If you use “crime” as a keyword search on Yale’s Orbis search engine, the search is truncated at 10,000 entries. The list begins with the Urban Initiatives Anti-Crime Program’s “Annual Report to Congress” and ends with Hook: A Meg Gillis Crime Novel, by C. J. Songer.
Yes, this is a shamelessly random bunch of facts aimed at making you want to keep reading. But all the same, there is a kind of import lying beneath them.
Humans are unquestionably fascinated by crime. Though many of us like to pretend our crime-related interests center on the realm of social activism and political procedures, at the end of the day it’s the latest Grisham novel or sensational Michael Jackson headline that holds our attention. Some have identified this fascination as an affliction particular to contemporary America, and indeed, there is no question that crime is an inescapable force in 21st-century American life. So, you might ask, why is the YDN Magazine feeding the frenzy with a Crime Issue?
Many Yale students feel that their location in New Haven, notorious in the past as a center of violent crime, requires them to be particularly aware of the risks of city living. In addition, the current atmosphere of corporate, white-collar crime indicates that Ivy League students are no longer part of a demographic one would never see in court. Our cover story, written by Will Sullivan, calls these issues into question in its examination of the 1998 murder of Suzanne Jovin and subsequent speculation about the role played by a Yale professor, James Van de Velde.
Before Jovin’s murder, however, the campus was rocked by another brutal killing. The unsolved murder of student Christian Prince in 1993 shattered the protective bubble isolating Yale from New Haven and prompted officials to realize that the university could no longer ignore the implications of its position in an urban center. Looking past the issue of security, the Magazine takes an in-depth look at some of the judicial and social issues surrounding criminals in its profile of Dr. Howard Zonana, a forensic psychiatrist and professor at Yale. Finally, our columnists approach their monthly assignments with a more tongue-in-cheek look at illegal behavior. From mug shots to cannibalism to that criminally-dressed guy in your history lecture, the Magazine has provided you with a tasty little bite of crime. Enjoy.