Revisiting our "Mystery on Swann St." podcast about the murder of Robert Eric Wone
On August 2, 2006, a 32-year-old married attorney, Robert Eric Wone, was found stabbed to death inside the home of a friend on Swann St. in Washington, D.C. The three men who lived there said an intruder did it. But police found no evidence of an intruder and suspected the scene had been cleaned up.
Even more chilling, an autopsy found Wone had been sexually assaulted, had no defensive wounds to his hands and may have been drugged before his death.
Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward were all charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and tampering with evidence but were acquitted at trial.
16 years later the mystery endures. Who murdered Robert Eric Wone and why?
Missing Pieces, a FOX 5 DC True Crime/Mystery podcast, shined a light on this case that has left us with more questions than answers when it debuted in the fall of 2019. Below are all 7 episodes related to the Swann St. murder mystery.
You can access the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Amazon Music, or listen to the episodes below via Audioboom.
Episode 1: The Intruder
This first episode introduces us to Robert Eric Wone and explains the beginning of what would unroll into a murder mystery still unanswered to this day. Below is also a clip from Good Day DC's interview with former FOX 5 reporter Paul Wagner discussing the series.
Episode 2: The Interrogation
DC police did not believe the stories they are getting from Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward about what happened inside 1509 Swann St. the night Robert Wone was killed. The three men told detectives an intruder entered the house, took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed Wone in a second-floor guest bedroom. But detectives suspect the men, who called themselves a family, got their stories straight before calling 911. The three are questioned for hours at homicide and are released without charges.
Episode 3: The Wooden Stairs and A Secret Life
The night of the murder inside 1509 Swann Street detectives debated whether an intruder could get out of the house without making a sound on the wooden stairs. The three men who lived there told police they heard no one running from the house. Detectives also wondered why Robert Wone, a married man, was spending the night in the home of three gay men. Did he have a secret life?
Episode 4: The Prosecutor's Theory
Prosecutor Glenn Kirschner takes us deep inside the case. "We had the most curious crime scene I have seen in my 30 years as a prosecutor," Kirschner told FOX 5’s Paul Wagner. In his first extensive comments in the case in nine years, Kirschner explains why he thinks the scene was cleaned up before paramedics and police arrived. The man who took Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky to trial said, "We had a really sophisticated cover-up of what went on in that house and who killed Robert Wone."
Episode 5: The 1st Arrest and a ‘Big Ticket’ Mistake
Prosecutor Glenn Kirschner explains why the US Attorney’s Office chose to arrest Dylan Ward first in the murder of Robert Wone and wait days before arresting Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky. Kirschner also explains the "big ticket" mistake made by evidence technicians looking for blood inside the Swann Street house while Defense Attorney Bernie Grimm goes in-depth explaining another possible explanation for the murder. It’s a theory that never made it into court.
Episode 6: The Trial
We cover the opening statements, the first few weeks of the trial and each side’s take on the knife found at the scene. Was it the murder weapon or a plant? Three experts - including famed forensic scientist Henry Lee - weigh-in. Defense attorney Bernie Grimm and prosecutor Glenn Kirschner discuss their strategies, and, for the first time, we explore the break-in at the Swann Street house in the weeks after the murder. Could there really be a nexus between the men arrested for the burglary and the murder of Robert Wone?
Episode 7: The Judge's Decision
In the seventh and final episode, Judge Lynn Leibovitz explains her reasons for acquitting Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky in the murder of Robert Wone in a 38-page decision. Leibovitz going into extensive detail on what she thought of the Intruder Theory, the knife found at the scene and the prosecutions claim there was a long delay in reporting the murder. In the end, she called it a "math problem." Defense attorney Bernie Grimm discusses the defense team’s reaction to the verdict while prosecutor Glenn Kirschner explains why the case has left him haunted. Robert's widow Kathy, who declined to be interviewed, instead lets her feelings be known through a statement saying, "my overwhelming feelings toward them is not anger or hate, but of immeasurable sadness."