Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Hadden Clark


Michele Dorr's grave (Georgiana Havill)
Michele Dorr's grave
(Georgiana Havill)

Faced with overwhelming evidence, even though there was no body, Hadden Clark pled guilty to second-degree murder and received a 30-year sentence in 1993. Within days after his sentencing, he led the police, his lawyers, and the prosecutors to Laura Houghteling's body.

In prison, Hadden made several mistakes. He began boasting of his many murders, telling inmates in detail about how he killed Michele Dorr, Laura, and others. The convicts, who hated child killers, and who believed that informing on Hadden might also get them early parole, contacted the police. In 1999, he was tried twice. The first was for stealing from the Mahany family, which netted him another ten years. The second, for the murder of Michele Dorr, where several of his fellow inmates testified against him, got him another 30 years.

Mugshot of prisoner who Clark thought was Jesus
Mugshot of prisoner
who Clark thought
was Jesus

At the trial, his defense attorney tried to confuse the jurors by pointing the finger at Carl Dorr, which didn't work. After the conviction, a crazed Hadden Clark confessed to a convict who he believed was Jesus Christ (the prisoner did bear a startling resemblance to the popular paintings of the Messiah) and told him where he buried Michele Dorr. In January of 2000, Hadden led them to the woods and helped to dig up her remains, nearly 14 years after he killed her.

One might think that an imprisoned Hadden Clark would then sink into obscurity. Instead, he convinced an FBI serial killing team that he might have murdered as many as a dozen other young women. Between January and April, 2000 he and his friend "Jesus" were escorted to several states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) where he claimed to have murdered young women. To facilitate the search, law enforcement visited a local K-Mart where they purchased female clothes and a wig for him to wear while they searched the dunes of Cape Cod. In the end, the search for bodies was fruitless, partly because more than 20 years had passed. Sand dunes had shifted and sites where Hadden claimed to have buried victims had been covered over with asphalt and were now strip malls.

The police, with Hadden's help, did find something that gave credibility to Hadden's claims of more victims. At the edge of his grandfather's former estate, they dug up a large bucket that had about 200 pieces of women's jewelry in it. Several of the items were Laura Houghteling's. Hadden claimed to have taken the jewelry from each of his victims as souvenirs.

Near the top of the bucket was an exquisite silver wood nymph pin. Hadden Clark told detectives that the pin was his "angel of death" and that it had been taken from his first victim. He claimed to have worn it, pinned to Penny's clothing, the night he killed Laura Houghteling.


Adrian Havill interviewed and corresponded with Hadden Clark more than a dozen times for this account. Only the names of Geoffrey Clark's young children were changed in this story. The complete life and crimes of Hadden Clark is chronicled in his book, Born Evil.

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