Saturday, September 15, 2012

Landmarks of the Ypsilanti "Co-ed Killer" Case

Site where Karen Sue Beineman's body was found in Ann Arbor Township - July 26, 1969.

The last of a series of Michigan murders known as "The Co-ed Killings" or the "Rainy Day Murders" occurred on July 23, 1969, in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area. Karen Sue Beineman's nude battered body was found three days later only fifteen feet from Riverside Dr. in Ann Arbor Township laying face down in a shallow gully running through a small ravine.

The remote, semi-wooded farm country of Superior Township just north of Ypsilanti proved to be the favored dump site for six of the seven bodies of young women thought to have been victims of the same psychotic killer. The drop zone comprised a fifteen mile triangular area.

For two long years, Washtenaw County law enforcement was baffled by these savage murders. With few if any clues left behind at the crime scenes, it wasn't until the fourth murder that police were certain they had a "multiple murder" on the loose. The term "serial killer" hadn't been coined until the Son of Sam trial in 1977 by FBI agent, Robert Ressler.

As the body count rose, forensic investigators indicated that the murderer killed his prey in one place and disposed of the bodies someplace else where they would be easily found. There was evidence to suggest that the killer had returned to a couple of the sites and may have even moved the bodies where they might be more easily found. Other facts concerning the brutality and mutilation of the vicims' bodies showed a disturbed and angry individual was at work who was striking with greater frequency.

Several years ago, a videographer know as Retrokimmer made a brief YouTube documentary of many of the "landmarks" associated with Ypsilanti's "Rainy Day Murders" of 1967-1969. Most of the information is accurate. One notable exception concerns The John Norman Collins house which is currently not a fraternity house; it is a sorority house which is even more ironic.

I am writing a new account of these murders and their aftermath called, In the Shadow of the Water Tower. If you have any new information on this case, I want to hear from you. Details, no matter how small they appear to you, may help me connect some of the loose dots of this case.

I can be reached at or you can mail me at:

                                               PO Box 712821
                                         Santee, CA 92072-2821