(This blog contains stories from the following geographic areas:
San Diego, CA; Placerville, CA; New Haven, CT; Huntsville, AL;
Boston, MA; University Park & Hershey, PA)
The rigors of academic life, freedom from parents, sexual hormones, “party-hardy” atmosphere, lack of sleep, lack of discipline, lack of money, professorial expectations, and exploration of a new environment equals progression “on the road to adulthood” for most…
However, for others who are not ready, who are too immature, too undisciplined, too tempted, too unprepared, too naïve and too unwilling to sacrifice now for the payoff later… college and the university setting can be a recipe for disaster…
Having weathered seven consecutive years of college and university training locally and 1400 miles away from my home, I can attest to the fact that academia can create a false sense of security. For this blogger, graduate school that distance away from home, at the height of the 1970’s, feminism, milestones achieved for the disabled (Section 504); a different cultural awareness and opportunity to be a “campus leader,” was a definite high point in my life (minus an underserved academic trauma which I ultimately survived too…)
The college and University experience is.. or can be the ultimate training ground for life. For students who do not have what it takes for whatever reason, they may fall prey to any number of unforeseen events.
The fact is, even if you do everything right, academia, at times, can be a place of violence. Let’s examine a cross-section of crime on campus.
The Case of Diana Gonzalez -San Diego City College
Nineteen-year-old Diana’s body was discovered by another student after 10 p.m. in the men’s bathroom, third floor Campus M building, on October 12, 2010. Ms. Gonzalez was supposed to be attending a 9:30 p.m. class under the watchful eyes of her parents who were in the parking lot. When she didn’t arrive, they called the police.
Diana Gonzalez met her husband, 37 year-old Armando Gabriel Perez-Borjon, in 2007 while in a shopping mall. The have a daughter, who was 10 months old just prior to Diana’s death. The couple was estranged.
According to reports last fall in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Diana was kidnapped by her husband two weeks before her death. She was allegedly held captive in more than one motel room for three days and was assaulted. Armando Perez Borjon was arrested and released after a local prosecutor failed to charge him.
Diana Gonzalez did file a temporary restraining order at the end of September, with a court date scheduled just one week after her death.
The crying shame of this entire situation includes the many times this family tried to reach out , tried to protect their daughter while such efforts “fell on deaf ears.”
Sad , But Unbelievable Truths Concerning Diana
Journalists from the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote,
1)“Her relatives were so fearful for her safety that they accompanied her almost everywhere she went;”
2) The night of her death, Diana’s parents waited for her in her college parking lot, parked next to two campus police cars while watching her classroom;
3) Diana’s mother, Conception Gonzalez stated, “We did so much and nothing happened… They just kept saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” to which Mrs. Gonzales replied, “Are we supposed to wait for him to kill her?”
4) Previous assaults included a choking incident on September 23rd in which Armando showed up on campus and initiated an argument. Diana lost consciousness and her face was bleeding. Her estranged husband told her while in the motel room, “Just close your eyes and pray. That’s all you can do now.” Diana wrote in her complaint, “I felt there was no way to escape.”
5) There was an attempt to escape, as the abuser went to a store to buy cosmetics to conceal Diana’s facial edema. However, he caught her running down the street and shoved her into his car.
6) More threats…and then Diana was raped twice by her husband during the same incident;
7) When Armando released her the next day, her family supposedly withdrew the missing person’s report, but filed a kidnapping charge with the San Diego Police. Police arrested Perez with physical evidence… and then reversed their claim, saying their was insufficient evidence;
8) A previous history of a misdemeanor domestic battery charge was filed against this man in April, 2009, and then dismissed.
Back at the campus of San Diego Community College…
A cause of death was not released by Homicide Captain Jim Collins after that fateful night. “Her injuries were so severe, it was hard to identify her,” he said.
9) Conception Gonzalez made these tearful comments to the media: “She was a good daughter. She always helped around the house. She never did drugs. She didn’t smoke or go out… She was always in her room studying.” Diana had plans to enter a nursing program.
