Tuesday, June 18, 2013

John Norman Collins Supporters on Kelly & Company - Monday, October 3, 1988

On Friday, October 1, 1988, Marilyn Turner conducted a videotaped interview with convicted "coed killer" John Norman Collins. Clips from that interview were interspersed among the live portions of the popular Detroit morning talk show, Kelly & Company, on the following Monday.

This interview is the only footage of Collins I have been able to find, except for a couple of perp walks in and out of court.

Part four of the interview was reserved for the supporters of John Collins who gave their assessment of his innocence. First was Marlene Thompson, ordained minister in the International and National Universal Life Church of Love. She had been Collins "spiritual adviser" for almost four years. Her view was that he was a caring and intellectual person who "shows great concern for women and couldn't kill anything.

The other Collins' supporter on the panel was a reporter for the Oakland Press, Jackie Kallen, who had been writing Collins in jail and later in prison, since 1969 when he was arrested. 

Ms. Kallen had some "mutual friends" with the Collins family. She opined that he may have been "railroaded" into prison. Her fervent belief was that "Collins is open and tells the truth as he perceives it. Maybe he doesn't know what he did."

The most remarkable and probing part of the whole show was when Marilyn Turner asked John Collins, in a calm soothing voice, "Did you love your mother, John?"

With that one well-placed, personal question, she was able to penetrate his self-protective stratagems and catch him in an unguarded moment. Until that time, he asserted his control over the interview, then he lost control of his emotions and seemed disoriented from that point on.

There is a wise saying that applies here, "Never play a player." Marilyn Turner did a great job interviewing a difficult subject.