Killer likely works in Amistad Street laboratory

Over 2,000 members of the Yale community gathered on Cross Campus last night for a candlelight vigil remembering Annie Le GRD ’13.
Over 2,000 members of the Yale community gathered on Cross Campus last night for a candlelight vigil remembering Annie Le GRD ’13. Photo by Harrison Korn.

The authorities are focusing their efforts on several individuals — including a laboratory technician — known to have been in the basement of 10 Amistad St. at the time when Annie Le GRD ’13 was murdered, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.

A spokesman for the New Haven Police Department, Joe Avery, said at 1 p.m. Monday that there were no suspects in the investigation. But by 10 p.m., Avery no longer denied that authorities have narrowed in on a few people of interest.

Television stations and newscasters set up around 10 Amistad St. on Sept. 14.
Television stations and newscasters set up around 10 Amistad St. on Sept. 14.
No caption.
No caption.
Police tape barricaded Amistad St. Monday afternoon and kept reporters and cameramen at a one-block radius.
Nick Bayless
Police tape barricaded Amistad St. Monday afternoon and kept reporters and cameramen at a one-block radius.

“We have nothing to give out at this point,” he said.

Nevertheless, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Connecticut confirmed yesterday that the body found in the Yale research facility on Sunday was Le’s. The medical examiner did not release the cause of death; officials at the office said they would announce it this afternoon.

The medical examiner did rule the death a homicide, though Avery said there is no reason for students to fear for their safety.

“We are not looking at it as if it is a random act,” he said.

At a meeting of the medical school community Monday afternoon, several audience members — concerned by evidence that the killer had a Yale ID and access to the basement of 10 Amistad St. — asked if the perpetrator is still at large. University President Richard Levin responded by saying that he has confidence Le’s homicide will be resolved. Because security systems in the building recorded who entered the basement and the times at which they entered, the number of potential suspects has been limited to a very small pool, Levin explained.

The appropriate people are being monitored, and there is no reason to worry about working in Yale research facilities, Levin said.

“The people in the basement aren’t going to cause any trouble until the matter is resolved,” he said.

A University official familiar with the investigation confirmed media reports that polygraph tests have been administered to some of the people known to have been in the basement last Tuesday. Still, the results of those tests have not necessarily produced reliable information that could advance the investigation, the official said.

Law enforcement officials continue to focus their efforts on the people who had access to the basement and who may have encountered Le after she entered the building at 10 a.m. last Tuesday, Levin said. Access to the basement area where her corpse was found is a restricted to certain specially authorized individuals who must use their Yale identification cards to access the floor.

With Le’s killer presumably still at large, Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer announced Monday that the University would increase security in the area near Amistad Street immediately.

She said Yale has increased patrols in the area and added security officers inside the Sterling Hall of Medicine, where Le, who was supposed to be married Sunday, had an office. Le left her purse, wallet and phone in this office before walking to 10 Amistad St. last Tuesday.

The research facility where Le was killed was closed Monday — and will remain closed today — except for those with “essential research responsibilities.” When the building reopens entirely, Lorimer said, extra security officers will be stationed inside and outside “for the foreseeable future.”

It is not clear what access — if any — there currently is to the area where Le’s corpse was found. Avery, the police spokesman, said the remains were discovered in a chase in the basement, a kind of shaft that provides room for mechanical equipment to travel from the roof to the basement of the 120,000-square-foot building.

The authorities found Le behind that basement wall after searching the building for four days. They could not find any video footage of Le leaving the building, and so the search until Sunday was focused inside the building. Dogs from the Connecticut State Police were even brought in to help investigators.

In his address to the medical school community Monday afternoon, Levin explained that the material of the wall behind which Le’s body was hidden made it difficult for dogs or humans to locate her.

“It was only after a number of days that the scent became detectable,” he said.

Avery said that state police, as well as the Yale Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will remain involved in the case for “as long as they are needed.” Because the case is now a homicide within city limits, the NHPD has jurisdiction over the matter.

