“I cannot believe how the adults handled it. Unimaginable. I still remember all of us trying to comfort one another. . . We were 11 and 12. Just unbelievable.”Posted: November 4, 2019
Check out this clipping from The Royal Oak Daily Tribune, dated Thursday, March 17, 1977, the day after my brother was abducted. This newspaper was so much better than the bigger Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. This paper always dug a little deeper and got a lot more important details and a bigger picture. Because it is a poor quality copy, I will quote from the article.
L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Prosecutor at the time, explains that the task force was already working on Tim’s case. Patterson is described as the “chief spokesman for the task force.” He sure didn’t have much to say in the press after Tim wound up dead.
The article describes why Tim’s prior behavior made him unlikely to have run away, and quotes the principal at Tim’s school:
Robert Jones, principal of Adams Elementary School, where Timothy, a sixth grader, described the boy as ‘a fine young fellow, not one we would expect to be truant. The boy is doing well in school and isn’t a loner or experiencing any problems,’ Jones said. ‘He had lots of friends, he was a popular little guy.’
One of Tim’s classmates commented a day ago about the wealth of evidence against Busch and Green. Everyone who views this case as just a fascinating “whodunit” needs to read these comments very carefully. THIS is what happens in the wake of such a horrendous crime. Readers and web sleuths pick the case apart and try to figure it out and people who were directly affected have to spend the rest of their lives picking up the pieces. Be mindful of that when you comment on my blog. You literally have no idea. None.
Wow…just mindblowing. So hard to keep drudging this up (Tim was a classmate of mine and the trauma never goes away), and yet this MUST come out! Sending you continued strength for the energy you put into this each and every day.
Thank you, Beth and I am so sorry. I remember my Mom asking how all Tim’s classmates were supposed to deal with his empty desk in that sixth grade room. And the Birmingham School District, in its wisdom, issued an edict to teachers and counselors (at least at the junior high and high school levels) that they were not supposed to talk about the case. My brothers and I watched as kids who had lost a parent were consoled by teachers and counselors and we were shunned. It was incredibly isolating, painful and confusing. I hope they did a better job at Adams Elementary.
I will say that I can never forget how horribly Adams School handled it. It was gut-wrenching for all of us in his 6th grade class to have that empty desk. To my best recollection, our teacher did not engage in any sort of conversation with us about it. All those days of not knowing, and then knowing and feeling so shocked and scared and heartbroken. I do remember that our art teacher, Mrs. Bell, did talk about it with us and allowed us to express our emotions and fear and confusion. She was the ONLY ONE. I am so sorry to know that you did not receive the support you so deserved.
I will never ever forget Tim and continue to be haunted by this heinous time in our lives and disgusted as I learn more and more as an adult the injustice around the investigation. I have been reading and following everything since the internet became accessible. It always opens the wounds, but I just always hope there will be answers and justice. And my heart goes out to you and your family every time I get your blog or read a book or listen to a podcast….
Blessings and peace to you,
Beth, your pain, agony and fear which I will bet has followed you through adulthood breaks my heart again. Our school system
failed us at every level but as direct classmates you deserved way more than a “Carry On” attitude. You were still children suddenly thrust into a real life horror story. Your class, of all children, deserved and required specific professional attention. You were victims, too.
I cannot believe the way the adults handled it. unimaginable. I still remember all of us trying to comfort one another… we were 11 and 12. Just unbelievable.
This is just utterly heartbreaking. The complete failure of this community to deal with these crimes and the aftermath is what allowed the MSP and Oakland County to fashion an easy way to “put it to bed” and to never deal with it again. And the disservice done to every young person growing up in Oakland County during that time cannot even be quantified. The failures were and continue to be so epic. Unimaginable. Unbelievable. Unforgivable.