Investigators seek the ‘someone’ Jovin referenced in hour before stabbing

In its second revelation to the public in two weeks, a team of investigators probing the 1998 slaying of Yale College senior Suzanne Jovin has announced that it is seeking the identity of an individual to whom Jovin had lent GRE study materials — a potentially critical line of inquiry that lead investigator John Mannion said previous investigators on the case neglected to explore.

A mysterious, nondescript “someone,” whom Jovin mentioned in an e-mail she sent less than an hour before she was found stabbed in New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood, is the target of the Jovin Investigation Team’s latest lead. But Mannion said there is nothing at this point to indicate that this “someone” is connected with the murder.

Although Jovin’s e-mail, written in German to a classmate, has been part of the murder case file for several years, Mannion said there is “no record” of previous investigators’ attempting to establish the identity of the “someone.”

“Don’t get me started on whether the initial investigation was wonderful,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Clark ’72 said, with a hint of sarcasm. “There’s no way to rewrite history, so you move forward with the different focus.”

Now, in an effort to piece together a timeline of the night of the murder, the Jovin Investigation Team is looking primarily to Yale alumni — perhaps a classmate who knew Jovin, who talked to her, who took the GRE with her in October of 1998 — who may have knowledge of the “someone” to whom Jovin lent her books.

A question never asked

Jovin had just returned to her Park Street apartment on Dec. 4, 1998, after leaving a pizza-making party around 8:30 p.m. She had organized the event, which was held at Trinity Lutheran Church, for the New Haven chapter of Best Buddies, an organization that partners volunteers with individuals who are intellectually disabled.

At 9:02 that night, Jovin sent an e-mail to a female Yale classmate of hers. In the e-mail, Jovin apologized for not returning her classmate’s phone call. Jovin wrote she had her classmate’s GRE study materials, including a book and a CD-ROM, but had lent them out to “someone” else.

It was the phrasing — “someone” as opposed to “a friend” or “Bob,” Mannion said — that initially piqued his interest in the detail. In the last decade, this “someone” has not come forward with his or her identity. Clark said that may be because the question of the person’s identity was never asked “in a public way.”

Jovin wrote that she would retrieve the books and leave them in the foyer of her apartment for the classmate to pick up, giving her classmate the code to her apartment in case Jovin was not in the building.

At about 9:25 p.m., Peter Stein ’99 ran into Jovin on her way to Phelps Gate. She was returning the keys to a University-owned car she had used to get to the Best Buddies event. Stein told the News in 1999 that Jovin told him she planned on returning to her apartment and getting some rest.

A few minutes later, Jovin was spotted near Phelps Gate on College Street by another student, who did not talk to her. It is unclear from that student’s testimony, Mannion said, whether Jovin was walking somewhere, waiting for someone or pausing to admire the holiday lights along the New Haven Green.

That eyewitness — the last person known to have seen Jovin alive — did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. The Jovin Investigation Team has not interviewed this eyewitness directly, but multiple interviews have been documented.

Just over half an hour later, police found Jovin on the corner of Edgehill Avenue and East Rock Road. She had been stabbed 17 times in the head, neck and back. She was pronounced dead on arrival at Yale-New Haven Hospital at 10:26 p.m.

‘There’s always a possibility of anything’

Neither Clark nor Mannion offered any judgment on the fact that the “someone” was only now being pursued.

For a nearly decade-old case that has made little progress in recent years, the Jovin team’s recent inquiries offer a glimmer of insight into the workings of investigators and the history of the investigation itself.

Just over two weeks ago, the Jovin Investigation Team distributed posters and made house calls in East Rock. The investigators are still looking to identify “a physically fit and athletic looking white male with defined features, 20 to 30 years of age, with well groomed blond or dark blond hair” seen running two-tenths of a mile from where Jovin was stabbed on the night of Dec. 4, 1998.

Citing sources “familiar with the case”, the Hartford Courant reported on July 2 that it was a Hamden woman who gave the description of the man after he ran in front of her car shortly before 10 p.m. and glanced at her. When she originally came forward with her testimony, police took her to the office of James Van de Velde ’82 — then a Yale lecturer and the only publicly named suspect at the time — to see whether she could identify Van de Velde as the runner, according to the Courant.

She did not, and was reportedly never contacted by investigators again.

Van de Velde and his attorney, David Grudberg ’82, have long insisted that the investigation’s preoccupation with Van de Velde damaged not only Van de Velde’s personal life but the homicide case as well. Grudberg told the News earlier this month that the Team’s delayed inquiries, though welcome, are representative of the early investigation’s “tunnel-vision.”

The illustration issued earlier this month — featuring a composite of the man seen running near the scene of Jovin’s body — could match the profile of a local university student. So could the “someone” in Jovin’s e-mail.

