New book: Terror in Ypsilanti

Terror in Ypsilanti/Michigan Murders/Gregory A. FournierA new book, Terror in Ypsilanti comes out this month about a string of murders in the late 60s. These murders took place in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area of Southeastern Michigan.

Women between the ages of 13 and 21 were abducted, raped, beaten, and murdered. After they were stabbed or strangled, their bodies were sometimes mutilated before they were discarded.

Gregory A. Fournier explains why he wrote this book:

Seven young women went missing without any signs of struggle between the summers of 1967 and 1969 in Washtenaw County, Michigan. The last victim Karen Sue Beineman was last seen with all-American Eastern Michigan University student John Norman Collins–the boy next door. 

I lived one block down the street from John Norman Collins while the Washtenaw County murders were happening. It wasn’t until I saw Collins’s photograph on the front page of The Detroit News on August 1, 1969, that I was able to contextualize my experiences with him.

A full non-fiction account about these brutal sex crimes was never published, though a cozy mystery “The Michigan Murders” was published in 1976 that did more to obscure the identities of the seven victims and their murderer than shed any insight on these cases. With the benefit of almost fifty years of insight, hundreds of vintage press articles, the Freedom of Information Act, and many personal interviews with people connected to these events, I felt it was time to pay a debt to history and I was uniquely qualified to take on the job.

Collins was convicted of Beineman’s sex-slaying, but the other unsolved cases thought to be his work were relegated to cold case status. “Terror in Ypsilanti” tells the stories of the other victims, recreates the trial that took Collins off the streets, and recounts Collins’s years behind Michigan prison bars.”

The Michigan Murders/Gregory A. Fournier

Gregory A. Fournier

Gregory A. Fournier‘s bio:

After teaching high school English for thirty-seven years, I began my writing career. My first book “Zug Island: A Detroit Riot Novel” is about the culture clash separating the inner city from the suburbs culminating in the worst urban riot in American History.

I have appeared on Investigation Discovery as a guest expert on John Norman Collins for their true crime series “A Crime to Remember” in an episode entitled “A New Kind of Monster.” I also write a weekly blog called Fornology.

You can connect with me on Facebook and on Twitter.


Note: John Norman Collins is serving life in the Administrative Segregation of the Marquette Branch Prison. He has never admitted guilt. In 1977, he refused an offer of a public polygraph test to prove his claims.

I have not read Greg’s book. However, I know many of my readers will be interested in this. The book comes out July 2016.


  1. […] likely suspect. If I understand correctly, the man commonly referred to as the Michigan Killer is John Norman Collins. Problem here is that Collins targeted college women and was active between 1967-1969. Also, […]