Raymond Clark Pleads Guilty to Murdering Annie Le

A particularly gruesome and unpleasant chapter of Yale’s history came to a close today. Raymond Clark III, the lab technician accused of strangling Yale graduate student Annie Le to death in September 2009, pleaded guilty to one count of murder and one count of attempted sexual assault.

Le first went missing on September 8, 2009, and was later found hidden inside a wall in the basement of a Yale Medical School building. A substantial body of evidence implicated Clark in Le’s death, including erratic behavior, scratch marks on his arms and “overuse of his keycard in Le’s work area” on the date of the murder — which, in an even more heartbreaking twist, was a mere five days before her wedding. Clark was arrested on September 17, 2009, and held in a maximum security prison on $3 million bail.

The murder brought with it a torrent of national media attention, including a number of unseemly, macabre, awful references. (We’re looking at you, On Harvard Time.) Hopefully that’s all over now.

Clark originally pleaded not guilty in January 2010. However, it was widely reported yesterday that Clark would change his plea. Having done so today in a Connecticut Superior Court, he now likely faces 44 years in prison, as opposed to the lifetime sentence he could have received, had the case gone to trial.

Harvard Comedy Troupe Jokes About Murdered Yale Grad Student, Hides Evidence

Yesterday we wrote about On Harvard Time’s parody of the universally ridiculed lump of admissions-video pap, “That’s Why I Chose Yale.” Well, the clip has certainly gained its fair share of attention, although the vast majority of it negative. Turns out the jokesters ruffled some feathers when they riffed about murdered Yale graduate student Annie Le.

A number of national media outlets, including Gawker and the Huffington Post, picked up the story, slamming On Harvard Time for the joke. The group has responded to criticisms by claiming that they were making a social commentary on blah blah blah.

Per the Yale Daily News:

Our intention was to comment on Yale’s guarded treatment of their crime problems.The humor rested in the glossing over of a significant event, and not in the event itself. The line was not meant to make light of the incident or those involved, but rather to mock the University.

The original video has been made private, and a newly posted replica contains one very notable change — the Annie Le joke has been dubbed-over with a vague reference to the controversy .

See for yourself (54 seconds in):

Don’t worry, though, OHT — we still remember your incredibly ill-conceived choice of joke fodder!

UPDATE: On Harvard Time’s full press statement on the subject is available after the jump.

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Rappers Young Jeezy and Pusha T Insult Annie Le

Less than a year after the brutal murder of Yale grad-student Annie Le, popular rapper Jay Jenkins — better known as the alimony-avoiding, Lamborghini-crashing, firearm-flaunting Young Jeezy — has satirized her tragic death, and compared her corpse to drug-money. In his recent song, Illin’, a guest verse from Pusha T (another new Kanye bud) features the following display of lyrical virtuosity/insensitivity:

No amount of record sales could derail this
Stuffing dead prezzies in the wall like
That Yale b-tch

Pretty shocking. Listen for yourself below.

Dead prezzies = $$$, in the colloquial sense. “Stuffing in the wall” refers to how Annie Le’s accused murderer Raymond Clark hid Le’s body: by pushing it into a hollow wall in the basement of the Yale laboratory at which they both worked.

Since the song is pretty horrific, we’re hoping this will fade into the MP3 mists. It would be really sad if, a few years down the line, this was still kicking around as some kind of perverse Annie Le memorial. Especially bad timing for Pusha, who just made it big by backing up Kanye at the VMAs on “Runaway” — a way better track. Come on mainstream hip-hop: we can deal with the drugs, prostitution, violence, horrible role-models, and insecure macho-posturing. But making fun of a murdered young grad student? Really?

Would Hov or Lupe Fiasco (or even Ye himself) pull a move like this? We think not. Get your act together southern rap.

Crime Novelist Writes Up Annie Le Case, Forgets We All Already Know

In (almost) record time, one Stella Sands missed the nationwide memo. This week, she has released (in paperback) the complete, gory, exaggerated tale of the late Annie Le‘s untimely death in the form of Murder At Yale: The True Story of A Beautiful Grad Student and a Cold-Blooded Crime. Aside from crafting long-winded titles and maintaining a name that might as well be an Antiguan club resort, Sands also excels at forgetting that Yale, the Le family, and a nation of 300 million have, frankly, heard it all. See if you can detect any novelty in her blurb:

Annie Le seemed to have it all. A beautiful graduate student at one of the world’s most prestigious universities, she was also deeply in love. But just days before she was set to get married, Annie went mysteriously missing…and her fiancé started to fear the worst.

Good use of hook-words: “love,” “prestigious universities,” “mysterious.” Yet, if she’s going to exploit a tragedy on time, we suggest she arrange a rendezvous with Mavis Beacon and learn to type a lil’ bit faster. We give her a D+.

Thank you, class – that’ll be all.

Annie Le Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty–Twice

Raymond Clark III, the 24-year-old lab technician accused of strangling Yale pharmacology student Annie Le to death last fall, pled not guilty yesterday to two charges: murder and felony murder. The court hit Clark with the latter, surprise charge–which would allow the jury to convict even if the killing was only an accident, committed during another felony (rape, kidnapping, etc.)–at the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing.

