The True Story of Murder in a Small Town

First came the unsettling Ouija board prophesy that Robin Adams would die before she was 17 years old. When a minister summoned by the family arrived to rid their house of frightening phenomena blamed on the Ouija board, he was taunted and denounced by Aubrey Vincent. a neighbor, skilled artist and suspected Satanist, Vincent was born on Christmas Day and died by his own hand a few years after his confrontation with the pastor.

 Thus, the die was cast for one of the most bizarre murder cases in Michigan history. In 1976, when Robin vanished without a trace from Caro, a village  in Michigan’s Thumb area, police were left without a body, witnesses or anything remotely resembling a crime scene.

 Six years later, a rookie state police detective was assigned to the then-cold case and what followed reads like the opening chapters of a Stephen King novel. Assisted by a reluctant psychic whose observations and predictions proved amazingly accurate, the officer waged a battle of wits with the elusive suspect, Melvin Garza.

 Before the story ended, a medium had warned a key witness beset by a series of physical injuries that he was the victim of black magic practiced by the killer’s grandmother. Over time, others with ties to the case were struck by tragedy. Was this the fruit of a poisonous tree raining down on them because of their role in bringing a killer to justice?

 Veteran journalist Richard W. Carson spent years unraveling the shocking details of this nearly unsolved homicide. His book, Murder in the Thumb,  sold more than 3,600 copies mainly in southeastern Michigan and has been reissued in a second edition re-titled Fruit of the Poisonous Tree, The True Story of Murder in a Small Town.