Alpena Witness

Or, if you know much about the background of this case, you could also call him Ignored Witness. Because that nickname could apply to many witnesses in this case, we will stick with “Alpena Witness.” The audio files of an interview of Alpena Witness tell the story better than I ever could. They first four segments of eight are posted below. This interview is timely at this stage, given recent posts.

After the revelations about Bloomfield Township/Village Officer Richard McNamee, convicted pedophile, we are once again focused on the one square mile enclave of Bloomfield Village where Chris Busch lived with his parents and John Hastings lived a stone’s throw away in a home owned by his parents. McNamee lived a three-minute car ride away at 423 S. Cranbrook Cross, Bloomfield Hills. To my knowledge, no one in law enforcement has acted on this recent lead about McNamee or contacted the victim who came forward.

We also visited the conclusions concerning the 2009 polygraph of Chris Busch’s neighbor, John Hastings, in a recent post. We know it was Hastings because, although his name was mostly redacted from the MSP documents, they followed a handwritten title page entitled John Hastings Investigation. No, I am not kidding.

We’ve compared photos to the composite drawing from 1977 that was withheld from the public. 

I think you will find it very helpful at this point to consider the following interview of “Alpena Witness,” who overheard John Hastings speaking to Helen Dagner on December 26, 1991, about the OCCK crimes. Just listen carefully and it will all make sense. My gratitude to Andy Berthiaume who has been working on a podcast series about these crimes for the past few years for sharing the interview. Andy hopes to have the series completed in the next few months. And my thanks to Alpena Witness as well, for revisiting the nightmare he got swept into in his lengthy interview with Andy. I believe the interview took place in early November 2018.

These excerpts total two hours in length and I will post the segments as provided to me. I find them compelling and, under the circumstances, timely. Here are the first four of eight segments:

THANK YOU, AW AND ANDY! The final four segments in the next post.

19 thoughts on “Alpena Witness”

  1. Wow! These recordings are very interesting. I cant remember what happened yesterday let alone 13 years ago although, I do believe he is telling the truth in what he heard. Cathy, I started reading about the possessions the kids had and what they were wearing etc.. in the 2000’s. The information that John Hastings knew in 1991, was that information available to the public at that time? Thank you for posting these! I always felt that Hastings had some type of involvement, its just too strange that all of these suspects lived so close to each other.


  2. Is the water tower incident in John and Tom Hastings life true? Did they climb a tower with a friend and then one of them fall and die, some thought as to Tom Hastings having pushed him off. This is something Helen had told me, as well as them having large white dog, etc…. Chilling to me, if any of that were true. Psychopaths?, She also told me that John went to Brother RIce and that he also worked at a restaurant near there. I never knew til much later that so mnay people did not find her credible. I wish I had kept her e-mails

    1. Monty – I have all my emails with Helen dating back to May of 2005. Unfortunately, I am missing two years 2003-05 because I was using an old address that was forever locked somehow. Is the water tower incident true? Do you mean Anthony Mitchell’s death? Yes. Were John and Tom Hastings involved? There is no evidence other than Helen was told to prove or disprove that. Was that water tower located directly across the street from the Hastings home? Yes.

      1. I don’t know if the water tower incident is true, just something she e-mailed me about, as well as that their sister was the only Alibi in the OCCK cases. I think she said water tower was in same neighborhood.

        1. Sorry- it was a rhetorical question. The water tower incident is true. Whether the Hastings were really there cannot be confirmed.

    1. To the Helen haters. Buckle up and and have your vomit bags ready. This could be a rough ride!

      I think John showed jealousy of kids from rich GM exec families. Anthony Mitchel was one example along with Chris Busch later. His essay that he wrote according to Helen was attack on the rich and the money society breakdown. The psychic from Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing seem to think there was some type of significance to water towers and the killer as well along with a killing before OCCK events. (5th victim or something on those lines) Don’t remember the details. The cops thought (Helen & John) read the book because of all the water towers on John’s maps. John in later interviews leaned that way because police had already hinted to Helen about that book.

  3. From a reader:

    Thank you for sharing the interview of Alpena Witness. The honest victims and witnesses renditions do not change, even almost 30 years later. Take away notes: law enforcement lies or stays silent. If possible, they gaslight those who are assertive. This is defamation. Michigan protects child predators and not the victims. At the end of the day, I would state that law enforcement is more dishonest and criminal than anything Helen Dagner did. At least she was never known to be a complicit enabler of assaulted and murdered children, which to me would be an accomplice to murder.

  4. Hi Judi Coltman;
    Do you have anything in your records in regards to John H. having an eye injury when they question him in 1977? Anything from Helen on those lines in your emails? The cops made a comment about it and it’s in the FOIA papers somewhere but can’t find it now. Was curious the time from when they talked to him and when Tim was found. Wondering if the eye injury came from that as reasonable speculation. Maybe it could be evident from the photos they took at that time however they were removed from the FOIA papers. Just curious.

    1. I have nothing in my emails with HD about facial injury, scratches or scars. I do have a copy of a FOIA doc dated 01-28-92 wherein Helen Dagner has handwritten notes to Det. Skiba (I believe.) There is a note on the right side of the page with a box around it, “Has old fingernail scars on side of face – right side- ” I don’t, however, know the length of time between when Tim was found and when Hastings was interviewed by police.

      1. Thanks for finding that. That was very likely what I ran across before and could be just about anything. However the other items here that Cathy pointed out cannot be ignored but very obviously were.

  5. Thanks Cathy, I believe you and I have definitely felt there is something with John Hastings. There’s a lot of coincidental things revolving with him and the case. He lived one street over from Chris Busch. They were the same age . They both lived within 3 miles from your house . It’s a fact John has major mental issues as he’s been in and out of mental institutions his adult life. I know as of 2016 he was in one in Florida. John Hastings has a Facebook page currently . If you look at his friends list , it’s all of young girls . Not one family member. I’ve looked up his siblings page and he has 2 brothers and 2 sisters and they have absolutely nothing about John on their pages. Granted unstable people lie. So he very well could have lied to Helen, but I question that. Finally , John Hastings looks the most of the composite they had back then at Tim’s abduction.

  6. It’s a shame that John Hastings came to light via that crackpot Dagner. Just par for the course on this awful case. Because of his association with her, he looks like a non starter, but maybe he wasn’t.

    1. Your reaction is normal and goes along with Patrick, and many others. Totally police reactions as well for decades now. John quacks like a duck (talks to Helen and draws maps), looks like a duck (Now 2 OCCK composite sketches!) smells like a duck (shameful polygraph conclusions with red flags raised). But is not a duck because he disqualified himself by talking to Helen.

      Talk about a clearance that’s lasted decades. I guess part of being a serial killer is deception. Maybe that is where using an object on the boys after death comes in as well. Someday maybe they will say he was under police noses all that time and that will be a far understatement for him.

  7. What are the odds that some guy talking to Helen (crackpot or not) knows so many details about a case from years prior, looks like the composite, lives in the neighborhood where disgusting Busch lives, has suspicious polygraph, AND was an original suspect/was called in to the tip line? Maybe the tie to Helen is a convenient excuse for LE?

    1. To add:

      And lived in same neighborhood as busch all the while we didnt know who busch was. It would be one thing if he added himself into this after the busch knowledge. But before hand? That brings alot of credibility to johns involvement

  8. Andy has done some amazing work and research on this case. Glad to see he’s still on it and still sharing. – Nina

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