The D.C. #Savopoulos murders: Aspiring professional race car driver Jordan Wallace, personal assistant of murdered D.C. millionaire Savvas #Savopoulos, focus of D.C. police investigation, documents show
By Nate Thayer
June 4, 2015
Washington police have increased their focus of scrutiny in the quadruple murder investigation of the family of prominent Washington businessman on a chief witness who was an employee of millionaire Savvas Savopoulos, police documents show.
Police seized ownership documents of a $700,000 race car owned by Savopoulos from the car of aspiring professional race car driver Jordan Wallace, the personal assistant and driver of Savopoulos, who police say also lied to them about the circumstances of delivering $40,000 in “ransom money” to the Savopoulos residence in the hours before the murders.
Jordan Wallace’s 2009 BMW was found parked one block from the crime scene in the hours after the murders. A search warrant was issued on May 15. The warrant was executed on May 21 and a search of the vehicle found the vehicle registration papers for Savopoulos’s $700,000 Mosler race car, along with Wallace’s passport and checkbook, inside a black Herschel backpack on the rear passenger seat of Wallace’s car.
That 2004 Mosler race car is registered as owned by Sigma Investment Enterprises of Hyattsville, Maryland, according to vehicle records obtained. That company is located at the same address as the American Iron Works. Both companies are wholly owned by Savvas Savopoulos, according to corporate records.
The red Mosler racing car has been central featured in the murder investigation. It was parked in the garage of the Savopoulos residence and Wallace claims to have left $40,000 in an envelope on the driver’s seat at the instruction of Savopoulos shortly before the murders.
Police arrest warrants for Daron Wint, 34, of Hyattsville, Maryland, the only person charged so far for the crimes, state “all four decedents were held captive by Mr. Wint and others until the $40,000.00 forty thousand was delivered to the Savopoulos’s residence by (Jordan Wallace). After the money was delivered the four decedents were killed.”
Wallace is not named as a suspect or even person of interest in the crimes. But police have made clear that Daron Wint had unnamed accomplices and the investigation has focused on building a case to arrest more people.
But, when Wallace was interviewed by police immediately after the murders, police say he “lied” to them about the circumstances surrounding his delivery of the money and how he accessed the racing car.
Both Jordan Wallace and the Savopoulos family had deep ties to the professional car racing world. Savopoulos and his 10 year-old son, Philip, who was also murdered, met Wallace at a local racing track in 2014, where Wallace was working as the Director of Competition until he was fired in March.
Wallace widely posted photos and comments on social media of Savopoulos’s fleet of high-end sport and racing cars, including him driving the rare red Mosler vehicle in recent weeks.
With Wallace possessing the registration papers of Savopoulos’s Mosler racing car which police say Wallace both acknowledged having accessed and lying to them about it in connection to the drop off of ransom money connected to the murders, more unanswered questions have been raised about Wallace’s exact role in the mysterious drama surrounding the quadruple murders.
At around 10:00 in the morning on the day of the murders, “When (Wallace) was ten minutes away from Mr. Savopoulos’ residence he called Mr. Savopoulos on the phone and informed him he had the package and was nearby,” according to police documents. Wallace “stated that Mr. Savopoulos instructed him to place the money on the seat of his red car which was parked in the garage on his house.”
Police documents also detail how Wallace “lied”– a word they use in several charging documents, search warrants, and affidavits–about when Savopoulos had called him about picking up the package of money at the company offices in Hyattsville, Maryland; about the circumstances of retrieving the money; about how he delivered the money; what packaging the money was contained in; and how he accessed the Mosler sports car in the Savopoulos residence garage, where Wallace said he left the package.
Wallace first told police “that when he arrived at 3201 Woodland Drive, he went inside the garage and located a key to unlock the door to the car in the garage, and placed the envelope on the driver’s seat. After placing the envelope on the driver’s seat, (Wallace) locked the vehicle and exited the garage and closed the door to the same.”
But police say he “lied” about those details. “Furthermore, (Wallace) admitted that (he) lied when (he) stated the vehicle was locked, (Wallace) stated the vehicle was unlocked and that (he) left the envelope which contained the money in the vehicle.”
In addition, June 5 interviews with contractors who were working on the Savopoulos garage at the time of the murders raised more questions about the accuracy of Wallace’s account of his delivering what the police call “ransom money” immediately before the murders and arson.
The contracting company who was hired by Savopoulos to enlarge the garage say that accessing it required using a coded electronic remote control system. “This I know for sure–you could not manually open or close those garage doors,” said Bill Davies, president of BDC Companies, a Washington, D.C. general contractor hired by Savopoulos to expand the garage from a two to three car bay structure. “You had to use an automatic remote control. It might have had a keypad but I don’t remember seeing one, I never entered from the garage doors, and I never knew an access code number.”
Davies, who confirmed that the garage housed one car–Savopoulos’s $700,000 red Mosler racing car–said that when he accessed the garage, he would enter the front door of the Savopoulos residence and enter the garage from the kitchen. “Even the door inside the house to the garage was locked and required a remote control to enter the garage.”
After the Money Drop
But Jordan Wallace has a strong alibi showing he was not at Savopoulos’s residence when police say the murders took place.
After dropping off the package of money, Wallace then drove to Virginia to work at a martial arts studio owned by Savopoulos, surveillance camera footage and phone records confirm, providing Wallace a strong alibi for not being present at the crime scene when the murders occurred.
Security cameras show Wallace was at a hardware store near a martial arts studio owned by Savopoulos in Chantilly, Virginia from 11:30 A.M until noon.
Savopoulos called Wallace at 11:54 a.m on Thursday, May 14, but the call was not answered, records show. It was the last incoming or outgoing call Savopoulos made or answered before the fire and his murder, which police say occurred sometime between noon and 1:24 P.M Thursday, when Washington emergency personnel were dispatched after reports of a house fire.
Wallace was in Chantilly at 1:34 P.M, according to cell phone tower records, when firefighters arrived at the Savopoulos residence in Washington, D.C.—-placing Wallace 30 miles away from the crime scene.
But Wallace returned to the crime scene immediately after the murders and police discovered his unoccupied car hours after the murder parked one block from the crime scene, police documents say.
Police documents state “Mr Wallace’s vehicle was recovered approximately one block away from the crime scene on May 14, 2015”, the day of the murders. The next day, police applied for a search warrant of Jordan Wallace’s vehicle, according to court documents.
Police applied for a search warrant of Wallace’s BMW, saying they believed “located inside the target vehicle is evidence related to the murder of the four decedents” and “forensic and physical evidence linking Jordan Wallace to this offence.”
Police seized the vehicle and searched it on May 21.
Police found inside a black Herschel backpack on the rear passenger seat of Wallace’s BMW vehicle registration papers for a “MOSL 25” with Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) 1M94136B24C682017.
Wallace first told police that Savopoulos had called him early on the day of the murders and asked him to pick up a package from the American Iron Works office in Hyattsville, Maryland and deliver it to the Savopoulos residence in the upscale Woodley Park neighborhood of Northwest Washington.
But police confronted Wallace with records from Wallace’s own black Apple iPhone with a brown wooden case which showed that Wallace sent a text to Savvas Savopoulos at 8:30 p.m. the night before, on Wednesday May 13: “Got your message, I’ll call you once I get the package,” it read.
Wallace then acknowledged to police that his first account was not accurate and confirmed that the request to retrieve and deliver the package was made on Wednesday evening.
Police have not said why Wallace had two versions of his account of this and other aspects of the money drop in the hours surrounding the murders.
Wallace first went to the Hyattsville offices of the Anerican Iron Works on the morning of March 14 to retrieve the money from other Savopoulos employees, according to police.
After picking up 4 bundles of hundred-dollar bills still wrapped in bank bands, Wallace texted a person, who the police identify only as “Witness # 2″, a photo of a red bag with two bundles of money wrapped in white bank bands at 9:00 A.M Thursday morning.
This investigation has identified “Witness #2 as Wallace’s girlfriend, Ashley Barrett, of Annapolis, Maryland. Barrett is listed as the “Director of Social Media and Photography” at the Autobahn Speedway in Jessup, Maryland, , according to several employees of Autobahn Speedway and others. Wallace worked at the speedway as director of competition and head of media relation, before being fired in March. Savvas Savopoulos and his ten year-old son, Philip, were frequent visitors to the speedway, where they first met Wallace sometime in 2014.
According to copies of the text messages obtained by the Washington Post, Wallace texted Barrett a photo of the red bag and money at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Barrett replied to the text picture “Daaaamn. I wonder how much it is?”
Wallace responded “40”.
“Jesus,” replied Barrett.
Barrett did not return several phone calls asking for comment. Autobahn Speedway employees confirmed she was Wallace’s girlfriend, but said a company wide memo has been distributed to all employees forbidding them from commenting publicly about Jordan Wallace or the murder case.
At 10:26 a.m. on the morning of the murders, according to text messages records obtained by the Washington Post, Wallace texted Savopoulos: “Package delivered.”
Wallace then drove to Virginia to work at a martial arts studio owned by Savopoulos.
“Your affiant believes all four decedents were held captive by Mr. Wint and others until the $40,000.00 forty thousand was delivered to the Savopoulos’s residence by (Jordan Wallace). After the money was delivered the four decedents were killed,” read a police arrest warrant for Daron Wint.