Closing Arguments

Long, Strange Trip

We’re going to take the next few days to share a few thoughts about the last two and a half years. Word of the final settlement came six weeks after we first broke the news that a deal was in the works.

We’ll have an update on what Price, Ward and Zaborsky are up to in Florida as well as a report on what may be end up being the final chapter of last summer’s criminal case – a conference next week organized by an association of court public information officers that will feature a panel discussion on blogging trials.

Sharing the dais with us will be Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz. Until then, perhaps the final document we post after the jump – the statements released yesterday from Covington and Mrs. Wone.

124 comments for “Closing Arguments

  1. 08/04/2011 at 11:40 AM

    As I pointed out in my guest post ( just over a year ago, what fascinated me most about the criminal case was the throuple’s apparent success at variation on the classic prisoner’s dilemma. If, as seems likely, all three played some role in the murder or coverup, there was a tremendous incentive to defect from the 3-way code of silence in exchange for immunity or at least lenient treatment. Yet none did.

    One possible explanation for this behavior was the risk of bankrupting civil liability — prosecutors have no power to protect a cooperating defendant from lawsuits. With that incentive now removed and no statute of limitations for homicide, I’ll be interested to see how long the silence can persist. In particular, if it turns out one or two of the throuple participated in the coverup but not the murder, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see that person “flip” in the near future.

    • mw
      08/04/2011 at 12:07 PM

      Any “flipping” would require some kind of prosecution, or at least an active investigation, and we don’t have either. These guys have learned that sticking together is the best way to avoid criminal responsibility for their actions, I don’t see any reason they would stop doing so. I mean, they wouldn’t talk even when there were charged with serious crimes, at this point, they’d have to intitiate any immunity discussions with law enforcement and prosecutors, and that’s just not going to happen.

      • 08/04/2011 at 12:46 PM

        The investigation is indeed inactive, but you can be sure it would become very active very quickly if one of the three walked into the U.S. Attorney’s office with his lawyer and said “we need to talk.”

        Why would he do that? Anger at the others, maybe, especially if his role was limited to the coverup and the world now assumes he’s a murderer? The weight of conscience after many years? Who knows why people confess after long silences, but if you’re one of the throuple you’d better hope that if someone does it, you’re the first. And can you really trust that the other two will keep their silence for the next 30, 40, 50 years?

        • mw
          08/04/2011 at 1:09 PM

          Ya, you would think maybe that would be the ultimate leverage in any relationship, “If you delete project runway from the dvr I’m marching right down to the U.S. Attorney’s office, mister!” But I think it would probably just be too risky. They beat it, they’re off the hook. Someone could go in, vaugely offer the authorities “information” to test the waters, but why not just be content to keep that dusty “Wone Murder file” down there in the basement? Anybody responsible for the police dusting off that file faces some risk of prosecution themselves no matter what information they claim to have.

          And aside from that, prosecutors and law enforcement may be less interested than they once were (baring a video of the murder being committed). None of these guys have any credibility. All could be torn apart on cross-examination. They would need to come up with something more than a story to get the authorities interested at this point, I would think (like photographs, other physical evidence), and I believe Joe is smart enough to make sure all of that stuff has been destroyed.

          • Bea
            08/04/2011 at 1:30 PM

            There’s still the chance that Michael Price will get busted on serious charges and tells what he knows (which is likely a lot – and despite hearsay issues could likely allow the screws to be put to the more passive actors). Too, the truth here is a bit like pet hair – hardly noticeable and then it’s a big dust bunny. I do take solace in reading other news today that DB Cooper’s niece has come forward with evidence that he was the 1970s hijacker. Holding the line isn’t easy. If these guys continue to drink and do drugs then the story will drop sooner rather than later.

            • whattheeeeeee
              08/04/2011 at 10:57 PM

              Yeah, DB Cooper’s niece came forward when it didn’t matter – after he passed away.

            • Bill 2
              08/05/2011 at 5:46 PM

              You have to wonder what goes through Zaborsky’s mind when he’s standing in the kitchen of their love nest while Ward has a kitchen knife in his hand. Does V.Z. think of the stabbing of Robert Wone? Does V.Z. think of the fact that Ward wanted to replace V.Z. in Price’s bed?

              There has been talk about being unable to sleep due to guilt. How about being unable to sleep in case you may be the next stabbing victim in a much better planned scenario that finds one of the trio weighted down with cement blocks in the bottom of Biscayne Bay.

              “Victor Zaborsky doesn’t live here anymore. He moved away and didn’t say where he was going.”

              • susan
                08/05/2011 at 11:05 PM

                Bill 2,

                Perhaps he can continue his passive/aggressive role in the family by burning steaks, canceling trips, running after JP and retiring early to the boudoir in a pout, with the remote control in hand.

                But at the point that he signed on for the in-house boy-toy for his partner, all bets were off. And with sons as a bond, maybe that seals his permanent attachment to Culuket.

                They’re Florida’s problem now. Let’s hope the Florida’s papers have picked up this news. They can remain silent but not so the press.

                • Bill 2
                  08/06/2011 at 7:58 AM

                  I haven’t found anything in the Florida papers thus far. If the Miami Herald or the Sun Sentinel knew the men have been living in South Florida, I’m sure they would have covered the story.

                  In another direction, I did find it in a Law Blog at the Wall Street Journal.

                  It would be nice to see an attorney from this group add a comment to that blog.

                  • Bill 2
                    08/08/2011 at 1:10 PM

                    Thanks for making that contact Royal. Many years ago, I wrote for the Sun-Sentinel but no longer know anyone there. I hope your friend gets the story in the Herald.

              • Bill Orange
                08/08/2011 at 9:52 PM

                “You have to wonder what goes through Zaborsky’s mind when…”

                Honestly, I wonder if anything EVER goes through Victor Zaborsky’s mind.

    • noaharc
      08/05/2011 at 8:46 PM

      Star Jones –the famous lawyer said she would tell people–there is a 1 stop Federal Express trin passing thru union station with one ticket.. get on when it stops because it ain’t coming back. refused to testify at your peril.. I would think the insurance company would do and investigation and have new policies in place for what invalidates insurance coverage/pay out.

  2. Bea
    08/04/2011 at 1:33 PM

    Guys, congrats on the conference – and please let us know if there are recordings or transcripts!

    • Craig
      08/04/2011 at 2:22 PM

      Are you ready for some irony? I believe that the court PIO conference is closed to the media and off-the-record.

      • Bea
        08/04/2011 at 2:28 PM

        Well, maybe Judge L will be able to speak freely . . .

      • Clio
        08/04/2011 at 9:16 PM

        Be sure to give our love, if not our agreement, to Lynn: we the people of “the Island of the Flies” will give comfort, not cold, to our favorite Bush appointee who could go that extra mile for BARD for Culuket and, yet, who could not stand a flippant graffiti artist.

        Again, only in America: where property comes before people!

  3. Nelly
    08/04/2011 at 6:06 PM

    Great reporting, guys. If Kathy Wone is at peace, then that is what matters, and at least she and the family are spared further anguish of trial. I, personally, would continue to simmer in rage. Let’s hope no one forgets this murder mystery and that someone will finally tell the truth in the future.

    • Craig
      08/04/2011 at 6:20 PM

      Thanks Nelly, for your support and everything. Although five years after the fact, I can’t help but think of the old saying that some attribute to Ben Franklin (THE Ben Franklin, not the poseur), that the only way three men can keep a secret is if two of them are dead. I’ve also heard that quote attributed to Sonny Barger, founder of the Hells Angels.

      • Gloria
        08/06/2011 at 1:32 PM

        When many in the general public were infuriated at OJ Simpson’s acquittal, I remember a comment by the cowboy attorney, Gerry Spence of Wyoming, in a post-acquittal interview on the Larry King show. He had been a legal commentator during the trial, bringing a common sense approach. Based on years of experience, he had observed that, in the end, guilty but acquitted people eventually get their just desserts.

        If not for the crime for which they were acquitted, then for another offense. That is, either their bad qualities, including their feelings of invulnerability based on their acquittal, eventually get them into new trouble or someone goes after them (e.g., prison killer of Jeffrey Daumer). I was skeptical, until years later when OJ got in trouble in that Vegas hotel room and he landed in prison.

        • Clio
          08/08/2011 at 10:15 PM

          Do “just desserts” include milk and Oreo cookies, Gloria? Do they include recouping one’s social, if not aesthetic, standing? Do they include holiday visitors from Washington?

          The trouple may do just fine — as long as Culuket’s sexual adventurism is firmly held in check.

