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Clark,Helen Marie February 1985; Baltimore County,Maryland
Topic Started: Jun 15 2007, 10:55 AM (1,006 Views)

Sun, The (Baltimore, MD)

February 22, 2003
Edition: FINAL
Section: LOCAL
Page: 2B

Parolee charged with murder in 1976 death of his girlfriend
Baltimore County police also investigating wife's disappearance in 1985

Laura Barnhardt


Article Text:

At the time his girlfriend's body was dumped in the Back River in 1976, Paul Brown Clark wasn't officially a suspect, nor was he linked to the disappearance of his wife nearly a decade later.

But Baltimore County police said yesterday they believe the 56-year-old Essex man was responsible for killing at least one of the women.

Clark, of the 1100 block of Gelmsford Road, was charged this month with first-degree murder in the strangulation death of Edwina Faith Campbell, whom he was dating.

Yesterday, police asked for the public's help in solving the disappearance of Clark's wife, Helen Marie Clark, who was reported missing in 1985 by co-workers.

The 27-year-old woman's car was found at the couple's house, where she was last seen, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman.

"We would never call someone a suspect unless they were actually charged with a crime," Vinson said. "But detectives are looking at the cases and asking anyone with information to come forward."

Clark was released from the Patuxent Institute, a state psychiatric prison, in 1972 after serving more than five years for arson after he was found guilty of setting a previous girlfriend's house in Dundalk on fire in 1966. No one was injured in the blaze.

Clark was sent to prison in 1985 and served 17 years of a 25-year sentence for burglary and theft. He was released in December and is on probation until 2010, according to Maryland Division of Correction officials.

He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center without bail on the murder charge.

Clark was arrested Feb. 6 by Baltimore County homicide detectives, who reopened the Campbell case in December after receiving new information about her death, Vinson said.

Initially, a state medical examiner listed the cause of Campbell's death as undetermined. Her body was found washed up on the shore of the Rocky Point Golf Course in the 1900 block of Back River Neck Road on March 26, 1976. Last month, the chief medical examiner changed the cause of death to strangulation.

Police said Clark has not cooperated with their investigation into his wife's disappearance in February 1985, refusing to answer questions about what might have happened to her.

Detectives believe that Helen Clark was killed after an argument.

Anyone with information about either case is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Sun Company
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Man held in killing is found dead
Suspect in 1976 death of woman apparently hanged himself at jail

Laura Barnhardt


Article Text:

An Essex man charged last month with murder in the 1976 killing of a 21-year-old woman apparently committed suicide by hanging himself at the Baltimore County Detention Center, county authorities said yesterday.

Paul Brown Clark, 56, was found in his cell at 10:20 p.m. Tuesday by a jail nurse, said Jim O'Neill, the administrator of the men and women's detention centers.

Clark, who used a wheelchair and suffered from Parkinson's disease, had been held in the medical unit since his arrest Feb. 6 on first-degree murder charges. Police alleged that he strangled Edwina "Wendy" Faith Campbell and dumped her body into the Back River.

Clark apparently used a cord to the battery of his wheelchair to hang himself from the grab bar over the toilet in his cell, O'Neill said. "He had never talked of suicide ... or anything like that," he added.

Clark's apparent suicide was being investigated by Baltimore County detectives yesterday, said Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman. "Our internal affairs investigators typically review unusual incidents at the Detention Center," he said, adding that there was no initial evidence to suggest foul play or that staff failed to follow procedures.

O'Neill said a correctional officer checked on Clark about 10 p.m. Tuesday. Twenty minutes later, a nurse came into Clark's cell to check his vital signs before lights-out and found him dead, said O'Neill. Clark did not share a cell with anyone.

Police said new information uncovered in January linked Clark to Campbell's killing. The 21-year-old waitress had been friends with Clark, according to Campbell's husband. The Campbells had a son, who was 13 months old when his mother was killed.

Clark was being held without bail on the murder charge. In addition, county homicide detectives specializing in unsolved cases had been looking for information that would connect Clark with the disappearance of his 27-year-old wife, Helen Marie Clark, in 1985. He was not charged in that case.

Clark had been released from prison in December, after serving 17 years of a 25-year sentence for burglary and theft, according to officials at the Maryland Division of Correction.

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Sun Company
Record Number: 0303060018
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“Thou shalt not be a victim.
Thou shalt not be a perpetrator.
Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.”

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