Gray Days

Rhee’s out, Lanier’s in…and Still Working on the Wone Case.   Ask her for help this week.

Newly installed mayor Vincent Gray got a somewhat incongruous inaugural gift this week from the man he’s replacing.  Namely: Washington’s homicide rate for 2010 hit its lowest point in four decades.

Here’s the numbers reported by the Washington Times: 131 people were reported killed last year, marking a 9-percent decline from 143 in 2009.  By that raw measure, DC had its lowest overall number of homicides since 1964.  (Considering, however, that 1960’s population of 760,000+ was significantly larger than 2010’s population of 580,000+, the homicide rate was still higher than for that year.)

Moreover, the DC MPD reports they closed 79 percent of homicide cases in 2010, showing a continued improvement over the last several years and a rate well above the national average.

Too bad the Wone case can’t be counted in those stats…yet.  But could 2011 bring a break in the case?  And might Cathy Lanier hold the solution?  That, after the jump.  In an interview with the Washington Times, Lanier cites three factors for the improving conditions: greater trust between MPD and the community, more investments in technology, and better gang intelligence.

These are all sensible; for example there’s little doubt that better gang intel would push up the closure rate, if not actual homicides.  But for the purposes of this one case, it seems this would have no impact.  Better technologies – like ShotSpotter and more street cameras – could have definitely helped solve cases by alerting MPD units where to investigate, or who to track; but again have limited applicability here.

The first factor – community relations – remains the most fertile area for creating a break in Robert’s murder…and sadly the one that seems to have most languished.

Publicly, Chief Lanier has expressed what seems a sincere desire to solve this case.  Privately, a number of MPD officials we’ve spoken with have gone further, expressing genuine anger.   It’s true it’s been mismanaged – from errors committed on scene with evidence to clerical mistakes (at best) at the Medical Examiner’s office to the MPD’s inattention to beating the bushes to name a few.   It’s not surprising the case remains cold, but it certainly isn’t for a lack of desire.

Community relations are tricky.  There are good reasons why some in the DC LGBT communities might not trust the MPD; look no harder than Joe and Victor’s VCB questioning and Det.         “Come to Jesus” moment.   Despite DC’s status as one of the gayest cities in America, the MPD has had a checkered history dealing with us.

But relations run both ways, and there is disappointment among some in the MPD and USAO that the community, by-and-large, hasn’t offered as much attention or assistance to this case as possible.  Granted, if there were a list of people one wishes were more communicative it would start with Joe, Dylan and Victor.  But much further down may be someone in this town who knows – or suspects – more than they’re saying.

Gray’s tenure signals that Cathy Lanier will remain in her job for at least the foreseeable future.  That will be good news for the Wone family only if Chief Lanier continues to reach out for something to break this case.

And this week, you have a chance to help that outreach.  Chief Lanier will be the guest this Thursday on WTOP’s “Ask the…” program.  You can call live starting at 10am at 1-877-336-1035, or go to the website now and submit a question by email.

Will she reach out to DC for new help?  Wil you urge her to reach out to the Vidocq Society?  Here’s your chance to ask.

54 comments for “Gray Days

  1. mw
    01/05/2011 at 10:38 AM

    I hope people here particpate in the Thursday program – I’ll try if I can get a break from work.

    I’m not sure I buy that MPD is so serious to solve this case, but they can at least hear that so many of us wish they were.

  2. Clio
    01/05/2011 at 11:39 PM

    An aging population naturally means a lowered crime rate. So, there may be little correlation between MPD changes and the crime rate.

    Gang intelligence could pertain, however, to learning the parameters of Washington’s lavender or velvet mafia. Congressional aides, beware!! Better technology could, thus, pertain to the use and misuse of Ashley’s reagent. How could the MPD be that dumb?

    Community relations with LGBTQ peoples are predicated upon learning about (and respecting) the various LGBTQ communities. There is no indication here that the Chief and her detectives are willing to climb that learning curve.

