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   PastimesMurder Mystery: Who Killed Yale Student Suzanne Jovin?


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To: Jeffrey S. Mitchell who wrote (1201)12/7/2005 11:49:51 PM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 1390
 
Re: 11/28/05 - NY Times: In an Old Family, a Suspect in Crimes Old and New

In an Old Family, a Suspect in Crimes Old and New
Author: WILLIAM YARDLEY and MICHELLE YORK

WATERBURY, Conn. - John F. Regan had been out on bail for a year when a concerned photo clerk at the Walgreens on West Main Street called the police earlier this fall.

"He says, 'I'm getting all these pictures developed by this guy John Regan and they're of all these women,' " said Sgt. Chris Corbett of the Waterbury police. "He thought it was odd, because the pictures didn't add up. They were like surveillance photos. These are pictures of women getting out of their cars in a parking lot, going into a store, going into a bank."

The clerk had another reason to be suspicious: He knew Mr. Regan's name and face.

Mr. Regan, 49, a married father of three from a prominent family with deep roots in this city, has been a focus of local news coverage since he was charged last year in two cases that involved allegations of sexual assault. He is awaiting trial in those cases; he faces kidnapping charges in one and unlawful restraint charges in the other.

Within six weeks of the photo clerk's call, the Waterbury police used the photographs to charge Mr. Regan with a new crime, stalking. But before they did, the police in New York say, Mr. Regan had already committed another crime, the attempted kidnapping of a 17-year-old track star at Saratoga Springs High School after practice on Halloween.

The girl's coaches chased Mr. Regan, who was in his van, moments after she fought him off, the police said. Inside the van, the police said, they found a rope, a blue tarp, liquor and other items that investigators regarded as suspicious.

In the weeks since, local and F.B.I. investigators in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts have been examining whether Mr. Regan might have links to several unsolved sex crimes and murders reaching back nearly two decades. Parents of long-missing young women have expressed cautious hope that a suspect might finally be in custody.

But so far, for all the attention and suspicion, no evidence has surfaced, some investigators say.

Mr. Regan is now in custody at the Central New York Psychiatric Center near Utica after he attempted suicide this month while in jail in Saratoga Springs. While the Waterbury police portray him as a dangerous man, he has steadfastly maintained his innocence through his lawyers.

To represent him in one of the Connecticut cases, Mr. Regan's family hired Hope Seeley, a Hartford lawyer who defended Michael Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, against murder charges, and Alex Kelly, a convicted rapist from Greenwich who fled to Europe when he was first charged as a teenager.

Mr. Regan, a former salesman and branch manager for a roofing and siding company, ABC Supply, and his wife, Ruth, who teaches at a Catholic school, own a charming two-story, colonial-style house on Euclid Avenue in the historic neighborhood of Overlook, a few blocks from where he grew up and where his parents still live.

An elementary school in Waterbury is named for Mr. Regan's grandfather Frank G. Regan, a high school principal for nearly half a century. Mr. Regan's father, Dr. Frank G. Regan Jr., a retired dentist known as Scoop for his reputation as a young man for knowing the talk of the town, refused to comment for this article.

Mr. Regan's brother, Patrick M. Regan, is a prominent lawyer in Washington. He has helped hire lawyers to represent his brother in Connecticut and New York. He did not respond to two requests for comment left with an employee in his Washington office.

If family and neighbors were stunned by the allegations against Mr. Regan in Waterbury last year, scrutiny only increased after his arrest in Saratoga Springs. On a recent cover of a local tabloid, The Waterbury Observer, a large photograph of his face was displayed beneath the headline, "Busted!"

Louise Boulanger, who has lived across the street from Dr. Regan and his wife, Gioia, for half a century and whose children grew up with Mr. Regan, described Mr. Regan's parents as "devastated, they're absolutely devastated."

"She's been to church every day of her life," Ms. Boulanger said. "She's a very religious woman, and she definitely didn't deserve this."

Before the arrest in Saratoga Springs, when Mr. Regan faced charges only in Connecticut, Ms. Boulanger met his mother on the sidewalk one day. "She said, 'He's innocent, you know.' She looked me right in the eye," Ms. Boulanger recalled. "If it was my son, I would have said the same thing."

Mr. Regan was first arrested in the summer of 2004 on an unlawful restraint charge. He is accused of trying to force a co-worker in her early 20's to have sex with him on a back porch at his parents' house while they were away.

