San Francisco Chronicle
August 6, 1969 - front page
Michigan Suspect Linked
Directly to Salinas Case
By George Murphy
John Norman Collins, charged with the most recent of seven coed slayings in Michigan, was linked directly as a suspect yesterday in the murder of a Salinas teenager.
The handsome 22-year-old student who police said had "a magnetic effect on young girls," met and made a date with a close friend of Roxie Ann Phillips, 17, the day before Miss Phillips disappeared June 30, investigators learned.
Miss Phillips' nude body was found with a red belt around her neck near Carmel July 13. She had been strangled to death and, as with several of the Michigan victims, one earring was missing.
Monterey County Sheriff's Detective Darol Smith said "Roxie Ann was well aware of the existence of Collins."
Captain Smith said Collins "picked up" Nancy Albrecht, 17, a visitor from Fort Worth and a friend of Miss Phillips, on Pajaro street in Salinas June 29.
He drove her to the home of her sister and brother-in-law, where she was staying, and spent 30 minutes talking with Miss Albrecht and her sister, Frances Gautier, Smith disclosed.
He said Collins told them he was attending Eastern Michigan University and had come to Salinas in a house trailer he was "living with friends."
Captain Smith said Miss Albrect later told Miss Phillips about her meeting with Collins and described him and his car to her.
The next day, Miss Phillips disappeared. On that day, too, Collins was to have a date with Miss Albrect, but he never showed up and she never saw him again.
The house trailer was found Friday behind the Salinas home of the grandfather of Andrew Manuel, 24, known to have come with Collins to California from Ypsilanti, Mich.
Police and FBI agents are searching for Manuel, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound Filipino-American with a tattoo, possibly of an eagle, on his left forearm.
Michigan State Police Sergeant Ken Christensen sent to Salinas for the investigation, said he "felt certain" Manuel "could be helpful."
Christensen said he and his associate, Detective Tom Nasser, would probably go to Los Angeles later this week to investigate the June 23 murder of Virginia Lynn Smith, 13.
She was killed in much the same manner as the seven Michigan coeds and Miss Phillips.
Collins and Manuel left Ypsilanti, with their trailer, on June 21, and returned sometime in July, police said.
Miss Phillips, Miss Smith and a still-unidentified girl whose murdered body was found near Salinas, were killed between June 17 and July 16.
Christensen described Collins as "a very handsome, clean-cut attractive young man who seems to have a magnetic effect on young girls."
He was arrested in Michigan Friday and charged with the murder of Karen Sue Beineman, an Eastern Michigan University student.
The Ann Arbor News reported yesterday that a witness told police Collins was the driver of a care that picked up Joan Schell shortly before she became the second victim in the string of seven Michigan coed killings.
The victims were all found nude, sexually mutilated and had one of their earrings missing.
The FBI entered the case when a Federal fugitive warrant was issued for Manuel for failing to return the rented trailer.
Christensen and Detective Nasser examined the trailer, but would not disclose their findings if any.
Smith said the police believed Manuel was "without money and without any means of transportation."
In San Jose, Chief of Detective Barton Collins said "I'd like to talk with Andrew Manuel" about the murder of Gay Furlong, 14, and Kathy Snoozy, 15.
The bodies of the girls were found savagely stabbed to death Sunday night on a San Jose hillside.
"I'd like to talk to anyone who could tell me anything about how these two kids were killed," the San Jose chief said.
He would not speculate, however, on any link between the deaths and those of Miss Phillips and the unidentified Salinas girl.
"We don't have anything that positively connects them," Collins said.