Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a two-part report on the 10-year anniversary of the murder of local attorney Robert Wone. Click here for last week’s story.
On June 29, 2010, D.C. resident and prominent attorney Joseph Price, his domestic partner Victor Zaborsky, and their friend, housemate and reported lover Dylan Ward were found not guilty of charges linking them to the August 2006 murder of Washington attorney Robert Wone.
The three had been indicted in 2008 on charges of evidence tampering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice in connection with the Wone case, but no murder charges were brought due to lack of sufficient evidence, police said.
Wone, a friend of the three men who was straight, was found stabbed to death in the guest bedroom of the townhouse where the three men lived near Dupont Circle. Wone had been spending the night there after working late at his D.C. office, the men told police.
The men also told police they believed an intruder killed Wone after entering the house through an unlocked back door while they were asleep in their respective bedrooms.
Homicide detectives and prosecutors disputed that claim, saying forensic evidence showed Wone appeared to have been immobilized by a paralytic drug, sexually assaulted, and stabbed three times in the chest and abdomen with no signs of a struggle.
Following a sensational trial covered extensively in the press, D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz said prosecutors proved that the murder could not have been committed by an intruder but failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the men engaged in evidence tampering or obstruction of justice.
The following year – in August 2011 – Price, Zaborsky and Ward agreed to an out-of-court settlement with Wone’s wife, Kathy Wone, who had filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against them the previous year, charging them with being responsible for her husband’s death. Attorneys for Kathy Wone said the settlement involved a monetary payment to her from the three men, but she and Price, Zaborsky and Ward declined to disclose the amount of the settlement.
With that final hurdle seemingly cleared, attorneys representing the three men said their clients hoped to leave what they viewed as a five-year nightmare behind them and move ahead with their lives as private citizens.
Ties to Miami
Property records with the Miami-Dade County, Fla., Property Appraiser show that a Joseph R. Price and Victor J. Zaborsky own a house in Miami Shores, a Miami suburb.
Contributors to the website WhoMurderedRobertWone.com, which was launched shortly after Wone’s death in 2006, have reported that Price, Zaborsky and Ward have lived in or spent time in the Miami Shores house at various times since 2008.
Published reports and public records, including website postings of their current and past employers, show that Price has changed his name to Joseph Anderson and Ward changed his name to Dylan Thomas. It couldn’t immediately be determined whether the two petitioned a court for a legal name change.
In a website posting dated “winter 2013,” the Miami-based immigrant advocacy group Americans for Immigrant Justice, announced it had just hired “Joseph Anderson” as its new Director of Litigation.
“Mr. Anderson comes to us with a broad range of experience,” the announcement says. “His wealth of litigation experience stems from more than a decade of work at a large Washington, D.C. law firm where he rose to become partner and also handled numerous pro bono matters involving human and civil rights.”
The announcement was referring to then Joseph Price’s tenure at the D.C. law firm Arent Fox, which began in 1998 and lasted through part of 2008, when he left the firm following his arrest in the Wone case.
People who know Price note that he met Robert Wone when the two were students at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where Price received his undergraduate degree in public policy in 1993. He received his law degree at the University of Virginia Law School and later became one of the founders of Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy group.
Price became well known in LGBT rights circles when he served from 2002 to 2006 as Equality Virginia’s general counsel while continuing his main job at Arent Fox.
Last week, a staff member at the Miami-based consulting and communications company Gapingvoid confirmed that Joseph Anderson was currently working as an attorney for that firm. The Gapingvoid website last week featured a photo of Joseph Anderson, who clearly was the same person as the former Joseph Price based on earlier photos taken of him.
“An out-of-the-box attorney brings more than fifteen years of intellectual property (IP) licensing, litigation and general legal management skill to Gapingvoid’s efforts to rethink and redesign the business of business culture,” a profile of Anderson on the firm’s website said.
“Joe brings Gapingvoid’s creative philosophy to solving legal challenges and developing innovative business relationships that align to the needs of our partners and clients,” the profile said.
Contributors to the Who Murdered Robert Wone site reported last year that they discovered the name and photo of Dylan Thomas – who was clearly the same person as the former Dylan Ward – on the website of the Seattle Athletic Club in Seattle, Wash.
An April 2015 posting on the site welcomed Dylan Thomas as the club’s newly hired “massage practitioner” and “Pilates Instructor.”
“Dylan has practiced massage for seven years,” the write-up says. “Along with Swedish and Deep Tissue, Dylan has extensive experience in Thai massage, having studied three months in Chiang Mai in 2007,” it says.
“Dylan also comes to us with an impressive 800 hour comprehensive Pilates teacher training from the Pilates education Group in Miami under Anna Alvarez with Core Dynamics,” the Seattle Athletic Club web write-up says.
But similar to the sudden change in Joseph Anderson’s employer from American Immigrant Justice to Gapingvoid, Wone case observers noticed earlier this year that the Seattle Athletic Club no longer listed Thomas as being employed there. Instead, Dylan Thomas’s photo and short biography turned up on the website of the Miami-based health club called Pilates Miami.
“Dylan Thomas is a licensed massage therapist who fell in love with Pilates and never looked back,” the club’s web write up for Thomas says. It says he studied Pilates techniques in Miami before moving to Seattle, where he received further training.
“Dylan is profoundly grateful to both of his mentors and to all of the wonderful Pilates teachers who have so generously educated him in a discipline that, to him, is nothing less than joy in motion,” it says.
Thomas’s current work in massage therapy and Pilates marks another turn for a widely varied career and educational background. A native of Tacoma, Wash., and the son of a cardiologist, then Dylan Ward received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1995. He went on to receive an Associate of Culinary Arts degree from the culinary Institute of America in New York.
His official biography says he earned a master’s in children’s literature degree from Simmons College in Boston in 2003 and went on to write and edit numerous children’s books.
After meeting then Joe Price and Zaborsky in Washington, D.C., and later moving in with them, Ward soon began work at Equality Virginia and became the group’s development director, where he reportedly excelled in fundraising. His career took another turn in 2006, when he graduated from the Potomac Institute of Massage Therapy and became licensed to practice massage in D.C.
Zaborsky, who has worked since 1995 for the D.C.-based dairy and milk industry trade association called the Milk Processor Education Program or MilkPEP, is profiled on the organization’s website with no change in his name.
“In his role as Vice President for Marketing, he leads consumer marketing efforts for the Milk Life campaign (formerly National Milk Mustache ‘got milk?’ campaign) and The Great American Milk Drive, an industry-wide national program optimized for the retail environment,” the website profile for Zaborsky says.
“His expertise in strategic planning, communication, multicultural marketing, social media, digital and content marketing has helped drive milk consumption and sales,” says the profile, which includes a photo of Zaborsky.
It couldn’t immediately be determined whether Zaborsky spends time in the Miami Shores house where Joe Anderson and Dylan Ward are believed to be living.
Neither of the three men responded to messages seeking comment on their activities in the 10 years since Robert Wone’s death.