Monday, September 14, 2009

Did the Murderer Read Poe?

The media can keep looking for the next runaway bride. Yale graduate student Annie Marie Le, 24, would have been married to fiancé Jonathan Widawsky this past Sunday, September 13th, on Long Island. But she went missing on Tuesday, September 8th. She left her purse, money, credit cards, and her cell phone in her lab. A surveillance video recorded her entering the four-story lab building at 10 Amistad Street in New Haven. This was the last time she was seen alive.

In addition to beginning the missing persons investigation, the Yale Police handed out flyers with Le’s picture, hoping for more information. The FBI took over and took a K-9 team into the building. On Sunday, the day of her wedding, human remains were found stuffed inside a wall in the basement. Lab animals are housed in this section of the building, a Yale University laboratory with several levels of security card access. Elsewhere in the same building, investigators found bloody clothes hidden above tiles in a drop ceiling.

Monday’s autopsy positively identified the human remains as Annie Le’s. The cause of death is still pending further autopsy. Her death has been ruled a homicide. Police have questioned people, but no one is a suspect and no arrests have been made.

On Monday evening, hundreds attended a candlelight vigil in Annie Le’s honor. The crowd sang “Amazing Grace.”


This crime begs the question: “Did the murderer read Poe?” Was it Montresor’s entombment of Fortunato in the wine cellar wall that inspired this killer to copycat this method of corpse disposal? Or was it the deranged mad man who killed his elderly roommate and hid the body under the floorboards that inspired this criminal to hide his dastardly deed in the basement walls of the laboratory building? Or both?

Of course, I’m referencing the two Poe tales: THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO and THE TELL TALE HEART. When they catch Annie Le’s killer, I hope they ask him if Poe provided any inspiration?

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