DNA evidence gathered in that arrest led the Waterbury police to charge Mr. Regan with a second crime, an unsolved case from 1993 in which a businesswoman said she was raped in her home. The police initially were skeptical of her allegation, but the case remained open. In 2001, the woman won a civil suit claiming the police mishandled the investigation. Last year, Mr. Regan was charged with kidnapping in the case because the statute of limitations for rape had expired.

Mr. Regan was fired from his job at ABC Supply after his arrests last year. This fall, he was in Saratoga Springs working on property belonging to his mother's family when he was arrested on Halloween.

Lt. Gary Forward of the Saratoga Springs police said Mr. Regan was arrested on charges that he tried to abduct a student after track practice, about 5:30 p.m.

"She came back to her car after track practice," Lieutenant Forward said. "There was a blue-gray van parked next to her. She was putting some things in the back seat, and she heard the van's sliding door open. The man grabbed her around the torso and mouth and tried to drag her into the van. She was able to get her mouth free, and she started screaming for help."

One of the track coaches "confronted the guy," Lieutenant Forward said. "He got back into the van, closed the door and drove away." Another coach began chasing Mr. Regan, calling the police on his cellphone at the same time and helping them pinpoint the location. Mr. Regan drove a few blocks, and stopped just as the police arrived.

The publicized details of the arrest in Saratoga Springs, coupled with the charges Mr. Regan already faced in Connecticut, prompted a broader investigation of his life.

The Waterbury police say they are also investigating whether Mr. Regan was involved in two murders, in the late 1980's, of prostitutes who worked not far from where Mr. Regan lived.

In New York, the parents of Suzanne Lyall, a student at the State University of New York at Albany when she disappeared from a shopping mall in 1998, have asked the state police to revisit her case. In Massachusetts, where Mr. Regan sometimes traveled when he was a salesman for ABC Supply, the parents of Molly Bish, who was 16 when she disappeared in 2000 from Warren, near Worcester, said elements of the Saratoga Springs case paralleled their daughter's disappearance.

But John J. Conte, the district attorney in Worcester, who is investigating the Bish case, said last week that his office had confirmed that Mr. Regan was not in the area the day Molly disappeared, June 27, 2000.

"Everybody's talking similarities and they're not talking facts," Mr. Conte had said in an earlier interview. "They're all maybes: maybe it lines up, maybe it's similar."

Cynthia S. Serafini, a senior assistant state's attorney for the Waterbury judicial district, who is prosecuting Connecticut's two cases against Mr. Regan, said, "I'm not aware of any evidence that links him to any other crimes."

While speculation has swirled that Mr. Regan could be involved in additional crimes, currently he has been charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint and stalking.

"The terrible danger in the way this has been publicized is that you have people coming forward and making false accusations," said E. Stewart Jones, Mr. Regan's lawyer in the Saratoga Springs case.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
© 2005 New York Times. All rights reserved.

select.nytimes.com

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To: Bear Down who wrote (1202)12/7/2005 11:56:11 PM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 1390
 
Another point I should bring up is that I've always attributed the lack of defense wounds on Suzanne's body as evidence someone was restraining her when she was stabbed. The same effect would have occurred had she been tied with rope... the back-of-the-head wounds indicating she was face down. I always figured the lack of leads from this murder was due to the right people not being asked. A lone serial killer would explain that as well. Fingers-crossed this is *the* guy.

- Jeff

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To: Jeffrey S. Mitchell who wrote (1204)12/8/2005 12:07:24 AM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 1390
 
Re: 11/14/05 - AP: Kidnapping suspect with local ties attracts attention across Northeast

Kidnapping suspect with local ties attracts attention across Northeast

11/14/2005
By MATT APUZZO
Associated Press Writer

WATERBURY -- When a Connecticut salesman was charged with trying to kidnap a New York teenager from her school parking lot Halloween night, police believed it was a random, isolated abduction attempt.

Two weeks later, the man whose work van contained a tarp and a noose that night in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is being investigated in at least three states for unsolved sex and murder cases.

Investigators are looking at crimes dating back as far as 1988 to see if there’s a connection to 49-year-old John Regan, a married father of three now facing his second kidnapping charge in just over a year.

"We’ll know a lot more about John Regan in the months to come, but from what we understand, he led a very interesting double life," Waterbury Police Superintendent Neil O’Leary said. "He led a life as a father, a devoted father, devoted to his kids, frequently seen at their sporting events. A nice house in a nice neighborhood, a very respected and well-liked wife. And you know, obviously there was a total dark side to John Regan."

