Convicted killer: Who is Arthur Ream? The search for more possible victims

Ream has a history of playing mind games, police say

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Who is Arthur Ream?

He is in prison for the murder of 13-year-old Cindy Zarzycki, who was killed in 1986. Ream led investigators to her burial site decades later. Police said Ream could be responsible for four to six murders. 

Police sources told Local 4 that Ream has a history of playing mind games. Even when he was asked, he admitted he did play mind games and enjoyed watching police search for clues.

Cindy Zarzycki

Detectives who have interviewed Ream have called him a manipulator.

"I worked for the Eastpointe Police Department for almost 25 years and during almost that entire period, this case was active," former Deputy Chief John Calabrese said.

Calabrese investigated the Zarzycki case for years and Local 4 spoke with him last year.

"I've always thought that Mr. Ream was responsible for additional kidnappings and murders and felt that area could be a place where other bodies were buried," Calabrese said, referring to an area in Macomb Township.

Multiple police agencies were part of a search Monday. Officers were supervising a dig for possible cold case homicide victims in Macomb Township.

Calabrese spent countless hours overseeing interviews and interrogation of Ream. Detectives also tracked down a woman who said she was attacked by Ream when she was a teenager.

"When he was trying to rape me and he was telling me things like, 'I've always wanted you since you were a baby,'" the woman said.

She told her mother of the attack. They did not file a police report and moved out of the area. 

"I think that if he has already killed one young girl, then I wouldn't put it past him. If you're going to kill one person, you could have killed many more," she said.

Arthur Ream circa 1970s.

In prison Ream wrote a paper on the disappearance of Zarzycki. In that paper he wrote about his anger issues, saying, "Anger can lead me to re-offending because I focus my anger toward one person, and if that person is a young and vulnerable female I could re-offend."

The search for other victims isn't over. Ream spent a lot of time up north in Gladwin and Osceola County. There has been speculation there could be searches in those areas, too.

About the Authors:

Karen Drew

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Kayla Clarke

Kayla is a web producer with an English degree from Michigan State University. Before joining the ClickOnDetroit team in 2018, she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.