Edgar Award Finalist: The terrifying true story of savage murders, a terrorized midwestern town, and the serial killer who could have lived next door
In 1967, during the time of peace, free love, and hitchhiking, nineteen-year-old Mary Terese Fleszar was last seen alive walking home to her apartment in Ypsilanti, Michigan. One month later, her naked body—stabbed over thirty times and missing both feet and a forearm—was discovered, partially buried, on an abandoned farm. A year later, the body of twenty-year-old Joan Schell was found, similarly violated. Southeastern Michigan was terrorized by something it had never experienced before: a serial killer. Over the next two years, five more bodies were uncovered around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan. All the victims were tortured and mutilated. All were female students.
After multiple failed investigations, a chance sighting finally led to a suspect. On the surface, John Norman Collins was an all-American boy—a fraternity member studying elementary education at Eastern Michigan University. But Collins wasn’t all that he seemed. His female friends described him as aggressive and short tempered. And in August 1970, Collins, the “Ypsilanti Ripper,” was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole.
Written by the coauthor of The French Connection, The Michigan Murders delivers a harrowing depiction of the savage murders that tormented a small midwestern town.
ery engrossing . . . in the finest you can’t put it down tradition.” —Hartford Courant
“This factual account of each murder, through the conviction of the killer, has all the excitement of a first-rate work of fiction, and is told straight, without the usual sociological jargon. Keyes collaborated with Robin Moore on The French Connection; The Michigan Murders is his first solo effort, and it is a good one.” —The Miami Herald
“The Michigan Murders is the ultimate True Crime classic, unfolding like great mystery fiction while still delivering the powerful charge of real life.” —Jamie Agnew, owner, Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop
“True crime devotees won’t want to miss this one!” —Publishers Weekly
Edward M. Keyes (1927–2002) was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He graduated from Fordham University, where he wrote for the newspaper and was a lefty pitcher for the baseball team. He continued writing for more than forty years, first as a newspaper reporter, columnist, and editor for small-town New York dailies, and later as a staff writer for such magazines as Look and Quick. His articles appeared in Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan, True, American Weekly, Inc. Magazine, and TV Guide, among others, and he cowrote a syndicated newspaper column with famed trial lawyer Melvin Belli.
In 1956 Keyes coauthored, with Al Schact (the Clown Prince of Baseball), My Own Particular Screwball, and in 1969, he collaborated with author Robin Moore on the bestselling thriller The French Connection, which was adapted into an Academy Award–winning film of the same name. He is the author of the Edgar Award–nominated and New York Times–bestselling true crime book The Michigan Murders; Double Dare, a suspense thriller set in New York City based on the true story of an undercover police informant; and Cocoanut Grove, a spellbinding, minute-by-minute account of the fire that destroyed Boston’s Cocoanut Grove nightclub in November 1942.
Keyes and his wife and partner, Eileen Walsh Keyes, raised seven children in New Rochelle, New York. He spent his final years retired in San Diego, California.