1978 Major Case Investigation Team Manual.

In 1978 the Michigan Department of State Police published a 245-page team manual (including appendices) concerning the operations of the OCCK task force. It was presented through a grant award from the Michigan Office of Criminal Justice Programs.

This document can be accessed on the NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference Service). Here is the abstract page:


Click on “PDF” to access the manual.

While it is merely denoted with a year, not a date, it appears to cover information dated through April 1978, and the document explains that as of yet, there have been no arrests in the case. In eight month’s time, the task force will be disbanded.

While this document seems to do a good job trying to justify the $637,662 in grant money the MSP task force had received (see pages 12 and 13; Grant #1 was $341,987, and Grant #2 was $295,675), the most important take aways are found at page 49 (“A tool is only as good as the person who is using it”) and page 14 (chart of law enforcement personnel who, if still living, should be grilled under oath about what happened in this investigation, especially concerning Chris Busch and his attorney Jane Burgess). The incident maps on pages 99-107 are also interesting.

I keep forgetting that these crimes and the N. Fox Island crimes took place under the watch of not only L. Brooks Patterson and Oakland County local law enforcement, but also on the watch of Michigan A.G. Frank Kelley and Governor William Milliken (native of Traverse City). Exhibit F is Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley’s AG Opinion No. 5031, dated September 17, 1976–well before the formation of the OCCK task force).

The AG opinion addresses the use of local police agencies “in conjunction with” the Michigan State Police.

The opinion is clearly concerned in large part with the question of civil liability arising from actions of local officers. The answer: The state need not provide legal counsel for local police officers and “assumes no financial responsibility in connection with a civil suit arising from the actions of local peace officers.” So you’re not responsible for Birmingham PD, but you are for the MSP.

58 thoughts on “1978 Major Case Investigation Team Manual.”

  1. Hey Cathy, Remind your gentle readers that in today’s dollars that would likely be well over two million dollars.

  2. PS I forgot to mention front page of today’s Oakland Press. Oakland County government is increasing all employees’ salaries by a total of 11 million dollars for 2021.

  3. Sunday February 15, 1976 – day after St. Valentine’s
    Abducts Mark Stebbins, 12, of Ferndale
    Signs of anal violation with an object
    signs of rope marks on wrists ankles
    found four days later

    Wednesday December 22, 1976 – Wednesday before Christmas
    Abducts Jill Robinson, 12, of Royal Oak
    No physical signs of sexual trauma
    disputed sperm sample from inside vagina
    found the day after Christmas

    Sunday January 2, 1977 – Day after New Year’s
    Abducts Kristine Mihelich, 12, of Berkeley
    No physical signs of sexual trauma
    Found 20 days later

    Wednesday March 16, 1977 – Day after Ides of March
    Abducts Timothy King, 12, of Birmingham
    Signs of anal violation with an object

    Abductions took place on Sunday mid afternoon and Wednesday early evening. Was this after church? Or maybe he was off from work on these days?

    All children were age 10 to 12, the first onset of puberty, 5th grade to 7th grade. Did something traumatic happen to him at this age?

    The first and last child were boys, who he violated. The second and third were girls that he did not violate. Obviously he was homosexual. Perhaps he was experimenting to see if he could be attracted to females and found that he wasn’t. He kept the one girl for 20 days. He seemed to enjoy their company. He wanted to be that age again.

    He picked up children in 4 different townships and each time dropped their bodies in a different town from where they were abducted. He was intelligent and careful. He planned to not be caught.

    Twice he abducted a child the day after a holiday (Valentine’s and New Years) and once a few days before Christmas. I think this person wanted the companionship of a child in addition to sexual contact. He felt alone. The last murder was the day after the Ides of March. Was he aware of this. If so, then why? My thoughts: random, wanted Valentine’s, but was too afraid of getting caught so he waited a month, Ides of March noted on the calendar he had, or knew the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar or knew Roman history or Latin well. Was he a teacher or did he study any of these?

