Did you attend summer camp at Camp Ozanam on Lake Huron in the 1970s or 1980s?

“Father” Gary Berthiaume was charged with sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old boy in September 1977. The assault happened at Camp Ozanam, a St. Vincent DePaul Society camp overlooking Lake Huron in Port Sanilac.

I found this article while searching for Detroit area coverage of then prosecutor Brooks Patterson’s statements to the press about how Fr. Berthiaume had been cleared by polygraph in the OCCK crimes. Surely a Detroit area paper covered what had been reported in Lansing about Berthiaume’s “good grades” on his polygraph.

A September 20, 1977 article from the Detroit Free Press exclaims: 2d Sex Charge Filed Against Priest; HE’S CLEARED IN CHILD MURDERS.

The Free Press article notes that “Mark Stebbins, a 12-year-old Ferndale youth who was kidnapped and murdered in February 1976, attended that camp a few years before his death.” Yes. You read that right.

Here’s a little history on this glorious summer camp experience:

Berthiaume may not have any connections to the OCCK crimes, but he may very well have knowledge of the kind of stuff detailed in the “pedophile flow chart,” involving a lot of players in Michigan. He may just be one of the many “garden variety” pedophile priests from the Catholic church. Or he may have some knowledge that will be helpful. While the N. Fox Island operation appeared to simply ordain their own “ministers,” why not ask this fuck if he knew Frank Shelden or any of the other organized pedophiles operating freely in Michigan. Was he ever at Fox Island? There are 10,000 questions he should be asked.

Police explain that the assault at Camp Ozanam was “an isolated incident.” The chances that this was an isolated incident are exactly zero. If you were victimized at Camp Ozanam, saw or knew of anything untoward, please call the Michigan Attorney General’s office at 517-335-7622 and ask to speak to someone in the Criminal Investigative Division. The office recently extradited this pedophile priest from Illinois to Michigan to answer for 1977 sex crimes against minor(s). They, unlike other law enforcement in Michigan, do not appear to be messing around.

Men like this think they can straighten everything up at the Pearly Gates and that forgiveness for this most heinous of crimes is freely given. I don’t know how that works, but I do know this man should have to stand at the prison gates first to answer for his crimes. Over $300,000 was paid to one of Berthiaume’s victims many years ago. I hope other victims of this bad priest file civil suits as well and do not agree to any kind of a nondisclosure agreement. This man and his enablers need to pay up.

Berthiaume will probably lie and feign memory loss when it comes to any knowledge about the OCCK crimes or related pedophile activities. After all, police and prosecutors have done the same thing in the OCCK investigation for decades. But he needs to be pressed on this anyway. And either way, if there are more victims out there–as we know by statistics, there must be–he needs to pay for those crimes with his freedom and his enablers’ checkbook. “I’m just a rapist, not a murderer,” might help Berthiaume in the OCCK case but he is a significant part of Michigan’s history of ignoring the cries of children and teens who were victimized in a part of the country where officials routinely looked the other way.

17 thoughts on “Did you attend summer camp at Camp Ozanam on Lake Huron in the 1970s or 1980s?”

  1. I am so glad our Atty General is looking at the priests. They definitely need to coordinate priest investigation with OCCK info.I am horrified that Camp Ozanam had molestations

  2. You could be opening up a can of worms with this.
    It seems as though the Archdiocese of Detroit was a major hot bed and spreading center for pedophiles in the Catholic clergy. Michael Rose, in his book Goodbye, Good Men describes 2 seminaries in Michigan controlled by these types, namely Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth.
    And who can forget Maryglade Seminary in Memphis, MI, where the illustrious and dangerous pedophiles “Father” John Thwaytes and “Father” Anthony Cipolla were ordained in 1966.
    Perusing the road atlas, I notice that Memphis is only a few miles SW of Port Huron, where Gerald Richards was “teaching” gym at a Catholic School.
    St. John’s was closed by the church in 1985 and Maryglade in 1972 I believe.
    These seminaries were over the top even by Catholic Church standards.
    Sacred Heart is interesting with its location not that far from the Cass Corridor.

    The pedophile infiltration goes far back as witnessed by the fact that Thwaytes and Cipolla entered Maryglade in 1962.
    It’s frightening to think what might have been going of at this boys camp (and in Michigan in general) all those years.

    Bob K

    1. That can of worms has a label on it saying TRUTH. Law enforcement gets paid to deal with worms, but won’t. The Catholic church, despite their recent “Come to Jesus” mea culpa reports, won’t go there. But you know who can? Civil attorneys who sue on behalf of these clergy victims. Investigative reporters who don’t back off from these criminals. It can be done and it has been done. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Archdiocese_of_Boston_sex_abuse_scandal.

      1. Not sure. I got screwed over big time. I was violated by a baptist youth pastor and I had contacted civil attorneys when I got older. They told me because Michigan has a statute of Limitations on civil suits are screwed over. I think Michigan MCL says you have 10 years to file. The Catholic church and Boy scout civil suits I’m not sure how that works. Maybe the lawsuits are applied at the federal level which would void the bs laws the state has

        1. Ben, some states like New York tolled the statute of limitations and gave child sexual abuse victims a one year window to bring cases that otherwise would have been time-barred. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2019/08/14/boy-scouts-hit-more-lawsuits-new-york-child-victims-act-window/2003681001/ .

          Other states have done away with this antiquated and ill-advised statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases. For example, in 2017, Illinois completely eliminated any statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and assault. This means that if the abuse happens after this change in the law, the abused victim has no deadline to bring a lawsuit. https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=1adbad26-732c-4595-9e96-933ee8fcf439.

          There are exceptions, even in Michigan, to the SOL–that’s how Wayne County was able to prosecute Lawson and Lamborgine for at least 14 child sexual abuse cases from the 1970’s. Both men left the state and by attempting to evade justice, they tolled the statute. Going forward, all states should abolish the SOL the way Illinois did. You can guess who the biggest opponent is to this type of legislative change in statehouses across the country, and who brings the nastiest, most well-rehearsed hired guns–the f’ing Catholic church.

          1. And Michigan recently brought back “Fr.” Gary Berthiaume to answer for sex crimes against minor(s) in 1977. This freak could be the poster boy for Michigan legislation to abolish the SOL in child sexual abuse cases in 2021. Michigan owes it to all of the young people who were sexually assaulted, raped, tortured and/or forced to participate in child porn over the decades while everyone looked the other way. Why have informants like Lawson if you don’t do shit with the information? Why give a pass (prosecutors and judiciary) to a serial pedophile like Chris Busch? Let a heavy-hitter pedophile and child pornographer like Frank Shelden have plenty of time to flee justice to a place where he can’t be extradited. Yes, that state owes a huge debt to society at large for its failings. With Berthiaume back on the radar, the Catholic church should have no say whatsoever in any legislation in Michigan. Go away.

  3. I attended CYO Camp, also in the Lake Huron area. CYO as in Catholic Youth Organization. I wasn’t molested, nor did I suffer any demeaning situations such as “take your clothes off”. I did, however, find out what we later in the late 60s called “gay”. The cabin chaperone girls were gay teenagers. I’m 69 years old. I now think the Catholic culture is loaded with gays because they have some kind of allergy, some kind of avoidance towards normal sex.

  4. Holy shit! But you know Cathy yesterday when I made my comment on your other post I guess what I was trying to say is that it seems to me that there was some type of large acceptance of these crimes in the 70s all over the country. I think the institutions had sick fucks running them Boy scouts, Catholic churches, and all other youth programs were most definitely infiltrated. I find it ironic by the abundance of child rape and homicide cases in the 1970s. You know every decade in history has some but definitely not of this abundance nationwide. Then on the local level look at all these cases. I mean you just don’t see this at all in this abundance in modern day. For years I have seen you scan through dozens of these cases and majority of them were from the Detroit area. Like I said why is there not a national taskforce that assembles similar cases so detectives can connect dots to people who were around victims or were suspects in other crimes. The database from the 70s are crap. Everything is paper logged in court papers. 😠. Anyways I also wanted to ask if Corey Williams still on the case or did he retire?

    1. Cory Williams retired from Wayne County, yes. He has answered questions I have had in the time since he retired, but he has moved on to other work.

      These crimes were rampant because until late 1977 child pornography was not a crime. Victims of sex crimes of any age were often disbelieved and the system was very tough on them. It made it that much easier for these freaks to operate with impunity.

      Michigan, for whatever reason, was a real hotbed for this criminality. Representative Dale Kildee, from Michigan, introduced H.R. 3913 to criminalize the sexual exploitation of children in 1977. The record of the hearings on this legislation refer to (without naming), sex crimes committed by Chris Busch, Greg Greene, and Douglas Bennett. Others mentioned by name are Gerald Richards, Frank Shelden, and Dyer Grossman and Raymond Pilara. Richards, Shelden and Pilara were from MIchigan.

  5. I think this case would have been solved if Prosecutors just put Ted Lamborgine and Arch Sloan in the same prison and let them become bunkies and record audio in there cell for about a year. Guarantee they would talk. Not sure why the prosecutors never thought of doing that

  6. Cathy, do you feel that those 4 kids willingly went with their abductors or do you think they were snatched up? I honestly feel they willingly went. If they were all snatched, it seems like someone would have most certainly witnessed that. I know Tim was talked to about not going with strangers and he was very smart. I couldn’t picture him willingly going with a Busch , Greene , Lamborghine or Sloan. I keep going back to Hastings .

    1. It’s very hard to “snatch” a child of their age in broad daylight without a commotion. I still feel the perpetrator(s) portrayed themselves as LE like stated by the 9 year old eyewitness at the 7-11 KM location who thought he saw Officer Cox.

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