Did you know that six works of fiction based on these abductions and murders have been published since 1980? One weak nonfiction book was published in 1984. More on that later.
The first of these books was Angel in the Snow, (Pocket Books, January 1980) by Patricia Welles. Welles wrote Bob, Carol, Ted & Alice in 1969, and the themes were infidelity and wife-swapping. The book was the basis of screenplay for a popular movie with the same name. In Angel, victim number five was a little girl who escaped. The abductors/killers were an older businessman and his younger male partner. Welles gives thanks in the opening pages to “the Birmingham Police Department, Birmingham, Michigan, for the help they gave me in the writing of this novel—both in the opinions and the fantasy offered.” Umm—right, ok.
The second was The Oakland County Child Killer, by “Michael L. Parrott” (Harlo Press, March 1980). A “work of fiction based on a factual series of child murders that took place during the winter of 1977 in the quiet, northern suburbs of Detroit, “ written from the perspective of psychiatrist “Dr. Elliot Denton.” The book is dedicated to Lisa, “who taught me to see.”
Parrott is clearly a pen name, based on my research. Harlo Press is long out-of-business. I believe the book was written by the late Dr. Bruce L. Danto, a psychiatrist who insinuated himself into the OCCK investigation, spent a lot of time and energy on the case, and for all I know was Chris Busch’s psychiatrist. Danto wrote other nonfiction books and contributed to many other published works.
We know from police records that Chris Busch was living at his parents’ home in Bloomfield Village, MI, to be close to his probation officer and psychiatrist. Danto’s daughter, Lisa, who went to the same high school my brothers and I did, sustained a serious spinal cord injury in 1978 or 1979 and I believe she fully recovered.
This book, long out-of-print, is kind of a mindblower. Aside from paralleling the experience of Dr. Danto, down to taped phone messages from a man allegedly connected to the murders, it ends with freaky parallels not yet apparent in 1980. First of all, cops get a pedophile loser they think is the OCCK to essentially confess to involvement in the murders after getting him wasted in his car while they are questioning him. After the suspect passes out, they then exit his car, connect a rubber hose to the exhaust pipe of his car and asphyxiate him. They remove the hose and drive away in their patrol car.
One of the cops asks if they are just going to leave the guy there.
“In a day or two, we’ll send a scout car out in the area and they’ll stumble across him,’ [responds the lieutenant]. “’Aren’t you going to announce that the child killer . . . .’
‘Hell no Shultz,’ said Bowers. ‘Do you realize what we’ve just done? The last thing we need is every newspaper in town digging around into what happened. This way it’s nice and clean. Just another suicide that nobody gives a shit about. There won’t be any more killings and the public will just forget about it. Like always.’
‘What about the Task Force?’
‘We go on just as we have been for a month or two. Then one day when everybody starts to forget, and believe me, it won’t take long, we announce that the Task Force is costing taxpayers too much money. No more kids will be missing. Nobody will care. And that’s the end of it.’”
Turns out, in this story, that the guy the cops offed is not the real killer, just someone who seemed like the real deal. The real killer is a Catholic priest, who kills his first three victims—a boy and two girls, and then lets his final victim—Joey—leave unharmed. Joey tells everyone he just ran away for a few days. While Joey is missing, the priest’s photograph collection is being showcased at a local art gallery. At some point the priest leaves an anonymous message on the shrink’s phone essentially blaming his parents for how he turned out. The priest commits suicide by jumping off the Ambassador Bridge and the shrink, of course, has it all figured out. He says nothing, believing it is in Joey’s best interest to keep it all quiet.
Pretty interesting work of fiction, Mr. Parrott, “a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit. He currently earns a living as a writer, photographer and film producer. The Oakland County Child Killer is his first novel.”
As I scramble to have some last gasp of a statement of how fucked this entire investigation is and has been, let me just say that we have almost done everything we can, and let me apologize in advance for the language I will use. I feel it is justified under the circumstances. If you can’t deal with that and will hold against me, please stop reading now. Just know we aren’t done and won’t give up exposing what we learn contributed to making this investigation into the abductions, captivity, torture, rape, murder and dumping of four kids’ bodies in and around Oakland County, Michigan, fail and fuck up an entire generation of kids. Why? Because no one in Oakland County EVER tried to explain what the fuck happened in the biggest manhunt in Michigan history and how four little kids from four suburban towns got picked up in Oakland County and subjected to the nightmare none of you wants to even contemplate. “Sorry, everyone. The killers were just too smart. And these goddamn families who are asking questions after 36 years are just a pain in the ass. Get lost. Trust us. This won’t happen again.” Seriously?!