  3. Rich
    01/06/2011 at 10:19 AM

    The first question out the Lanier interview was from Carol and she asked about another homicide after referencing Chandra Levy and Jonathan Shields, I think. Carol wanted to know about the Chiquita Bell case. Lanier was familiar with the case and did not want to provide detail. Lanier wanted carol to stay on the line and they would talk privately.

    They spoke of 2-4 more cases of DC fame, but, no Robert Wone as of 10:20am.

    More Soon.

  4. Rich
    01/06/2011 at 10:47 AM

    10:48am
    I cannot believe I did this.

    I was on hold to talk to Lanier about the case.

    The station was a bit reluctant to allow me to proceed because they thought the subject matter was too controversial.

    I overcame a lot of objections and was approved.

    Maybe there were other callers and they succumbed to the interrogation from WTOP.

  5. Rich
    01/06/2011 at 10:54 AM

    11:54am

    Stunning!

    The Chief took my call.
    She said, she was limited with what she could say.
    In my call, I shared that I believed the civil case would empower the criminal case and that new information would unfold to support her pursual. (Is that a word?)
    She seemed to place the entire matter on the US Attorney’s Office.
    She said, she agrees with me on the civil case, I think, but, that there was loads of work done on the case and an enormous amount of evidence that was reviewed but that she had to, “DEFER,” to the US Attorney to go any further.
    Back to a full life. Way too much going on during the call and getting this out along with loads of calls on hold and emails to respond and docs disappearing on my desktop.
    (Right, Off Topic!)

    • denton
      01/06/2011 at 1:58 PM

      MPD has been investigating the case because it has “probable cause” but the U.S. Attorney’s office has a bigger job to prove beyond reasonable doubts to bring the charges against the defendants.

      You need an iTunes to listen to the Chief. Warning: it is a long series of questions to get to Rich’s question.

      http://www.wtop.com/?sid=611201&nid=524

      • Rich
        01/06/2011 at 3:13 PM

        Denton:

        Wow!

        I’m scared.

        Didn’t know you could do that.

        Give or take 45 minutes to get to me and my question. On hold for 25 minutes on hold Now, our legal beagles on this site and compare the actual questions asked and answered prior to me and confirm if my notes on WMRW were accurate.

        Now, everyone can hear how inarticulate I was. I had way too much going on at the moment. Emails, phone calls, documents. Too much.

        I wasn’t even listening to myself which is why I was getting caught up on, “Terms of Art.”

        I’m sure some the hanger on’ers here will voice concern about my presentation of the Robert Wone case. I was just dumping and running. Not at all concerned about appearances or posture.

        Hopefully, I was on message and accurate. We’ll see. I’m sure, I’ll hear from youse folks.

        The one positive is that I concluded with asking for, “Next Steps.” I closed her. She dodged.

        Gee, Denton, here we are swapping postings about WTOP and folks here think we dine daily. Wouldn’t you have just called me?

        • denton
          01/06/2011 at 3:57 PM

          Rich – Despite the long delays on so many issues that the Chief had to cover this morning, Chief Lanier took an interest to answer to a case in point. As the Chief has mentioned that she has limited answers to the question (I am sure she is observing the MPDC instructions and procedures), hence the U.S. Attorney’s office, in my opinion, probably knows better in what goes on to the case as it has been working with the MPDC since the beginning – unless new evidences lead to MPDC to go public!

        • AnnaZed
          01/06/2011 at 5:05 PM

          Rich ~ bravo, well and bravely done. I would have been a stuttering mess if I ever got her on the line on a radio show. You did great, again bravo!

  6. boofoc
    01/06/2011 at 4:54 PM

    Rich: Just heard the replay of your conversation with the police chief (thanks to denton’s posting); you were fanfukintastic. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to represent all of us presnting the problem to her. However, the chief said nothing in response to your valid question, nadda, nilch, nothing. The only thing that can be said: she was courteous. True, the prosecutors’ handling of Robert’s murder trial was about as inept as could have been imagined, but the initial police investigation was grossly mishandled leaving the prosecutors considerably hamstrung. Enough blame to go all around.

  7. Rich
    01/06/2011 at 5:15 PM

    Stunning. Again.

    A positive response.

    Thank you, ladies.

