On July 9th, 1967, Mary Terese Fleszar of Willis, Michigan went for a walk near the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She would never be seen again.

Related: Michigan's Most Sadistic Serial Killer: 'I take pleasure in pain - Theirs'

Fleszar would be the first of 7 victims claimed in a series of killings now called the "Michigan Murders". The man responsible for 2 years of unrest in Ypsilanti is John Norman Collins.

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Michigan State Police / Findagrave.com
Michigan State Police / Findagrave.com

Though referred to as Michigan's Ted Bundy, Collins's killing spree predated Bundy's by nearly 7 years. Collins began his murderous ways in 1967 whereas Bundy started in 1974.

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Between July 1967 and July 1969, the bodies of 7 Michigan women would be found in varying states of abuse, with ages ranging from 13 to 23. Here are the names of his victims and the dates their remains were recovered according to the Detroit Free Press:

  1. Mary Terese Fleszar, 19, Willis, Michigan
    • Body found on August 7, 1967
  2. Joan Elspeth Schell, 20, Plymouth, Michigan
    • Body found on July 5, 1968
  3. Jane Louise Mixer, 23, Muskegon, Michigan
    • Body found on March 21, 1969
  4. Maralynn Skelton, 16, Romulus, Michigan
    • Body found on March 25, 1969
  5. Dawn Louise Basom, 13, Ypsilanti, Michigan
    • Body found on April 16, 1969
  6. Alice Elizabeth Kalom, 21, Portage, Michigan
    • Body found on June 9, 1969
  7. Karen Sue Beineman, 18, Grand Rapids, Michigan
    1. Body found on July 26, 1969
Michigan State Police / Canva
Michigan State Police / Canva

Collins would use his charming demeanor and good looks to lure women into compromising situations. For instance, he would bait women by asking if they'd like to go on a motorcycle ride, which would often be the last time they were ever seen.

Related: Pure Evil Lurking in Michigan: Sex Traffickers Hiding in Plain Site

His victims were brutally sexually abused in a truly sickening fashion and Collins would often return to the sights he had buried or abused them. His second victim's body, Schell, had been stabbed and had her feet cut off and her clothes piled near her body.

Michigan State Police
Michigan State Police

His youngest victim, Basom, was strangled to death and her body slashed. It's no wonder the Ypsilanti Community was terrified of Collins and his deeds.

Michigan Law Enforcement Brings John Norman Collins to Justice

Collins was arrested 5 days after his last victim's body was discovered. Taken into custody on July 31, 1969, Collins had been a suspect in each of the killings but it wasn't until a witness who had seen her ride away with Collins on a motorcycle that police were able to arrest him.

Michigan State Police / Washtenaw Sheriff's Department
Michigan State Police / Washtenaw Sheriff's Department

He would eventually be charged with only 1 of the murders he is credited for committing, but he would receive life in prison after being found guilty of the murder of Karen Sue Beineman. Michigan State Police continue to investigate the other 6 murders in hopes of giving the families the closure they need.


Collins still maintains he is innocent to this day and is still alive today, serving a Life Sentence, and is housed at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan.

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Dangerous Documentaries: Check Out These Binge-Worthy Shows That Focus on Michigan Murderers

Looking for something to binge? We've assembled a list of 15 documentaries that focus on some of Michigan's worst human beings - Murderers.

Even Michigan's beautiful north is safe from crime, as two of the cases spotlight cases from the Upper Peninsula.

Three women, including one from Flint make the list, along with two former police officers.

Some of the videos below are also available on Peacock and Hulu.

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