Friends And Family

Set Another Place at the Table

In Harry Jaffe’s treatise, we’re told that Eric Holder gave Robert’s close friend Jason Torchinsky “…the sense that Robert Wone was considered part of the Covington family…”  and that the law firm would represent the Wone family in every way possible.  So far that has proven to be the case.

That family grew by one more this week.  Just announced as an addition to the legal team is Charles Kitcher, a 30 year-old associate with the firm.

The holidays can be trying times for all families; especially challenging no doubt for the many that were touched and ripped apart by Robert’s murder. 

As we come up on the two-year anniversary of this project, our family remains grateful for the highly dedicated, passionate and somewhat unorthodox larger family that has chosen to congregate here.

And once again we ask readers remember Robert’s life and his many good deeds by considering a contribution to the Wone Memorial Trust. Please send those sizable checks here:

Wone Memorial Trust  c/o  Holtzman Vogel, PLLC
45 North Hill Drive, Suite 100
Warrenton, VA   20186


61 comments for “Friends And Family

  1. Clio
    11/25/2010 at 10:30 PM

    Welcome, Mr. Kitcher! One may need all the help that one can get to counteract the obvious, if now shared, charms of Spag.

    I just heart Norman Rockwell, especially at this time of year: thanks, Editors, for that necessary bit of nostalgia above.

    Can anyone believe that WMRW will soon be two years old? And, that it would attract a loyal band of posters?

    Yet, Osama is still free, and so are our dear (former) trouple. Who would have thought that possible, given the 2008 affadavits?

  2. Bea
    11/26/2010 at 1:53 PM

    Thanks to the Eds for this nice reminder to honor Robert Wone’s memory.

    I reread the Washingtonian article again, tripped up again on Joe Price’s attempts to get his old friends ‘on board’ again with the Catch-22 email to Tara Ragone. This time, though, my eyes kept darting back to the follow up communications between Joe and Tara:

    “Ragone suggested that Price meet with the Wone family and clear the air. He responded that he had been fighting with his lawyers about sharing information with Kathy Wone’s attorney.”

    So if Joe was the ‘good guy’ who wanted to share information (his lawyers being the ‘bad’ ones against such action) why not share now that the criminal case is over? Unless it was all a lie, of course, just Joe setting up Tara so she could see him wanting to help though he never intended to do so.

    I am guessing that Joe sleeps just fine with or without the turkey dinner. And Victor? Maybe he draws his strength from the old Tammy Wynette song, “Stand by your Man.”

    • Clio
      11/26/2010 at 3:08 PM

      Well, as Tara so eloquently put it, one cannot be “a Switzerland” in this legal war of attrition. Even the self-conscious Switzerlands on this site, though, think that at least one of them had something to do with the murder. As the Jaffe piece indicates, ostrich-head-in-the-sand appeasement was so much easier before the November 2008 revelations than afterwards, although that sea change in public perception (coinciding with the launch of this blog) certainly did not stop Agnes and Marcia from lending a supportive hand.

      Joe’s feint about wanting to help was clearly a ruse to complement the SOL gambit, and it is to be hoped that Brook will see through that Potemkin sympathy, too. One can shed only so many alligator tears!

      Wynette also performed: D-I-V-O-R-C-E. That standard bears a revisiting this holiday season, Ma’am.

      • susan
        11/26/2010 at 3:23 PM

        One thing that stays in my mind re Joe Price and his incredible ability to lie, is when he is sitting right across from a police detective, while knowing he was being videotaped, and pretended he was looking on his cell phone calendar looking for the date he had lunch with Kathy Wone. Of course, he knew he could never find the date in the phone’s calendar because he knew he was not looking at his cell phone, but Victor’s.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          11/26/2010 at 4:35 PM

          That is a brilliant observation, Susan.

        • Bea
          11/26/2010 at 4:40 PM

          Very good point, Susan. Joe is all about props – someone else’s cell phone, urine drinking devices, even the matronly and well-heeled Victor wife on his arm referred to many times in the Wm&Mary Alum interview right before the other shoe dropped. And such proud a gay man hides his unseemly mistress even as he’s waxing sentimental about his (brave) journey in coming out and fighting for all gay people everywhere!

          But Joe’s a devious one, a duplicitous role player – even Dylan must’ve found the need to separate himself from his former cash cow.

          • Clio
            11/26/2010 at 7:57 PM

            But Dyl had (apparently) already found that need, before August 2, 2006; accordingly, suddenly that summer, Culuket may have seen himself as a victim of both Mr. Ward’s perfidity and Mr. Zaborsky’s suffocating maternal precepts. He chose increasingly extreme measures to hold onto the ambivalent Dyl, while exerting his independence from Ma’am’s bourgeois respectability. The results, as we know, would be irreversible.

            The self-typecasting for Mr. Price was/is that of perpetual victim; even his gay rights advocacy pushed the idea of him and his well-heeled circle being victims of the Man. Why is/was everyone picking on ME?, exclaimed the UVa grad, both before and after this mess. Doe, ray, ME, indeed!

            • Clio
              11/26/2010 at 8:25 PM

              And, indeed, it must have been a horrifying prospect for the errant fox suddenly that summer … the distinct possibility of being trapped forever in a sexless union cemented only by children and finances. That dreadful vision, to Joe, may have been similar to the domestic dystopia that Joe’s dad had escaped in 1974 in east Texas: but, at least, even then,
              heterosexuals, however humble, had set protocols for such situations.

              History was repeating itself, but it was not allowed to do so because of the self-deception of the homosexual trouple concept in Joe’s mind. And that self-deception with its two-front “war” may have proved most fatal: something drastic, in Joe’s mind, may have had to have been done in order to keep the shaky Triple “Alliance” together. And, in the end, it definitely was/is not worth it, as that scary prospect may have come true.

              • Bruce
                11/26/2010 at 8:47 PM

                My goodness, and salutations Clio.

                You certainly are waxing poetic tonight. Please “Don’t stop the music!”

                And kudos are in order, me thinks.

                Is this the unannounced premiere, heard like the proverbial shot around the world from your very own scented typing fingers, of the phrase: “errant fox,” in reference to the much maligned (in your posts tonight) Joe the Sinner?

                Remember England! And go forthright into that good night on this blessed Black Friday! Do it for Brittania.

                • Clio
                  11/26/2010 at 9:09 PM

                  LOL, Bruce, I love that sly reference to “Don’t Stop the Music!”, but, then again, you knew that already.

                  I’m especially glad that you enjoyed my attempts at analysis tonight. And, come to think of it, “The Errant Fox” would be a good made-for-TV movie title for the year 2025, if, of course, this case were not so serious.

                  At any rate, I’m off to the late movie with my husband: ciao!

                  • Bruce
                    11/26/2010 at 9:30 PM

                    au revoir!

                    • Bruce
                      11/26/2010 at 10:09 PM

                      And, I shouldmention that I don’t think we are going to have made for tv movies in 2025.

                      I think it is going to involve the insertion of something, a microchip, someswheres.

          • susan
            11/27/2010 at 2:43 PM

            Thanks, Bea. That moment shows that, at that point, and possibly before, he was choosing not to cooperate with police. So when the troup’s attys make the claim about the troup cooperating with police during the investigations, we know that, at least at that point, JP wasn’t.

            Granted, it was a stupid question from MPD, in a series of stupid, irrelevant questions, but I’d think sincerity and cooperation would be the order of the moment in the wee hours of the morning in a “cop shop” during an interrogation of the brutal triple stabbing of a guest in your home, someone that has been considered a friend.

            For those reading who have forgotten or who missed the video, in one of the interrogation tapes JP is being interviewed by another detective and asked to turn off the phone. He has trouble doing so (so he says) because he reveals that it is Not His Phone that he’s holding but Victor’s.

            • Clio
              11/27/2010 at 5:37 PM

              Thanks, Susan, for that reminder, which, of course, raises still-unanswered questions:

              Why would Mr. Price have Mr. Zaborsky’s phone at that point? Did Culuket NOT trust his partner of six years to uphold his impromptu lines about intruders jumping on car hoods? Did he suspect that Victor may consult other Zaborskys by phone before conferring with him? Why would Joe take Victor’s phone to the station yet leave his own wallet with Lisa G.?

              • susan
                11/27/2010 at 7:33 PM

                Thanks, Clio.

                I thought maybe he had the phone because VZ had it from calling the police and kept it with him when he got dressed to go to the station. Odd, though, that JP got dressed, took his wallet but not his phone. Did they call attorneys and others on the way to the station and JP took the lead and said he’d handle all that (and thus, the phone?) But why would he leave his wallet behind with Lisa G. Desjardins? And why did he call her? Was he that close to her, or did he think of calling someone mutually close to him and RW. Or did he want her on the scene as a sort of protection, to “prove” that he was a good friend to RW and she could validate that? While looking up “wallet” on this site, I came across this interesting post by BadShoes, who really had great input. Why does JP emphasize he has a “gay” brother? Why does he bring him up so much? I have to say I don’t think his bringing MP up clears MP from anything. If anything I think it’s extraordinarily odd.

                BadShoes on 05/04/2010 at 1:38 PM
                Lots of folks, including the police, have considered whether or not Michael Price may had had a role in this crime. According to Washington Post reporter Paul Duggan, Michael Price’s partner provided an alibi.

                However, one of the many weird aspects of this case was that it appears that the person who first flagged Michael Price to the police may have been–Joe Price. During the recorded portion of his interrogation, Joe Price was never asked about his brother, but he introduced his brother three times:

                In response to a question about Dylan Ward’s medication, he said that Mr. Ward took Lexipro and Wellbutrin. Then he continued (p.34)

                “Look, I got a brother who’s HIV positive, he’s been positive for ten years. He takes Lexipro and Welbutrin.”

