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  1. #1
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    MI - JOHN NORMAN COLLINS Co-Ed Murders 1967-69, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti

    John Norman Collins, of Michigan, is believed to have murdered seven young women and girls in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area of Michigan between 1967 and 1969. Collins disposed of his victims in places where they would be found fairly easily. Collins was called "The Co-ed Murderer" and his crimes are sometimes refered to as "The Michigan Murders" - after a book about the case.

    He was only tried and convicted of one of those murders; that of 18 year-old Karen Sue Beinnaman, the last of the series. He was sentenced to life in prison.

    A special task force was formed by the Michigan Governor. It consisted of investigators from the Michigan State Police, Washtenaw County Sheriff Office, Ann Arbor,and Ypsilanti Police departments, as well as campus security from the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.

    Besides the seven murders generally accepted by the task force, there were also other murders which showed similarities. Eventually three other men were convicted of three of those murders.

    California Connection

    Collins was visiting California with a friend, Andrew Manuel in June and July of 1969. It is believed that he murdered a 17-year-old girl named Roxie Ann Phillips on 30 June. She was from Milwaukie, Oregon and was visiting relatives in Salinas, CA before continuing on to Lompoc, CA, where she was to meet up with her father and stepmother.

    Collins and Manuel had driven from Michigan to California and were staying in a stolen camping trailer. Collins drove a shiny gray or silver Oldsmobile with black interior and Michigan plates. The car was later taken into evidence in Michigan. Although he had cleaned it very thoroughly, traces of type O blood were found in it when police checked it on 5 August 1969.

    It was known conclusively that Collins had met Roxie Phillips and had driven her to the home where she was staying in Salinas. He even went into the house with her and met another resident of the house. Although nobody saw him with Roxie on the day of her murder, later evidence tied him to the crime. Roxie was strangled to death with a piece of her clothing, and a piece of that same clothing was found in Collins' car. Roxie's body was found in a ravine near Carmel on 13 July 1969. Some of her personal items were found in various places along the route 68 roadside.

    Roxie Ann Phillips was five feet six inches tall, weighed 130 pounds, hazel eyes, fair skin, shoulder-length coppery blond hair. She was last seen wearing a short red pants dress with small white floral design, matching fabric belt, full sleeves with white cuffs, white collar, white sandals, and carrying a large straw tote bag. When her body was found, she was wearing only the white sandals, and had a portion of her cloth belt wrapped around her neck.

    Andrew Manuel had family connections in California and friends in Arizona. The two men parked their stolen camping trailer on the property of a relative of Manuel and left it behind when they left the Salinas area. They drove back to Michigan together, but it is not known what route they took.

    Collins and Manuel returned to Michigan from their California visit by 23 July 1969, the date of his last known Michigan murder. Manuel left Michigan almost immediately afterward, taking a bus first to California, and next to Phoenix, AZ where he was picked up on 6 Aug 1969.

    Manuel was called as a witness in Collins' trial, but he was never charged in any of the murders.

    Collins is currently incarcerated in Marquette Prison in Michigan on a Life Sentence for Murder. The current wherabouts of Andrew Manuel are not known.

    The below information comes from the Michigan Inmate Locator. Click on the link at the end to see photo and some sentencing information.

    ----------------------------
    Name: John Norman Collins
    Michigan DOC Number: 126833
    SID number 0638739H
    Race: White
    Gender: Male
    Hair: Brown
    Eyes: Blue
    Height: 6' 0"
    weight: 224 lbs.
    Date of birth: 6/17/1947 (58)
    Photo taken: 3/15/2005
    MDOC STATUS
    Current Status:
    Prisoner Earliest Release Date: LIFE
    Assigned Location: Marquette Branch Prison
    Maximum Discharge Date: LIFE
    Security Level: V

    Source Information:

    Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) - Offender Profile

    Link:

    http://www.state.mi.us/mdoc/asp/otis...cNumber=126833

  2. #2
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    There was a time when it was thought that these crimes might be related to the Boston Strangler.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by STANDREID View Post
    There was a time when it was thought that these crimes might be related to the Boston Strangler.
    Standreid,didnt the Psychic Peter Hurkos get involved for a short time with this case too?

  4. #4
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    I was just 16 years old when I read the book "The Michigan Murders" (as mentioned in Richards post above) It was my first week in a new job. I remember starting to read it at lunchtime, the description of one body found by two boys was so graphic I spent a good 30 mins throwing up in my waste paper bin. I never did admit it was the book and blamed it on a dodgy sandwich.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kline View Post
    Standreid,didnt the Psychic Peter Hurkos get involved for a short time with this case too?
    According to what I've read, yes he did.

    Collins is also one of the suspects in the massacre of the 6 members of the Robison Family.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by STANDREID View Post
    According to what I've read, yes he did.

    Collins is also one of the suspects in the massacre of the 6 members of the Robison Family.
    That Robison Family case is an interesting one too.

  7. #7
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    Collins is included in this section on Serial Killers because the evidence strongly indicates that he did, in fact, commit more than the one murder for which he was convicted. He has always claimed to be innocent.

    As I mentioned in my first post, Michigan law enforcement officials thought that he was responsible for at least seven murders of young women over the course of two years, and some believe that he was responsible for similar murders in other states as well.

    There was a special task force formed to investigate the Michigan Co-Ed Murders, and they carefully looked at all known murders to try to connect them to a series, or to eliminate them from that series, in an effort to solve the crimes. In so doing, they looked at a number of things, such as the age and appearance of the victims, type of wounds to the bodies, when and how they were abducted, where they were found, etc.

    Did Collins act alone in committing murders? Did he change his methods? Were copycat killers also active in Michigan during that time frame?

    It is certain that others were abducting and murdering people at the same time and in close vicinity, but were they trying to copy Collins (then an unknown killer) or perhaps trying to have their own crimes tied to the "series"?

    The book, "The Michigan Murders" is a good one, which pretty much sticks to actual evidence and information known about Collins and the murders. However, the author did change all of the names of the victims and the suspects - probably to avoid any potential lawsuits.

    In a future post, I will list the names of the actual victims, along with their fictional names, and will include some information about them. All too often, these threads focus on the dirtbags who committed terrible crimes, and the victims are only listed by name.

  8. #8
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    Here is a link to a website which has a lot of information about Collins and the Michigan Co-Ed murders:


    http://www.coldcaseexaminer.com/show...e-coed-murders

  9. #9
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    One of the episodes of the special series A Crime To Remember on Investigation Discovery dealt with these murders. I believe it originally aired on December 10, 2013. Worth watching if interested in these crimes. I feel this episode, and the whole six part series has been very well done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brado View Post
    One of the episodes of the special series A Crime To Remember on Investigation Discovery dealt with these murders. I believe it originally aired on December 10, 2013. Worth watching if interested in these crimes. I feel this episode, and the whole six part series has been very well done.
    I also found this series very interesting. I actually have had books on all 6 of these crimes, but except for the Woodward murder, had never actually seen anything done on TV for them.

    I'm not counting TV Movies - I saw one on the Career Girls Murder and Alice Crimmins.

    I hope they continue this series as the crimes are very unique where a lot of the other shows seem to have about 10 crimes that they just redo over and over.

    I also found the show Twisted has some crimes that you don't see often, I saw one this year of John Linley Frazier, who murdered the Ohta family and a secretary in 1970 - found out he had committed suicide in 2009. I still remember the picture of him with all the hair on one side of his head shaved, hair, mustache, eyebrows - next to Manson's crazy eyed photo's this one terrified me.


  11. #11
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    I agree with you on the show Twisted, I saw that episode as well. And yes, the look he had was crazy.

    I too hope ID makes more of the A Crime To Remember shows.

  12. #12
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    Just an anecdote:

    A friend of mine's mother was at a party in Ypsilanti and was going to walk home. A young man offered her a ride saying, "There are too many weirdos out there." She gladly accepted the ride and made it home safely. Later when he was arrested, she saw a picture and John Norman Collins was the guy who gave her a ride! Evidently, she wasn't his type or just had a lucky night.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brado View Post
    One of the episodes of the special series A Crime To Remember on Investigation Discovery dealt with these murders. I believe it originally aired on December 10, 2013. Worth watching if interested in these crimes. I feel this episode, and the whole six part series has been very well done.
    I believe this is what is on ID right now....A Crime to Remember titled A New Kind Of Monster dated 2013. It just started.

    Tune in if you are able!

  14. #14
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    JNC = a good looking all American guy, who was only hours away from graduation when arrested...

    Last edited by tarabull; 10-12-2015 at 12:24 PM. Reason: + about arrest

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Here is a link to a website which has a lot of information about Collins and the Michigan Co-Ed murders:

    http://www.coldcaseexaminer.com/show...e-coed-murders
    This link (^^^ thank you Richard) is no longer available (sorry I am late) & it's not for view at WBM

    Who is this Andrew Manuel, mentioned up thread --- Anyone???

    I am asking because on ID they showed the second (missing) girl (iirc, my darn phone rang) being picked up by 3 guys in a red car (she was waiting for the bus)...They show JNC as the guy in the backseat....??? who are the other two?

    hmmmmmmmmmmm.

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