rung some kind of bell with the detectives. But wouldn’t he have to open the jacket for a polygraph test? I’m not acquainted with 21st century polygraph equipment so maybe that wouldn’t be necessary.

        One of the most famous trials in our lifetime had major play from clothing – Bruno Magli shoes and leather gloves that are too tight when you don’t take your blood pressure pills causing hands to swell.

        • susan
          09/16/2011 at 8:19 PM

          Bill2, I don’t think it’s necessary to undo any clothing to have it done. Not from what I just read/viewed online. But I wonder about it having been done. If DW basically left around the same time as the others, did he have it done that night? Doesn’t it take at least an hour and usually longer to complete?

          • Bea
            09/16/2011 at 9:03 PM

            Hi Susan – I don’t know whether one has to remove clothing for the polygraph but Dyl definitely took one. And didn’t do well. Joe left the Cosi breakfast to go pick up Dylan, we know, and Dylan was too upset to join the group. We know that the defense counsel filed a Motion in Limine to Exclude the Polygraph Results during the criminal trial (which leads me to assume that he “failed”) but of course the prosecution didn’t fight it since polygraph results are never allowed as evidence.

            • susan
              09/18/2011 at 11:40 AM

              Thanks, Bea. I was always fuzzy about what transpired re Cosi and the polygraph.

    • 09/14/2011 at 10:42 AM

      Indeed, Dear Clio, and the world is getting messier. I am still trying to understand the wild clapping at the Texas executions mention in last week’s repub debate and the (less wild, but very vocal) yelling of “Yes!” to allowing a sick uninsured 30 year old to die in this week’s debate. Have we become a sociopathic society? Are hearts so cold with a lack of empathy?

      Anyhoo, I don’t mean to say that the clothing the night of the police interviews isnt’ something to bring up. It is just, in my experience, a realization that everyone seems to react differently to warm and cold, and thinking to the times that I have, out of dumbness or when in a rush, have worn things which I have regretted as they are slightly off the normal wear for the weather. Maybe he usually wore something like this at night in the summer.

      We all made fun of what they were wearing in past posts. Sure, maybe it is a little odd. But so are people about dressing for the weather and concerns about air-conditioning. Maybe they didn’t act completely rational in their fashion choices that night.

      The question for me is does the discussion on the fashion really advance the cause of WMRW, and will new readers and journalists and others who read this blog think that it has dissolved into a bunch of nit-picking wild specularions?

      We have several workers at my firm that are cconstantly complaining about the heat in the winter and especially the cold in summer from air-conditioning. For me, I can’t stand for it to be too hot. My friend can’t stand to be too cold and is strange about it. I seriously doubt that the police told the Swann 3 what to wear that night. Should I wear something real light, or maybe the air-conditioning will be real cold at the police station? People bundle up to go to the movies in summer because they don’t know how cold the theatre is going to be and they are sensitive to cold. Maybe Lil Dyl was wearing something under the jacket that he felt comfortable

      • 09/14/2011 at 10:46 AM

        (continuing, sorry) that he felt uncomfortable with, or maybe, just maybe, he was quite comfortable wearing what he was wearing, while the others complained about the heat. Where does this get us?

      • Bea
        09/14/2011 at 6:49 PM

        Hey Bruce. What Dylan wore (and kept on) may well be a red herring. And more, we’ll likely never know if it was or not. But it remains an odd thing because not only was it a jacket, but it was zipped up to the neck. Everyone else, in much lighter shirts, looked hot (Victor asked for a fan).

        You’re right that we all have different “sweet spots” of temperature but it was a sweltering night in which despite being closed in his room to “keep in” the A/C, Dylan wore no clothes. Maybe he didn’t want to remove his jacket, as you’ve posited, because he didn’t want to reveal what he had on/didn’t have on underneath.

        (I’ll suggest a shirt reading: “My BF went on a honeymoon with his other BF after their domestic partner ceremony and all I got was this lousy t-shirt, a much smaller bedroom, and a closet full of sex toys.”)

        Maybe it IS a triviality and maybe it doesn’t “get us” anywhere. We’ve already been said that it might not mean anything but it’s hard to deny that it’s really weird to have it zipped up to the top regardless his “sweet spot.”

        I still think the distinctive styles of the three in terms of body language is fascinating.

        Hey, maybe like OJ arriving back in LA from Chicago with a suit bag that was handed off COULD’VE had his bloody clothes in it (sometimes the ‘that’s too obvious’ really isn’t) Dylan’s honeymoon t-shirt was covered in suspicious stains that went up to the neck – and that way the cops wouldn’t FIND it in his room.

        Not THAT is wildly speculative – and way too obvious? Before you jump ahead and forget to smile – you are the one who suggested he might be wearing something he was uncomfortable letting others see.

        • Clio
          09/15/2011 at 11:29 PM

          In terms of fashion, recall that, unlike most masseurs appealing (at first) to fellow gay men, Dyl felt no need to advertise topless — so, maybe, he does have a sense of decency and decorum that may be incongruent with the glamour shots found on Mr. Price’s work computer.

