Thanks to a reader for sending the following information about James Vincent Gunnels, victim and companion of Christopher Busch and Greg Greene.
As of December 16, Gunnels’ status with the Michigan Department of Corrections is “Absconder from Parole,” from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is on parole for sale/delivery of meth.
Gunnels is the epitome of the child rape victim described in the June 17, 1977 editorial from the Traverse City Record-Eagle I posted yesterday. Emotionally and spiritually murdered, unable to erase emotional scars, may turn to lives of crime, drug addiction or prostitution. 2019-12-30_191653
None of Gunnels’ criminal history involves prostitution or violence of any kind to children. He has steadfastly maintained he knows nothing about the OCCK crimes. Another victim of Busch and Greene, (two years younger than Gunnels, who was born in 1961) who was also used as a lure to get kids close enough to abduct, was very forthcoming with investigators in March of 2008. He told investigators that Busch had him perform oral sex on a boy that Busch had brought down from up north and stated that it was the same boy that the police showed him a picture of in 1977 that was dead and identified the boy in 2008 as Tim King. 2019-12-31_083622. This victim also told police Busch kept handcuffs and a pistol in his car. He was clearly afraid of both Busch and Greene, as I’m sure Gunnels was.
But unlike this victim, Gunnels is saying nothing. As criminologist, Dr. Michael Arntfield opined in a recent podcast, these people, including Ted Lamborgine and Arch Sloan, are probably not talking out of fear of a person or people in high places, or their legacy. https://www.spreaker.com/user/jreubenappelman/episode6final. Gunnels was a minor when the OCCK crimes took place. He has had multiple chances to be honest, but he will never go there.
There is a lot about Vince Gunnels online and I have discussed him at length in my blog. Here’s a little more about Vince Gunnels.
And from 2012:
And from 2014:
When I find the transcript of a prison phone call recorded between Vince and his sister, provided in response to a FOIA request, I will post it. You can read it and decide for yourself if Detective O’Dell’s “license and registration, please” response noted above isn’t just a little defensive for good reason.
What a concept. Sometimes the Universe has a very interesting way of getting one’s attention. Tonight I was looking through some files after getting yet another heartbreaking email from a person who was trafficked in a pedophile/porn ring in the Detroit area in the late 1970’s. I was thinking about this person’s questions and suggestions on how to start some kind of out-reach for the many victims of these monsters. I looked at files I had on a man I believe may have been a photographer on Fox Island, the file I have on the late William Shaffer, a pedophile and child pornographer from Birmingham, MI, and one on a 30-year-old man from Farmington Hills who died by “suicide” back in early March of 1977, who I also believe was involved in trafficking kids. Shaffer and this 30-year-old were turned in as suspects to the OCCK task force back in the day.
In the photographer’s file, I found copies of microfilm pages from the Traverse City Record-Eagle. I don’t know why those documents were in this file and not in the “Fox Island” file. I had seen all of the articles before except one–an editorial in the Record-Eagle dated June 17, 1977, entitled: State needs porno laws. 2019-12-30_191653
Even enlarged, it is hard to read. But it is really important for three reasons: 1. Substantively; 2. The date–June 1977; and 3. The fact that is is in a Traverse City newspaper, not The Detroit News or The Detroit Free Press.
STATE NEEDS PORNO LAWS
Even people who profess to take pornography in stride are revolted by so-called “kiddie porn”–films and photographs showing pre-pubescent children engaged in sexual acts with each other or adults. Some of the children are as young as 3 years. And some of the adults are their parents. The very thought of it is depressing and sickening.
There is no way of knowing how many American children have been involved in pornography. But Investigator Lloyd Martin of the Los Angeles Police Department estimates that 30,000 boys and girls are sexually exploited by adults in that city every year.
Martin arrived at his estimate by interviewing molestation victims, adult molesters, pimps and pornography producers. “I would say that of that 30,000, it would be very conservative to say that 25,000 had their pictures made,” he said.
But as our own region well knows, child pornography is by no means confined to the large cities that are often the destination of runaway youngsters. In rural Franklin County, Tenn., a defrocked Episcopal priest was sentenced June 3 to between 25 and 40 years in prison for having run a “house of boy prostitution” that supplied photographs of wayward youths engaged in homosexual acts to adult male “sponsors” across the country. One of those sponsors was Ann Arbor millionaire Francis Shelden, who owns North Fox Island off Grand Traverse Bay, where acts of child prostitution and pornography purportedly took place. Shelden and cohort Dyer Grossman are still at large and being sought as fugitives from justice.
The leading crusader against child pornography is Dr. Judianne Densen-Gerber, a New York psychiatrist. Densen-Gerber is president of Odyssey Institute Inc., an organization that treats youth drug addicts, some of whom were victimized as children by pornographers. “They are emotionally and spiritually murdered,” she says.
Testifying before the Crime Subcommittee of the House Judiciary on May 23, Densen-Gerber acknowledged that efforts to suppress child pornography could run afoul of the First Amendment guarantee of free expression. However, she argued: “Common sense and maternal instinct tell me this goes way beyond free speech. Such conduct mutilates children’s spirits. They aren’t consenting adults. The First Amendment isn’t absolute.”
Arizona, Minnesota and Tennessee already have adopted laws making it a felony to use minors in pornography, and similar measures are being considered in about two dozen additional states, including Michigan. Since the laws are aimed at curbing child abuse, their sponsors are confident that they will survive court scrutiny.