Isaac Arnsdorf, Nora Caplan-Bricker and Colin Ross contributed reporting.


  • Bob

    And they let the scumbag (possible scumbag) go. Why couldn’t they hold him? Seems they have plenty of evidence — defensive wounds on his body, failed lie detector, present at the scene of the crime. God, what more do they need?!?

  • On swiping in

    While the fact that access is only granted to those with the proper madnetic identification card is a potential starting point in finding the person responsible, the assurances by the police that it is highly unlikely that anyone without access would be in the basement are, I think, a little overblown. Anyone who could plot to do this (and the police are saying that it wasn’t a random act of violence) would probably be aware of the identification system, and would have also thought of a way around it. How many times have we as students held a door or a gate for someone following behing us? That person will not swipe, then, and the system will never record his or her presence as there is no swipe-out process.

  • “Faux” News?

    So: y’all who were screamin’ ’bout “Faux” News — looks like they got the scoop, and the RIGHT scoop, time and again. Bloody clothes? Check! Body found? Check! Polygraph failed? Check! Lab tech questioned? Check!

    Even–or esp.–flippin’ Lorimer is sippin’ the hater kook-aid what with her “typical Fox News hysterical headline” comment. Sheesh. “Faux” indeed.

    Just sayin’…

  • question

    just curious…who intially report the young woman missing? a teacher? friend? another student? none of these articles have touched on that and I’m curious how this all came about, and who brought it to the police’s attention.

  • Research

    What if the murder had nothing to do with her upcoming marriage and everything to do with her research? In a secure lab where everyone is DNA savvy it’s reasonable to expect that the real killers took steps to frame others for the murder. This reeks of a cover-up.

  • John Q Publius

    Contrary to President Levin’s assurance that nothing further need be done to advance the safety of the Yale community, would it not be wise or even incumbent upon the University to assign those individuals who are confirmed “persons of interest” to administrative leave w/pay until they are cleared?

    Or is President Levin “guaranteeing” the safety of the community because “he” is sure such persons of interest will *never* harm themselves or others if/when/should they ever reach *another* point of desperation?

  • And Answer

    In response to Comment #4 posted by “Question,” Le’s roommate reported her missing to the police when she did not return home by late Tuesday night, although her absence at work in Sterling Hall was noted by mid-day Tuesday.

  • Spiny Norman

    It’s so disturbing that polygraph results are reported as though they had any meaning whatsoever. There is no – zero – scientific evidence that polygraphs have any ability to detect lies. They might as well use dowsing rods.

    And for those who ask why the suspect has not been arrested: law enforcement presumably wants to be pretty sure that they have, you know, the right guy. Because, you know, if it turns out that they arrest the wrong guy, the murderer is still out there…

  • ???

    how are they so sure that this was not a random act? so was this person stalking annie?

  • YaleJanitor

    The whole discussion about campus safety is ridiculous and overblown. Annie Le is the first murder in over ten years. So why should we all worry? All facts point to a crime where someone who knew poor Annie offed her. No reason to get crazy about extra security now. Such crimes can happen everywhere, anytime between people who know each other!

  • Yalie

    The saddest thing about the “typical FOX headline” remark is that if one looks at Annie’s facebook page, it shows that she was, indeed, a ‘Fan’ of “FOX Nation”.

    RIP Annie.

  • Joe

    Having extra guards in and around the building may bring some peace of mind, but it won’t prevent a determined criminal. Indeed, 75 CCTV cameras were outside the facility, but Annie Le’s murder occurred inside the building. Perhaps this crime now makes it necessary to video monitor internal common areas of the workplace such as hallways, near exits, side entrances, stairwells, elevators, and perhaps the more restricted areas like basements and rooftops where most buildings have their critical systems located.

  • Joe

    There most likely were warning signs from the killer’s personality, but no one will realize this until after the person is identified. A murder could have been prevented if people felt comfortable enough to approach a supervisor about a coworker’s behavioral issues and if steps were taken to get the disturbed person the medical help she or he so desperately needed.

