Tuesday, October 31, 2017

WEMU "Hidden In Plain Sight" Broadcast--John Norman Collins

Photo taken by Nicole Fribourg.
On October 18th, 2017, WEMU in Ypsilanti, Michigan asked me to record my observations while touring some of the landmarks of John Norman Collins's serial killing spree in Washtenaw County in the late 1960s. One link takes you to the internet article; the other takes you to the audio.

My remarks are based on my true crime book Terror In Ypsilanti: John Norman Collins Unmasked available in a paperback edition, all ebook formats, and an audiobook at http://www.amazon.com/Gregory-A.-Fournier/e/B00BDNEG1C

Link to the WEMU article: http://wemu.org/post/hidden-plain-sight-terror-ypsilanti#stream/0

Link to MP3 audio: https://cpa.ds.npr.org/wemu/audio/2017/10/terror_in_ypsi.mp3

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WEMU to Air Terror In Ypsilanti Audio Tour


Last week, Eastern Michigan University's NPR radio station in Ypsilanti serving Washtenaw County recorded my observations on several sites important to the John Norman Collins killing spree of 1967-1969. WEMU will air an eight-minute feature on Monday, October 30th. If you can't listen to the program when it airs, I'll run a link on this blog and route it on my social media outlets.


Patrick Campion
Program Director Patrick Campion and I stopped at the boarding house where Collins lived and sexually harassed a number of young women; then, we went to the wig shop where Karen Sue Beineman was last seen alive getting onto the back of Collins's stolen Triumph motorcycle; next, we stopped outside the David Leik house where Collins tortured and killed Miss Beineman in the basement; and finally, we drove to the gully in Ann Arbor where Miss Beineman's body was found.

Special thanks to Lisa Powers--University of Michigan Office of Student Publications--for taking photographs of this outing.

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2017 has been a great year for Terror In Ypsilanti: John Norman Collins Unmasked (TIY). In addition to winning an International Book Award and a Literary Classics Silver Award, TIY just won an Independent Author Network finalist award. I'd like to thank my loyal readers for their support, especially those who wrote Amazon book reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/Gregory-A.-Fournier/e/B00BDNEG1C 
  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne Namesake--"Mad" Anthony Wayne

Protrait of Anthony Wayne painted by Thomas Pauley
Throughout the Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan the name "Mad" Anthony Wayne resonates in communities far and wide. Scores of towns, cities, counties, schools, parks, hospitals, streets, and businesses have been named after this Revolutionary War general.

General Anthony Wayne led his soldiers in essentially rear guard actions harassing the British behind their lines. In several successful skirmishes with the enemy, he ordered surprise "bayonet only" attacks at night that inflicted many casualties. He was known as a courageous general--decisive and quick to act.

The legend behind the sobriquet "Mad" Anthony Wayne owes little to the general's military achievements. It has more to do with a drunk and disorderly colonist--known as Jemmy the Rover--who the general sometimes used as a spy. A constable arrested the man who began to drop the general's name. When the general heard this, he threatened Jemmy with "twenty-nine lashes well laid on if this happens again."

In disbelief, the now sober Jemmy replied, "He must be mad or else he would help me. Mad Anthony, that's what he is. Mad Anthony Wayne." The story made its way around town and became a favorite among the troops. The general's nickname had a rhythm and bravado that was repeated in the ranks until it stuck.

President George Washington called Major-General Wayne out of retirement to command the newly formed Legion of the United States. Wayne established the first basic training facility to prepare professional soldiers from regular army recruits.

Wayne mustered and trained a fighting force of 1,350 American soldiers and led them to the Northwest Territory (Ohio and Michigan) where they won a decisive victory against British forces and the Indian Confederacy at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, just south of modern-day Toledo, Ohio. The war ended and Major-General Wayne negotiated the Treaty of Greenville between the tribal confederacy and the United States signed on August 3, 1795.

Returning to Pennsylvania after the conflict, Wayne died from complications of gout on December 15, 1796. He was buried at Fort Presque Isle. His body was disinterred in 1809 at the request of his family--to be buried in a family plot. His bones make the journey to Radnor, Pennsylvania in saddlebags. For that grisly bit of history, consult the link below.

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Aerial View of Old Fort Wayne.

The star-shaped fort in Detroit, Michigan--which bears Anthony Wayne's name--began construction in 1842 at the Detroit River's narrowest point with Canada. Fear of a territorial war with British Canada prompted the fort's building. It was named to honor Major-General Wayne's defeat of the British at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The victory resulted in the United States occupation of the Northwest Territories. Diplomats were able to settle territorial disputes, and the war with Canada never materialized. The new fort never fired a shot.

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Fort Wayne was first used by Michigan troops in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War. It became the primary induction center for Michigan troops for every field of American combat from the Civil War through Vietnam.

During World War II, every truck, Jeep, tank, tire, spare part, or war ordinance manufactured in Detroit went through the docks of Fort Wayne to the battlefronts. Also, Italian prisoners of war from the North Africa Campaign were housed at the fort. After Italy's surrender, Italian POWs were given the chance to return home. Many chose to settle in Detroit where there was an established Italian-American community and greater opportunities awaiting them.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Fort Wayne's grounds were open to assist and house homeless families. During the Cold War of the 1950s, Nike-Ajax missiles were installed to prepare for a nuclear war that never came. During the Detroit riots in 1967, the fort was again used to house displaced families, the last leaving in 1971.

Today, the Detroit Recreation Department operates the fort with the help of the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition, the Friends of Fort Wayne, and the Detroit Historical Society. The grounds are the home of the Tuskegee Airmen Museum, the Great Lakes Indian Museum, and historic Civil War reenactments. Special events are held throughout the year.

Fort Wayne was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1958 and entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. The State of Michigan wants to upgrade the property into a multi-use facility while maintaining the fort's historical significance. Once the new International Transport Bridge is built in old Delray, the United States customs plaza will be located near the historic site. More information on restoration plans can be found in the Detroit News link below.

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Bruce Wayne--Millionaire Industrialist
While researching this post, I discovered that Batman's alter ego--Bruce Wayne--was named after Scottish patriot Robert Bruce and "Mad" Anthony Wayne. In DC Comics, Bruce Wayne is said to be General Wayne's direct descendant, and stately Wayne Manor is built on ground given to General Wayne for his Revolutionary War service.

Another little known fact is that in 1930, stunt man and young actor Marion Michael Morrison was originally given the stage name of Anthony Wayne by director Raoul Walsh. Fox Studios changed his name to John Wayne because Anthony sounded too Italian.


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For more information on preservation plans for Historic Fort Wayne:
The story of General Anthony Wayne's exhumation may be more noteworthy than his military achievements. For more details, check out this link: http://www.americanrevolution.org/wayne.php

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What Is Madness Anyway? Simply a Personality Disorder?


My research into the minds of mass murderers and serial killers informs me that if a person feels he or she can take the lives of innocent people without guilt or remorse, that individual is incurably a psychopath and a permanent danger to society.

Extreme behaviors the average person might simply call insane, the legal and mental health communities call personality disorders representing a wide range of aberrant behaviors, but despite the euphemism they all spell grief and tragedy for the victims and the people who love them.

Mental illness is rampant in America. We see it in our families, in society at large, and on the nightly news. No sector of society is immune from it. To better recognize and understand what personality disorders are and how the mental health community categorizes them, I've attached a link from the National Mental Health Foundation. This is a national crisis.

http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/personality-disorders