The author of a new paperback about the slaying of Yale University graduate student Annie Le last September concedes that her book is short on exclusive details but says it offers readers a suspenseful and intriguing story.
Stella Sands, the New York-based author of "Murder at Yale: The True Story of a Beautiful Grad Student and a Cold-Blooded Crime," said Monday that she spent eight to 10 hours a day since the September killing researching the crime and writing the 245-page book, due for release today by St. Martin's Press.
Sands said she was unable to interview Raymond J. Clark III, the man accused of killing Le; Clark's fiancée; or members of his family. Clark is being held on $3 million bail at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield. Neither prosecutors nor Clark's defense attorneys were interviewed for the book, she said.
"I have no real inside information, but those who do read it will get a suspenseful story," Sands said in a telephone interview. "I have put together a book based on thousands of pages of information and interviews in a way that is very readable."
Sands said people were "only too willing to talk" to her for three other true-crime books she wrote on other high-profile crimes, including "Baby-Faced Butchers," a book about the slaying of a man in New York's Central Park by a couple of teenagers. So she found it frustrating that officials tied to the Le case were tight-lipped.
She said she believes the silence was due to the fact that the trial for Clark, 25, a former Yale lab technician, is pending. Sands said she did interview people who offered theories as to what might have happened the day of the killing.
Officials have not revealed a motive for the slaying, but sources familiar with the investigation have told The Courant that the crime stemmed from a work dispute between Clark and Le.
Le, 24, was reported missing Sept. 8. For days, investigators searched the basement of the Yale Animal Research Center, a research building that is part of the Yale School of Medicine complex where Clark worked and Le did research.
Police found her body Sept. 13, the day Le was to be married. The search and the subsequent arrest of Clark garnered widespread media attention.
Clark has pleaded not guilty in Superior Court to murder and felony murder.
Joseph E. Lopez, one of Clark's public defenders, said Monday he "never heard from" Sands and learned about the book only recently.
When asked why she did not contact Lopez, Sands replied: "Let's be honest here. What is he going to tell me?"