Thursday, March 5, 2015

Linking the Rainy Day Murders--One University of Michigan Psychiatrist's View


While I was reorganizing and packing my files, I came across an interesting article that won't make it into my non-fiction account--The Rainy Day Murders--about the Washtenaw County, Michigan murders of the late sixties. I thought I would share it with my readers.

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After the murder of University of Michigan graduate student Alice Elizabeth Kalom on June 8th, 1969--the sixth of the series--Associate Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Donald Holmes gave his theory on the possible mental quirks and personality of the killer.

The Detroit News reported the U of M professor's belief that "These murders have too much in common not to be linked. All of the unsolved murders were committed by the same man. The killer is a smooth operator who digs chicks. He is undoubtedly of high intelligence and supremely self-centered and a successful attention getter."

After John Norman Collins had been arrested for the first degree murder of Karen Sue Beineman six-weeks later, The Detroit News asked Dr. Holmes for a second hypothetical evaluation in the light of recent developments.

"As far as the murders being linked. I think they may be. I don't think it's a coincidence. They have too much in common. It may be one man or a couple (people) acting together--like Leopold and Loeb, for example, only better organized."

When the professor was asked about the stepped-up tempo of the slayings that spring and summer, he explained that "the slayer could be terrified the first time by his own act, but later the barriers were broken between reality and fantasy. He could do it more easily again."

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People often ask me if John Norman Collins worked alone. There is no hard evidence to prove that he had help killing his victims, but other people knew about the first and the second murders. The same can be said for the fifth, sixth, and seventh murders.

By my count, at least three other people were privy to information that could have spared some of the victims' families and friends untold suffering--people who may not have been directly involved with the slayings but who had knowledge and were Collins' close associates. Of that, I am certain!