Thursday, February 27, 2014

The LeForge Barn Fire - Murder Site of Dawn Basom - John Norman Collins' Youngest Victim

Barn next to abandoned farm house on Geddes and LeForge roads.

On Thursday, May 13, 1969, a barn only 100 feet from the abandoned farmhouse, believed to be the site of Dawn Basom's murder, was set ablaze at 3:17 in the morning.


Thirteen year old Dawn Basom was an eighth grader at West Junior High School in Ypsilanti and the youngest of The Rainy Day Murder victims.

Dawn was last seen alive on April 15, 1969, while walking down the Penn Central railroad tracks which was the short cut to her home on LeForge Rd. She had promised her mother she would be home before dark.  

Sergeant William Stenning of the Ypsilanti City Police Department received a call at 12:46 AM on April 16, 1969, from Mrs. Cleo Basom saying her daughter had been missing since late afternoon on Tuesday.

Mrs. Basom said that Dawn was given a ride by her uncle to the corner of Cross and River Sts in Depot Town early in the evening to meet a boy friend by the first name of Earl, last name unknown. She was last seen wearing a white plastic jacket, white cotton blouse, and blue stretch pants.
The next morning, Dawn's abused and naked body was found on the east edge of Gale Rd just north of Vreeland Rd, about a mile from her murder site at a barn on Geddes and LeForge Rds

Sheriff Harvey showing spot where Dawn's body was found.

During the subsequent investigation of Dawn's murder, State Police crime scene investigators found articles of her clothing in the cellar of the nearby farmhouse and other evidence linking the site to Miss Basom's murder.

Her murderer had to use a car to capture Dawn and take her away unnoticed. She was tom-boyish and liked to wrestle with her older brothers in the front yard of their house, so she would have probably put up a struggle and offered some resistance to being captured. 

It was unlikely she would accept a ride from a stranger so close to her home, less than 100 yards, though she was known to hitchhike. 

More likely, someone laid in wait for Dawn and overpowered and incapacitated her, or perhaps she knew or recognized the person she got into the car with. Either theory ends up with Dawn being held captive in a psychopath's car.


Twenty-nine days after Dawn's killing, the barn adjacent to the farmhouse murder site burned to the ground. The Michigan State Police arrested an Eastern Michigan University student from Harper Woods, Ralph R. Krass, 21, on Friday, May 15, at his apartment at 1431 LeForge Rd which happened to be near the Basom home on the same street.

He was arraigned by District Judge Rodney E. Hutchinson and stood mute when the judge set the bail at $5,000. Unable to post bond, Krass was taken to the County Jail.

Michigan State Police expected more arrests but were unable to confirm that the barn burning had any connection with the murder investigation. The arson was still under investigation.

Three days after the arrest of Krass, his roommate, Clyde Surrell, 19, of Ypsilanti, stood mute on a charge of aiding and abetting arson. He was released on $2,000 bond pending a hearing on the matter.

Police say that Krass admitted walking to the farm with two companions and setting some dry hay on fire in the barn's loft. The three young men ran away but returned while the Superior Township Fire Department allowed the fully engulfed barn to burn to the ground. They prevented the farmhouse and the cellar from catching fire but not from sustaining water damage.

When the last of the blaze was extinguished, a reporter looking over the smoldering ruins discovered five, fresh cut, purple lilac blossoms lying nearby. He theorized that someone left one for each of the five murdered girls. 

After an investigation, authorities charged the men with arson but cleared them of any involvement in the Basom murder. Mr. Krass gave no reason for burning down the barn. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Two That Got Away from John Norman Collins and Andrew Manuel

In the summer of 1968, fourteen year old Robert Fox was hitchhiking alone on Washtenaw Ave. when a gray convertible with the top down stopped to pick him up. Two guys were in the car.

Interior of 1956 DeSoto convertible.
He remembers that "as smooth as can be, the passenger door swung open, and the darker of the two men stepped out smiling. I unthinkingly slid between them. Within seconds, I realized I was trapped. Their talk was immediately suggestive. The vibe was the spookiest I ever felt.

"I was frightened and decided to patronize them and told them I was broke and hungry, hoping they would buy me something. Lucky for me, they pulled into the A&W on Washtenaw Blvd. Thank God it was a convertible - the moment the car stopped, I jumped from the center seat into the back seat, and leaped out onto the parking lot. Then I ran into the marshland between Washtenaw and Packard Rd. I was never so glad to get my feet wet! Don't know what I would have done if the top hadn't been down.

"I didn't study their faces - in fact - I avoided eye contact. I remember the passenger the most. He frightened me because he had run the trap on me. His hair was darker than the driver's, and he was heavier set than the driver. He looked Mexican to me. I have a vague recollection of the side of his face. His dark hair was wavy but not curly, not a thin face and pock marked with zit scars. It was absolutely a two-man operation. The trap was very smooth - rehearsed if not practiced."

Like many people who recognized Collins after his photograph was plastered all over the front pages, Robert Fox had the same reaction when he recognized a photograph in the newspaper of Andrew Manuel taking a perp walk with two FBI agents outside the Federal Building in Phoenix, Arizona.

"This episode scared the hell out of me," Fox said. "What surprises me looking back is that I did not make the connection that those guys might be the murderers."

Although Fox couldn't identify the make and model of the car, he did remember the color - gray. It sounds like the same car Collins drove when he first arrived on campus, a 1956 DeSoto Coupe convertible, previously owned by his older brother.

This is likely the car identified by one on Mary's neighbors that Collins used to harass Mary Fleszar when she was walking home the last night of her life. It was the same car that took Collins to Moore's Funeral home in Ypsilanti where he showed up at closing to take a photograph of Mary's body in her closed coffin. He claimed to be a friend of the family. 

Harold Britton, the funeral home director, refused the young man's request. After he left, Britton called the Fleszar family. They hadn't given permission for anyone to take pictures of the body. 

Then Britton called the police and identified the car as being blue/gray. He didn't get the license plate number nor could he identify the car's make or model as it pulled away in the dark. But he did say it was an older model car.

1956 DeSoto Fireflight Adventurer Coupe
And this was likely the same car that John Norman Collins used to take Joan Schell to Ann Arbor on her final ride. Not long after Schell's disappearance and murder, Collins sold the DeSoto to someone in the Detroit area. From then on, he had full use of his mother's new 1968 silver Oldsmobile Cutlass.


A woman who wishes that I not use her name related this up close and personal John Norman Collins anecdote to me:

"A person introduced to me as 'John and his date' were in the back seat of my date's car. We were going to a spring fraternity formal. The person seemed really nice and cute. He was talking to me a lot and I liked it.

"All of a sudden, he asked his date 'Are you having your period?' The poor girl was mortified. It was awful. He told her she was stinky. He went on and on. I had tears in my eyes for her.

"When we got to the party, I told my date that I refused to go home with that guy. My godfather lived in Detroit. I gave him the choice of dumping this guy and his date, or I would call and have my godfather pick me up.

"It was about six months after that when a person came up on me while I was leaving my night class at Washtenaw Community College. He started walking and talking to me. I thought I had met him before but wasn't certain. He was real pleasant at first. But when I walked up to my car in the parking lot, he yelled, 'Get the bitch!' There was a Hispanic man hiding in my backseat. There was a darkness in his eyes that was terrifying. He tried to pull me into the car.

"I dug my feet in the ground, and resisted the best I could. I yelled 'help' then 'fire' then 'rape.' No one heard at first. I started screaming the name of some guy I knew at a parking space some distance away. Finally, three guys started running towards me to help. I was dropped by the two men who jumped in a truck parked next to my car and drove quickly away.

"When I reported it, the first thing I told the police was 'I've seen one of them before.'

Corvair Corsa
"Somehow, he got my phone number and started calling me at home several times a day. He told me that I was a 'rich bitch' because I had a new Corvair convertible.... He would call and say how cool I thought I was in my car and how he would end that. He told me there was no place for me to be safe. He would tell me where he saw me and what I was wearing. I had two jobs and he knew where I worked. I was scared.

"My dad worked for the phone company and was close friends with Ann Arbor police chief of detectives. Michigan Bell tapped my phone so it rang at the police station. I was told that the police were keeping an eye on several other people too. 

"When the police came and put me under house arrest for my safety, I still didn't know who the caller was.... It wasn't until Collins was arrested that a frat guy called and told me who he was. Only then was I able to put things together. The caller remembered how uncomfortable I was when I wouldn't ride in the same car with Collins. I was just blessed to get away.

"Recently, I met a woman from Holland, Michigan. I have told very few people about this, but I told her. She said I was living for all those girls.... I am so surprised that I wrote to you. It is part of my life, but maybe this story will make people be more careful."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Did John Norman Collins Work Alone?

