Read it and weep.

Where I live we are on lock down to try to flatten the curve in the COVID-19 pandemic. Sad to say, I hope you are, too. This is not a drill.

I thought I was above binging on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, but turns out I’m clearly not. These venues are replete with shows about heinous unsolved crimes, some true and some based on true stories. Recurring themes: police don’t take witnesses and family members seriously or are quick to discount people. When the case can’t be quickly or easily solved, police move on to the next crime. Mistakes happen and then get compounded. Cover ups are relatively routine, to cover misfeasance, malfeasance and/or criminals who are “high value” (also read: It can’t be him, he’s a ___!!) in society.

The same names keep cropping up in the OCCK case. That’s because virtually none of the suspects have been fully ruled out. Apparently, no one on the list of 14 or so top tier suspects is a DNA match to the evidence the MSP has. That’s what everyone wants–the needle in the haystack DNA match. This case, which occurred long before the advent of DNA testing, has in essence been elevated to a DNA-only case. Remember when you read the FOIA documents dating back to pre-DNA testing and solid evidence collection days, that this case should have been solved by careful investigation, not dismissing tips out of hand and not giving a pass to people who lived on the right side of the tracks. It’s almost as though because no one could believe this shit was happening in the suburbs, that no one–including police–could believe it was a suburban resident or residents who was/were behind these crimes.

When my Dad filed his FOIA case against the MSP his attorney asked for documents relating to Christopher Brian Busch and Greg Green. I had pushed for a much-wider request, but my position was rejected. And, at a cost of over $11,000 for 3,000-plus documents (not including attorney fees and court costs), it’s easy to see how quickly the tab would have gone up if we had asked for any more. So what we have is the tip of the iceberg. I will reiterate again that never, not once, did any media outlet in the Detroit area make the kind of FOIA request that could have supported real investigative journalism here. Their attorneys are well-versed in FOIA law and would have backed some of those Oakland County judges into their law libraries to actually consider case law and craft a resolution that would have involved some real sunshine. Too costly and not enough interest, I guess. It was left to a murdered kid’s father to make the FOIA request, pony up the dough, and then share the documents with the media. It is totally fucked.

The MSP went for the “open investigation” exception (here, perpetually open)in denying my Dad’s FOIA request. So then he had to file a lawsuit against them, as provided by statute. They eventually relented short of going to trial and sent the response letter telling him that for the low, low price of $11K he could have some documents. I really believe they thought this would make him go away. It didn’t. They provided redacted documents.

Although my Dad did not mention the name “John Hastings” in his FOIA request, or any request regarding potential co-conspirators of Busch and Green, the initial part of the response (the first couple hundred pages) concerned the investigation into Hastings. A reader who is very well versed in the case asked me a few months ago why I thought this was the case. Were they proving a point–that they did investigate Hastings? It is too hard to evaluate the motivation of anything the MSP has or has not done in this case. You can read these documents and see what you think. Again, they were the first stack of documents in the response.

These pages include notes and your guess is as good as mine as to who wrote some of them. All of you who followed Helen’s story will see how her interactions with John resulted in her going to police. I don’t know how anyone could read these pages, especially knowing what we know now, and think for even one minute that John was just a bum who was reeling-in an older woman in to tell her tales so she would buy him coffee and a sandwich here and there.

As of 1992, when there was very little about this case on the internet, you would have to believe that this man was so well-versed in the media coverage of the OCCK case from back in the day that some 15 years later, he was still spouting off chapter and verse about the case. While there are sick people who are like that, isn’t sickness a given part of the deal here? Hasting’s name was not fully redacted in the FOIA documents we received. No way I am going to redact them. As I have always maintained, this man was either involved or a sick fuck. He got re-investigated in 1992 and around 2008 because HE fucked up, not because the woman he told all these “tales” to went to police. Apparently some of the shit he said did not match up with the evidence and he passed a polygraph back in the day. We know how that goes, don’t we?

Why does his name keep cropping up? Read this and you tell me. I can’t answer your questions and the police won’t even try. They have tripled-down on this one. No way they are going to look back at this one.

There is a lot here. A lot. If you are not familiar with the Helen/John story, a lot of this won’t make sense. At a minimum, if this is all a “tall tale,” this is a very sick man. Still alive and in society. Raised in upscale Bloomfield Village, Michigan. Read it and weep.

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9 Comments on “Read it and weep.”

  1. Fremont Thompson says:

    I think his brother Tom may have been involved too. I heard sister provided Alibi. They should definitely be interrrogating all of them again and do DNA draws and play good cop bad cop until someone talks!

  2. Patrick Coffey says:

    Would if we started a GoFundMe fund raiser to have that final hair from the Pontiac tested, and have it forced through a court order. No cost to the State, and yet chain of custody maintained. Then submit the profile to the Ancestry related companies to find a sibling or cousin hit.

    • cathybroad says:

      I am on my last attempt to get an answer about that Pontiac hair. No update, what you propose is a great idea.

    • bitamoney says:

      The fact that they haven’t done so tells it all. The cops/DA’s office/State Police know all about doing this. Are they still reaping monthly dividends from some God-knows-what ill gotten gains for keeping quiet? WHAT GIVES?

  3. Cecilia Vettraino Brown says:

    I will read it. What I’d appreciate is your opinion of what kind of person Dagner was. All I know is that she cyber stalked me with her cop gadget and I’m NOBODY, just a middle aged lady in GA.who grew up in Detroit, haunted by the killings for 40 plus years. I never knew Hastings. I used to read a lot of the comments on her website many years ago but I could never tell whether this guy was for real or nuts.

  4. bitamoney says:

    Wow that IS a lot of stuff to read, but I’m doing it. What is clear so far is that D. was full of her self declared importance. And it’s very possible that John participated simply for the attention. Lots of sickos do that. So I’m looking for any bit of knowledge divulged by him that wasn’t published. But I guess if there was any someone such as yourself would have noticed it by now. I think it’s likely that LE had a pig in a poke – a nut overly involved with another nut whose conversations could occupy lots of work time while the likely perps were deliberately ignored.

    • cathybroad says:

      The FOIA documents show a ton of time was devoted to investigating Helen’s claims about John. We may get to know some day who was really involved here. Although I do not believe for a minute that all of the tips were ever computerized, there will be a chance to go back and see how/why the important things were missed. Helen is dead and it has always been her word against John’s. Except that we do have a witness to John’s conversation in December 1991 at the Big Boy in Alpena. A witness who had no reason whatsoever to lie. Who would say the things John said? Not just a nut. A psychopathic nut.

  5. cathybroad says:

    To Cathy’s readers;

    When it comes to the late Helen Dagner, she is all of the above but I will swear to it the rest of my life that what she experienced at the Big Boy in Alpena was the honest truth. I got to hear some of those discussions as he talked and saw the expressions on her face and got a quick glance at the one map. I remember it well because it was the most bizarre thing I ever witnessed. The police have had a tough time evaluating the truth because Helen was known as a crack pot in town before these discussions occurred. This is one rare case where you can’t judge a book by it’s cover!

    Helen was even bitter towards me many times over things because I did not always agree with her. Her views was always that the whole world rotates around her. She had John down as some genius killer that worked by himself and took every word he told her as the truth. Even today, I still think he is a suspect and may be involved someway because one thing I know for sure is that he’s not telling the police the truth base on these documents presented here.

    Alpena Witness


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