Here is an editorial review of Marney Rich Keenan’s book The Snow Killings, Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation:
About the Author
Marney Rich Keenan is an award-winning reporter and columnist, recently retired after 26 years with The Detroit News. She lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
“Those of us, and there are many thousands at least, who have waited for some decent resolution of these horrid killings, will be grateful for this very comprehensive account of the Oakland County Child Killings. For those who are unaware, these were 4 young children who were taken off the streets of Detroit and environs in the late 70s, held and tortured, then killed and deposited outside. Four cases never solved. There are people who have waited forty plus years for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute for these murders, something that most likely is now impossible due to time and deaths. But there is a sea of people whose anger about this fiasco just doesn’t quit.
Author Keenan has been onto and into these cases for a very long time and her book is a major accomplishment, a tour de force without question. I certainly hope and expect that it will snag the attention of television and film producers and maybe even government officials. The narrative rises and swells with a boatload of possible sexual predators, most of whom were investigated and found to not be involved. Of course a select few did rise to the surface and they have stayed there ever since, uncaught, unexamined in any depth and allowed to die and fade away.
It’s a very complicated mess that Keenan straightens out magnificently. Finally, we know who was being looked at and what was covered and not covered by LE. At least we know some of it. We can now learn how the family of the last victim fell into new information that sent the investigation in a completely different direction and we can read about how lousy Detroit politics prevented any resolution. We can see who paid off whom and why. You really HAVE TO read this book! Read how Detroit bigwigs can bribe their way out of their loved ones killing kids.
It’s complex as I say, but you will be amazed at how one parent has bulldogged this case without stopping for years. While at the same time, one set of parents has remained completely reclusive. You will see how some detectives blithely lied to the victimized families while a couple others kept investigating day in and day out. And how one was martyred for the cause by a slick, power hungry prosecutor who has apparently no conscience.
For me it’s weird in a personal way even though I’m completely uninvolved in the case. I come from Detroit. By the time these kids were killed I was starving my way through Manhattan as a young adult, but I know the pertinent locations like the back of my hand. Went to a high school named Cass Tech in the heart of the ultra seedy neighborhood heavily populated by the perps and porn creeps. In college I was good friends with the very nice son of the rotten Medical Examiner, Robert Sillery (WHO KNEW?) My boyfriends came from Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, areas that feature heavily in this story, are posh by Detroit standards and which were entirely free of kidnappings and murders just four years prior to OCCK.
The Snow Killings is excellently written and it will allow you to take an effortless dive into the unbelievable machinations of a corrupt city. It’s a great book and I don’t say that often.” –Cecilia Brown
CB went through the Helen Dagner meat grinder as I did and has followed the case for many years. This review nails it, just as the book does. It is temporarily out of stock on Amazon. I am a big proponent of local book stores, so maybe you can call your local book store and get curb side delivery. This is especially true if you live outside of Michigan–a book like this needs to reach the entire country, so ask your local book store to carry it. You never know when someone with information who long ago moved from Oakland County might be prompted to come forward.
Those of you in Oakland County who drank the L. Brooks Patterson and MSP Kool-Aid about this case–the decades-long stream of propaganda–might have a hard time accepting the truth evidenced in Keenan’s book. Propaganda and denial are a potent mixture for avoiding the hard truth of what took place in Oakland County back in the day, continuing to the present minute.
What present-day Oakland County law enforcement would have you believe is that everyone who has pushed for answers in this case is wrong to do so. My Dad is “senile.” I am a “strident, crazy bitch.” So is Kristine’s sister, Erica. Detective Cory Williams was not a team player and was a “leaker.” Kristine’s mother was a pushover victim of a reckless plaintiff’s attorney. As Patterson said soon before his death–I don’t know why Mr. King and the other families don’t accept that the case was unsolved and closed. Because it wasn’t closed, you dirty dog. It was “taken care of” and will never be officially closed so your dirty work and that of the state police back in the day can never be fully discovered. You shoved that shit down everyone’s throat from 1977 until your death in 2019. I wish this man had been alive to read Marney’s book (although I’m sure he wouldn’t have).
This book was written by Marney Keenan, a journalist with an impeccable reputation in the Detroit area. So who are you going to believe, Walter Cronkite or Richard Nixon? Ad hominem attacks, of the variety lobbed against victims’ family members in this case, don’t work here. Read the book and weep not only for Mark, Jill, Kris and Tim, but for the state of law enforcement in Oakland County and at the MSP. And weep for the many child victims of predators in that area whose stories were not believed or acknowledged, and knew their victimizers walked free.