The “Freedom” of Information Act

Oh sigh.  The Freedom of Information Act.  The freedom to ask for what you won’t receive without vigilance and $$.  Even then, you will probably get shut down.  Maybe you are lucky enough to live somewhere where the media takes this shit seriously, even if they are having financial issues, as many news outlets are.  The Chicago Tribune does a pretty damn good job on this front, in spite of the same financial concerns facing most print media outlets.  But the media has always had “issues,” including bowing to the concerns of big advertisers back in the day.  There’s always something.  Even an intrepid reporter who is on to something isn’t going to get the backing from editors when it comes to shaking this shit down the way they used to; the way they know they should. 

People who seek information via FOIA are not freaks, as the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office would imply by the letters they have sent in response to my Dad’s request for information in my brother’s murder case.  When you get shut down, when your back is against a wall, you can play the FOIA game and roll the dice.  Maybe the agency will comply, but don’t bet on it.   More likely, you will get a denial and then a denial of your appeal.  If you live in Oakland County, the judiciary will shut you down again.  You can waste your money appealing, but you will get shut down at both appellate levels.  You would be sickened, as I have been, if you have any minimal knowledge of the law and the appeals process. 

Post Edward Snowden (who, no surprise, I admire and you should too if you really look at what he has exposed), the “transparency” of the NSA has been compared to that of the FBI and the CIA and found to be “better,” many rhetorical questions have been asked about FOIA requests.   By comparison, the OCCK is an almost 40-year-old case which in no arguable way compromises national security or some other bullshit.  The exposure of a weak and fragile suburban serial killer investigation forty years later does nothing to compromise anything.  The involved agencies are concerned about nothing current; they are concerned about preserving their already pathetic reputations.  And they do nothing but harm their reputations by protecting whatever went wrong many, many years ago.  And by hosing the family members who have asked them to come forward with the truth.  We just want to work with the truth as they know it.  But they aren’t sharing.  Not then, not now, not ever.  Whatever track they took thinking they could make this go away, didn’t work.  So why beat the family and friends of the victims with a rubber hose because the way they chose to deal with it back in the day inevitably backfired and fucked everyone over? 

To bring it back to the present, in addition to the two FOIA requests my Dad filed—which, of course, resulted in litigation when the Oakland County Prosecutor refused to respond, my Dad has mailed two more FOIA requests to the OCP.  As you may have noted in my earlier posts, these were responded to in a characteristically unprofessional manner by that office. 

In the fourth FOIA request, date October 4, 2013, my Dad requested all the documents reviewed by the OCP prior to March 1, 2010, when she advised him that the Oakland County Child Killer Task Force was no longer following the Chris Busch/James Vincent Gunnels lead.  While the OCP did not produce these documents, in a letter dated October 25, 2013, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton attached a copy of the July 17, 2012 statement of Jessica Cooper regarding the possible involvement of Arch Sloan as a primary suspect.  Does this mean the OCCK Task Force and the OCP decided to follow the Sloan lead to the exclusion of other suspects? 

Here’s the deal.  Our understanding is that in the more than 3.5 years since that time, the OCCK Task Force has not identified any additional suspects based on the Sloan lead.  In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that they have not come up with jack-shit since announcing the hair found in Sloan’s vehicle, which matches the hairs found on my brother Tim and also victim Mark Stebbins, do not match Sloan.  Nice work.  That shut his face up.  He then knew the hair didn’t match his DNA.  Hey—it could have been any one of the many pedophiles I hung out with or loaned my Pontiac to.  Just let me keep my job in the prison garden.  I’m  here for life anyway.  I have nothing to say. 

To our knowledge, the only DNA connecting any live suspect to these murders is mtDNA and it matches the hair found on the jacket of Kristine Mihelich (third victim of the “OCCK”) as well as that of James Vincent Gunnels (victim and then associate of pedophile Chris Busch).  To date, no one has provided any evidence exonerating Busch or Gunnels from participation in the murder of the four victims of the OCCK.  Yeah, the OCP was hoping the hair found in the “Pontiac debris”—evidence that has been in the circular file since the murder of the first victim, Mark Stebbins—would solve the crime and take the spotlight of off Chris Busch, Vince Gunnels and all the other shitheads in their lives who protected them then and now.  But that hasn’t gone so well.  So if Busch and Gunnels are in the clear, how about being upfront about it?  Yeah, we know.  You can’t “clear” them, because you don’t know shit.  Same as 1976 and 1977.  So blame us for asking.  That’s a lot easier. 


20 Comments on “The “Freedom” of Information Act”

  1. Dale Droski says:

    I can’t help but think that someone (or some people) in high positions have a vested interest in keeping the truth tucked away. The OCP, as well as all the different suburban police departments involved, are purposefully covering their own backsides. It’s nauseating.

    • cathybroad says:

      Agreed, Dale. Otherwise it just wouldn’t be this hard. I would ask those in official positions to consider how we, and the other families, feel after almost 40 years. They look themselves in the mirror with minimal discomfort. It’s unbelievable and unconscionable. I get at least one letter a month from a person who feels guilty because they went to police with information that the cops blew off. I need to respond to yet another family who feels incredible guilt because although they went to police–not once, but numerous times over the years, the cops blew them off. I have an in box full of emails. The cops don’t do shit. Go figure.

      • Dale Droski says:

        After watching the dvds, it’s difficult to wrap my mind around the authorities’ obvious attempts at covering-up what appears to be an embarrassing degree of failure – not to mention a seemingly sinister under-the-table glad-handing of Christopher Bush and his apparent accomplice. I can’t fathom your family’s level of frustration Cathy, though I can certainly imagine how I’d feel. As always, my best to you all. Keep us posted, as there are many of us who care very much about this!

      • nroddyNancy says:

        Please keep at it! Those of us you have come to care about all the families involved need you to continue. God speed.,

  2. Kathleen Firestone says:

    Do you know if Francis Sheldon associated with any of the suspects?

  3. jkaneh says:

    It would be interesting to know if the monster Ted Lamborgine had his hairs/DNA tested and was it dog hair possibly? Who owned dogs during this time? It is amazing to me that because they are going to die in prison they still keep mum on telling who did it. Scum bags all of them! What I want answered is why Teddy boy is still collecting a pension while in prison when the state should have seized it? Are their videos still being sold in other countries and are they still making money off of them while still in prison? I think so!!!

    Jessie

    >

  4. bitamoney says:

    Since you are talking DNA what ever happened to the sperm found on Mark Stebbins? Does LE say it’s missing? If it’s not missing has anyone done a DNA test? Does it match Gunnels? The affidavit sent out with your DVD states that sperm was found on Mark.

    • cathybroad says:

      I wish I could answer your questions, but I don’t know the answers. Yes, the documents show sperm was found during Mark’s autopsy. Where the slides are,if they were ever “found,” no one is saying a word.

  5. Cathy,

    On the media, the attack on journalism is beginning at the high school level. In my daughters’ high school journalism classes, there were issues with a new journalism teacher over her role (paper staff advisor versus censor) and at one point the school superintendent visited the class and informed the students of how he “handles” journalists with local papers who don’t print what he calls “a fair story.”

    On getting shut down by the courts, this could be what happens to judges who don’t play by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s rules:

    Accusations

    12/04/2013 http://www.freep.com/article/20131204/NEWS03/312040104/

    Oakland Circuit Judge Bowman’s Recusal

    12/09/2013 http://www.freep.com/article/20131209/NEWS03/312090117/MacKenzie-Cooper-complaint-Novi

    Judge’s Defense

    12/11/2013 http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131212/METRO02/312120046/Novi-judge-fires-back-against-Oakland-prosecutor?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs

    12/11/2013 McKenzie’s Brief in Support of his Response to Prosecutor’s Complaint (Compliments of The Detroit News) http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/894740/mackenzie-brief-in-response-to-complaint.pdf (See: Section II)

    12/13/2013 http://www.freep.com/article/20131212/NEWS03/312120176/MacKenzie-Cooper-Novi-judge-complaint

    >

  6. Gotta love the line on p. 16 of the Brief: “…had the Prosecutor spoken with the victim….” BANG!

    >

  7. mlucienm says:

    Considering everything I’ve read in your blog, Cathy, it absolutely baffles me (as I know it baffles you and everyone else) why this case isn’t resolved. You would think that new, younger officials would take over in a town or county, and those new officials would acknowledge that mistakes were made in cold cases by prior, corrupt law enforcement. The new blood sincerely apologizes to the public for those old mistakes, emphasizes that times have changed, then proceeds to set things right by starting over/fresh on the cases and getting them solved/resolved. Why isn’t that happening in the OCCK case? What do the new officials have to fear from the old officials who are no longer employed?

    I’d like to just lay out my thoughts plainly and simply: Any reasonable person reading this blog must come to understand that the OCCK case is connected to a deeper, widespread corruption of some high-level government and law enforcement officials (officials connected to other states and, certainly, other countries) that has been going on for decades. It involves incredible sums of money, an unquenchable need by very powerful and/or wealthy men for child and adolescent pornography (particularly related to the OCCK case, pornography featuring boys and teenaged males) as well as sex with children/teens, and the inevitable murder of some of those children/teens. I would say this has been going on beginning with the ability of child pornography to be easily shared and traded — first by mailing it (my guess at its origins would be on a small scale in the 1940s and 1950s), and now via the Internet.

    It’s a conspiracy theory I’ve heard in some form many times, but it’s a perfectly believable one, in my opinion. Critics shoot down the theory because it seems too incredible and too outrageous to be real. Anyone who would believe such a theory must be crazy. However, I think we just don’t understand the global immensity of the systemic corruption because it is so well hidden and covered up. We also don’t want to think about the overall implications — that is: troubled children from broken families, poor children, and children of less powerful, less wealthy families are basically disposable. Their lives are inconsequential within the larger system and the larger need by those who simply don’t care.

    I just wanted to write it out and say it plainly, instead of circling around and being indirect.

    I don’t think the OCCK case and the murder of Tim will be solved in the usual way. I think it will take someone like an Edward Snowden to make the global corrupt system come to light, and subsequently trickle down to explain what happened in the OCCK case (and other unsolved cases).

  8. uncleholmes says:

    Just wondering during the time of Tim’s abduction, where was Busch living?

    Was he working and if so where?

    If he was working, is there any way to find out who his co-workers, boss were?

    What days did he have off?

    Where was Busch on the day and time Tim disappeared?

    If I’m not mistaken, didn’t all 4 of the abductions happen on a wed or Sun?

    Where I’m getting at is finding out Busch’s whereabouts at the time of these abductions. Seems to me one of the first questions from a detective on any suspect of abductions/murders is where were they at the time and day of the abductions and are there witnesses to their whereabouts at those times.

    If there isn’t any information on his precise whereabouts during the time of abductions, what would be the best way to get this information?

    Whether he owned a restaurant or was a cook somewhere at the time of abductions, there’s got to be a way to contact someone who was either his employee or co-worker.

    Is there a way to go that far back and find out the names of the staff who Busch was with?

    I know these questions are hard for a case that’s 36 years old, but it seems unbelievable that these questions weren’t ever asked and answered as far as I know.

  9. Have a Merry Christmas Cathy…in spite of the global immensity of systematic corruption.
    Hope this goes through…me thinks a systematic corrupted system banned me.

  10. Mary Curley says:

    Dear Cathy,

    What you wrote about and what you and your dad have had to endure for the past several years is heart wrenching and criminal in so many ways. It is so sad that you have been put through so much pain by those who are suppose to serve the public and those who have been harmed. It is so unjust, unfair and immoral. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and pray that the blessings of your children will fill you with some peace and joy this Christmas season.


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