          Given the highlighted passages and the apparently unused toys, I have always found Dyl to seem to be an awkward and unlikely player, corrupted only by the obsessive desires of another, more powerful man.

          • Bea
            09/16/2011 at 2:05 PM

            I suspect you’re right. That “S&M For Dummies” was highlighted. “Dom” was not his natural position (which appealed to his topping bottom greatly). I do wonder if this (whatever THIS is relating to Robert’s murder) would’ve never happened but for the combustible nature of Joe/Dylan. Agree that Joe was the leader in everything and that by nature Dylan was just looking for self-gratification (of mind, soul, AND body, possibly in that order) but, not being one with much direction, was infinitely malleable.

            • Bill Orange
              09/17/2011 at 1:09 PM

              I’ve always said that his interest in BDSM always seemed more clinical than emotional. Even after all that’s come out over the last several years, Dylan is still largely a blank slate to me. I still really don’t know if he’s a gullible follower who wound up being emotionally dominated by Joe (just like Victor), or if he’s a complete psychopath who was simply far more than Joe Price bargained for, or if he falls somewhere in between.

              • Bea
                09/17/2011 at 3:28 PM

                It’s interesting that Dylan told Sarah early on that he planned to oust Victor as Joe’s partner yet was willing to forego that spot for the lady-in-waiting concubine role. Was he a man with low self-esteem? We’ve talked endlessly about Victor’s willingness to put up with this, but what of Dylan’s willingness to BE that mistress in the small bedroom? Was his distancing himself (and creating fear in Joe) a power play? And did that factor into what happened that night?

                • Clio
                  09/17/2011 at 6:33 PM

                  Distancing himself was common enough for Dyl whose passions for anything may have had a definite shelf life — diplomacy, Japan, then cooking, then children’s books, then fundraising, then edgy sex, then Thailand, then semi-legit massage, then legit massage with women clients, then … What’s next for our changeling — a degree in forensic medicine, or perhaps courses in plumbing or heating and cooling?

                  If August 2 had never happened, Dyl would not be in contact with Joe today, and he would have become the satellite of some other powerful, masculine personality.

                  In that scenario, Joe would have moved on, too, although with far more hurt feelings and furtive regrets.

                  The deadly crucible of August 2 created the family that Victor claimed they were all trying to achieve. And, if that union forged in blood, if not iron, was a goal of Joe or Dyl, then it has been accomplished. Sad!

                  • susan
                    09/18/2011 at 11:53 AM

                    It seems with Dyl, all roads (careers) lead back to Asia-from the foreign service degree to the present career.

                    Another thing re DW: he is the only one of the three who doesn’t entirely disccount one of the other two killing Robert Wone. He’d “be surprised” if it was one of the other guys. That’s much more mild than Joe P’s and V’s declarations of certainty about the other two. To me it seems like it is evident he is much less committed to the other two, feels much less a part of the “family” than J or V would believe he feels.

  19. emily rose
    10/27/2015 at 11:30 PM

    If Joe and Victor were convinced immediately that an intruder was in the house…why didn’t they immediately run to Dylan’s room to check on him after finding Robert? Before calling 911 you would typically account for ALL your loved ones to insure their safety. By their own accounts Dylan meant the world to them. However, they were unconcerned about him. Why? Because they are all lying and committed this act together. I would go a step further and say that with all the entry points for the needle pricks perhaps all three were shoving needles in him at the feet, hands, chest and neck. You wouldn’t hear grunts from a story below that would shake you out of a sound sleep after taking a sleep aid. This is all so hokey. They had less evidence on Scott Peterson but he’s setting on death row. (Where he should be). These bizarre men should be in prison. Period. The officer named Norris was so illiterate it was difficult to follow his questioning and I can’t help to think that if they would have put a stealthy intelligent detective in with Dylan Ward they could have gotten more from him.

    • Bill 2
      12/31/2015 at 1:09 PM

      While they continued to live together, there was no chance that one of them would reveal anything. They always kept tabs on each other. Now that they’re miles apart, there’s always the chance that one of them could get high on drugs or alcohol and let something slip to an outsider.

      There’s also the chance that Price’s brother could have more legal problems and provide info to get off.

      Surely their basement dweller knows more than she revealed. And the same goes for the two guys she moved in with that night, as well as the interior designer across the street. The DC police chief won’t go back to those people because it would bring too much attention to the incompetence of the cops who investigated.

  20. Clio
    02/05/2016 at 10:32 AM

    But why Robert? Why would educated and worldly gay men do this to a straight friend? It does not make any sense.

  21. Bill 2
    03/11/2016 at 11:14 AM

    Since the throuple provided Sarah Morgan with a home, did she feel compelled to withhold information regarding previous activities in the household when Victor Zaborsky was out of town? Now that she has lived apart from them for several years, would the detachment make it easier for her to tell more of what she may know?

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