                He then went to list other friends who were on the same drugs–the point being, I guess, that there was nothing special about Mr. Ward’s presciptions.

                Later, Joe Price was asked if he was capable of violence (p. 72):

                “No, No. thank god. No. Are you kidding me? My gay brother beat the shit out of me, you know, for however many years. I mean, it was an ongoing family–my younger gay brother, mind you. No, I’m not violent.”

                The point being, I guess, that Joseph Price wasn’t violent, but his brother…

                Finally, in the second section, Joe Price is discussing the behavior of burglers, and he interjects (part 2, p. 21):

                I’m like [indiscernable] is a great guy. He’s a recovering alcoholic, been positive for ten years. Fucked around with all kinds of drugs and has put me through the wringer a few times–and I’m like–you know, would disappear with the car, the TV, you know, literally take his own car and give it to his drug dealer to get drugs, you know. I mean, so I believe that anything is possible like that, but I also believe–I know this from Michael, my brother, you want something to pawn for drugs, you know, whatever it is you need, quick cash, your going to take the stereo and things, something.”

                The police might conclude that that Joe’s brother the (violent) junkie would do anything for drugs when he was using.

                I agree with Bea’s view that it would make no sense for Joe Price to call attention to his brother if Michael Price was actually involved. This argument also applies to the burglary. It would be a pretty high risk move for Joe to accuse Michael of burglary if Michael could convict Joe of murder.

                OTOH, it doesn’t make any sense (to me) for Joe Price to make such a half-hearted effort to throw his brother under the bus if he was uninvolved. If Joe had really wanted to implicate his brother, he could have let slip that Michael had a key–but he didn’t, as far as we know.

                So, I’m baffled. Is Joe Price “just an idiot,” or is he trying to frame his brother, or is it part of a larger “make sure everybody is a suspect” ploy? None of these explanations are really satisfactory.

                • Clio
                  11/27/2010 at 9:19 PM

                  Number three, to me, is most plausible, Susan. IMHO, Joe merely wanted to muddy the waters just enough that both he and Michael would do no jail time, irregardless of what they had actually done (or not done) that night.

                  But, it does speak volumes of Joe as sibling that he would volunteer those damaging details about his “gay brother.” How could one fail so miserably as husband, sibling, son, father, host, and friend — all in one evening? Sickening!

                • Clio
                  11/28/2010 at 2:05 PM

                  Had Michael really ever exchanged his car and/or television set for drugs? Had Michael ever beat up Culuket when they were growing up? Are these revelations about the younger Price self-serving lies, too? Are these unsolicited anecdotes part of a self-aggrandizing family mythology of St. Joe vis-a-vis Bad Mikey?

                • Bruce
                  11/28/2010 at 3:12 PM

                  Hi Susan & Clio:

                  I am so glad you brought up the brother Michael references by Joe in the police interviews.

                  I actually had a WTF moment (I believe I actually said it out loud!) when I first read the interviews of Joe and he made the first reference to his brother. I am sure many others had the same reaction.

                  If I recall correctly, Joe first mentioned his brother in respnse to a very softball and stupid question from the police, as to whether Joe himself was capable of such violence.

                  On second thought, since it prompted the response, maybe it wasn’t such a stupid question at all (get him to talk, get him to talk!)

                  It is SO strange!

                  In my view, it is one of those many clicks off center that just don’t seem to make any sense, in the search for the truth as to the murder.

                  My first reaction was: is he consciously (or maybe not consciously–but that’s an area I am no good in) trying to tell the police that they should investigate his brother as to the night’s events, but as a loyal sibling did not feel that he could come out and say so explicitely, yet made it a part of the record of the interview, which he should have (reasonably) know would be reviewed by many?

                  But, if that is the case, why didn’t he provide more information — even slightly more information — such as respond or volunteer (can’t remember if he was specifically asked about who had keys to the house) that his brother had a key?

                  He would know that the police would likely investigate anyone who had a key.

                  Was Joe’s relationship with Michael so complicated, so Greek tragedy stuff, that it was just natural for him to talk about his mean (beating him up, criminally involved, etc.) brother, when unprompted to do so?

                  I usually go with the presumption that when someone does or says something, they do it for a reason.

                  If so, what good reason is there for there to be any reference at all to Michael in the police interviews, if Michael was not involved in some way with the night’s events, than to simply respond or volunteer that Michael has a key????

                  However, I am also cognizant that we don’t always say things for a reason (or at least for an assumed reason), at least known to us by the latest psychological advances. Humans are pretty complicated!

                  So, in my opinion, the references to Michael by Joe in the police interviews illustrate one of those BIG clicks off center in this case.

                  It is a red flag to me, but I don’t understand what that red flag ultimately means!

                  While I am unable to come up with a clear explanation of it so that I can form any type of reasonable opinion….

                  ….it makes me more open to the suggestion, particularly if some further evidence in this regard can be found, that Michael was involved in some way or knows things we and the MPD and Mrs. Wone’s attorneys do not know.