    Frankly, like with most homicide cases, Lanier is unwilling to talk. Period.

    I certainly understand if the case is currently being investigated and it’s hot.

    Robert Wone is a cold case. She can talk.

    She’s just unwilling to take any responsibility.

    Remember, she was not appointed until 2006 and by then the case had already taken its fall.

    Lanier is actually quite compelling and kind. But, she is one tough broad.

    Very resilient.

    Most folks do not know, but, she is a junior high school dropout and an unwed mother at the age of 15.

    • denton
      01/06/2011 at 6:26 PM

      … a cool, tough, chick (sorry Chief, I admire you)!

      http://www.iwlchi.org/2008/bios/Cathy_Lanier.html

    • Craig
      01/06/2011 at 11:52 PM

      Thanks for the time and effort on this. We got caught up and couldn’t listen or dial in. I’ll give the stream a listen to in the morning.

      • Rich
        01/07/2011 at 12:31 AM

        Advance it 45 minutes to get the Wone case.

  8. Clio
    01/06/2011 at 9:18 PM

    It does take a woman (of whatever gender) to get anything done, but, regarding this matter, the Chief has had more than enough time to go beyond sound bites and polite boilerplate. This case suddenly seems colder than Heidi Montag Pratt’s singing career.

  9. Bea
    01/06/2011 at 9:37 PM

    Rich, congrats for getting through. Perseverance pays – if only the good Chief could see that.

  10. mw
    01/07/2011 at 12:16 PM

    Great job Rich

    The thing about police work and prosecution is that there’s always something else to work on – so it’s really easy to let the harder cases go. That’s what’s happened here.

  11. NYer
    01/07/2011 at 4:32 PM

    So now the question is: Who exactly can DC citizens contact to request help from the Vidocq Society? Although I didn’t listen to the call, I presume Rich had brought this question up, and that Lanier had passed the buck, saying its all in the USAO hands.

    What should be done now?

    • denton
      01/07/2011 at 5:44 PM

      NYer – TBDJustice has contacted VS and the answer was (see the link below) “Wone case might not fit criteria for investigation,” said Vidocq Society case manager. ?!? Wow!

      “We’re booked up until the same time next year,” Bornhofen (Frederick A. Bornhofen, V.S.M., The Society’s Chairman of the Board and Case Management Director) says. “So we’re not taking any new cases, to tell them the truth … it’s just that we have so much work, we don’t know what to do with it all.”

      http://www.tbd.com/blogs/tbd-justice/2010/12/vidocq-society-speaks-tbd-remains-obsessed-6571.html

      • susan
        01/07/2011 at 8:39 PM

        Thanks for posting that, denton. It doesn’t rule out Vidocq. Only rules it out while the investigation is active. It will remain a possible option, if necessary. So, whoever mrw should keep that in mind, should he/she/they read/have read that article.

        • denton
          01/07/2011 at 9:05 PM

          Precisely, Susan.

          “If they’re still actively investigating it, it’s not a cold case. The society also isn’t available to take new cases right now, even if Wone’s 2006 death qualified,” said Bornhofen.

          I suppose the Society, too, is also “overloaded.”

  12. denton
    01/07/2011 at 9:12 PM

    Seems to me that all roads lead to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the new Judge, AND guess who? – the “Jury.”

    • Clio
      01/08/2011 at 7:37 PM

      What kinds of people tend to serve as jurors in DC civil trials?
      Public servants with a lot of sick leave? Elderly mavericks with set opinions? Young, idealistic students who believe in the System? I wonder what kinds of people who Culuket would prefer. Hmmm.

      • denton
        01/08/2011 at 9:29 PM

        Clio – People from all walks of life, like you/me, are randomly summoned every (approx.) two (2) years to a “Voir Dire” to serve the D.C. Superior (Civil and Criminal) Courts. I have no knowledge about Virginia or Maryland, or any other jurisdictions but D.C.

        Inbetween your 2 years rest (you are lucky if you get a letter in the mail at exact same months two years ago), you may be summoned to serve the U.S. District Courts on Federal, but not on Bankruptcy, cases.