  4. Bill Orange
    08/04/2011 at 6:47 PM

    Again, I can’t help but think that there’s another shoe that’s going to drop here, particularly after reading Razi and Regan’s statement. They’ve seen all the evidence and probably added quite a bit to the pile. The defendants are refusing to answer questions about basic aspects of what happened that night. They have now settled their lawsuit with Kathy Wone and are presumably on the hook for a pretty big settlement. They’re not going to be able to hide behind endless appeals.

    The statement from Razi and Regan is VERY specific that the settlement is about the wrongful death lawsuit. They don’t even mention negligence. I can’t see how Joe and Victor’s insurance company is going to let this go. The insurance company was obligated to defend Joe and Victor in this suit, and they have done so. But it seems to me that, now that that obligation has been fulfilled, the insurance company has a powerful motive to investigate what actually happened that night, and I would assume that their contract allows them to do so. If the defendants take the fifth during the insurance company’s investigation, wouldn’t that void the insurance company’s obligation to pay out a settlement? If I burn my house down and try to collect the insurance, I’m assuming I’ll have to answer the question, “Did you start the fire on purpose?” And if I invoke my fifth amendment rights, I suspect that the insurance company is going to refuse to pay out. Insurance lawyers, what’s your take on this?

    As for future criminal charges, I think they’re more likely than other people on here seem to think. This was front-page news. The attorney general himself is involved (though he has recused himself from this case), and he’s going to hold that office for at least another year. I think there’s going to be a brief period of time during which the insurance company investigates this case, and after that, at least one of the defendants will get hit with additional charges. Again, if I were the prosecutor, I’d go after Victor first.

    • 08/08/2011 at 6:35 PM

      Hi Bill O:

      You raise some very interesting things in your post above.

      Based upon my experience with insurance companies, I personally doubt that the insurance companies will try to recover attorneys fees or the settlement amount from the Swann 3. At least under the law in Illinois, it would be virtually impossible for them to do so here.

      The Swann 3 have a duty under their insurance agreement with the carrier or carriers to “cooperate” with the insurance company, but that does not mean that the insurance company dictates what they can do at trial. If, as part of that agreement, the insurance companies took statements of their insureds, I would be willing to bet that the Swann 3’s attorneys were sitting with them during those statements, and disallowed any direct questions as to the criminality of the insureds. It is questionable in my mind that such statements would be privileged in a criminal case, and the insurance company is under a duty itself to deal fairly with its insureds.

      While Razi and Regan may be VERY specific that the settlement is about the wrongful death lawsuit, I am not surprised, personally, that they don’t mention the negligence counts. Those negligence counts were put in there primarily, in my opinion, to trigger the insurance companies to defend (and ultimately settle) the civil case. In terms of the settlement, Razi and Regan are unlikely, in my opinion, to go into details of all the counts, etc. The case was essentially a “wrongful death” lawsuit, with associated counts.

      I don’t think that the insurance company will do anything further in investigating. They want to close this file and get to the other 1,000 headaches they have. Since the defendants’ have taken the 5th, and I doubt they answered anything specific as to criminality in any statements to the insurance company, I don’t think they will think it worth it to go after them on fraud, etc.

      I also expect that the defendants’ counsels, being smart like the plaintiff’s counsels, would make sure that as part of the settlement there is a release and agreement between the defendants and the insurance company stopping any future actions by the insurance company.

      I do not believe that the defendants taking the 5th causes any problems with the insurance coverage itself. The insurance company have a duty of “fair dealing” with their insureds, and I don’t think they could force their insureds to not take the 5th as is their right, but also rightfully criticized by many.

      As to future criminal charges, I personally see no reason to think that there is a greater chance of that now then before. While I certainly agree with you that this was and is “front page news,” the prosecutors are not going to charge anyone with murder in this case unless they think they are going to win. The loss in the previous criminal case was humiliating to them, and they don’t want to fact the humiliation of a repeat.

      While the insurance company investigators would likely, in my opinion, be better investigators than the police, much of the evidence is stale or gone.

      Of course, if something new has come up, new evidence that makes it more likely that they will succeed on murder charges, then all bets are off. But the defendants clinging to the 5th probably makes that impossible. Just my opinion.

      Boofoc, some distance below, responds to your post and states that the insurance company relied on the lies of the defendants to defend them. This is not technically true. The insurance company, in determining if they have a duty to defend and/or indemnify their insureds, look only at the 4 corners of the actual complaint (that means what’s in the complaint only) filed by the plaintiff. Since the complaint included negligence counts and not just intentional acts, they got on the hook for defense, and the plaintiff never dismissed those negligence counts (why would they, since it kept the “deep pocket” insurance company in the case and available for settlement purposes?).

      You do raise interesting issues, and all I’m saying are just my opinions. You could be right, and the insurance company could do a post-settlement investigation which could all end up in firmer criminal charges if they find something the police were not aware of. I would put that at about a 5% risk for the defendants. I would be surprised if that happened, but I have been many times surprised in this case.

      • Bill Orange
        08/08/2011 at 10:12 PM

        “As to future criminal charges, I personally see no reason to think that there is a greater chance of that now then before.”

        I agree with you on this point, but I’ve been saying all along that I think the chances of further charges is quite high, unlike many others on here.

        I don’t think their insurance company can force them to surrender their 5th Amendment rights, but I do think they will be able to void their insurance agreement. As you pointed out, this would depend a lot on the four corners of the insurance agreement, but I’m going to assume that co-operation with an insurance company’s investigation is part of their policy. They may have been able to negotiate this with the insurance company as part of the settlement, but I rather doubt it. What motivation would there be for the insurance company to do this? If I burn down a building that I own, and I admit that it was due to negligence on my part, I don’t see any way I could negotiate a deal with the insurance company to pay out $3 mil on my behalf AND not bother to ask me the exact circumstances of the fire.

        Yes, this case was a headache for the insurance company. But $3 mil is a lot of money, and they could probably get out of paying it by simply deposing the two policy-holders as part of their official investigation. Covington would probably be willing to send over the list of 400+ questions that the defendants already invoked the 5th on, so it’s not like it would take them a lot of background work. (I’ll give Covington major bonus points for irony if they agree to represent the insurance company pro bono on this matter.)

        • 08/09/2011 at 12:56 PM

          I apologize, Bill O:

          I have tried to read all of the linked articles, but I certainly could have missed some.

          Where specifically did you find the $3 million figure in your post above, please? Thanks.

          • Bill Orange
            08/10/2011 at 1:26 AM

            I believe three million was the cap on their insurance policy. I could be wrong, though. My wild-assed guess is that the settlement was for around $6-9 million, with the defendants paying about $1-2 million each.

            • 08/10/2011 at 11:04 AM

              Thanks, Bill O.

              Yes, I can remember back in the day we all discussed possible coverages, and $3 million was discussed quite a bit as a very possible policy + umbrella value for coverage.

              But, we were all sort of speculating on that, and I don’t think we know for sure, and probably never will.

              The reason I asked was that your earlier post seemed to assume a $3 million settlement. You could be right, of course, but this is all speculation, as you would agree, but interesting speculation.

              I tend to think it was settled for less than the total coverage available (whatever that was), but that’s just me.

              If in fact the limits on all available insurance was $3 million, I am not sure how you come up with a possible settlement of $6-9 million, but I also see that you describe this as your “wild-assed guess.” I don’t know where there was money for that extra $3-6 million above the assumed $3 million insurance.

              My “wild-assed guess,” and it is nothing more than that, is if there was a total of $3 milion coverage for the Swann 3, or any combination, that the settlement was in the range of $1.5 – $2 million of the insurance money, with a good possiblity that each of the Swann 3 also pay a certain amount (probably a low figure, comparatively, in the $10,000 range?) to the Robert Wone foundation.

  5. susan
    08/04/2011 at 10:47 PM

    I say Whatthhhheee? as well. Apparently the verdict is in by the Advocate shich declares Robert W. was murdered by “an unknown intruder.” Someone hire these guys to solve the rest of the DC homicide cases. Who knew this little mag. had such prescient powers!

    While you’re reading, check out their other articles: “O.J. Still Innocent after All These Years” and “Charles Manson: Just a Misunderstood Guy.”

    • Bill Orange
      08/06/2011 at 2:58 PM

      They’re being called out for it in the comments.

      • susan
        08/08/2011 at 10:36 PM

        Thanks, Bill O. for pointing that out. Thanks, Clio for pointing out the Advo’s fallen rep. Wonder if DW made a special request for that when he asked for some magazines to read in Anacostia the night Robert Wone was murdered in his house?