              • Bea
                11/28/2010 at 5:30 PM

                My guess re the phones is that Joe’s had all the ‘contacts’ who needed to be called, including AF lawyers, and it was handed off most likely so Lisa G could make the calls (doubt he had much trust in Michael’s abilities, just that he was ever-grateful-bro).

                But of course that meant Joe commissioned Victor’s phone since he was more important than Victor. I wonder if Dyl maybe had a Mickey Mouse phone with a GPS device Joe could track him but was only able to dial 5 numbers.

                Why Joe mentioned Michael: 1. I am the upstanding guy from a bad family, a blue collar guy like you, only my bro took the ‘other’ path.

                2. Michael is a much more likely suspect than I am for any crimes, see? He has less to live for than I do, less to risk.

                3. So while I’m giving lip service to him being a good guy, and sober NOW, I’m willing to toss his name out there along with the Black guy in the alley, because I know neither did it.

                4. I didn’t mention Michael having a key because that info is always in my hip pocket even to use with my beloved Dyl and joined at the hip Vic in case there’s something amiss at the house – I can always say ‘mea culpa’ I gave him a key and look what he did. This extends to tricks who are messy or may be thieves. It’s like a secret weapon. And no, I didn’t want the cops to actually think he did anything, was just showing them how good I am.

                • Clio
                  11/28/2010 at 7:55 PM

                  Amen, Bea.

                  Your bullets led me to marvel about the strange dynamics here:

                  (1) Louis and Phelps, gay African American men, are important in Michael’s life, but Joe and Dyl, the caped crusaders for civil rights in Virginia, eagerly point to the Black guy in the alley.

                  (2) Lisa G. must know more than just being there to hold Culuket’s purse. Even if she continues to deny everything, she and Mr. Hixson should be first on Covington’s list to depose.

                  (3)At Anacostia, Joe seemed to be predicting, if not strategizing, the burglary of October 2006 here. I can just see him thinking at the funeral — Wouldn’t it be grand if Michael and an associate could throw the cops off track by a splendid, little break-in while we’re on vacation? You betcha!

                  • Bea
                    11/28/2010 at 9:41 PM

                    So true, Clio. Too bad that Michael and Company are such lousy burglars, what with the trunk full of stolen possessions. And Dylan must not have been properly debriefed when he sought Scott H’s help that day when he “discovered” it. Dang.

                    I still wonder about the treasure trove of digital cameras, still and movie. Perhaps only the memory cards were thrown into the Potomac, but would like to know where the cameras ended up. Joe was blue collar at heart, would he not have at least considered giving away the fancy camera equipment, possibly to Kim and Catherine to capture the boys’ milestones?

                    I would definitely spend some deposition time on those cameras and where they may have gone. Pretty damning evidence for the jury, too, if the cameras were dusted off and ‘gifted’ – or maybe the Trouple just hid them and still use them to this day, only with new memory cards (though the 2006 pixel max has long been outdated).

                  • Bruce
                    11/28/2010 at 10:19 PM


                    So you are suggesting that the 1509 Swann post-murder Burglary by Michael et al, was part of the grand defense strategy, correct?

                    That is interesting, and I don’t think I have read anyone else even suggesting it.

                    I guess my first reaction is much like my reaction to hearing about people afraid of the “black helicopters” who are assured and convinced that absolutely everything is being watched by the U.S. government…

                    …it assumes an extremely all-knowing force out there, almost like a grand computer, highly intelligent, competent, and able to execute complex extremely man-houred strategies with out a hitch.

                    I don’t think that describes our government, and its ability to know everything, and I don’t think it fits our Joe either.

                    But who is to say who is right or wrong on that? A click off or on the center?

                    • Bea
                      11/28/2010 at 10:30 PM

                      This theory was discussed at great length, many times. I’m sure it was part of the reasoning for calling a Grand Jury on the matter – especially since charges were not pursued against Michael despite an open and shut case.

                    • susan
                      11/28/2010 at 11:14 PM


                      Yes to what Bea said. That theory was discussed at length before. Given your interest in the case you and others would benefit greatly by reading older posts. I am still learning thingsand also am reminded of facts and theories that I’ve forgotten.

                • Bruce
                  11/28/2010 at 10:06 PM

                  Hi Bea:

                  I guess if we wanted to be all-inclusive, we might want to add another number to the lists of reasons “Why Joe mentioned Michael,” to the police:

                  5. Joe was tired, upset, and when asked by the police if he himself were capable of violence, the first image/rememberance of violence came to his mind in the form of his having to deal with the violence of his brother, where he was the victim, never the perpetrator. So he spoke of that to the police to give an example of how he was “not into violence.”

                  As I indicated in an earlier post on this subject, I am not a particular proponent of that possibility, and am not especially enamored with it, but would want to consider all the possibilities in coming to a firm opinion, which I am not ready to have yet on that topic.

                  But, I agree that all of your possibilites are in the mix as well.

