Body of Yale graduate student who worried about crime found hidden inside lab building

Since last week I’ve been following the story of Annie Le, the pharmacology graduate student at Yale who has been missing since September 8, four days before her scheduled wedding. (I presume her name is pronounced “Lee,” though none of the mainstream newspapers have bothered providing us with this information.) The mystery was that surveillance cameras had taped her entering a secured Yale lab building a mile off campus, but not leaving. After several days of search, police yesterday found a body stuffed inside a wall in the basement of the lab building, which they believe is hers, though they haven’t positively identified it.

Throughout the story, police have been remarkably vague with the information they’ve given media. And in the absence of facts, media have gone overboard. Thus the New York Post disgraced itself last week when it ran a headline saying “Yale Prof Eyed” in the case, suggesting that Le’s professor was a suspect, when in fact all the story said was that the professor had been questioned because he had canceled a class Le attended the day she disappeared.

Here, according ABC, is how police found the body:

The discovery of the body ends a massive search by state and federal authorities that had expanded to a Connecticut waste-processing facility in Hartford, in addition to the Yale lab, in the hopes of finding clues to her mysterious disappearance.

Using cadaver-sniffing dogs in round-the-clock shifts, FBI agents and state troopers dressed in hazardous-material suits began searching the facility in Hartford Saturday night.

Police scanned blueprints of the lab and brought in blood-sniffing dogs, paying particular attention to the building’s basement.

Curious. Since she had been missing since Tuesday, and she hadn’t been seen leaving the building, why did they wait until Saturday to start using dogs to search for her body in the building?

Much has been made of the fact that Le wrote an article months ago expressing worries about the lack of safety on the Yale campus.

A reader points out:

Naturally, Yale Univ. bars students from owning defensive weapons, i.e., guns (helpfully decoded as “(guns)” in their policy statement—hey, aren’t these the smartest one percent of college kids in the nation, and some may not know that guns are a subset of “weapons”??

Policy regarding possession of various weapons (Contact: Office of the Secretary, 203-432-2675, or University Police Department, 203 432-4407)

The possession or use of explosive, incendiary materials or weapons (guns) on University property by students, employees, or visitors is prohibited except for University Police and other certified law enforcement officers.

The reader’s implied logic is unanswerable. If Annie Le was concerned about her physical safety in New Haven, wouldn’t it have been sensible and natural for her to carry a weapon to protect herself and to feel more secure? But that option was precluded by gun control laws and regulations.

I’m not saying that this slight, pretty, East Asian, and probably very liberal young woman would herself have thought of owning a gun. What I’m saying is, given her rational fear of violent crime, shouldn’t she have thought of it? And, if she had not lived in a liberal culture that makes gun ownership both illegal and outre, wouldn’t she have thought of it?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 14, 2009 01:25 PM | Send

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