  • MurseMatt

    This sounds like a crime of passion I do understand that this unfourtante women was engaged to be married but late nights working in a Lab long hours fiance across the USA in California Question Does she have her needs Does she seek comfort in someone who wont give her up to be married is it fishy she left her cell phone in her office a 24 year old without a cell phone it is all sad and a mystery that only two people truely Know what the real story is I am sadden for her friends and family I am sure her soon to be Husband is beside himself in grief God bless him and ascend her to Heaven A true Sad finding for a prestigious university and city

  • FauxRealism

    For starters, most murder victims are killed by people they know, so that is likely. Furthermore, the odds that some random person entered a reasonably secure building and decided to kill Annie Le in the middle of the day with people all around are pretty small. That also diminished the liklihood that it was a premeditated act b/c if you were going to plan such a crime you would choose a better time and place to do it (fewer people around, no swipe cards, camera, etc). Finally, whoever dumped the body in the mechanical chase in the basement knew he building very well and further makes it likely that the perp worked there. They will catch the perp… have no doubts.

  • Bob

    #8 By Spiny Norman 11:59a.m. on September 15, 2009

    It’s so disturbing that polygraph results are reported as though they had any meaning whatsoever. There is no – zero – scientific evidence that polygraphs have any ability to detect lies. They might as well use dowsing rods.

    The why do the most sophisticated crime investigation units in the world use it routinely? Do you know something they don’t?

  • Bob

    #8 By Spiny Norman 11:59a.m. on September 15, 2009

    And for those who ask why the suspect has not been arrested: law enforcement presumably wants to be pretty sure that they have, you know, the right guy. Because, you know, if it turns out that they arrest the wrong guy, the murderer is still out there…

    Well for sure the murderer is still out there now. Hopefully they are least monitoring the lying, scratched up suspect so he does not flee or get desperate and go on a last gasp killing spree.

  • gerry

    An insider, clearly. If you see the computer image of where she was found, you’d have to know the building QUITE well to locate it. It took the police a number of days, even though they consulted blueprints of the building.

  • outside concerns

    It seems to me that the public security measures I hear reiterated: Blue Phones, Escorting services, Yale Minibus, campus cameras seem to be fairly effective “perimeter measures”. They either insulate or create effective faster alert/rescue response results. But Yale is dealing with a different issue…the killer is within the perimeter with an ability to either evade and perhaps work under the radar of the perimeter measures without registering alarm. As an outsider It pains me to continually hear the rehashing of Yale/NH security. There seems almost a complacency that all that can be done is being done. This is a new threat level and the latter sentence leaves me to believe one that Yale/NH police are not qute prepared to deal with the extraordinary situation or have no ability to add any meaningful value to increase security consciousness level in the Yale community. We’re left to assume the investigative teams have readjusted their strategy (and much of that will not be made public) but where are the public facing reassurances. Where’s the leadership, strength of resolve or the galvanizing soundbyte from Yale administration that they will find Anne Le’s killer? Don’t Anne Le’s family and fiance deserve that? Can’t Yale administration differentiate themselves from the investigative double talk, “we will do this….”, “we are confident that…” statements and show Anne Le’s family and the Yale community that they are an active driving force to a proper conclusion to this despicable act? Can’t the Yale administration display some backbone some “not on my watch, not at Yale” verve”? This killer (under the investigation by NHPD) should not slip through like Suzanne Jovin’s killer did in 1998. Reassure all of of us that Anne Le’s killer will be found, go on record just say it.

  • Eric

    No, polygraph tests are precisely not admissible for all the reasons #8 mentioned. They use them as ways to brainstorm cases and to frighten suspects into admission.

  • Hm


    The value of the polygraph is not in the “results” per se: a polygraph is a tool which, when used by a pro, is meant to elicit areas of further questioning. It is but one tool among many for the skilled interrogator (even if, yes, the utility of the polygraph depends on the subject’s *belief* that it works…).