Boarding house where Collins, Davis, and Manuel lived.
A nagging question people familiar with the Washtenaw County serial killings ask is, "Did John Norman Collins have any accomplices? And if so, are they still at large in the area?"

It is known that Collins was not alone when he picked up the second victim, Joan Schell, on the evening of June 30th, 1968. She was hitchhiking to Ann Arbor from McKenny Union on Eastern Michigan University's campus in Ypsilanti.

Miss Schell was picked up by three young men in a red vehicle with a black convertible top thought to be a Chevy. Along with Collins, who was wearing a green EMU tee-shirt, was Arnold Davis, a close friend, and an unidentified third person who the other men refused or were unable to identify.

John Norman Collins and Arnie Davis - EMU Ski Club - 1967.

Soon, Collins offered Joan a ride to Ann Arbor in his car, and the two other guys were sent on their way. This information was discovered in a police interrogation of Arnie Davis after Collins was arrested for the murder of Karen Sue Beineman a year later.

Arnie, who lived in a second floor room across the landing from John Norman Collins, said that in the early morning hours of July 1st, Collins returned to the house with Joan's red shoulder bag. Arnie asked him about it and he replied, "She ran from my car and left her purse behind." 

Davis reported that Collins rifled through her wallet and examined her driver's license and exclaimed, "The bitch lied to me. She told me she was married."

Joan Schell's nude body was found a week later on the outskirts of Ann Arbor. At the very least, Arnie Davis had information which could have prevented the slayings of five other women if only he had come forward with what he knew. Strictly speaking, Arnie Davis was not legally obligated to contact the police, but he was morally obligated, and he made the conscious decision to conceal what he knew.

Of the seven victims that comprise the cases against Collins, it is certain that other people knew or suspected Collins early on. But either out of misplaced loyalty, fear of Collins, or out of their own complicity on some level, several key players remain silent. 

Fearing an arrest on burglary charges and other unspecified charges against him, Arnie Davis was given full immunity by the Collins' prosecutors on the condition that he testify against his friend in open court. With great reluctance, Davis testified in the Karen Sue Beineman case but was prevented from making any statements regarding any of the other cases, lest there be a mistrial called. He was extensively interviewed by police about the Joan Schell case also.


In the most obscure of the Collins' cases, there was undoubtedly some collusion by another of Collins' housemates, one Andrew Manuel, a petty career criminal from Salinas, California. He came to Michigan to work in an auto plant but eventually lost his job. He found another factory job at Motor Wheel Corporation making wheel housing components. That's where he met John Norman Collins.

Andy was two years older than Collins and worked the night shift full time. Collins went to school during the day and worked a four hour part time night shift. The young men worked together and became friends. 

Despite being married and renting an apartment with his wife on Ypsilanti's east side, Andy Manuel also rented a room at the Emmet St. boarding house along with Arnie Davis and Collins. The young men became friends and soon formed a burglary crew.

In June of 1969, Collins and Manuel decided to leave Ypsilanti for about a month. Between March and June, four local women were slain and deposited around Washtenaw County and every policeman available was working the case. 

These two young men also had been busy breaking into homes, burglarizing cars, and stealing anything of value they could carry off and fence later. They left town hoping for the local heat to die down.

Collins and Manuel went to Hendrickson's Trailer Sales and Rentals on East Michigan Ave. They placed a $25 cash deposit down for the rental of a seventeen foot long house trailer. The following day, they paid for the rest of the rental with a stolen check and false ID. Collins told the rental people they were going fishing in Canada for a week. After the trailer was hitched to Collins' Oldsmobile Cutlass, they headed west on Interstate-94 for California.

Andy Manuel was from Salinas, California, and once they arrived there, they parked the trailer behind his grandparents' house. Within a week, Roxie Ann Phillips from Milwaulkie, Oregon, was visiting family friends and crossed Collins' path. She went missing on June 30th, 1969, and her nude body was found two weeks later on July 13 at the bottom of Pescadero Canyon, north of Carmel Valley in Monterey County.

Salinas police investigators discovered that on July 3rd, 1969, Collins went to the Tolan-Cadillac-Oldsmobile dealership to have repairs made on his car and to have a trailer hitch removed. Then the pair returned unexpectedly early to Ypsilanti. 

When the Salinas Police discovered the trailer abandoned behind Manuel's grandparents' home, the forensic crime lab checked it out from top to bottom. They discovered that the trailer had been wiped clean inside and out. Not a single fingerprint could be found. That in itself pointed the finger of suspicion at the two absent men.

I find it unbelievable that Manuel did not know that Collins had killed Roxie Ann Phillips. Whether Andy had anything to do with Roxie's murder or not is unknown. The evidence suggests that Collins acted alone, but where was Manuel at the time? Surely, he helped Collins wipe the trailer clean of fingerprints and any other collateral evidence. 

I wonder what their conversation was about on their way back to Michigan. Shortly after they returned to their boarding house, Manuel gathered up his belongings and left the state again unannounced. He had to know what had happened in California and wanted to distance himself from Collins and the law.

Andrew Manuel in FBI custody.
After a nationwide manhunt, the FBI arrested Andrew Manuel in Phoenix, Arizona. He was hiding out at his sister-in-law's house. At the very least, Andrew Manuel was an accessory after the fact and withheld information from the police investigators. But when he was interrogated by the police and prosecutors, he passed several polygraph (lie detector) tests. Manuel was given a clean bill of health from the authorities.

Andrew Manuel had been given a deal. Prosecutor Booker T. Williams went out on a limb for him. Williams said at the close of Manuel's fraud case for stealing the trailer, that Mr. Manuel had no involvement in any of the murders. He was given a $100 fine and one year's probation. 

As soon as he could, Manuel violated his probation and fled again but was soon captured to serve out his sentence in the Washtenaw County Jail. When he was called to testify in the Karen Sue Beineman case, Andy played the village idiot and didn't cooperate with the prosecution in any significant way.


Whether either of these guys was directly involved with any of the Washtenaw County murders hasn't been firmly established. It is known that Arnie Davis and Andrew Manuel were involved with Collins in other illegal activities, and they prowled the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti streets together.

The theory that Collins did not always act alone is persistent. Several people have come forward recently saying that they escaped the clutches of Collins and Manuel and lived to tell their stories. Sometimes, a simple ruse was all that was needed to lure a person in, but other people report struggling to escape from them.

As soon as they could after the Collins trial, Arnie Davis and Andy Manuel left Michigan. These men now live on opposite ends of the country. It should also be noted that after the arrest of John Norman Collins, the two year nightmare of sex-slayings of young women in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor ended. But worries that Collins did not act alone and that his accomplices are still lurking in the area are persistent concerns held by many people today.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Personal Motivation For Writing About John Norman Collins

The events detailed in this post happened in Ypsilanti, Michigan, just two blocks beyond the green lights of this photograph.

Last winter, I was asked by a Detroit News reporter if writing about John Norman Collins and the Washtenaw County killings of the late Sixties was personal for me. Without missing a beat, my answer was "Hell yes, it's personal!"

When a community is held hostage by their fear of an unknown serial killer in their midst for two years, suddenly it becomes very personal for everyone.

Murder is the greatest violation of an individual and almost every culture has strictures against it because it strikes at the heart and well-being of society. What is most difficult for people to understand is how someone can murder impersonally without provocation or conscience.


Throughout John Norman Collins' reign of terror, I lived at 127 College Place, a block up the street from the boarding house on Emmet St. where Collins rented a second story room. Like many other people coming and going to classes at Eastern Michigan University, I walked passed that house twice a day

It was only after the two year ordeal, when Collins was arrested and the murders stopped, that people were able to contextualize their experiences. Like so many other people in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, I saw his photograph on the front pages of The Ypsilanti Press and The Detroit Free Press. I recognized him immediately though I didn't know his name until I read it.

John Norman Collins' Perp Walk at Arraignment in Ypsilanti


My first encounter with Collins happened on Sunday, July 30th, 1968. It was after 9:00 PM. I was walking home on Emmet St. with my girlfriend, Kristi Kurtz, after going to the party store on W. Cross St. for some groceries. 

In front of the Arm of Honor frat house, a convertible with three guys in it pulled up along side us. The driver who was wearing an EMU shirt asked Kristi if she would like to hang out with some real men.

With a full bag of groceries in my arms, I spoke up, "Hey, guys. She's with me." Then I was crudely threatened with an impromptu ass kicking. I saw for the first time what many people have since described to me as "the (Collins) look."

Kristi was having none of it. She burst forth verbally and impugned their manhood with a string of well-chosen profanities. The driver, who I didn't know but got to see his face, hit the gas pedal and peeled away screeching his tires in frustration. (See the link below for more details.)