        • Craig
          08/09/2011 at 11:04 AM

          The Advocate was mostly missing in action in the five years since Robert’s murder, but it’s their headline that tells us all we need to know about their interest in the case: “Gay Suspects Found Not Guilty…” Come again?

      • 08/09/2011 at 12:54 PM

        Thank Goodness the comments corrected the article. You would think that a national magazine could get this right.

    • Clio
      08/08/2011 at 10:22 PM

      The Advocate stopped being a true LGBT advocate long ago — only the third-tier of over-the-hill circuit cruisers, plus perhaps our own Lyl Dyl, still peruse that rag!

  6. susan
    08/04/2011 at 10:57 PM

    Definitely worth reading and viewing. Ms. Wone exudes integrity and depth and her words are powerful:

    • Craig
      08/04/2011 at 11:18 PM

      “It is my belief that when you continue to hide something like that, something that dark and heavy and evil, it will start weighing on you,” she said. “It’ll take a toll, if it’s not already doing that, on the three men.”

      • Bea
        08/05/2011 at 1:52 PM

        True test of the sociopath, perhaps: which among the men sleep just fine, thank you?

        • Clio
          08/09/2011 at 6:32 AM

          The talented Mr. Ward may no longer need his sleepie pills, as Culuket seemingly has milk and cookies every night just before bed around 11 am. Only Victor may look a little haggard, but that probably comes from having to be the primary breadwinner for the “family.”

    • Bill Orange
      08/08/2011 at 10:16 PM

      She’s clearly a class act. I don’t think anti-gay bigotry is ever justified, but if anyone has a right to think that all gay men are immoral sexually-insatiable sociopaths, it’s Kathy Wone. And not once have I seen any indication from her (or from any of her attorneys) of any anti-gay feelings. She’s obviously a remarkable woman.

  7. Josh
    08/05/2011 at 8:43 AM

    Can someone please explain the lawyers’ statement: “This settlement provides for monetary payments . . . that most likely would not have been available had we won at trial”?

    • Hoya Loya
      08/05/2011 at 9:27 AM

      The defendants themselves are paying over and above insurance proceeds by agreement. Had Kathy gone to trial and won, payment would have been held up by appeals and a stay on enforcement and when that process was over the defendants might likely have resisted collection efforts (e.g. their current residence is in Florida and may be subject to that state’s comprehensive homestead exemption) so any ultimate collection might have been limited to insurance proceeds.

      • Josh
        08/05/2011 at 10:45 AM

        Thank you.

      • 08/08/2011 at 12:48 PM

        Hi Hoya:

        How do you know that “[T]he defendants themselves are paying over and above insurance proceeds by agreement?

        You are reporting that as a fact. Is that an opinion, or has something been released stating that? I’m sorry if I missed it.

        While your opinion in this regard could be correct, I suspect there may have been some insurance shenanigans going on, and the delay in announcing the settlement may have been a delay in the insurance company or companies getting full authority to make the settlement payments.

        It is just my opinion, but I think it more likely that the insurance company was threatening a declaratory judgment action, or possibly positioning themselves to try to get out of paying any judgment in the civil trial (if the case went to a jury verdict), based on intentional acts exclusions in the policies, or other policy defenses. Thus, the announcement’s reference to funds that might not be available if the case went to verdict.

        While it is my opinion that since they were the main source of money for any settlement, the insurance company or companies were positioning themselves to apply pressure on all parties to settle for a reasonable figure now, and possibly threatened the DJ action or other issues to get a number that was palatible to all.

        While I think we all would like to think the defendants themselves were or are paying personally, at least some amounts, I don’t think they had much of a barrel of money to do so, and it is very possible (and, indeed, probable, in my opinion) that they are paying nothing themselves. While that would be a disappointment to all of us, it is the way these things usually go down.

        • Hoya Loya
          08/08/2011 at 4:01 PM

          Reposting from the settlement thread, since you called me on this twice.

          “I can’t imagine they are not paying something personally. All the stories specify that the men are paying, not simply that the case has settled.

          Having the defendants pay something, anything, personally, would have been incentive for Kathy to settle rather than go forward and get a judgment that would, for all practical purposes, have been limited solely to insurance proceeds due to collection issues. They have agreed to pay, as opposed to being liable for damages and then dodging collection.

          In addition, its very hard to argue against making payments to the trust — it’s the right thing to do and no doubt the defendants, if innocent, would have done so previously had it not been for the bad blood caused by the indictments, the criminal trial and the civil case. It probably made settlement somewhat more palatable to the defendants.”

          I would add that your theory re: the DJ action would be possible, but seems unlikely. If the insurance carriers already know their insureds have claimed the Fifth with regard to intentional acts, why pay at all? To save trial costs? Why not bring the DJ action, save trial costs and save a settlement payout?

          • 08/08/2011 at 4:47 PM

            Hi Hoya:

            I’m sorry, but I tend to be a junkie for facts.

            My opinion is that no article or announcement that I have seen indicates that the Swann 3 are paying anything PERSONALLY. The contrary can only be determined by assumptions which are not clearly on the table as far as I can see, in my opinion.

            Your opinions, are valued as always, Hoya, but I just disagree with you.

            Here are some reasons:

            (1) Nothing in the articles or announcements that I have read says they are paying something PERSONALLY.

            You could assume that, but you could be very wrong. The anouncements and the news articles say the “men are to pay…” or “the defendants are to pay….to a fund, etc.”, or “the men have agreed to pay,” but this is a normal way to describe it when insurance pays. The media would likely know nothing about the insurance issues in the case. The announcements are not going to get bogged down in who is paying what, or explaining insurance issues and payments.

            (2) The announcement would say “personally” if that is what happened, and it was not a disallowed statement under the confidentiality of the settlement agreement.

            (3) In one of the articles, it says: “Razi said it was unknown how much money the defendants have after years of criminal defense legal bills.” In my opinion, if there were personal payments by the defendants, Razi would know how much money they have.

            (4) These defendants do not appear to have any real money to pay settlement, certainly not payments over time.

            (5) Razi & Company don’t want to be in the collection business chasing the Swann 3’s assets for years. It is much cleaner to all involved to have payments by the insurance company.

            (6) If the insurance companies know that their insureds are going to take the 5th at trial, it may be difficult for the insurers to show intentional acts by the defendants such that they can rely on their exclusions in that regard.

            The ploy by the defendants in relying on the 5th may be two fold: (a) as a defense ploy to the plaintiff’s claims; and (b) as a ploy against the insurers to make it more difficult for the insurers to show that the verdict was based solely on intentional acts.

            (7) It is my firm belief that the settlement all comes down to the insurance companies being agreeability to pay an amount acceptable to Mrs. Wone, before a verdict, and a number was presented to them that they applied their evaluations to, and found that they would prefer to pay the settlement amount and close their file, rather than face the uncertainty of a civil verdict, and possibly years of appeals.

            While I certainly understand you’re saying that the 3 paying personally would be incentive to settle the case for Mrs. Wone, this would be a very UNUSUAL circumstance in this type of big time litigation. Now, I know this is an unusual case, and could involve unusual settlement items. But don’t forget that the defendants had very good counsel themselves to protect their clients, including their clients interests via the insurance agreements.

            I simply can’t buy that they are paying personally unless we are told that in the reporting or the Announcements.

            If anyone has seen it stated that they paid or are paying PERSONALLY, please copy the quote and post it here.

            Until that time, it is my opinion that they are not paying anything personally, and we certainly can’t state it as a fact.

            I’m not saying your opinion is crazy, Hoya. I disagree greatly with your stating that it has been reported that they are paying personally, and any statement that it is a fact that they are paying personally.

            Until this is clarified in the media or by the parties, we just don’t know if they are paying personally.

            In fact, I hope they are paying something personally. But my cares and hopes are not facts.

            • Hoya Loya
              08/08/2011 at 5:22 PM

              Fine. Redact “personally,” since I haven’t read that word in the articles. I used the word to clarify my point to Josh as to what I conclude is going on, to distinguish insurance proceeds from payments by the defendants themselves.

              I have never read, with respect to reports of any major settlement, that “the defendants are paying.” Usually one reads that “the case settled” or possible that “the case settled for $X.” Sometimes even “the defendants’ insurance carrier is on the line for up to $X.” That is not how these reports read and I take it as significant. It’s not like we’re at trial and mention of insurance before the jury is taboo. So let me be a stickler for once: if insurance is paying, then the defendants are not and Razi’s statement and all press reports are misleading and/or wrong.

              The statement says: the defandants are paying and that money is available that most likely would not be if they won at trial. I am drawing my conclusions — you can draw yours.

              • Bill 2
                08/08/2011 at 5:37 PM

                Thank you Hoya for your very sensible, wonderfully succinct, and well-reasoned views of this segment of the settlement.

                • 08/08/2011 at 5:58 PM

                  Hi Hoya:

                  Your very sensible, wonderfully succinct and well-reasoned views have made me think now that it is quite possible that the settlement involved some personal payments, possibly limited, to the Robert Wone foundation by the Swann 3.

                  With the fall-out from the settlement, we may get some absolute clear information on this in the near future, but the confidentiality of the settlement agreement might hinder us in that regard. I do hope they are paying something personally.

              • Ruth
                08/09/2011 at 1:18 PM

                I took the language of the news release to mean that the insurance company offered something other than immediate cash payment. Since it’s a scholarship fund, they could have offered an annuity that paid out annually for a total amount above the actual policy coverage limitations.

                • 08/09/2011 at 5:09 PM

                  Hi Ruth:

                  What you say is very possible, in my opinion. A structured settlement, as you described, would not be unusual in this instance.

                  The one thing we don’t know (unless you have seen something I haven’t — which is very possible), is whether the insurance money being paid out for this settlement is up to the limits of its coverage, or something below those limits.

                  The only way we could know or guess as to that is if we know how much insurance was “on the hook” and what the actual settlement amount comes to.

            • Hoya Loya
              08/08/2011 at 5:28 PM

              I should also add that Keith Alexander’s original piece in the Post stated that the estate would be “recovering some funds from the men who have since sold the Swann Street home and moved to South Florida. The men have been financially strapped by years of legal costs.” I read this as “they don’t have a lot but they are paying something.”

              • 08/08/2011 at 5:37 PM

                Hi Hoya:

                That could mean personal payments. Would like to see the word “personally” or “above insurance payments. Otherwise, too ambiguous for me.

                Which is probably why I am so popular 🙂

                • Bea
                  08/08/2011 at 6:48 PM

                  Certainly the the reports clearly say that “each of the defendants” are making payments. In addition to Hoya’s well reasoned post, I think the implication is clear that this is above/beyond the insurance pay-out (which will be split between Robert’s estate and the charitable causes). I know you, Bruce, want more than that – why, I’m not so sure, since to me agreeing that K. Wone could say she believes the three had something to do with Robert’s murder and that she hopes that they rot from the evil, is far more important.

                  Regardless, the use of “each” of the defendants has yet another “flavor” that can’t be spelled out due to the confidentiality on the monetary terms: I think it’s a smart way to communicate that in all likelihood Dylan was not an insured. I may not be correct, but I thought his counsel in the civil trial was not a vetted insurance defense counsel. To me, this suggests that the insurance company isn’t the only source of the monies – in addition to Razi’s carefully worded commentary.

                  The defendants could correct any misstatement, certainly, but neither they nor their counsel have said word one. I am still shocked that they agreed to allow Kathy Wone to make the statements she did – although I’m guessing that Joe found a way to keep his inner-inner circle from questioning it.

                  I do wonder about how many more split off from the trouple as a result. It would be fascinating to look at the names of the people who received the “plea” email from Joe in November 2008 from his Arent Fox account and see how many are still in his corner. I know that most who bolted did so after the affidavit hit, but it would be interesting to see when others left. I do know, personally, of only one who remains a staunch supporter (or so I assume – if one can drink the Kool-Aid which predated the civil case agreement, I doubt that too couldn’t be “spun” sufficiently).

                  • Bill Orange
                    08/08/2011 at 10:28 PM

                    Who’s the staunch supporter?

                    • Bea
                      08/10/2011 at 1:32 PM

                      Not a player known on this site and a very, very casual acquaintance to me.

              • M
                08/09/2011 at 11:54 AM

                How can Joe Price be financially-strapped when he still owns his R St. condo? The Washington Post has it assessed for $300,000+.

                • 08/09/2011 at 1:01 PM

                  M, do we know how much equity Joe has in any property he may own?

                  • M
                    08/10/2011 at 6:59 AM

                    Good question, I’m not sure but either way, it seems odd that with what must be considerable debts that you wouldn’t liquidate your assets.

      • Bill Orange
        08/08/2011 at 11:05 PM

        Question for Hoya Loya and Bruce and any of the other lawyers: I’m assuming that the insurance company is somehow involved in negotiating a settlement, but the defense teams–even if they’re paid for by the insurance company–represent the defendants, NOT the insurance company, correct? (For example, just as a hypothetical, there’s no way that the defendants’ lawyers could call the insurance company and say, “Dude, these guys told us they spent a week coming up with a plan to rape and murder this guy. You should NOT pay out for this.”)

        So in that light, does the insurance company even have a “seat at the table” during a court-ordered mediation? And if they do, are they present as representatives of the defendants, or as a third party with its own set of interests (since the defendants already have their own lawyers)? Because if it’s the latter, then I REALLY think there’s going to be another shoe to drop.

        If I were the insurance company, I would’ve told the mediator–or even Kathy Wone’s lawyers directly–that we’d be conducting our own investigation as soon as our obligations to the defendants had been discharged. In other words, if she settles, the insurance company gets to start investigating the defendants immediately. (“Ben, could we get a copy of those questions that Joe and Victor took the 5th on?”)

  8. susan
    08/06/2011 at 8:13 PM

    Letter to the Editor, from today’s Washington Post:

    Authorities got a pass in the Robert Wone case
    By , Friday, August 05,5:16 PM

    The Aug. 4 front-page article on the Robert Wone case, “Widow of slain lawyer says she’s ‘moving on,’ ” has its emphasis wrong, just as Post coverage did at times during last year’s trial in which three men were acquitted of obstruction and conspiracy charges in Mr. Wone’s killing in the District.

    I cannot imagine the grief and difficulties experienced by Kathy Wone, and my heart goes out to her and her family. That said, I do not understand the pass that has been given to the D.C. police department and, secondarily, local prosecutors. Mr. Wone was killed in August 2006, and yet no one has ever been charged with his stabbing. In a high-profile murder case, prosecutors took about two years to bring obstruction-of-justice and conspiracy-to
    -obstruct charges against Joseph Price, Victor J. Zaborksy and Dylan Ward, who were living in the house where Mr. Wone was visiting when he was killed. These are hardly weighty charges in the wake of a brutal stabbing.

    The handling of this case calls to mind the numerous deficiencies in how the Chandra Levy murder was handled in 2001. The focus was never on the evidence. In the Wone case, the police and the media focused most of their attention on the fact that a married man died in a house with three gay men. Even Kathy Wone told The Post that the innuendo that arose from this emphasis was painful for her. The deceased was not the only victim. There are two living victims here: Kathy Wone and justice.

    Mary Baker, Takoma Park

    • Craig
      08/07/2011 at 10:50 AM

      I hadn’t seen this. Thanks Susan.

    • Clio
      08/08/2011 at 10:29 PM

      We need more Marys like Miss Baker: this letter is well-done, and I heart Takoma Park!

  9. boofoc
    08/06/2011 at 8:32 PM

    I’m very much in agreement with Bill O’s position stated above. The insurance company(ies)were unable to disprove their insured(s)stories about how the death occured and were afraid to risk not defending the wrongful death suit; thus,relying on defendants’ lies, the insurance company(ies) defended the suit in reliance on the insureds’ sworn assertions that the death was not intentional.

    If the defendants’ are found to have lied in making the claim, they are liable to the insurer for what has been paid (will be paid). The companies are bound by the settlement agreement to pay the estate. Now, there is considerable incentive to disprove the defendants’ story; if it can be proved that the death was not the result of negligence – the only action covered by the policy – the defendants may very well be on the hook to the insurer(s) in the amount paid out to the etate. But, then there is the old story about blood and the stone (even worse if the stone(s) is/are in jail for life).

    • 08/08/2011 at 7:15 PM


      You say in your post a bit above (putting my response here for more space):

      “I know you, Bruce, want more than that – why, I’m not so sure, since to me agreeing that K. Wone could say she believes the three had something to do with Robert’s murder and that she hopes that they rot from the evil, is far more important.”

      I responded in an earlier post with a reference to the “rot from the inside” comment, hoping that it was true.

      I don’t quite understand your question, but are you suggesting that we shouldn’t post regarding the possiblity of personal payments for the settlement because other things are more important: like K. Wone saying what she said in the Announcements and to reporters?

      If that is what you mean, I guess, yes, those things are more imporant, but aren’t we all capable of multitasking? I was responding to a post that stated something as fact, but which, in my opinion, was not a fact, but an opinion based upon assumptions.

