Vivisector Imprisoned


Yale lab tech Raymond Clark put in solitary confinement


A domineering Yale mouse-keeper traded the lab for a cage Thursday as he was charged with murdering grad student Annie Le, officials told the Daily News. After his morning arrest, Raymond Clark 3rd was tossed into solitary confinement in a Connecticut lockup - then transferred hours later to a maximum-security facility.

"He's just somber," said Lt. John Bernard of the New Haven Community Correctional Center , which was Clark 's first stop. "It's his first time in jail. This is all new to him. He hasn't cried. He hasn't said a word to anyone." Clark, 24, was kept away from the general population at the New Haven jail because officials feared he could be attacked by other inmates. "We don't know who is out there maybe waiting to take action against him," Bernard said. He was later transferred to the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in the town of Suffield . Clark 's arrest capped a weeklong hunt for Le's killer in a case that riveted the nation.

It brought relief to Yale's campus but provided little comfort to Le's Long time roommate, Natalie Powers. "He is a monster," Powers, 25, told The News. "He killed my roommate. He left her in a wall. How am I supposed to feel? I feel sick." "I don't care what happens to him at this point so long as he can no longer hurt anyone else."
At an arraignment, a New Haven judge ordered an edgy Clark held in lieu of $3 million bond.

Investigators believe Le's death was a case of workplace violence and that Clark flew into a rage because he thought she was flouting the rules of the lab, sources said.
Co-workers told police Clark was a "control freak" who viewed the research facility and its mice as his fiefdom, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press.

Clark did mostly janitorial work in the lab, while Le conducted complicated experiments with implications for cancer treatment. Investigators believe the muscular Clark - 5-feet-9 and 190 pounds – first hit the diminutive Le, then strangled her. He stashed her body behind a basement wall Sept. 8 in the Yale lab where they both worked, sources said.

Le's body was found the same day she had planned to get married on Long Island. Thursday, the family of her fiance, Columbia University grad student Jonathan Widawsky, released a heartrending statement, thanking friends for helping to prepare "a wedding that was not to be." "Our lives have been a whirlwind from the moment we first knew that Annie [was] missing," the family said in a statement. "Annie will live in our hearts forever." Yale President Richard Levin said Clark 's employment history gave no indication he was capable of murder. "This says more about the dark side of the human soul than anything else," Levin said in an e-mail. "What happened here could have happened anywhere."

Investigators zeroed in on Clark early in the investigation after he failed a lie detector test and was found to have defensive wounds, sources said. He was kept under 24-hour surveillance after he was released early Wednesday and spent his last hours of freedom at the Super 8 motel in Cromwell , Conn.
With Patrice O'Shaughnessy


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© Keith Mann