This month two convicted pedophiles were charged in decades-old murder cases of young girls after more sophisticated DNA tests linked these killers to their victims. Evolving technology has triumphed over previously inconclusive or contaminated samples. The ticking clock just might end up being a time bomb for the perpetrators of the OCCK murders as well. Even where the medical examiner in three of the four cases was an incompetent drunk and the state lab appeared to have no interest whatsoever in making sure the evidence in this case was properly stored, filed or cross-referenced. Rerun those autopsy kits and the kids’ clothing again. Technology has evolved over the past few years. Inaction is not an option.
The Oakland County Prosecutor played her hand. They do have hairs from Mark and Tim’s bodies that allegedly match a hair from Arch Sloan’s Bonneville. This all contrary to the cops’ wailing all these decades that there was no evidence! None!! Those hairs have to be rerun again given the unbelievable technological advances and the use of genetic genealogy in other decades’ old crimes. The hairs from Tim’s body were “misfiled” as animal hairs at the state lab. Apparently no one ever thought to compare the hairs found on Mark and Tim, or to compare those hairs to the hair recovered from the Bonneville (very soon after Mark’s murder) until the mid-2000’s. But now we know about their existence and the alleged match. You can’t sit on those things now. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28993934/.
There is a good chance that DNA will not match anyone in an offender data bank. But it will match someone who’s name has come up in discussions with police. Even if that person is dead, living relatives could provide DNA samples. And there could well be viable DNA on the victims’ clothing that was not previously detected, even in tests run 3-5 years ago. Too much work? What if California law enforcement had said that in the Golden State Killer case?
Earlier this month a convicted pedophile who ran an international child pornography ring was charged with the 1993 abduction, rape and murder of Angie Housman, a 9-year-old Missouri girl. See: https://www.oxygen.com/crime-time/convicted-pedophile-earl-webster-cox-charged-with-1993-murder-9-year-old-angie-housman, and https://www.denverpost.com/2019/06/05/convicted-pedophile-charged-1993-missouri-killing/. Investigators got a huge break when they found previously undetected DNA on Angie’s clothing that matched a DNA profile in a national crime data base. St. Charles, Missouri, Prosecutor Tim Lohman described the DNA match as follows: “They were looking for a needle in a haystack without a magnet and still found the needle.” Maybe because they wanted to find it.
A couple of very interesting things about this case. One, this piece of shit ran an international child porn ring (“Shadowz Brotherhood”) AND he was a child rapist and murderer. Two, police stated that this fuck was not the only suspect. That someone else was involved. Any of this sound familiar? Three, he had a history of child-related offenses and was kept in custody for years after his scheduled release in 2011 after a court deemed him a sexually dangerous person likely to re-offend if set free. I have news for you. ANY pedophile is a sexually dangerous person likely to re-offend if set free. But thank god this court kept him incarcerated or there would have been more victims. Contrast this to how Chris Busch was treated by prosecutors and courts in Michigan.
And this past Friday, a 53-year-old suspect was arrested in the 1986 kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Kathleen Flynn. It is one of Connecticut’s most infamous cold cases. https://www.14news.com/2019/06/16/maine-man-arrested-cold-case-slaying-year-old-girl/. According to court documents, this animal was a suspect from the start, “but it took years of testing evidence to find a DNA connection between him and evidence found on the young girl’s body.”
The medical examiner in this case determined that Kathleen was raped while still alive. Believe it or not, the statute of limitations in Connecticut has run on that crime and rape charges can no longer be pursued. Death does not toll the statute?? It is time for these antiquated and misplaced statutes of limitations on sex crimes be reevaluated with an eye toward NOT favoring the rapist (or the Catholic Church). Let’s hope police look very closely at other crimes this man may have committed since 1986.
These and other cold cases are being solved at a remarkable pace given DNA technology advances. It could happen in this case. While we may have to wait for someone to find snuff films in a safe deposit box belonging to one of the men who’s name has been given to police over the years, it may happen the way it did in these two cases.
The perpetrators of the OCCK abductions, captivity, torture, rape and murders may be long gone, but people with knowledge are still alive. And some of those people participated in one way or another. Others with knowledge include a few people in authority who made this thing go away. Some are dead, but some are still alive. I hope cases like the two described above make you very nervous. No unpunished child predator or protector of same should ever feel safe.
This morning I listened to the most recent episode of the Don’t Talk to Strangers by podcaster Nina Innsted. You should, too. https://omny.fm/shows/don-t-talk-to-strangers/no-one-to-guide-him. Don’t Talk to Strangers is not just a long-form podcast about the OCCK and other child murders in Oakland County and the surrounding areas during the same era, but a long view of the shit show that is Oakland County and the Michigan State Police. You get the kind of perspective only someone who stands back and takes the long and the wide view can get. The kind of perspective that is not immune to common sense and is immune to the concept that “coincidences,” misinformation and smoke and mirrors should silence any questions or concerns.