                  • Bea
                    11/28/2010 at 10:27 PM

                    Actually, Joe raised the violence issue. When asked if Victor or Dylan could have killed Robert, he said no, and went on to describe how they’re not at all violent people. The detective simply asked “are you?” and then Joe went into his diatribe about his brother.

                    To me, read in context, it was yet another tangent he could explore to get the cops off the trail. It had nothing to do with what was discussed.

                    I find it odd that Michael could have ‘beaten up’ (italics) Joe during their childhood or adulthood given that Joe is a much taller guy and was (until the trial) fit. It seems odd that the shorter, then-pudgier, ne’er-do-well could’ve ever stood a chance against Joe – or that he’d have attacked his cash cow.

                    I’m sure Michael will be deposed. Hope Covington’s lit counsel doing depos knows this case half as well as many people on this site.

                  • Bruce
                    11/28/2010 at 10:43 PM

                    To Bea and Clio:

                    Sorry if the theory of Joe orchestrating the burglary as part of his defense plan was discussed at great length on this blog before.

                    Don’t recall it referenced or hinted at since I have been on board, but I need to review the posts prior to that, on the subject.


                    • susan
                      11/28/2010 at 11:17 PM

                      Hi Bruce,

                      Just seeing this. Yes, there is a wealth of info. on this site, facts and theories, etc.

      • Bea
        11/26/2010 at 4:43 PM

        Love D-I-V-O-R-C-E! Me and little J-O-E will go our separate ways? Oh Vic, it will be HE Double L for you, but only for a while.

  3. 11/26/2010 at 3:50 PM

    The WONE family needs all the help it can get since IMHO a judge’s OJ verdict allow the the three muskateers to skate. This web site definitely has been an eye opener. Also, as people became aware of the canadian ken and barbie duo, the drugging 3some sceanario did not seem so far fetch. The DC police imho-that night saw 3 middleclass men with one being an astute attorney in Dupont circle so the breaking in thing may have seemed odd concept given nothing missing but the alternative was like wtf.

    • Clio
      11/27/2010 at 10:03 AM

      As has been noted previously many times, the MPD is used to well-to-do gay men being the victims and not the perpetrators of violent crimes. So, when Culuket did his “victim” pose, it rang true with what they were/are accustomed. The Swann Street Three also, as Deb suggested, benefited from the detectives’ idea of gay equals weak equals quick confessions. Finally, the detectives blamed the real victim early on by insisting that the only reason Robert was there was for a tryst. This focus, coming from outdated notions of straight-gay interactions, blocked more fruitful lines of questioning regarding male rape, a distasteful topic even for the most hardened policeman or woman. And, letting Michael and Phelps go on the “burglary” charges was yet another blunder, predicated on the alleged tenuousness of ties between gay men.

      Thus, a LGBT studies certificate program should be mandatory for all MPD officers: that would obviate any need for Brett’s separate and unequal position. Mayor Gray, given his machine roots, is the least likely person to advocate for that reform, but, perhaps, Spag can redeem himself just a little by securing it. Nixon went to China; Spag can prevent another Wone case from being bungled again!

      • Clio
        11/27/2010 at 11:25 AM

        Other lacunae in the questioning of the Three, of course, concerned Miss Morgan: again, official ignorance of what is vulgarly known as the “fag hag” in urban cultures stymied even early attempts to secure the entire building for clues. To the public, Dyl was just a room mate and Sarah a basement tenant and, even though the detectives knew better (about Dyl, at least, from the first hours), their investigation seemed to assume those inaccurate, if publicly palatable, stances.

        At Anacostia, as has been noted previously, the detectives seemed afraid to go “there”, “there” being the parameters and dynamics of the unconventional Family at 1509 Swann. And, that initial timidity doomed the success of any “active” investigation from succeeding. Once again, better trained questioners of whatever gender are needed to prevent that fiasco from ever happening again: history need not repeat itself here!

        • 11/28/2010 at 12:52 AM

          They will have to learn to go there–especially if you gut says someting ain’t kosher here.

        • Bruce
          11/28/2010 at 8:05 PM

          Public Service Message:

          Our Muse, Clio, says:

          “Other lacunae in the questioning of the Three…”

          plural: la·cu·nae

          1 : a blank space or a missing part
          2 : a discontinuity in an anatomical structure
          -from website

          From Wikipedia:

          Lacuna (manuscripts), a missing section of text

          Lacuna (music), an extended silence in a piece of music

          Lacuna (linguistics), a lexical gap in a language

          Lacuna (law), the lack of a law or legal source addressing a situation

          Lacuna (histology), a small space containing an osteocyte in bone or chondrocyte in cartilage

          Lacuna (comics), a fictional Marvel Comics superhero and associate of X-Statix

          Lacuna model, a tool for unlocking culture differences or missing “gaps” in text

          Lacunar amnesia, in psychology, amnesia about a specific event

          Lacunar stroke (medicine), an occlusion of a small cerebral artery to deep cortical areas.

