- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Drath murder case exposes bizarre lifestyle of Georgetown couple
Competency hearing set for Muth
Question of the Day
It wasn’t until police threw open the door of the cream-colored Q Street home on a hot night in August that the eccentric — and at times abusive — life of the bizarre couple was thrust into the spotlight.
Drath, 91, was found dead in a bathroom. Her husband of 20 years, a German man about half her age who often dressed in military garb and presented himself to acquaintances as a secret agent or a diplomat, was taken into custody and charged in connection with her killing.
On Wednesday, Mr. Muth, 47, is scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court for his second mental health update. Court papers filed ahead of the hearing say that doctors who talked with Mr. Muth last week concluded that he is not competent to stand trial.
The widower was admitted to St. Elizabeths Hospital on Feb. 15 after he started a lengthy hunger strike and told officials he communicated with angels. He also attempted to fire his attorneys so he could represent himself.
Court documents filed last month quoted the chief executive officer of St. Elizabeths suggesting that Mr. Muth could be faking his bizarre behavior to avoid prison time. The subsequent filing quotes test results that suggest Mr. Muth understands the charges he is facing and the potential penalties, but that he lacks a rational understanding of the proceedings. He continues, for example, to insist that Drath was killed by agents of the Iranian government.
Those who knew the couple said they remember a man just as odd in his Georgetown home as he is behind bars. Some could only hazard a guess as to why a woman known for her proud and energetic demeanor would tolerate and marry such an eccentric man. Many agreed that, regardless of the reasons that brought the two together, the marriage would be Drath’s downfall.
“When you saw this guy, Doctor Strangelove comes to mind,” said Laura Bowling, a neighbor who lives directly across the street from Drath’s home. “The sad part is, this was a fine woman, but her legacy will go into the annals of the bizarre.”
‘Overwhelmed’ by him
A native of Germany, Viola Drath began a career in journalism in Nebraska, working as a correspondent for the German paper Die Weltpost and for KUON-TV in Omaha.
When her first husband, Col. Francis S. Drath, was appointed deputy director of the U.S. Selective Service System in 1968, she moved with him to Washington. From 1975 to 2002, she worked as a foreign correspondent for the Handelsblatt financial daily newspaper of Germany.
She was known for her contributions to the German unification process and her analysis of postwar foreign policy between the United States and Germany.
Drath worked in Washington as a journalist and college professor. She wrote several books and authored dozens of columns over a span of two decades for the commentary pages of The Washington Times. She reportedly married Mr. Muth, also a native German, in 1990, four years after the death of her first husband, to whom she had been married for nearly 40 years.
“I think she was lonely,” said Kevin Chaffee, senior editor of Washington Life magazine and former society editor for The Washington Times.
“She was a very elderly lady, very generous and charming. Then there was this guy who was like an albatross around her neck.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Higher Ground: 'Christian' Grey
- Priest abuse survivors group marks milestone
- Teen girl exorcised by priest, sends demonic text messages in response
- Obama nominates Rabbi David Saperstein as ambassador for religious freedom
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors