Primetime Special “Child Killer”

Last night WDIV/Local 4 Detroit aired a primetime special called “Child Killer,” examining the history of the Oakland County child killer case.  You can access the special here:

The five-part docuseries is also available.  Access this link and then scroll down and click on the individual chapters.

Thank you to Senior Producer Jeremy Allen and his staff, as well as to Investigative Reporter Kevin Dietz, for your obvious hard work.  You didn’t go down any rabbit holes and you presented important parts of this story.  The public needs to know.  Hopefully someone comes forward and the tips are scrupulously investigated.  I also thank all who participated by being interviewed.  I’m sure it wasn’t easy for anybody.  But there is something important about being honest about the past.  That in itself is a tribute to the child victims who never had a voice in what happened to them or how the story has been told.  The film from back in the day was extremely powerful.  Don’t look away.

39 Comments on “Primetime Special “Child Killer””

  1. Kathleen Firestone says:

    Cathy, I hope someone comes forward with new and accurate information. Jeremy Allen did a great job of putting this together. Kathy Firestone

    Sent from my iPhone


    • cathybroad says:

      Kathy, thank you so much for participating. Here’s the deal: the Detroit area media gave Frank Shelden and the whole N. Fox Island horror show a pass. Why? Shelden had tons of money. This was going on right at the same time of the OCCK crimes and other child murders in Michigan at the time. But do the cops or prosecutors ever address in in the Detroit area media? Hell no. The Traverse City Record-Eagle covered Fox Island and the entire pedophile and child porn stuff going on at the time. The Detroit newspapers? Next to nothing. So thank you for your historical perspective on this. I hope to meet you some day.

      • nadia says:

        I am so glad to see this case getting more exposure, and I have hope that more of the truth will be exposed. Your and your father’s work are admired and appreciated.

        As for the silence we’ve seen regarding North Fox Island and Shelden, the corruption clearly exists all the way to the top.

  2. Patty Lundgren says:

    I’m sure it’s bittersweet in a way for all of your families to see such a concise and fact driven, heartfelt, outline of the endless spattering of tidbits and crumbs you’ve had to painstakingly gather for decades. Kudos to Jeremy Allen, Kevin Dietz, and WDIV for hopefully spurring some spark in anybody to either through memory and/or morality come forward with the ‘thing’ we need. I am always hopeful still.

  3. Mark M says:

    I’m happy for the families that this case is getting more exposure. That can never hurt. The pain they’ve all experienced was palpable.

    But I couldn’t be more disappointed in WDIV for their softball approach. Come on Kevin Dietz, stop acting like a lackey and start demanding answers. Take this task force to the mat and ask the tough, in your face questions. If they won’t answer then expose them.

    What a shame.

    • cathybroad says:

      Here’s the good news, Mark. They went on the record on camera. Compare that shit to what is presented to the public next Monday and Tuesday on the Investigative Discovery Channel (“Children of the Snow”) and what will be revealed in future books and documentaries. The beauty of the camera–if you are an officious asshole or a dumbass, it pretty much shows.

      • B says:

        That Robertson is a piece of work! He revealed who he was in the WDIV documentary but what he revealed in the ID show, well, there are no words. Why in the bleep did he laugh when he said his dad had him look through statements when he was in high school? Furthermore, what type of police officer gives critical information on murder cases to a high schooler? I guess the same task force commander who can’t comprehend the difference between a tempest and a lemans! WOW…..

    • cathybroad says:

      No one can control how these series/pieces are put together or how they come out. I have maintained for over a decade that I am a patient person. The truth will out. And it will out about the investigation 1976-78 and beyond. And as part of that, the bullshit some were spinning here will be exposed for what it is. It’s just a matter of time. Thanks to the task force, the killer(s) walked. That doesn’t mean we will never learn about what the task force did to make this all go away. Stay tuned.

    • Jennifer Grinder says:

      So so true I’ve got one hell of a story to tell as a child and as and an adult it’s unbelievable but I can’t even get Keven Dietz to contact me I think I can make someone famous by solving this but it’s gonna take police work which nowadays is unheard of

  4. Laura Hurst says:

    Watching WDIV special…… it was stated your brother Chris saw a blue gremlin in the pharmacy parking lot that night.Did the police ever look into who owned that blue Gramlin just from the standpoint of a potential witness?

    Sent from my iPhone


    • cathybroad says:

      We were told unofficially that a person who was having an affair with someone on an adjacent street parked his/her Gremlin in that lot instead of in front of the house. That’s why the person didn’t come forward.

      • Patty LUNDGREN says:

        can’t even get over the whole blue gremlin thing. My sister worked at 10 and evergreen and drove the light blue gremlin. She was so freaked out about getting pulled over SHE wouldn’t go out socially for some time it seems. I was 11 so it might have felt longer but she never didn’t even get pulled over or anything. Thorough job Brooks.

      • tponddunn says:

        What about the sketch of the possible suspect? Is it confirmed that one of tbe victims was seen speaking with this man?

  5. Benjamin wilson says:

    I’ve keep distributing these links across youtube to get recognition. Cathy you should see if WDIV can post the full docuseries on youtube in sequence or just as a whole. It was a extremely good documentary. I think this crappy investigation needs exposure along with jessica coopers lack of cooperation

  6. Barry King says:

    Jessica Cooper and Paul Walton continue to talk with the media without conferring with the victims who believe many of the political statements are incorrect or perhaps false.

  7. janbastian2 says:

    Hi Cathy! Hope you are well. Sorry I had to bail on our time in SB. I’m glad I made that choice, although I did miss being with you all. We have this on record. If ever you think of anything we could do to help in any way, please let us know. Such a horror show…. I don’t know how you’ve moved through life as well as you have all these years! xo Jan

  8. Benjamin wilson says:

    Hey Cathy. A while back you made a post mentioning a 3rd individual by the name of Douglas Bennett (age 19 in 1977). Stating he was arrested with Busch and Green. I am curious what all you know about this individual. Curious if there was a full D.O.B on the police report and if this guy is active on any sex offender registries. I did some searching found a sex offender out of NJ with that name and DOB was 1959 making 60 and not 61 but out of all the searches for sex offenders with that name his was the only one to come up. If this guy is still out there he might have some statements worth listening too and because of his affiliation with Green and Busch may give the police a reason to get a statement or maybe even lie detector test to what all he might know or involvement if any in all of this. At this point in time even I feel as though even if your family gets legal justice you might not get a full story. I just think if you guys can get as many statements from creditable sources it could help you all so much not just with the investigation but for closure for all of you. I mentioned before about conacting Busch’s brother whom lives in Conneticut. I’m not sure if his nephew still lives in Mi. I’d also try to get ahold of victims of all the top suspects and affiliates/family of all of the top suspects from Lawson, Busch, Green, Sloan, and Gunnels. I am pretty good at finding people so if you ever need help and are interested in that let me know I will do what I can to help you. As I study yours and your fathers blog I search for alot of miscellaneous things most people would not even care too. When I study things I develope OCD to completing what i start lol.

    • cathybroad says:

      Thanks, Benjamin. I will look for what I have on Bennett. Williams and Gray interviewed him in Alabama in 2010 or 11 (?) and he had nothing to say of course. Just wound up in jail with Busch and Green in Flint. Off the top KC my head I remember Bennett is a registered sex offender and was and probably still is living in Alabama. Williams and Gray also interviewed John Hastings in Atlanta during this trip. Hastings told them he was just a big serial killer buff and had no knowledge of who committed these crimes. No DNA match so they moved on.

      • Benjamin Wilson says:

        I only mention speaking to suspects family because criminal phycology usually indicates most offenders who reoffend typically reoffend in crimes that are relavent to there past. I can not speak sayiny all families condemn their own over matters like this. However when it is close to home there could be a possability a offender offended against their own family. In fact alot of sex crimes are usually domestic. Offenders always look for the easiest route and the most vulnerable people who are with in their access. My guess is there are alot of people related to these people who may hate these people just as much as the victims of the Oakland county child killings and their voices may have not been heard. Odds are if they did speak out it would not be anything that suspect would want to hear. I mean I feel almost every family has a degenerate.Just a thought.

    • Judi Coltman says:

      I found a Douglas E. Bennett in Russellville, AL age 60. Also lived in Alba, Mi and Flint, MI.
      A Douglas E. Bennett in Russellville, AL is also on the sex offender registry. I have screen shots but have no clue if or how I can post them.

  9. Benjamin wilson says:

    Iq also started looking around for Brent Harris Busch. The nephew of Chris. Turns out he passed away on 2-6-19 there were some sites mention of a sex crimes record but nothing I could virtually pull up. If he did it may have vanished due to his death

  10. Mark King says:

    I felt it was very well done, but I wish they would have asked Patterson to his face why he let Busch walk after 4 CSC convictions. Also feel they should have dug deeper into the Wasser situation.

  11. susan says:

    how is it, that I watch countless hours of dateline or ID channel and witness prosecutors and detectives who are completely emotional and bereft about old cold cases that they are still trying to solve, yet the Oakland County prosecutor and her assistant, show no indication of any kind of emotion for these cold cases or for the families, and only seem to portray the stature of politicians trying to keep their office.

  12. I’m curious about the Next Door Neighbor/Babysitter/Assistant for Gerald Richard’s – Not sure of his name. He would have been in his early 20’s when The OCCK struck. On page 135 of the Child Exploitation Protection Hearings, Gerald made some statements from his jail cell about this boy that hit me. It’s worth a look.

  13. tponddunn says:

    Gerald Richards worked for the EEOC of St. Clair County in 1972.

  14. Julie A Callender says:

    I am so sorry that this case continues to drag on without resolution. I was 7 at the time of the murders, living in Sterling Hts, and YOUR brother’s death, in particular, changed my life as a child forever. I remember praying for Tim to come safely in catechism class thinking, ‘how did he get lost and why can’t his parents find him?’ I was little and didn’t quite understand. Why couldn’t I ride bikes in the woods with my friends or walk a couple of blocks over to see them at their house? I agree completely that this case is going and has gone nowhere locally. I’ve read every book and piece of info I can get my hands on since about 1989. As ‘new leads’ would come to light (usually stemming from your family), I would get excited at some glimmer of hope. The ID program is the best example I’ve seen of bringing together everything and everybody involved. All of these disjointed investigations viewed as one. Agree that the one hour special locally on channel 4 was a joke–lots of missing info. I firmly believe Christopher Busch is the key and absolutely that he was given many passes based on his wealthy status and his father. $75,000 down to $1K and probation???? Come on – what does L Brooks know about this? At the beginning of a very long career that I’m sure he was intent on protecting–at all costs? Maybe. That one hair could hold the key but after 42 years, I am getting discouraged. I so want your father to have the definitive answers. If all or many of these sick freaks are dead – so be it, but the answers still deserve to see the light….for Mar, Jill, Kristine and Tim (faces ingrained in my memory). Keep going.

  15. Lenise says:

    Hi Cathy,
    There’s a four part documentary being shown over here in the UK starting next week (“Child Killer: Murder in Michigan”) and I’m hoping that it will be an in-depth and accurate portrayal of these hideous killings (unlike the “Dark Minds” episode I saw last year). You’ve probably already broached this in one your earlier posts, but has anyone ever tried to track down the family of the Birmingham Art Dealer named in “Portraits in the Snow”? Not to confront them, but to ask if they can shed any light on his behaviour at the time. Unless they were fully aware of what he was doing, which might explain why they split after he was murdered and didn’t press the police very hard to investigate. I am just so sorry that you and your family have to continue to go through all of this without being given the answers you deserve!

    • cathybroad says:

      Hi Lenise. I’m guessing the four-part documentary is the same one shown here and titled “Children of the Snow,” produced by Cineflix and shown on the Investigation Discovery Channel in the United States. If so, the documentary is very informative and head and shoulders above what has come before. I am not sure if police have DNA on McKinney (they would have had to approach one of his kids). McKinney. Yet another person who skated. He deserved some laser focus. But oh no; he liked to fuck women so he couldn’t be a pedophile, right? We will never get the full answers that authorities buried, along with those kids. But I will settle for full exposure of what went on here. And it’s coming.

      • Lenise says:

        It might be the same one as you and your family are shown being interviewed in the trailer, so you’d know if another documentary is floating around out there. I’m glad that more accurate information is still getting out there all these years later because the kids and their families deserve at least that much. McKinney…I can’t help thinking he was responsible for that drawing found in Busch’s house as most Art Gallery owners are failed artists themselves and that drawing showed a bit of skill and it seemed such a fucking obvious move to frame Busch. Did they get any fingerprints or DNA from the drawing, or did that “go missing” as well? McKinney also sticks out as Jill Robinson went missing from the hobby shop in Royal Oak, so he could have easily struck up a conversation in the art supplies section. Still baffled by the taking of the two girls, but looking back at the fashion of the day and at that age, I could’ve been mistaken for a boy. More likely just because they were “convenient” (makes me sick to even say that) at the time. Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree, but I seem to remember that you said the conclusions drawn in “Portraits in the Snow”. Did your neighbours ever shed any light on McKinney?

  16. cathybroad says:

    The neighbor’s oldest daughter was 20 or 21 at the time of these murders. She turned McKinney’s name in to the various “task forces” twice over the past 40 years. I know Tim saw McKinney more than a few times at the neighbors house. They were silent investors in McKinney’s Birmingham art studio. The two girls–maybe they were taken because in the suburbs it was easy pickings. Taken because these freaks could do it. McKinney’s family help? Yeah, right. Just like John Hastings family helped. And Chris Busch’s. And Greg Green’s. And Vince (“Jimmy”) Gunnels’ family. Clear something up? Give straight answers? Oh, fuck no. And is that drawing of the screaming boy still around? Who knows. Evaluating that drawing would have required some real effort. The kind of effort that doesn’t get expended when such a thing is found in the bedroom of a wealthy Bloomfield Village GM executive’s son. The kind of effort and attention to evidentiary detail that only gets expended in cases authorities want solved.

    • Lenise says:

      Jesus – what is WRONG with these people?!?! 40 years have passed and they’re still unwilling to share any information that might finally help the truth to come out? Might bring shame on the family…well, tough shit! One of their relatives may have completely destroyed the lives of the families by taking the lives of those children in the most horrific way possible, and yet they are willing to let the pain and suffering of your families continue to save themselves some embarrassment. In this day of everyone wanting their five minutes of fame, I’m surprised one of the relatives of the suspects hasn’t already written their own book and done the talk show circuit! Like I said, enough time has passed and scandals are a daily occurrence, so I’m still baffled by why no law enforcement agency (including the FBI) is willing to take this case and make a Herculean effort to solve it. Or the modern day equivalent to Geraldo Rivera demanding answers and not stopping til they get them (sorry, I haven’t lived in the States for over 30 years, so don’t know if there is still such a thing as a Bulldog investigative journalist type these days…)

      Think I asked before, but is the sole reason for the Prosecuter’s office and law enforcement being so obstructive just down to the fact that they are worried about being sued if they admit a cover up had taken place? And what is the legal stance of the families being able to gain access to the evidence to have it privately tested for DNA? If you ever set up a Crowdfunding page to cover the cost of this, I’m in, as I’m sure lots of other people are.

      Saw the first episode of the documentary last night and was frustrated that the blue Gremlin is still being talked about so much when it was eliminated (even your brother Chris said in a recent podcast that he saw it still sitting in the parking lot when he went to search for Tim hours later), but maybe it will be dismissed in the next episode.

      The fact that your neighbours were silent partners in McKinney’s gallery is disturbing, to say the least. Saw somewhere online that the police did question him at some stage, but there is so much bullsh*t and misinformation on a lot of the forums, you don’t know what to believe…which brings us full circle to your family not being allowed to have the full, unredacted police files, ffs!

      • PATTY LUNDGREN says:

        Welcome Lenise to the complete frustration and helplessness we feel for Cathy, her family and the other families as well. I certainly can’t figure out the neighbors either but I know family secrets mixed with guilt can leave some people in total denial. Not that it helps though. I believe this has been one of the most diabolical cover-ups ever of a rich, entitled,connected ‘children (mostly boys) for sale’ club. I think a ‘runner’ or an ‘underling’ with a friend or two, went off the rails for a time (OCCK) and probably got killed for putting the whole operation in jeopardy. Others have been threatened, coerced, protected and surely eliminated also but my latest hope is that since L. Brooks has become ill that maybe he’ll clear his conscience of all the information he’s ever had. At least to the families please.

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