The 1931 Ypsilanti Torch Murders

One of my favorite ways to unwind is reading old newspapers. Yes, I know it is odd, but I’ve always loved history and newspapers. Pouring myself an ice-cold glass of something yummy and pulling up is enormous fun for me! So, I’ve been thinking about all the unbelievable stories I read in newspapers. I should share the weirdness with others, right? And I enjoy telling stories, so I’ve decided to share some of those true stories on my YouTube channel. The first tale is below, but before you watch it, here’s a little background.

I lived in Ypsilanti, Michigan for nine years before buying a one-way train ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah. The graduate school I attended was in Ypsilanti, and I kind of fell in love with the little college town. I rarely drove anywhere, and I was always strolling around town in the dark of night. The place was a little spooky at times because where I lived was surrounded by thickets of trees and farms. There weren’t many street lights, but I’d grown up in one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, and bit of hubris caused me to underestimate the college town. Later on, I would learn that I was living just a few yards from the place where the town’s most notorious murder had happened. Later on, I’d discover that a few other horrific murders had taken place about a quarter of a mile in the other direction. A few years after I moved away from Ypsilanti, another murder took place in the apartment complex next to the one I used to live in. This is also an area that reportedly has had a few sightings of Sasquatch… And yes, a friend and I did once go “squatching” when I lived in Ypsilanti.

It was in that apartment, tucked along the side of Leforge Road that I started to write mysteries. Initially, I wrote stories about a private investigator named Chelsea. In time, Chelsea morphed into Sylvia Wilcox and Who She Was came into focus. At first glance, none of that might seem connected, but whenever I start a new story about Sylvia, I close my eyes and headed back to that apartment where it all started.

Here’s the video: