Continuing the Conversation: Kerns Hotel Fire – Box 23 Club

The Kerns Hotel in Lansing, Michigan had 215 guests on December 11, 1934, when it caught on fire.

It left 32 people dead and 44 more people were injured.

Fourteen of those were firemen, seven were Michigan legislators, and five remained unidentified.

It is the worst fire disaster in Lansing’s history.

During the blaze, volunteers worked with the firemen to aid them. They formed an official club and named it Box 23 Club on the third anniversary of the fire.

Box 23 Club limits their members to 23, each of them pledging to support the Lansing Fire Department.

Read the article below for more details.

Creature Thought Extinct Found in Nature

The silver-backed chevrotain, an odd looking creature, was thought to be extinct for the last 30 years.

After hearing reports that it was sighted, scientists decided to set up trail cameras.

The chevrotain is sometimes referred to as the mouse deer because it looks like a deer, is the size of a rabbit, and has tiny little fangs.

Click the link below to read the NPR article on the sightings.

Police Chief Killed By One of His Officers

In Oklahoma, Police Chief Lucky Miller was at his job for 12 years before he was killed.

Michael Nealey, one of his officers, is being charged with his murder.

The two men were in town for a conference, when yelling was heard from a hotel room.

The sounds of yelling and fighting could be heard through the wall. At one point someone claimed to hear Lucky say, “Stop it, Mike”.

When they were able to get into the room, Mike was sitting on Luky who had been beaten around the face.

Mike’s right hand was red and swollen.

Mike is currently in custody for the murder of Lucky.

Michigan DNR Officer Has Saved Five Lives

Jeff Ginn has worked as a fire fighter, state trooper, and Department of Natural Resources officer.

He is credited with finding a lost toddler in the woods after she’d been gone for over 24 hours.

Jeff kept a suicidal woman alive and conscious while he waited for paramedics to arrive.

He also used his CPR skills to keep a heart attack victim alive while waiting for an AED and paramedics.

Read the article below to find out what else this amazing man has done:

Lake Superior and Popular

Lake Superior is popular on Twitter.

Its funny. In 2018, Lake Superior tweeted “Without me, they would be called the Good Lakes.”

It smack-talked Mount St. Helen with the response to it’s coming out tweet with “… you’re only half of what you used to be. And not as pretty.”

It’s followers include scientists, journalists, and political analysts.

In fact, it has more followers than any other body of water, fresh or otherwise.

The real tweeter is a man who lives on Lake Superior and feels an affinity with the Great Lake but we try to hold up the urban legend that a fisherman dropped his phone into the lake while still logged on to Twitter, giving the lake a new social outlet.

Follow the links below to read a couple of his fun facts or laugh at some dad jokes. (You can also follow him on Twitter.)

Python Vs. Leopard = Real Life and Death

There is a link below to an article that shows a leopard and a python sizing up an impala for lunch in an embedded video.

Suddenly, the huge snake lunges for the leopard.

Before the python could successfully squeeze the big cat to death, it jumped in the air, swiping its spread claws.

The people who were able to record the event believed the cat was a goner.

They should have had more faith in the feline, because the wrestling match between the two ends with the cat standing over the amazingly large, yet prone body of the python.

See for yourself:

Show Notes: Nada Huranich’s Murder, Considered Victims of The Co-Ed Killer

This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories.  Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words.  Those happen on this show, a lot.

Click Here to listen to Episode 62: Nada Huranich’s Murder, Considered Victims of The Co-Ed Killer


  • Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
  • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.

Nada Huranich’s Murder

Nada’s son, Muhammad, who is 16 years old, was accused of murdering her on August 21, 2017. Nanda was found on the back porch of her home.

Background: Nada had divorced her husband in 2016. Her husband was said to have traditional Muslim beliefs and was physically abusive of her. He didn’t like how she embraced American ways and how it was also affecting their children. Nada’s son, Muhammad, was said to be a lot like his father. Muhammad did not like how she embraced American culture.

When police first arrived on scene, they believed her murder may have been accidental. They believe that she fell from a window on the third floor of their mansion. After investigating further, they believed Muhammad had been involved after the autopsy confirmed that she was dead before falling from the window. It is now believed that her son suffocated her and then pushed her out the window.

The trial for Muhammad was adjourned while his attorney took the issue of suppressing the video and statements his client made to the Michigan Court of Appeals because the judge in the case denied the request. Muhammad is currently still being held in the Oakland County Children’s Village.

Murder of Margaret Ann Phillips

First things first, I need to tell you that in 1969, they put accused felon’s home addresses in the newspaper. That’s seemed crazy to me.

Margaret Ann Phillips was 25 years old and working on her doctorate in sociology. She liked to work with people in a counseling type role. Margaret focused some of her time on a man that was being called the Co-Ed Killer, who had attacked several women and was not yet caught.

