Before you spend a lot of time thinking about and drafting a letter to Michigan Governor Whitmer or Michigan Attorney General Nessel about the status of the OCCK case, consider the two emails below.
First, a moving email/letter to Attorney General Nessel (similar messages to the Governor and the Director of the MSP) from a classmate of one of my brothers:
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2019, 02:19:27 PM EDT
Subject: Oakland County Child Killing case
Dear Atty General Nessel,
I’m writing to ask for your help and that of your office to examine the status of the Oakland County Child Killer case from the 1970s. I’m likely not the only person who has asked this of you, but I wanted you to know that I have a tangential relationship with the family of murder victim Timothy King.
I grew up in Birmingham, MI and went to high school with Tim’s brother, Chris. Chris was my science lab partner just prior to Tim’s disappearance and murder. The King and [X] families had many similarities: Our fathers were lawyers. Our mothers worked in the home. Our parents ate out at the same Birmingham restaurants. We kids were allowed to walk by ourselves to our local drug stores. Sadly, while my younger sister was only approached by a man who exposed himself to her and a friend, Tim King was abducted and then killed.
The entire community changed that winter. Fear and apprehension about children and safety took hold and for many people I know now, has never abated. We believed the Oakland County and Michigan State Police officials who told us repeatedly that they were working the case doggedly. And we believed for decades afterward the official theory that the killer acted alone and was likely in jail or dead as he never struck again.
Thanks to efforts of Detroit journalists and the members of the King family, the truth of how the investigation was mishandled from the very beginning is now known.
I’m writing to ask that your office explore whether adequate resources are being used in what is still an open case. Are my tax dollars being used in the most effective way possible to respond to tips and leads (which are still coming in, I understand) as well as access the most advanced DNA testing available.
The Oakland County Child Killings hang over the lives of anyone who lived through them at the time. As a member of that community then and a proud Michigan resident now, I want to see justice prevail for the sake of the victims’ families and for everyone in the state who believes our government is working on our behalf.
This writer, whose identity I concealed to prevent any retaliation, sent me an email describing the response from Governor Whitmer’s office:
So…I got the following voicemail from Governor Whitmer’s office:
‘We did receive your email and shared it with the appropriate people in our office. We also recommend that you reach out directly to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Dept and the MSP Metro North post so it can be related to the appropriate authorities there.’
He did wish me a good day, so there’s that. Sigh.
I’m going to contact both organizations as suggested but since they are the places that screwed it all up in the first place…
Hey, staffer from Governor Whitmer’s office–you might want to spend some time researching this case a little and maybe think about getting out ahead of the shitstorm that might well land on your boss and Michigan when the truth finally outs, one way or the other, in this case. Last time I checked, the MSP ultimately reports to the governor. Telling someone to call Metro North or the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in this case is like telling someone to call Sheriff Ricky Edwards between 2005 and 2012 if your daughter turned up dead on 1-10 in Jeff-Davis Parish in Louisiana (Murder in the Bayou by Ethan Brown, now a docuseries). Or telling someone to call the Manitowoc (Wisconsin) County Sheriff’s Department or the office of Special Prosecutor Ken Kratz to report exculpatory evidence in Brendan Dassey’s accessory to murder case (Making a Murderer, Documentary).
Or, Governor Whitmer, like telling an MSU student or her parents to call former MSU President Lou Anna Simon to report sexual abuse and rape allegations against MSU gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Passing the buck is always the first response in state government. But if you are at the top, that buck can find its way back pretty swiftly under the right circumstances.
As Shakespeare wrote, “But in the end truth will out.” That truth won’t come from law enforcement in this case, but it still might out. And long before Shakespeare wrote those words, Chaucer wrote that “murder will out.” Eventually the Universe wants these types of cases solved, or at least some solid answers and exposure. Why? Because if things stand the way they are, these kids don’t matter and they never did. They died in vain and the only people protected were the killers, the killers’ families and the law enforcement who dropped and hid the ball.
The truth will out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.