The Bike

Someone emailed me and asked what I knew about Jill’s bike.  In going through some of the FOIA documents, I found four times where the bike was mentioned.  One is in a document called Major Case Investigation Grant, Finding the Child Killer in the Woodward Corridor.  The document describes “[o]ne unexplained aspect of the case:  Jill’s bike was found by a neighborhood boy on the afternoon of December 27 behind the Valenti and Lieberman offices on N. Main Street in Royal Oak; no one knows whether  she rode it there on the 22nd when she disappeared of whether it was placed there later.”

The second is an additional laboratory report (not attached here) which simply states that the bike was received on January 5, 1977 at 0900 hours from Michael Sinke, Latent Print Unit, Warren Laboratory.

The third mention is in a lab report by Charlotte Day, dated January 11, 1977, which states that “Standard paint from the van is not the same as the smears of foreign paint on a bicycle submitted 5 Jan. 77.

The fourth indicates that the bike was photographed and processed and that no identifiable latent prints were obtained.

Scan 2018-7-15 11.35.39

20 thoughts on “The Bike”

  1. “Standard paint from the van…” It would be nice to know what and whose van they are referring to.

    1. There is all kinds of stuff like that in these documents. In my brother’s case, redacted lab reports referencing a mustache hair, red carpeting from an office (name redacted), as well as of a 1975 Nova, mention of hair from a doberman pincher.

    1. Greene has siblings, I wonder if anyone has talked to them about their brother in reference to these crimes.

  2. And what gets me now, in reference to the report of latent prints from Jill’s bike not being identifiable, is if, as was reported and someone has even come forward and confirmed, several kids road the bike, are their prints on it? If so, does that not make the person who came forward and says he found the bike someone who may have a kernel of new information to better place Jill’s last location?

    1. No latent prints. The bike is useless. It got moved and of course the cops blew off this kid who moved the bike. They blew off so many. I would say that at this point, it is irrelevant. It would have been great if the bike was found where Jill was taken, but according to this summary, “[d]espite the many reports that were telephoned to police of seeing a girl Jill’s age in cars or along I-75, no valid leads were developed.” Nothing I have seen in the documents mentions seeing a girl on a bike, or a bike-car incident in the relevant area or during the relevant time period. What we can assume now is that the location of the bike has nothing to do with the location where Jill was abducted. Where was the bike found by this kid? We can put it out there, but no one apparently ever called in and said they saw a girl on a bike in the relevant area. Surburbia. Great hunting grounds. Nobody noticed anything, ever. Kids were trusting. And let’s not forget, these suburban police departments did not have experience in murder investigations. Could someone come forward after 40 years to say they saw a young girl at the relevant location (where the bike was found and taken)? Maybe. Doubtful. No latent prints. The bike doesn’t help.

      1. Cathy,

        What was Jill’s address in Royal Oak (her starting point), and what was her father’s address in Birmingham (her intended destination)?

        The fact that the MSP tested the auto paint on Jill’s bike tells us that they thought there was some kind of collision with a suspect vehicle. What color was the paint they found? What color was Greg Greene’s van?
        The “staged accident” technique conceivably could have been used to get Jill off her bike, but it doesn’t help us with Mark, Kristine or Tim when they confronted the OCCK (s). Those three were all on foot (Mark walking home, Kristine walking out of the 7-11, and Tim walking out the back of the Hunter-Maple Pharmacy.)

        Somehow, somebody got those three poor kids to trust them enough to get into a vehicle. How did they do it? (Busch and Green were pretty creepy-looking. How could they lure a kid in without being seen if it were a violent kidnapping? It had to have looked natural to passers-by, otherwise someone would have noticed, especially by March of 1977! I am convinced that Busch and Green were involved up to their eyeballs, but I bet someone more trustworthy looking actually got the kids into the vehicle.)

        1. From a reader:

          Hi Paul Jolliffe. I occasionally read Cathy’s blog and came across your post. Reading it is interesting and speculation is a wonderful thing. It is great to see this case still alive in people’s memories and being discussed like this.

          I agree with you very much that it’s unrealistic to believe for one minute that the bike would just sit on Woodward for days without being taken by someone. However, I also do believe this kid’s story and he has stated that his fingerprints would had been all over that bike including his friends. He has been quite firm with his side of this going against the common belief of where that bike was reported by newspapers. And more importantly he has stuck with his story for a good many years and very detailed and precise about the bike and where he took it. Make note also that what he does not state the date he found it but he did tell someone that it took a long time before he discovered it was Jill’s bike he rode (maybe weeks). It’s my understanding that he did try to approach LE decades later as an adult and they disputed him right away probably because it goes against what is known about that bike in their records.

          Let’s try to revisit this some though. The bike was turned in as an abandon bike obviously at the time. No one had any idea that it dealt with a crime let alone kidnapping or anything else for that matter. So there was probably very little noted about it at the time. It’s simply a bike that they store somewhere to try to find the owners if possible if they ever come and claim it. It appears it was passed between police departments so there alone it took days before it was even determined to be Jill’s when her mom came and identified it. So who knows how many hands of police it went through and further how many days that took. Very likely the record trace of that bike is not accurate at all until the importance was discovered. Can you imagine when they discovered it could be Jill’s bike and waiting for the mom to identify it? OK where did this bike come from? Royal Oak somewhere. What do you mean you don’t know? The note says some kids were riding it and was put behind a building. What building and where? We sure better put something down for these records. Panic! Panic! The newspapers are going to want to know, everybody is going to want to know. We need a location and a date! Give it your best guess!

          Furthermore if Jill was seen at Tiny Tim’s Hobby shop as some witnesses reported, it makes a lot more sense that the bike was found and placed where this kid claims it was on and near Woodward. Jill very likely took Woodward home from Tiny Tim’s (Keep in mind from a child’s view) which would be on the West side of her home. Not the East side of her home which the newspaper seems to hint at. The newspapers location makes no sense. The only thing accurate was Jill’s home address when it comes down to it.

          Jill’s bike is probably about the only real piece of evidence to these OCCK crimes and unfortunately is considered useless probably because of the tons of finger prints on it by the kids that rode it and maybe others that handled it not knowing the importance at the time. With today’s technology they can’t determine any of these prints and see if this person’s prints are on there? Even a partial print? Sounds like a lame excuse for an investigation!

      2. Paul, you definitely bring us one of the more puzzling aspects of all this, in how these kids were abducted in broad daylight and seemingly without any notice from anyone.

        In my readings of and following the case over the years, it definitely makes me wonder if that Cop (forget his name) who they say killed himself, and/or somebody from the church, were the ones to actually go out there for this pedophile ring and confront these children, gain their trust (because, it’s a police officer and/or priest…They are the good guys…right!?!) through whatever charade they employed and ultimately gain their trust, get them in their vehicle and then from there…

        You would think it would be the easiest and cleanest way for animals like Busch and Green to get to these kids without actually having to be the ones to grab them. Because as we all know and have pointed out, those two were trash looking and scary for young kids to even talk to, much less follow into a car.

        The accident situation with Jill’s Robinson and the bike makes sense. You have the cop or the priest approach her, give her some BS story about how maybe she “scraped or bumped into” a car as she was riding; tell her the owners are upset and that she needs to come along with him to go back and apologize or something very generic, yet plausible to a kid. And her not wanting to get into trouble, goes along with the “good guy” cop or priest.

        Sorry, don’t mean to throw out even more theories and be THAT PERSON, just more of a stream of consciousness as you somehow, someway try to wrap your head around it.

      3. And OF COURSE, if that were the case, the brass in the “perfect utopia” of Oakland County would NEVER want it to get out that one of their officers or local preist were involved in one of the most disgusting crimes in the history of the country.

        That stuff ONLY happens in mean and rough Detroit. Not rich Oakland County, right L. Brooks???

      4. Maybe it does. According to this, the Royal Oak Tribune quoted Lt. Earl C. Ringer of Royal Oak as saying that while the police found the bike in the 1600 block of Washington, it had really been left there by juveniles, who spent some time riding it. But (here’s an interesting point) it had been originally discovered by juveniles behind the Valenti and Lieberman building at 1523 N. Main Street on Monday afternoon. Or so said the ROPD.

        Jill was kidnapped on Wednesday, December 22, 1976. Her body was found four days later, early in the morning of Sunday, December 26. Her bike was recovered on Monday, December 27.

        I find it hard to believe her bike was only discovered the day after her body was found, if it had really been in a highly-visible location for the previous five days. (The young boy who claimed that her bike was left at 28160 Woodward was probably wrong, simply because someone surely would have seen it long before Monday!)

        So,it seems unlikely that her bike was “hiding” in plain sight for five days.

        But if it was found by the juveniles on Monday “behind” 1523 N. Main, then it could have been unnoticed for a few days. The back of that building abuts a wall that prevented nearby homeowners from seeing something like a bike, and the several trees would further have obscured the view from passers-by.

        If that really was the location where the boys found Jill’s bike, then I think we can conclude that it was likely placed there by a kidnapper/conspirator. If they originally staged an “accident” to get her off her bike, as I speculated the other day, then they could easily have thrown her bike into the back of a van. Dumping the bike behind 1523 N. Main early on a Sunday morning probably would have attracted no attention from anyone, and it plausibly could have lain undiscovered for another 24/36 hours, until Monday afternoon.,+Royal+Oak,+MI+48067/Vinsetta+Blvd,+Royal+Oak,+MI/@42.5014638,-83.1444108,90a,35y,318.12h,50.32t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x8824c8acaf8a35e7:0xaa4703f3fbcda98a!2m2!1d-83.1654006!2d42.4986892!1m5!1m1!1s0x8824c5f80d4d91ad:0xbc039c113c98b6d9!2m2!1d-83.1569244!2d42.505539!3e0

    1. If all four victims had gone to stores, which sounds like it was very possible, stores where kids would go, then another kid could have been he lure. A party store, a hobby shop, etc would have kids come and go back then and no one would notice the kids faces. Another kid could follow them out and mark them for a grab while the adult was waiting outside. A few questions from one kid to another would
      Make it easy to figure out who was there alone or with friends or family.

    2. To answer where Jill lived – on Mayfield. Just down the street from me. On the corner of another road but not sure which one. I was a year younger- most kids were riding their bikes to ‘the Little Store’ on Catalpa just east of our houses for candy. Or, riding up to Woodward and Catalpa to go to the drug store on the southeast corner. Nothing much for kids on Main: hardware (some toys) meat market, grocery and car dealership. The drug store could be a theme.

      Cathy, My heart aches for you and your family. Every child in our community was robbed of innocence and made to live in fear – many continue to be affected as adults. Bless you for advocating for justice and truth for the victims, families and entire generation of youth.

    1. Send your address and a check payable to The Tim King Trust, to 1509 Yorkshire Rd, Birmingham, MI, 48009. It you don’t receive it promptly, please message me back.

      1. Sent, thanks. Since the Golden State Killer’s arrest, every time I hear a new cold case has been solved via DNA/genealogy, I hope it’s this one.

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