Introducing: TODAY IN TRUE CRIME, a new Parcast Original!
I'm really excited to tell you about another incredible. New park cast original called today in true crime. It's a new daily podcast that takes you back to the big events in true crime that happened each day in history and right now. We're going to play today's episode for you to hear an in all new episode tomorrow follow today in true crime for free on spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts. I hope you enjoy it. Today is monday august nineteenth two thousand nineteen on this day in nineteen seventy. John norman collins was convicted of the murder of eighteen year old karen sue bynum an an outsider later would've assumed collins called handsome by the newspapers was karen's boyfriend that it was a crime of passion however despite by being tried for only one murder collins was guilty of many many more authorities believed he was notorious torius that collins was the epsilon ripper welcome to today and true crime apar- cast original every day. We tell a timely story from true crime history then analyze the historical impact of that day's events. I'm vanessa richardson today. Were diving into the conviction of john. Norman collins ends one of michigan's most infamous serial killers while it was a victory for the justice system for one sergeant on the case. The conviction came at a personal cost. Due to the graphic nature of today's crimes. Listener discretion is advised. We advise extreme caution for children under thirteen. Let's go back to washtenaw county michigan the morning of august nineteenth nineteen seventy around nine nine a._m. At the end of the worst year of sergeant david lakes life. He got a phone call. The jury had a verdict court would be in session at nine thirty a. M. david was no stranger to court but as he dressed and told told his wife sandra the time had come the thought of sitting in the wide wooden room repulsed him he wasn't sure which verdict was worse either he and his task force would be proven right but his nephew john would be put behind bars or john would be declared innocent and david had put his family through hell for nothing. When john first came under suspicion david had defended him mhm staunchly he was just a college kid a good catholic boy former captain of his high school football team. Maybe he'd had a rough start in life but his sister-in-law did her best. He was majoring in education for crying out loud but over the past year the inklings david tried to ignore nor had grown to full blown convictions. No more women who disappeared in the time john norman collins was held in custody as much as he hated to admit it it was more likely than not that his nephew had murdered a woman in david's basement and he'd used david status as sergeant to help cover up the murders of several more david called for sandra to get in the car. It was a hard day for him but even harder for his wife. Her sister would be at the courthouse crying over the sun. She believed lebed to be innocent. She'd taken out a second mortgage to defend him. There wasn't much to discuss on the ride to the courthouse. They both already ready testified against their nephew. But how couldn't they last summer. They'd gone on an innocent vacation to perfect summer weeks in madison wisconsin and lake michigan while john stayed at their house to watch the german shepherd before they left sandra gave david in their boys always haircuts in the basement all part of a normal happy family life but when they returned they found the basement floor repainted and their children's hair clippings missing from the trash days later the tiny hairs were found inside the body of a a murder victim karen sue bynum karen was the latest in a series of uncomfortably similar murders murders all young brunettes all found with clothing tied around their necks all attributed to the upset landy ripper though the earlier are killings had left authorities with no leads the circumstantial evidence in karen's nineteen sixty nine murder pointed directly at john norman norman collins and the desecration of her corpse matched the six prior victims officially he was only on trial for one crime but in the court of public opinion and the minds of the police collins was on trial for seven murders. David knew the months long trial was the most painful for karen sues family but that didn't make it any easier for the collinses and the lakes sandra and john had been close all his life and john had always called david his favorite uncle. John played with their elementary school kids all the time time had played today would determine if david sons would ever see their cousin john again at washtenaw county circuit court judge. John conlon called those present to order. It was just after nine thirty a. M. and the air was still fresh from the prior evening thunderstorm. David sat in the third row next to sandra who brought a rosary in the front row her sister. Mr loretta collins had brought a priest. John norman collins dressed like he was expecting news of prestigious internship. Instead of time in prison remained stone-faced at the defendant table. His hair was neat. Save a forelock that hung over his blue eyes evoking superman superman like his mother he maintained. He was the hero of this story. The jury entered at nine in thirty three a. M. as judge conlon asked for the verdict. David held his breath. It was career or family but but truthfully no one would win. Seven girls had died horribly mutilated. The worst crimes he'd seen in his career are nothing would ever be the same. The foreman spoke guilty a collective gasp aspe- rose it was a wash of emotions betrayal disappointment shame sympathy sadness horror all overwhelming whelming the proud twinge of we got him that usually made being an officer so satisfying loretta stared into the distance white faced east and immobile. David's niece gayle broke down in tears. John had no reaction whatsoever. Judge com lynn thank. The jury and the court was dismissed ears ringing. David watched loretta throw herself on john. She she wailed for her sons compromised future ignorant of the bynum and family still in the room whose daughter's future had been stolen as loretta cried and caressed her son john remained stoic. He looked to sandra mouthed something and she grabbed david's arm suddenly overcome with what she done by turning in her nephew when the marshals put john in handcuffs loretta gave david it and sandra a look that could burn down a city. What had they done to her little boy the right thing they'd found justice for at least seven women and saved the lives of countless more but that didn't make it hurt any less coming up. We'll talk more about how sergeant lake and the michigan state police task force caught the epsilon t- repor now back to the story a few weeks after his august nineteenth murder conviction john norman collins would be sentenced to life in solitary confinement with hard labour in reaction. He would speak more than when he did. The full year prior quote. I think they conscientiously tried to give me a fair trial. The jury did not take its task lightly lightly but i think things were blown out of proportion the circumstances around this case. I think it was a travesty of justice which took place in this court over for the past six or seven weeks. I hope someday that error will be corrected second. I never knew a girl by the name of karen sue bynum men. I never held a conversation with karen sue vitamin. I never took her to a wig shop. I never took her to my uncle's home. I did not take take the life of karen sue vitamin he would maintain his innocence for decades but but after collins sentencing there would be no more doubt a short time into his life sentence authorities would decide. It's too expensive to prosecute prosecute him for the other murders. Everyone would agree he's guilty and limited resources or best aimed at criminals who are still at large sergeant david lake would continue his distinguished career with the michigan state police promoting justice helping others and remaining an honorable honorable man between nineteen sixty seven and nineteen sixty-nine john norman collins killed and at least seven women a college student himself. He lured his victims from college. Campuses targeting white brunettes he seemed into reserve a specific hatred for women on their periods evidenced in his personal life and the profile of his victims collins tortured his victims beating them up stabbing them and degrading them with objects and chemicals before strangling them to death each victim was found around with an article of clothing tied around her neck and her bodily cavities plugged collins has a strikingly similar ammo to another infamous fhimah serial killer the unknown scotsman bible john who operated in glasgow at the same time both targeted menstruating young women sexually assaulted them and strangled them. The bodies were left in a way that displayed the victims menstruation and with an article of clothing thing tied around their necks. It's an oddly specific modus operandi and because bible john was never caught and john norman collins won't talk will never fully understand the motive behind it and while bible john is one of the most famous serial killers in scotland outland collins is the most famous in michigan and he seemed to relish the attention. His crimes were given at one crime scene. He left an earring stolen stolen from a previous victim at another five lilacs for each of his five victims so far he regaled co workers and friends with with the gory details claiming he'd gotten an inside scoop from his uncle sergeant david lake but while having an uncle on the task force sources investigating his murderers was a shield it was eventually his undoing by june nineteen sixty-nine nine collins was losing control killing more frequently when his aunt and uncle sandra and david lake asked him to watch their house for a few weeks seeks he couldn't pass up the opportunity to kill driving his motorcycle on july twenty third nineteen sixty nine. He picked up karen sue vitamin outside a wig shop in downtown ypsilanti. She had just finished her freshman year at eastern michigan university and accepted a ride ride home from the handsome stranger three days later karen's body was found on the side of a main road horrifically mutilated added in the same way as previous victims but unlike previous victims karen's body cavities were filled with hundreds of tiny the hairs when the lakes returned home they found black paint spots on the floor sergeant lake aac thinking like the police officer. He was looked under the fresh paint and found red spots. He called his nephew who denied ever ever using paint in the basement. This only furthered lake suspicion some of the red spots tested as varnish but a further search found blood type a the same as karen's while in the basement police found hair clippings left from the lake boys pre previous haitian haircuts hair clippings that matched those found on karen it was enough evidence for police to bring collins in for questioning turning and then arrest him john norman collins was only twenty two but his graphic killings had already earned the epsile slanty ripper a lifetime of infamy for more information on john norman collins check out the episodes of podcasts original show serial killers where my co host greg poulsen and i did a deep dive on his crimes and psychology. I'm vanessa richardson today. In true crime is a par cast original. You can find more episodes of today in true crime and all other podcast originals for free on spotify not only does spotify already have all of your favorite music but now spotify vise making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals like today true crime for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream today in true crime on spotify. Just open the app and type today in true crime in the search bar at podcast. We're grateful for you. Our listeners listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network work and if you enjoy today's episode the best way to help us is to leave a five star review wherever you're listening. It really does help. We'll be back with a brand. New episode owed tomorrow in true crime today. In true crime was created by max cutler is a production of cutler media and is part of the podcast network it is produced by maxon ron color sound designed by ron shapiro with production assistance by paul libeskind maggie admire and carly madden. This episode of today and true crime is written by maggie admire. I'm vanessa richardson. If you like what you heard you can hear ear new episode tomorrow and every day follow today in true crime for free on spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.