One Dead Lawyer (David Price Mysteries)

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But the previous day, as rain fell, he had visited the site where Rosenberg was shot. Keep silent? Suddenly, Rodrigo Rosenberg was staring at them, sitting alone, with a microphone, in front of a spare table. He was dressed in a navy-blue suit, a starched white shirt, and a pale-blue tie—the kind of muted, formal ensemble that he had worn ever since his father had deserted the family, leaving him the head of the household. On his wedding finger was the ring that Marjorie had ordered for him. Gustavo Alejos. He alleged that the President, the First Lady, members of the Colom Administration, and their business cronies were using Banrural to embezzle and launder money.

At that point, Rosenberg said, the President, the First Lady, Alejos, and others conspired to kill him. Initially, Rosenberg spoke slowly and stiffly, but then his hands began to rise and fall, along with his eyebrows, the power of his voice growing—a voice from the grave. I have four divine children, the best brother life could have given me, marvellous friends. But I hope my death helps get the country started down a new path. Please —it is time.

Good afternoon. The video, which lasted about eighteen minutes, appeared to have been made cheaply. A blue sheet had been hung behind Rosenberg, to deflect glare, and there was a dull hum in the background, perhaps from cars on a nearby street.

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When the video ended, President Colom and his staff were unable to speak. One aide later told me that he felt as if they had been transported into another world—a world of movie thrillers. Finally, Colom muttered that his enemies were trying to destroy his Presidency. No one in the room asked the President or Alejos if the allegations were true. An official who is close to Colom told me he could not believe that the President had been involved in ordering a murder. The room was filled with unacknowledged tensions and questions: Why had Rosenberg called for Vice-President Espada to take the reins of the country?

Was Espada involved with Rosenberg, trying to orchestrate a new kind of coup? The video was almost instantly uploaded to YouTube, and it was broadcast on national television. The President, Alejos, and the aides frantically tried to come up with a statement. Finally, they hashed out a few words. And so two aides went out and stood before a pack of reporters, categorically rejecting the accusations. Why was he in hiding? Izurieta taught crisis management at George Washington University, but he was better known as the James Carville of Latin America—a strategist who had helped elect Presidents across the region, including Colom.

The chief of staff e-mailed Izurieta a link to the video. Meanwhile, the Rosenberg video was entering the public consciousness, multiplying and regenerating like a spirochete.

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Within days, hundreds of thousands of people had watched it online—so many that servers crashed. Izurieta, the consultant, arrived at the airport that afternoon and headed to the palace. As he approached, he could see the swarm of white-clad protesters in the plaza—the tsunami blanco , as the press dubbed it. Izurieta told his driver to stop the car, and got out. He knew that there was a moment when a political crisis became unmanageable; at that point, he, too, would be merely a spectator to history.

No one dared to disturb the President, but Izurieta finally had to interrupt: Colom was scheduled to give a live interview on CNN. Colom spoke by satellite from the old executive office in the palace. The only thing missing now is for the President and his henchmen to say that it was Rodrigo himself who immolated himself, kamikaze style, in order to discredit the government and that he himself paid the assassins to murder him.

Twitter provided a stream of data from a new democratic class of informants and orejas , creating a narrative of unpunctuated fragments from sources known and unknown, verified and unverified. Each day, the demonstrations grew, mobilized by messages on Facebook and Twitter. The video looped over and over, in an eternal present tense. The U. Ambassador, Stephen McFarland, paid an urgent visit to the palace. In the nineteen-fifties, the C.

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McFarland stressed to President Colom that there was only one way out of the crisis: to turn over the investigation of the Rosenberg case to a U. Unlike many truth commissions or human-rights bodies, it does not investigate war crimes of the past, or merely monitor abuses. Rather, it aggressively fights against systemic violence and corruption, acting like blasts of radiation on a cancerous organism. Judge Castresana felt like a prisoner in Guatemala.

Owing to security concerns, Castresana was not allowed to venture out alone for his habitual cigarette, or to explore the neighboring streets, with their haunting names—Street of Purgatory, Street of Sorrows, Street of Oblivion. He travelled in a caravan of armor-plated vehicles, and was trailed by bodyguards who were recruited from outside the country, in order to reduce the chance that they were sleeper agents. A bold and, at times, vainglorious man, Castresana treated boredom as if it were a contagion. Though Pinochet was eventually released, it marked the first time in history that a onetime head of state had been detained on the principle of universal jurisdiction.

