Information Regarding the Annie Le Investigation

This webpage provides updated information regarding the Annie Le criminal
investigation and efforts by the University to assist law enforcement and
address concerns of the Yale community.

Statement by Vice President and Secretary Linda K. Lorimer

(September 8, 2010)

As we begin the new academic year at Yale, we remember with great sadness the tragic death of Annie Le one year ago.

Her senseless killing was a traumatic loss for her family, her fiancé, her friends and for all of us in the Yale community. The grief across our community was profound, and we continue to mourn and extend our sympathies and support to those closest to her. We also remain grateful for the tireless dedication of all those in law enforcement who have pursued justice in the case.

Annie’s life and work is honored at Yale through a fellowship established in her memory.  The Annie Le Fellowship will benefit doctoral students in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program. Annie was a bright, highly accomplished and spirited student who shared her joy of life and learning with many. There is no better way to keep her spirit alive than by supporting future students who we hope will make as lasting an impression on our University as she did.

President Richard C. Levin's remarks: Annie Le memorial service

(October 12, 2009)

We gather to remember Annie Le, whose life was tragically cut short at the moment her light shone most brightly. We gather to remember and to bring comfort through our expression of love and support to Annie’s family and friends, and to her fiance Jonathan and his family and friends. We gather to remember and celebrate Annie here at Yale, at a place where she studied and worked and had so many friends, coworkers, and teachers who admired and cared for her. Full Text »

Annie Le memorial service

(October 9, 2009)

The Yale community will remember Annie Le with a University memorial service on Monday, October 12, at 5:00 p.m. in Battell Chapel at the corner of Elm and College Streets in New Haven.

There will be no cameras or recording equipment permitted at the service. Media members wishing to observe the service will be directed to a designated seating area.

— Office of Public Affairs

University memorial service on Monday, October 12

(October 8, 2009)

I write to let you know that we will remember Annie Le with a University memorial service on Monday, October 12, at 5:00 p.m. in Battell Chapel.  I know that this has been a very difficult time for Annie’s family and friends, and that even those of us who never had the privilege of knowing her have mourned her tragic death. This gathering next Monday will be an opportunity for us to come together to celebrate the gifts of Annie’s life and her time with us at Yale, to share our grief over her death, and to support one another as a community

— Linda Lorimer

security of the yale campus

(September 30, 2009)

Dear Yale Colleagues,
The tragic death of Annie Le has been difficult for all of us. Although this crime had little to do with public safety on the Yale campus, in the aftermath of the crime, many members of the community have voiced concerns about personal safety, and we have welcomed suggestions as well as observations.

Yale has robust programs of public safety, campus security and supporting systems such as transit, escorts, and communications facilities. Sizeable police and security organizations are in place, outfitted with the latest equipment and technology. University buildings typically have strong electronic and human security. Yale buses and vans transport more than 1,000,000 employees and students per year for their safety and convenience, and we provide after-hours security escorts on call. Nearly 400 emergency “blue light” phones are placed strategically throughout our campus to enable emergency communication. As a result of these investments, we have confidence in the safety of Yale’s campus.

Nonetheless, we are undertaking a review of aspects of the security program that may benefit from enhancement. I will be reviewing recommendations on improvements in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I would like you to know some steps we have already taken to enhance Yale campus security:

  • Yale’s Policy on the Prevention of Violence in the Workplace and on Campus has been updated and will be circulated by Michael Peel, Vice President for Human Resources and Administration, and posted to Yale’s website. This policy states Yale’s longstanding “zero tolerance” for violent and threatening behavior, and sets out guidance for reporting threats or incidents, and for the University’s response.
  • The University Public Safety Council is being expanded to guide the on-going review and consideration of campus safety and security issues. I have asked Michael Peel to co-convene this Council with the University’s Deputy Secretary, Martha Highsmith.
  • Workplace violence prevention training will be added to our “Managing at Yale” curriculum for supervisors and managers.
  • Background checks, which already cover all new regular staff, will be expanded to include temporary employees hired through agencies, and vendors seeking a Yale electronic ID for access.
  • After-hours security escort capabilities have been enhanced so that average wait times will be reduced. An additional shuttle has also been deployed.

These and other measures will make our campus safer and more secure. We also are working to address emergency communication in isolated indoor and underground areas.

We appreciate the many letters offering constructive security suggestions that we have received during these weeks. For those members of the Yale community who have additional thoughts or suggestions, I encourage you to share them with us at We will keep you informed as we continue this work.

