What We Know About Raymond J. Clark III

Yale lab technician Ray Clark, the only "person of interest" in the Annie Le murder so far, is free for the moment. In the last 24 hours, we've learned a lot about Ray Clark.



The Basics

What We Know About Raymond J. Clark III

Yale grad student Annie Le entered a school lab building on Sept. 8 (pictured) and was never seen alive again. She was asphyxiated and her body was hidden in the crawl space behind a wall. Clark worked as an animal tech in the Animal Research Center there. [The lab has been a target of PETA in the past, and it could prove consequential in the case; Clark was found with scratches on his body that he's blaming on the animals he worked with, rather than being from a fighting Le.] Based on 700 hours of surveillance footage, police named him a "Person of Interest." They executed a search warrant on his apartment last night, took DNA from him, and released him. He has not been charged.

One lesson in all this: You could theoretically be totally innocent of a crime, but still find everything you posted online end up in the tabloids. So think before you go too crazy on the internet.

Ray Clark's Digital Trail

Ray had a barely-filled-in Myspace page that he hadn't accessed since 2006. It looks like he just used it for a momentary joke, although he probably now regrets writing that he wants to meet "your mom so I can fuck her." His girlfriend, Jennifer Hromadka, also had a Myspace page, though it's been deleted.

The couple also had a wedding page on The Knot that's been hidden. But according to Hunter Walker, who glimpsed much of Ray Clark's online info before it was pulled, it "says that the couple planned to get married on December 20, 2011 and that they have been engaged since New Year's Day 2008.

The E-Mail Trail [NYDN]

Investigators reportedly zeroed in on Clark in part because of emails he sent to Le.

In the e-mails, Clark is said to criticize Le for not adhering to the protocols for tending the mice kept in the basement as part of her lab's ongoing experiments.
Le is said to have responded in a conciliatory tone, promising to keep to the protocols. Investigators wonder if Clark was not satisfied, if resentment suddenly flared to rage, if as crazy as it may seem this was a case of mice and murder.

His Family's Explanation [NYP]

"He did not pass the polygraph test . . . But of course, they don't always run true anyway, especially when you're nerved up asking so many questions," the sympathetic [family] source insisted.
As for Clark's fresh wounds, "He had scratches on his arm from his cat," the person said.
The source said Clark, whom the family calls "Ray Ray," works at the lab along with his fiancée, sister and her husband.
"But he didn't really know [Le]," the source said.
"She left the area before he left that morning. He'd seen her and said, 'Hi' and kept on going."

Cheating Rumors [NYP]

What We Know About Raymond J. Clark III

Ray's fiancee Jennifer Hromadka took to a blog to deny unspecified rumors that Ray was cheating on her.

"My boyfriend, Ray, if you don't know him, has no interest in any of the other girls at [the university research center] as anything more than friends.
"This rumor of a 'fling' is probably the most stupid thing i have ever heard and really is not even worth going into detail about.

What The Neighbors Say [NYDN]

"It definitely freaks me out," said Ivan Hernandez, 22, who lives directly above Clark. "A possible murderer living right under you, that's crazy. I thought he was just a normal guy."
One of Clark's former neighbors in New Haven said he screamed at children and was "very controlling" of his girlfriend.
"Ray was very controlling of his girlfriend," said Anne Marie Goodwin, 40. "He would never let her talk to anyone. I would hear a lot of yelling upstairs."
Clark - a 2004 graduate of Branford High School, who mostly worked with rodents at Yale - "kept a pit bull caged in his apartment," Goodwin said.