The Standard Excuse- “Keeping us in the Dark”
As the Crime Wire Team has often discussed, we are getting… oh so tired of law enforcement and district attorneys saying to victims seeking information, “Because this is an on-going investigation, we cannot comment.” (D.A. Bonnie Dumanis).
This blogger asks, what does that really mean? Do they not want to admit that , in hindsight, procedures were not followed; items and signs were missed; Someone wasn’t vigilant? Or, does it mean that full transparency will come eventually “when it’s time?” Only time will tell…
We can only implore the San Diego D.A.’s office, sheriff’s office, courthouse and local sexual assault organizations to invite Susan Murphy Milano to enlighten them about her vital documentation program, Time’s Up Guide, Abuse Affidavit and Evidentiary Will. Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit by Susan Murphy Milano from the Book “Time’s Up” from Courage Network on Vimeo.
Better still, let’s contact every Verizon Manager in every major city, to be good corporate citizens and put victims of domestic violence’s personal information on flash drives for safe keeping!
Only then can the Diana Gonzalez’ of this world get justice!
The Madness of a Scientist with a Short Fuse – Huntsville Alabama
Ms. Amy Bishop, a brilliant, Harvard educated biology professor committed murder at the University of Alabama. For whatever reason(s), this woman, “scorned by academia,” vented her rage on a conference room full of colleagues, killing three and wounding three others, according to news accounts in the Huffington Post, February, 2011. This past month was the first anniversary of the tragedy.
WGBH talk radio interviews by host Emily Rooney, reveal a very disturbing history. An initial interview with a Boston Globe reporter on February 15,2010 followed by a follow up “Greater Boston Show” TV interview on March 20, 2011 open a Pandora’s box of incidents and cast of characters with Amy Bishop always the headliner and the violence maker…
Many facts are known about Amy Bishop’s behaviors and multiple incidents of crime.
1) Amy and her husband were “persons of interest” in the 1993 event in which a mail bomb was sent to her former supervisor, Paul Rosenberg, following an alleged “negative evaluation.” Dr. Rosenberg survived, but for the manner in which he opened the package—cutting the top of the box versus the side, which would have detonated the bomb.
An MSNBC February 2010 article stated from an Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms report, that Amy’s husband (John Anderson) told a witness he “wanted to get back at victim, Dr. Rosenberg….. He wanted to shoot him, bomb him, stab him or strangle him.”
Amy Bishop reported to Dr. Rosenberg at Boston Children’s Hospital. The report further states that Rosenberg felt “she (Amy) could not meet the standards required for the work…. Bishop had problems with depression… She was not stable.” Boston Children’s had “growing concerns over the years that Bishop had exhibited violent behavior.”
Researcher Bishop resigned as a post doctorate research fellow in the neurobiology lab following Rosenberg’s evaluation. This, my fellow bloggers set the stage for the package containing a 9 volt battery, two pipe bombs with black powder and two roller switches.
Incredibly, the couple was never charged for the threats or bombing incident, a searches of items contained in their home supposedly could not be tied to the explosive device.
2) A previous investigation of an “accidental” /fatal shooting of Amy’s 18 year- old brother by Amy in 1987 has, in fact, been re-opened due to the former questionable, shoddy police investigation, that may be “all about political influence” involving a mysterious phone call. It appears that failure was rampant in this case. According to original investigators, former Braintree Mass. Police Chief, John Polio and Detective House did not adequately investigate, allegedly took or made a phone call to “cease and desist” any charges regarding Amy’s antics … and failed to communicate information to the former D. A. John Kilvin.
3) After Amy accidently shot her brother with a shotgun kept in the house, she lied to police about the circumstances of the shooting… AND THEN… she proceeded to a local car dealership where she threatened two workers with a gun (other accounts report assaults) as she demanded a car at gunpoint.;
4) Amy was accused of “punching a mother in a Massachusetts restaurant” over an argument about a child’s booster seat.
Such a criminal track record is hard to fathom. The fact that, such things would go awry… for so long… in so many ways…is inconceivable to this author and the general public at large!
During the latter WGBH TV interview, Emily Rooney brought back two key players concerning the murder of Amy’s brother during a very recent interview, her so- called first “brush with the law.”
Former Norfolk County D.A. William Delahunt, (now a Congressman) and former D.A. John Kilvin was featured on Rooney’s show on March 20, 2011. This blogger watched the show via the internet and thought, “the blame game” was used quite often by these two men.
Delahunt “had just returned from Israel” and therefore doesn’t remember details. Kilvin’s statement: “State police determine the cause and manner of death. They never brought it to my attention.”
The detective in charge- Detective House failed to report the assaults at the auto dealership. And… the mysterious phone call-directive to “go light on Amy” has never been nailed down and is the biggest quagmire of all….
It has been said numerous times that if Amy had been booked way back when “ for the lesser assault offenses, that undoubtedly this would have triggered a red flag and psychiatric evaluation.
And so… we close this dark chapter of carnage in an academic setting with professor Debra Moriarty of Huntsville, Alabama, who narrowly escaped her death on February 12, 2019 when Amy opened fire in a faculty conference room.
As Bishop remains in jail without bond just a few miles away from the University, Moriarty has “awful memories of that day. She tried to stop her.
The gun was pointed at her but misfired. Her survivor skills won out. “We’re at an okay place now, probably better than a lot of people expected us to be, said Moriarty in the Huffington Post at the one year anniversary of the shootings.
A Brilliant Star . . . Snuffed Out By A Lab Rat
Ms. Annie Le, from Placerville, California and New Haven, Connecticut.
She was 24 years young, who had a search party instead of a wedding party. We recently learned in a Connecticut courtroom that this victim was a victim of an attempted sexual assault, broken bones, strangulation and murder.
Annie was a 4 foot, 11inch, 90 pound powerhouse, and an accomplished Yale graduate student, majoring in pharmacology. Her career path was bright. Just four days after she first went missing on September 8, 2009. she had plans to be married to Jonathan Widowsky, a graduate student from Columbia University.
Annie originated from Placerville, California, situated “above the fog line and below the snow line” between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe.
A city profile states it’s the ideal climate for its 10,350 residents.
Historical Claims to fame include being part of the early California gold rush days in the 1840’s and having the former reputation of “a hangman town.” Annie’s intellectual pursuits brought her to Rochester New York and then to Yale in New Haven, CT.
There stands a modest metal scaffold in the center of Main Street in Placerville, called the Bell Tower amid the backdrop of a Wild West looking town…. Little did Annie Le realize that the horrors of the Wild West would be visited on her in the northeast in the most heinous of ways? (http://www.ci.placerville.ca.us/our_city/default.asp)
Annie was last seen leaving the research building of the Yale Medical School Complex at 10 Amistad Street. She purse, phone and ID were left in her office. During the course of the investigation, 259 pieces of evidence was analyzed by the police and FBI, in addition to review of 75 surveillance cameras throughout the campus.
Ultimately the “person of interest” and prime suspect was Raymond Clark III, a lab technician whose primary responsibility was to tend the animals-rodents used in research. According to a March 17, 2011 Hartford Courant article, Clark avoided a high profile murder trial, pleading guilty to murder and a new charge of criminal attempt to commit first degree assault. This plea was agreed to versus former charges of murder and felony murder.
DNA evidence was found on a pen used by both parties, as well as “voluminous” evidence- hundreds of pieces of physical evidence and over a thousand photos, videos, fingerprints, key card trackings, etc.
Raymond Clark III will be sentenced on May 20, 2011 to 44 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
The vicious nature of this crime is unprecedented in academia. Annie’s petite body was found stuffed inside insulation in a wall near the lab in which she worked. Her bra was pushed up toward her head. Her panties were pulled down to her feet. Prior to her death the medical examiner reported that she received a broken jaw and collarbone and strangulation at the hands of Clark.
