Former FBI profiler: Play one story off the other in quadruple murder

WASHINGTON — The capture of Daron Dylon Wint and five people traveling with him will set off a series of interviews in an attempt to build a strong prosecution in the death of a D.C. family and their housekeeper, according to former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt.

Wint was captured Thursday night in Northeast, for the murders of Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their son Philip, and their housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa.

Robert Fernandez, of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, says Wint was with two women and a man in a sedan, following a box truck with two men inside.

“Most of us are familiar with the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine, where you get all of your suspects, you interview them separately, you play one story off the other,” said Van Zandt, whose 25 years in the FBI included investigating Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Van Zandt says suspects are often willing to cooperate with prosecutors, in exchange for leniency.

“The rule is ‘First in, first out,'” said Van Zandt. “If you come in and tell me your story, but more importantly what everybody else did, I can make you a package deal.”

“Everybody else is going down, and realize, they’re going down for a quadruple murder,” he said.

Van Zandt said prosecutors won’t only be interested in the person or people who actually killed the Savopoulos family and Figueroa.

“This is anybody who had knowledge of it, who got some of the money, who tried to help the suspect get out of town,” said Van Zandt. “There’s a lot of people that are gonna fall for this.”

“One person will get a chance to talk, get a chance to make a deal,” but others would like be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, according to Van Zandt.

However, it’s conceivable that some of the six in custody will refuse to provide information to detectives.

“I can talk and talk to you, but as soon as you say ‘I’d like to have a lawyer,’ or as soon as you say something that incriminates you, and I start to follow that line of questioning, that’s the time I have to advise you of your rights,” said Van Zandt.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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