On Thursday, January 28, 2021 at noon (EST), the CARE House “Circle of Friends” will hold its annual event virtually this year. In addition to celebrating 25 years of the Circle of Friends support of CARE House of Oakland County, https://www.carehouse.org/, the event is honoring the memory of my Dad, Barry King.
The virtual event includes a panel discussion moderated by Kevin Dietz, a journalist who covered the investigation into the killings for more than 20 years, with Marney Rich Keenan, author of The Snow Killings: Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation, my brothers and me. A painful, but important discussion.
Examining the legacy of the Oakland County child killings helps call attention to the vital mission of CARE House: the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect and advocacy for victims. Please check out their website to see the important work being done at CARE House and make a donation if you can. Oakland County has a 50-year legacy of empty political platforms promising the protection of children. Let’s hope this changes in the near future. CARE House of Oakland County needs your help now more than ever.
Episode 7 of The Clown and the Candyman is very disturbing.
Some big take aways for me:
1. Here is another serial killer described as “the nicest guy in the room.” It reminded me of Det. Williams’ interview of Larry Burgess, husband of the late Jane Burgess who was the attorney representing Chris Busch as his child rape charges piled up all over Michigan. Burgess, who could have just said “look, it’s all attorney-client privilege stuff,” wanted to have it both ways. Wanted to tell Williams what a nice guy his wife’s client was–he made us a gingerbread house at Christmas time!–and then backfill with some lies and some amnesia episodes.
2. The “friendship” between Gacy and his prison penpal/investigator Randy–I’m sorry, it’s sickening and inexplicable to me–but is it so much different than John Hastings reeling in Helen Dagner with his tales from the OCCK? Helen was offensive and, god forbid, a woman, but cops couldn’t keep an open mind about all of this? Maybe they could have if they were not in “shut this shit down” total overdrive in 1992. And it continued after Hastings’ polygraph in Georgia in October 2009 because these fuckers were not going to go down that road again.
Remember, initially it was pathetic policing–suspects dismissed if they had an alibi for any of the four murders (there could never be more than one person involved, right??), dismissed if they didn’t drive a Gremlin, dismissed if they didn’t look like a drawing, dismissed forever if they passed a polygraph administered by a dirty MSP polygraphist. Then as time went on, it became squelch all inquiry and any tips–we really don’t want any. Even with the older tips–every tip sheet I have ever seen says “low priority tip” or some version of that phrase. And then the most overused phrase in the OCCK task force lexicon: CLEARED.
3. The discussion of a very active production of porno and snuff films using boys as victims.
4. The discussion about the “note cards” listing clients and the obvious acknowledgment that these clients included men like judges and politicians. So of course they go missing! Just like the N. Fox Island client list.
5. The discussion of Gacy and Dean Corll’s use of teenage boys as accessories. Why is it so hard for police to accept that Gunnels was just that? Poor old drug-addled Vince. Let’s see that Oakland County grand jury testimony from 2011. I know you must have lied your ass off.
As the podcasts notes, “long sins cast long shadows.” Just ask Gunnels, Hastings and every other liar (by omission or commission), including liars in law enforcement, associated with this case.