Recently, Connecticut audiences heard Clark’s parents relate a public apology, seemingly crushed and heartbroken, claiming “not to know the son before them.” It was the first statement made by Clark or the family in 15 months of waiting… Raymond the III, who was also engaged to be married, “was nervous,” but has expressed no remorse publicly. Others who knew him stated he was “controlling” with his fiancé, and did not like the way Annie treated the lab animals… (Speculation of possible motives).
Writers of an Asian Culture Blog known as apaforprogress.org speculated about an” Asian fetish.” Other cases were noted such as the 2002 case of North Carolina University student Lilli Wang and the Michael Lohman case at Princeton. http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/103082 ;
In his 2004 Branford High School yearbook, Caucasian Raymond Clark is photographed as a member of the “Asian Awareness Club.” They reportedly raised funds for a trip to China town… and made egg rolls for faculty luncheons… This blogger says, “Such lofty goals”…. Sad, sad, sad…
Annie Le was so much more than a member of “the egg roll set”… and so much better than the4 cowardly, Raymond Clark III. Potential law suits against Yale by Le’s family are pending for, among other things, insufficient security measures.
Forty Years Later. . . The Sound of Falling Books in the Stacks at Penn State University (The Unsolved Death of Betsy Aardsma)
In November 2009, it was hopeful that DNA analysis would shed some light on the red dress worn by Betsy, according to the Daily Collegian.
Background: Your Typical College Love Story
Betsy transferred from the University of Michigan after her sophomore year… She was attractive and intelligent, but “not a saint” according to her former roommate, Andrea Marchand.
Andrea and Betsy rented an off campus apartment together beginning in their senior year. Apparently men fawned over Betsy.. She fell in love with a frat boy living upstairs, named David Wright. Although Betsy “could have had it all as the wife of a doctor, (as David’s plans included medical school), she suddenly announced, to David’s surprise, that she had joined the Peace Corp and would be travelling to Africa. However, when given the choice, Betsy chose the guy over Africa and was accepted into the graduate English program at Penn State.
David was attending Hershey Medical School 100 miles away from Betsy. However each week, Betsy dutifully made the 199 mile trek to see David. In 1969, the women’s movement was in its infancy. Marriage and children were not questioned as rigorously at that time. David and Betsy “had an understanding”, but the engagement rings were not bought yet. At Thanksgiving that year, guilt over mounting schoolwork brought Betsy back to Penn State. That was the last time David saw her…..
The Cold Case
Betsy supposedly wrote David a letter on the day she died. On that final day, she also intended to retrieve a book, a series of English essays for her major professor. According to newspaper accounts, Betsy spoke to friends, lent someone a pen… And then… the perpetrator stabbed her once in the heart.
Patrons heard the sound of falling books only. Betsy clutched the shelf, but was dead in five minutes. There remained many questions about whom and how many people saw Betsy in those stacks.
David Wright was questioned by Hershey detectives for 29 minutes before they divulged that Betsy was murdered. He was cleared…and in some respects moved on to marry another and have four children.
A memorial is posted on line at the following link –
Speculation remains… A Penn State professor, Sascha Shucck, thinks Betsy was stabbed from behind , as the books in the stacks were too close together for her to be attacked from the front. Shucck is a 30 year “amateur researcher” of this case. In October 2010, he told the editor of Lancaster online that Richard Haetner a former doctoral student and professor of geology briefly dated Betsy and that “there is circumstantial evidence that Haetner (who may now be deceased), was the killer or knew the killer.
So, dear readers, what can we learn from these crimes committed amid the hallowed halls of the educated?
Well, perhaps that academia can still shape the souls of those who hunger for knowledge,
. . . Who are budding intellectuals –“Someone who is literally in love with ideas.” And…. in that breeding, there is no room for murder when it comes knocking at the door . . .
Donna R. Gore, M. A.
Outstanding post, Donna!
There is now a book available about this case: http://www.amazon.com/Who-Killed-Betsy-Uncovering-Universitys/dp/0615498116/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312823412&sr=8-1
You may be interested in reading it!