        Culuket probably prefers a male juror who is young, good looking, clean cut, no beard, blond, and wearing a pair of white tennis shoes! But his attorneys probably want someone who won’t “distract” the court’s attention, and, of course, the Judge.

        • susan
          01/08/2011 at 10:18 PM

          I don’t think these guys will want a trial. I would imagine they’d want to settle, if that option were available. Even without the crime, they don’t come across as the most sympathetic characters as a group/trouple. The cheating, the bondage and interest in torture, the eyecandy biz, JP’s brother, the brother’s friends, the convictions, etc. Are you feeling sympathetic at the outset? Because some of that will likely come out, even if some of it ends up being overruled as relevant and the jurors will hear it.

          • denton
            01/08/2011 at 10:31 PM

            Susan – When the Mediation takes place on June, 14, 2011, we probably have better ideas of which direction the Trial, or no Trial, is heading.

            Meanwhile, where are Cat, Bruce, Bea, Hoya, Rich, Eds. CDC, AZ (not in particular order) and did I miss anyone elses?

            • Rich
              01/08/2011 at 11:13 PM

              In and Out, Denton.

              But, always there! 🙂

              • denton
                01/09/2011 at 10:59 AM

                … or sometimes just “vanish!” Thanks, Rich. Sure the Jury pool will make up of (I am guessing) one to three gay men/women out of twelve (plus two alternates).

                Susan – I would guess (again) that, perhaps, one or two has S&M practice (I hope both plaintiff and defendant’s lawyers would ask them that question during the “Voir Dire”). Can they? Or, can’t they.

                Clio – Our In-house counsels (who have been resting since Thanksgiving and haven’t checked in with us yet) probably can fill us in re: their takes on what types of jurors they are expecting. Knock…knock…counsels!

                CDC – Check!

                les – You are so brave to spill the beans! It is something that few Asians would discuss because it is the “thing” that they don’t talk about. Not to offend Robert, Kathy, his/her families but there are times that the “dark secret” has to come out from the closet … like admiting that you are (fill in the blank).

                But that doesn’t mean we know all about Robert and his “things.” WE DON’T! I just think that les is brave to write this.

            • CDinDC (boycott BP)
              01/08/2011 at 11:54 PM

              ::raising hand:: here 😀

        • Clio
          01/09/2011 at 1:40 PM

          Will contemporary “friends of Dorothy” be sympathetic to Culuket, though? Even (and especially) on trivial matters, gay men tend to be their own harshest critics. Perhaps, IMHO, a jury of Sarah Morgans and Aunt Marcias would be best for the defense, which is stuck with such unsavory electronic signposts as the personal and business advertisements.

          • Bill Orange
            01/09/2011 at 1:56 PM

            I’m with Clio here. I think the ideal juror is going to be a heterosexual woman under the age of about 50 who has a lot of a gay male friends and who doesn’t ask (and really doesn’t want to know) what happens after she leaves the party. That’s just about the only sort of person that will be both sympathetic to and unthreatened by these defendants. They’re going to want to avoid anyone who’s gay, lesbian, or in the BDSM community, because everyone in those groups is going to tell you that no matter what you get off on, it shouldn’t involve someone getting stabbed to death in the guest bedroom.

            • denton
              01/09/2011 at 9:35 PM

              The Jury pool will be a big issue to discuss until October 2011.

              Eventhough I said earlier (from my wild guess) that there might be at least one up to three gay men/women (among them is at least one who has S&M practice, or whatever background that will benefit the case) out of twelve jurors (plus two alternates), I still am keeping my eyes/ears open for debate.

              If a case is about a hispanic, black, asian, foreign language, any types of “alien” or “minority” involvement, I would imagine lawyers from both sides probably would like at least one up to three (no more than three) jurors who would at least “comprehend” the “essence” of that particular subject/language in the courtroom.

              I wish to hear more about this.

          • Rich
            01/09/2011 at 2:05 PM

            Yes, Clio, some gay folks are recoiling in horror over this case, as it reflects negatively on the community as a whole.

            But, they are also accustomed to being minorities and the Swann 3 definitley qualify as a minority.

            We’ll see.

  13. les
    01/08/2011 at 11:38 PM

    I think it was a S&M play accident (so there was no ‘sexual assault’), and they (doesn’t matter who, they’re all involved) stabbed him and staged a fake crime scene to cover up what actually happened (that two or three of them were sexually involved with Wone, probably unintentionally drugging him to death as part of their sex play like someone else theorized). This could be Wone’s first or second or third, etc, gay encounter with them or anyone else, but that’s irrelevant, and Wone’s sexual orientation or behavior prior to his visiting his friend is irrelevant. You don’t have to be a porn viewer to be bisexual or gay or straight (I’m referring to someone who stated that: if Wone was gay/bisexual there would have been clues found in his computer and etc). Asians tend to be very traditional and strict about these things, so if he was a closeted bisexual he’d have been extremely careful, I do think he’s also been faithful to his wife, until her double hip replacement surgery, and then the lack of sex probably drove him to seek it somewhere else, or maybe the build up of sexual tension made him finally release his sexual urges with those guys, who I’m sure atleast 2 of them made a pass at him, ok, and EVEN IF he didn’t come over intending to have sex with them, it’s possible he could’ve have changed his mind.

    Back to the case, I don’t believe there was any intention of murder. It doesn’t make sense. So again I say it’s very possible that Wone was a closeted bisexual. The three guys stabbed him (after he was already dead) to sort of protect his good name and theirs (that’s what Wone would have wanted them to do rather than the true nature of his death get revealed to the whole world, it is none of our business anyway). Can you imagine if the actual truth was splashed all over the news…imagine how devastated Wone’s family would be. The three guys would also be seen as freaks, outcasts, and societal trash…and these guys, atleast 3 of them, are successful men with sound careers, good reputations and a large circle of friends and family, joe and victor telling the truth would mean risking losing their careers, friends, families, and etc…they even have a kid for God’s sake! dylan’s the dumb schmuck who went along in their cover up, probably did most of the manual work, but J Price seems to have been the brains behind it (he is a lawyer after all)…if anyone’s going to eventually crack, I believe Dylan would be the first one.

    • Rich
      01/09/2011 at 10:04 AM

      “ …if anyone’s going to eventually crack, I believe Dylan would be the first one.”

      I’m not so sure, Les.

      Some of your theories, I can see.

      But, if anyone was to, “Crack,” I would think it would be Victor. He seemed the least involved with the least motivation. Frankly, I was certain he would choke at the end of the criminal trial shortly, very shortly, before the verdict.

      “…probably unintentionally drugging him to death as part of their sex play like someone else theorized.” It was my theory, but, I’m confident over time, dozens others joined in on the same thought process. I tend to forget what someone says within seconds the comment, yet, alone over two plus years. Don’t think the theory is unique.

      “…that’s what Wone would have wanted them to do rather than the true nature of his death get revealed to the whole world.” Often thought about that one in the past.

      JP the Brains? Count on it.

    • Hoya Loya
      01/09/2011 at 11:17 AM

      Les:

      With due respect, I cannot agree for the reasons set forth here: http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2010/02/26/consenting-adults/

      All medical experts at the criminal trial agree Robert died from his stab wounds which led to cardiac tamponade, not from an overdose or other S&M accident. So even if we accept your theory, the person who stabbed him killed him, regardless of intent.

      I have pointed out repeatedly that whoever stabbed Robert forcefully through the sternum had to mean it — there had to be some serious animosity there.

    • Hoya Loya
      01/09/2011 at 11:24 AM

      And I should add, given the foregoing, I certainly cannot agree with this, IMHO, outrageous statement:

      “The three guys stabbed him (after he was already dead) to sort of protect his good name and theirs (that’s what Wone would have wanted them to do rather than the true nature of his death get revealed to the whole world, it is none of our business anyway).”

      No way was this a chivalrous or altruistic act if your scenario is true — it was cowardly.

      • Clio
        01/09/2011 at 1:25 PM

        I agree, Hoya. To suggest Robert would have wanted to die rather than to have Joe or Dyl exposed as rapists or BDSM extremists and/or to have himself exposed as their semi-willing trick is beyond absurdity. And, for their first explorations on the wild side, closet bisexuals do not bang long-time friends who know their wife AND who have the kinky tastes of the Brothers Price. Just sayin’, again.

    • Clio
      01/09/2011 at 2:33 PM

      Les, how many S & M play “accidents” happen per annum in metropolitan Washington? How many of them are fatal?

      And, if it were an “accident,” wouldn’t Messrs. Equality Virginia be man enough and, thus, be open, out and proud enough to put that explanation forward rather than the BS of the intruder theory? I do not see Culuket and Sparkly Cat going down (not literally here, of course!) to uphold someone else’s posthumous closet.

    • Nelly
      01/10/2011 at 9:44 PM

      Lordy, here we go again. They staged a stabbing murder to protect everyone’s good name?! I don’t think so. Somehow, I think owning up to a friend’s accidental drug death would be a much lesser evil than stabbing him and staging an intruder-murder scenario. Besides, the medical evidence showed that Wone died from stab wounds and he was still alive for some time after being stabbed. What I believe is that he gained some consciousness during an assault, and the guys freaked out and stabbed him.

      • susan
        01/10/2011 at 10:01 PM

        Nelly,

        After reading what you wrote I thought back to that knife set that was a gift to LD from his mother. By all accts she gave honest testimony, yet it still seems a bit unbelievable to think she’d give an imcomplete knife set to her son upon his graduation and keep two of the same knives in her utensil drawer at home. It just seems odd.

        • AnnaZed
          01/10/2011 at 10:22 PM

          “It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.” ~ H. L. Mencken

          • susan
            01/10/2011 at 11:09 PM

            It gets more confusing when you know you’d never be in his place in the first place, or if you were (in the second place), you couldn’t keep from telling the truth.
            ~Not H. L. Mencken (!)

            • AnnaZed
              01/10/2011 at 11:21 PM

              Ack, well maybe I have that wrong, but my drift is that Lady Ward was lying through her orthodonture.

              • susan
                01/10/2011 at 11:32 PM

                You prob. have that right. Time, or the MPD, or maybe VZ, or the Vidocq Society will someday tell, let us hope.

      • mw
        01/11/2011 at 11:04 AM

        Agreed, but I also don’t educated people think they’re going to get away with assaulting people for fun. (as in, maybe they could get aquitted, but they’re not going to be able to keep their jobs, way of life.) How is Wone not going to know he was sexually assaulted when he wakes up?

        • AnnaZed
          01/11/2011 at 11:54 AM

          I think that it is the fact that this assault was on a man that perplexes and ultimately stymies so many people. It is important to remind oneself that sexual assault by men against women and girls is so common that it occurs to hundreds of women and girls every hour of every day. Men and boys too are sexually assaulted by men (and women actually) all of the time. These crimes are not confined to some amorphous “uneducated” class of people; they happen at every level of society all of the time. One thing that rapists and sexual predators absolutely count on is that shame, shock and wounded dignity cause a very large percentage of victims to not report these crimes to authorities or even to tell anyone about what has occurred. Everyone knows this, you just aren’t accustomed to thinking about it in male on male terms; get over it.

    • Bea
      01/11/2011 at 4:01 PM

      Les, I hate to pile-on but I really doubt that Robert would have preferred to be stabbed to death to cover up having sex with men. Nor do I think it’s a remote possibility that the murderer was thinking of Robert’s wishes when he killed him – he killed him either for his own gratification or to cover up a sexual assault.

      As for Dylan being the first to crack – maybe. But I suspect that Daddy and Mommy’s expenditures to protect him by way of legal defense suggests more that he was complicit. If he was the accessory-after-the-fact, my gut says he’d have turned prosecution witness long ago. He already had one foot out the door on the relationship and from what I can gather (granted, based on 3rd party comments and my own reading) he was unlikely to extend himself for others.

      Much as Victor has thoroughly disappointed me (and others) for years now, I still see him as the most likely to come forward of the three. Perhaps Joe will do something he just can’t take (though the threshold for what is ‘too much’ for Victor to put up with is beyond understanding).

