Death of Former Washington Times Contributor Ruled Homicide

91-year-old Viola Drath found dead Friday

By John Wist
|  Monday, Nov 28, 2011  |  Updated 9:10 PM EDT
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Husband in Custody in 91-Year-Old's Death

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UPDATE: The husband of a 91-year-old woman found dead in Georgetown Friday has been taken into custody in connection with her death, News4's Pat Collins reported. Albrecht Gero Muth was charged with second-degree murder.


Police continue to search for who may have killed a long-time journalist and contributor to the Washington Times.

Viola Herms Drath, 91, was found dead in her Georgetown rowhouse on Q Street early Friday morning.

Police said they originally responded to the report of an unconscious person and when they arrived at Drath’s home they found no signs of life and pronounced her dead. But by Saturday, D.C.’s Chief Medical Examiner ruled that Drath’s death was a homicide.

Drath’s second husband, 47-year-old Albrecht Gero Muth, listed the cause of her death as “head trauma from a fall” in an obituary submitted to the Washington Post. But investigators say Drath’s injuries are inconsistent with a fall.

According to court documents, Muth was charged with assaulting Drath in 2006 -- hitting her head with a chair, pounding her head into the floor several times and sitting on her for five to 10 minutes, News4's Pat Collins reported. Those charges were dropped.

According to the Post, Drath was born in Germany in 1920 and was a longtime correspondent for Handelsblatt Newspaper. She later immigrated to the United States after marrying her first husband, a U.S. Army colonel, and worked as a college instructor and contributor to the Washington Times.

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