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Michigan and the Great Lakes

The Michigan Murders

Edward Keyes
With a New Prologue by Mardi Link and a New Epilogue by Laura James
An in-depth look at a serial murder case that changed Southeastern Michigan


With a new prologue by Mardi Link and a new epilogue by Laura James

The true story of the savage coed killings—by the boy who could have lived next door!

Southeastern Michigan was rocked in the late 1960s by the terrifying serial murders of young women, whose bodies were dumped in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. In each case, few clues were left at the scene, and six separate police agencies were unable to end the horror. Then, almost by accident, a break came. The suspect: John Norman Collins, a young, quiet, all-American boy.

Collins was caught, went to trial, and, on August 19, 1970, was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. He is now in his sixties and is serving his sentence in Marquette, Michigan.

Collins was one of the first serial killers exposed in the region, and his crimes had many in the area locking their doors for the first time. Edward Keyes's harrowing The Michigan Murders covers every step of the case. It fell out of print for more than a decade before being revived for this special edition.

"True crime devotees won't want to miss this one!"
Publishers Weekly

"Very 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."
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, Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookshop

Mardi Link, author of the new prologue, is the author of two regionally best-selling true crime books based in northern Michigan, When Evil Came to Good Hart and Isadore's Secret.

Laura James, author of the new epilogue, is a trial lawyer, crime historian, and true crime author who blogs about the true crime genre at her Web site CLEWS (

Edward Keyes, now deceased, spent several years in the early 1970s investigating the Michigan murders. He authored the works Double Dare and Cocoanut Grove. He is also the co-author of the bestselling thriller The French Connection, which was adapted into an Academy Award–winning film of the same name. The Michigan Murders was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Fact Crime in 1977.

Praise / Awards

  • The Michigan Murders is one of those rare books that you re-read because the suspense remains even in the retelling. And in ways that I find hard to describe, my connections to that book—simply as a reader—feel life-altering."
    —Paula Gardner, Ann

  • "...[Keyes] book did not so much transcend the genre as exemplify it at its best."
    —Matthew Lawrence Daley, Michigan Historical Review

Look Inside

Copyright © 2010, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

News, Reviews, Interviews

Read: Mention on Vulture | 8/20/2018

Read: The Michigan Murders by Edward Keyes covered in The Detroit News | 9/27/2016

Listen: UMP Author Podcast Series: Edward J. Keyes, son of Edward Keyes | MP3 | 7/20/2010

Read: Review | 8/14/2010

Read: Q&A with Edward J. Keyes, son of Edward Keyes | PDF | 7/20/2010

Read: Mention on The Joy of Horses blog | 6/23/2010

Read: Keyes' daughter discusses his work | 11/14/10

Read: Review | 1/2/2011 

Watch: Discussion | Mardi Link | 8/8/11

Media Kit

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 360pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2010
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-03446-8

Add to Cart
  • $22.95 U.S.