City Desk

A Sinister Laugh?

As details on the murder investigation of  91-year-old journalist-turned-socialite Viola Drath, who died in her Georgetown home on Aug. 12, have emerged, the narrative has seemed nothing short of hard-boiled crime fiction. That didn't change with the release of court documents today.

On Tuesday, Drath's 47-year-old husband Albrecht Muth, who reportedly got chummy with D.C. elites by claiming to be a retired Iraqi army general, was arrested for Drath's murder. And the case D.C. murder cops have built against Muth in court filings makes him seem the quintessential villain, right down to him having laughed after the evil deed. Court records don't yet show a lawyer to contact on Muth's behalf.

An autopsy report cited in charging documents leaves the impression that Drath died badly. A medical examiner noted injuries to Draths body like "bruising and abrasions of the neck, bruising to the scalp, fractured interior neck cartilage, petichial hemorrhages in both eyes, fractured ribs, and a torn right thumbnail." Cops believe Muth, who allegedly produced a letter supposedly authored by Drath saying she wanted him to have $150,000 in the event of her demise, strangled Drath.

According to documents, a neighbor may have eavesdropped on the terrible moment. The neighbor, say papers, "heard a faint cry followed by a 'sinister' laugh."

Photo by chefranden via Flickr/Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0

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