Resolution Possible in Brutal 1998 Slaying of Yale Student

Charges could come in future, says FOI officer
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2017 9:07 AM CDT
Police Return to 1998 Yale Murder Case, With a Hypnotist
This undated photo shows the late Yale student Suzanne Jovin.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of The Yale Banner)

Suzanne Jovin was found near the Yale campus in New Haven, Conn., with 17 stab wounds to her neck and head and the tip of a knife lodged in her skull. Nineteen years later, investigators and an assistant state's attorney are still devoting eight hours each week to the murder case—and may be close to solving it. Recently, the team submitted Jovin's clothing for touch DNA analysis, sought help from the FBI, interviewed new and old witnesses across the country, and hired a hypnotist to work with a witness who might've seen the Yale student minutes before she was killed, reports the Hartford Courant. The new strides were revealed in a recent Freedom of Information hearing after documentary filmmakers requested case files be released.

In denying the request, an FOI hearing officer noted the files could compromise the ongoing investigation, adding "a prospective law enforcement action is a reasonable possibility." She did not elaborate. Several suspects have surfaced since Jovin, 21, was found on Dec. 4, 1998, two miles from the Yale campus, a location authorities believe she was driven to, A&E noted when highlighting the case earlier this year. Among them is Jovin's professor and thesis adviser, James Van de Velde, though he maintains his innocence and won at least $200,000 in a 2013 settlement with Yale and New Haven over damage to his reputation. A witness also described a man with "blondish hair” and "chiseled features" running from the scene. (Jovin's murder isn't the only one to haunt Yale.)

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