    He made a point of leaving the children dressed and groomed. He was careful and paid close attention to detail.

    I found p.25 suspect profile (p 25) and Wanted Poster (p 26) very useful. These seem accurate to me.

    I noticed that the locations in the plot
    “BLUE CARS REPORTED TO POLICE ALONG WOODWARD” (p.141) formed definite patterns along Route 1: Berkeley, Royal Oak, Ferndale. Same locations as the victims. In contrast, the plot of green cars was randomly scattered.

    This is my profile.

    white male in late 20s. average height and build:
    Prominent square chin, not necessarily attractive
    wide mouth and full lips
    wavy / shaggy hair parted to right side
    white, but dark complexion
    “buggy” eyes?
    looks a lot like the unknown photo mailed to Catherine
    lived alone, no close connections
    owned a dog with white fur
    owned a shotgun
    owned a blue gremlin. i think the buried car found after a tip in 2013 is the car. in which case, he would have bought a different car
    knew well the area of Royal Oak, Berkeley, Ferndale, and Birmingham, especially route 1.
    lonely, lost soul
    possibly regular at church
    “closeted” homosexual
    guilt about sexuality but not generally guilt ridden
    no history of violent crimes
    not considered threatening or menacing
    not a psychopath nor a sadist. these people tend to treat others like a first-person shooter video game. He took care of the children, albeit in a severely bizarre and twisted way
    was not involved (at this point in time) in child pornography nor sex trafficking. he’s not looking for money, exploitation, of sick thrills. he is not impulsive and he doesn’t want to get caught.
    he does this alone. he seems to be experimenting with his sexuality as if he is that age
    severely deranged and depraved mental illness, but hides it well
    intelligent, thoughtful, attention to details, plans
    possibly college educated. probably reads a lot
    lots of free time. he trolled in afternoons and evenings.
    either had summer job or spotty employment record at the time. or perhaps worked only in the morning. Or maybe WED and SUN were his days off
    may have worked with children
    emotionally stuck at age 11 or so, the onset of puberty. probably had a house with a lot of kids toys and books
    emotionally relates to others, but is extremely absorbed in himself and his thoughts
    wants people to see that these children were killed. perhaps this is a symbol for something in him that died at that age. He wants people to see his pain, but he is dissociated from his victims’ murders and the pain caused to families. It’s all about him.
    parents quite possibly divorced. something happened to him at that age: difficult divorce, sexually abused by an adult, or maybe he was caught and punished for sexual activity

    mental institution
    started dating men
    moved to a city to meet men
    prison for other crimes
    got involved in child pornography or started sexually abusing children


    I got the impression that whomever wrote the report were sincerely working to find the killer. However, I do think there was a cover-up. I think it was either a son of someone with power (perhaps Christopher Busch or a friend of his who framed him), or it was that powerful people did not want anyone digging around and stumbling upon unrelated “dirty laundry” (drug trafficking, sex trafficking, child pornography, graft). The sketch at Busch’s death really looks a lot like Timothy King. It’s hard to ignore that. Did Busch draw this or was he framed? Was it the police, the Busch family or the real killer on his own making the known pedophile Busch out to be the patsy.

    I don’t think the killer was any of the habitual low lifes (eg Sloan) who were interviewed. I think the killer was a loner.

    1. Then how do you explain the hairs found in Arch Sloan’s car that match Mark Stebbins & Timothy King? What about the hair on Kristine
      Mehelich’s jacket that is an Mt DNA match to Gunnels?
      It’s too bad that can’t be forced to be injected with Sodium Pentothal.

      1. honestly, i don’t believe the police. how come their evidence is always close to finding the killer but never an exact match? Their evidence always points to convenient scapegoats and never results in progress. “this shows that the killer was once in this incarcerated scumbag’s car. Case closed. PLEASE END ALL INQUIRIES.” I think there is a coverup.

