Social Media and Cold Case Documentaries

The article I posted a link to in my last post alludes to but does not directly address social media in cold cases. In another “coincidence” I received a Google alert about that article yesterday just as I sat down to look through old posts from various cold case and other forums, trying to find a link to a POS who has threatened people over the years related to this case. This man posted under a variety of names in various places over about a decade of online discussion about this case. I have no doubt he reads my blog. And there are others who clearly posted under various names (writing style stays consistent, despite your best efforts) and who continue to on this blog. Topix was the main site where there were no rules and clearly there were participants who seemed concerned about their status as an accessory or an obstructor of justice in this and other cases involving the rape and abuse and murder of children.

But there were many other places where people commented online about these cases. Helen Dagner’s various websites, John Douglas MindHunter Forums, Cold Serial, Click On Detroit (“How has the Oakland County Child Killer Case Impacted Your Life?”(2006)), Gary Said.com, Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Reality, The Girl from the Ghetto, The Lisa Life, just to name a few. These sites go back over a decade ago. And of course there is a Facebook page about this case. J. Reuben Appelman’s book, The Kill Jar, and the subsequent documentary Children of the Snow, shook some branches in this ancient cold case.

What’s so interesting about the digital age and about the fact that we have obtained so many FOIA documents in this case, is that it will be relatively easy to do a post-mortem (if you will) on this investigation. Where the ball got dropped. Who went to police and was ignored and forcefully blown off. Who got special dispensation because of their lot in life. Who died after this information should have been acted on. Maybe even who decided to shut this thing down and spend more energy squelching inquiry than finding some sense of justice for the child victims. And let’s not forget, law enforcement has not asked for the public’s help in this case–until they were basically forced to by providing a tip line phone number at the conclusion of Children of the Snow and the series produced locally by WDIV. A tip line that goes to–you guessed it–the Michigan State Police. If the case never gets solved, we can’t go back and evaluate how this happened and how to prevent it in the future. Pretty obvious.

I have asked–begged–law enforcement for a long time to get out ahead of what might be a serious implosion of their ribbon-tied, no conclusions, just more questions, investigation. The fact that they won’t do it is not just bad news–it is starting to border on bad faith. We had enough of that back in the day. You either rise above it, or get tarnished with it. I am still so pissed off about that 11 million number on the DNA noted in my last post. That can be winnowed down significantly as I described. You have the mtDNA sequence from those hairs. DO YOUR JOB and outsource what needs to be outsourced. It is so obvious what is going on here. Obvious and unconscionable at many levels. Yet there is no accounting, no explanation.

While searching for old posts I found this 2009 posting on Delayed Justice. In this writing, the author describes meeting with two newspaper writers and discussing the OCCK case. His post includes a 1997 article written by Pat Shellenbarger in The Grand Rapids Press. If you know even a little about this case I think you will find it fascinating on many levels. The article notes that a made-for-TV movie script was based on the killings, but ABC rejected it because it was “too chilling.” Try living it. It also notes that a book on the case back then “didn’t sell well” because “there’s no ending.” I wonder who kept it that way? And why people back then didn’t realize the reason there is no ending is in many ways THE story?

Check it out (the relevant discussion begins on page 2, followed by the news article):

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19 Comments on “Social Media and Cold Case Documentaries”

  1. maggiep1958 says:

    “Chilling” is an understatement. No one wants to hear about or think about pedophiles. It is so horrific and sickening. Hoping for some sort of answers or justice.

  2. jkaneh says:

    The list of names at the end of the delayed justice article has names of victims I have worked with when I was employed by Crime Stoppers. Have you ever worked with Crime Stoppers to see if you get any anonymous tips?

    Jessie

    >

  3. Anonymous says:

    So They wanted us to believe Christopher Bush committed suicide And then the task force is immediately shut down and the murders stopped How about this Someone in the task force murdered Christopher Bush Because let’s face it in 1976 you are not going to get away with murdering a child and laying him out in front of a Police station no way no how The police did not mess around back in them days And now the FBI and the Justice Department are involved because they discover this massive pedophile ring That was being financed by the elites of Detroit And the government Someone had to clean this Mess up There is no way they will turn on their own No one can never know about the murder of Christopher Bush Even if it means no Justice for no one Even to day people are scared and not allowed to talk I believe the government gave them all An option To never return to the United States And then they probably pocketed a shit load of money As I’ve recently discovered there is no one in a government willing to talk about this If that DNA is ever tested today The whole cover up will crumble And people in high places will be looking really badd God forbid It’s time to take it to the next level Yeah the Justice department There has to be somebody honest and worthy in there Somebody who’s not afraid to share the truth

  4. weedbegone3468 says:

    This interview with Robertson reveals some strange responses to the posing questions. He didn’t think they ever got close to him. How the hell would you even know that?

    And then say, “But it wasn’t worth another abduction to solve it.” That shit…and so much more of what Robertson stated sounds fishy as hell.

    Thanks for sharing Cathy. I’m not surprised this shit gets deeper, but in the end, we may all be surprised at the depth.

    • Judi Coltman says:

      weedbegone3468 – those statements coupled with his interview on Children of the Snow and my own experience with him totally puts Robertson in a barrel full of rotting fish – probably red herrings.

      • cathybroad says:

        The newspaper article quotes the late Robert Robertson, who was the head of the OCCK task force back in the day. It is his son, Dave Robertson, who was interviewed on Children of the Snow. Yes, his son was assigned as an assistant to the “rejuvenated” task force in 2005, along with Garry Gray, who was assigned to the task force full-time. Having Robertson’s son on that assignment was a conflict of interest–how does the son really evaluate the work done by the father, especially in this case?! Even if not a strict conflict of interest, it had the clear appearance of impropriety, which any cop with half a brain could see. And it is tragic that there was a full-time wheel-spinner and a gatekeeper of silence assigned to this case in 2005 by the MSP. A very intelligent reader described Robertson and his son as just that: Gate keepers of silence.

        • bitamoney says:

          Conflict of interest. As obvious as the nose on my face. Who made that assignment?

        • Judi Coltman says:

          You are absolutely right. Thank you for pointing that out. I often merge them into one person when I think about this case but my interaction has only been with Dave Robertson.

  5. Cecilia Vettraino Brown says:

    “Starting to border on bad faith”? You are being very soft on them.

  6. bitamoney says:

    I’ve mentioned before that I made a living working on film scripts in L.A. I can tell you right now that a “chilling” script is exactly what producers want. That remark is BS.

  7. cathybroad says:

    I need to write a separate post about the culture at the MSP. It seems to have changed a little (emphasis on “little”) since the days of Robertson, Krease, then Love, Gray, D. Robertson. R. Robertson, Krease and Anger (Berkley PD) all said a bunch of fucked up stuff in the news that only make sense if they knew what actually went down in the wake of the Busch “suicide.” The MSP “yearbook” covering this era is even more evidence of how the MSP viewed the OCCK investigation and how much they downplayed it compared to other heinous crimes they were involved in investigating–even though this case makes the others pale in comparison. Compare the MSP’s handling of this case to that of Superintendent Doug Carter of the Indiana State Police in the 2017 murders of two young teen girls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seWlExTA5Ns, and Chapter 4 of the podcast Down the Hill at about 14 minutes (https://www.downthehillpodcast.com/). If you try to make the argument that these is now and the MSP was working on this in the late 1970s, consider this: Just what have you heard from the MSP since 2005? NOTHING.

  8. Terry B says:

    Hi Cathy, I’ve never claimed to be the quickest thinker on the planet, however, just today, I first came to realize something very important, and it’s my observation that your brother’s name is hinted by the word “Speaking,” on the so-called Ramsey ransom note. I pasted this message here that I had just sent out to Lin Wood:

    Greetings to all.

    If you’ll please pardon the expression, the word “Speaking” is practically a dead giveaway hint that the crime is another Zodiac killer crime. That same word very strongly hints ‘Tim King.’ Notice how the letter g has a pointer on it which points right to the letter t below it. I’m sorry that it’s taken so long for me to finally recognize and realize this same detail. BTW, did anyone else notice the reference in Schiller’s book, stating that a Zodiac killer expert was part of the original investigative team in the Ramsey case?

    Sincerely,
    Terry Battcher

    • Anonymous says:

      Attn Terry ,
      In addition to the dozens ( scores?) of high profile murders around the country (globe?) clearly committed by zodiac jack , do we also add Christopher Bush and John McKinney to his list of confirmed kills ?

      • Terry B says:

        I’m not certain that the author, aka Zodiac Jack, of the so-called Ramsey note, actually carried out the murder himself, or if was carried out other persons? The evidence in the Ramsey case tends towards persons other than Zodiac Jack himself carrying it out. We see the linkages via the documents. I don’t know who John McKinney is? I don’t study the details outside a limited group of crimes, starting with the Chicago Lipstick murder documents, Black Dahlia crime documents, Grimes sisters, with very limited crime documents, many 60’s California Zodiac killer documents, many DB Cooper documents, and the OCCK case documents, which are somewhat limited, and the Ramsey case documents. I have definite ideas on who actually carried out the Ramsey murder, but so far, no solid proof. It’s pretty easy to tell who most of the co-conspirators are in the Ramsey case, but I’m going to avoid naming any of them in a public forum.


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