Finally, I am deeply appreciative of the way the Yale community has pulled together through this time. The collective expression of humanity and support on campus has been overwhelming and inspiring.

— President Levin

Statement by the Deans of the School of Medicine and Graduate School in Memory of Annie Le

(September 25, 2009)

The Graduate School, the School of Medicine, and the entire Yale community are deeply saddened by the tragic death of graduate student Annie Marie Le, 24, on September 8.

Annie was born in San Jose, California, and spent most of her childhood in Placerville, California. She graduated from Union Mine High School at the top of her class of 362 in 2003. She matriculated at the University of Rochester, in New York, where she majored in bioscience and met her fiancé, Jonathan Widawsky. Jonathan is now a graduate student in physics at Columbia University.

Annie came to Yale University as a graduate pharmacology student in 2007 and would have earned her doctorate in 2013. She joined Anton Bennett’s laboratory, which focuses on a specific family of enzymes that are involved in controlling important biological functions, with emphasis on the role that these enzymes play in human disease. Annie studied how certain types of fatty acids regulate an enzyme believed to be involved in controlling cellular metabolism and the development of metabolic disease. She discovered that certain metabolic stresses could influence the activity of an enzyme believed to be involved in controlling mitochondrial function in muscle cells. She had several other exciting research projects in progress, in collaboration with other members of the Bennett lab.

Members of Professor Bennett’s lab wrote in tribute to her, “We will always remember Annie for her bright and vibrant smile, warm personality, and love of people. Annie was a caring individual who would selflessly put the needs of others before her own – she would never say ‘I can’t, but always, ‘How can I help?’ Although Annie was small in size, she had a large heart and a personality that filled the room. No challenge ever seemed too large for her to overcome. Annie was a diligent and motivated student who was truly excited about her future. Annie, you are a bright and shining star, we will miss you and we will remember you always.”

In the words of her family, “Annie was loved by everyone who knew her and special to all those who came in contact with her. She was a kind-hearted human being, who was devoted to her family and friends, always sacrificing her time to help others. Her laughter was infectious and her goodness was ingenuous. … She was a considerate daughter, a thoughtful sister, a generous niece, a spirited cousin, a loving granddaughter, and a gracious friend. We will always remember her beautiful smile, her fun-loving spirit, and the joy that she brought to us all. Annie Marie Le will be profoundly missed.”

Annie Marie Le is survived by her fiancé Jonathan Widawsky; her father and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Hoang Le; her mother, Mrs. Vivian Van Le; her brother, Chris Tri Le; her half-siblings, Martin Le and Emmie Le; her guardian parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Linh Nguyen and their three children, Dan, Ryan, and Sean Khiem; her grandmother, Mrs. Thang Thi Vu, as well as several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A University memorial service will be held on Monday, October 12 at 5:00 p.m. in Battell Chapel. The University is establishing a scholarship in Annie’s memory. Donations may be directed to the Annie Le Scholarship Fund, Yale Office of Development, P.O. Box 2038, New Haven, CT 06521-2038. Donations may also be made in Annie’s memory to the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, 330 Seventh Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10001, and online at

VigilStatement from Anton M. Bennett, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Thesis Advisor to Annie Le

(September 19, 2009)

In the midst of this horrific tragedy, we reach down into the depths of our hearts, to express our deepest sympathies to the family of Annie Le for their loss. To the family of Jonathan Widawsky, we also extend our greatest sympathy. Annie Le will always be remembered as a person that exuded life. Annie Le was a diligent and incredibly hard working student who showed a passion for science and the desire to make a difference in people’s lives. We mourn the loss of Annie Le. We have witnessed a bright light of enormous potential prematurely extinguished – we feel sadness.

As scientists our passion for discovery emanates from many different sources. The tragic loss of Annie Le, who had become an integral member of our laboratory, now seeds another source of inspiration. Annie Le’s work will continue. We will draw upon the energy of Annie Le’s life to help us fulfill our efforts of striving to make a difference in this world. We thank the Yale community, the pharmacology department, graduate students, and our many colleagues for their support during these difficult times.

Anton M. Bennett

Message from President Richard C. Levin

(September 17, 2009)

The New Haven Chief of Police has just announced that Raymond Clark has been arrested in connection with the death of Annie Le.  We are relieved and encouraged by this progress in the investigation, but, of course, we must resist the temptation to rush to judgment until a full and fair prosecution of this case brings a just resolution. As with every development in this tragic story, we think first of Annie’s family, her fiancé and his family, and her friends, and our hearts go out to them. Full Text »

Amistad 9/15/09 – 9:15 PM UPDATE

(September 15, 2009)

Floors 1 through 4 will be open for business as usual.

Limited access, similar to recent days, for Wednesday and likely Thursday.

Arrangements will be made to use the loading dock for part of the day.

COFFEE @ 9:00 AM
There will be coffee and donuts in the lobby for all, followed by smaller group meetings later in the morning.

— Linda Lorimer

Amistad 9/15/09 – 5:00 PM UPDATE

(September 15, 2009)

The parking lot has reopened.

Unless there is some change, floors 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be open for regular use starting tomorrow morning, Wednesday, September 16.

The Lieutenant will not be able to tell me until 8:00 pm tonight (9/15) whether they will be entirely finished with their work by the morning. If not, limited access according to today’s protocol will continue.

I know that this is an anxious time for everyone, but particularly those who are working in the Amistad building.

To make people feel more comfortable, a uniformed officer will patrol the 1st four floors all day tomorrow and thereafter for the next week or two from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am. When the basement opens, at least 1 uniformed officer and probably more will patrol from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Tonight around 9:00 pm.

— Linda Lorimer

The parking garage at 10 Amistad is open – 8:30 AM UPDATE

(September 15, 2009)

VigilVigil for Annie Le: Remarks by President Richard C. Levin

(September 14, 2009)

When I see you all assembled on an occasion so sad and so disturbing, I am reminded that we are an extraordinary community, a community of concern.
Full Text »
View Video »


Amistad Building Availability –Tuesday September 15

(September 14, 2009)

There will only be limited access to the Amistad Building again tomorrow, Tuesday September 15. Again those who do not have important experiments with particular time urgency will be given an extra day of paid-time-off to stay home.

We want to make sure that important scientific work is not impeded. The state and city police are trying to accommodate the needs of labs and PI’s to the extent they can at this critical juncture of their investigation. To try and facilitate easier entry tomorrow, we decided to have  “point persons” to interact with the designated Yale police supervisor at the building. That is, Jim Macy will be the point person for those who need access to the basement facilities.

Those who are colleagues of Jordan Pober and need access will work through him to arrange times for entry into the building.

Similarly, those who are colleagues of Haifan Lin who need access tomorrow should be in contact with him.

Finally, Bill Sessa will be the point person for his colleagues.  

We have assigned Yale Police Lieutenant Mike Patton to be the liaison with the various law enforcement authorities in the building to facilitate entry of those who need access.  He will be on site.

I really appreciate the tolerance of all of those at Amistad. I hope to have news by early tomorrow afternoon that the building will be open for Wednesday.

— Linda Lorimer

Important Message to Yale College Parents from Mary Miller, Dean of Yale College

(September 14, 2009)

Candlelight Vigil

(September 14, 2009)

There will be a Candlelight Vigil in honor of Annie Le at 8 p.m. Monday, September 14 on Cross Campus.

Message from Vice President and Secretary Linda K. Lorimer

(September 14, 2009)

This is such a sad time as we come to grips with the news relating to Annie Le. A Candlelight Vigil in her honor will be held on the Cross Campus this evening at 8:00 p.m. University Chaplain Sharon Kugler will be sending more information about the Vigil later today. Full Text »

Message from President Richard C. Levin

(September 13, 2009)

Public Safety at Yale

Yale University provides state-of-the-art police and security services to the campus. Our police officers have the same standing and powers as officers of the New Haven Police Department, and Yale officers patrol the campus on foot, by motorcycles, on mountain bikes, and in cars equipped with computers and radio communications systems. Yale Police have complete authority to apprehend and arrest anyone involved in illegal acts on campus and throughout the City of New Haven.

A separate Department of University Security Programs oversees a staff of security officers and is responsible for all aspects of building security and campus-wide alarm monitoring. Our network of over 250 blue phones provides immediate access to police, fire, and medical services in emergencies. Access to residence halls is controlled by an electronic access system, and exterior ground-level dorm rooms are equipped with security screens.

Yale University

Grief Counselors:

Employee Assistance Program:

University Chaplain’s Office:

Law Enforcement

FBI Tip Line: