Detroit, mid-1930s: In a city abuzz over its unrivaled sports success, gun-loving baseball fan Dayton Dean became ensnared in the nefarious and deadly Black Legion. The secretive, Klan-like group was executing a wicked plan of terror, murdering enemies, flogging associates, and contemplating armed rebellion. The Legion boasted tens of thousands of members across the Midwest, among them politicians and prominent citizens—even, possibly, a beloved athlete.
Written by: Tom Stanton
Publisher: Lyons Press June 1, 2016
Late in 2004, Maggie Nelson was looking forward to the publication of her book Jane: A Murder, a narrative in verse about the life and death of her aunt, who had been murdered thirty-five years before. The case remained unsolved, but Jane was assumed to have been the victim of an infamous serial killer in Michigan in 1969.
Written by: Maggie Nelson
Publisher: Graywolf Press April 5, 2016
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.
Written by: Edward Keyes
Publisher: Open Road Media April 19, 2016