As I mentioned last week, a reader raised a very valid series of questions about the role of the OCP in this investigation back in the day, L. Brooks Patterson. What was his role back then and what is his role/involvement today? I have edited the reader’s remarks as follows and add my own observations. They are mixed together to obscure the reader’s identity.
In trying to separate the known facts of the case from the known facts of the investigation, there’s really very little about Patterson’s role that I have been able to ascertain, but here’s what seems to be reasonably accurate:
Perhaps the 1977 investigation may simply have been focused away from Busch and Greene because it was felt by those intimate with the investigation that David Norberg was the “prime suspect”. I still don’t know much about David Norberg as a suspect beyond the few facts that were published at about the time his body was exhumed. But Patterson’s role in that exhumation has been documented, and one could surmise that Patterson’s interest in Norberg as a suspect in 1999 reflects his interest in Norberg as a suspect in 1977.
Second, there is the 2/22/77 article from the Detroit News https://catherinebroad.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/while-police-on-the-street-are-breaking-their-backs-a-few-levels-up-the-chain-of-command-no-one-wants-to-connect-the-dots/ which quotes Patterson as taking an interest in the Flint arrests of Greene, Busch and Bennett.
Yet flash forward 33 years, and Patterson is quoted as follows in a WXYZ report: “Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson was the prosecutor at the time of the case against Busch. He does not remember this specific case, but believes it would have been referred to the task force at the time…“Is two years of probation, and a fine – no jail time – a light sentence for something like that? Oh hell yes! We had a reputation of being pretty aggressive, so there had to be something that would have allowed us to accept probation.”. . . But Patterson says there’s no way Busch got a “deal” because of his background…“To suggest that my office, or the sentencing judge – Judge Templin – somehow was less than aggressive because the parents were rich – that’s absolute crap!” http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/investigators-begin-to-look-at-new-suspect-in-child-killer-case
It is striking how several individuals documented as having dealt with Busch during the course of the investigation claim to have no recollection of their dealings with him. The guy is the son of a big GM exec, is charged numerous times with criminal sexual conduct with minor boys, AND he looks like Grizzly Adams. But hey, just another pedophile in Oakland County. They all start to look alike I guess. But Patterson or his Chief Deputy, Richard Thompson, had to have given the green light for Busch to be offered probation, whether they have any recollection of this fact or not. Judge Templin didn’t pull that disposition out of thin air.
Check out this interesting find made by a reader—a link to “A Prosecutor’s Handbook for School Administrators,” authored by “a special research team” of the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office of L. Brooks Patterson in 1974 and 1975. As the reader aptly puts it, this document “[p]rovides a nice window into history.” The handbook “analyzes over 28 problems that school administrators and staff personnel could face during the course of a school year.”
The reader made note of two interesting references. One is on page 69 of the handbook. Roger L. Busch is listed as the executive director of the Birmingham-Bloomfield Community Action Council, address 191 Brady Lane, Bloomfield Hills. This organization was formed to deal with problems of drug and substance abuse. Is this guy related to Chris Busch’s family? Not that I know of.
The second interesting reference was at page 71–to Common Ground, 1090 S. Adams Road, a multi-service crisis intervention center and free clinic back in the day. John McKinney, the art dealer/chaplain/whatever murdered in his Birmingham studio very near Common Ground in September 1977, has been mentioned over the years in connection with Common Ground, as well as with these murders.
A third interesting reference is to “Camp Oakland,” a place for “bad kids,” where some have reported very bad things happened to them there.
Yeah, you could call this all just a big reach, but it’s interesting reading to those of us who lived in the community back then. And check out the epigraph, a quote from Socrates, on the opening pages:
The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for their elders, and love chatter in place of exercise. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs and tyrannize their teachers.
Seriously?! The children in Oakland County weren’t tyrannizing anyone. They needed to be protected from monsters like Chris Busch, Greg Greene, Bobbie Moore, Ted Lamborgine, Bill Shaffer and many others who were as sick as these men.