The double not-guilty plea comes in the wake of mounting evidence against the Middletown resident, and gruesome details recently revealed in an 80 page arrest-warrant. The document detailed suspicious behavior on the part of Clark–including attempts to hide and clean bloody evidence–gore-stained articles of clothing (which he changed three times on the day of the murder), biological evidence in his car and home, scratches and cuts on his skin–indicating a struggle–and overuse of his keycard in Le’s work area. From the affidavit:

“While turning towards Officer Wood, Clark moved [a bloodstained] box of wipes from the corner to the far right corner and turned the box so that the blood splatter was facing to the right hand side of the cart away from plain sight.” Clark moved the box, then “leaned up against the cart and made small talk” with Wood. [New Haven Independent]

Clark is currently passing his time in maximum security prison on $3 million bail. He receives regular visits from his former fiancee–also a lab technician–and parents. A jailer described Clark as:

“nervous,” “very respectful,” and asking “many questions.”

He is no longer on suicide watch, and his fellow inmates have reportedly nicknamed him “Ray Ray.” He is allowed recreation time, and, according to his defenders, Beth Merkin and Joe Lopez, his mood is “good.”

Annie Le, Yale GRD ’13, was the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, grew up in tiny Placerville, California, and was her high school’s valedictorian. Friends described her as perpetually energetic, academically and intellectually impassioned, and very, very in love. At the time of her murder, she was preparing to marry her fiance, Columbia grad student and U of Rochester sweetheart Jonathan Widawsky. Her brother, Chris Le, wrote:

“She may be small, but she be fierce. Stuck in a 4′ 11″ frame, she had a 7′ tall personality. She will always live on through us.”

Le was last seen alive on security camera, entering 10 Amistad Hall at 10am on September 8, 2009. On her planned wedding day, September 13, investigators discovered her body, stuffed inside a wall in the building’s basement. She was 24 years old.

After the jump, read excerpts from the Clark case’s official affidavit, detailing the crime.

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Officials Say Annie Le was Strangled to Death

yalenhpoliceIn the latest update into the case of Annie Le, the Yale graduate student whose body was discovered in the basement of Yale Medical School, officials have confirmed that Le was strangled to death:

According to a spokeswoman for Connecticut’s Chief Medical Examiner, Wayne Carver, Ms. Le died from ‘traumatic asphyxia,’ caused by ‘neck compression.’

This is a reversal from the statement issued yesterday by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which instead of releasing the cause of Le’s death, stated

it would withhold that information indefinitely at the request of prosecutors. At the press conference, Lewis declined to comment on a report in The Hartford Courant that said Le died of asphyxiation.

This admission seems to suggest that the case is proceeding quickly, and is closer to identifying the perpetrator.

Police Identify Person of Interest in Annie Le Case

ray_younglooking_myspace16.jpgPolice have recently identified 24-year-old Raymond Clark as a suspect in the Anne Le murder at Yale. Cops arrived at his apartment in Middletown, Connecticut but did not arrest him, claiming to only have a “person of interest.” A lab technician at the lab where Le worked, Clark displayed visible chest marks and also failed a polygraph test. But according to a source close to Clark and his family:

Of course, he had scratches on his arm–from his cat. I know he didn’t do it, but I can’t understand how anybody would do that in the first place and put her in the wall like that. And they would have had to do it at night because certainly nobody could have done it during the day when everybody was looking.

Clark hadn’t been seen since last Thursday following the Tuesday disappearance of Le. Le’s body was found this weekend in a chute in the basement of the pharmacology research facility on 10 Amistad Street. Yale has since increased security in the surrounding area following the murder. Le’s fiancé Jonathan Widawsky, who had been cleared of being a suspect, has been assisting police with their investigation.

Body Found in Basement of Yale Medical School

14yale_650Late this afternoon a woman’s body was found in the basement of 10 Amistad Street at Yale Medical School. Based on the wording of Yale President Richard Levin’s email to the community, the body is presumably Annie Le, the graduate student and bride-to-be who went missing last Wednesday. Today was to have been her wedding day.

Our hearts go out to Annie Le’s family, fiancé and friends, who must suffer the additional ordeal of waiting for the body to be identified.  I have met again with her family and conveyed to them the deeply felt support of the Yale community.

The body—which was hidden inside of the walls of the same building where Le was last seen—has yet to be officially identified by the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Yesterday, investigators discovered a set of bloody clothes hidden in the ceiling of the Amistad building. Though the clothes did not match the outfit Le had been wearing when entering the building Wednesday morning, police began searching local landfills and an abandoned industrial area in Hartford for evidence.

Le’s wedding has been canceled and her fiancé, a student at Columbia, is not a suspect.

Read President Levin’s email in full after the jump.

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Yale Grad Student Goes Missing

Annie LeAnnie Le, a graduate student at the Yale School of Medicine, has been missing since Tuesday. Surveillance cameras last spotted Le entering the Amistad Street facility at the medical school where she was a research assistant for associate professor Anton Bennett. Le is supposed to be married on Sunday.

The Yale Daily News describes the 24 year-old student as such:

Le, a 4-foot-11-inch Asian female who has shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes, was last seen wearing a knee-length brown skirt, a bright green short-sleeved T-shirt, brown shoes and a brown necklace.

Curiously, Le had left her purse, cell phone, and other belongings in her lab before leaving. She’s carrying only her Yale ID card and does not have access to a car.

Anyone with information about Le’s whereabouts should contact the Yale Police Department at (203) 432-4400. We will make any necessary jokes upon her safe return.