A crime novelist on the Oakland County Child Killer, New York Times, 5-1-20

This article, appearing today, is part of The New York Times True Crime storytelling project:


6 Comments on “A crime novelist on the Oakland County Child Killer, New York Times, 5-1-20”

  1. Douglas Healey says:

    Wish I could help.
    So sorry .
    Douglas Healey

  2. cathybroad says:

    Thank you to a reader who noted that if The New York Times is serious about this project, they need to include the tip line and/or law enforcement agency to call if a person has information about an unsolved cold case. I wrote the Times and gave them the tip line in this case, 833-784-9425.

  3. Brian Sterling says:

    When did “The Babysitter Killer” phrase originate? It’s misleading and reeks of a media-made moniker. I heard it in that old CBS report and wondered “who came up with that?” It’s one of those old, subtle and very misleading terms that leans into some of the untrue and misleading aspects of this case. With all due respect to the author, this story has very little to add to the narrative and in fact perpetuates some of the same old tropes, such as: “their bodies found several days later, neatly posed in the snow. Some newspapers began calling the perpetrator the Babysitter Killer after it was reported the children were found washed and groomed, their clothes meticulously put back on.”
    As your document drop indicates, these kids weren’t “posed” – they were dumped. Mark was hit on the head hard enough to bleed. Poor Jill was shot when air escaped her lungs, likely in a panic. The kids clothes were put back on, but improperly so…etc.
    These kids weren’t being cared for, they were being maintained for a thriving series of child pedophile rings, forced into unspeakable situations, and thrown out like trash on the side of the road.
    Enough with the babysitter.

    • cathybroad says:

      Yes, Brian. I have discussed that bullshit description many times. “The babysitter killer” worked just perfectly into Oakland County’s spin on the case. Don’t be afraid, taxpayers! Even our serial killer(s) tend to the needs of victims. It allowed the MSP to portray this killer as a sole, diabolical killer, well-versed in the evidentiary standards of the day. This added to the narrative about why this case, with more money poured into the investigation than any investigation before it, could not be solved.

      As we have discussed, Patterson was quoted in the newspapers one month to the day before my brother’s body was dumped face down in the dirt) that the Flint band of pedophiles who had been busted were not involved. The babysitter moniker helped save his career and that of Robertson and Krease. It allowed idiots in Oakland County to never question and to just act like nothing happened. Anyone who wants to can read in these documents about the bottle of soap Lamborgine had with him when he forced his victims into bathtubs and showers to wash away evidence.

      And I sighed heavily when I read that Times piece. Another story about some poor author at a book signing. I wish I had seen that project request in February in the Times. The author did a good job with the empty streets analogy and the loss of feelings of safety. But what a missed opportunity to get at the depth of this case and what followed.

      The babysitter. Jesus christ.

      • cathybroad says:

        And L. Brooks Patterson had a serial killer of children running loose, who was never caught. Patterson could not afford to have his beloved Oakland County marked with these crimes forever. He never realized it always will.