These killers were dumb bastard opportunist pedophiles who got away with murder in Ferndale and then kept pushing the envelope, taking advantage of suburban police departments. Mark Stebbin’s abduction was a crime of opportunity–as they all were, but Mark’s abduction was the first. In Ferndale. And these fuckers got away with it. And later kept going (including body dump sites): Royal Oak, Troy, Berkley, Franklin Village, Birmingham–who the fuck cares?! An autopsy by the Oakland County Medical Examiner–even better!! It’s not until my brother’s body gets dumped in Livonia, MI, a few feet into Wayne County, that the party is over.
As my family now scrambles to document this bullshit–via video, this stupid blog, trying to help authors who are writing about this crime, my poor Dad comments–we have to keep going because “the legal system is failing Tim.” Here’s why I can’t let it ruin my day-to-day life: the legal system ALREADY FAILED MARK STEBBINS, JILL ROBINSON, KRISTINE MICHELICH AND TIMOTHY KING. Congratulations, motherfuckers: you already crushed the very people you were supposed to speak for. I long ago stopped asking how people in law enforcement in Oakland County look themselves in the mirror. Same goes for you at the MSP, even you new people assigned to this piece of shit file that is going nowhere. You already screwed over those four little kids. And whoever else these fucks killed. Live with that. Until I got this shit dropped in my lap in 2006 my feeling was that the best I could do to honor my brother’s memory was to live life to the best of my ability every single day. No way was I giving these animals another piece of me. I HATE that the cops took a piece away from me from 2006 to now. But you get no more. My goal now is just to document how fucked up your investigation was and is. And to expose any person who kept the animals who committed these crimes under the radar. While they may be dead, you are not. I have done almost everything I can in this case and then some–especially for a victim’s family member. You have had an almost 40-year Get Out of Jail Free Card. Because this isn’t a game, your card will in fact expire. Now or later. Take your pick.
Woody Johnson. Seriously?
From the FBI FOIA response re: documents relating to witness Doug Wilson’s statements in the OCCK investigation.Posted: May 24, 2013
Page one of five. Appeared in Reader’s Digest in March 1977. The fine print is hard to read, but this was an article first appearing in Good Housekeeping in 1972 or 1973. Does this mean anything to anybody? The only haunting vision I’m getting is of the FBI working on this case back in the day.
The Freedom of Information Act has an interesting history. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Information_Act_(United_States), and http://michigan.gov/documents/ag/FOIA_Pamphlet_380084_7.pdf
A very diligent investigator filed a FOIA with the FBI asking for all files concerning the “Doug Wilson” information. Many posts back, I wrote about a witness to the minutes leading up to my brother’s abduction at Hunter-Maple Pharmacy; a witness NO ONE had ever heard about. Yeah, we eventually heard about two women who came forward and saw a man talking to my brother in that parking lot that night, and in a car parked by nearby Adams Elementary School, where my brother and his friends had been playing basketball earlier that afternoon. Here’s the deal with Mr. Wilson. He was a car designer. He knew his shit when it came to cars. He called police in the weeks after my brother’s abduction to tell them what he saw because he knew that little kid with the orange skateboard was my brother.
The FBI spent a lot of time with Doug Wilson. He agreed to be hypnotized. His info was specific and, I have to believe, more accurate than the other two eye witness’ statements about the cars. He was a car designer for god’s sake. This was suburban Detroit. What more do you want? He gave a partial license plate number sequence. Go figure, it didn’t mean shit and no one ever cross-referenced his quite specific information with any other previous tips. You aholes.
But by now the big, bad FBI and the big, bad MSP were involved, and any mistakes made by the previous suburban cop shops were subsumed by the ego, arrogance, and group-think of bigger and supposedly badder agencies. You are all so pathetic. Nobody ever looked at the very beginning, where all this shit started. It emboldened the killers, because at some point they realized they would never be caught. Welcome to suburban Detroit. Seriously.
So, the FBI responds to this diligent FOIA-filing investigator, who shows me the response because it is so lame. These aholes indicate they reviewed 130 pages regarding the “Doug Wilson” information and that they are releasing 12 pages. Those 12 pages are newspaper and magazine articles. These dumb bastards don’t even realize that before they dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” on their taxpayer-funded jerk-off response, the Oakland County prosecutor’s office has already responded to my Dad’s FOIA request for all information they provided to local media regarding the “Doug Wilson” information, and we have already read some of the shit they think is so secret because “it may interfere” with the prosecution of someone they have no intention of going after. At least 118 pages were completely “deleted” from their FOIA response.
