Friday, October 28, 2016

The Jane Mixer Murder--John Norman Collins or Gary Earl Leiterman

In her profoundly personal memoir, The Red Parts, Maggie Nelson gives readers a glimpse of what lies behind the curtain of American jurisprudence and its affect on the surviving members of one family. Miss Nelson is the niece of Jane Mixer, John Norman Collins' alleged third victim.

Thirty-six years after Jane's perplexing murder on March 20, 1969, the Mixer family had to endure testimony of the details of her tragic death in a trial held in Wayne County, Michigan, in 2004. For over three decades, Jane's murder was lumped together with the six other unsolved killings in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area, despite fundamental differences including where, how, and what condition the body was found.

Armed with a positive DNA match, as well as convincing circumstantial evidence, Gary Earl Leiterman, a retired male nurse working in Ann Arbor at the time, was found guilt of her murder. John Norman Collins claimed since the beginning he never knew Jane, now he was exonerated for at least one of the seven Michigan murders he was accused of. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

With unflinching honesty, Miss Nelson tells us the ins-and-outs of her aunt's case with brutal clarity and a benumbing sense of self-awareness that only comes from profound emotional trauma. Early in her book, she asks herself, "Who am I to tell Jane's story?" I can think of nobody better. Later in the book, she finds herself getting drawn into the media vortex of the trial and its aftermath. Miss Mixer has some insightful things to say about American media's fascination with the "dead-white-girl-of-the-week" club.

After reading Maggie Nelson's memoir, I am reminded that disturbing the feelings and memories of the families of the other victims in the Collins case is not to be taken lightly. These girls deserve to be remembered as living human beings, rather than victims of something wicked that happened in another time no longer relevant today. For their memories and what happened to them to simply fade away is unacceptable.

This is Ypsilanti, Michigan history, however unpleasant for some individuals or for the city. The six other murdered girls deserve to have their stories told for the record as well, like Maggie Nelson did for the memory of her aunt, Jane Mixer. I want to honor these lost young women by relating the most accurate account of these matters as possible and bringing some degree of closure to people who cared about these young girls. In the end, the public deserves the truth.

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/predators/collins/13.html

Saturday, October 22, 2016

John Norman Collins Trolls Strike Back



Early on in my writing of Terror in Ypsilanti, my primary goal was to pay a debt to history and restore the real names of the victims which were changed in the novelized treatment The Michigan Murders. John Norman Collins's name was also changed to mask his identity--a courtesy he does not deserve. Many of the people in law enforcement who worked on these cases and others in the know were dissatisfied with Edward Keyes's version. Too many assumptions and presumptions.

Even John Collins criticized the liberties Keyes took with the descriptions of his family and his motivation for committing these crimes--his mother. Collins claims he never read the Keyes book, but how else could he comment on it? In Terror in Ypsilanti, I went easy on Collins's family. They never killed anybody.

Over the five years it took to research and write this book, I received nasty emails from a number of people using fictitious names. For example, one goes by the handle Disrobing Furball. Some complaints came from Collins acolytes and some from fraternity brothers who took exception with any re-examination of these cases. Some few of these guys have reason to feel uncomfortable. They knew or suspected Collins of these crimes early on but remained silent.

Now that my nonfiction treatment of this subject matter is out, these same people have surfaced on my Amazon book page giving me particularly nasty reviews. They stand out because my reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but these have a distinct pernicious quality and are thinly disguised personal attacks. I would regard their comments more seriously if they were informed, and they had placed their real names on their reviews. But they hide behind pseudonyms. All I can say is consider the source.

In a recent Detroit News article [September 27, 2016], Collins claims he hasn't read my book but is quoted as saying it is "HEARSAY AND SPECULATION." For five years, he has refused to speak or meet with me but uses a go-between when he wants to communicate--knowing I'll get word of it. The woman he has chosen for this duty has been corresponding with Collins for years and speaks with him every Tuesday over the phone for fifteen minutes. She and I have been communicating for the last several years and have developed a cordial relationship.

Last Tuesday, Collins phoned and told her he was "Super Pissed! But my Ypsilanti and Center Line friends have my back." Now, I know the source of the toxic reviews. As an author, criticism comes with the territory, and I expect to get my fair share, but personal attacks are a horse of a different color. I welcome all fair and honest remarks and reviews.

Amazon Terror in Ypsilanti page: https://www.amazon.com/Terror-Ypsilanti-Norman-Collins-Unmasked/dp/1627874038/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477158434&sr=1-1&keywords=terror+in+ypsilanti

Friday, October 14, 2016

Terror in Ypsilanti Media Exposure--On the Air and On the Net

On October 1, 2016, AM1700 Ypsilanti talk show host Mark Maynard interviewed me about my true crime book Terror in Ypsilanti: John Norman Collins Unmasked. If you were unable to attend one of my recent book talks, this interview is the next best thing. The running length is forty-nine minutes. 

The Saturday Six-Pack with Mark Maynard:
https://soundcloud.com/am1700/the-saturday-six-pack-with-mark-maynard-episode-051


If you don't have a spare hour to listen to my radio interview, Investigation Discovery Crimefeed featured Terror in Ypsilanti in its September online edition. One of my readers put me on to it last week. Here is the link in case you missed it too: http://crimefeed.com/2016/09/new-book-takes-on-the-john-norman-collins-case/?sf35908515=1 
 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Drew and Mike's Terror in Ypsilanti Podcast

Corner Brewery book talk in Ypsilanti
Thank you to the people who came out to hear me speak about serial killer John Norman Collins last week. Both of my Ypsilanti venues were standing room only, and I sold out my entire Michigan stockpile of Terror in Ypsilanti books. Many people whose names appear in the book were in attendance--several from law enforcement and many who contributed information vital to the factual telling of these terrible events.

AM 1700 Ypsilanti interview
In addition to my book talks, I was able to land a front page article in The Detroit News reported by Kim Kozloski on September 27, 2016. On the tail end of my tour, I gave two media interviews, one on AM 1700 broadcasting from historic downtown Ypsilanti and the other by popular Detroit area podcasters Drew and Mike.

If you were unable to attend my book talks, you may be interested in listening to the following podcast link. My interview starts one hour and twenty-three minutes into the show.
<http://drewandmikepodcast.com/drew-and-mike-oct-6-2016/>

Terror in Ypsilanti: John Norman Collins Unmasked is available in a quality paperback edition on Amazon and other online retailers. The e-book is also available on Kindle, KOBO, Nook, and other digital formats. Autographed copies can be purchased from my website http://gregoryafournier.com.