Stir It Up

Global media spotlight Georgetown murder

August 18, 2011

The world is watching Georgetown as all struggle to comprehend what happened to 91-year-old German-born journalist Viola Drath, killed in her Q Street home in the East Village, hours before her husband Albrecht Gero Muth, 44 years her junior, was arrested by D.C. police on charges of second-degree murder. As neighbors regret the loss, global media contribute (glom on?) with new facts and analysis....

The Independent: "The victim, an ageing socialite; the suspect, her much younger husband; and a plot that has everyone puzzled." Read more.

The Wall Street Journal: "The capital was riveted this week by the apparent strangling death of a 91-year-old socialite, but not just because the victim's 47-year-old husband was arrested. It was because her husband—a German claiming to be an Iraqi army general—was known for hosting dozens of the city's power brokers at outlandish soirées in Georgetown." Read more.

The Washington Post: For social opportunists, Washington scene offers fertile climate for reinvention. (Quoting Mary Bird and Carol Joynt.)  Read more.

The Criminal Report Daily: The term black widow refers to the spider of the same name that mates and then devours her ersatz husband.  Is Albrecht Gero Muth, German Ex-pat, a Black Widower? Read more.

The Morton Report, by Marc Osgoode Smith: "We have a bunch of really cool characters floating around this town." Read more.

The Buzz, by Patricia Sullivan and Lauren Abdel-Razzaq, "Good morning. Today’s life lessons: Listen to your friends, be wary of letting young men into your home or a stranger close to your posterior, and when times get tough, turn to your family." Read more.

The Atlantic Wire:  Muth built an impressive e-mail list that reached the highest levels of government. Ambassadors and defense attaches attended dinners in the basement of his home under the guise of official Iraqi events. Journalists were lured with promises of hobnobbing with high-ranking members of the Iraqi military. Read more.

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D.C. not just talk when it comes to trash

August 15, 2011

D.C. sanitation officials have been handing out tickets for garbage bags left curbside on collection days, citing rat control efforts. "Our rental house at on 27th Street received two $75 fines for trash bags left at property, on trash days, but not enclosed in a container, citing that bags only are rat bait," said one Georgetowner.

The fine is $75 for the first violation, with fines of up to $500 for repeat offenses.  Multi-unit buildings can be fined as much as $1,500.  As of Aug. 15, the D.C. sanitation department has new 32-gallon trash cans in stock (standard issue for twice weekly collection).  Call 311 or send an e-mail to, or go to the website.  Deliveries of new trashcans are made in two to three weeks, and if the resident has one on order, the household reportedly will not incur any fines while waiting for the container.  Payment for cans ($45 for either trash or recycling) must be made within 10 days of placing the request, or the order will not be filled.  Once you receive the container, put the address on the side and top and record the container’s serial number in your records.

Some residents have used containers other than those supplied by the city, with mixed results. "I know people have had these 'personal' cans taken along with the trash!" said one Villager. 

To order a 32-gallon city-issued container:  Call 311, go to DPW's website or e-mail

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Crazed cab crashes along P Street

August 8, 2011

An out-of-control cab careened down P Street, hitting a pick-up truck, knocking over a city tree, and landing on a brick retaining wall, inches from a townhouse.
The incident happened just before 1:00
A tree was collateral as the cab keeled (Photo by: Page Evans) A tree was collateral as the cab keeled
p.m. across from Rose Park in the East Village. The owner of the P Street house got a call from a friend, describing what had happened.
“By the time I got home, I was happy to see the police were already on the scene.” She said she was shocked to see the cab so close to her house, but glad no one was hurt.
“The driver seemed disoriented,” the homeowner said. “I asked him if he needed some water, but he said he was fine.”
An antique car parked on P Street was also damaged in the accident.
Police parked after the commotion (Photo by: Page Evans) Police parked after the commotion
A tree was in the crazed cab's crosshairs (Photo by: Judith Beermann) A tree was in the crazed cab's crosshairs

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