Defense attorney Stewart Jones said the sweeping investigations only encourage false accusations.

"Obviously, he’s an easy target for the police," Jones said. "I don’t think they’re going to turn up anything."

Detectives are reviewing Regan’s business trips to Sturbridge, Mass., to see whether he was in nearby Warren when 16-year-old lifeguard Molly Bish disappeared on June 27, 2000.

"I’m glad they’re looking at him," said Molly’s father, John Bish, who discussed Regan’s case with investigators. "I’m glad they’re taking things seriously."

Across upstate New York, state troopers are reviewing abduction cases.

"We owe it to the people who are missing to make sure it’s fully investigated," said James A. Murphy III, the district attorney in Saratoga County.

O’Leary also wants to revisit the unsolved murders of Mildred Alvarado and Karen Everett, two prostitutes found strangled in Harwinton in 1988 and 1989. Both women worked the streets less than a mile from Regan’s home, O’Leary said.

Police charged Regan last year in connection with a 1993 attack, in which a Waterbury woman awoke to find a masked man in her bedroom. According to court documents, the man gagged her, put a pillowcase over her head and raped her.

Investigators believe the attacker knew his victim because he disguised his voice and face. But the case languished and the victim won a lawsuit against the city for mishandling the investigation.

In 2004, police received a complaint from one of Regan’s employees, who accused him of pulling her onto his lap, forcing her onto her back and trying to have sex with her. That investigation revealed that Regan knew the 1993 victim. He provided a DNA sample that, according to police records, matched the cold case.

Because the statute of limitations on rape had expired, Regan was charged with kidnapping. Last November, he pleaded not guilty in both cases and posted $350,000 bail.

Regan, who sold and installed roofing, is a member of one of the city’s most prominent families. His father is a well-known dentist. His brother is a Washington D.C. attorney. A local elementary school bears his grandfather’s name.

Regan’s wife and brother did not return messages for comment. His father was out of town.

Regan came to authorities’ attention again a few weeks ago, just days before his Saratoga arrest, when a Walgreens photo clerk reported that Regan had submitted pictures of unsuspecting women.

The pictures, taken on the same roll as his son’s soccer game, show mostly blonds in their late teens and early 20s. Some are walking. One is standing by a school bus stop. Another is scratching her back, slightly lifting her shirt.

Regan’s former employee was also photographed, police said, leading to charges of stalking and violating his bail conditions. By then, however, Regan was in Saratoga Springs.

He was arrested Oct. 31 after a 17-year-old senior at Saratoga Springs High School said Regan tried to pull her into his van after track practice. Authorities found blue tarp, a nylon rope tied into a noose, a metal rake and a bottle of liquor in the van.

"He meets the stereotypical profile of a serial rapist," O’Leary said.

Investigators have not said what they make of the items seized from the van. Jones, Regan’s attorney, said they were tools of Regan’s trade and said reporters have overreacted.

"It’s grandstanding about lives being imperiled, wild monumental nonsense," Jones said.

Back in Waterbury, police searched Regan’s computer. Before leaving for Saratoga, Regan visited a newspaper Web site there, police said. The young runner was mentioned twice, leading investigators to believe she may have been targeted.

O’Leary said he’ll ask Wisconsin investigators to revisit their cases because Regan’s company, ABC Supply, is based there.

"We’re going to reach into every community where we know he’s been and say, ‘Look, this is who he is, this is what we know about him, this is what he’s been arrested for,’" O’Leary said. "‘And if you have any unsolved cases that could fit into this profile, we strongly urge you to take a strong look at him.’"

©The Register Citizen 2005

registercitizen.com

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To: Jeffrey S. Mitchell who wrote (1204)12/14/2005 1:55:37 PM
From: Janice Shell
   of 1390
 
I've always attributed the lack of defense wounds on Suzanne's body as evidence someone was restraining her when she was stabbed.

There's a problem with that. It was a warm night, and as I recall, Jovin was wearing a light sweater. I believe that if she'd been tied up, and had struggled, the rope would have left bruises.

Or...did he knock her out? Did Regan do that to any of his other victims? It can't be easy to tie somebody up when they're fighting back.

