The Victorian rowhouse at 1509 Swann Street, NW has a lot going for it— it’s on one of DC’s prettiest streets, steps from some of the city’s trendiest bars and restaurants, and has undergone a stylish remodel. Those features were apparently enough to compensate for its one glaring flaw—that it’s the scene of an infamous unsolved murder—because the house found a buyer last month.
It was listed in May for $2,395,000. After nearly two months on the market, the price dropped to $2,275,000. It closed October 3 for $2,162,500. The seller, Forest Kettler, of the Kettler real-estate family, bought the home in 2011 for $1,495,000.
On August 2, 2006, a young lawyer named Robert Wone stayed the night at the house, then occupied by his friends Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward. Around midnight, a 911 dispatcher received a call that Wone had been stabbed. Paramedics found him on a pull-out sofa looking as if he’d been “showered, redressed, and placed in the bed.” Price and his roommates told police they believed an intruder had somehow gotten into the house. They were charged with obstruction of justice and acquitted in 2010; they settled a wrongful death suit filed by Wone’s wife, Katherine Wone, in 2011. To this date no one has been charged with Wone’s murder.
The house’s new owner has not returned a call for comment. One of its listing agents, Katri Hunter of Compass, declined to comment, saying, “We made an agreement when we listed the property that we weren’t going to talk to the press.”