“There’s always a possibility of anything,” Clark said. “We aren’t drawing those lines.”

Comments

  • Edward "92

    i can't help but ask ,probably on everybody's mind -huh?… she went home first ? and then went to Phellps Gate to return the keys ? A fellow student saw/conversed with her ? and she was on foot ? Where's the vehicle ? Did the recipient of the keys (at Phelps Gate) ask her for the whereabouts of the vehicle ?
    i don't want to interfere with the investigators, maybe this is all well known to them.Maybe she was followed from Park street

  • yales snafu and false aaccusations

    So after all these years, after brodhead fired what appears to be an innocent person, the State assigned investigators may actually be making progress toward getting a reputation back for someone that was ruined by Brodhead? Ya gotta be proud.

  • LAXer

    Worst part is: Brodhead learned no lesson 'bout jumping to conclusions. Scared of big baddies.

  • Anonymous

    Any possibility of the German text in question being made public?

  • anon

    for reply #1 - There was a Yale parking lot at Howe and Edgewood where the Dwight Hall vehicles were kept when not in use. Suzanne's apartment was on Park Street, between Edgewood and Elm. Returning the vehicle to Lot 80 and returning the keys to Phelps was standard operating procedure.

  • Jeff

    If one assumes a victim knew their killer, it makes sense to trace the victim’s every move over the prior few days on the further assumption a prior recent encounter triggered the crime. Therefore, since Ms. Jovin apparently recently personally retrieved items she had lent out to this someone, it only makes sense to determine who this someone is. It’s astounding the NHPD failed to do this. That being said, Ms. Jovin likely had personal contact with a great number of people over the preceding several days. To read into this that this is anything more than routine police work would be a huge mistake. In fact, Vanity Fair mentioned this tidbit in 1999, so it’s not even a revelation.

    More importantly is how Ms. Jovin came in possession of the Fresca bottle which she was not carrying when seen near Phelp’s Gate. Because if she bought it at Krauszer’s on the corner of Elm and York, as seems likely, it establishes a whole new set of circumstances and timeline. Much like the Ramsey case, if the DNA from the print on the soda bottle is finally analyzed (again, it’s astounding that this hasn’t been done), the case could be solved almost instantly through a genetic match. Is the NHPD worried that if an outside source solves the case it will make them look bad— that the only way to salvage what’s left of their dignity and reputation is to solve this on their own to the detriment of expediency, common sense, and most of all closure?

  • joey

    Very good posts. Walking around Howe Street at night -especially a Friday nite, might catch the attention of unsavory characters,and some sort of State/Gov't assistance day also.Just might catch the attention of Vice squad pd N.H…no offense to Sussane
    Very tight time line now i must add,
    We should thank the people who are following this and seeking out new info.
    A student chats with her near Phelps gate (name unimportant to the general pub.)
    She is returning the keys and states that she is tired,heading back home,this at
    9:25 pm , now the actual process of walking into the gate and returning the keys to some office must have taken at least 5 minutes, if there was any conversation with the person inside it, might be 10 minutes ( speaking of which, no comments from any person inside of the gate/office)..any harsh words or just another typical day and proceedure was followed.
    That can have her leaving there at around 9:35 , two directions can be taken,back out of the gate onto College st.or thru the courtyard onto High
    Whichever direction she took she did'nt get far before she accepted a ride.
    Was College st.a one way at the time ?
    it used to be ,perhaps not in Dec 98
    Either way again A general consensus was established that definitely ruled out walking as it is about 2 miles away.
    No jogging or a bike. So she was either asked/was offered/convinced by a person or persons with a vehicle -9:37 -?
    If the vehicle was pointing towards Prospect st. (Woolsey Hall) then it had a str8 route to East Rock rd. but that is still a 10 minute ride via vehicle .
    If the vehicle had to circle the block -College to Chapel to High ,down elm to Prospect via College st. ,then that adds a few more minutes to the ride. her arrival in the vicinity of East Rock St.Ronan is about 9:45 to 9:50.
    Now ,most people are aware of an argument that ws overheard in the area at the time of her murder,between a man and a woman.Making the time of the assault at around 9:50.unless two culprits were having a to-do and she was stabbed in the vehicle.
    And a witness spotting somebody running from that vicinity around 10 that nite, I wonder if the person of interest left his vehicle there ? Maybe an accident happened in the area or Hamden and the guy was walking from it.
    Yes it's elementary i know ,sorry but.

  • Jeff

    Joey, Ms. Jovin was observed by another student walking north on College. As Elm St toward York is one-way in the opposite direction she was apparently headed, can you envision a scenario where she was being trailed by a car? As we know a vehicle was used, can you envision a scenario where she was being trailed by someone on foot? Because if we can’t envision any such plausible scenarios, it implies a chance encounter with someone who just happened to be carrying a knife. Yes, it’s possible trust and pleasantries between friends almost instantly turned to bitterness and murder, but is it probable? Are there not more likely scenarios the person(s) with the knife, presumably driving a tan/brown van, had found a random victim? Yes, all “she knew her killer” avenues should be explored, but not at the expense of random violence scenarios. Regardless, since we all carry DNA, getting the DNA on the soda bottle analyzed should be priority one.

  • james

    question/ if jovin was on foot perhaps she may have jumped on a city bus to escape a stalker and exited at a point
    where she was later found murdered. if
    the stalker was driving a car he could
    have followed her bus route and saw her exit at a bus stop and committed the
    crime. point: jovin would not have accepted a ride from a stranger but felt the need to seek safety via public tranportation.
    did the police check the city bus schedule to see if this theory might be
    plausible?

  • joey

    Yes Jeff. An encounter with someone by Jovin in the previous days is an avenue.
    (if i may), AN encounter by a similiar looking girl-with the killer(s) is yet another avenue.A nasty incident involving another in the City,maybe a year before (dec.98)
    Some angry girl who was in a mob mentality in the van ,might have spotted her (jovin) while she was walking all over downtown.
    "take me to your possy now bi##."?
    "where's your brother/boyfriend now"?
    …where she might have replied.."just str8 down ..and down Prospect she went…with strangers….
    To her only friend perhaps.Van Der Welde..her thesis advisor…A lonely girl ,far away from home,not many friends…He was'nt home , They took advantage of the area ….The stabbing could have taken place back downtown (or started)
    A surprise attack, no time to scream.
    Out someone else came ,and promised to take her to the Hospital ,but once inside of the vehicle …Remember the very tight TIMEFRAME, if she was headed up Elm towards York ,Then someone could have pulled over next to her while she was walking. Elm heads South,all lanes,High comes into Elm,York comes into Elm.She was walking North with vehicles on her right,passenger side,a certain type of vehicle with a sliding door would make it easier to …
    Like i said before She could not have gotten far from Phellps gate before she was forced/convinced into a vehicle or She asked/accepted a ride..Then that witness just missed the Boarding of Jovin.
    one scenario i suppose.
    Does it explain the man running across Whitney Ave ?
    Another scenario if i may is
    ..She actually got dropped off there at no earlier than 9:50 . i mentioned that i rode my bike there (corner) and i was just thinking how it looks so Quaint
    almost German, yes ,arriving no earlier than 9:50 and maybe 9:52
    .God and she was found dying at 9:58…driver of possible scenario JUST MISSED THE ATTACK..
    then she was dropped off into the arms of the killer..possible but a little shaky story.
    A rogue security/officer with a relative in the vehicle is another scenario,which would explain the man running. I can really picture that as the new employ asks .." Who's that lady"
    "oh ,i don't know ,perhaps CAROLINE "
    "What Is She Doing"?
    "GEE ,I DON'T KNOW ,I Think She's With The Best Buddies" and the rest is a mentality of some that the University might be very familiar with now.
    It explains her getting into the vehicle.

  • Jeff

    Ms. Jovin was found nearly two miles away from campus shortly before 10pm in a posh part of the E Rock neighborhood where there are no city bus stops and when city buses in general do not run. As per comment #8, since Ms. Jovin crossed the Old Campus (a grassy area) and as she likely walked against one-way traffic on Elm, it makes it very unlikely a stalker trailed her in a car. As she was found so quickly so far from campus, implying she was driven there, it makes it very unlikely she was stalked by someone on foot. Hence the increased likelihood of a chance encounter.

  • joey

    College was a one way street from Elm to Chapel. That if she was spotted by a person or persons with a vehicle there then they would of had to travel around the block - College to Chapel,right on Chapel then another right onto High street ,then either at that corner ,being High and Elm or taking a right onto Elm and pulling alongside an opposite direction moving Jovin..
    A possibilty of being stalked while their partner was in the vehicle.

  • blue

    I think this girl might have been dogged every step as a Student, and she is being dogged every step in the quest for justice.
    I have a question,
    Why would this student be walking into Phelps gate at 9:25 (or towards Phelps)on COLLEGE ST.?
    Leaving Phelps she travels thru the courtyard to High - to Elm ,than up to Krausers/Wawas ..(or so they say)
    But why did she not go that route on arriving ? i'm not calling anybody a liar but just asking..
    And possible that the lady made it to Krausers/Wawas and bought a soda bottle but that really closes the gap -tremendously -
    Definitely rules out stopping anywhere else,and makes it almost a certainty that the stabbing commenced in a vehicle.
    Someone else must have seen something ,so much time has transpired

  • joey

    They always tell you to walk cautiously,be aware of your surroundings.

    seems like this girl was possibly taking evasive steps, avoiding someone maybe

  • Jeff

    Joey/Blue, the fellow Yalie who talked with Ms. Jovin moments before she returned the keys to Phelp's Gate said she was calm, complained of being tired, and had no plans except to go back to her room and work. Don't forget that there's a police substation under Phelp's Gate as well! It is somewhat odd she didn't retrace her steps to go back home, but perhaps she just wanted a change of scenery on this unusually warm night. The other student who saw her on College was returning from a big hockey game. As she described seeing others walking nearby, no alarm bells go off in my head about Ms. Jovin choosing to walk a deserted path back nor that she thought she was being stalked. But, yes, anything is possible. I just don't think it probable.

    For a more detailed version of my thoughts (right or wrong), please see: http://siliconinvestor.advfn.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=24773857.

    For a really good map of Ms. Jovin's likely route that night, please see: http://siliconinvestor.advfn.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=24166152

  • joey

    Question for the gentlemen. How many of you ever had a girl tell you that she was either going home ,or a not-tonite sweetie??,i had a girl give me a sexy arm out stretched yawn and then hopped in the car of a football hero…
    oh yeah right,she's going home on a Friday nite with temps about 60 degrees

  • Charlotte D.

    If she said she was going home than it's a safe bet she was going home.all kiddin aside. I would swear that she never made it to Wawas on York. no way,leaving Phelps gate onto college and walking up Elm,into wawas and buying a soda. then getting into a vehicle,and getting out at St.Ronan & East Rock -dying or soon to be.at 9:58 -no way
    Unless someone is lying about the time which i strongly doubt.
    And was there any body else at Wawas buying a soda -same brand ? Who was lurching about this gate ?
    Nobody outside of the Police/Security or students can be near that gate without being questioned -ever.it's the busiest gate on campus if you ask me.
    More like a Hotel entrance. Stalked ,stabbled and shuttled

  • Al

    Were all of the Best Buddies accounted for, might one of them have had a crush on her and been rejected…

  • Joey

    good question #18. Maybe someone was'nt invited to the Party.Had a crush on her ,was rejected and then stabbed her,put on his cape and flew her to ..
    Do these Best Buddy volunteers pair up with an individual person ?
    Was any Best Buddy employed at the Agricultural station ? maybe one did'nt show up..That reminds me of that dark curly haired individual around East Rock making faces and appearing to be a Buddy of some kind, same one i think in the parking lot of…better save that for the lolligagging Investigators…oh ,how can we get this into the hands of the Cold Case unit ?

  • RL

    I think Suzanne was killed by someone related to the Best Buddies event and/or the Trinity Lutheran Church, where the event was held. The time frame and the manner in which she was killed (i.e. very quickly after she encountered her murderer and with great rage) indicates that the murderer was someone who had strong feelings for her and had access to her.

    Suzanne had been working for Best Buddies for 4 years, and I believe many of their events were held at the Trinity Lutheran Church. Over the course of 4 years, someone from the program and/or church may have become obsessed with her. Something in the last few days of Suzanne’s life had to trigger the violence done to her, and this trigger may very well have occurred at the Best Buddies event, which occurred just hours before her murder. The event was a pizza-making party, presumably in the church’s kitchen, which may have been where the knife used in the murder was obtained.

    After the party, Suzanne ran her various errands (dropping people off, parking the university car, going home and writing an email, returning the car keys). She was last seen on College St heading toward Elm St without a bottle of Fresca. I believe that she went to Krauszer’s (apparently the only place in NH at the time to sell Fresca) on the corner of York and Elm and bought her soda.

    At this point, she is only one block from her house at Elm and Park, so it is entirely possible that she walked home before she got into a car. Anyone from the Best Buddies program could have known where she lived (or at least the vicinity) and have been waiting for her outside her house. She may have been forced into a car, but since no one heard a scuffle, it is also possible she got in willingly. Someone from the Best Buddies program or the church might have told Suzanne that there was a problem from that night’s party; and as Suzanne was the sole organizer, she would have felt responsible for any problem and probably would have gotten into the car to help sort it out.

    A member of Marrakech (the charity group that runs Best Buddies) was kicked out of the program because of his “anger management” problems. Suzanne was the person who filed a complaint against this person. This person also may have had access to the Marrakech vans, and a tan/brown van was spotted parked at the time of the murder, very near the location where Suzanne’s body was found.

    If it was not a member of Marrakech, it may have been someone from the church. I lived right next to the Trinity Lutheran Church for 2 years. They run some wonderful charitable programs, and these programs are really admirable but they also attract some very rough people. I was accosted a few times by men on the church grounds. Also, churches often hire people with checkered pasts to give them a leg up, so the murderer may very well have been someone who worked there and got to see her over the course of 4 years of Best Buddies events.

  • Anonymous

    Did anybody ever see this Lady in the vicinity of East Road Rd. & St.Ronan street before ? Has anyone checked the police sub-station that is located a few blocks away ? Has anyone asked the cop on duty at that sub station ? How about the cop that was erminated from employ right before her death ?
    A girl vanishes in mid air from a police station downtown and appears dead near another police station across town , with a very tight time frame

  • anon please

    Dear RL , Thank You for that info,but it has been almost ten years and no arrest.
    i and others believe they're are many possible scenarios..Within the timeframe i can't see her even making it to Krausers,no witnesses there and no film.The time she left Phellps is important.no later than 9:40 no earlier than 9:35..-a ten minute walk up to Krausers and a few minutes inside -depending on the line..a line of people but nobody remembers seeing her ? -that's her exiting past 9:50.. 9,easily, and then hopping into a vehicle and making it to E.R. & ST.Ronan ? no way ,
    I think the Best Buddies is important but not the cure all here.
    How'd the body get moved if some Best Buddy did her in ? I honestly think this whole case is at that gate.
    But this is starting to reek of blame placing on a bb also, maybe they're is just no other explanation,it's easiest to try to pin it on a handicapped person who is'nt a great elocutionist,or searching for a scapegoat,or wanting to burn some bridge behind them..
    Maybe someone had a hand picked/selected BB for Jovin. and just what was that noise from the former Alderwonan from the 2'nd ward, some very sick statements about just which BB or Fellowship person is better looking and deserves the University's help..were'nt they Autistic kids of an Attorney ?
    I recall a more recent incident confided in me by a delivery person (fed-ex,or UPS,etc.) about a Lady around that gate with a nasty disposition -an employee of the University, maybe she did'nt approve of his looks, that only the beautiful and especially connected folks can be around the University.
    That coming from a Woman who looks like D.Newton,
    More like this girl was helping someone /was given orders not to assist others ,maybe by the new Yale troop that was hired by the Mayor, The Mayor has been paying Morand money to hire his family and croonies.
    I mixed fact with speculation i know ,but with so many Hospitality officers,special security officers,Rose Delauros new arrival on Huntington Ave. and her protection, A hockey game with more. Even if it was a Homeless or Best Buddy man/woman they could'nt live with the shame of a girl plucked away from under their nose and placed on their chin like that ..
    And gesh how hard is it to know just who was at that program and where did they live ?? The Police had a good reason they did'nt delve into clients of the program -unless a name came up that they did'nt like to hear.

    I agree with another poster that she did not get far from that gate.who else was lurching about there?
    And does any employ at that gate have a relative on the security force ?
    What are the chances of me passing that gate and running into the actual killer ?? pretty damn good huh ?

  • joey

    a very good chance that a Best Buddy resided in that immediate area.A very good chance she was spotted in that vicinity before. Maybe the murder happened over there, The Killer resident warned her not to come around and saw her exiting the vehicle.

  • RL

    It is certainly only a theory, based solely on the information that is publicly known.

    I do want to point out, however, that I did not mean to imply that I suspect a handicapped person from the Best Buddies program. I was suggesting that the police should look at the volunteers and employees, especially since Jovin had filed a complaint against one of them.

    Yes, it has been 10 years with no arrest, but the investigation seems to have overlooked some rather obvious avenues. Dawn DeFoe, who was Jovin's co-coordinator for Best Buddies, repeatedly told the press that the program members were hardly questioned by police and no DNA was taken from any of them for comparison. It's entirely possibly that this possibility was not investigated and dismissed, but rather never investigated in the first place.

  • joey

    Who's your Best Buddy ? nobody . No one shows up on a Friday nite with temps near 60,and a Whopper of a subsidy stipend day..they was gettin nice..

  • joey

    i did'nt know that RL, good points.We can't ask the New Haven Police just what they were thinking. The case has been moved from them. oh i think the Ladies name is Dawn Defeo,
    AND is this the same Defeo that is a Realtor for Orange Realty ? Is this Caroline Defeos relative ? just for posteritys sake. Van Der Welde was from Orange also. Was someone nervous about there status as Yales Benifit program specialist ? Homebuyers Program ?
    Yales Office of Affairs and development still has some of these people involved .

    Yes your right about avenues as we take it for granted that they did that already. maybe they are waiting for a DNA match to happen
    Maybe not accuse innocent folks like some people been.
    A Lizzy Borden issue might be at hand here.
    I'll tell you one more thing, the investigators need help.
    Now i smell a Yale Law school possible avenue also, a case of someone going the extra mile -way too far

  • Baldino

    Does anyone know just what year did Bob Proto set up -or have set up for him that "Unite Here" Political Action Committee with the College street address ?? Did Yale Law school with Corporation Counsel of New Haven do that for him ?

  • joey

    no no no. check out :sex control,police state,eugenics,Galton ,and oont Kantsaywhere…some spoiled neutered,androgynous freak who was acting like a friggin baby

  • Jeff

    I encourage people to check out my timeline before saying “no way” Ms. Jovin could have made it to Krauszers to buy a soda before being transported to where she was found nearly two miles away. I strongly disagree.

    http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/comments/24835

    I talked at length to Peter Stein. He was already back in his room calling his mother at 9:30 (as also reported by the YDN)… and he wandered around a bit before that. I walked his exact route home to arrive at 9:22 as the time he encountered Ms. Jovin—very close to Phelp’s Gate. The police substation, at least at that time (not sure now) had a tiny booth, similar to a subway token booth, which most of the time was unmanned. You just slipped the keys under the glass. A matter of seconds. Nothing to sign and no one to log the exact time you were there, which is likely why this event has never been mentioned as a benchmark.

    From Phelp’s Gate to Krauszers is a mere .3 miles (from 285 College to 264 York if you want to Google map it, but use reverse directions because it’s one way). At 18 min a mile (slow for a fit college co-ed), that’s about six minutes to get to Krauszers, which puts her there at about 9:30. Driving two miles to where she was found even at a staggeringly slow 20mph would only take six minutes, which still allows plenty of time for “other” things to have happened before that. In fact, another few minutes and Ms. Jovin would be back at her apartment, leading to scenarios where someone might have been waiting for her, although that would be risky given she lived over a police substation.

    As for the Best Buddies scenario, it would really help if the NHPD released a sketch of the van, or perhaps instead a few possible makes/models of vans they’ve determined meet the description. At the very least, the observed van could be compared to the Marrakech vans of that time. But if we start pursuing the “obsessed colleague in a van” angle, given her random route against traffic, we’d have to assume a “he/they were waiting for her at her apartment” abduction scenario in front of a police substation. Possible, but hard to fathom. Nevertheless, no angle should be ignored here.

  • joey

    Lots of questions going unanswered.
    - Was there any sightings of Jovin in the vicinity of East Rock Rd. & St.Ronan ?
    I have a list of all of the residents that resided there at the time of her murder, and believe me it ain't pretty.
    Some have elatives that have ben in the papers for outrageous behaviour ,some have histories of explosive rage when they do'nt get what they want.
    i wonder if this Obstinence and steering of the Case is a real stalling tactic to make sure 911 calls are erased.
    Maybe someone calls the "secret police" on intruders. My hunch is that the politically connected killers are searching for people that THEY saw in the area.

  • Rebecca

    Thanx jeff, i and others have been hearing 9:25 for the loongest time ,but that is key about the key drop off.
    Now this widens the timeframe from very tight to allowing for more suspects.
    Now if the poor girl had an issue with a property manager or a neighbor,geesh.
    Did she ever bring any BB to her home or at the least her front porch ?
    Was there any burglaries in her building before her disappearence ? Any argument at all ( which was mentioned before) I have to check on a name of a person who was very mean to a girl in that area ,a few months before.
    I'd also like to know if there is a connection to the ACCESS program from The bb program, both were funded by the City of NH ,or partially.A person of interest moved up the pecking order there

    Your time in regards to driving over to "there" was based on what point downtown ? still it only might make a three minute difference or so..and should'nt be a matter of an elimination process

  • joey

    She was at a Police sub-station,brimming with police (a hockey game with ?# amount of OT officers ? The time keeps changing, what is this the same guy/girl seeing her enter and seeing her leave ? - AND she lived over a police substation , and found very near another one

  • anon

    ….now she walks past Krausers as there is no eye witness or no film pics, She is heading up Elm towards Park, maybe not too much pedestrian traffic as she approaches Park, i don't think there was any open business at that corner noodle joint at that time.
    Right there she can look across the street at the Mex eatery and might actually hear Rudy's -which is one block away up Elm i think. Some inebriated Rudy's patron with a vendetta against the world could have been ..well i guess ya can't rule out Viva Zapatas or any other.
    So she can be at the corner of Park and Elm at 9:40 ?

  • joey agin

    Was Susanne Jovin ever at Rudys bar ?
    Maybe that black guy who was talking to her on Hillhouse ave. was the black guy in Rudys that got hit by something hard..
    Maybe the black guy was with Susanne looking for the guy whom she saw hit somebody in rudys with a hard object..
    Maybe he left there that nite telling the regulars he was goin ta get that person

    i'm getting sick of this shit…

  • Joe (accept no substi)

    is this Stein related to the Developer Stein and Condo partner of Mike Morand ? especially on Qunnipiac ave. ? After what some students did to this elderly woman it would'nt surprise me if the same sick stunt is enacted over there ..By Them. Was'nt it Joel Schiavone who was their mentor ? A gang they wanted out of downtown