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To: Janice Shell who wrote (1206)12/14/2005 5:57:28 PM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 1390
 
Jovin was wearing a light sweater. I believe that if she'd been tied up, and had struggled, the rope would have left bruises.

She was wearing a fleece pullover. I agree that the most effective way to tie up someone is rope over skin but that takes time to do, not to mention, as you point out "can't be easy... when they're fighting back", so who knows. There are no reports of any rope burns so either they were not there, missed, or such information is being kept secret. So I'd say with all these variables it would be hard to draw a likely conclusion. It may well be that if she were tied up with rope over clothing that that allowed her to get free enough that, combined with screaming, she became too risky to keep alive.

Or...did he knock her out? Did Regan do that to any of his other victims?

He apparently just forces himself on people. A reporter told me Regan was a very good wrestler and a strong man, so perhaps he just assumed women would submit to him rather than fight. I've not read where he used a weapon to subdue anyone. He likely planned to strangle/suffocate them. Had Suzanne been the victim of someone simply intent on murder, I would think the murder weapon would have been either a gun or a knife much more substantial than the flimsy carbon steel one used to kill her.

Regan, at least recently, took photographs of women that he likely fantasized over "dominating." I would think if he took photographs from years back he still has them, so if I were the police I'd be trying to match them up with cold case victims. If there are pictures of Yalies circa 1998, that would be a smoking gun, IMO.

- Jeff

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To: Jeffrey S. Mitchell who wrote (1205)12/15/2005 7:20:24 AM
From: paul ross
   of 1390
 
I can't remember but I don't believe there was any evidence that Suzanne was sexually assaulted. With the lack of any other evidence the brutality of the attack would lead one to believe that she knew her attacker, not to suggest that it was James....Did Dr Henry Lee ever spend any time looking at this case ?

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To: paul ross who wrote (1208)12/15/2005 9:46:54 PM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 1390
 
Paul, there has never been any reference to Suzanne being sexually assaulted. So, for sake of argument, let's say murder was the motive. Would you plan a murder with a flimsy six inch carbon steel blade? As for "the brutality of the attack", can you explain to me how you can kill someone with such a blade in such a way that the end result is not "brutal" (read: messy, as all murders are essentially brutal)?

Considering the knife tip broke off in her skull, I'd say, sadly, the number of blows was necessary to kill her, not overkill. The fact the killer slashed her throat, even after all this, implies to me he still wasn't sure she was dead. Had the throat slash been the primary method of killing, I'd think there would have been multiple slashes to the point of almost decapitation. There's even reports that the person who found Suzanne worked on her at the scene. You can't have overkill if someone isn't dead by the end of the attack.

All this implies to me that murder was not the primary reason for the abduction. Rather, events led to murder. The problem here is that very little time elapsed from abduction to murder, so it's very hard to imagine what could cause a "friend" to fly off the handle that quick. I suppose an unwanted sexual advance would top the list. But, if so, I would think Suzanne would have been unrestrained and able to at least put up a hand, if even instinctively, in self defense. There's never been any evidence of that.

As for whether Henry Lee spent time looking at the case, the answer is only briefly. The NHPD both refused to have him check out the crime scene the day it happened and to reconstruct the crime months later. Lee did an interview on CNN ( see: Message 12231709 ) and expressed his dismay at this.

Once again, I need to say that all this doesn't mean I'm totally against the "she knew her killer" theory. Only that I think, as in the Zantop (Dartmouth) Murders, the random killer theory makes much more sense based on what I know.

- Jeff

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From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell8/24/2006 10:47:46 AM
   of 1390
 
Re: 8/24/06 - NH Register: Jovin murder case turned over to state

Jovin murder case turned over to state
David McClendon, Register City Editor
08/24/2006

-NEW HAVEN — The murder of Yale student Suzanne Jovin, unsolved for nearly eight years, will be investigated anew by the state’s Cold Case Unit, officials said Wednesday.

State’s Attorney Michael Dearington said he and city Police Chief Francisco Ortiz Jr. made the decision to turn over the investigation to the state by Sept. 8 after concluding that it was an opportunity for a fresh, new review of the evidence that could lead to the arrest of the killer.

City police, through a spokeswoman, declined comment.

"Despite the thoroughness and tenacity shown by these investigators, the available evidence is not considered, at this time, to be sufficient to effectuate an arrest," Dearington said.