    As for greater “advance warning,” while not trying to put this into a gender discussion, one might point out that a typical Womyn’s Center response could be “well, he was male” (I am referring to the infamous Facebook “Potential Rapists” episode where male pics randomly selected were posted around campus with the aforementioned caption). THAT said: even though we are all equal (right?), men definitely account for the majority of violent crimes.

  • Sadness

    It’s not that polygraphs have zero ability to detect lies, it’s that they aren’t completely certain. So using one as the entire basis for your case is foolish, but using one to help guide things can be useful.

    A meteorologist who predicts rain on Friday is statistically more right than wrong, and have a foundation in physics, even if the underlying principles are completely understood. As a result, people give the forecasts some credit. They don’t take it as a proclamation of utmost fact, though. Same with the polygraph.

    Someone with what seem like defensive wounds and failing a polygraph? Guess what, I’m pretty happy if the police investigate that person further.

    On a far more important note, it’s so deeply sad to imagine a woman who people say was so kind, brilliant and full of life is now gone. What a loss for all who knew her and those of us who wish we had had that chance. My thoughts are with her family, fiance and friends.

  • puzzled

    I haven’t heard, was Annie suppose to have left the first building that she was in and left behind her belongins, or was the trip to the lab unscheduled? Did she work with anyone in the lab? Did anyone talk to her or confirm that they saw her or was she taken in the stairway or elevator and didn’t even reach the lab?

  • Jimmers

    I guess I should follow the general rule with post #14 that if they can’t use punctuation they aren’t worth listening to, but just to make it clear: the fiance was in NY, not California, and there’s no indication she was working late nights in the lab.

  • more to this case than meets the eye

    This should be an open and shut case already. The fact that it isn’t is telling. A quick search of her computer or phone records would indicate if anyone contacted her to go to the other lab building. Strange indeed…

  • JBS

    WFSB is revealing the “person of interest”‘s name:

    Looks like no one has seen Ray Clark since Thursday.

    I just hope the cops catch him before he takes the coward’s way out.

  • Daddyo ’83

    The New Haven PD, plus the Yale Keystone Cops, have screwed up every previous Yalie murder investigation — so they’re likely being extra cautious here…hopefully the Staties and feds will make this stick…so sad…

  • Bob

    Of course the polygraph is not admissible evidence in court but it is “evidence” in conjuction with the other evidence that this guy is a strong suspect and would justify holding him in custidy until the DNA tests are complete.

  • sarah duff

    New York newspapers id the “person of interest” as Raymond Clark, 24, of Middletown.

  • Confused

    Questions for the staff writers Harrison Korn and Paul Needham. Fox News stated that Annie le was a Yale Grad Student, but yale dailynews continued to call her ” Annie Le MED’13”, which means she was a first year medical student at Yale Med. School. Other newspapers said she was a second year grad student in pharmacology department ( PHD in School of Pharmacology). Which one is right? Do you check the fact before writing the news? I expect Yale Daily News to be better than NY Times. Is she Annie Le GRD’13 or Annie Le MED’13?

  • just read

    Raymond Clark, 24

    according to the NYPost

  • Former Yale Postdoc

    Sadly, at Yale many technicians hate grad students & postdocs and the feeling is mutual. I am a former Yale Postdoc and during my tenure – there was a constant bullying and harassment of Postdocs and Grad students by techs. This severe conflict was and is always ignored by senior faculty. Technicians at Yale are underpaid, frustrated and many are affected by serious inferiority complex. This is quite understandable under the circumstances. There are likely some arrogant Postdocs but most of them are there to simply finish their fellowship and move on and go high up. Lab Techs remain Lab techs – forever. Post grad student can unfortunately tell the Techs – well, we work in the same lab – but I WILL BE A DOCTOR, you will not. Painful but true.

  • pat
  • FromAnotherReporter

    My prayers go out to those who knew this young woman and to the family and, particularly, to her fiance. I hope the person who did this is caught. I’m surprised there has not been an arrest.

