Who Killed Robert Wone? The Suspects and Theories Explained

In August 2006, Robert Wone was found dead in the guest bedroom of his friend Joe Price's home in Washington D.C.

Wone, 32, had died after being stabbed three times in the chest, but the circumstances around his death have confounded authorities for years.

Peacock's new two-part documentary Who Killed Robert Wone? tries to answer this very question, and director Jared P. Scott spoke with Newsweek about bringing to light the different suspects and theories once more to try and help the case.

Who Killed Robert Wone? The Suspects and Theories Explained

Robert Wone
Robert Wone smiles in this image from Peacock's new documentary "Who Killed Robert Wone?" The lawyer was killed in August 2006, and the circumstances around his death are still largely a mystery. Peacock

Wone was killed in the home of his friend Price, who shared the house with his two romantic partners, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward. Wone had stayed over because he did not wish to disturb his wife Katherine by coming home in the middle of the night after a late shift he had at his work, Radio Free Asia.

According to the documentary, Wone arrived at the residence at approximately 10:30 p.m. on August 2, and at 11:49 p.m. Zaborsky made a call to 9-1-1 to say that the lawyer had been stabbed. Paramedics arrived five minutes later.

The first EMT that arrived on the scene is featured in Peacock's documentary, and he shared how he felt something was off because Wone's torso had no blood on it. He said that he felt the manner in which Price, Zaborsky and Ward acted around him was strange.

The lawyer was pronounced dead at 12:24 a.m. on August 3. No one has been charged with his murder at this time.

1. There was an intruder

At the time of Wone's death, Price, Zaborsky and Ward told authorities that they believed an intruder had killed their friend. The trio, who were in a polyamorous relationship, said they heard a person heading down the stairs of their home when they went to investigate a series of grunts coming from the guest bedroom.

The trio claimed that an intruder must have entered their home from the townhouse's backdoor which had been left open and could be reached if they had jumped over their garden fence. They said that they had not heard anyone coming up the stairs of their home, nor could they explain why the alleged killer had chosen to go past Ward's room and enter the guest bedroom across the hallway.

None of the three men had seen the alleged intruder, and the police largely dismissed their witness testimony because they believed that there was a lack of evidence to support the theory.

When Price, Zaborsky and Ward were charged with obstruction of justice and taken to court in 2008, defense attorney Bernie Grimm argued that the police had not sufficiently investigated the possibility of there being an intruder.

Grimm appeared in the Peacock documentary and shared how police had ignored witness testimony from a neighbor that could have suggested there was an intruder. He also mentioned that for the trial, he tested whether it was possible for a person to climb over the fence to reach the house and found that it could be done.

2. One of the people in the house killed Robert Wone

When the crime first took place police believed that one of the people in the house with Wone was responsible for the murder. Price, Zaborsky and Ward have all denied any involvement in Wone's death.

The police investigation found that Wone had been sexually assaulted, and they believed he had either been restrained or injected with a drug that had paralyzed him as there were puncture marks found on his body. The surgical precision with which he had been cut suggested that Wone had not moved when he was stabbed. There were no traces of drugs in Wone's system, according to the autopsy report.

Authorities found a large collection of BDSM items in the home, including things that could be used to restrain a person during sex, and they believed this might have been relevant to the case. However, an investigation of the items found that none could be linked to Wone's murder.

Moreover, while a knife was found at the scene of the crime, authorities later found the blade was too large to be used in the killing. Police were unable to find the murder weapon, though they argued that a blade that was missing from a cutlery set in Dylan's room was the right size for the crime.

During Price, Zaborsky and Ward's trial for obstruction of justice, Dylan's mother took to the witness stand and testified that she had gifted the cutlery set to her son and had kept the smaller blade.

3. Joe Price, Viktor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward covered up the crime

A third theory is that Price, Zaborsky and Ward had tampered with the scene to cover up the crime for someone, either one of them or another individual.

When first speaking with police, Price said that he had found the knife placed on top of Wone's torso which he then moved to the bedside table. Later he changed his witness statement and claimed that he had taken the knife out of Wone's torso.

Police believed that the blood splatter on the knife and the evidence of white fibers on the weapon suggested that the blade had been wiped with a towel, which appeared to support the theory that the weapon was not the one used to kill Wone as it did not have any traces of the lawyer's grey T-shirt.

When police arrived at the scene in August 2006, Price, Zaborsky and Ward were wearing bathrobes and all three appeared to have recently showered. Authorities also believed that the lack of blood on the scene and around Wone suggested that it had been cleaned up, or that Wone had been moved.

According to the documentary, the police found trace amounts of blood in two locations in the home, but they were unable to investigate them sufficiently to determine if Price, Zaborsky and Ward had allegedly cleaned up the scene.

At the three men's trial in 2010, all were found not guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and tampering with evidence by a judge. The judge claimed that while she felt the three men were withholding knowledge of who killed Wone, she could not say beyond a reasonable doubt that they were guilty of the charges.

Who Killed Robert Wone? Director on the Different Theories

Jared P. Scott told Newsweek how he felt about the case and the different theories that have been presented over the years, with the filmmaker saying it's a "baffling" puzzle.

"I would like to leave that for the audience," Wone said when asked which theory he felt held the most weight. "I think as storytellers we have to root ourselves in [reality]...I have to root myself in what's on record."

He went on: "For me, it's shocking and it's perplexing, and it's baffling, and it's strange just looking at what we do know, never mind all the stuff that we don't know, and this is really a case where it's more about what we don't know than what we do know.

"But just the fact that the detectives walked into a scene where you have three guys in white bathrobes. I mean, how bizarre is that? It's a stranger-than-fiction scenario and if I wrote that in a screenplay there would probably have to be a rewrite because no one would believe it, it would be too ridiculous, and that happened.

"When you look at the affidavit or look at the court transcripts when you hear the 9-1-1 call, you can start to piece together that something isn't adding up, you know things are not what they seem...I've tried to think about this in so many different ways and it really is an impossible puzzle for me," he said.

"There are four people that actually know—or four people that we think know—and one of them was tragically murdered. The other three are not talking, and they haven't spoken out since the night when they went down to the homicide office. So we just don't know, we don't know. We can hear their story in those interrogations, and we play those throughout the show, but other than that we just don't know."

"No matter what theory you put together —this is the really challenging thing for me— whether there was sexual assault, whether it was premeditated, whether it was a crime of passion, whether it was a random intruder, whether all of these things happened or none of these things happen you have to squeeze it all into 79 minutes," Scott added.

"You have to allow for Robert to arrive, to take a shower, to go upstairs to go to bed. You even look at things like he had his mouth guard in his mouth and he always does that before he goes to bed, so clearly he must have put himself to bed.

"The idea that there are no defensive wounds. So at some point, he didn't move. There's a theory about a paralytic agent. Why didn't he move? He didn't try to defend himself, he didn't have any signs of struggle, there's no blood. I don't know, nothing adds up," he said.

"But whatever happened, for all those perplexing central curiosities to be there you still have to think whatever happened, to put together what it is that we know, what we think we know, or that we don't know, it had to have happened in that 79-minute window, and I find that absolutely baffling. It's a puzzle that I can't put together."

Who Killed Robert Wone? is out on Peacock now.