          Petrovsky lacuna, a region where the fundamental solution of a differential equation vanishes

          Lacuna Media, an independent platform for reportage and photojournalism

          Lacuna Coil, an Italian hard rock/metal band
          A trance group made up of Matthias Wagner and Andreas Dohmeyer.

          Lacuna, Inc., a fictional company in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

          The Lacuna, a 2009 novel by Barbara Kingsolver

          Lacuna, a character in the Xanth series of books by Piers Anthony

          Also, “Lacunae is an anthropomorphic gothic-punk comic set in Melbourne, Australia. Years after the terrible Plague ravaged the land, twisted Changelings lurk amongst the populace, spreading infection and death. Mysticism and art meld into strange new forms, philosophy and prophesy equally vital for surviving the madness that the world has been plunged into.”
          -from website

          And of course, everyone remembers the hit 1963 Annette Funicello record (and subsequent dance): “Do the Lacunae, yeah yeah yeah.”

          Now, please, everyone go out there and use it! And remember: use it or lose it.

          • Clio
            11/28/2010 at 11:20 PM

            Thanks, Bruce, for that unexpected lesson in “lacunae.” Who knew that the relatively obscure word had so many nuanced meanings and uses!

            At any rate, I do suggest (like many others before me) that the “burglary” developed as a deliberate defense strategy over time (between August to October 2006,) beginning probably with Joe’s unsolicited musings about Uncle Michael at Anacostia. Does that intentional, if faux, criminality make Joe seem smart? No, on the contrary, it seemed to compound the irrationality of the whole mess.

            • Bruce
              11/29/2010 at 1:13 AM

              Hi Clio:

              Sorry, just had not thought about that theory before at all. Still working on it.

              It would assume, would it not:

              (1) Joe was able to convince Michael and Phelps to volunteer to be arrested for burglary, in this staged scenario.

              Aren’t most burglaries of this kind felonies, meaning likely jail time if convicted?

              (2) Maybe it is somehow possible that Michael would take that huge sacrifice for sibling bonding (something never really demonstrated by Michael before or after, as far as we know), but Phelps, who has no
              allegience whatsoever to Joe & Co., would take such a big sacrifice, to help Joe & Co. in Joe’s defense plan burglary scheme.

              Isn’t that a few ding dongs past midnight?

              (3) If, somehow, Joe was able to convince Michael of this plan, and they both decided to not tell Phelps that the burglary was being staged, wouldn’t one think that Phelps would sing like a little birdy about this upon being arrested and finding out he was fooled?

              (4) Joe was able to convince Michael and Phelps that he would be able to get them out of the arrests, somehow, or convinced them that the police and prosecutors would forget to file charges in time so that the cases had to be dismissed under that technicality?

              (5) Joe was able to foresee, and/or secure somehow, that the police and prosecutors would fail to press timely charges against Michael and Phelps and the cases would be therefore dismissed.

              (6) Joe, despite or because of his love for Michael, would also determine that the best person to be trusted to competently execute and follow-through on such a staged burglary was his worthless, drug addicted and violent little baby brother?

              (7) That the whole business of the staged burglary was to get the benefit of saying to the police and prosecutors, before anyone was arrested….”you see, it is possible for someone to get in our house unbeknownst to us and do a crime,” when it is clear to everyone on earth that Michael had a key to Swann, and that is how he and Phelps got in to stage a burglary?

              What, exactly, is the true benefit of this staged burglary? I don’t understand it at all. Get the prosecutors and investigators to look at Michael more carefully as a suspect in the murder? Sure, Michael was all over that. Confuse the already confused MPD? Confuse us?

              (8) That for authenticity sake, a number of the items that were stolen in the staged burglary, expensive items that the Swann 3 had, were found in pawn shops to be sold hither nither, as part of the staged burglary plan?

              So that I can get all the info, could someone tell me:

              (1) What was the exact purpose of the staged burglary?

              (2) Who was in on it?

              (3) How Joe could convince Michael and/or Phelps to sacrifice a possible felony with jail time attached to help Joe in his devious plans?

              (4) How Joe was able to foresee the dismissal of the criminal charges.

              If I could get some plausible answers to those questions, I will definitely enter this theory into my computer base.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                11/29/2010 at 9:16 AM

                Maybe Joe thought that he would just “not press charges” against his brother, but it turned out that it wasn’t his choice.

                Maybe his knowledge of criminal charges/MPD procedures failed him.

                • Bruce
                  11/29/2010 at 10:40 AM

                  Hi CD:


                  But even if Joe, a seasoned lawyer (although not a criminal defense one), was that stupid…

                  … would he risk having his loser brother possibly held hostage by the MPD and prosecutors as to information on the Wone murder case, possibly discussing a deal in the burglary case?

                  Under “Press” at top of the blog, there is a Washington Post article (Dec. 6, 2006, by Allison Klein) which says:

                  “Joe Price, a lawyer at a Washington firm and co-owner of the Swann Street house, told police that he had given his brother a key but had not given him permission to enter the house that day or take any items, according to court papers.”

                  Did Joe trust the MPD and his wayward brother enough to allow the MPD and prosecutors to get their mittens on Michael in this scheme, at 3 months or so after the murder?

                  Boy, the risks to the perpetrators seem to really outweigh any benefits as to this staged burglary theory, at least in my opinion.

                  And again, I’m just not understanding the reason for doing this staged burglary.

                  What possible benefit to Joe & Co.?

                  It would seem that one of the lacunae in this theory is an explanation as to why Joe would say what he did as referenced in that Post article.

                  Also a lacuna: If someone has a key and gets into the uninhabited Swann house to do a burglary, isn’t that miles away from the intruder theory Joe & Co. were trying to perpetuate?

                  Seems like that quote from the Washington Post is all the MPD and prosecutors would need from Joe to take Michael to trial for burglary.

                  • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                    11/29/2010 at 1:10 PM

                    Bruce says: “would he risk having his loser brother possibly held hostage by the MPD and prosecutors as to information on the Wone murder case, possibly discussing a deal in the burglary case?”

                    There’s the possibility that Joe murdered someone. What’s a little collateral damage? If he’s cold and calculated enough to stab a friend to death, doyou really think he cares THAT much about his brother. But, I think The Brothers Price are solid as a rock. I got your back/you’ve got mine. Michael would have gotten a slap on the wrist (and he got even less…case was dismissed.)

                    Re why stage a burglery? To prove their house was break-in-able. (Didn’t plan on baby bro getting caught.)

                    • Bruce
                      11/29/2010 at 2:24 PM


                      Ok, but Joe turned his brother in, right?

                      Joe is the reason that Michael got arrested for this “stagedburglary.”

                      And wouldn’t the burglary, if staged, actually necessarily involve a real break-in, rather than the mere turn of a key, if the point was to signify how the house was easilybrokeninto, etc.?

                • AnnaZed
                  11/29/2010 at 11:21 AM

                  My impression of the general consensus in re the burglary (and because I was an early WMRW thought police and lynch mob member my own opinion expressed at the time) is that Joe colluded with Michael to have the place burgled in the period right after Robert’s murder to generally support the idea that Swann street was targeted by burglars and vulnerable to egress by strangers in the minds of the police and public (specifically suspicious former friends). Under this logic neither Joe nor Michael contemplated Michael and his accomplice being caught at all.

                  Now I am reminded that someone who knew Joe told us that he wouldn’t have turned to his brother if he needed help with moving a sofa let alone something of significance. So I have become a little ambivalent about this assessment of the incident and am giving due consideration to the “mother of all relapses” and its inevitable byproducts: bad company, stupidity, mendacity, theft and legal trouble.

      • susan
        11/27/2010 at 2:34 PM

        Clio, I agree re Brett (who I don’t know, but the very fact that there’s one known gay liaison person on the force makes it kind of ridiculous in this city).

        P.S. I think Spag has no incentive to redeem himself in this regard. Why should he? Good $ to be made off of the MPD’s ignorance in this regard. The Gray transition posish is good for his profile but he switched prof. teams to make $.

        • susan
          11/27/2010 at 2:35 PM

          Pls. excuse the double “in this regard” statements. Also, “whom” above.

  4. Rich
    11/27/2010 at 7:31 PM

    There are six more cops in the Gay Liason Unit.

    Brett is no longer In it.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      11/27/2010 at 11:53 PM

      are they gay?

      • susan
        11/28/2010 at 1:05 AM

        Hi CD,

        Here’s the link to the staff of the unit. Brett is still listed:

        • Clio
          11/28/2010 at 1:07 PM

          This unit seems especially well-staffed, Susan. Why couldn’t have Officers Spangler and Johnson done the Anacostia dialogues instead of the bumbling (and shopworn) Wagner and Norris? At the very least, the visuals would have been better!

          From his official bio, Brett appears to be well-regarded and a pioneer in improving police knowledge of LGBT cultures: why then did he seem to cover for the defense initially?

          • Rich
            11/28/2010 at 1:15 PM

            Not exactly, “Well Regarded.”

            Just very good at promoting and marketing himself.

            There isn’t a photo op he didn’t like.

            • Clio
              11/28/2010 at 2:55 PM

              Yet, according to the bio, “Brett is nationally recognized as a resource for investigations involving crimes by, and against the GLBT communities. He believes strongly in the GLLU slogan, “We are in the community for you,” and demands the GLLU venture to events, activities and locations traditionally foreign and/or taboo to police officers. Brett built a staff, which represents the GLBT and greater community spectrum, utilizing the talents of sworn and civilian volunteers from throughout the Metropolitan Police Department and the GLBT communities. In recognition of this unique work, the GLLU was named the winner of the 2006 Innovations in American Government Award, by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government – Ashe Institute.”

              So, just like awards maven Glenn Kirschner, Brett is much more hat than cattle, eh?

