Saturday, July 5, 2014

John Norman Collins Associate - Andrew Julian Manuel, Jr.

Andrew Manuel's Arraignment in Ypsilanti.
It wasn't until Andrew Julian Manuel helped John Norman Collins fraudulently rent a seventeen foot house trailer in June of 1969 that his association with Collins made Andrew Manuel a person of interest to Michigan State Police.

Seventeen year old Oregon resident Roxie Ann Phillips was murdered while visiting Salinas, California. The prime suspect was someone named John, last name not known, who drove a silver colored car and was studying to be a teacher. He and a friend had driven a house trailer out from Michigan.

A search by the Salinas police found the abandoned trailer parked in the alley behind the home of Silver Manuel, Andrew's grandfather. Police soon learned that it was reported stolen from Michigan.

With only sandals on her feet and strangled with her own belt, Roxie's nude body was found at the bottom of Pescadaro Canyon in Monterey, California on Sunday, July 13, 1969 only two weeks after she was reported missing. Several weeks after that, a Salinas detective familiar with the Phillips case, sat down to his evening meal and turned on the national news. A university student, John Norman Collins, had been arrested for the murder of Karen Sue Beineman in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Miss Beineman's nude and strangled body, wearing only sandals, was found in neighboring Ann Arbor at the bottom of a gully off Huron River Dr.

The similarities between the two cases were striking and a call was placed to the Michigan State Police. Michigan sent two State Police detectives and a forensic crime lab specialist to California to share information they had on Collins. A Monterey County grand jury was looking into the particulars of the case of Roxie Ann Phillips.

Before John Collins and Andy Manuel left for California, they told their landlady that they would be in California for two months picking fruit. They asked that she hold their rooms for them. When they returned early from their California trip a few weeks later, she was surprised. Then Manuel fled Ypsilanti again on Saturday, July 26, 1969, the day Karen Sue Beineman's body was found.

A nationwide FBI search was instituted for Andrew Manuel on a fugitive from justice federal warrant. He was charged with larceny by conversion when he and Collins fraudulently rented the house trailer in Ypsilanti, Michigan with a forged, stolen check. The trailer was found abandoned in Salinas, California. By the time the FBI went looking for Manuel, Collins was already in Washtenaw County police custody for the Beineman murder.

The subsequent police investigation revealed that Andrew Julian Manuel was born in Salinas on May 13, 1944. He was described as twenty-five years old, 6'1" tall and weighing 235#. He was dark complected with dark hair and eyes, and he had a tattoo of an eagle on his left forearm. Initially, Manuel was described as Mexican-American, but soon he was found to be Filipino-American.

Manuel moved to Michigan around 1965, taking a job at the Ford Motor Company in the Detroit area. Over the summer of 1968, he worked at Bond Warehouse before moving to Ypsilanti in September. There he took a job in the machine department at Motor Wheel Corporation where he met John Collins, a twenty-two year old Eastern Michigan University student who had worked part-time there since August.

507 East Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti.
In August 8, 1969, Sheriff Douglas Harvey revealed to The Detroit News that Andrew Manuel had sold three guns, one shotgun and two rifles, to the owner of the Roy's Squeeze Inn on East Michigan Avenue, on the same day Miss Beineman's body was discovered in Ann Arbor. When Manuel's connection to Collins became known to the buyer of the stolen guns, he came forward with what he knew and turned the guns over to the police.

These were three of the four guns Collins was known to have owned. The sheriff showed the guns to Collins, who said they were his property and that Manuel must have stolen them from his room on Emmet St. So much for honor among thieves.

Sheriff Harvey's informant said he bought the guns from Manuel for $100, then he drove him to the Ann Arbor bus station where Manuel said he was going to California. Andy Manuel had offered to sell him a .22 caliber pistol, but he declined to buy it. The pistol has never been accounted for, said Harvey.

Andrew J. Manuel in FBI custody in Phoenix.
On a tip, FBI agents in Phoenix, Arizona seized twenty-five year old Andrew Manuel and arrested him on a fugitive warrant from Michigan on Wednesday, August 6, 1969. Manuel was arraigned before a U.S. District Commissioner in Phoenix shortly after he was arrested at his sister-in-laws apartment. A $10,000 bond was set and Manuel was taken to the federal detention center at Florence, Arizona to await his hearing.

It was reported in The Detroit News on Friday, August 8th, that Mrs. Ernestina Masters, Manuel's sister-in-law, said she would cooperate with authorities in any way possible. Manuel had stayed at her apartment with her and her roommate since the previous Saturday night. Manuel had called Ernestina from California and asked for some money. She sent him $50, and he traveled by bus to her Phoenix apartment.

"He was scared and afraid he would be sent to jail for something he didn't do," she said. "Manuel claimed that he knew Collins for only six months and was surprised and shocked when he learned of the murder charge against him."

Andrew Manuel was extradited to Michigan and convicted on the fraud and a burglary charge on November 17, 1969. He was in possession of a stolen diamond ring appraised at about $450 from a ransack burglary on March 14th, 1969 in Ypsilanti. Manuel pleaded guilty on the possession of stolen property charge. When District Judge William F. Ager, Jr. asked Manuel where he got the ring, he rolled over on his buddy and said, "John Collins." On the fraud charge, Manuel told the court that Collins had signed for the trailer, but he was with him and knew the trailer would not be returned.

Judge Ager gave Andrew Manuel the same sentence for both counts, five years probation, a $50 fine, and $300 in court costs. Additionally, the judge ordered Manuel to pay up to $1,500 restitution to Hendrickson Trailer Sales in Ypsilanti. Andrew's wife Betty Sue and his mother from Salinas attended the court proceeding. It was Manuel's mother who paid his fees and fines for him.

After the trial, Ann Arbor Police Chief Walter Krasny was quick to report to the press that no link had been established between Andrew Manuel and the other unsolved slayings in Washtenaw County. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Booker T. Williams made a point at the end of Manuel's trial to mention that there was no evidence to connect Manuel with the other Michigan murders.

Even after given immunity to testify against John Norman Collins, Manuel tried to skip out on his probation, was recaptured, and sent to the Washtenaw County Jail to serve out his term. When he was finally forced to testify against his associate in the Collins' trial, he had little to offer prosecutors in the way of evidence.

Finding any information on Andrew Julian Manuel has been almost as difficult as locating him. After lots of effort and false leads, Ryan M. Place was finally able to locate him in Yuma, Arizona. Andrew Julian Manuel died taking his secrets to the grave on Saturday, February 19, 2011, only three months shy of his sixty-seventh birthday.