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Did You Lock The Door?
Did You Lock The Door?

Episode 8 · 2 years ago

The Brutal Murder of Annie Le

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Hi, and welcome back to did you lock the door? The podcast? I'm your host, Peyton Reese, and today we are going to be discussing the case of a woman named Annie Marie Lay. So, without further ado, let's go ahead and jump right into it. Annie Marie lay was born July three of one thousand nine hundred and eighty five, making her a cancer, I believe, the first cancer that we've discussed on this show. She was Vietnamese American, born and raised in San Jose, California by her aunt and uncle. She was described as very bubbly, fun and outgoing and from a very young age she knew that when she grew up, she wanted to be a doctor of some sort. It was always her dream to spend her life healing the sick. She would graduate from Union Mine High School as the Valedictorian and, on top of that, she was voted most likely to be the next Einstein by her senior class, so I think it's safe to say that she was kind of a genius. She would earn a pretty substantial amount of money in scholarships, actually a hundred and sixty thousand dollars, and she would use that to attend the University of Rochester in New York. While there she would major in cell developmental biology and minor and medical anthropology. So again, a very smart girl. While she was in college here she would meet her soon too be fiance, actually a man named Jonathan Wouldowski. The two dated for what I believe is a short period of time and quickly got engaged.

After graduating from the University of Rochester, she went on to pursue a doctorate in pharmacology at Yale University, and while there she would participate in research aimed at treating certain forms of cancers and diabetes. Her Fiance, Jonathan, would attend Columbia University, where he would pursue a doctorate in both physics, physics and mathematics. And while this might seem like kind of a detriment to their relationship, the two were actually only a ninety minute train ride from each other and they would skype and or talk on the phone almost every day. One of their favorite things to do as a couple when they had to spend time apart was skype and watch baseball games together. They were both very big baseball fans. In February of two thousand and eight, while at Yale, Annie would publish an article for a student run magazine titled Quote, Crime And Safety in new haven, and in that article she would discuss how students could protect themselves from getting robbed in and around the campus area, and her publishing an article on student safety might be a bit ironic. Once we get more into the case, we'll see. Annie would spend a lot of her time in the school labs. As I mentioned, she was doing research pertaining to cancer and diabetes, and in these labs she would work with animals, mostly rats, and that was what she would be doing the morning of September eight, two thousand and nine, when she would arrive at the Sterling Hall of Medicine on campus, leave her belongings and then walk the remaining three blocks to ten amastaed street to begin working in the campus labs. On one forum, I actually did see that she received a text from a lab technician named Raymond Clark that asked her to come in a little early to discuss lab cleanliness because he felt that she was not keeping the animal cages as clean as they should...

...be. Cut but I only saw this on one forum and it was on Reddit. All the other articles that I saw stated that she was solely there to get some work done in the lab, so I'm not sure if that's a hundred percent true or not. So Annie can be seen on surveillance video entering the building and then swiping her card to gain injury into one of the lab rooms. And every different room in this lab or in this building, you had to use your card to swipe in every time. So there was a record of each and every room that Annie entered, along with everyone else. So after entering this one room that she is caught on surveillance going into, so after entering this lab that she can be seen on surveillance video walking into, Annie's card will actually never be swiped again. And someone that we discussed a couple minutes ago, Lab Tech Raymond Clark, can be seen entering the same lab shortly after Annie does. He will then enter rooms all over the building, swiping his card a total of eleven times that day, something that he did not normally do. Records would show that his card would normally only get swiped one the two times per shift that he worked. So going up to eleven was a lot more than he normally would. The last store that Raymond Clark swiped into was the basement area where he would spend about an hour, and there's no security footage in that area, so we don't have a record of what exactly it was he was doing during that time. Annie will be absent from her thirty am class as per an email that her professor, Dr Bennett, sent to the dean of Pharmacology, and she would not reach out to any friends or family for the rest of the day, which was very abnormal for her. She likes to keep in touch fairly consistently with both her friends, family and especially her fiance Jonathan. After Annie didn't return home that night, her roommate called around to see if any of their friends had heard from her, and after getting nose from almost everyone, she eventually...

...called Jonathan. When he said that he hadn't spoken to her since eight a m that morning, she knew it was time to call the police. Maybe she would go without talking to some of her friends, but she would never go that long without talking to Jonathan. So her roommate called the police that around nine pm the night of September eight, the very night she disappeared, and reported her missing to the police. The Yale student body would receive an email on September ten, so that's actually two days later, alerting them to the fact that Annie Lay was missing. I've mentioned that Annie had a fiance and she was actually set to be married and just a couple of days on September the thirteen, which would lead the police to believe that she had gotten cold feet or becomed overwhelmed with her upcoming marriage, coupled with her incredibly difficult and demanding course work, and had just chosen to take a weekend away and spend some time for herself. However, they would soon discover a dance in the building that would very much debunk this seri when police spoke to employees and students that had been in the lab on September eight, the day that Annie had gone missing, Raymond's Clark was quick to tell them that he had been working in the same room as her, but had seen her leave the lab stafe and sounds around noon. And actually, when police entered the lab to speak to him, they caught Raymond scrubbing a floor drain. Despite the fact that it appears to be clean, he was really going at it apparently. On top of that, they would find blood spatter in the lab that Annie was last known to be working in, and a stack glove and boots with the name Ray see written on them and a lab shirt that was covered in blood. All of these items would be found in a stealing tile above the basement area which, remember, that was the last place that Raymond swiped into the morning of September eight and where he spent a significant amount of time. They would also find hair that they believed to belong to Annie and bloody lab...

...coat stuffed into the recycling bin. They would send all of this off for DNA testing. So a sack, glove and lab coat alone aren't too much to point everything at Raymond Clark, but I think the boots with racy being found with the majority of the stuff, he didn't cover his tracks very well, thank goodness. So further examination of security footage, which show that Raymond Clark had changed his clothes before exiting the lab, they also showed that Annie was never seen exiting the lab at all. So she went in. It caught her entering a couple rooms but no record of her leaving. On September thirteen of two thousand and nine, the day that Annie should have been walking down the aisle, police would find a body stuffed inside a cable, chased inside the wall of the basement. The area that she was stuffed into was actually too small for her body, so her bones had almost all of them had to be broken and cracked in order to make her fit, leading to a very gruesome and bloody scene and, from what I could find, her body was so, so distorted when they found it. She didn't even look human anymore. It was like something out of a horror movie. This poor girl. I cannot even fathom that. An autopsy would show that she had been strangled to death and she had pre mortem wounds that included both a broken jaw and a broken collar bone. Her underwear had been pulled down around her ankles and there was seamen found in it, suggesting a sexual component to the crime. However, there was no evidence of physical sexual assault. DNA results would reveal that the hair found did indeed belong to Annie, and the blood found on the clothing items matched both Annie and Raymond Clark, with it being fairly obvious at this point who committed the murder. I want to give just...

...a little bit of background on Clark. When they talked to some of his old school friends and college buddies. They all said that he was seemingly a normal dude. He didn't give off any creepy vibes or anything. Interestingly enough, in College Clark was part of the Asian appreciation society which, if you'll remember, Annie was a Vietnamese American. So when we get into motive later, maybe this might help explain it a little bit. And he also had a fiance at the time, so he was, from what I could find, in a happy relationship. There wasn't anything going super wrong in his life that might have caused him to snap and do something like this. But I think the fact that he has a fiance especially was interesting to me because I know it's definitely not a one hundred percent of the time occurrence, but a lot of times when we hear cases like this, it's some kind of loner couldn't get a girlfriend, doesn't have a girlfriend and just really acts out because of that. But that was definitely not the case for Raymond Clark. So he had actually moved into a tell prior to his arrest, due to reporters continuously staking out his apartment. However, on September seventeen of two thousand and nine, he was arrested from this motel without incident. He would initially plead not guilty. However, during a pre trial hearing on February ninth and two thousand and eleven, he changed this plea to guilty. He would also enter an Alfred plea in regards to attempted sexual assault. I'm sure all of us true crime fanatics know, but just in case you don't, and Alfred plea is not admitting guilt, but admitting that the state has enough evidence to find you guilty, so you are going to concede to that evidence. Due to the fact that he pled guilty, he was actually not required to provide an explanation for what happened, nor has he ever offered one. The sentence that...