The pages released to this investigator, who is all over this thing and will not be trampled, are copies of newspaper articles every one of us close to this case has seen, with one exception. These douches also include a copy of a Reader’s Digest condensed version of an article from Good Housekeeping from the early-1970’s. Why this article is in the file is anyone’s guess. I am posting the article next. It is five pages long. Why it is in the FBI file or how it fits into their “investigation” is anyone’s guess. But it stands out like a sore thumb and, god knows, the FBI will never explain why this shit is in their OCCK/Doug Wilson information file.
A reader asked me what I thought of the recent brave escape of Amanda Berry and her child from the home of sexual deviant and subhuman animal Ariel Castro, who held three women he had abducted years earlier in his house of horrors in Cleveland. For me, it is the ultimate triumph of good over evil. In spite of what this piece of shit did to these women FOR YEARS, they lived through it, right under the noses of police who were supposedly looking for them, and Amanda Berry escaped, got help and this weasel was arrested.
I think the bigger question was, what does this kind of case (which is sadly not unprecedented–consider Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck, and others) trigger in someone like me? Aside from the obvious–gratitude that these women are still alive, it triggers all kinds of responses. Anyone who suffers from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, whatever the reason/source, understands. But that said, my response is probably very similar to yours.
Thankfully, the press seems to be treating these women and their families with respect and dignity. What has been revealed about their treatment (which, I can assure you, is completely minimized), makes me think that if it were me, I would have wished every day if I was in this man’s house of horrors, that I was dead. So I am filled with awe that they chose to live.
When I saw his photos online, I wanted to puke. Wielding that power over girls/young women, who he held captive until they turned to women; restrained because he was such a pussy he could only have a woman in his life if he held them captive. He will only be charged with the death penalty if the prosecutor decides to make that charge based on his murder of the fetuses the women he raped were carrying. I don’t believe in the death penalty for reasons that I will gladly debate; however, if the voters of a state believe the death penalty is appropriate for murderers under “special circumstances,” I believe it is appropriate for aggravated sex crimes. Sex crimes sentence the victims to a living death. The perpetrators deserve nothing less.
I’m sorry, but you asked–I feel the moral, legal and ethical issues are addressed fully if a defendant receives a fair trial (after a fair police investigation–good luck with that one) in a sex crime case or a murder case if, after conviction, the defendant is placed in the general population (no special treatment, big boy), for the rest of his life. They are nothing special. If defendants guilty of drug crimes get tossed in the general population, these pussies should get the same treatment. One strike on sex crimes, just like it is for drug crimes or murder, regardless of who you or your daddy is. A drug addict or murderer has a better chance of turning his life around than a sex predator. Your fellow inmates get it better than we do.
Another feeling–oh come on, more “he was such a nice guy, great neighbor, blah, blah, blah”??!! What do you think now that you know what was going on in that house, neighbors?! Hey, let’s have a beer on the porch with old Ariel. Such a friendly guy!
Here’s another thing this horrifying and appalling case triggers for me–the “runaway response.” Cops always want it to be a runaway situation. Sure, just wait another 36 to 48 to 72-hours? I can’t tell you how many people told me in the first 72-hours that Tim “probably just ran away.” That is what people tell themselves so they don’t have to think of the alternative. Even if the person is found to have runaway or ditched out on obligations, isn’t it better to assume the worst and then hope for the best?! It’s a runaway situation–let’s focus on traffic issues for another 36 hours and hope this issue goes away.
This stuff rattles me big time. It makes me sad, it makes me mad, it makes me want to put duct tape over Ariel Castro’s eyes and pull it off, repeatedly, for the next nine years. But that’s not what’s going to happen. He will get a public defender, a fair trial, and life in prison–probably in protective custody. Because that’s the way our system rolls. The parents of Ariel Castro will fare better than the parents of Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry. That’s just the way it works.
I was easily able to respond to the person who was in kid in 1977 and explain that the memory of police stating early and often that maybe the serial killer may be in a mental hospital or dead was accurate. My brother and I had already discussed this at length in July, 2009, including the following print articles.
The Daily Tribune, March 22, 1978: “[Krease, no. 2 on the MSP task force, who years down the road murdered his girlfriend and then offed himself] also says some persons believe the killer may be in a mental hospital committed there by wealthy family members. Perhaps someone knows about it, but feels that because he is being treated there’s no reason to come forward.”
Here’s another. Article in the Birmingham Eccentric, June 15, 1978, discusses theories on why the killer hasn’t struck again: “The killer is in a mental institution: The theory is that the killer’s family had him committed and never notified authorities because they believed this would prevent him from killing again.”
And again–Detroit News, December 11, 1978 (two weeks of so after Busch winds up dead in his bed, wrapped snug as a bug, at his parents’ house with an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound right between the eyes, the shot gun right next to him and not collected by the Bloomfield Township Police Department for at least a week after the death). This article discusses how the task force will be reactivated if necessary and how this type of killer could have stopped killing. The MSP task force commander, Robert Robertson, opined: “If I had to pin it down, I would guess that he’s in an institution or that he’s dead.” Robertson continued “but I wouldn’t bet 10 cents on it and I can’t support it. Anything’s a possibility.” The article stated that “what disturbs the 23-year State Police member most is the suspicion that his investigators never came close to the killer and the conviction that someone could help identify the man. ‘Either someone has absolute direct knowledge or at least suspicions that a friend or relative is the killer, and has not come forward with it,’ Robertson said: ‘If the right person would call us, hopefully he’d be caught before the day is out.'”
Related is a December 1977 article in People Magazine–“Others believe the man may be in a mental institution. As one police detective points out, Timmy King’s body was dumped on Gill Road just a few miles from Northville State Hospital. The killer had to travel down a badly torn-up section of Eight Mile Road to reach the Gill dump site–a route someone unfamiliar with the site would tend to avoid because of the construction. The detective speculates that the killer knew the area well and might even be an outpatient at the hospital.” Near the end of the article: “The score is Killer–4, Police–0. If it ends here, in all likelihood the Oakland County child killer will never be caught. ‘Probably not,’ even Lt. Robertson admits.”
And, finally, the March, 16, 1980, article from The Detroit News I quoted from in a prior post.
The task force still operates, but with only one Michigan State Police detective assigned full time to check out new tips coming in at the rate of 10 per week. State Police Lt. Joe Koenig, who took over Jan. 1 as task force coordinator, is optimistic the killer can still be found. ‘If the case is broken, it will be through some relatively new investigative technique like hypnosis,’ he said. While emphasizing that the task force did ‘one helluva job,’ Koenig is seriously considering another review of ‘high-priority tips’ by a special group of retired police officers. ‘We’re not being critical of the work already done,’ said Koenig. ‘But maybe, just maybe, they overlooked something because of all the pressure.’ Koenig says he hasn’t ruled out the possibility that more than one person was involved in the killings. Michigan State Police Capt. Robert Robertson, who headed the task force until a recent promotion, plays down the value of reexamining tips. ‘We went over those tips so many times,’ said Robertson. ‘I don’t think it will do any good, but they can dow what they want.’ . . . Why hasn’t the killer struck again? Authorities admit that of the dozens of theories, one is as good as another. But Koenig has a new theory–a long shot, he admits, to what happened to the killer. ‘What if the killer is from a very wealthy family,’ he said. ‘Suppose the parents discover their son is the killer and send him off to Europe for psychiatric treatment. The family name is spared, their son is receiving treatment, and they are sure no one else will be killed. They can live with that.’
Captain Robertson adds that he feels the killer was somehow “taken from us” either through death or imprisonment.
Busch dies 19 months after my brother’s murder. I do not think for one second this guy offed himself. It was an execution, and if he had nothing to do with the OCCK crimes, he certainly had made many enemies because he raped and sexually abused many boys over a number of years. Plenty of people had to have been in line to aim the shotgun right between his eyes and pull the trigger, something this freak would not have been able to pull of and then end up wrapped snuggly in his covers, on his side, with the gun neatly off to his side. No gun powder residue on his hands and his little piggies were wrapped tightly in the bed covers and clearly not used to pull the trigger. The Oakland County ME didn’t even check out the guy’s toes anyway in his Reader’s Digest version of an autopsy protocol. So where was Busch stashed between his arrest in Flint on CSC 1st Degree charges and the fall of 1978 when he turns up as a food service manager at some assisted living place in Southfield, MI? He was showing up for various court appearances around the state on other CSC charges involving other minors.
Hmm. Taken from us via mental institution or death. Again, where is the “we will never rest until we solve this vicious crime against innocent children who were kept alive for days, tortured, raped and dumped on roadsides for all to see?” Yeah, it was more like–“Sigh; we would LIKE to see THIS bastard in jail. Too bad, so sad.” This series of statements was so bizarre it struck a child who heard this b.s. back in the day and never realized it would still bother him over three decades later.