But even if child pornography were to disappear tomorrow, its legacy will be felt for years to come. Many of the young victims, unable to erase their emotional scars, will turn to lives of crime, drug addiction, or prostitution. The social and moral cost to the country is incalculable. Michigan should not hestitate in enacting its legislation. It’s already too late for many
. . . SO DOES NATION
The national conscience is also being stirred by the revelations of homosexual pornography and prostitution of boys. Legislation is now pending which would make it illegal to transport young makes across state lines for the purpose of prostitution. A similar law protecting young girls has been on the books for years. The need for such laws is tragic but cannot be ignored. The bill should be approved.
The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Michigan, JUNE 17, 1977.
As I was reading this powerful and prescient editorial from many decades ago, I got a Google Alert for the Oakland County Child Killer. That link took me to an editorial dated December 29, 2019, in the Record-Eagle.
Here the Record-Eagle editorial board reveals what its readers thought were the top 10 stories of the decade. The editorial describes the readers’ responses and further explains: “We humans are a mixed bag, and we connect to a variety of stories. This year our online readers wanted information on the potential breaks in the Oakland County child killer case, a former pastor arraigned on multiple sexual assault and meth charges, and a mysterious Lake Michigan ship wreck.”
What are the odds of me getting a Google alert to a December 29, 2019 editorial from the Record-Eagle mentioning that its readers (in Northern Michigan) want answers about the status of the OCCK case, while I am reading a June 17, 1977 editorial from the Record-Eagle about child pornography and pedophelia? I’d say the message is that the Universe is really sick of this shit–all of it. Human trafficking, child pornography, pedophilia, pedophile rings and the unsolved OCCK case. And the silence of Oakland County and the Michigan State Police.
The Traverse City Record-Eagle editorial of yesterday ends with “We found that, once again, we are moving in the same direction as our readers. We don’t move in lockstep, and we don’t always agree, but our care for the community and the role a free press plays in it is the same.”
I have more to say about Shaffer and the many men who keep turning up like bad pennies in documents and emails. Read that June 1977 editorial and think about this: That shit never stopped and no one protected those kids.
Well, that’s a stupid question, right? But take a listen to this podcast (listen to the very end) and ask yourself why, if the MSP were actually serious about (and not afraid or ashamed to) publicly solve and close this case, they aren’t doing everything mentioned in this podcast. It doesn’t require much time expenditure on their part and I doubt it is that expensive.
You don’t get to fall back on, “no more killings happened,” MSP. This is an outrageous case and failure of law enforcement. Time to right the wrongs of your handling of this case and to join the 21st Century.
As it should be, you pieces of shit. None of these freaks should ever feel safe. Ever.
Thank you to a reader who sent me this link:
Good for Michigan Representative Garrett, who has introduced a bill to let the sun in on the abuse of sunshine/open records/FOIA laws in Michigan. “You’re not open if you want to charge someone $1,200 for public records,” said Garrett.
Try multiplying that by 10 and that’s what the Michigan State Police charged my Dad for 3,400 pages of their files on Christopher Busch and Greg Green and other limited information. That’s roughly $3.50 a page. The MSP would squeal that they have to pay someone to go through the records and redact before they make copies. Whoever redacted these records did a miserable job. Left some names in and redacted a lot that probably should not have been, and of course did not give any reasons for the redactions. That would have required more court time. As it was, my Dad had to file a lawsuit when the MSP initially refused his FOIA request as it pertained to an “open” case. Right.
This FOIA case settled out of court. I like to picture the state police tossing out this huge sum for the documents thinking “fuck you, go away.” But then they had to take my Dad’s money and pony up. The last thing that agency wants is transparency–on anything. They had to comply with their version of the letter of the law by playing the high dollar game. They really had no intention of complying with the spirit of the law. I’m sure the real smoking gun documents and tape recorded tips never made it to the files back in the day anyway.
While, as this legislator acknowledges, the bill will require fine-tuning–it’s awesome she is putting this on the table. Even cost reductions and closing the loopholes on how long Michigan agencies drag this stuff out would help. Maybe THEN some news outlet in Oakland County will file a massive FOIA request for the entire OCCK case and do some actual investigative reporting. Or, more likely, a news organization outside of Michigan.
And if you are thinking, well that’s maybe what happened with Chris Busch–yeah, maybe. I think it’s more likely that his “suicide” followed closely on the heels of his little pow wow with Larry Wasser (the attempted polygraph on an unrelated CSC with a minor charge). We never learned when that polygraph pow wow took place, just that it was after March 1977 and before late November 1978. Others have speculated that he was an informant for the FBI or other law enforcement, or that he started trying to extort men who were involved with pedophelia and child porn, and this is why he was offed. You don’t extort the big boys and a police informant who turns out to be a serial killer is kind of a big problem.
Interesting that Dr. Arntfield opined in the podcast You Know They Know that police would never be as careless or messy as demonstrated by the Busch death scene. https://www.spreaker.com/user/jreubenappelman/episode6final. The scene was pretty ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the Bloomfield PD’s treatment of the scene and “investigation,” and as the Oakland County medical examiner’s “autopsy” and report on Busch’s death.
No way this young woman should spend another day in jail, let alone life in prison. And what is with these prosecutors who sit on child trafficking cases? WHAT THE FUCK?
Some of the reporting on N. Fox Island, Frank Shelden, Gerald Richards and crew from back in the day.Posted: December 15, 2019
This is a link to some of the news articles about the N. Fox Island pedophile/child pornography enterprise from the past. The quality of the copies is poor and there are words and columns that are cut off. Some are missing dates. Some of the articles were in the MSP file on Shelden, and one had some inexplicable redaction in it. Some of them are from The Detroit News. Check out some of the brave reporting Marilyn Wright did on these crimes.