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Summary

Between the summers of 1967 through 1969, before the term "serial killer” was coined, a predatory killer stalked the campuses of Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan seeking prey until he made the arrogant mistake of killing his last victim in the basement of his uncle's home. All-American boy John Norman Collins was arrested, tried, and convicted of the strangulation murder of Karen Sue Beineman. The other murders attributed to Collins never went to trial, with one exception, and soon became cold cases.

With the benefit of 50 years of hindsight, hundreds of vintage newspaper articles, thousands of police reports, and countless interviews, Terror in Ypsilanti: John Norman Collins Unmasked tells the stories of the other victims, recreates the infamous trial that took Collins off the streets, and details Collins's time spent in prison. Terror in Ypsilanti compiles an array of physical and circumstantial evidence drawing an unmistakable portrait of the sadistic murderer who slaughtered these innocent young women.

©2016 Gregory A. Fournier (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Gregory A. Fournier's thoroughly researched and highly readable account is certain to stand as the definitive work on this all-American monster." (Harold Schechter, author of The Serial Killer Files)

What listeners say about Terror in Ypsilanti

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  • AuntiePretzel
  • 31-12-17

The Michigan Murders

I preferred ‘The Michigan Murders’ by Edward Keyes.
In hopes that John Collins would indeed be “unmasked” in this book, I listened and waited. Some information at the end of the book regarding his life in prison was interesting and made clear that this woman hating killer needs to be locked up, until he perishes. But if you read one book on the subject, make it the one by Mr. Keyes.

5 people found this helpful

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  • 6catz
  • 03-05-17

Disappointing for me

I was interested in this case particularly because I was in the area at the time and as a 15 year old idiot did hitch a ride from Ann Arbor to the summer school I was attending, despite the rumors of a killer on the loose. This account is full of facts, but is written in a style so pedestrian as to make the reader's mind float away from an amazingly dramatic subject. The title is particularly misleading - I learned nothing about Collins, whose motives and psyche remain a mystery, far from the "unmasking" promised. Sorry, wish I'd gotten as much from this as some others have.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Ahern
  • 06-04-22

Very well written, intriguing and researched

I am not typically a true crime reader, but I found myself often taking the long route home as i wanted to keep listening! Very well written, detail oriented and researched and fascinating content. Narrator does a great job as well. Planning to read more from the author.

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  • Dennis & Heather Hall
  • 19-06-20

I found myself fully engaged at every sentence!

Growing up in Ypsilanti, I had always been interested in this story. My Mother and Father each knew one of the girls. I never knew they story on this level until this book!! I was fully engaged, EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE! The way it’s written is not only telling but very entertaining as well!

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  • Alex Cahagan
  • 05-03-19

Excellent true crime story

Very detailed and thorough recitation of the serial murder of Eastern Michigan coeds in the late 1960s and the arrest, trial and conviction of John Collins for one of the murders. It was a great reminder of how police work has changed in the last 50 years with so many current police tools in their infancy or decades in the future. If you enjoy true crime, this is a worthwhile listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-01-18

Incorrect fact

When an author gets a well known fact completely wrong, like the location of a murder case that involved the Supreme Court, I begin to wonder what other facts may be incorrect. Sort of ruins the rest of the book not knowing what is accurate and what is inaccurate.

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  • uofmyuppy
  • 10-12-17

you won't be able to put down till your finished

I sat for the entire book straight through, glued to every word. a must read.

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  • kelly
  • 03-09-17

ok

the last 7/8 chapters were not necessary! it was a struggle to finish it after the outcome of the trial!