...he received was a minimum of forty four years in prison. So he is scheduled for release on September sixteen of two thousand and fifty three, when he will be sixty eight years old, which, honestly, in this day and age, is not that old. I hope he doesn't get out in forty four years at the minimum, because I think, especially not offering any motive, that's just that's one of the things that scares me the most about this case. I think he could easily get out and at sixty eight I'm sure he'd still have the physical capacity to be able to harm someone else. So I that makes me uncomfortable. I wish he had just been given straight life, but I don't know. He did give a statement after receiving his sentence. He stated, quote, I take full responsibility from my actions. I alone am responsible for the death of Annie Lay and causing tremendous pain to all who loved and cared about Annie. I am truly sorry I took Annie away from her friends, her family and, most of all, her fiance. I've always tried to do the right thing and stay out of trouble, but I failed. I took a life and continued to lie about it while Annie's friends, family and fiance sat and waited. I never really wanted to harm anyone or cause emotional pain to anyone. All I wanted was to be a good son, a good brother and a good fiance, but again I failed. I blame only myself and there are no excuses for what I have done. Annie was and always will be, a wonderful person, by far a better person than I will ever be. In my life. He concluded by saying I'm sorry I lied, I'm sorry I ruined lives and I'm sorry for taking Annie Lay's life. His father would also read a statement that expressed his sympathies for the lay family, stating that the events of Steptember, two thousand and nine the stated two families and shocked a nation. No parent can imagine...

...or prepare for losing their daughter to violence or to having their son commit such a horrible crime. So I want to just kind of brainstorm a little as to why this crime might have occurred. This is seemingly so random. From what I can gather, Clark had seen Annie in the lab before, obviously because he worked there every day and she was often in there. And reportedly, about three weeks before the murder, he did start like any time Annie was using the lab, Clark would be working in the lab where she was, and at one point he had refrimanded her for how she kept the animal cages. He didn't think that she was keeping them up to par. However, that just doesn't seem like a good enough motive for me to just snap and murder someone so brutally, especially since after he told Annie that she needed to do better. She apologized profusely and from what I can find, she was keeping the cages cleaner and up to his standards. But I think the fact that he was spending more and more time around her and the fact that there was a sexual component to the crime definitely points toward him just being infatuated. Remember, we talked about him being a part of the Asian appreciation society, which in any other case would be totally normal, but I think in this case does also point to him just becoming obsessed in a very short period of time, like I said, only three weeks, and I think on the morning of September eighth he just knew that he and Annie were alone in there and it was his opportunity to strike. Thankfully, he was horrible at hiding evidence. He left blood spatter and hair and of course, even that...

...drain that they were cleaning. They were able to tell that there had been blood in it, and I mean the cops found all the edit evidence he had hidden the walls very quickly, as of course they did. That's but yeah, this case, this is a pretty straightforward one. It's one that I've been waiting to cover just because, I mean, there really is no motive here. Why did he do what he did? I just stated that I think it was because he's become obsessed with her, but unless he decides to tell us, will truly never know. And also, it's just so creepy because a school laboratory and any place on campus really is somewhere you generally expect that you'll be safe, that harm won't come to you because there are other students, teachers employees around and there are immune security cameras everywhere. Those always tend to make me feel a little bit better. And Yeah, I just since I heard about this, I've taken extra precaution everywhere that I am on campus, which is something that I never really thought I had to do before. I mean, obviously, as a true crime fan, I'm taking ex precautions in my everyday life all the time, but something about her being killed in such a public space, in a space that you are supposed to be safe, really resonated with me and Free Se me out and I thought it was a story that was very much worth telling. Just because this case is solved doesn't mean that Annie Lay's story does not deserve to be heard. So I want to thank you guys so much, as always, for listening. If you enjoyed this, please give it a five star rating on Itunes or wherever you're listening. That helps so much. It'll help more people hear about and listen to this podcast. You can also follow me at lock the door pod on instagram and twitter and email me any case suggestions at lock the door pod at gmailcom. And it's always make sure you keep your doors locked...

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