        I believe the killer should receive the death penalty. But to find the real killer means you have to honestly profile him.

    1. thanks. i wish i could solve it to bring at least some justice for Catherine and the other families. I’ve following the case for about a decade. Thinking about it today, the three things that really stand out are:

      1. a witness saw a man with a blue gremlin

      2. the police report shows a chart/plot with a definite pattern for a creep in a blue car in the exact same towns

      3. the composite look similar. these are probably fairly accurate

      4. there is only one reason to ever bury a car

      5. gremlin cars are rare

      6. sadly, the drawing at Christopher Busch’s death bed looks very much like Timothy King. The killer had / has talents in drawing.

      I’m ignoring most of the evidence that the police haved claimed since the report was written. i think when the investigation started to get too close to the killer or other crimes, someone powerful shut it down: someone(s) with money and power was involved in sex crimes against children, but not necessarily these crimes. That’s my belief.

  4. Michigan was the first state to end the death penalty in the 1800’s. They conducted one hanging in mid Michigan during the 1930’s related to a death during a bank robbery which is a federal charge.

    1. i think it should be brought back for heinous crimes and for when the evidence is at a level above “no reasonable doubt”. Families deserve justice. it’s a further crime to grant leniency for life changing crimes.

      1. They have tried to bring the death penalty back, but it goes no where with the Michigan populace. It never got on any ballot and has not been remotely discussed in decades

          1. A real moral code is a good replacement for courage. But with the Monsters running free in The cass, North Fox, and Oakland County you start to wonder if there is any moral code left.

    1. i was born in the late sixities and on the east coast. i do remember some gtemlins but i was too young when they first came out. I’d like to see those early records and see who owned blue one in that area. i think his name is in the files. i bet they even interviewed him

      1. The Gremlin thing has pretty much been refuted. A Lemans or Tempest is the more likely vehicle of interest

          1. yes, blue/green I believe. If you have hours and hours, there is a ton of info on this blog. I also highly recommend Marney Keenan’s book and J. Reuben Appleman’s book and podcast. You’ll see/hear info on the vehicles at all these resources, including some reasons why the Gremlin was probably not involved.

  5. I’m going to post the names of the law enforcement officers that Catherine mentions, from the report. Maybe someone will see. Here is the first group







    SGT. R. TODD




  6. pages 183-187 (222-226 in the pdf) have a good summary of the evidence.

    Here are the LEO involved in the Mark Stebbins case, from pdf page 12

    Lt. Sullivan
    Town where abducted

    Lt. Simmons
    Town where his remains were found

    Parent/Family Liaison

    Evidence Room

  7. Tim was taken in Birmingham. Mark was taken from the VFW post area which is located in either Ferndale or Berkley. I have been there.

  8. Hi Cathy,

    I read all of your posts. I am interested in “none”’s comments although I think he has some details a bit f’d up (like the drawing and perhaps the gremlin).

    I do so admire you and all of your efforts to bring justice for Tim. I have to tell you that this has had a profound effect on my family, especially my Dad, who was completely devastated, and also me, most especially on how I behaved as a mother. My kids were monitored within an inch of their lives. I do vividly remember Timmy from the visits you guys made to Ottawa and Milford and especially the visit we made to Michigan. Most especially on the latter occasion regarding that commercial about Shake and Bake! (and I helped)

    I love you and wish you peace and contentment. Please take time to love yourself and your life and don’t be like me and end up at 64 with health issues, realizing that you didn’t take care of you because you were so busy taking care of everyone else.

    I hope I don’t offend with my comments. I also want justice for Tim. You rock!

    Love and hugs,


    Vivian Kerr
    Senior initiation Clinical Site Manager

    1. Dear Vicki, much love to you. Thank you. Your Dad and Liz were an oasis during our darkest hours. Tim was a great kid; we all had some awesome times together. Unforgettable.

      Last attempts at whatever can be construed as justice in the state of Michigan. Then I can walk away from this freak show knowing we did the best we could. So far nothing has forced any acknowledgement, let alone a remedy and some kind of meaningful change.

      Thank you for your kind words and the memories. Much love.

  9. OK. Once again -here is my theory. John Hastings was an alphabet killer.
    H: Hunter/MaplePharmacy (Tim’s pickup)
    A: American Legion Hall (Mark’s pickup)
    S: Seven Eleven: (Kristine’s Pickup)
    T: Tiny Tim:(Jill’s pickup)
    I: I-75 (Jill’s dropoff)
    N: New Orleans Mall(Mark’s dropoff)
    G: Gill Road ( Tim’s dropoff)
    S: Changed to Bruce Rd.due to Dr. Bruce Danto’s involvement with case (Kristine’s drop off)

    The drawings of the two guys witness Doug Wilson saw behind Hunter Maple Pharmacy were an uncanny resemblance to John Hastings and Bloomfield Township Officer Richard J. McNamee.

    They both knew Busch. Hastings is still alive and living in the Atlanta area. He failed a polygraph test. I could go on and on. I’m telling you all,these are the two guys with perhaps a little bit of help from friends/family.

  10. That there was never any follow up after the polygraph of Hastings by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or on the woman who called the MSP tip line late this summer regarding Bloomfield Village PD corporal Richard McNamee. This is all the proof you need that the Michigan State Police have no intention of following up on anything in this case. I have other examples of serious information the MSP has refused to act on.

    Regarding Hastings: “[GBI polygrapher] Duncan advised that there was no question in his mind, whatsoever, that Hastings has some involvement with the murder of these children. He stated he didn’t know to what degree of involvement he may have, whether knowledge, did the murder or assisted, but he firmly believes he was involved.”

    HASTINGS IS ALIVE AND LIVING IN THE ATLANTA AREA. He needs to be grilled hard about his obvious fail on this polygraph, his involvement in running kids in the child porn operation in Oakland County, his association with Chris Busch and Officer McNamee, his comments about “Burking” and the drug succinylcholine, and family ownership of a shotgun with a “Hastings Paradox” gun barrel. And that’s just for starters. Any guy who shows up to an interview with police lugging a serial killer anthology is begging for closer examination.

    1. Cathy;

      Correct me if I’m wrong but what I got out of the polygraph conclusions in the FOIA docs was that it was Duncan and his boss (whom observed the whole polygraph) and they both concluded that John Hastings was somehow involved. I can’t find the actual print to verify that but if that is true it should speak volumes on it’s own!

        1. Gulp! Yup it’s right in there in print above the highlighted box. Thanks Cathy. How can this be ignored all of this time? Any idea who Duncan’s supervisor might have been? I wonder if Mr. Gray would know?

          1. It almost reads to me like John Hastings cracked and admitted to part of the crime but with all the print taken out it’s hard to determine the details. Too bad Cory was not present when this polygraph took place. My understanding was that he was on his way back to Michigan when this was conducted. The outcome might have turned out different if he was there.

            1. Good evening to all and Merry Christmas. I think Cathy made a remark about Mr. Hastings owning a Hastings shotgun barrel. Hastings is a manufacturer of high end after market shotgun barrels that are used for shooting deer with slugs. This occurs in states or portions of states that prohibit rifles in highly populated areas. This was the case in southern Michigan in the 1970’s.. Current price is about $350 to $400 each. In contrast one could buy 2 or 3 quality barrels for the price of a Hastings. These barrels are typically purchased by well heeled shooters who are serious about their weaponry. The average hunter would not know about these barrels or be able to afford one. Sadly, they are not serialized. I recall there was mention in the Apelman book that Frank Sheldon would hunt elk in Colorado. Perhaps the killer was a well off deer hunter ? Most of the Hastings barrels were 12 gauge which was the gauge Jill Robinson was shot with. Also, I believe the same gauge as the imprint on Mark Stebbins.

            2. Cathy;

              Can the MSP be held accountable of withholding evidence on Hasting poly? It sure reads like something is being held back big time! Would be so curious what goes in the blanks on those FOIA pages. Detective Gray probably has no clue what is even written here. Has anyone ever tried to find or at least locate Tobias notes on Hastings investigation? Would FOIA apply for something like that? It was always a mystery what he found as he was investigating him on his own. Or so they say.

  11. A couple random thoughts…
    1. Since Busch was in Europe frequently, did anyone ever check to see if similar crimes happened there?
    2. The thing I can’t get past- Lamborgine won’t say a word about this case even to make his own life easier, and there’s other examples of people that won’t talk, even though it may help them. (Possibly Gunnels). I’ve had the impression that there’s someone these people are afraid of. So if that’s the case, why would Hastings run his mouth endlessly to Helen? If there’s some kingpin above Hastings, I’d imagine even implicating himself would be risky. On the other hand, I can’t imagine Lamborgine et al would be afraid of Hastings, I can’t see Hastings as a mastermind people would fear. Obviously a lot of conjecture here and I’m just talking out loud.

    Could it be as simple as Busch (and Greene) using his house and/or cottage to hold these kids while mom and dad are out of town and the dates are meaningless? (Possibly with Gunnels as lure). Maybe mom and dad left for Europe on Sundays so he struck then. (for two of the children). Regarding Busch most likely being murdered, there was probably plenty of possibilities for that, including family and LE. And, Lamborgine doesn’t want to talk because he’s going to heaven and he’s moved on?

    Of course there’s still the failed/inconclusive polygraphs of many, including Hastings.

    1. That’s where I’m leaning,
      I think the crimes are the result of one or two players maybe with Gunnels as a lure.
      Tried looking for a similar crime and found Bradley Bellini in Ohio 1972.

  12. Does anyone know if the boyfriend of Jill’s mother was questioned and what became of him? Also, the description in this document regarding the lightly stained tampon present in the body and the mother finding a box of tampons in Jill’s room suggests a lack of knowledge on the mother’s part that her daughter had started her period. Is this an accurate portrayal?

    1. Jill’s sister gave an interview to a Leelanau paper that said a witness saw Jill in the early hours after she left home at a 24 hr doughnut shop. The sister also said in an interview Jill’s mother accused her of forging a note which was why they argued. She want on to say that Jill was 12, why would a 12 year old forge a note? There was an article in one of the Detroit papers after Jill was found and a quote by her dad’s sister that didn’t portray (Karol )Jill’s mom
      In a favorable light when it came to treatment of Jill. So much investigative failure.

      1. One simple, common reason why a 12 year old would forge a note would be to play hooky from school.
        Just speculating here, but if Mrs. Karol Robinson became aware on the evening of December 22, 1976 that her daughter had previously forged mom’s name on a note to school, then an argument may well have ensued.

        No evidence here that scenario is true, however it is entirely plausible if such an argument did indeed happen. It would explain why both the sister said it later, and also why mom might deny it later.

        None of that though gets us any closer to who took her.

        1. Exactly, Paul. The narrative of these cases is such bullshit. The community ate up these kind of details because it was yet another way for people to think “this would never happen to my family.” I would never let my son walk home in broad daylight to go watch a movie at home alone. I would never have an argument with my pre-teen daughter that would send her off to head for her father’s house. I would never let my daughter walk alone to a 7-11 in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon. I would never give my brother money to go to a drug store alone. I would never let my son stay home alone without telling him all of the rules–don’t answer the door, don’t tell anyone who calls you are home alone, don’t use the oven, stay home and inside. How everyone loves to rehash that shit. It’s comforting to them, in some way.

          How about this? No matter what Brooks Patterson was saying, in 1976 and 1977 in Oakland County, Michigan, kids could not walk the streets alone at any time of the day or night. They could not ride their bikes alone. They were not safe. And how about this–where were the cops who, certainly by the time my brother was abducted, were comparing notes about how fucked up this all was? Where were the patrols, especially on the first warm day after a long Michigan winter? Why weren’t the cops patrolling heavily after Jill wound up dead near the Troy Police station? Nobody ever asks about that. Even after my Dad called the cops and told them his 11-year-old son was missing, the fucking dispatcher told him to cool his heels until the shift change.

          All the details everyone now wants to pick apart, after the cops blew it. And they blew it by going along with whatever happened to shut this investigation down. Their silence is complicity. Some who are still alive participated in and perpetuated lies. Then the Keystone Cop routine continued with the installation of Garry Gray and Dave Robertson on their fake “task force” in 2005. And meanwhile, the internet is alive with questions about cars and composites and questions about freaks and criminals who were present at the VFW, who frequented Hartfield Lanes, and men who hid behind the facade of respectability. All shit the cops should have dealt with back in the day, but didn’t. The MSP couldn’t even keep the evidence properly stored and preserved in the biggest serial murder case in Michigan history. No matter; the families are too weak to speak up and the communities will just be glad no more kids are murdered.

          They get a fail. I don’t care how committed they were, how scared they were that it could have been their own kids, how many hours straight they spun their wheels. It always comes back, in some way, to how those kids managed to get themselves in that predicament–one that turned into a nightmare. The community was terrified, but it was also judgmental and at the end of the day, unsupportive. And by failing to demand answers to how this investigation wound up the way it did, this sad legacy continues.

          1. I don’t know how you hold up sometimes, Cathy! This is so maddening.

            Victim blaming is a popular pastime in this country and is a big reason crimes don’t get solved. Just put your head in the sand. It can’t happen to me! The nice, well-known man in town can’t possibly be a monster! Surely, if the victim hadn’t done x or y, s/he wouldn’t have been harmed!

            The excuses go on and on.

            The truth is that child predators prey on kids because THEY WANT TO, and placing any blame on the victims and their families makes success for these sickos even more possible.

            An argument with a parent didn’t cause four kids to be killed and dumped in the roadside. Nor did walking home two blocks, or going to get a magazine, or a candy bar. I am so over this.

            I had a guy try to grab me out of my front yard in June 1977. He was never caught. All I was doing was playing alone IN MY FRONT YARD and I still wasn’t safe at that time! I lived just north of the Oakland County border in Genesee County. We’re my parents somehow to blame?

            We need justice for these kids, not ways to try to dismiss what happened. It’s way past time. Even if it’s just publicly hearing the truth.

            Sorry to rant but this hit a nerve. This case is personal to a great many of us because we lived it.

  13. I was thinking too – how did these kids get taken seemingly out of the blue (except Tim)?

    I’m guessing they were all taken from parking lots, where it would be natural for a child to get into a car (as opposed to them being taken off the street). With Mark, maybe someone asked him for directions in the VFW parking lot. I know some think Jill went to the hobby shop, maybe she parked her bike outside, was about to go in, and someone called her over to the car. Kristine was at 7-11 and Tim was at the pharmacy.

    This may be obvious to everyone as I may have missed this theory. But it just never made sense to me how Mark could just be walking home in Ferndale and someone could get him in a car with nobody noticing.

    Too bad the cameras that exist now did not exist then…

    1. The Ferndale police (allegedly) canvassed every possible house along any route Mark might have taken home from the VFW Hall on Livernois, just south of 9 Mile, to his house on Saratoga, two blocks south of 9 Mile and a couple blocks east of Woodward.

      The Ferndale PD were unable to locate any witness to the abduction.

      OK, no surprise there.

      But, much more interesting: they found no one who saw Mark walking at all at any point along any route!

      On an early Sunday afternoon, on residential streets over several blocks, across a major thoroughfare (Woodward), past (presumably) the Ferndale Fire Department Station, located just 60 feet south of the VFW hall,


      or (if he went north to 9 Mile before heading east), along one of the major mile roads in Oakland County, awash with traffic, NOT ONE WITNESS SAW MARK WALKING AT ANY POINT!

