Karen Sue Beineman, 18, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was an EMU freshman attending summer classes. She had just sent a note to her parents assuring them she was being careful, but then accepted a ride on a motorcycle from a man she did not know. She was last seen on July 23, 1969, leaving a wig shop to go with him, and was found, strangled, in a ravine off Riverside Drive near Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor. Her face was badly battered and she was nude. She had been killed elsewhere. She was the last victim before Collins was caught, and it was the evidence found on her that led to his conviction.
Riverside at Chalmers is where Karen Sue Beineman was found. This road is just outside of town but it appears very remote in the photographs. It was very risky for the killer maneuvering around with a body so close to the city limits.
JNC top right corner
Look at the density of the swamp brush across the street from the ravine and creek. It was impossible for a stakeout to be located here. But it seemed like a good idea at the time. The walkie talkies made too much noise. The mosquitoes were torturing the sheriffs, humidity and rain were all hampering the stake out.
They have a little bridge with this railing. It is very creepy looking down at that creek bed. Such a beautiful natural setting. Such a horrific thing for the residents to find.
The Karen Sue Beineman case lead to the arrest and conviction of John Norman Collins. Forensics and hair fragments came through in the end.
The former Wig shop on Washington St. Just across from the old Art One theater. This is a narrow street and wouldn't be a big stretch for a bystander to clearly see a person driving off on a motorcycle.
This is the former JJ Cycle where John Norman hung out.
From a RK Reader:
Collins used to hang out at JJ Cycle on Ecorse road. He was there one time, I thought he worked there, and I asked him questions about a Hodaka dirtbike on the sales floor that I wanted but could never afford as a 12-13 year old kid. But I used to go up there a lot to sit on the bikes, grab brochures, etc. as it was only a couple of blocks from my house. After talking to him at J.J's, I saw him once at Roy's Squeeze Inn (drive in restaurant) , and at W.T. Grant's (discount store) and we waved to each other...
When Collins picked up Karen Sue Beineman, the women who worked in the Wig Shop on Washington street misidentified the bike as a 450 Honda. According to the Michigan Murders book by Edward Keyes, one of the women had been motorcycle shopping with her husband the previous weekend, looking at Hondas. The reason the bike stuck out in her mind was as she thought, the bike she identified had a square rear view mirror. Collins Triumph had a round rear view mirror.
Bike Like Collins road...
The police, Ypsi press, Ann Arbor news and Detroit TV stations ran pictures of a 450 Honda identical to my Dad's bike. Dad was hassled A LOT in the following weeks by the police, even being run off the road by a Washtenaw County Sheriff. Collins actually was riding a 650 Triumph Bonneville similar to the 900 Bonnie I ride now. He also had another Triumph, 2 Bultacos, and a green 69 Olds Cutlass 442, possibly all stolen...
READ MORE ON JOHN NORMAN COLLINS