It was over a year later when I connected that incident with the disappearance of Joan Schell. Later the same night, Collins and his two buddies picked up Joan hitchhiking in front of McKenny Union on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. She was reported missing the next day - August 1st.

Incidentally, Miss Schell shared a rented apartment on Emmet St. with a girlfriend, directly across College Place St. from the room Collins rented at the boarding house. He could look out his window directly at Schell's apartment house.

The same evening Miss Schell disappeared, three witnesses saw Collins and Schell cross College Place at about 11:30 PM, and one of the young men in the car that picked up Miss Schell testified in open court that he was in the car with Collins that fateful night when they gave Joan a ride.


Some time later on another occasion in the early evening, I was waiting for a pizza at Fazi's shop on College Place St. a half block from the EMU campus. It was the local hangout in our neighborhood with a couple of pinball machines that could be set for free plays, so people liked to hang out there.

It was warm in the shop, so I went outside. Around the side of the building, I saw two guys trying to break into a car that was parked there. They tried the doors, they tried the trunk, they tried to pop the hood. What struck me most about them was that they did this with impunity. They vaguely noticed me watching but studiously ignored me.

I went into the pizza shop and asked if the car parked next to the building belonged to anyone there. It didn't. I walked out of the shop and saw the two guys walking shoulder to shoulder towards where I was standing. One of them was a lean six feet tall and the other guy was taller, heavier, and Hispanic looking.

When they were about to pass me, the lanky one raised his stiffened right arm and tried to clothesline me in the face. I dunked and swung around in a defensive position expecting a tussle. But the two of them walked on like nothing had happened. 

I watched them walk half a block up College Place and then crossover to the corner house on Emmet St. I didn't connect the two experiences yet, but I saw where they went. Collins' face was now familiar to me, but I still didn't know his name.

I was pissed and went into the shop to get my pizza. A friend of mine asked what had just happened?

"Some guy just took a swing at me."

"I know. I just saw. Why?"

"They were trying to break into the car parked outside and I saw them. Do you know who they are?"

"Not really, they're just a couple of assholes who live in the neighborhood."

Great, I thought. I walk passed that house at least twice a day to get to classes. Swell!


My attic apartment at 127 College Place St.
My final encounter with John Norman Collins occurred in a most unlikely place, my third story attic apartment. The large house I lived in was built in the late nineteenth century and had been subdivided into five apartments sometime over the years. It was a broken down hovel, centrally located in what we called the student ghetto. It was affordable and it was home.

Late one Saturday night, my roommate and I came home and walked up the narrow staircase leading to our attic apartment. We noticed something peculiar. Our door was locked. 

Most of the people who lived in the house were freaks (hippies) and had lived there for a couple of years. Everyone knew everyone else and got along well, so there was a communal atmosphere of trust in the house. But recently, some new people had moved into the large ground floor apartment.

I fumbled in my pocket for my key and unlocked the door. I flipped on the light in the efficiency kitchen and heard some rustling in our darkened attic apartment. My twin bed was wedged inside a small alcove to the left of the main living space. 

A person several inches taller than me suddenly blocked the doorway putting on his sports coat and shielding the young woman he was with. She hastily straightened up her disheveled clothing. When his jacket was on, he stepped towards me and we were face to face. Once again, I saw "the look." 

It was the same guy who took a swing at me in front of Fazi's pizza shop. He stopped in his tracks when he finally saw my roommate who was six feet, three inches tall, and very powerfully built. He was a highway construction worker.

To defuse the situation, I apologized for disturbing them and explained that this was a private apartment. All he said was "sorry" as he and the embarrassed girl carrying her purse slinked out. It was suddenly clear what had happened. 

The new tenants in the ground floor apartment were some fraternity guys having a house warming party. At some point after they had a couple of drinks, Collins searched for a quiet spot to take this young woman, and he settled into my vacant apartment uninvited. He locked the door for privacy. 

By now, I knew this guy by sight. Several months later, like so many other people in the area, I saw his picture on the front page and finally learned his name. Little did I imagine that over forty years later, I would be writing about John Norman Collins and those frightening days. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why I Chose To Write About John Norman Collins

Even though it has been almost fifty years since the Washtenaw County murder cases, more than once I've been asked what my personal connection is to them and John Norman Collins. Why do I feel the need to disturb the ghosts of the past and resurrect the pain of the living? To that, I say that the seven innocent victims were real people who deserve to be remembered. 

I believe Elie Wiesel's quote from his Holocaust memoir, Night, is fitting because it addresses this attitude: "To forget them - would be like killing them twice." We don't get to choose our history, and it is up to the living to speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves.

These 1967-1969 serial murders terrorized the college towns of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, Michigan, directly affecting the lives of thousands of Washtenaw County residents. What most people remember about those times is based on the hasty novelization by Edward Keyes, The Michigan Murders.

Besides changing the names of the victims, the witnesses, and their presumed murderer which obscured their real identities, assumptions were made about the backstory to these ugly slayings without contacting people associated with these cases. 

What Keyes should be given credit for is keeping the essential facts and circumstances of these cases intact. Were it not for his novelization, this dark chapter of Michigan history would have vanished with time.

But his work came out only six years after these things happened. He relied heavily on official reports and the copious notes of Eastern Michigan University English Professor Paul McGlynn, who attended all of the court sessions.

Decades of hindsight combined with new living history accounts makes it possible to create a more accurate picture of those times and circumstances and place those events in some meaningful historical context.

Over the years, because of ambiguities in the novel and the absence of factual information about these cases, an urban legend has grown up around John Norman Collins making him a folk hero in some circles. People who were not even born then or old enough to know any better believe the Karen Sue Beineman trial was a travesty of justice.

They show up on the internet comment threads talking about how Collins was hounded by desperate police, persecuted by vengeful prosecutors, and brought low by unfair media coverage. They contend that circumstantial evidence doesn't prove anything and that the Michigan Department of Corrections uses Collins as their poster boy for crime in Michigan. Rather than imprison an innocent man, the mantra goes, the police should be out there looking for the real murderer.

Each of these talking points comes directly from the John Norman Collins Playbook, a product of Collins' many attempts to manipulate the media and mold public opinion from behind bars. Unbelievably after forty-five years, Collins still has the power to cast an evil aura and infect people's minds.

For the above reasons, I was drawn to this subject matter. There is a vacuum in the historical record that needs to be filled. But I have other reasons for writing The Rainy Day Murders, personal reasons.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Rainy Day Murders Progress Report

On Monday, I completed the first full draft of The Rainy Day Murders (RDM) about John Norman Collins (JNC) and the Washtenaw County sex slayings of seven defenseless young women in the late 1960s.

The dark shadow of time has obscured the facts of this once prominent case that History seems to have unwittingly forgotten. Institutional neglect has taken its toll on the truth story of this case also. The trial transcripts have been purged, and no microfilm, microfiche, or digital files were made of these Washtenaw County court documents. It is tough for me to understand that.

Invoking The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), my researcher and I requested and received many documents from the Ann Arbor City Attorney's office, the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), and several other governmental agencies. 

Not honoring our FOIA requests at all were the State of California and the Ypsilanti City Attorney's Office. Their refusal to comply, for whatever reasons, forced us to seek information from other sources.

Lucky for us, the Ypsilanti Historical Society, the Halle Library on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, and the Ypsilanti Public Library archives were all open and available for our use. We have carefully gleaned facts and quotes from news clippings from across the state of Michigan to faithfully reconstitute the court proceedings.

Part one of The Rainy Day Murders will discuss the facts of each of the young women's cases including new living history accounts seasoned with forty-five years of hindsight. Part two of this book will be the restored court proceedings of these murders from 1969-1970. Part three of RDM will cover an area never before written about to any great extent, JNC's prison years.

The prison years tells of Collins life and times behind bars and his attempts to legally and illegally get out of serving his full life sentence in Michigan prisons. This section also goes into his attempts to manipulate the media and shape public opinion. To round out the prison years, we have come into possession of twenty recent JNC prison letters which will add new information to the canon of this case.

At this writing, I plan to end the book with JNC's alibi defense claiming to his Canadian cousin that Collins was innocent of the murder of Karen Sue Beineman. He names the person who testified against him in court as her murderer and implicates this same person in two other murders. 

This makes for fascinating reading but my treatment of this case will be a true crime account; Collins' elaborate fantasy defense is clearly fiction. So this book will have something for everyone.

From the facts and circumstances presented, I leave it up to the reader to decide the guilt or innocence of JNC. The other six cases will never be formally brought against Collins. What's the use? He is locked down and his days are numbered.