White Flight to . . . Oakland County???!!!!!

I have a relatively large number of blog comments, emails and Facebook comments hanging out there, waiting for my response.  I used to be able to just jump on this stuff and deal with it, but after some seven years of bullshit, if I am not in the right mindset, I don’t deal with this stuff until I’m ready.  You’ll just have to believe me on this–it’s not that easy.  I get correspondence from people all over the DSM-spectrum.  Most comments are from the “normal/well-meaning” end of the spectrum.  Even those I have to now take in small doses.  I will not ignore them, but some of them just have to hang in the queue until I can handle.  A few from the other end of the spectrum, on the other hand, could mean days without any desire to come near this blog.

I just reread a letter I received soon after this past Mother’s Day from a dear friend of my Mom’s.  She was a neighbor of ours in the neighborhood where Tim was born and where we lived until I finished sixth grade and Tim finished kindergarten.  We lived on Pembroke, in Birmingham, Michigan until that summer.  I loved that street and our neighbors, even the few eccentric, crabby ones.  We then moved less than half a mile away to another wonderful neighborhood, with great neighbors.  But this would become the house/neighborhood where everything changed in one awful March evening in 1977.  The house became a place where there had been very happy memories and very hideous nightmares.

Anyway, when I read the letter and thought of this friend of my Mom’s, I could vividly picture the years we spent on Pembroke and our lives pre-Oakland County child killer.  It brought back the very, very fleeting feeling of “I can’t believe this ever happened—what the hell?!!!”  I don’t think it is too much to describe that time and that neighborhood as idyllic—certainly in comparison to what was to follow.  When I think of that time and compare it to what would follow, it makes my head hurt.  It literally boggles my mind.

We lived close to Pembroke Park and spent many hours there.  Kids didn’t have to go with their parents.  Or so we all thought.  One of my brothers has friends who decades later would tell him their parents called the Birmingham Police Department to report their children being flashed and/or approached by sickos in Pembroke Park.  The response?  Yeah, we know—just don’t let your kids go there alone.  Now maybe Grizzly Adams/nice guy/son of big old GM exec Chris Busch wasn’t the OCCK or a remote participant, but you can’t tell me he wasn’t soliciting at places like Pembroke Park, or that agencies like B’ham PD didn’t know about him or weren’t above saying some version of “yeah, we know, it’s a problem, but . . . “  In any event, the thought of those parks in Oakland County, funded by taxpayers who were thinking their schools were top-notch and their parks were at least somewhat safe, being trolled by scum like Chris Busch and Ted Lamborgine, among many others, is simply pathetic.

In 1978 a report on the OCCK crimes was prepared by The Michigan State Police following a grant award by the Michigan Office of Criminal Justice Program.  Entitled, “Finding the Child Killer in the Woodward Corridor,” victimization files were compiled for previously identified child molesters in the area.  The grant report explained:

The victimization files being compiled include information from various Oakland County police departments on 1,200 complaints of children being molested or accosted (information consists of case number, the recording department, type of complaint, location and data).  In addition, the school questionnaire forms are another source of victim reports; all school children in the area are, with the help of their teachers, filling out incident forms (see Appendix B) regarding attempts by strangers to give them rides, offer candy or other bribes, take their pictures, or ask for help or information.  A localization file is being worked up from these various reports, seeking to construct a pattern of contacts.  In addition, links are set up to check with the Oakland County computerized crime files, the FBI listing of wanted male Caucasian child molesters, and a list of sex offenders from to other states, paroled and living in Michigan.

Major Case Investigative Grant, Finding the Child Killer in the Woodward Corridor, pages 15-16.

The 1978 report continues:

In an imaginative effort staged early in Task Force operations, three Michigan State Police detectives flew to Joliet, Illinois, on March 29 to talk with a convicted distributor of child pornography doing time in Statesville Prison [please tell me it wasn’t lying sack of shit Gerald Richards, who took one for the Shelden/Grossman/”Starchild”-child porn/pedophile team; took one, as in a very, very short prison stint for his truncated and bullshitting testimony before Congress about child porn during this time period where such crimes were barely acknowledged as consequential . . . ].  Their approach was that if the abducted children had been used to make pornographic motion pictures or still photos while they were held by their abductors, the police would like to know where and how such material would be marketed.  The convict gave them his opinion on where such films, if they had been made, would be marketed—through New York City—and who the probable dealers would be; however, he doubted that the murderer, whom he described as psychotic, would be interested in such a venture.  In addition, he felt there was too much heat on child pornography to find any market at this time.  He had a number of other views as well, including the opinion that the Oakland County killer is going to continue:  ‘He is going to keep it up.  Just why in the hell does he do it all in one locality except he is screaming for you to catch him.’

Report, p. 16-17.


5 Comments on “White Flight to . . . Oakland County???!!!!!”

  1. Hi Cathy,
    Remember the helping hand?We had one in our window,I was flashed.Kids could run to these homes if they needed help.I believe it was just B’ham for awhile.

  2. cathybroad says:

    Shawn, I think the helping hand pre-dated the OCCK. I remember my Mom having one in our front window in the house we lived in before we moved to the house we lived in when Tim was abducted.

    Two people, one man and one woman, have told me stories about being approached by a man/men in a slow-moving car, window rolls down or door opens–“hey you, . . .” This was during the prime-OCCK kid-poaching era. Both kids ran and I am thinking when a kid is under that kind of pressure they aren’t looking for a helping hand sign, as positive as the message was. Can you imagine cutting through people’s back yards, running for your life? That’s what these two kids, and probably a lot more, had to do. It’s sick.

  3. “White Flight?” Only after the whites have gutted the area, ruined the neighborhoods do the people of color seek larger and better housing. One moves in and the rest flee! Nowadays these drug/porn rings are equal opportunity employers. What’s the excuse?

    In the ’70s most had wet bars in their homes as it was thought not only fashionable but also a coy business move to utilize liquor in negotiations. Some are still reeling from the fallout of alcoholism. Not to mention the drug environment of that time. The “ME” generation.

    I had to use a library in a difference sector of town as I found someone looking over my shoulder once and another out of place person nearby. The last time there appeared to be a car that resembled the one I saw in front of my mailbox around the time my insurance claim never arrived. I am certain people do not drive from Iowa to my area to learn to read and write. But, anywho….the area in which I sat was now predominately black (excuse if not proper term). It once was regarded as an influential area and well sought after. I asked a guy next to me for some computer help. He was the nicest human ever! Ever!

    These type of killers operate from all ethnicities; the news people aren’t aware of that fact. In that area and in that time period they were certainly white or light skinned.

    The murderer psychotic? And, who would take the word of a convict or his expertise on child murderers? He is screaming to be caught? Really now! why not…”he moved to a different area and started the same crap…?”

  4. I am pretty sure that I read this document before, or at least the first 30 or so pages of it. I found it while researching the Cynthia Cadeaux murder, and I believe this document (Adobe) is about 255 pages long.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s