It’s a true story that sounds like a crime novel: 91-year-old Viola Dratch, a former journalist for the Washington Times and a regular on the well-heeled D.C. social scene, was found dead in her house on Friday of strangulation and blunt-force injuries. Last evening, police arrested her 47-year-old husband Albrecht Gero Muth and will charge him with second-degree murder. He had no alibi and a history of violence against his wife. Also, he “approached one of Drath’s relatives the day she was reported dead and said that he and his wife had an agreement that he would receive tens of thousands of dollars upon her death.”
Muth bluntly referred to their twenty-year marriage as one of convenience: The couple often hosted parties together, and Muth capitalized on Drath’s connections in journalism and diplomatic circles, but his own résumé was somewhat suspect. A German native, he said he was an Iraqi general and would don the full uniform, complete with “swagger stick,” for walks around the neighborhood. The Iraqi government says he has no connection to their military or embassy.