When Evil Came to Good Hart

Mardi Link

A new look into an old story—the cold-case file of the murders of a wealthy Detroit-area family in their northern Michigan cabin in 1968


In this page-turning true-life whodunit, author Mardi Link details all the evidence to date. She crafts her book around police and court documents and historical and present-day statements and interviews, in addition to exploring the impact of the case on the community of Good Hart and the stigma that surrounds the popular summer getaway. Adding to both the sense of tragic history and the suspense, Link laces her tale with fascinating bits of local and Indian lore, while dozens of colorful characters enter and leave the story, spicing the narrative.

During the years of investigation of the murders, officials considered hundreds of tips and leads as well as dozens of sources, among them former secretaries who worked for murder victim Dick Robison; Robison's business associates; John Norman Collins, perpetrator of the "Co-Ed Murders" that took place in Washtenaw County between 1967 and 1969; and an inmate in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, who said he knew who killed the Robison family.

Despite the exhaustive investigative efforts of numerous individuals, decades later the case lies tantalizingly out of reach. It is still an unsolved cold case, yielding, in Link's words, forty years worth of "dead-end leads, anonymous tips, a few hard facts, and countless cockamamie theories."

Mardi Link is a journalist and the 2007 Betty Crumrine Scholar from the Antioch Writers' Workshop. She is the cofounder and former editor of ForeWord magazine and the former editor of Small Press magazine. She lives in Traverse City. 

Mardi Link's blog

Praise / Awards

  • "The murder mystery that has confounded and fascinated people for over forty years has been given a whole new life. When Evil Came to Good Hart is a well-researched and well-written piece of non-fiction that holds the reader in its spell, just as it has the many writers, reporters, and law officers who have puzzled over it. My highest praise for Mardi Link's book is to say that it reads like a good novel, a real page-turner."
    —Judith Guest

  • "A balanced and absorbing account of this mystery, allowing readers to form their own opinions and leaving them wanting more. . . . [and] a stellar example of how a mystery, when well presented, can be even more compelling than one that's been solved."

Look Inside

Copyright © 2008, Mardi Link. All rights reserved.

News, Reviews, Interviews

Listen: Already Gone Podcast: The Good Hart Murders | February 2017

Watch: Mardi Link discuss the Emmet County Cold Case on 9&10 News

Listen: UMP Author Podcast Series: Mardi Link | mp3 | July 2008

Read: Article on CLEWS | 2/3/2009

Read: Q&A with Mardi Link (PDF)

Read: Hour Detroit feature | June 2008

Media Kit

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 200pp.
  • 20 B&W photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2008
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11666-9

Add to Cart
  • $60.00 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2008
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-03315-7

Add to Cart
  • $22.95 U.S.

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  • True Crime, Good Hart, Michigan, Cold Case, Robison murder case, John Norman Collins


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