Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder Of Robert Wone


The case seemed to reach a standstill after the burglary, but opinions and theories about Robert Wone's murder flourished.

Detective Daniel Wagner immediately suspected that Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward were hiding something. He imagined that the men were all drinking, and that the gay trio was determined to induct Wone into their sexual circle. Other investigators, too, have speculated that perhaps the men injected Wone with an unknown drug and either sexually assaulted him or indulged in very rough consensual sex, during which either he accidentally diedor they believed he was dead and killed him to cover it up.

The three gay men deny that they had any sexual relationship with or intentions toward Wone.

Everyone interviewed seems to think that Wone was honestly and happily heterosexual.

The killing has been a popular topic on a Washington City Paper blog, the Sexist. And a group of men have dedicated a website,, to following the investigation of this murder within their community. Before Washington gay paper, the Washington Blade went under, it repeatedly made the Wone case a major story.

Robert Hu, a writer for AsianWeek, has accused the mainstream media of being afraid to accuse three gay white men of being the bad guys; Camille Paglia agrees. Hu also compares the free-spirited Ward to a concubine, and suggests that he may have had an Asian fetish that left him fixated on Wone.

While writers, bloggers, and D.C. residents talked, the case dragged on. The first anniversary of Wone's death saw public appeals from his wife and the Organization of Chinese Americans to find his killer or killers. The case had been transferred between three different prosecutors, and promised FBI analysis was slow coming.

The three other men who'd been in the Swann Street house that night struggled to resume their lives.

Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky continued their careers for a time. The two men sold their house, after completing what their lawyer claims were extensive repairs made necessary by the police investigation.

Dylan Ward finished massage school. In the summer 2007, he went to Thailand. When he returned that October, he joined friends in Wilton Manor, Fla., and got a job at a spa there.

Later Zaborsky and Price would buy a house in Miami Shores, Fla. Ward moved in and took care of the house while the other men were in Washington.

Wone's widow tried to find peace.

Robert Wone's grave
Robert Wone's grave

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