Advanced DNA testing and Advanced, Open-Minded Approaches to Solving Cold Cases.

Why is this case somehow exempted from use of advanced DNA testing? Consider the following and then ask yourself why law enforcement in Michigan is allowed to stay silent about where things stand in this decades-old cold case. Why were cold cases in other states considered worthy of real efforts at a resolution and this case is not? Why did the Michigan State Police get to control the publicity in 2005 about “rejuvenating” the OCCK task force and then never answer a single question about what they did and what they found?

The following is background information that sheds light on how this case is constantly slow-walked and how evidence and tips are never fully followed to logical conclusions. It is the basis for a request for Michigan officials outside of the law enforcement code of silence to ask for answers and explantations. If the case cannot be solved or testing cannot be done, law enforcement needs to state this on the record. In this case, in the absence of anyone with inside information having the guts to come forward, those answers about where the case stands are due from the Michigan State Police.

This is what I recently asked the “task force” to do, in accordance with present-day DNA testing capabilities. I believe they are interested, but somehow balking at sending information for third-party testing and examination, which has been done in numerous other high-profile and very old cold cases. There is also the consideration of the state of the evidence, but you don’t know until you try! If the evidence is somehow not able to be tested, the Michigan State Police owe the public an explanation of why this is the case, how this evidence was stored and handled over the decades, and how they propose to avoid these issues in the future.

The substance of my recent email requesting additional testing:

To solve the Bear Brook (New Hampshire) murders, NH State Police sent hair fragments, that’s fragments, hair pieces without a root to a lab for testing. They used Bode Cellmark Forensics. This lab, using hair fragments, was able to obtain GED Match quality DNA results, which allowed the victims in the Bear Brook case, kept in barrels over a 35-45 year period, to be identified.

As described in this abstract, there is now an enhanced DNA extraction method for hair shaft forensic evidence which when combined with a recently developed nuclear DNA typing assay, improves “the success rate for obtaining informative results from highly compromised, degraded and trace forensic samples such as rootless hair shafts.” The result: “These methodologies can produce nuclear DNA results with high statistical power from rootless hair shafts.”

I am asking that the hair that is in evidence in the Oakland County Child Murders be sent to Bode laboratory for testing purposes. The results from the testing can then be sent to an independent research firm for genealogy research in order to identify the perpetrator(s) in this long unsolved case. For example, the results could be outsourced for the genetic GED Match inquiry to a genetic genealogist such as Barbara Rae- Venter. Rae-Venter was instrumental in helping to solve the Golden State Killer Case, as well as identifying the victims in the Bear Brook murder cases. She has since been approached to assist in over 50 unsolved homicide and unidentified victim cases.

Venter has been a very busy person after success in these cases, but again—notice these are sometimes cases involving rootless hair shaft evidence. For example:
Thirty-three years after the crime, breaks in the case are happening fast. On Nov. 13, 2018, Dr. Rae-Venter uploaded the adult victim’s DNA profile to GEDmatch. “I got the results at 6 a.m. the next morning and identified her by 8 through a second-cousin match. All because of atDNA from rootless hair.
“Extracting atDNA from the hair shaft was not possible before,” she emphasized, adding that final identification must still be confirmed by DNA testing of a family member. “The implications of this technology for solving cold cases worldwide are just huge.”

Adult in the Bear Brook Murders Identified from UnresolvedMysteries

Some important points:

1. Rootless hair fragments, decades-old, can now be analyzed at a much more sophisticated level, resulting in GED Match quality DNA results.

2. The second part of the inquiry, involving finding a family member in genetic data bases, can be outsourced to an independent genetic genealogist or firm. I read an interview of Rae-Venter where she explains that in a very short period of time, these types of inquiries, which use to take 20,000 hours of work now take a small fraction of this time.

3. If the State of Michigan is unable or unwilling to commit the resources to pay for testing these hairs with Bode Cellmark Forensics, the Tim King Trust has sufficient funds in it to cover these costs and would be the perfect use for these funds.

4. Even if Rae-Venter is too busy at this point to consult and work on this case, I am sure she would be intrigued by this case and could give guidance on the next best resource.

I am assuming all of the hair evidence in the OCCK case has been mtDNA sequenced and that this was the basis for the statement by Cooper that the hairs from the bodies of Mark and Tim, as well as hair found in the Sloan car, all match. In light of these recent DNA advancements, the fact that further testing can easily be conducted by labs and genetic genealogists with the necessary expertise, and that this can be done at no cost to the state, there is no excuse for not going forward with this approach.

The state police will be called to account in the near future, not just by me, for their failure to do everything possible to solve these cases. They want a DNA case—now they may well have one. And let’s be honest, why wouldn’t they want to be out-front on this and be ready to go if they get names of men Mark and Tim may have been sold to after they were abducted and later murdered by yet another participant? We have long discussed how it is likely the owner of these hairs had no criminal record and will not be found in CODIS. The hairs are the key to this case? Then they MUST be tested as described above. All the MSP has to do is make contact with Bode and send the hairs on to be tested. We will pay for the testing. They can even sit on their asses until they get results before they contact Rae-Venter. We will pay for her work, too.

Finally, does the MSP have DNA from a relative of McKinney?

Thanks for reading this XXXXX. It is outrageous to me that you have to now go explain it to the MSP powers that be. If there is someone at the MSP I should deal with directly, please advise. The time for their excuses is over.


