Forensic Files Wiki

Hadden Clark was featured in two episodes of Forensic Files, and appears in other crime documentaries.

He suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and everyone that knows him says he would kill again.


Clark was featured in Season 3, Episode 9 and Season 7, Episode 25 of Forensic Files.

Both episodes document murders he is proven to have committed.

The murder documented in Season 7 occurred in 1986- the murder of 6 year old Michelle Dorr.

The murder featured in Season 3 was that of Laura Houghteling, whom Hadden killed in 1992.

Michelle Dorr

Hadden was staying with his brother in Silver Springs in May of 1986, and had been ordered to evacuate the premises.

The reason cited by Hadden's brother was 'inappropriate behavior with the children'

On May 31st, Hadden's brother took his family and left the house for a few hours - giving Hadden time to pack up and go.

A few houses away, 6 year old Michelle Dorr was enjoying a visitation day with her father. Her parents had recently separated.

Michelle's father told investigators he went inside to make them lunch - leaving his daughter to play in the kiddie pool in the back yard.

When the father returned with their sandwiches, Michelle was gone.

Michelle had gone to her nearby friend's house to see if she wanted to play.

It was unfortunate that no one else was home at the time- and Hadden Clark answered the door.

Investigators say he took Michelle upstairs into one of the bedrooms and murdered her.

Then he likely took the body out in one of his duffel bags later that day.

Laura Houghteling

In October of 1992, Clark was homeless, and sleeping in his work van.

He did odd jobs for a living, and was the Houghteling gardener at their Bethesda home.

Laura's mother had to leave town on business. Laura worked for a public relations firm, and was a Harvard graduate.

On October 18, 1992; one of the Houghteling neighbors said they saw Laura leave the house for work. She was never seen again.

About a week later, in some woods near Laura's home, investigators discovered a bloody pillowcase.

A bloodhound was taken to the spot and sniffed the pillowcase. The dog then led them to the back door of the Houghteling home.

Investigators now knew it was likely Laura had been murdered. Spraying her bed with luminol revealed blood stains on the right side of the mattress.

Investigators also took a hairbrush Laura kept on her nightstand for analysis.

Cracking the Case

It would be Laura's case that was solved first, while Michelle Dorr's death remained a mystery for another several years.

The hairbrush removed from Laura's nightstand contained several hairs. Upon analysis, all of them were human hairs except one. One hair was synthetic, like found on a wig.

Investigators needed more to go on.

Hadden Clark wasn't initially a suspect, until Laura's brother noticed their gardener was acting strange and distant.

Police began to look into Clark, and found that he had a burglary charge.

They also found out that Clark had been seen purchasing queen-size bed sheets just before Laura's disappearance.

Clark's mattress in his van wasn't a queen-size, but Laura's bed was.

The smoking gun came when investigators got a judge to grant them access to Hadden Clark's storage unit in nearby Rhode Island.

The storage unit revealed that Hadden Clark enjoyed cross-dressing.

There were dozens of women's outfits, complete with shoes.

One of the wigs looked similar to the synthetic hair taken from Laura Houghteling's hairbrush. The FBI crime lab in DC compared the two. They were identical in every detail.

Investigators now believed that the neighbor hadn't seen Laura leaving the home at all, the morning after the murder took place.

Instead, it had been Hadden Clark dressed as a woman, posing as Laura.

Clark was convicted, and sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of Laura.

While in prison, Clark emotionally confessed to a friend from the same cell block that he'd killed Michelle Dorr, but he hadn't meant to do it.

This was reported to acting prison staff, who notified investigators.

Investigators wanted to check the residence that had once belonged to Hadden's brother, where Clark had been living in 1986 - just a door down from the Dorr home.

The residence had passed to new owners, and the ensuing years might have destroyed any evidence that could be found.

However, when the wooden floor of one of the upstairs bedrooms was sprayed with luminol, there was a glow noticeable between the planks.

Investigators lucked out that years of cleaning and the passing of time hadn't destroyed the mitochondrial DNA present in the blood.

When that DNA was compared with Michelle's mother- they were identical.

Hadden Clark was sentenced to another 30 years with this evidence.

Later on, Clark willingly led investigators to the graves of both Michelle and Laura. He requested to be allowed to dress as a woman on both occasions, and told police his female persona was the real killer.

Both bodies were recovered in skeletal state.

They were the bodies of Michelle and Laura.

Other Possible Victims

Hadden Clark has since stated that he killed many more people, but police don't know whether to take all these claims seriously - since Clark suffers with delusions from his condition.

Clark takes credit for the famous Lady on the Dunes case, which has never been solved, and the victim could never be identified.

Clark asked again to be allowed to dress as a woman, and led investigators to his grandparents' former property.

Hidden there was a large plastic container filled with over one-hundred pieces of jewelry. Among them was Laura Houghteling's class ring.

Clark claims that each of these jewelry pieces are trophies from women he killed.