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.