The Michigan Murders (or "Co-Ed Killings", as local papers dubbed them) were a series of seven abductions and sexual homicides that took place in the college towns of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti from 1967 to 1969.
The murders are generally regarded to have ceased in July of 1969 with the death of Karen Sue Beineman, last seen accepting a ride on a motorcycle from a man later identified by witnesses as John Norman Collins. Collins was convicted killing Beineman and sentenced to life in prison.
With Collins' conviction, police unofficially closed the other six homicides without prosecution. (The third murder in the series, that of Jane Mixer, was reopened in 2005 when DNA linked retired nurse and sex offender Gary Leiterman to the scene. He was also convicted. No link was established between Collins and Leiterman and both men maintain their innocence.)
Uncle's Home on Roosevelt/Cornell back in the day
Did John Norman Collins Act Alone?
Andy Manuel died in 2011, having maintained his silence for decades, and John Norman Collins remains incarcerated, protesting his innocence. Arnold Davis was granted immunity for his part in Collins' burglary ring in exchange for testifying at trial. It is unlikely that new charges will ever be brought but the question of whether Collins was the only Michigan Murderer remain.
Mary Fleszar, 19 [7/10/1967]
Joan Schell, 20 [7/1/1968]
Maralynn Skelton, 16 [3/26/1969]
Dawn Basom, 13 [4/14/1969] (no picture)
Alice Kalom, 23 [6/8/1969]
Karen Sue Beineman, 18 [7/23/1969]
Roxie Phillips, 17 [6/30/1969 CA]
click for larger view
The map above is mostly accurate. I think Mary Fleszar location is wrong. Hard to know really if she was found north west of Leforge and Geddes or South of Geddes and West side of Leforge. This map shows the side of road where the old barn and house once stood. This is thought to be a killing site and the site where Dawn Basom's clothing/earring was found in the basement of the Leforge Farm house.
The barn did not have a basement. The barn was built into the side of a hill so when the dairy farmer milked at 4am it was warmer in there for the cows.
The basement where they found Dawn Basom's earring/top was under the house. A friend of mine's grandparents rented this house until 1965. He mowed the grass and played in the barn. He told me the basement to the spanish style ranch house had doors that opened from the outside.
7 Victims and all are unsolved/unpursued except Karen Sue Beineman
A friend of mine on Facebook messaged me the other night. she had an interesting story to tell about Joan's Wig Shop and JNC.
I was walking on Washtenaw and JNC tried to pick me up on his motorcycle........I refused..went to the (Joan's) wig shop and Karen (Sue Beinenman) was there. Joan and I tried to talk her out of accepting ride with JNC.
I was never approached to testify......
it was my MO ( Modus Operandi) to walk to Baskin Robbins on my lunch hour, grab a cone and return to work. On this day, I stopped into Joans Wig shop to pick up my "wiglet"and watched from inside as JNC offed KSB the ride.
Joan and I both tried to discourage her.........only because of the times. Of course, we had no Idea he was the coed killer/murderer.
This is a photo of the sheriff's department/police at the intersection of Riverside and Chalmers. 1969
Riverside at Chalmers 2009
JNC residence 619 Emmett St 1969
There is a big addition now on this house and they changed the address to College Place instead of Emmett. It's a sorority house now...
McKinney Union Admin-Bookstore-Cafeteria-Bowling Alley
Carol remembers:I was age 16 and I remember being very scared for a time. I was in a driver's ed car the day they arrested JNC (the instructor had the radio on) and we had just we had been driving around the area north of Ypsilanti where some of the girls had been found.
I remember being so relieved. My mom had been telling me not to go anywhere alone during that time period We used to like going to the EMU McKinney Union bookstore and cafeteria. We had to stop going there.
Was it better that JNC stays in Michigan or be convicted in California and possibly get the gas chamber?
BOOKS TO READ MORE: