Hastings did show up for a polygraph in Georgia as he agreed to do. The interview was August 2009 and the polygraph took place in October 2009. Thank you to a reader who found the relevant pages in the FOIA documents.
The polygraphs were apparently in connection to his possible involvement in the killings of Mark (document says “Douglas,” Mark’s middle name), Jill and Kristine. Because he was polygraphed in 1992 in connection with Tim’s murder (only), they did not polygraph him in 2009 with regard to Tim again.
The questions asked and the results have been redacted. I can only conclude that John Hastings passed these polygraphs in 2009 or that the results were inconclusive. I believe Helen Dagner’s website listed these results as “inconclusive,” but there is no basis I can see in these particular files for that conclusion. If I find other notations to the contrary, I will post.
There is also a notation that John called the Georgia State trooper who polygraphed him saying he wanted to talk again about one of the questions. It seemed to relate to his reading of one of the books about these crimes.
So I don’t know if this series of polygraph questions established whether or not John Hastings knew Chris Busch. It would seem that because the police moved on, they were convinced the two, who lived a short distance from each other, were basically the same age, and were both working in the restaurant industry, did not. It is a good sign for him that he showed up for these polygraphs, as he had agreed to in the police interview. I can’t deny that.
There was an interesting tweet thread today by Xeni Jardin. Jardin is a media commentator, tech culture journalist, and founder/contributor to the website Boing Boing. She also played a major role in “the forefront of investigations into Jeffrey Epstein, the pedophile who famously funded dubious scientific research and died in prison under suspicious circumstances.” https://shows.acast.com/light-culture/episodes/xeni-jardin
Child sex crime money. Transnational organized crime. Yeah. Human trafficking. Did you know that Congress first passed child pornography legislation in 1977? The Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation Act of 1977 made it a crime to knowingly use a minor under 16 years of age in obscene depictions of sexually explicit conduct.
Up until that time, I’m guessing it was a free-for-all. We have a much bigger picture today of how big the problem of pedophelia is and of how the internet has allowed child pornography to flourish. And we have a much better sense of how big the demand was for this shit in and around Oakland County, Michigan. This shit is still happening on a large scale all over the world. History repeated over and over. Silence kept this machine running and kept perpetrators operating in society instead of rotting in jail.
An interesting thing about the tip sheet regarding John Hastings from back in 1977. The tip was from a woman who knew him, knew he had quit his restaurant job some two months prior but that he still always had plenty of money. Turns out Volume 2 of the the FOIA documents is also filled with documents about the investigation into Hastings (name unredacted) and specifically work done by the late Det/Sgt Ray Anger on this lead. Some of those documents are the same ones I posted yesterday, but are better copies and easier to read.
That line about “plenty of money,” seems like a throw-away. Unless you consider that trafficking kids was probably very lucrative in 1976 and 1977. Less dangerous than selling drugs. Drug laws were very harsh back then. Laws protecting kids? Yeah, well up until the summer of 1977, not so much.
“Vengeance is coming. Justice is coming. Sleep tight.”
I hope so.
So on August 10, 2009, Det./Sgt. Cory Williams and MSP Det./Sgt. Garry Gray went to Atlanta, Georgia to meet with John Hastings. He voluntarily provided a DNA sample. It was later determined that there was no match with the hair evidence in the OCCK case. It is helpful to read this part of the FOIA file because it shows law enforcement did follow up on John Hastings. The questions are actually quite pointed at times. Mostly, Hastings denies ever knowing or seeing Chris Busch and complains about the witch hunt against him. Witch hunt. Poor guy.
As part of the interview, Hastings agreed to another polygraph. The three of them discuss what will be involved in that polygraph. I have not found any documentation that this polygraph ever took place. I continue to search the records for this. If he agreed to and then never took the polygraph, there are open questions about him as the investigators make plain in their discussions with him. If I find any documentation that he in fact showed up for this polygraph, I will post on my blog. Here are the FOIA documents covering the 2009 investigation into Hastings.
This first batch of document here begins with information about Vince Gunnels and then starts with Hastings about 12 pages in:
This last section goes into an interview of one of Busch’s nephews, more on that later:
Where I live we are on lock down to try to flatten the curve in the COVID-19 pandemic. Sad to say, I hope you are, too. This is not a drill.
I thought I was above binging on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, but turns out I’m clearly not. These venues are replete with shows about heinous unsolved crimes, some true and some based on true stories. Recurring themes: police don’t take witnesses and family members seriously or are quick to discount people. When the case can’t be quickly or easily solved, police move on to the next crime. Mistakes happen and then get compounded. Cover ups are relatively routine, to cover misfeasance, malfeasance and/or criminals who are “high value” (also read: It can’t be him, he’s a ___!!) in society.
The same names keep cropping up in the OCCK case. That’s because virtually none of the suspects have been fully ruled out. Apparently, no one on the list of 14 or so top tier suspects is a DNA match to the evidence the MSP has. That’s what everyone wants–the needle in the haystack DNA match. This case, which occurred long before the advent of DNA testing, has in essence been elevated to a DNA-only case. Remember when you read the FOIA documents dating back to pre-DNA testing and solid evidence collection days, that this case should have been solved by careful investigation, not dismissing tips out of hand and not giving a pass to people who lived on the right side of the tracks. It’s almost as though because no one could believe this shit was happening in the suburbs, that no one–including police–could believe it was a suburban resident or residents who was/were behind these crimes.
When my Dad filed his FOIA case against the MSP his attorney asked for documents relating to Christopher Brian Busch and Greg Green. I had pushed for a much-wider request, but my position was rejected. And, at a cost of over $11,000 for 3,000-plus documents (not including attorney fees and court costs), it’s easy to see how quickly the tab would have gone up if we had asked for any more. So what we have is the tip of the iceberg. I will reiterate again that never, not once, did any media outlet in the Detroit area make the kind of FOIA request that could have supported real investigative journalism here. Their attorneys are well-versed in FOIA law and would have backed some of those Oakland County judges into their law libraries to actually consider case law and craft a resolution that would have involved some real sunshine. Too costly and not enough interest, I guess. It was left to a murdered kid’s father to make the FOIA request, pony up the dough, and then share the documents with the media. It is totally fucked.
The MSP went for the “open investigation” exception (here, perpetually open)in denying my Dad’s FOIA request. So then he had to file a lawsuit against them, as provided by statute. They eventually relented short of going to trial and sent the response letter telling him that for the low, low price of $11K he could have some documents. I really believe they thought this would make him go away. It didn’t. They provided redacted documents.
Although my Dad did not mention the name “John Hastings” in his FOIA request, or any request regarding potential co-conspirators of Busch and Green, the initial part of the response (the first couple hundred pages) concerned the investigation into Hastings. A reader who is very well versed in the case asked me a few months ago why I thought this was the case. Were they proving a point–that they did investigate Hastings? It is too hard to evaluate the motivation of anything the MSP has or has not done in this case. You can read these documents and see what you think. Again, they were the first stack of documents in the response.
These pages include notes and your guess is as good as mine as to who wrote some of them. All of you who followed Helen’s story will see how her interactions with John resulted in her going to police. I don’t know how anyone could read these pages, especially knowing what we know now, and think for even one minute that John was just a bum who was reeling-in an older woman in to tell her tales so she would buy him coffee and a sandwich here and there.
As of 1992, when there was very little about this case on the internet, you would have to believe that this man was so well-versed in the media coverage of the OCCK case from back in the day that some 15 years later, he was still spouting off chapter and verse about the case. While there are sick people who are like that, isn’t sickness a given part of the deal here? Hasting’s name was not fully redacted in the FOIA documents we received. No way I am going to redact them. As I have always maintained, this man was either involved or a sick fuck. He got re-investigated in 1992 and around 2008 because HE fucked up, not because the woman he told all these “tales” to went to police. Apparently some of the shit he said did not match up with the evidence and he passed a polygraph back in the day. We know how that goes, don’t we?
Why does his name keep cropping up? Read this and you tell me. I can’t answer your questions and the police won’t even try. They have tripled-down on this one. No way they are going to look back at this one.
There is a lot here. A lot. If you are not familiar with the Helen/John story, a lot of this won’t make sense. At a minimum, if this is all a “tall tale,” this is a very sick man. Still alive and in society. Raised in upscale Bloomfield Village, Michigan. Read it and weep.