In , Castresana, after serving in a U.

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Castresana, who had the look of an aging student radical, with wavy brown hair and glasses with small round lenses, was not a typical diplomat. In , in its first big case, CICIG charged a chief homicide prosecutor with obstructing justice and tampering with evidence.

So when we brought the case against the prosecutor it was a complete failure. He came triumphantly to the court and he was released. Through this process, his team began to remove more than fifteen hundred corrupt police officers, including fifty police commissioners and the deputy director of the national police. Part prosecutor, part politician, part lobbyist, Castresana also pushed through Congress several laws strengthening the judicial system.

They included establishing a viable witness-protection program, setting up a framework for legal wiretapping, and making it possible for prosecutors to arrange plea bargains for suspects who provide evidence against a criminal network. Like the Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated, Castresana faces the prospect, in Guatemala, of the first great failure of his international career.

With his security detail, Castresana passed by the protesters in the Central Plaza, and slipped through a side entrance into the palace. Despite its grandeur, the building had a ghostly quality, with its dark, musty rooms, creaking doors, and gossamer curtains that fluttered aimlessly. Castresana found Colom in his office, his bony wrists and neck poking out of his suit. A leading human-rights official told the St.

He looked like a younger, more dashing version of his father. He suspected that there was at least one mole inside CICIG , and worried about leaks; his office was swept each morning and night for bugs, and he used a white-noise machine when discussing delicate matters. A linguistic expert from the National Institute of Forensic Sciences, in Guatemala City, was asked to authenticate the Rosenberg video, analyzing every sound and slur. In a report, the expert said that she could not determine whether Rosenberg had made the video under external pressure as President Colom had suggested.

Near the body, in the dirt beside the road, was a series of deep gashes; they appeared to have been made by the tires of a car. One day, while CICIG agents were canvassing the neighborhood, they detected an unmarked vehicle following their car; a passenger was taking photographs of them. Weeks later, agents were meeting with a potential witness, in the lobby of a hotel outside Guatemala City, when swarms of police officers suddenly descended, trying to seize the witness. After all that, the man had no reliable information—but somebody had clearly been terrified that he did. Castresana and his team, still lacking a key witness, confiscated all the relevant security tapes from buildings near the crime scene.

Images caught on multiple cameras revealed that the moment Rosenberg left on his bicycle, at A.

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And the one at the crime scene, digital enhancements revealed, had, in addition to the spoiler, distinctive red-rimmed tires and a sticker on the lid of the gas tank. After an intensive three-week search, investigators identified the car as belonging to a thirty-three-year-old man named Willian Gilberto Santos Divas, who lived outside Guatemala City. Santos was a former member of the national police force. The idea was outlandish only to the innocent. We are the flawed ones, the innocents, trying to make some rough sense of the daily jostle.

Conspirators have a logic and a daring beyond our reach. All conspiracies are the same taut story of men who find coherence in some criminal act. A squat man with a crisp mustache, he was an ultra-right-wing journalist and a former Presidential candidate who was thought to have participated in multiple plots against the state. In the late eighties, the government accused him of being part of a cabal, known as the Officers of the Mountain, which orchestrated two failed coups.

Both men denied being part of the plots.

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In the late nineties, he had been a member of a clandestine intelligence unit called La Oficinita—The Little Office. Izurieta knew that intelligence operators had previously deployed disinformation to topple a democratically elected government in Guatemala. In , C. Embassy in Guatemala City. The station caused national hysteria by reporting fake news of the government poisoning the water supply and of phantom troops marching on the capital.

If there was a plot to topple the government, the next question was who was the main beneficiary—and hence the prime mover behind it. One person seemed to have the most to gain. Scattered dots seemed to form a picture, like a constellation in the sky. Castresana dispatched a team of investigators. According to a summary of his account, which he later provided to the newspaper El Quetzalteco , the witness stated that a street gang named Pythagoras had been hired to kill Rosenberg, at a price of a hundred and eighty thousand dollars. At one point, a clerk handling evidence in the Rosenberg case was gunned down in Guatemala City.

They checked the security cameras in the hotel parking lot where the witness claimed that the payoff from Baldetti had taken place—nothing of the sort was on tape. Other evidence that the witness provided was fabricated. Even his name was an alias. The whole meeting was an elaborately staged act of misdirection. The government denied the allegations. But Castresana was furious. He believed that the government was also behind the unmarked cars following his agents and the attempt to seize the potential witness at the hotel.

Perhaps members of the Colom Administration were trying to cover up their crimes. Or, perhaps, after so many years of judicial disarray, they thought that, if they were being framed, the only way out was to frame someone else. Castresana sent a formal complaint to the Colom Administration, and forwarded copies to the U. It was only then, Castresana told me, that the government stopped meddling. Brett Parson declined to discuss the unit's involvement. Attorneys' office.

An obstruction of justice charge was filed in October against housemate Dylan Ward, who had since moved to Miami-Dade County, Florida and was living in a home owned by Price. The affidavit filed by authorities supporting the arrest warrant for Ward showed that investigators had concluded the men were not telling the truth about what happened.

The report states "The evidence demonstrates that Robert Wone was restrained, incapacitated, sexually assaulted, and murdered inside Swann Street," [19] and there exists "overwhelming evidence, far in excess of probable cause" that Price, Zaborsky, and Ward "obstructed justice by altering and orchestrating the crime scene, planting evidence, delaying the reporting of the murder to the authorities, and lying to the police about the true circumstances of the murder. Officials believe that a knife from the kitchen had been smeared with blood and placed near the body, while a duplicate of the knife which was missing from a set found in Ward's bedroom would have been more consistent with the wounds to Wone's body.

The autopsy revealed evidence of some degree of suffocation, perhaps by a pillow, and puncture marks on his neck, chest, foot and hand. Though no toxins were found in his blood, a lack of evidence of struggle led investigators to suspect Wone had been injected with a paralytic agent.

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Cadaver dogs found a blood residue in a dryer lint trap and the patio drain, which detectives believe may be evidence that someone washed themselves in the back patio area, and dried wet clothes in the dryer. In April , prosecutors disclosed that two emails had been drafted on Wone's BlackBerry "at a time when prosecutors believed Wone dead". Formal defense in the conspiracy case began on June 17, , and concluded without any of the defendants testifying. Judge Lynn Leibovitz found each of the three men not guilty of charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence on June 29, On November 25, , Wone's widow Katherine filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the three men, largely based on the police affidavit.

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Wone's death has proven to be one of Washington, D. Since Wone's death, multiple organizations have established scholarships and other memorials in his name, including the Virginia Department of Social Services "Robert E. On October 22, , family and friends gathered at Barksdale Field at the College of William and Mary to dedicate two benches and two Chinese pistache trees in Robert's memory. The plaques on the benches read "Rest awhile and enjoy the wonderful world around you," a reference to one of Wone's favorite songs by Louis Armstrong, It's a Wonderful World.

There, Wone met Joseph Price, then a senior, in the —93 academic year. As part of his public service responsibilities with the law firm, [40] Wone served as general counsel for the Organization of Chinese Americans OCA. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 22 April USA Today. Retrieved Seattle Athletic Club. In , Mr. In the season, the show was among the five most popular on television, and Mr. Burr twice won Emmy Awards for best actor in a series. Even after the show was canceled, Mason lived on in syndication. Burr recreated the role in "The New Perry Mason" in , and in a television movie, "Perry Mason Returns," that was the second-highest-rated television movie in the season.

It led to 25 more Perry Mason vehicles. Burr played a journalist in "Kingston: Confidential" in The next year, he appeared in the mini-series "Centennial," and in the late 80's he also was one of the hosts of "Unsolved Mysteries.

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According to the reference work Current Biography, Mr. Burr was married three times. His first wife, Annette Sutherland, an Englishwoman, was killed in when the plane in which she was traveling was shot down by the Germans. His second marriage, to Isabella Ward, ended in divorce, and his third wife, Laura Andrina Morgan, died of cancer in His only child, Michael Evan, by his first marriage, died of leukemia in Burr, who was a cooking enthusiast and once owned an art gallery in Beverly Hills, Calif. He is survived by a sister, Geraldine Fuller of Fairbanks, Alaska.

One Dead Lawyer (David Price Mysteries) One Dead Lawyer (David Price Mysteries)
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