Hadden Clark, cannibal and cross-dressing serial killer
Hadden Clark grew up in an affluent home in Troy, New York, with alcoholic parents who were abusive to their four children. Not only did Hadden suffer the abuse that his siblings suffered, but his mother, when drunk, would dress him in girl’s clothing and call him Kristen. His father had another name for him when he was drunk. He would call him “retard.”
The emotional and physical abuse took its toll on the Clark children. One of his brothers, Bradfield, murdered his girlfriend, cut her into pieces, then cooked and ate part of her breasts. When he sobered up he confessed his crimes to police.
His other brother, Geoff, was convicted of spousal abuse and his sister, Alison, ran away from home when she was a teen and later denounced her family.
Hadden Clark showed common psychopathic tendencies during his childhood years. He was a bully who seemed to enjoy hurting other kids and also found pleasure in torturing and killing animals.
After leaving home, Clark attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he trained and graduated as a chef. The credentials helped him gain employment at top restaurants, hotels and on cruise liners, but his jobs would not last due to his erratic behavior.
After going through 14 different jobs between 1974 and 1982, Clark joined the U.S. Navy as a cook, but apparently his shipmates did not like his propensity to wearing women’s underwear and on occasion would beat him. He received a medical discharge after being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
After leaving the Navy, Clark went to live with his brother Geoff in Silver Springs, Maryland, but was asked to leave after he was caught masturbating in front of Geoff’s young children.
While packing up his belongings, six-year-old neighbor, Michelle Dorr, came by looking for his niece. No one was home, but Clark told the young girl his niece was in her bedroom and followed her into the house where he butchered her with a knife and cannibalized her, then buried her body in a shallow grave in a near-by park. The child’s father was the key suspect in her disappearance.
In 1992, Clark was working as a part-time gardener for Penny Houghteling in Bethesda, Maryland. When Laura Houghteling, Penny’s daughter, returned home from college, Clark resented the competition it created for Penny’s attention. As a result, he murdered her and buried her in a shallow grave near a campsite where he was living.
He was arrested within days of the murder and received a 30 year prison sentence after pleading guilty to second degree murder.
While in prison Clark bragged to fellow inmates about murdering several women, including Michelle Dorr. One of his cell mates reported the information to authorities and Clark was arrested, tried and found guilty of murdering Dorr. He was given an additional 30-year prison sentence.
He has since confessed to many more killings. He also confessed to eating and torturing other women and girls.
Based on Clark’s claims, the FBI opened several case files on unsolved child murders in Connecticut. Though he was a suspect in at least four cases around New Haven authorities have now focused their attention on another incarcerated serial killer, Harold Meade, who operated in the general area at the time of the unsolved killings. Meade, who is serving a life sentence for the bludgeoning deaths of three mentally retarded people in New Haven in 1970, denied killing anyone but the three murders he has been charged with. To prove his point he offered to give a DNA sample and asked for a polygraph test.
As for Clark, authorities are not quite sure if he is bluffing and taking them for a ride or if he is the serial killer he claims to be.