    Often news is not ever a fortunate situation and we would all rather this not have happened rather than to tell it.
    But I had to write to mention that I have worked at nine news organizations and I must say, Yale Daily News, every one of you is doing an amazing job covering this. From having the only photo of the basement of the Amistad building that seems to be on the Web to your up-to-the-minute coverage, you are doing a stellar job. All I have to say is, wow. I hope you break it when this person who did this is caught.

  • Spiny Norman

    “It’s not that polygraphs have zero ability to detect lies, it’s that they aren’t completely certain. So using one as the entire basis for your case is foolish, but using one to help guide things can be useful.”

    A polygraph may indeed measure many things, as its name suggests; but veracity is not among them.
    “Specific-Incident Criminal Investigations…
    “The wide variability of results from both prior research reviews and OTA’S own review of individual studies makes it impossible to determine a specific overall quantitative measure of polygraph validity. The preponderance of research evidence does indicate that, when the control question technique is used in specific-incident criminal investigations, the polygraph detects deception at a rate better than chance, but with error rates that could be considered significant.”

    Those are about the kindest things one could say and still maintain some semblance of intellectual rigor.

  • leonvang

    By delaying the autopsy report, one has to wonder if she could have been alive for hours or days inside the chase where she was found. If so, someone screwed up this investigation big time.

  • Bob

    Well now the suspect, Raymond Clark, has disappeared. Why on earth they did not arrest this guy when they had in for questioning baffels me. Complete total incompetence. We now have a psycho killer on the loose. Iditots.

  • Dalet, Dale Betts

    Why do they never tell us what color was the body when they found it. We can handle the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • joey hindenburg

    It sounds like a patronage hire if i ever heard one. It’s an important City Hall / State of Ct. person who we all really need to put the screws to the police now more than ever. There was a lot of favors and promises by the Mayor to swing such hires. And usually you don’t have too much of a problem. But we’ve seen it before at Police Stations and kitchens, Hell at every gate with every smoked out sentinal

  • not impressed

    There seems to be a lot of possible ways one could get to the basement and not be authorized down there… could A) follow someone else through a door B) use a co-workers ID (found)..perhaps there are areas where staff might hold an ID as collateral for equipment, or one loses an ID…or the killer, if they killed her on another floor, would have used her ID (if authorized)…..

    At any rate, I would hate to be on Yale’s legal team right now…a true mess…and unfortunately, it can become a concern of the possible trial itself, that Yale’s reputation created a hastily solved case….to quiet fears about inadequate security.

    It might be very difficult to get a conviction w/out a confession ..a crime scene left unprotected for 5 days is a bomb of a mess.

  • Macca

    First Sympathies to Annie’s family,husband to be, and friends.

    I dont know Annie, but i am sadden by this case. What i read Annie was a gifted student and very likable.

    It is said, but most crimes result from someone you know, and in Annie’s case i think the killer is known, sooner he is caught, and faces the full force of the law, the family and loved ones can start the long grief process. Just a terrible tragic event, some low life animal took such a nice person.

  • Dannee

    I have follwed this case as it breaks my heart having lost a child from homicide. I think this student paper is outstanding for information and comments. A BIG question I have; I wonder if this Clark chap is the perp I have to wonder did Annie ever file any complaints about him harrassing her? If so why were they not taken seriously.

  • Elihu

    @ #32- Well there’s the Yale elitist mentality we know and love.

  • concerned parent

    One wonders the priority placed on protecting a school’s reputation. My daughter attends Harvard and was living in the dorm that medical and dental students occupy (Vanderbilt). She was being sexually harassed by an unknown person – messages left on the white board on her door, obscenities scrawled in large letters in a stairwell. The dorm mother called the campus police the night her daughter discovered the note on the wall in the strairwell. The security to enter the dorm is very intense so the person most likely lived in the dorm as notes were left at various times – night and day. I could not get the campus policewoman handling the case to return my calls to see what was being done and how the investigation was going. My daughter was so traumatized she moved. I never heard from the campus police department in spite of several attempts. So now Harvard has a medical or dental student in its midst who is behaving extremely strangely and they apparently do not care. Very frightening!

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