      I think that the best possibility of ‘new’ evidence by way of someone coming forward will come not from the three defendants but from a person in the inner circle, someone who’s been willing to give them all every benefit of the doubt. Possibly one defendant will drink too much and say something, maybe they will have an ah-ha! moment – who knows? But someone who knows them well must have integrity and a conscience. I’ve met and spoken with one of the inner circle and this person comes across as a decent person – albeit one who has drunk the Kool-Aid and asked for more. But something could still strike one of the inner circle, something they can’t live with.

      Here is to truth and justice in ’11.

      • denton
        01/11/2011 at 8:46 PM

        Also, Bea, with the new Judge (Rankin) and his solid track record in criminal and special operations, one probably can expect to see a twist of fate – if not “early settlements.” Me think.

      • Clio
        01/11/2011 at 9:52 PM

        What would be a bridge too far for Victor? Having to move in with Michael? Joe sleeping with a biological woman? Losing yet another girlfriend over this mess?

        • Bea
          01/12/2011 at 6:32 PM

          Well said, Clio. In my mind, Victor clung to the only thing that was his alone: the title. He was the official Mrs. Joe Price, damn it, and had papers to prove it. Not the subject of Joe’s desire, nor the love of Joe’s life, but he was squired to all the firm functions and got the nod in Joe’s W&M Alumni video. The co-fatherhood went nicely with the concocted public persona.

          But at one point, he must’ve held Joe’s attention, was the center of Joe’s affections – did he let go without kicking and screaming? My guess is that he kicked and screamed (and threw a big hissy) but knew that he was losing. Perhaps that was what broke Victor once and for all – allowing the mistress to come inside, be relegated to the Official Purpose wife position while the mistress got all the fun an attention.

          Maybe after that, one doesn’t recover. I see Victor on the ground, feeling around for the crumbs that may have fallen.

          Will Joe ever push him too far? Only if the title goes. And Joe is too smart for that.

          • Jeana
            01/12/2011 at 9:20 PM

            While I agree with both of you as to your theory of the relationship at the time of the murder, I still wonder whether Joe maintains the same hold over Victor at present. Sure, the ‘title’ was important when Joe’s star was rising – good-looking, young, ladder-climbing lawyer, newly minted partner, respected equal rights advocate. But now all the secrets are out and the star has plummeted. What’s the value of the title now?

          • CDinDC (boycott BP)
            01/12/2011 at 10:57 PM

            Maybe an FOIA request will uncover that a dissolution has been recorded. You never know. There is no evidence that they are living together. Victor has representation that is in the Baltimore area. There are myriad reputable law firms in the DC area. Why go out there, unless that represents the physical separation of Joe and Vactress.

            • Bea
              01/13/2011 at 2:21 AM

              CD, my guess is that the insurance company picked the attorney.

              I hope that Victor has refused to play Joe’s fool any longer (between the Union Station make-out session and the public humiliations from trial about Sparkly Cat being the love of Joe’s life) and has kicked Joe to the curb. I’d even like it if Joe broke up with Victor – anything to reunite Victor with his conscience. But if that were true, and if Victor’s shredded value system is capable of reconstituting, we’d likely be seeing some serious advancement of the criminal case.

              I hope Kathy Wone’s lawyers make clear to Victor (through counsel, of course) that the civil case would be shelved if Robert’s murderer(s) were brought to justice in a criminal court through Victor’s cooperation (purely speculative on my part).

              Jeana, I think Victor must still be hanging on to the title (assuming no break-up) even now that Joe has fallen from grace and lost his social standing. I think Victor is madly in love with Joe (or believes himself to be) and has been willing to give up his own career and social standing because of that blind devotion. The title (Official Domestic Partner, Joe Price’s Husband) has for a long while been all that remained for Victor. I don’t know many people who’d put up with the live-in mistress or the ‘love of my life’ declaration, but if Joe is still philandering (Union Station incident) on top of all the rest, what else does Victor have?

              (Personal aside: does Victor NOT have any good friends willing to haul his ass? Family? Or does Joe charm/scare them away?)

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