              That above slogan, I must say, is somewhat confusing and limiting: “we are in the community for you.” So, “we” refers to the six or so in this “special” unit, and “you” means LGBT exclusively. And, “community,” of course, is defined by the audience. Talk about counterproductive Balkanization: even the tower of Babel had more coherence!

          • susan
            11/28/2010 at 3:02 PM

            Hey Clio,

            In a way, I think DC is a small community. And remember, Macubbin of Lambda Rising knew the Trouple and said JP and VZ were kind of known around the community. It would not surprise me in the least if Brett knew them or was friends/acquaintances with them.

            • Clio
              11/28/2010 at 3:19 PM

              That’s what I had thought, too, Susan. The big question then is: did Brett’s potential acquaintance with the core couple (or with, at least, their overblown reputation as gay rights royalty) sway the “active” investigation in any particular way, from then to now?

              Other questions: Or, was Brett just window dressing for homophobic colleagues bent on getting their man? Or, did he help the MPD’s in-house BDSM expert to decode the contents of Dyl’s collection or to translate unclear passages and obscure references (to Crisco, maybe?) in the greeting cards?

              • Bruce
                11/28/2010 at 3:29 PM

                Ha. Clio.

                “…MPD’s in-house BDSM expert…”

                Thanks for my first good laugh of the day.

                Wonder what qualifications are required for such a position with the police, how the MPD announced the position, how one who obtains this coveted position explains it to family, etc., and how many interviews they did to find the right man for the job.

                Carry On!

  5. Rich
    11/28/2010 at 12:48 AM

    I was going to mention it earlier but I was on the Staten Island Ferry using my I Phone and it was problematic. I’m home now. (Probably deleted for being Off Topic). 🙂

    The make up of the unit has changed over the past 10 years. At times, it was entirely GAY and now it’s mixed. There are in upwards of 10 oficers on the force now. (Gay Unit)

    Brett is no longer in the unit. He has been elevated to the Lanier’s office (They were former partners) and oversees all, “Special Sections,” for the police which includes the Gay Unit. He also works with the Deaf Community, Asians and Latinos.

    Brett is now a Lieutenant.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      11/28/2010 at 10:27 AM

      Rich says: “They were former partners”

      Rich, the bio says they “worked together.” Is that your assumption that they were partners, or do you have something to back it up?

  6. Rich
    11/28/2010 at 11:20 AM

    Just information that has been lying around for local connected folks to know.

    I believe the partnership goes back to the mid 90’s. I could be wrong, but, I do not think so.

    If I remember correctly. that was one reason I thought Brett was promotoed. Lanier was made Chief in January 2007 and shortly thereafter, Brett was elevated. Clearly due to a relationship with Lanier and not necessarily competance.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      11/28/2010 at 1:15 PM

      interesting. thanks for that tidbit, Rich.

  7. susan
    11/28/2010 at 3:07 PM

    BTW, for those in the area, there is a great Norman Rockwell exhibit through January (I think) at the Museum of American Art in DC. I recommend it to whoever murdered Robert Wone and whoever seeks justice in this case. Many of the pictures in this collection from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas show what it means to really be family, to be charitable and kind to others, to give without expecting anything in return, to do the right thing. It really is a moving exhibit and shows a lot of the better nature of human beings.

    • Clio
      11/28/2010 at 3:46 PM

      Thanks, Susan, for the tip. Great art both educates and inspires, and, even though Rockwell was dismissed as just an illustrator during the era of abstract expressionism, his reputation has soared recently, thanks in part to people’s need to see something real and optimistic during our two world wars and one Great Recession.

      For a much less sunny tableaux, of course, I do wonder how Rockwell or any other artist could capture the familial tensions at the backyard burnt steak fest, on the eve of Robert’s murder. Or, conversely, IMHO, the friends and “family” listening to Mr. Price holding court at Cosi’s would also provide interesting material for an adventuresome and suggestive print.

      • susan
        11/28/2010 at 8:34 PM

        Hey Clio,

        My take is that Rockwell’s heart and art would be with the victims, just like in the heartbreaking “The Problem We All Live With.” Can’t help but cry whenever I see that pic. Recommend people Google it. Just like this case, and the pain of this injustice, this crime is a problem we all live with and will live with until it’s solved. One life wrongfully taken and so many lives affected and so much right set off balance.

        • Bill 2
          11/30/2010 at 8:52 PM

          Thanks, Susan, for the reminder to Google “The Problem We All Live With.” I’ve seen it many times and felt the powerful emotion but didn’t know the title.

          When I first worked in DC, the office was near the National Gallery and I would spend many lunch hours there. While I enjoyed the art, it never reached out to grab my emotions the way Norman Rockwell’s work can create intense feelings. (Off topic, I know, but we all experience strong emotions regarding good and evil or we wouldn’t be here.)

          • susan
            11/30/2010 at 10:51 PM

            Thanks for sharing that, Bill2. You were fortunate to work so near the downtown galleries.

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