Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder Of Robert Wone


On a sultry summer night in 2006, one of Washington, D.C.'s most perplexing crimes took place in the neighborhood of Dupont Circle.

Robert Wone
Robert Wone
Robert Wone, a busy young lawyer, had worked late and arranged to stay in Washington with one of his oldest friends, Joe Price, rather than commute home to his wife in suburban Fairfax County, Va. At 10:30 p.m., Wone called Price to let him know he was on his way; by midnight, paramedics would face Wone's lifeless body in the guestroom of Price's townhouse.

Price, his domestic partner,Victor Zaborsky, and a third resident, Dylan Ward, told paramedics and police that Wone had been killed by an unseen intruder.

Police found no signs of forced entry. In fact, the guestroom and Wone's body barely betrayed that any struggle had taken place. Though Wone's torso showed three stab wounds, one of them big enough to stick a hand in, there was little blood on his clothing and almost none on the bed.

Forensics would soon determine that Wone had indeed been sexually assaulted. This fact and the revelation that, in addition to his partnership with Zaborsky, Price was sexually involved with Ward (in a violent submissive-dominant relationship, no less), inspired a host of salacious rumors about what really went on that night. Then Price's brother briefly became a potential suspect when he allegedly broke into the townhouse a few months after Wone's death.

Almost four years on, exactly what happened to Robert Wone that night at 1509 Swann Street NW remains a mystery. Wone's widow has filed a $20 million wrongful death suit against the townhouse's three male residents. In May 2010, the trio will come to trial on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracybut not for the murder of the 32-year-old prosecutors say was restrained, incapacitated and killed.


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