Two years probation and $800 court costs. That cleaned it up for him.
This teenager and his younger brother turned down the dough. Do you think everyone Elsie and H. Lee approached with a possible similar deal did, too?
“It turns out that hair is a very, very good capsule for storing DNA. It’s insoluble, it doesn’t dissolve in water.”Posted: March 21, 2020
Dr. Ed Green, Associate Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at University of California-Santa Cruz who developed a forensic technique that extracted autosomal DNA from rootless hair. https://abcnews.go.com/US/jane-doe-child-case-uncovered-serial-killer-identified/story?id=69648434. Last night a show aired on ABC 20/20 called “The Chameleon” about serial killer Terry
Rasmussen and his connection to the Bear Brook murder cases. It was based in part on the work of a New Hampshire Public Radio podcast we’ve discussed before. https://www.nhpr.org/post/note-listeners-bear-brook-podcast-abc-2020-program-0#stream/0. It is a complex case, but the players involved in solving these crimes involved a dogged detective, web sleuths, a podcaster, a genetic genealogist and Dr. Green. If you missed it, five part segments of the show have been uploaded to Youtube and I presume the rest of it will follow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB8fRWxtAY8.
Yes, we’ve talked about this before. https://catherinebroad.blog/2020/03/07/ and https://catherinebroad.blog/2019/09/16/. If the MSP and FBI had submitted this hair back in the fall when it was first being discussed, they might have answers by now. Instead, with the coronavirus floating around, this may never get taken care of. Yes, in cases of Rasmussen’s victims and those of the Golden State killer, third party testing was involved. It worked for them! And the FBI isn’t exactly getting the job done here.
While all of the evidence in the OCCK case needs to be rerun using the most advanced DNA testing available, let’s focus on the hair evidence. The hair evidence that can now be tested to yield autosomal DNA evidence that can be used by a genetic genealogist to find the donor of said hairs.
There are, by the Oakland County prosecutor’s own admission, three hairs, all allegedly from the same source. One found on Mark Stebbins in February 1976, one found in the Pontiac Bonneville owned by Arch Sloan soon after, and one found on Tim King in March 1977 (although two hairs were found on Tim). https://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/07/17/breaking-news-update-in-oakland-county-child-killer-case/.
Leaving aside the fact that the state police never have gotten their story straight here–“The case will be considered solved if the results [of David Norberg’s DNA] match DNA evidence from a single strand of hair found in 1977 on the body of eleven-year-old Timothy King of Birmingham, Michigan, the last of the victims.” 2020-03-21_170939 (from Preserve, Protect and Defend, An Illustrated History of the Michigan State Police in the Twentieth Century, by Inspector Phillip D. Schertzing (2002)). The late Ray Anger, of Berkley PD fame and detective emeritus on the task force, had a funky view of the evidence they were working with. https://catherinebroad.blog/2018/08/08/great-great-great-grandparent/
And we know there was a hair found on Kristine’s coat which was a mtDNA match to Vince Gunnels. I believe that hair was extinguished during testing because it was a small segment of hair. Was that hair also tested in 1999 when Norberg’s body was exhumed? Or just that “lone” hair found on Tim King?
But let’s get back to those three hairs. Four if the two hairs found on Tim, one in his nasal cavity and one in his groin area do not have the same mtDNA sequence. WHY are they not being tested the way the hairs were tested in the Bear Brook/Rasumussen serial killer case? WHY?
Maybe you have already spoken with Dr. Green and Barbara Rae-Venter (also known for her work in helping to solve the Golden State Killer cases) and have used the past six months to advance the ball on retesting those hairs and all of the evidence in the OCCK case. If you haven’t, when can we expect an answer about how and when you will proceed? I bet the DOJ would be shocked by how you stored and store evidence in this case, even applying 1976 and 1977 standards. Maybe they could take a tour of your little evidence shed and take a gander at how you have “computerized” all of the tips.
By the way, it seems like a year ago when I posted on March 16, 43 years to the day my brother Tim was abducted. At this stage in his captivity (five days in), he had about 24 hours left to live, if that’s what you want to call the last 24 hours of his life–“living,” which included his captors feeding him chicken and corn according to the autopsy.