This episode looks at the horrific murder/suicide (or perhaps murder/murder) involving pedophile James Lossing of Mt. Clemens on September 1, 1978. Lossing abducted a boy right off the street, in front of his friends, late in the afternoon. He raped him and then shot him to death within a two hour period. When police found Lossing and the boy, they were both dead in Lossing’s hellhole of an apartment. Lossing was then linked to the assault of two boys, ages 14 and 9, the previous month.
Due to the nature of the crime and the fact that the OCCK case was still wide open at that time, the good old OCCK task force was called, just like it was when monied monster Chris Busch was found dead and rotting in his parents’ Bloomfield Village home about 7 weeks later. Nina quotes Det./Sgt. Roger Rivard from the MSP, speaking on behalf of the task force, as saying that Lossing did not fit the description or the profile of the OCCK, but that detectives sure were going to work on figuring out if he drove or had access to a BLUE GREMLIN. Thanks for reinforcing that bullshit and for spending more tax dollars on your big red herring, Rog.
Nina also makes a very important point about records in these cases. There is NO file on Lossing. Not at Clinton Township, not at the Macomb Co. Sheriff’s Department. No file at all. How can there not be a file on what was most likely the most brutal murder in Macomb County that year?!, asks Nina. But she realizes, that just as in the cases of Cynthia Cadieux and Judy Farro, because the child killer task force snapped up ALL the case files in any case even peripherally related to the OCCK and they have those cases under lock and key. Nina observed that “[n]ot only are they locked in a file cabinet somewhere, they’re not digitized. No one scanned in the thousands of pages related to these murders. I’d like to think that if all of the documents related to these cases were scanned in and were searchable and sortable, it would put us that much closer to resolving these murders.” [At 19:06- 19:50 mark]
An article in the Detroit Free Press dated February 18, 2005, “Child killer hunt heats up,” describes a room “filled with three-ring binders, cardboard boxes and metal file cabinets overflowing with manilla envelopes.” Does this sound like anyone seriously attempted to get this mammoth, unsolved stain on Oakland County and Michigan solved in the previous three decades?
“Gray and Robertson [the MSP Laurel and Hardy assigned to babysit the babysitter murder cases] hope that today’s technology–such as extensive criminal databases and advances in DNA testing–and possibly new leads will help them bring closure to the case and provide relief for the victims’ families.” The 2005 news article goes on to explain that “[r]ecently, thousands of pages of reports in dusty manila folders, along with composite drawings of the suspect’s face and notebooks filled with reports, were transferred from the State Police Northville Post to the Oak Park Post, where they fill a small room earmarked for this investigation. One of the 29 file drawers has a sign on it that says: ‘Tips too large for file.’ Gray, who was assigned to the case about three years ago, said he will seek federal grants to catalog all the information that has been compiled so far in a computer database. He said he does not yet know how much that will cost or how long it would take.”
That was 14 years ago. I would love to see how much money the MSP got to investigate this case and how they spent it. If they were serious, this would all have been digitized and cataloged, and you didn’t need to pay two longtime detectives to push paper around and squelch tipsters to get that done.
If there was a Magnum Force death squad out there killing off pedophiles, it is easy to see why all kinds of shit had to be under lock and key. But just as in the first season of HBO’s True Detective, some heads may have gotten blown off but the main head of the Hydra was never slain. If that is what went down, this misguided attempt at justice ultimately further victimized the families of the victims and actually spared the reputations of these men and their families. It is truly the most god-awful shit you could put together.
And, as for their hope for DNA technology advances–yeah, your wish is granted. Successful nuclear DNA profiling of rootless hair shafts has been achieved. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28993934/
I need to research this latest use of DNA technology so I can be prepared to address the excuses that may be made for why the magic hair from the Sloan car (that allegedly matches public and facial hairs found on Mark and Tim) can’t be tested to produce nuclear DNA results which could then be used in a genetic genealogy search via GED Match. Thank you to Nina Innsted to reminding me about the Bear Brook Podcast from New Hampshire Public Radio and its discussion of very novel use of DNA technology to identify a murderer and his previously unidentified victims.
So, don’t digitize. But just try not to run those magic hairs using the most modern technology and to keep doing so as this technology continues to evolve at a very high speed. My guess is Wayne County is willing to push this. If money is an issue, a Go Fund Me page and the Tim King Fund are possibilities. A “no” now just confirms that someone high up doesn’t want these cases solved.
So, listen to Don’t Talk to Strangers. Take the long and the wide view. Ask questions. If by now you still think something doesn’t stink, you are the perfect Oakland County resident. Just hope nothing like this ever happens to you or your family.