The Washington Post reminds us how newspapers used to be today with Part One of a scarcely believable true crime story about the murder of Robert Wone, a 32-year-old lawyer, and the three friends in "polyamorous" gay marriage who police think killed him in their million-dollar Washington, D.C. townhouse.
Wone was a married, ambitious, and politically active attorney for Radio Free Asia. He'd attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia and law school at the University of Pennsylvania, was previously an associate at the white-shoe law firm Covington & Burling, and was the president-elect of the D.C. chapter of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He was found dead of stab wounds in August 2006 in the guest bedroom of a home owned by his long-time friends Joseph Price and Victor Zaborsky.
Price, the chairman of a gay-rights group called Equality Virginia, was a college friend of Wone's and intellectual property lawyer at the Washington law firm Arent Price. Zaborsky, a marketing executive for the dairy trade group that sponsors the "Got Milk" ad campaign, is Price's husband. They have two children—one fathered by Price and born to a lesbian friend, another fathered by Zaborsky to the same woman. Price and Zaborsky shared their home with Dylan Ward, a culinary school graduate and massage therapist-in-training who went from renting the couple's basement apartment to a "dominant-submissive sexual relationship" with Price, and a place in their home and marriage.
Wone had stayed at the office late on the night of his death, and rather than take the Metro home late at night, he arranged to stay the night at the nearby home of his friends Price, Ward, and Zaborsky. The three men say an intruder entered their home while they slept, stabbed Wone three times in the chest, and ran off. The police say they are lying.
But there was no stealthy intruder, authorities allege. Citing a strange-as-fiction web of circumstantial, forensic and autopsy evidence, investigators have publicly theorized that one or two of the housemates, or the three together — all professional, highly intelligent men, none with a criminal record — murdered Wone in a weirdly elaborate sexual assault involving the injection of an incapacitating drug.
It's crazy stuff. The story is a two-parter—the really kinky stuff will come out tomorrow. But you can go to whomurderedrobertwone.com for spoilers and to read police affidavits alleging that Wone's body seemed like it had been "showered, redressed, and placed in the bed"; that Wone was found with traces of his own semen in his rectum; and that he had multiple needle marks indicating that he had been injected with something.
Price, Zaborsky, and Ward haven't been charged with Wone's murder, but police have filed obstruction of justice charges. Wone's widow is suing them for wrongful death. Ten bucks to the first person who blames it all on the gay lifestyle.