Saturday, August 11, 2012

Eastern Michigan University "72-73" Campus Directory - The John Norman Collins' Edition.

Eastern Michigan University - Halle Library Archives
Back in 1972, the student population of Eastern Michigan University was decidedly non-Ivy League in their attitudes and their dress code.

Wanting to maintain a conservative image for the alumnae and parents of students at the university, editors for the campus phone directory chose to dip into their photo archives for a picture from 1966.

Ground was broken on Sill Hall, the Fine Arts building, in 1964, and it was open for the fall semester of 1966. Not only do the clothes and hair styles date the photograph, but the fresh sod and the sapling trees do as well.

I remember this directory and used it many times, as I graduated with a bachelor's degree in December of 1972. What makes this telephone book relic relevant to me now is what I discovered only last year.

The university made a grievous error in their choice for a cover photo. Sitting on the wall with the dark shirt in the lower left hand corner of the cover shot sits alleged serial killer, John Norman Collins. He was convicted in 1970 of just one of seven possible murders of young women in the area he was suspected of killing between the summers of 1967 and 1969.

Looking at the full sized actual cover of the directory, the photograph is unmistakable to anyone who knew John Collins. In 1966, Collins was beginning his first year at Eastern as a sophomore transfer student from Central Michigan University.

This photograph was taken ten months before the murder of the first victim took place. Mary Fleszar's ravaged body was left to rot in the countryside, found a month later by two thirteen year old boys. Her murder remains officially unsolved.

The university denies this is Collins, but they can't identify who it is. I lived a block up the street from John Norman Collins and saw him numerous times. That's him!