I think it is safe to say at this point that no one will ever be charged in the OCCK crimes. I think this has less to do with poor policing than with public corruption. The bigger crime here is public corruption and I believe it continues today, four decades after four young suburban kids were murdered. And, given the hands-off approach of Michigan officials (with the exception of Wayne County, MI) and the Detroit bureau of the FBI, there’s a very good chance we will never fully understand the lengths public officials and police went to in Oakland County, Michigan, to put economics and reputation ahead of child welfare. When you think about it, this is the most blatant example of public corruption one can come up with.
Public corruption is a breach of trust and confidence in government and can tarnish virtually every aspect of society. Police corruption is a part of public corruption. It is an abuse of trust by officials, often with the help of private sector accomplices. For example, a corrupt state polygrapher could “pass” someone on a polygraph, allowing a predator to go free and kill again. Or someone might take money and make some ropes and the original of a pencil drawing disappear. Or a police department or prosecutor’s office could agree to stop investigating a suspect to avoid tarnishing its own reputation due to investigative errors.
The FBI describes this as a top enforcement concern. https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/public-corruption. It can involve the passing of money or actions taken to protect an agency’s reputation. There are many examples of society’s disinterest in child welfare that can include a “wink and a nod” from prosecutors. https://www.ecpatusa.org/blog/2018/12/7/the-ordinary-complicity-that-puts-all-children-at-risk. As this article points out, it is easier for society to point at the monster rather than reflect on how our culture allows these monsters to succeed.
Agencies–even the FBI–are looked at more carefully today. An example is the scrutiny being placed on the FBI for ignoring or slow-walking victims’ allegations in the Larry Nassar case. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/09/05/inspector-general-reviews-fbi-handling-nassar-case/37721107/. While it is beyond dispute that USA gymnastics and Michigan State University were complicit enablers in the Nassar sexual assault cases, the Inspector General’s office of the DOJ has said that at least 40 girls and women said they were molested over a 14-month period while the FBI was aware of other sexual abuse allegations involving Nassar. Somebody noticed.
Consider this 2014 article from The New Yorker Magazine and ask yourself if this man would have done anything humanly possible to keep his suburban enclave from earning a reputation for kid-fucking and worse. Anything to make the OCCK case go away:
You might have had to travel from Birmingham to Detroit to catch Deep Throat at a theater in 1972, but if you wanted to order up a young kid to sexually abuse? Well, you could stay right in Oakland County for that action. Don’t like the implication? TOUGH SHIT.