On Saturday, July 5, 1969 Margaret was found shot and unconscious in her apartment. Margaret had been shot three times, twice in the head and once in the hand with a.22 caliber pistol. She remained alive for almost a full day before succumbing to her wounds, never gaining consciousness.

I read two different reports of what happened when Margaret was in the hospital. One: In order to flush out the killer, police told reporters that she was in fair condition and providing them information, hoping to force the killer’s hand. Two: In order to flush out the killer, police told reporters that she uttered two words before dying, hoping to force the killer’s hand. (You decide the truth.)

Margaret’s death was initially thought to be linked to the Co-Ed Killer due to her research and the fact that other victims of the killer had been shot with a .22. Margaret’s dad told reporters that Margaret had said she had information against the killer that would “shock the nation”. Margaret was also an acquaintance with one of the victims of the serial killer, who had been killed the previous month.

However, a man named Ernest Bishop would be found guilty of the crime. Margaret was working with Ernest, rehabilitating him back into society as Ernest was an ex-convict. Ernest had served time in a Jackson, Michigan prison for rape. Ernest went to Margaret’s apartment where she served him coffee and she drank a lemonade. While Margaret was sitting on her bed, Ernest pulled out a gun and shot at Margaret three times. The bullet that went through Margaret’s hand was found in the wall of her bedroom. Ernest’s fingerprints were found on the coffee cup.

A family friend of Ernest’s, Clifford Shewcraft, told police that Ernest had confessed to seeing Margaret killed. Ernest said it was done by a man named Dave. Ernest asked Clifford for a ride and when they were driving down northbound US23, had him pull over. Ernest then threw a .22 caliber pistol into the Huron River below.

On Monday July 7, 1969, divers were combing the Huron River while Ernest R. Bishop was being charged with murder. Michigan State Police Divers did find the weapon in the water. I couldn’t find if the gun in the river had ballistics that matched the bullet in the wall or her skull.

Ernest was cleared of the murders of other victims of the Co-Ed Killer. He had been in prison at the time of their deaths. Ernest was found not guilty via reason of insanity and sent to Ionia State Mental Hospital either until he died, or he was cured.

John Norman Collins, who would later be convicted as the Co-Ed killer, and is the next subject of our podcast, had his serial murder case was put on hold as Judge Conlin first needed to oversee the trial of Ernest Bishop.

Murder of Gloria Murphy

Gloria Murphy was 19 years old when she was found murdered on December 9, 1969. Gloria had been stabbed to death in her bed, in her student housing apartment in University Towers. She had been stabbed 34 times. Gloria’s husband was a University of Michigan student, and Gloria was originally from Dearborn, Michigan.

Gloria was found by her husband, James, when he returned home from classes and studying, around 1:30 in the afternoon. Their 2-week-old newborn was unharmed at the foot of their bed. James was not originally suspected, police thinking it may have been another strike by the Co-Ed Killer. However, they then realized that there wasn’t forced entry, and nothing was taken from the home.

James submitted to a lie detector test at the State Police office then brought to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital due to emotional distress. While at the hospital, James confessed to his dad, within hearing of officers, that he killed his wife.

James was due to graduate from U of M the following week but was instead taken into custody. James was 22 years old at the time. The last Thursday in August 1970, James was found not guilty via reason of insanity. Like Ernest Bishop, he was sent to Ionia State Mental Hospital either until he died, or he was cured.

Murder of Jane Mixer

Jane Mixer was 23 years old, and a student at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, when she was murdered. She had been the valedictorian of her high school and was working on becoming a lawyer for social justice. In March of 1969, Jane had posted a note on a college ride-share bulletin board at University of Michigan ahead of spring break. She was looking for a ride to her hometown located in Muskegon, Michigan, which is across the state. Jane talked to her father on the phone, letting him know a student named David Johnson had answered her post.

Jane’s body was found March 21, 1969, just west of Ann Arbor, in a cemetery. A woman who lived near the cemetery saw her body and called the police. Jane had died after being garroted by a nylon stocking, one that did not belong to her, as well as being shot with a .22 twice in the head. Her jumper had been pulled around her waist to expose her genital area, as well as her nylons being pulled down. Her yellow raincoat was laid over her body, which was laid on top of a grave. Her own copy of the book “Catch 22” was carefully placed next to her body along with her shoes.

There was a student at U of M named David Johnson, but he had an alibi. He had been acting in a play that night.

Jane was murdered during John Norman Collins spree as Michigan’s Murderer, causing her death to be attributed to him. There were deviations from John’s kill pattern, however, such as Jane was not beaten or stabbed, and she was not sexually molested. John dumped the bodies of his victims, but Jane had her personal items neatly arranged as well as her body. In 2002, Michigan State Detective Sergeant Eric Schroeder, was looking for a case in which he could use DNA testing and noticed the deviation in the kill pattern for Jane.

