Here is an email I received today, September 5, 2019, from a woman who called the Michigan State Police tip line and has yet to receive a call back. I have edited it to omit last names and addresses for publication here. I got her permission to post it, with the edits. It is one of quite a few I have received over the past few months from people who have been blown off after calling the tip line. Emails quite similar to this one.
Hi Mr. King & Cathy,
I still haven’t heard back from MSP. I left a message on the tip line, 833-784-9425 on 8/18/19. I will call again.
Maybe my story is nothing, but maybe it’s something that can lead to a resolution. I’ve always felt the man was the OCCK so who knows. I’ll tell you what I remember, and if you have questions, please do ask. Being it was so long ago, my memory is faded, but the little I’m sharing is forever etched in my brain, clear as day.
Our experience happened in the winter of 1977-78 in Troy, several months after Timmy’s murder. Near Long Lake & John R Rds. We were 7/8 years old respectively at the time. Unfortunately I don’t recall the exact month; I do know it was the first winter after we moved to Troy (from Royal Oak in March 1977) because we had lots of snow, so it would’ve been somewhere between November 1977 – March 1978.
My friend Eddie & I were playing on the big wooded hills around a frozen pond in a huge field/woods at the end of Tucker Rd, which at the time was a dead-end gravel road. It was near where Wass Elementary was built later in 1978. (See attached map) This field, woods, hills & pond are now all long gone and since have been replaced with subdivision homes.
We were dressed in winter gear, snow pants, etc. and sliding down the hills onto the frozen pond. We’d climb back up the hills, and slide back down. We did this for hours. At one point, I had slid down and Eddie was still at the top of the hill. He said to me, “San, San!” and was pointing towards the other side of the pond from where we entered. I thought he meant he was going to go over that way, so I told him to wait for me. More panicked and still pointing, he said, “San, no, there’s a guy over there!”
I looked and there was a man standing at the edge of the pond, just standing there staring at us. He was wearing a dark army green winter coat with an attached hood that came out all around the face with fur around the edge. I couldn’t see his face but distinctly remember his very dark brown, almost black bushy beard that stuck out. He had his hands in his coat pockets and just stood there staring at us. It was very creepy.
I don’t remember, but I’m pretty certain he never came towards us or even moved.
Eddie slid down the hill to me and we hightailed it back to my mom’s house. We were really upset and freaked out; we really believed we almost got kidnapped. I was sick to my stomach over it, and shook up for days. Why didn’t my mom call the police? I don’t know. Maybe because he didn’t actually say anything or approach us, or maybe she thought we were being overdramatic kids with wild imaginations.
But that experience always stuck with me, to this day. I never reached out to law enforcement before because I doubted it was relevant even though I always felt in my heart it was the OCCK.
As I said in my previous email, when I watched the WDIV docuseries on the OCCK last month and learned who Christoher Busch was, and saw his picture, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I instantly recalled that day in the woods as a child. I felt that was the same guy even though I never saw his face. I called the MSP tip line that very night because I felt that sure.
Again, maybe my experience is nothing or irrelevant to this case, but maybe the OCCK killer had ties to Troy that detectives never explored before. I just had to share this with you, just in case it does lead to something. I’ve never shared this with anyone else except my mom.
Again, I am so terribly sorry for your & your family’s loss of Timmy. I will continue to pray that they solve this case and your family can have some peace. I know closure is something that never really comes, but I wish you both love, light and peace.
So maybe the information this woman has is of no help. And, really, how could it be since the state police NEVER digitized the case files or any of the tips in this case? I can guarantee you someone else will reach out to me after reading this and describe a similar situation with a similar man wearing the same type of coat. There is just no way local law enforcement didn’t know who Christopher Busch was before and after the OCCK murders. Small towns–Bloomfield Village, Birmingham–back then the cops knew everything about everybody. And as I have described in past posts, the schadenfreude the cops must have experienced over this fucking freak who was born into wealth and was the son of a GM exec truly precludes any legitimate discussion that Chris Busch was never on the radar for exposing himself to kids, taking polaroids, filming child porn and then raping boys, long before Mark Stebbins went missing.
Some have made the mistake of assuming, because he was an obese, unkempt slob that he wasn’t smart enough to commit or be involved in these abductions and murders. I remember a few years after Busch’s name came to public light in 2006 and 2007 that two men who had known him told a relative of another victim that they always thought Busch was the OCCK and that he was really smart. The bad kind of smart. If you are reading this and knew Busch back in the day and have anything to offer beyond “hey, nice guy, not suicidal, good cook, friend to all–except my young son can’t be near him,” please comment here.
And speaking of “there is no way,” as I took a little walk down a horrifying memory lane this morning, there is NO WAY John Hastings did not know Chris Busch. That was a lie he told police, among other lies he has told along the way. They lived right around the corner from each other in the same little neighborhood, Bloomfield Village. They were about the same age. They were both losers in their late-20’s, underachieving and living off of their parents in a swanky little hood. I’m guessing trafficking in kids and child porn paid pretty good money compared to working at restaurants.
But back to the email, above. Notice she feels bad about reaching out to us. Even bad about contacting police, although she clearly has no faith in them. Are you telling me a person like this does not warrant a call back, if even to thank her for her time and a short explanation of how the information can/cannot be used? They are probably thinking “yeah, Oakland County was crawling with pedophiles and creeps in that era, there’s nothing we could do then or now about it.” I’ll tell you what people like me are thinking: Start answering that fucking tip line and at least pretend to do your job. Sure, most of the information is at this point not actionable, but just a little time and effort may connect the dots in a way you don’t expect. That is, if you want to connect the dots.