      How my suggestion, that opinions and assumptions should not be stated as fact, could come as any surprise to you or anyone on this blog, comes as a real surprise to me.

      That has been one of those annoying things I have done since I first got on this blog. I know it’s certainly not popular, and I have received about as much criticism as anyone on this blog, but that is what I do, Bea.

      I have tried to keep the arguments intellectually honest, and where someone states an assumption or an opinion as fact, I usually try to correct it or point it out. I am hoping that at least some posters and readers appreciates the effort.

      At the very least, I hope that it has stimulated some interesting conversations and posts (along with the usual hate posts), and made this more than a mutual crying room with all singing the same tune. I hope that it shows those coming to the blog, or the media for information, that this is not a one-note revival. That people here are really interested in finding out WMRW.

      • Bill 2
        08/08/2011 at 7:41 PM

        “but are you suggesting that we shouldn’t post”

        You know damn well she isn’t suggesting any such thing. Can’t you go on vacation again? It was a real treat to have this place free from your bullshit, blowing smoke, silly blather, and snide accusations. One more thing, in your practice, do you charge by the word? Is that why you’re accustomed to use a dozen paragraphs for something that can fit into three sentences? Since you brought up the topic of “suggesting” I suggest that you take your snide accusations and shove ’em!!!!

      • Bea
        08/08/2011 at 9:43 PM

        I tend to be long-winded in my posts, but sheesh. Maybe the notion of whether the trouple is NOT making personal payments outside of the insurance money is driving you mad but not for most of us. I think they are slated to make payments, based on what was written and the logic of the phrasing used, but if you disagree, that’s okay too. You and I disagree an awful lot, but that’s fine as well.

        The gist of my post was that it’s kind of a minor point in the context of Kathy Wone’s comments and the defendants’ agreement to allow commentary (except for the financial disclosure). As for the rest of your post: huh? I can’t even figure out what you’re saying, but I don’t want to get into a “thing” with you where you feel the need to name-call, so let’s just walk away from this one, shall we? Like I said, it’s a fairly minor issue, and agreeing to disagree seems easy enough.

  10. susan
    08/08/2011 at 9:36 PM

    I am still mulling over EVERYTHING and not done speculating about all things related to WMRW. For instance:

    David Alexander, one of the group of friends and one of the people on, I believe JP’s list of witnesses. He had been listed back when as living in Florida. Is he still there and friends with the troup’?

    Zaborsky–Does he have some relatives in Florida?

    Re payouts in the settlement: There’s VZ’s daily milk money. DW’s savormassage $, and I’m sure even JP can find work, however far removed from what he did, as either a legal document reviewer or an hourly wage grunt. There’s money to be squeezed out of those dudes. Plus, aside from all that, these guys had top DC attys. Your average Joe (and here we have the ALTernative) can’t afford even close to that, nor does the av. Joe have a sug. daddy but prob. sure Needsam or Needam like Mr. Ward.

    Also, I’m still wondering about Michael Price and his evening and why the heck he even attended RW’s funeral, why he behaved so abominably there and why L. Hinton felt the need to weigh in with so many words in the guestbook when the night of Robert Wone’s murder two of the men in the house spoke of RW as barely a casual acquaintance.

    • Clio
      08/08/2011 at 10:37 PM

      Where are Michael and Louis now? Have they gone “straight?” Or, is it time for them to move to sunny Florida, too?

  11. susan
    08/09/2011 at 7:52 PM

    There is so much on this site to read and re-read to get a fuller picture of this terrible crime and the principals on the scene at the time, as well as those who were in their orbit. Since reading Ruth’s post about the R St. local, I came to a few new pages I hadn’t read before. Here’s one. Interesting comment by CDinDC about the s/m scene in one of the posts. Haven’t heard from CD in a while but she’s made great contributions to this site.

    • Bea
      08/09/2011 at 8:48 PM

      I miss CD. She’s a gem. She wrote convincingly (I thought) about the drug “complication” that may have played out that night. I know I’m not the only one who wishes that Joe and Dylan had been asked if they’d voluntarily give blood samples that night – or that more of Robert’s blood had been kept for further testing. I suspect that CD was on to something.

      Too bad, too, that we won’t find out what Jacob Pring had to say about the defendants (or Joe and Dylan, anyway). Wonder too if Alt dot com had records of who Culuket made contact with in the days leading up to the murder and whether plaintiff’s counsel got their hands on the records and talked to the possible “trick(s)”.

      • susan
        08/09/2011 at 9:01 PM

        Hopefully, CD will weigh in sometime soon. Here’s another good page with comments from MonNoVa. Also, re, were all the siblings into that site? And are there three sibs and with the same parents?

      • susan
        08/09/2011 at 9:01 PM

        Hopefully, CD will weigh in sometime soon. Here’s another good page with comments from MonNoVa. Also, re, were all the siblings into that site? And are there three sibs and with the same parents?

        • susan
          08/09/2011 at 9:04 PM
        • Bea
          08/09/2011 at 9:45 PM

          Are you asking about the third Price brother? Joe’s the oldest, Michael the middle, and both are gay and into Alt. From my sleuthing, the youngest brother is straight and never lived in DC.

          • susan
            08/09/2011 at 9:48 PM

            Thanks. And the sister?

            • Bea
              08/10/2011 at 1:30 PM

              The brothers were born to the first marriage of teenaged parents. The sisters came later, I think, from the second union(s) of one/both of the parents.

              • Clio
                08/10/2011 at 9:51 PM

                And, a little bird once told me that the parents divorced just three days (before or after?) the third brother was born. It may be no wonder that Culuket was always looking to create his own family … perhaps like another charmer from humble origins, C. Manson.

              • susan
                08/10/2011 at 10:00 PM

                Very interesting, Bea and Clio.

  12. susan
    08/09/2011 at 8:18 PM

    It seems there are prob. about three distinct Joseph Price characters all in that ever-expanding physique. There’s the professional/academic Joe (JP1)who all the W&M gang know and stayed in touch with. Robert Wone was in that group of friends. There’s the JP who was the out and respectable Equality Va guy (JP2) (the pro bono defender and 2008 W&M interview guy with only V in the pic). And then there’s the Alt guy (JP3) who is in an almost incestuous relationship with his brother Michael (and his brother’s beater upper partner, Louis) along with Dylan Ward (a guy who goes to anywhere in Asia at the drop of a hat–to get into culinary stuff, children’s books, massage, tricks? Guys? Guys?), Eyecandy websites, porn on the office compute, etc. And I think that night, RW who was called forth for periodic JP1 events to keep up appearances for JP1 (C. McGee, Lisa G. Desjardin, here, too) unfortunately met JP3 that night.

    • 08/10/2011 at 10:36 AM

      Hi Susan:

      You have an interesting post. Just a couple issues:

      (1) You describe JP3 as having “an almost incestuous relationship with his brother Michael….” Could you expand on this for us? How can one be “almost incestuous?” Isn’t that like being “a little” pregnant? Enquiring minds would like to know! What do JP3 and his brother do in this “almost incestuous” relationship. I’m sure you have thought of that!!!

      (2) You can’t think of anyone going to “anywhere in Asia” other than for sex or (maybe implied in your post….) learning to murder? That’s sort of an example of close-minded idiotic extreme Americanism, isn’t it? This is one reason why the rest of the world loves us so much. Please send your application to be an Ambassador to the appropriate government agency.

      I’m sure you would not want to go “anywhere in Asia,” based on your post, but if I could afford it, I would love to, and I don’t really want to kill anyone. Imagine that! Seems like he went “somewhere in Asia” over there for some course or courses. While it may be fun to speculate what he did on his off-time, that’s all it is — ridiculous speculation.

      “Eyecandy websites, porn on the office computer,” Oh My! Did you enjoy writing this?

      I did like the “ever-expanding physique” business in the first paragraph, that made me laugh. But not as much as the other points I reference above.

      Enjoyed your keen psychological insight into the “Three Faces of Price.”

      • Hoya Loya
        08/10/2011 at 12:12 PM


        You are likely reading Susan far too literally. By “almost incestuous” she no doubt means unusually close, particularly given Joe’s social status as a law firm partner and Michael’s lesser status and ongoing legal and dependency difficulties. One normally looks after one’s brother, but it didn’t appear that Joe was exactly practicing “tough love” when Michael was a regular feature at his Arent Fox office.

        As for the Asia thing, there is some interesting discussion on it here: To turn you “I don’t want to kill anyone comment around a bit, I too would love to visit Asia, but there is no dead Asian body in my house.

        Dylan was introduced to J&V by the former downstairs tenant and former associate at Joe’s firm, who now works in Asia. Dylan made three major trips to Asia: to Japan after college; to Taiwan after his masters; and Thailand the year after the muder. The victim in the murder was, of course, Asian. These are just more of the circumstances in this case that on their own would be innocent or meaningless, but take on another color when viewed in light of the other circumstantial evidence swirling around DW.

        • Bea
          08/10/2011 at 1:29 PM

          Also on the “almost incestuous” wording, how often is it that two brothers, both gay, are into “pig” sex and other delightfully described “alt” sexual practices on a public S&M forum in the same city trolling for partners? I think “almost incestuous” rings true on many, many levels.

          • Hoya Loya
            08/10/2011 at 2:41 PM

            Yuck! Forgot about that — probably on purpose.

            • Bea
              08/10/2011 at 2:47 PM

              Oink, yeah!

              • 08/10/2011 at 3:27 PM

                Oink to you, Dear Bea:

                Your Victorian view comes full fashion in your posts above. Do you really despise and want to belittle gay people as you do in your post? Should I, as Susan does, psychologically analyze this and come up with something about self-hatred again?

                How lovely is your golden bejeweled glass house, Dear Bea? Please ensure that no stones block any views.

                • Bea
                  08/10/2011 at 3:42 PM

                  Being gay and soldiering through a lot of bashing and discrimination since I was a young gay kid in the South/Midwest, I feel completely comfortable in telling you to take a hike, Bruce. I have and will fight for the rights of all consenting adults, but too I will fight for the right to make a simple joke (“Oink, yeah!”).

                  Let’s backtrack, shall we? Susan posted an interesting set of thoughts. You nitpicked, as you are prone to do, calling her out for her use of “almost incestuous” relating to Joe and Michael. Of course, your post criticizing her post was considerably longer than the original, but that’s not new. Hoya then validated Susan’s use of “almost incestuous” (which by most of our standards was to be deemed in its common parlance and meaning – a touch of humor built-in) and I added to his post that these two trolled Alt looking for a variety of sexual tastes in the internet-based men they desired. Hoya recapped saying, with an implied smile, that he’d forgotten this, to which I responded “Oink, yeah!” as a joke and play on the common “F, yeah!” retort.

                  Being butch, my house is not bejeweled. Self-hating? Maybe briefly in the 1970s/early 1980s, but you’re tossing the term around in a politically correct and damning sense – ironic.

                  Do I hear any other “oinks” out there?

                  • Bill 2
                    08/10/2011 at 4:14 PM

                    Oink, yeah! 🙂

                    I Googled “pig sex” to find out what the Price brothers are into. The first result is a YouTube video of pigs having sex in front of unexpected youths. A comment added says: A pig’s
                    orgasm lasts over 30 minutes!

                  • 08/10/2011 at 4:19 PM


                    I enjoyed your Oink and Oinked you back.

                    My concern was not with any oinking, it was your previous statement:

                    “…both gay, are into “pig” sex and other delightfully described “alt” sexual practices on a public S&M forum in the same city trolling for partners? I think “almost incestuous” rings true on many, many levels.”

                    Sounded a lot like Michele Bachman (or her husband), or even Rick Santorum (google it please) if you ask me.

                    How do you justify that?

                    • 08/10/2011 at 4:30 PM

                      Just didn’tsound like someone who:

                      “I have and will fight for the rights of all consenting adults…,”

                      as you say in your later post.

                      Just saying.

                    • Bea
                      08/10/2011 at 4:54 PM

                      Bruce, give it a rest. One can be gay and proud AND have a sense of humor. And make fun of the Bad Boys Price for advertising they like pig sex and urination sports – especially when they’d “rather not say” if they do drugs. It’s gross and funny and perfectly fine territory for mockery under the circumstances. Besides, I analogized your comments to the tea party types weeks ago, so that is so tired.

        • 08/10/2011 at 2:47 PM

          Hiya Hoya:

          So, if I follow, this discussion makes it more likely, or has evidenciary value on the issue of, whether Lil Dyl killed Robert Wone, or was somehow involved in the murder or cover-up, because he was sexually interested in Asians (and we know this becasue he went to Asia on several occasions (!), but know nothing really of what he did there other than take some classes and he had a friend there) and Robert Wone was an Asian?

          Or he hated Asians because of his experiences in Asia (which we don’t know anything about other than he took some courses there and had a friend there), and therefore it makes it more likely or is of evidenciary value in determining that he killed Robert Wone or was involed in covering-up the murder, due to that hatred of Asians?

          I have been reading this blog for a long time. Where has anyone determined anywhere that Lil Dyl ever had sex with an Asian, or was sexually interested in Asians, or hated Asians so much that he would kill an Asian? Please be so kind as to point that out, so we can deal with some relevant facts.

          Please. Anyone can have any opinion they want on here, and make assumptions on anything they want, but when it gets to this, in my opinion, ridiculous series of assumptions upon assumptions, ultimately tearing down someone with no basis in any fact whatsoever on this issue, is it unfair for someone to point that out and point out the ridiculous unfairness of it? Where is the moral conscience? Where is the shame?

          And I am pretty close to my brother, and we look out for each other, but are very different people individually. Thus, am I in an “almost incestuous” relationship with him? Again, where is the sense of conscience to make these type or ridiculously fantastic and belittling claims.

          Susan has shown that she is in the “everything and anything is fair” category when it comes to anyone she suspects in this case. Fine for her, and apparently fine for you, but NOT fine for me, and I hope many other conscientious readers and posters. It brings down the blog to the level of a viscious and useless read, in my opinion.

          There is no reason that people can’t intelligently, fairly and sincerely debate the issues in this case. And then we get this stupid idiotic junk thrown about and it brings the whole blog down, in my opinion, and I hope at least some others’.

          Say anything you want, and blog it from the rooftops, but don’t expect such rudiculous rubbish to go unchallenged and not answered in kind.

          • Hoya Loya
            08/10/2011 at 3:36 PM

            Calm down Bruce. Not saying any of the above. In fact I tried to be very careful this time because I had a feeling you’d be all over this one.

            Just sayin’: add the Asian thing to the Shakespeare thing and the pill thing and the blood spot on the comforter thing and the books about dead bodies thing and the room across the hall thing and the S&M thing and the e-stim thing and the “exercising in his room thing” and the answering the door for Robert while J&V were upstairs thing and room across the hall thing and the naked thing and the shushed “we heard the chime” thing and the “is the back door unlocked?” thing and the no alibi thing (and if you like, though I don’t, the missing knife thing) and, at the very least, it all becomes very curious.

            Whatever it all does or doesn’t mean, there is no such collection of odd stuff surrounding the other two housemates.

            • Bea
              08/10/2011 at 3:51 PM

              Hoya, you did nothing wrong. My guess (from his treatise responding to your post and his insult in response to mine) is that Bruce is frustrated by having so little to pick on since the settlement didn’t vindicate the trouple. Standard kicking up dust to cause controversy and get his ya-yas out (which he usually confines to me and a couple of others).

              • 08/10/2011 at 4:53 PM

                I don’t want the trouple to be vindicated, Bea. I’ve never said or suggested that they should be vindicated and don’t think they should be by any means.

                Please read carefully my posts on this blog.

                Please point out by copying and pasting anything from any post I have done that states or indicates that.

                My posts are far from that. If you believe that, it is in your own mind only.

                • Bea
                  08/10/2011 at 5:01 PM

                  You’re just being so nasty to everyone. What’s the point of singling out comments and making a huge fuss? It crosses my mind that you’re itching for a fight, which made me wonder about your lack of satisfaction with the settlement. Since you’ve often assumed the role of antagonist against theories/commentary suggesting the trouple (or one/more) had something to do with Robert’s murder, I wondered if there isn’t some projection based on that prior m.o.

                  • 08/10/2011 at 5:10 PM

                    Hi Bea:

                    You may also recall that I took issue with Alt’s intruder theory, and pointed out the many problems with that.

                    As I said in a post above:

                    “There is no reason that people can’t intelligently, fairly and sincerely debate the issues in this case.”

                    I think the big difference here is that I have not joined the “anything and everything is fair” approach that some have on this blog.

                    Some things are not fair.

                    • Bea
                      08/10/2011 at 5:39 PM

                      Agree that some things are not fair.

                  • susan
                    08/10/2011 at 7:46 PM

                    Thanks, Hoya and Bea. AnnaZ’s earllier analysis of that Blowhard is spot on. It’s not the positions he takes that cause offense. It is his utter rudeness, hostility and bullying. Ick. He reminds me of this “mohel” in a Seinfeld episode. The mohel does circumcisions. This mohel was in everyone’s face (literally and figurately) and had uncontrollable nervous tics. I bet you can google it and find a clip of it on YouTube.

                    And now, enough theories from all of us. Let’s yield the floor to the trouple for their direct accounts. Wait. What’s that? Oh, yes: NOTHING!

                    And so, back to my earlier post. Bea, both you and Hoya are correct. I will follow up at the bottom of the page.

            • 08/10/2011 at 4:02 PM

              Calming down, Hoya.

              I understand.

              But all those things you mention, with the exception of the “Asian thing,” have some basis in fact, or are in evidence.

              There was the “Shakespeare thing” — the New Yorker and the drawing were tangible things found in the investigation (as ridiculous as that is: Hey! Let’s murder someone and pose them like this drawing — and then let’s leave the magazine and drawing out for the cops!!!!!)…

              And there were EVIDENCIARY facts and evidence by testimony or investigation of the “pill thing,” the “books about dead bodies thing,” the “room across the hall thing” and the “S&M thing,” and the “e-stim thing” and the “exercising in his room thing” and the “answering for Robert while J&V were upstairs thing,” and the “naked thing” and the shushed “we heard the chime thing,” and the “is the back door unlocked? thing,” and the “no alibi thing,” and the “missing knife thing,” and I agree “it all becomes very curious.”

              But there are no facts or evidenciary grounds of any kind or value relating to the “Asian thing.” And what exactly is the “Asian thing?” Is it that Lil Dyl liked Asians so much that he had to have sex with Robert Wone but wanted it to be only a one time deal by murdering him, or is the “Asian thing” that Lil Dyl hated Asians so much that he felt compelled to kill Robert Wone, but maybe have sex with him first?

              My point is that there is no “there there,” and the whole point of the “Asian thing” issue (whatever that is) as raised by Susan is to simply use innuendo based upon crazy assumptions based upon even further crazy assumptions to unfairly belittle and demean someone.

              Because something may be “curious” as you say, does not, in my opinion, allow free reign to such unfair and belittling claims. By that I do not mean that anyone shouldn’t post their opinions. As I indicated in my previous post, “blog them from the rooftops.”

              There should not be censorship. But in my view, there should be some moral reserve entertained, some conscience and some semblence of fairness applied. And when that doesn’t happen, I think someone should point it out.

              I hope you don’t mind if I respond to posts of Susan like this in this way when my buttons are pushed in this manner.

              I don’t want to stop anyone from stating their opinions, and I want to be able to do so myself.

              Yes, and if I am unfair, I should be taken to task for it too.

              • Hoya Loya
                08/10/2011 at 4:19 PM

                Did I say any of the above regarding DW being sexually attracted to or hating Asians? No.

                Interesting though that you concluded I did.

                • 08/10/2011 at 4:34 PM


                  I didn’t say you said that. I do not say that you concluded that.

                  I asked questions of you as to what, exactly, is the “Asian thing.”

                  What is it? I am not attacking you.

                  I tried to make that last post to you more conciliatory, and not as any attack on you.

                  I’m very sorry, as I really failed at that.

                  • Hoya Loya
                    08/10/2011 at 5:18 PM

                    No need to be conciliatory because no offense was taken.

                    In fact, I used the blanket term “Asian thing” to refer to but not otherwise characterize the facts I listed that for some reason have Asia or Asians and DW in common, not least of which is the dead Asian man in the bedroom. I don’t know what to make of them, but there they are.

                    Add them to the many other curious facts I listed and at some point, it gets hard to explain each one away individually as meaningless.

                    • 08/10/2011 at 7:21 PM

                      I agree about the curious business, Hoya.

                      I know it may not be believed, but if Susan had not used the “incestuous” word (I did not take it literally — but it is a charged word which did not need to be used by Susan at all), and all the -in my opinion – crazy “Asian” implications –essentially asserting, in my opinion, that Lil Dyl was more likely than not to have been involved in murderbecause he went to Asia, and the sex-charged implications from that in my reading of her post…

                      …I would have just kept my stupidmouth shut, which I probably should have done in the first instance.

          • Bill 2
            08/10/2011 at 3:46 PM

            “It brings down the blog to the level of a viscious and useless read, in my opinion.”

            I had to laugh at that “viscious.” It’s one of those amusing pot-kettle moments. Even a trite “takes one to know one.” Or “Is your mirror broken?” 🙂

            • 08/10/2011 at 4:09 PM

              Bill 2:

              I never use strong words with people who don’t use them themselves.

          • Burke
            08/12/2011 at 12:45 AM

            If you are a lawyer,rather than a lawyer wannabe, learn to spell. The word is evidentiary. It is longer than your favorite word “I.” However if you are as diligent in learning to spell as you are in attacking the posters (especially, it seems, the women) on the site, surely you will improve.
            Bea whom you seem to take particular delight in attacking, is one class act, an excellent lawyer, as well as (compliment – no insult – Bea) ladylike in being patient, gracious and professional with you.
            (Same with Susan.) Both want justice and probe and persevere in spite of the jeers from the peanut gallery.
            Btw what is your theory from the evidence adduced to date? Looking at the forest through the trees and the leaves, that is. Using common sense, that is.
            Young healthy man enters house and leaves within a few hours and such bad shape that he can’t be revived. No evidence of intruder. What happened, say you? You say that you are a junkie for facts, so based on the many facts established, what do you conclude? What is the truth?

            • 08/12/2011 at 11:50 AM

              Burke, like many or most people on this blog, I don’t have a theory that makes sense. I have asked for theories from other people to see if one makes sense. Haven’t seen one yet. I never heard of a requirement on here that one must have a theory to be “worthy.”

              So what is your theory? Exactly who killed Robert Wone, how and why. Exactly who was involved?

              I am not attacking women, and your suggestion is without any basis. It just happens that two people who have an “anything and everything is fair” without restraint attitude on here tend to be two prominent women posters. By no means have I limited any criticism to women. Suggesting such undermines your criticisms.

              I don’t really mind the hate mail like yours, and generally ignore it. I am as subject to criticism as anyone else on the blog, and I have certainly heard it. But I am trying to stand up for some very limited principles of fair debate, and will continue to do so, thank you.

              • Bill 2
                08/12/2011 at 2:56 PM

                Hate mail????

                Come down off your silly cross, Bruce. Just because people call you out on your red herrings, faux self-deprecation, your women bashing, your verbose posts, pedantic arguments, and other loquacious antics does not mean you’re getting hate mail. It takes energy to hate someone and you’re not worth that bother. We save that for people involved in murder.

                While you may exhibit Joe Price’s abrasiveness and self aggrandizing bluster we don’t see you as being involved in the happenings on Swann Street five years ago. Thus far, it appears that you have not been getting any hate-mail on the pages of this blog.

                • 08/12/2011 at 2:59 PM

                  Thanks, Bill 2.

                  Thanks for confirming that I don’t get hate mail.

                  • 08/12/2011 at 3:03 PM

                    …and thanks for confirming that despite all those nice things you say about me in your post that you don’t think I am a murderer or involved in the murder at the Swann house.

                    Than’s a beginning… and a relief.

    • Bill 2
      08/10/2011 at 2:57 PM

      Susan, I like the way you split up the different facades that Price attempts. The JP3, hidden from outsiders, is a total fool when you consider his S&M photos on the office computer assigned to him by Arent Fox. If that’s not bad enough, he starts up a porn website and uses his law office e-mail for the contact. I wonder how many other lawyers with an interest in this case share the same untouchable ‘tude exhibited by Price. (I enjoyed writing this.)

      The JP2 is also the father of two along with his partner – cook – dish washer – laundress and plant waterer. JP2 exhibits his deceptive “family man” front for the JP1 and 2 acquaintances. He even puts JP2 on videotape, pretending to be the life partner of one man.

      Reading about Joeeph Price, I think of a golden oldie song – “The Great Pretender” by The Platters. That should be Price’s theme song. Meanwhile, there are plenty of songs that Zaborsky could use as a theme song: “Runnin’ Out of Fools” – Neko Case or The Richest Fool Alive” – Patty Loveless or “New Fool at an Old Game” – Reba McEntire or “Make a Fool Out of Me” – Heather Myles.

  13. Fascinating
    08/10/2011 at 3:39 PM

    I’ve been reading this thread, and also the newest news about this case. All I can say is that I am happy Kathy Wone has worked with a therapist and moved on. She’s been in courts and talking to lawyers for 5 years now after the death of Robert. She’s a young lady with a full life ahead of her. And I suppose I take comfort knowing that the Swann Street 3 will pay for this somehow — sleepless nights, addiction, or even some run-ins with the Law. I love the OJ Simpson analogy … his bad karma (and judgement!) got him arrested and jailed even though he didn’t pay with jail time for the death of Nicole.

