Beyond Her Years: The Murder of Suzanne Jovin

By: Sammy Keyes

Unseasonably warm it was, early December 1998 for Yale’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Senior Political Science major, Suzanne Jovin, was just coming back from a pizza party she had organized for the local chapter of Best Buddies. Best Buddies is a program for those with special needs, which pairs them up with “typical” peers, making amazing, lifelong friendships and memories for all parties involved. After stopping at her dorm to exchange a few emails, she walked toward the location where she was to return the keys to the car she had borrowed from Yale. Shortly before 10 PM no on her way, she stopped briefly to chat with a classmate, who recalled only that everything was normal, and that Jovin was “looking forward to getting a lot of sleep”. Mere moments after this encounter, Jovin would be face down, suffering from 17 stab wounds, on the corner of Edgehill and East Rock Road, screaming for help.

So vicious was this attack, the tip of the knife used had broken off and lodged into her skull. For a young woman well on her way to a life filled with success, no doubt, who had a wide circle of loyal and loving friends and family, whom, when interviewed, could not think of a single conflict Suzanne had ever even been involved in, beyond her usual debates regarding political issues for which she was passionate and outspoken- but always in a way that left her and her opponent on good terms. Left with nothing after so much promise that was one semester away from graduating, her loved ones were devastated and frustrated as there was no discussion of anyone of interest, nor named suspects, except for Suzanne’s senior thesis mentor, James Van De Velde.

It was no secret that Suzanne had felt blown off by Mr. Van De Velde regarding her requests for review of her current draft, as she had told her family via their last phone call a few weeks prior. Things had changed by her death however, and Van De Velde was able to show that they had met, he had extended his apologies for being so hard to schedule time with and so on. Furthermore, there was no reason to suspect him whatsoever beyond an anonymous source and their crap description of someone who’s parameters fit (LITERALLY) 98.72% of those who reside in New Haven on and off campus.

With so little information, yet too much to fully detail here, this one gets me every time. Beyond recent attempts to obtain information for the public and a documentary team via FOIA paperwork which was denied and denied unprofessionally, may I add. Although I believe there is always hope, the chances the state will put themselves after those who desperately need resolve and resolve for Jovin herself, are smaller than the chances that I have working for NASA. I do have a lot of faith, however, in the audience I write to, and those who will read/share/whatever they think will help this case get some movement in any capacity- because someone, possibly multiple someone’s-know something. Once the motive, which is baffling and not even imaginable at this point, is determined it leads to the perpetrator- so here should be no different, right? Before I go into my sources and the info for calling in tips, may I request that anyone with thoughts on possible motives for this young woman’s brutal killing, comment their thoughts here? I am personally desperate for something in that capacity- but more importantly, motive helps lead right to the responsible parties, so let’s get our brains together and start exposing the face of the person who deserves to be punished for the death of such a solidly good human- Suzanne needs us, so let’s go.

If you have any information on this case, please contact one of the following: The Suzanne Jovin Investigation Team

1-866-623-8058, (IF YOU LIVE IN CT)

or, if you live elsewhere you can reach out to:

Crime Stoppers Text A Tip Line (Text the word “TIP” to CRIME (or 27643))

Call the crime stoppers hotline directly (1800- 222- TIPS) OR

Email the department by using the address

Thanks again for taking the time to care and read this, and for always acting for the sake of justice, and for the peace of our victims and those who love them. Until next time savages!


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