The end of the road. Again.

Here we are.  Again.  You knew we would end up here.  Just like Robertson, Krease, Patterson, Thompson and Anger knew we would.  Like they planned we would.  Over time people will forget about the case, the kids that were murdered, the devastation to communities that ripples out to this day.  Too many questions, no one willing to give answers, you can’t prove anything, those are all just coincidences, too bad/so sad, that’s just conspiracy theory!, no one will ever be prosecuted, this is a waste of time and money, no one will touch this loser, now back to the file cabinet with you.  And shame on you for speaking up and making trouble.

Anyone who was touched by this case is damaged in some way.  Anyone who touches this case, decades later and even for a few hours online, gets damaged in some way.  Try reading details and not dwelling for even a few minutes in Hell.  To have the case return again to its file cabinet graveyard would be yet another betrayal that was set in motion in 1976 and has followed essentially the same script since then.

Nina Innsted’s recent “somber but optimistic” podcast wrap-up of this season of Don’t Talk to Strangers puts it this way:

I like and respect Nina and will therefore take some heart that she is cautiously optimistic about prospects with more advanced DNA testing.

Here is where I think the investigation stands.  This cold case has once again been passed on to another detective at the Michigan State Police.  I have it on good authority that he is earnest and committed.  However, he also has a full-time, active caseload complete with court appearances, and no help.  Not even administrative help, as in help with the tip line.  Oh, and he is brand new to the case and anyone who has gone down this rabbit hole for a few hours online knows how much there is to work through, consider and absorb.

Richard H. Walton describes how cold cases are passed on over the decades and the added burdens of these investigations in Cold Case Homicides, Practical Investigation Techniques:

Cold case investigations may incur expenses and resources exceeding those normally found in hot homicide investigation.  Further, results may be longer in coming.  In addition to the normal frustrations encountered when working homicide cases, additional annoyance for investigators results when an agency assigns investigators to work these cases but does not supply the necessary resources.  The leadership and organizational commitment by an agency to investigate cold cases requires awareness and acceptance that such investigations often include:

Added travel expenses. . . . Overtime and associated expenses for investigators . . . Use of other personnel and resources.  . . .  Potential for increased laboratory costs or other evidentiary related expenses.  All physical evidence will need to be reprocessed. . . . Conflicts within the agency. . . .  Impact on the workload or caseload of others.

(CRC Press, 2006, p. 33.)

I cannot adequately express how god-awful it is that at one point there was a MSP detective assigned full-time to this cold case, along with a second detective who was there to look over the first guy’s shoulder.  During this time period, from about 2005-2009, as near as I can tell these detectives’ job number one was to make sure Det./Sgt. Cory Williams, then from Livonia PD and later with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, didn’t get too far.  The old-school MSP were not going to let somebody else get ahead of them.  No, the bar was supposed to be kept good and low.  This full-time MSP detective could have devoted the time and intensity needed to build upon previous missed opportunities and to work on team building with other agencies and labs.  But that was not to be.

To document this iteration of the MSP task force’s lost opportunities, time-wasting, bullying of people coming forward with information, failure to consult law enforcement who had worked the case back in the day, and the bullshit they laid at the feet of the victims’ families would take many hours to chronicle.  I know they hacked my computer and cell phone during that time.  Therefore, they knew there was no love lost between us.  I have nothing to hide.  I stand by what I wrote and said about them, individually and collectively, publicly and privately, and I will gladly say it again.  I meant every word.  I will gladly tell anyone who asks.  They know what they did.  And sadly, what they didn’t do.

The MSP seems to have evolved a bit in the intervening years.  But remember that my exposure, as it was unfolding in real time and evolving like various levels of Hell, was to Laurel and Hardy, not the more hard-working and respectful detectives who followed.  And I have to laugh about the now-retired MSP Captain Harold Love.  You could have played the victims’ families so easily if you had just treated them with basic respect, not cancelled meeting after meeting and not blown everyone off when you called everyone together to stonewall with your bullshit.  You treated us like one of your road cops treats a person who can’t find their license or registration when you pull them over on I-75.  You have no idea how easy it would have been to get my Dad to back off if you had just treated him like a human being.  Like the father of a murdered child whose case your agency was responsible for NOT solving.  He actually had respect for cops. And not one member of the press in Michigan asked any of you the hard questions.  It spoke to how you do business and the culture of your agency.  I truly hope there is real, lasting change on the horizon.  You people work for the State of Michigan, not some private prison.

In my next post I will detail the request we made concerning DNA testing, why it must be done and is the last stop on this ghost train.  I will also ask Michiganders to contact their governor, attorney general and the colonel of the MSP if they want some answers about where this case stands.  No more bullshit or gaslighting.  If it is stalled out, it cannot be called an open investigation and your files must be made public.  All of them.

“We’re not only looking to arrest people. We’re looking to protect and save children.”

Thank you Genessee County (MI) Sheriff’s Office for devoting time and resources to a sting that busted 22 people on suspicion of soliciting sex with children.  Two of the suspects were pimping out and having sex with their own kids.

Look at this gallery of photos of complete pieces of shit.  And of course some of the suspects were from Oakland County.  And–shocker–some of the suspects were well respected in their communities.

In Genessee County law enforcement is clearly not afraid to put the welfare of children ahead of monied, well-respected pedophiles and child pornography addicts.

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