      Hell, the Ferndale Police Station on 9 Mile backs up to Troy Street, which Mark could have hit with a snowball if he threw one from his backyard on Saratoga!

      From the Ferndale PD station, it was a ten second drive east to see Mark’s backyard!


      If Mark made it out of the VFW hall parking lot, then he MUST have passed within spitting distance of either the Ferndale PD or the Ferndale FD, both manned by trained observers on duty at that very moment!

      That nobody saw anything is powerful evidence (and maybe absolute proof) that Mark was taken from the one place where concealment was possible: the parking lot behind the VFW hall (which has since been torn down, although this view from Google captures the satellite view:)


      That should have been a powerful clue in 1976: the perp(s) were very near to the gathering at the VFW hall that afternoon, and very probably among those present.

      Cathy King Broad has written before about her brother Chris’s belief that some interesting name or names were on the list of possible suspects, but that the list is now unavailable.

      I share her brother’s suspicions.

  14. It is so horrific to think but if there were multiple players involved, they provably had someone talk to the kids, get their guard down and then BAMM, get another vehicle closer, blitz them into a car and within a matter of seconds gone, no commotion and no witnesses.

    1. One of the theories that has picked up steam over the years is that yes, the offender(s) used lures that were around the same age (ex: Gunnels) to get the kids attention somehow and to get their guard down. That, or the other theory that is was somebody in (or posing) as law enforcement, clergy, etc. or a combination both that and younger kids as lures.

      It almost has to be on or both of those scenarios, right? Or the other sickening method that has been brought up where one person quickly gets the kids attention (ask a quick question, for directions, etc.) and then another quickly comes from behind to knock the kid out and put them into a vehicle without much commotion. Cathy has mentioned it and the name for it escaped me right now.

      It’s one of so many damn questions and tangents this case has. Makes your head spin thinking about the all the horrific possibilities and scenarios.

      1. Oh, I agree that it was horrific alright. But the question here is how could any such situation have occurred in broad daylight in plain view of anyone on a public street?

        Granted, such an abduction by an experienced kidnap team could be over in a matter of seconds, but still, what a risk to the kidnappers! If that happened out on the main streets, how could the kidnappers be confident that no one would notice anything at all?

        No, I don’t think any of the kidnappings happened within plain sight of nearby homes or motorists. They didn’t happen on the streets proper.

        1. For example, we know that Tim’s kidnapping started in the parking lot behind the Hunter-Maple Pharmacy. That parking lot is invisible to motorists on Maple, and thanks to the incline, it is not immediately, easily visible to homes nearby. However fast they were, the kidnappers did it in a comparatively secluded spot at night. That was no accident, I believe.

        The view as you walked out the back door of the Hunter-Maple Pharmacy:


        2. Kristine disappeared after being last seen walking out of the 7-11 on 12 Mile in Berkley, possibly (probably?) in the company of an older male (maybe a cop?), someone with whom she appeared to be distantly acquainted, at least according to a juvenile witness.
        In any event, look at this walled-in parking lot, immediately behind the 7-11. While all customers would have used the front entrance (as I am certain Kristine did too), IF she was accompanied/trailed by a kidnapper, the obvious spot to get her into a vehicle was BEHIND the 7-11, not out front, right on 12 Mile.
        I don’t know how the kidnapper lured her near his vehicle; perhaps she entered it willingly. But, if there was any violence involved at all, it simply could not have occurred out front.

        The obvious spot is this (comparatively) hidden parking lot, behind 7-11, away from 12 Mile:


        3. I am 100% certain (see my lengthy comments above) that Mark’s kidnapping did NOT take place on the streets of Ferndale proper (and certainly NOT at “9 Mile and Woodward” as Chris Busch later said.)

        So where did the kidnapper/s get him?

        What spot was invisible to drivers, pedestrians and nearby homes on a Sunday afternoon?

        Right here, just outside the back door (beneath the awning, between the two blue handicapped spots) of the VFW hall on Livernois, south of 9 Mile:


        4. We don’t know where Jill was taken. (Again, Chris Busch’s “13 Mile and Woodward” is an absurdly unspecific location. No one has any idea if Jill ever got anywhere near that giant intersection.)

        However, we do have some tentative information about her bicycle.

        Her bicycle was allegedly found by juveniles on December 27 and then ridden for a few hours before they abandoned it on Washington Blvd.

        If true, then here is almost certainly where the kidnappers dumped the bike, and where it could plausibly have remained hidden from passers-by for five days, until the boys found it:

        Behind 1523 N. Main, in this secluded parking lot:


        So, is this very near where Jill’s kidnapping took place?


        If so, then it also tells us that she was not anywhere near 13 Mile and Woodward. (She was kidnapped almost two miles away!)

        So what can we reasonably speculate?

        1. All four kidnappings took place in or very near parking lots behind buildings, away from the main traffic areas, out of sight of just about anyone nearby;

        2. Jill may have been bumped off her bike in a staged accident, but if that happened, it must have been by a vehicle crossing the sidewalk at the driveway of a business. Main Street itself (not the sidewalk, but the road) in Royal Oak was not then (nor is it now) a safe place for juvenile bicyclists. We know her bicycle was not equipped with a headlight, and her ordeal took place in the dark. There is zero evidence she was riding on any street proper.

        It would have been a simple matter for cruising kidnappers, driving north on Main, to pull up behind her as she pedaled north on the west sidewalk and time their left turn into 1523 N. Main just before she crossed the driveway. If she hit them at an angle, she would have been thrown off, probably dazed and confused, and in their vehicle in an instant. They then left her bike in the back parking lot, by the wall, unseen for five days at Christmastime.

        3. All four abductions were a combination of happenstance and quick actions by the kidnappers. No one could have known in advance that Mark would choose to leave the VFW hall to watch a movie, or that Jill would leave her mother’s house on her bike that night, or that Kristine was going to walk to 7- 11, or that Tim would go buy candy at the Hunter-Maple Pharmacy.

        4. Kidnappings require that the victims be subdued. And that takes at least two kidnappers, if not more. Also, any car with windows was an incredible risk to the kidnappers- anyone could see inside. Therefore, it is far more likely that the vehicle was some kind of van without window, at least for Mark and Jill, and small though he was, very probably for Tim, too.

        5. Kristine may (MAY) have willingly entered her kidnapper’s vehicle, in which case, no van was necessary. And, she may (MAY) not have realized she was being kidnapped until she was safely out of public sight. Again, though, if she realized something was wrong, she might have resisted, and that was something no kidnapper could dare risk on 12 Mile. So, either way, it had to be behind the 7-11.

        6. While “trunking” a kid is theoretically possible, all kids, regardless of size, would have violently resisted being thrown into a trunk, unless they were unconscious first. But, aside from two lacerations on Mark’s head, we have no evidence that any of the other kids were knocked out prior to being driven away. Anyway, conking a kid on the head was very risky – a blow hard enough to knock a kid out was also hard enough to kill a kid.
        And that, as we know, was not what the kidnappers wanted: they wanted live kids.

        To sum up:

        It’s more likely that the kidnappings were by a multi-man team, equipped with a windowless van (open door on side), who physically hustled an unwary kid into the van in secluded, partially-walled, smaller parking lots behind buildings and away from virtually anyone nearby.

        That’s probably how it was done.

  15. One term was “trunk ’em” as in throwing someone in the trunk of a car. Another was “grab and go.”

    1. I still keep thinking there was another term that was used that involved with (ugh) hitting the kid in the throat hard enough to where they couldn’t breath and make noise immediately, then putting them into a car/trunk. Maybe it was in fact, “trunk”, but for some reason I think there is another term that was used.

      In any event, we can all agree to call it disgusting.

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