Thursday, September 17, 2009

You never know...

Have you been following the news about Annie Le, the brilliant doctoral student from Yale who was found murdered and stuffed into a wall of the campus lab she worked in? It is a tragic story and a very, very sad end to another promising young woman's life.

After a lengthy investigation, police in New Haven have arrested Raymond Clark, a lab tech who worked with Annie, and charged him with murder. This is not a case of domestic abuse--in the end, there's probably nothing that could have saved Annie. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But, according to this article there were plenty of warning signs about Mr. Clark's behavior that should have been red flags for his friends and family.

Mr. Clark's past girlfriend "claimed she had been forced to have sex with him and feared what Clark might do if she broke up with him." A neighbor of his is quoted as saying that Clark was "very controlling of his girlfriend. He wouldn't let her talk to me, or anything."

Do you know someone like this? Are you ever afraid of your significant other? Do you ever just get a "bad feeling" about someone close to you?

If I have learned one thing from Kelly-Anne's death it is this: trust your instincts. If you are worried about someone's character, go to the police station and find out if he or she has a record. If you know someone is abusive and dangerous, take action before it is too late.

Of course it could be different this time. But maybe it won't be. Maybe it will even be worse. You really never know. I can assure you that my strong, confident, and life-loving best friend ignored some serious warning signs. Why did she ignore them? Because she thought things were different and she thought she could handle it. In a million years, Kelly-Anne never thought she would wind up dead.

Obviously, that was not the case. But had she recognized the signs of escalating abuse and gotten out while she still could maybe Kelly-Anne would still be alive today.

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