  14. susan
    08/10/2011 at 7:55 PM

    Yes, Bea and Hoya, you captured what I meant, but there’s even more. There’s buying and/or renting places for the brother to live in Silver Spring, the brother working a block or two away from the DC residence. Repping the brother’s abuser in court, housing the abuser, the alleged childhood abuse by the brother, the preference for abuse in their Alt lives, the breaking in, the funeral tirade and all the intertwining, twisted connections. And then there’s that Chinese Handcuffs page on this site. You got the gist of the post.

  15. Bill 2
    08/10/2011 at 8:00 PM

    “I would have just kept my stupidmouth shut, which I probably should have done in the first instance.”

    Bruce, Does your verbal diarrhea ever stop? You modestly (not really) claim that you probably should have kept your mouth shut in the first instance while bashing Susan for a second time. Enough, Miss Bitch!!!

    • susan
      08/10/2011 at 8:19 PM

      Thank you, Bill 2. Thanks for your earlier post as well.

      That individual has a knack for distracting from specific topics and themes and focusing OCD-like on a word or on the fact that HE disagrees with something–as if WMRW should stop and recalibrate itself to be in alignment with his views. Bizarre.

      Meanwhile, yes, there is that Asian theme with Dylan and to some extent, J. Price. Wasn’t it the latter who spent some formative years growing up in Japan? Or was that LD as well? And again, that near-incestuous connection with his brother.

      • Bill 2
        08/10/2011 at 8:31 PM

        Regarding a Joseph Price Asian connection, I remember one that was discussed awhile ago. Don’t recall if it was here or at DataLounge. It involved an Asian male dancer/stripper at a DC gay bar. Apparently Price tried to convince him to come to Swann Street. If I recall correctly, the dancer spoke to the police after the murder.

        • susan
          08/10/2011 at 8:44 PM
          • Bill 2
            08/10/2011 at 9:26 PM

            Thanks, Susan. That’s what I read and it was further discussed at DataLounge at the time. I think that’s where I picked up the “spoke to the police” part of it.

            • susan
              08/10/2011 at 9:57 PM

              Another thread– L. Hinton reportedly had a diary entry that indicated M. Price was home with him the night of R. Wone’s murder. But who can vouch for L. Hinton? Apparently, M. Price is not the only person who he is on record with assaulting, according to Maryland Court records. And let’s not forget his listing V. Zaborsky for “surety” for the 2006 case and 1509 Swann for his address. Meaning, again, that 1509 Swann was connected with crime before Robert Wone was murdered there, and after, with the robbery there by M. Price.

      • Bea
        08/10/2011 at 8:42 PM

        We once discussed on this blog that Michael Price had posted on a “military brats” site about time spent in Japan (checked the link – it’s dead now). He spoke of how he and his “big brother Joe” spent their days – it was sometime during childhood, as we know that Joe went to high school in Massachusetts. I have no idea if any of the defendants were attracted to Asian men, although it was said of Dylan early on. I never saw it confirmed.

        As to your original post, I find it quite likely that Joe compartmentalized quite well, at least until the murder. He was upstanding civil right defender and successful big law firm partner by day and something else entirely at night. He kept those things separate for a long while, taking only Victor to the Arent parties/events, speaking of only Victor even after the murder when he wanted the “role model” Joe to be seen.

        I suspect that once “bad Joe” got into drugs (assuming rumors, coy Alt comments, the drug dogs and the US attorneys to have it right) the wheels fell off. We’ve had people speak of Michael Price and Dylan spending time at Arent – very odd. Maybe your brother comes by to see where you work, but not as an ordinary fixture. And since he didn’t acknowledge Dylan in his Good Joe persona, was he flirting with danger by having him come to the office? I’ve wondered if he didn’t make drug connections at the office and “the gym” because Victor had rules. Oddly it does seem that Victor’s wrath was avoided at times, giving him some semblance of power (Joe’s notes to Dyl that they should get a third when V was out of town).

        Maybe Bad Joe just tried to rack up Good Joe points to feel better – my guess, though, is that Bad Joe didn’t emerge in a big way until after he met Dyl and desire and drugs got a stronger hold on him. Just an opinion.

        • susan
          08/10/2011 at 8:52 PM

          Thanks, Bea. I didn’t know JP went to hs in Mass. Re the office, that’s just another odd intertwining/degree of co-dependency. And then there was that fear by DW and VZ about going in the house when they suspected that little brother robbed the place. It really does seem that JP was his brother’s keeper but not so much in the biblical sense. BTW, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was MP, the kids and the moms who visited the trio in Florida for the 4th.

        • Clio
          08/10/2011 at 10:10 PM

          Okinawa, to be exact, was the incubator of the brotherly love that may still mate and kill: less than a decade before, that island had been restored to Japan after American occupation — I wonder if Dyl using his middle name of Michael was ever an available brother in Joe’s twisted mind. Vicki, Joe’s biomom, became Victor, after all.

  16. Counsel
    08/10/2011 at 9:13 PM

    I have followed this case and the posts on this website since the article on this site, WMRM, appeared in the Washington Post, which I receive daily in my Kindle. I live about as far away from DC as possible, but I lived and went to school there during college. and have family in the area. I am an attorney. I congratulate the founders and reports on the site for their excellent coverage, and many of the posters for their substantive contributions. Sometimes, the posts deteriorate into viciousness, name-calling, wild and even mean speculation, that brings it down to a low level typifying what is wrong with many blogs, however, and this has become one of those threads. The usefulness of the site has evaporated. Some posters appear to just want to have the last word, and that it be unchallenged, Others post thoughtless rubbish. And some is just downright ridiculous and mean-spirited. Just an observation, but some of you need to get a life outside of this site.

  17. Roger
    08/11/2011 at 8:31 PM

    I learned about this case just a few days ago, from a friend of the Wone family who was, understandably, very distraught and sad about Roberts’ death and the news of the settlement, which I think conjured up the sadness she feels for all the victims of this terrible crime. By her account, the Wone family is remarkable and Robert in particular was exceptional and kind.

    After what started as a brief Google search to learn more about the nature of the case I’ve now spent (too much) time away from my own law practice to review the materials offered and the posts on this site. The evidence is maddening, coming so close but somehow never finally revealing the truth. Based on what I have read, I share the belief of most people who have posted on this site that the criminal(s) who committed and then covered up Robert’s murder lived in that house.

    I personally subscribe to the theory that Robert was drugged, whether for sexual pleasure, photographs, or to satisfy cravings long held for him (citing theories offered on this site and other places) or just for kicks, and for whatever reason, the drugging “went bad”. Maybe Robert reacted to the intoxication in some unexpected way, got ill, passed out; maybe he appeared to have died from it. At any rate, his assailants decided that taking him to the hospital or calling 911 was not an option; the authorities surely would test his system for an overdose, ask questions, and they would be charged for his drugging and murder. So in order to protect themselves, they concocted the intruder story and conjured up a misdirected crime scene where stabbing was the obvious cause of death. They killed him by knife in order not to be accused of killing him by drugs. If that was what happened, they likely killed him when they had a chance to save his life, simply so they could protect their own worthless, vain hides.

    To those who doubt that they would have had enough time to do this, I submit the cover-up was done shoddily and under haste. They failed to get rid of Robert’s valuables on the nightstand so they could shore up the motive of the alleged “intruder”. They failed to construct any plausible evidence of an intrusion.

    His assailant(s) have not yet paid an adequate price for taking his life from him and his family. Maybe some day they will.

    • 08/12/2011 at 12:06 PM


      Thank you for your post and welcome to the blog. Your theory of this case makes as much sense to me as just about any theory in this case. I also believe that it is most likely that one or more of the Swann 3 murdered Robert Wone: just haven’t found a theory that effectively deals with many of the mysteries of this case yet.

      You do say in your post that the “assailants decided that taking him to the hospital or calling 911 was not an option….” I’m sure you know that a 911 call was made and you can see a transcript of it on the blog. I think what you meant is that they did not immediately call 911, but conspired and covered-up before doing so. That, to me, is a very legitimate opinion.

      Thanks again, and hope you will post in the future.

  18. Roger
    08/15/2011 at 7:26 PM

    That is what I meant: they called 911 only after they (one or more of the three) stabbed him and set up the crime scene. The judge’s verdict was thoughtful and I would guess extremely difficult to render. I don’t know if I would have had the discipline to find no reasonable basis for the “intruder” theory but the defendants not guilty of obstruction.

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