Valid Questions.Posted: October 21, 2013
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 http://catherinebroad.blog/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.