Evidence that had been saved from Jane’s murder scene included the pantyhose, which had residue from three sweat drops. There was also a single drop of blood that had been on her hand. The testing from those items pointed to someone who was not John Norman Collins. A phone book in one of U of M’s dorms had the handwritten words “Mixer” and “Muskegon” and John as an EMU student.

Gary Leiterman was 62 years old in the fall of 2004, when the DNA match lead to him. Gary had grown up outside of Detroit and lived near Ann Arbor for a while. He had also worked as a traveling salesman in the area during the late 1960s, while he was in his 20s. Gary had been arrested in 2001 for forging prescriptions to pain medication. Police had found blank prescriptions in Gary’s car after he had stolen them from his job at a Kalamazoo hospital. As a felon he had been required to give a DNA sample under state law which had gone into effect three days before his conviction.

While police searched Gary’s home, they found two Polaroid pictures of a 16-year-old South Korean girl that that lived with the Gary and his wife as an exchange student. In the picture, the girl had been drugged unconscious. She was laying on Gary’s bed with her clothes pulled back to expose her genitals. It was said to mimic the same pose Jane Mixer had been left in. Gary pled guilty to the child pornography charges before going to trial for the murder charges.

The two handwritten words, “Mixer” and “Muskegon” were linked to Gary’s handwriting. Gary’s roommate in 1969 testified that Gary did own a .22 caliber gun at the time of Jane’s death. In 1987 Gary reported a .22-caliber pistol being stolen from his house. The roommate also claimed that Gary kept an archive of clippings from articles about the serial killer in the area, John Norman Collins. Gary also bragged to his roommate that he had access to drugs that could render a woman unconscious with one drop. The sweat on the nylons belonged to Gary Leiterman.

Here is where the problem lays, the blood on Jane’s hand was linked through DNA to John Ruelas. John is currently serving a life sentence for an unrelated murder. The issue with the DNA match is that John was four years old in 1969. Gary’s defense attorney, Gary Gabry, claims this is proof that the DNA samples were contaminated either by the police or in the lab, and cannot be trusted.

Gary Leiterman was still convicted of murder after a jury deliberated for five hours. They believed the truth was in the DNA on the nylons. On August 30, 2005, Gary was sentenced to life in prison. Jane’s 90-year-old father was alive to witness the conviction, sobbing in the courtroom.

There is a website that is in favor of Gary’s innocence. They mention he’s a retired nurse, a grandfather, and was once on his school board. What about the fact that he was a convicted thief, he was a felon, and he was a convicted child molester?

Check out our teespring account for Michigan and Other Mayhem. Get yourself some sweet merchandise!

Rate and subscribe to our podcast n iTunes, Google Play, Anchor, and YouTube.

Listen, Subscribe, and review us on Google Play by clicking here and on iTunes by clicking here

Join the conversation by visiting us on Twitter, and Facebook

Do you want to contact Michigan and other Mayhem? Do you have a story you want to share? Contact us by clicking here

You can find Michigan and other Mayhem on these other Platforms: YouTubeAnchorSpotifyBreakerOvercastPocket CastsRadioPublic, and Stitcher

Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.

Nada Huranich’s Murder, Considered Victims of The Co-Ed Killer: Episode 62

Today we’re talking about possible matricide with the murder of Nada Huranich, along with three women who were once considered victims of a serial killer with four names, John Norman Collins, Michigan’s Murderer, the Ypsilanti Ripper, and the Co-Ed Killer. Listen in and find out who really did it.

Listen, Subscribe, and review us on Google Play by clicking here and on iTunes by clicking here

Join the conversation by visiting us on Twitter and Facebook

Do you want to contact Michigan and other Mayhem? Do you have a story you want to share? Contact us by clicking here

You can find Michigan and other Mayhem on these other Platforms: YouTubeAnchorSpotifyBreakerOvercastPocket CastsRadioPublic, and Stitcher

Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.

Continuing the Conversation: Historic Hotel Fires

In the middle of November 2019, we did a podcast on historic hotel fires.

We talked about the life ending fires at the Kerns and Wenonah hotels in December 1934 and 1977, respectively.

During the podcast, I questioned whether the Grand River was frozen over and the video below shows ice chunks and flowing water during the Kerns fire.

I read articles to find information on the terrible fires. The old time video below brings a whole new prospective.

Continuing the Conversation: The Vandling Murder of Mae Barrett

On our podcast in February 2019, we talked about the murder of Mae Barrett, who was 9 years old, in 1945. 

She had been murdered by Myron Semunchick, who was around 13-14 years old at the time.

The crime, and the lax way Myron was originally treated, shocked the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In the sensationalism of the murder and the twists that occurred after his conviction, this story tries to remind everyone of the girl who died, not the boy who killed her.

Tammy Mal wrote a book on the murder that is an excellent read. It is called “Little Girl Lost: The True Story of the Vandling Murder.…/20130508/…/130509850

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