Every once in a while, you come across a series that blows your mind away. “Who Killed Robert Wone?” streaming on Peacock falls in that category. You surely must have heard about other such true crime documentaries, but trust me, you have not seen one like this. The series is about the murder of Robert Eric Wone and the events that followed, but who was he, and why did the case become such a sensation? Let me start from the beginning.
Robert Eric Wone, age 32, was a lawyer working as general counsel for Radio Free Asia, a news service agency, in Washington, DC. He was happily married to a woman named Katharine. On August 2, 2006, Robert called his wife from his office, stating he would not be coming home that day. Instead, he would crash at his friends’ place. Who were these friends? Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward. You might ask, what’s the harm if a young man spends one night with his friends, but that proved to be a fatal mistake.
Robert reached Joseph’s house at around 10:30 pm. What actually occurred after this remains a mystery. Robert Wone was found lying unconscious in a room in that house with three knife wounds on his chest. A 911 call was placed by Victor Zaborsky at 11:49 pm. The paramedics arrived and took Robert to the George Washington University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The police started their investigation into the matter, and what they found will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward were taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police Department. After an intensive interrogation session, they all seem to be saying the exact same thing: that there was a fifth man in the house. Who was this fifth man? According to the police reports, they all pointed towards a burglar, who must have broken into the house after they all went to sleep, and it was this same burglar who murdered Robert.
The police were not too keen on this burglary angle. According to the “Burglary Theory,” the burglar came through the backdoor, which was very conveniently left open that night. He didn’t steal any valuables from the ground floor but went a floor up, which is apparently where Robert was sleeping, and instead of taking Robert’s belongings, he ended up murdering him and then vanished without trace. How odd! The whole burglary plot smelled rotten to the police.
Joseph and Victor shared the same bed. According to their testimony, they heard a chime, which broke their sleep, and then, after a few minutes, they heard a scream, or rather, a grunting sound. They went downstairs to find Robert lying in bed with a knife sticking to his chest. Dylan said the same things.
The plot thickens when Joseph is asked about the relationship that he shared with Victor. He answered that Victor was his “partner”, which is why they shared the same bed and Dylan slept in another room. After grilling a bit more, it became quite clear that Joseph, Victor, and Dylan were in polyamorous relationships. The natural question for the police became, “Why would a 32-year-old happily married straight man be spending the night with 3 gay men? These questions were enough to raise doubts and make all three the prime suspects in the case. To have suspicion is one thing, but to find the motive for such a gruesome crime that’s a different ball game altogether. To find a motive, the police went back to their original questions: Why were there no signs of a scuffle in the house? Why were the knife wounds seeming to have been made with surgical precision, and why was there so little blood on Robert’s bed? It’s as if Robert didn’t even try to save himself. Was he tranquilized? Was he tied up?
After an autopsy and a thorough forensic investigation, it was revealed that no such drugs were found in his system that would make Robert incapacitated, and there were no signs of ligature marks indicating he was tied up. The case was reaching a cul-de-sac when suddenly the angle of a sexual assault came into the picture. Maybe the three house residents tried to assault the unassuming Robert, but things went from bad to worse, and they ended up killing Robert. So a rape kit test was ordered, hoping to find Joseph’s, Victor’s, or Dylan’s DNA on Robert. That would surely be incriminating evidence. There was semen found in Robert’s rectum, but it was Robert’s own, and this is where the case became unsolvable.
The whole case that was building towards a conclusion now seemed out of grasp. The questions were too preposterous to be even asked. Did Robert willingly participate in a sexual escapade that inadvertently got him killed? There were only four men in that house that night, one of whom was dead, so only three of them knew the truth.
The trial was squashed, and later a civil suit was filed by Katharine, Robert’s wife, for the wrongful death of her husband. But what really happened that night? How did a promising young man who had his whole life ahead of him end up dead in his friend’s house? The case is baffling, with no final answers. Maybe someday, the truth will come out. Watch “Who Killed Robert Wone?” on Peacock to sink yourself into the mystery. Maybe you’ll find the missing pieces to complete this jigsaw puzzle.