Dearington added that the Jovin family was aware of the latest development. Family members could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The only person named as a suspect in the case was James Van de Velde, a former lecturer at Yale and Jovin’s senior thesis advisor in 1998. He has vehemently maintained his innocence and even hired private investigators to find the killer.

Van de Velde’s attorney, David Grudberg, said Wednesday that he was pleased that the Jovin case would soon be looked at by fresh eyes. He is eager to see his client cleared.

"What has been done to him is absolutely outrageous and now that the case is being forwarded to someone else, I hope they have the courage and integrity to say that he is not a suspect and he never was a suspect," Grudberg said Wednesday night.

The Jovin case drew international media attention. She was a 21-year-old Yale senior who was killed Dec. 4, 1998 shortly after leaving a pizza party she helped host for mentally disabled adults at a local church.

Her body, stabbed 17 times, was found by a passer-by on the corner of East Rock and Edgehill roads.

Early in the investigation, police identified Van de Velde, as a suspect, but never charged him and no arrests were ever made.

City cops were able to recover a sample of DNA from under the fingernails of Jovin’s left hand. Authorities said the genetic material did not match a DNA sample Van de Velde provided to police.

Van de Velde has accused police of incompetence and botching the investigation from the outset.

He sued, among others, the city police department and officials at Yale, including university President Richard Levin and Secretary Linda Lorimer, for violating his 14th Amendment right to equal treatment by releasing only his name to the public and not the names of other potential suspects.

The lawsuit also alleged the defendants, by naming Van de Velde as a suspect, violated his 14th Amendment right to confidentiality in personal matters and due process, and his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizure, referring to the seizure of his good name without probable cause.

All the claims, however, were dismissed by a federal judge in 2004. Van de Velde earlier that year won an $80,000 settlement against Quinnipiac University in Hamden. In that lawsuit, he claimed he was wrongfully dismissed from a broadcast journalism graduate program because of news reports linking him to the Jovin slaying.

That lawsuit further claimed Quinnipiac spread defamatory statements about him to the media to explain his dismissal.

Grudberg, Van de Velde’s attorney, for years demanded that the case be turned over to the Cold Case Unit, but Dearington declined.

In 2004, Van de Velde made an attempt to once and for all clear his name. He hired detectives to investigate the case and put up posters in the East Rock neighborhood to remind people of the $150,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Jovin’s killer.

Yale officials also hired private investigators to look into the killing.

Jovin, who was from Germany, studied political science and international relations at Yale.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
City Editor David McClendon can be reached at dmcclendon@nhregister.com , or 789-5730.

©New Haven Register 2006

nhregister.com

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To: Jeffrey S. Mitchell who wrote (1210)8/24/2006 8:47:43 PM
From: Janice Shell
   of 1390
 
Interesting, though a little late in the day.

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To: Janice Shell who wrote (1211)7/6/2007 5:04:29 AM
From: Jeffrey S. Mitchell
   of 1390
 
Re: 6/6/06 - National Review: Forget the Facts; Duke's president has a history of allowing public relations to trump principle.

Forget the Facts
Duke's president has a history of allowing public relations to trump principle.

By Michael Rubin

An exotic dancer’s accusation that Duke University lacrosse players raped her at a March 14 off-campus party continues to polarize Durham, Raleigh, and the Duke community. Those accused were white; the victim was black. Citing the racial overtones, both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton joined the fray. For several days, protests rocked the Durham campus. On March 25, Duke University President Richard Brodhead issued a statement declaring, “Physical coercion and sexual assault are unacceptable in any setting and have no place at Duke.” Of course, he issued the caveat, “People are presumed innocent until proven guilty,” but on campuses today, such presumption is secondary. On April 5, Brodhead canceled the lacrosse team’s season and promised an investigation of the culture of college athletes as well as Duke’s own response. The lacrosse coach resigned.

Months later, more is known about the incident. While District Attorney Mike Nifong is pressing on with charges of rape and related accusations against three lacrosse players, his case is unraveling. Photos, witnesses, alibis, inconclusive DNA evidence, and even passed polygraphs make his case increasingly tenuous.

Unfortunately, it is not the first time that Brodhead has allowed public relations to trump principle. Prior to assuming the presidency of Duke, Brodhead was dean of Yale College. He was a popular teacher and, at least for the first half of his tenure as dean, a well-liked administrator as well. Then tragedy struck. On December 4, 1998, senior Suzanne Jovin was found stabbed to death and left at an intersection in a neighborhood adjacent to the Yale campus which housed many Yale professors and graduate students.

