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.