Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

John Norman Collins: The Co-Ed Killer

Additional Evidence III

Additional evidence found in the Leik home that went against him in the Beineman murder included fresh scuff marks in the kitchen, a bloodstain on a uniform hanging in the basement that matched the victim's type, and dust recently knocked off the pipes as if someone had been suspended there. Cord marks on the victim's wrists matched an electrical cord found in the Leik basement.

Collins in custody, going to arraignment
Collins in custody, going to arraignment

Collins had been talking to friends about the missing girl and when one woman told him that the wig shop owner could identify the man who had picked her up, Collins was shaken (as she reported to police later).  He asked repeatedly if that was true. Then she recalled him saying that the girls were stupid and careless, and had deserved it. In the same conversation, he had said something to the effect that the bodies had to be placed in such a way as to be discovered so that the person who did it got credit for killing them. Later, Davis claimed that Collins pressured him to provide him with an alibi about riding bikes together that day. He also sent him to get a new license plate for the bike he had ridden that day, claiming he had lost the plate. After Collins was questioned by police, David saw him remove a Bold box from his car that appeared to contain items of women's clothing. A Bold box was missing from the Leik house, and a neighbor said that she saw Collins drive away with it on his motorcycle. Collins was later picked out in a line-up by several girls who claimed he had tried to pick them up that day. Seven of them testified in court.

A neighbor claimed that she had heard screams from the Leik home on the night the girl had disappeared, but this was not used in court. It is in the police file.

If Collins had taken the stand, James says, the State was going to use a witness who claimed that he had beaten her into submission with his forearm and then had raped her. Later he had apologized, she claimed, saying that he couldn't help it.

Another girl was ready to testify that Collins had told her that he knew how to commit the perfect crime. He had said he no longer believed in the Ten Commandments, especially the fifth one, "Thou Shalt Not Kill." He also had written a paper in which he claimed that if a person was smart enough to get away with it, he could do anything he pleased. Society's rules were meaningless.

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From Catching Serial Killers: Learning from Past Serial Killer Investigations, by Earl James. Lansing, MI: International Forensic Services, 1991.

 

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