Many universities are shy about adverse publicity. At Yale, it’s an obsession. My freshman year, lacrosse player Christian Prince was shot and killed on the steps of a church, a couple dozen yards from a student dormitory. He was white; his alleged assailant was black. It was Yale’s worst nightmare. Parents and applicants peppered admissions officers and tour guides with questions about New Haven safety. The Damocles’ sword of incitement and town-gown racial tension hung over Yale’s administrators.

When Jovin was murdered, justice took a backseat to damage control. Within days New Haven police and Yale officials publicly fingered political scientist James Van de Velde, Jovin’s senior essay adviser. He was a star lecturer and had been a residential college dean. He was also a former White House appointee under George H. W. Bush and a member of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Reserves. Most Yale professors lean to the left of the student body; few in the political-science and international-relations departments have real-world experience. Van de Velde was the subject of personal jealousy and political animosity. Many faculty members—including Brodhead—looked askance at his desire to emphasize practical policymaking over theory. Some questioned, for example, his willingness to help Jovin write—in 1998—about the threat posed by Osama bin Laden to the U.S. to be unscholarly. From an academic point-of-view, Van de Velde was a black sheep.

Yale administrators did not care that there was neither evidence nor motive linking Van de Velde to Jovin. Her body had been found a half-mile from his house. Just as at Duke, Brodhead spoke eloquently about the principles of due process, but moved to subvert it. Citing the New Haven Police Department’s naming of Van de Velde among “a pool of suspects,” Brodhead cancelled Van de Velde’s spring-term lecture, explaining that “the cancellation of the course doesn’t follow from a judgment or a prejudgment of his hypothetical involvement in the Jovin case.” As at Duke, Brodhead insisted that due process would prevail. Despite Van de Velde’s stellar student reviews and distinguished record, Brodhead then let his contract lapse. Van de Velde left New Haven, his career in shambles.

Brodhead’s willingness to offer up a sacrificial lamb undercut justice in other ways. Three days after the murder, New Haven police spoke to Van de Velde, but declined his offers to let them search his home, take a DNA sample, or take a polygraph exam (they did dust his car for fingerprints; their findings provided no link).

They did find Jovin’s fingerprints on a plastic soda bottle found at the crime scene. The soda bottle also had someone else’s fingerprints—not Van de Velde’s. But, having a suspect, why process evidence? The Fresca bottle was crucial. She did not have the bottle when last seen alive on the main campus by a fellow student. That was a half hour before she was found dying almost two miles away. That particular brand of soda was sold in only one store on campus. By the time the police visited it—months later—that store’s surveillance tape had been erased. Nevertheless, her likely presence there turned the half-hour timeline upside-down, and raised the probability that her attacker(s) had forced her into a vehicle, attacked her, and then dumped her—not the type of news Yale parents want to hear. Jovin may also have fought off her attacker. Subsequent tests of material taken from beneath her fingernails revealed DNA that did not match Van de Velde’s, that of her boyfriend, any other friend or acquaintance, or any emergency worker who tried to save her. Neither Yale nor the New Haven police have explained why it took two years to test the scrapings. Nor have they explained why they ignored eyewitness accounts of a tan or brown van seen parked at the crime scene at the time of the crime. Van de Velde drove a red Jeep Wrangler. Brodhead has never apologized. In March 2000, a Yale spokesman dismissed press inquiries saying that more attention to the case “can only hurt Yale” (he would later deny he said it). Public relations trumps justice. Today, Jovin’s murder remains unsolved.

Leadership is not always easy, but it is incumbent upon university presidents to set an example. When university presidents act on principle, they can be subject to withering criticism and attack. The right path is not always easy. If Brodhead recognizes his error in the Jovin case, he should apologize to Van de Velde, its other victim. That he repeats his mistakes—at Yale canceling a class; at Duke, a lacrosse season—does his leadership a disservice. Although just yesterday he agreed to allow a “probationary” reinstatement of the lacrosse team, at Duke, he has affirmed those who, with accusations of racism and adherence to political correctness, demanded premature action. He has treated the accused cavalierly. Justice should take its course. Brodhead need not act until the charges are dismissed or a verdict returned. But, if then, it transpires that he has once again tarred the innocent, he can prove his leadership with an apology or a resignation.

—Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

* * *

© National Review Online 2006-2007. All Rights Reserved.

article.nationalreview.com

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