Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder Of Robert Wone

Robert Wone

Born in Brooklyn in 1974, Robert Eric Wone was the first of two sons in his fourth-generation Chinese American family. His father, William Won, now retired, was a technology executive at Chase Manhattan Bank. His mother, Aimee Won, was a librarian at St. Edmund Elementary, a parochial school in Sheepshead Bay. (Robert Wone would use a variant spelling of the family name.) Always a good student, he excelled at Xaverian, a Catholic high school in Bay Ridge, graduating salutatorian.

Robert Wone (left) and wife Kathy
Robert Wone (left) and wife Kathy
At the College of William & Mary, Wone helped revive the 13 Club, dedicated to anonymous good deeds, and he earned the recognition of several honor societies. He won the school's Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for good character.

He went on to study law at the University of Pennsylvania, where he joined the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and served as senior editor of the school's labor and employment law journal. He graduated with honors in 1999, then clerked for Judge Raymond A. Jackson in the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Virginia.

He took a job in real estate development law at the Washington branch of the renowned international firm of Covington & Burling. While employed there he did pro bono work for AmeriCorps in Virginia, the Organization of Chinese Americans, the Virginia Governor's Commission on Community and National Service, the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in New York's Chinatown and other organizations. At the time of his death, Wone was president-elect of the Asian-Pacific Bar Association.

In June 2003, Robert Wone got married. Judge Jackson officiated. Wone had met his wife, Kathy Yu, at a diversity conference. Born in Vernon Hills, Ill., to a dental laboratory technician and a registered nurse, she was as smart and ambitious as her husband. She graduated from the University of Illinois and earned a law degree at St. Louis University. She'd been on the staff of the American Bar Association in Chicago when she met Wone, and soon became an editor for the Bureau of National Affairs in Washington.

They were young, in love, and successful. Wone got a new job as general counsel for Radio Free Asia just a month before his death. That awful August night, Wone had a late meeting with the Radio's night shift. Since he and his wife lived in Oakton, Va., but he needed to be back at his desk early the next morning, it must have seemed like a good idea to catch up with his old friend Joe Price and stay at his place.


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