  • d jones

    For those of you who know the film or the novel Atonement, you may be aware how the crime was immediately attributed to somebody of lower social rank. This seems to be case in your comments referring to the Best Buddies (although I believe one should look into it as well). Van der Velde, a one-year lecturer, was an easy target as well. The police tried hard to construe an affair between a good-looking young girl and this rather unattractive teacher. Two obvious categories were overlooked. If a girl would fall for a man exerting the charm of power, it would most likely be a senior professor. But more reasonably, just one of her peer students. An act of jealousy or competition by a peer is a very likely scenario that the police never wanted to entertain. Remember, it was a student at Harvard that murdered her roommate. It is high time to give some attention to these possible groups of suspects. Alumnis and friends of Suzanne need to come forward and tell police what they remember about her social contacts. Since student years involve a high amount of gossip and confiding in one another, it should be possible to establish Suzanne's circle of friends and their various interactions with her.

  • Sam 01

    Mr.Morand held the position of Alderman of the 1'st ward in the City of New Haven.
    Was he Alder at this time ? Who was and who were the 2 co-chairs ? In 98 there was a very hefty contribution from a Realtor group ,Now it appears a relative of theirs obtained the Democratic Town chair position in 98,which in turn lead to a the lucrative State Marshalls position .
    Was there a Democratic Town Chair meeting on the night of the murder ? They have those things in select homes through-out NH. The money is passed along with promises to the 60 co-chairs etc.. One can also claim to feel betrayed ,slighted and wronged as to the Dem chair who had to step down.

  • ronald

    In the early morning hours of July 7, 1977, Yale graduate student Richard Herrin bludgeoned Yale college senior Bonnie Garland to death with a hammer as she lay sleeping in her parent's Scarsdale, New York, home. The two college students had been dating for a year. Herrin showed up unexpectedly at the Garland home and Bonnie invited him to spend the weekend. They hadn't seen each other in several weeks and Bonnie told Richard she wanted to break off their relationship.

    After attacking Bonnie, Herrin stole the Garland family car and drove to Coxsackie. He found a church and told the priest inside, "I just killed my girlfriend."

    Herrin was arrested. A group led by members of the clergy of Yale's Catholic Church campaigned to have Herrin released on bail. They raised bail money and wrote letters attesting to Herrin's "good character" to the trial judge. Impressed by the campaign, the judge released Herrin into the care of the Christian Brothers in Albany. While he was awaiting trial he attended classes at the State University of New York under an alias.[1]

    Richard Herrin was convicted of manslaughter, rather than first degree murder. He served 17 years in prison, and was released on January 12, 1995. Critics charged that the sentence was the result of the Yale community and, in particular, the Catholic chaplancy uniting to support Herrin by portraying him as the victim of his upbringing in a minority neighborhood barrio in Los Angeles. The Garland case foreshadowed others in which the circumstances of the killing were muddied by the personalities of the victim and accused, such as the Preppie Murder case, tried by Jack Litman, Herrin's lawyer.

  • just a thought

    Books Of The NYTimes

    Published: May 18, 1982

    By Susan Bolotin THE KILLING OF BONNIE GARLAND: A Question of Justice. By Willard Gay- lin. Illustrated. 366 pages. Simon & Schuster. $16.50. THE YALE MURDER. By Peter Meyer.302 pages. Empire. $12.95.

    WHEN Richard Herrin, a senior at Yale University, and Bonnie Garland, a freshman, met in the very early hours of Nov. 2, 1974, they could have testified to the possibility of love at first sight. Not quite three years later, Bonnie told Richard that she wanted to date other men. Richard responded by bashing in Bonnie's skull and neck with a hammer.

    Has Suzanne's longtime boyfriend ever been seriously questioned as to his whereabouts on the night of the murder. Does he have an alibi provided by people other than his family?

  • Joseph h.

    If she was in Krausers someone would have reported it.If she made it to York street someone would have spotted her. etc.It's a very busy place on a Friday nite.
    No, she got into a vehicle right at that gate or nearby is my strong feeling.
    She was approached by a man stating that he was a cop and needed to ask her a few questions and someone had to ID her. "it will only take a couple of minutes", no nead for her to cab 6 minutes or so home, she was tired and headed home..
    .He probably parked somewhere else first ,pretended to call someone ,might have been his accomplice in the lurks. A guy who knows procedure and a smarty pants might not have did this alone - too risky,but an accomplice can turn you in later also
    "It's all set he tells her" and drives to the pre-ordained locale, NOT east rock park because that would be just plain dumping, no this guy wants to spread this out.
    The soda bottle he gripped on her or slyly offered her a drink,he had gloves on and pulled the bottle from garbage someplace,which can further spread this out.The murder weapon he placed someplace for further use, way too thought out to just throw it in the river. But at very low tide this summer i would check the Mill again-what the heck. This worried detective or more likely a terminated cop just might also have a bloody hand around the University like an Arsonist going back to the fire to watch.
    yes ,like a previous poster here said
    "this is really a whodunnit"

  • Jeff

    Let's not forget that the first and only NHPD writeup of the crime asked for help in identifying a tan/brown van seen at the crime scene. When I asked for more details I was told the van was seen "parked" on the same side of East Rock Rd where Ms. Jovin was found but on the other side of Edgehill… and then it proceeded to drive right by that fateful spot. Sounds very ominous to me.

    The NHPD did eventually impound a van but, IMO, after talking to the owner, I'm convinced it was not *the* van. This van still had the same ratty brown carpet in it and no other signs of a makeover, not to mention it had been bought and painted white prior to the murder and registered shortly afterwards (even the dumbest of criminals know rule #1 is to destroy the evidence), and not to mention the owner has never been considered a suspect.

    So if the police do not have *the* van, why have they apparently stopped looking for it? Why have they not put out a sketch of it? Was it a Dodge B2 Ram van like the one impounded? If so, what sort of people would drive something commercial like this? Does the use of a van imply more than one person? Perhaps a group of kids lurking in the dark on the upper section of Elm (but before Park and therefore before Rudy's) looking for a victim? Was the guy seen running across Whitney someone who was let off from this van?

  • anon

    Thanx for the info ,interesting,but very sickening…Maybe we can ask the Union,no,not the NHPD ,but the horde of "retired",terminated,problematic,vengefull,inebriated,meddling,score to settle,
    lying,psychopathic heros of NHPD days gone by…

    Can i ask just what they meant by "painted white before the Murder"?
    Are they or were they looking for a brown or tan van that was White at the time of her Murder that cruised slowly past a dying student,with long headed white guys jumping out at every squeek of its wheels.
    This is a Abbott & Costello meets Jackie Gleason at City Hall routine.
    What color was the van ? "who van" ?
    whup whoop, "there's no van unless we say there was"
    hey a guy on Lawrence street owned a brown van…. no ,now it's a white van
    ..Seems like they are naming a suspect out of dislike,personal,convenience and conforming the case to suit their delusional mentality,The aforementioned folks playing politics for their personal benifit

  • Jeff

    The observed van was tan/brown. The impounded van was white. The owner said he painted it white prior to the day of the murder, hence, if true, not likely the same van. Not to mention no related evidence was apparently found in the van nor was any attempt apparently made to cover any up (e.g. replace the carpeting). Draw your own conclusion if "the" van is likely still out there (or long ago made into a metal cube).

    BTW, yesterday's Canadian bus murder/decapitation with a knife is yet further proof that everyone needs to keep an open mind that perhaps Ms. Jovin didn't know her killer. I hope she did since the crime will likely be solved faster, but I doubt it at this point.

  • orderly

    so the owner said that he "painted it white the day before the murder"?
    Did he ? how can you prove it ,that he painted it the day before ?
    Maybe he can tell the cops at what Auto Body shop..
    maybe the guy won't object to a DNA sample. Does this person have a relative in the Best Buddy program ? A male with a male B.B. and possibly his relative in the van, A real random act of violence,no reason,no motive,perhaps years of built up rage,From the Ladies of the Institution to Court/Agency folks.

  • joey

    So what you had here is the Department of Mental Health & Retardation releasing the worst,most violent criminals that were in their "care" and possesion into the hands of a Best Buddy volunteer, sometimes a part time worker for the State and releasing some into the hands of relatives
    with no restraints, no authority and absolutely no clue as to what they are getting into,probably smokin and a drinkin ,driving around with what they thought was a harmless little corky ass
    Thankin fukin Gaaawd that the passenger did'nt about to on them

  • Jeff

    The police took possession of the van years ago. Yes, I was told the owner and his brother were DNA tested. One would have to assume tests were done on the van and it was checked out thoroughly. So either this is the van spotted but unfortunately just a red herring, or it's not the van spotted. If the latter, seems to me to be a priority to find it. Simple as that.

  • Harrold

    Good point. There was mention years ago about two guys from the Milford/Orange area who had a van ,no names were mentioned,no mention of DNA being taken from the suspects..
    Am i wrong or was there mention of someone admitting to giving her (S.Jovin) a ride to that area?? Or was that speculation.I wonder if it's these two that gave her the ride and swore that they had nothing to do with her Murder and maybe did'nt and even gave a DNA to prove it.
    Then there's the possibility that she did'nt have a chance to scratch anybody or there was a third person….
    Then like jeff says that this whole thing about the van was a shot in the dark/legitamate lead.
    Sure there are more than one brown/tan van in our city/county etc., but what's the chance of two like vehicles in that area at the same time.
    Hey maybe the unexplained 10-15 minutes discrepancy is the van looking for a dumping spot for her

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