Timeline of the OCCK Investigation

Check out this awesome timeline covering the OCCK investigation, compiled by Dylan Lightfoot.


It is a work in progress and will be updated going forward as events unfold and as input and new information comes in from the public.

For suggestions or additions to the timeline, as explained in the headnote, please contact: OCCKtimeline@gmail.com.

The police never did it. So, after all this time it boils down to giving as much information as possible to the public. The state police and Oakland County would never advance the case. So, here we are. Stay tuned.

I am deeply appreciative of all of the work Dylan has done on this project.

The timeline makes reference to the most definitive book written on these crimes, The Snow Killings: Inside the Oakland County Child Killing Investigation, by Marney Keenan. If you are interested in or were impacted by this case, you need to read this book. https://www.thesnowkillings.com/.

19 thoughts on “Timeline of the OCCK Investigation”

  1. Seems like the James Davidson attack of 1974 would be key to these crimes.
    Is there any more info on this assault I.e police sketches,clothing,number of attackers etc
    Or has this information been “lost”


      1. First attack.fits same profile of later attacks i.e held for several days and chocked or smothered etc.
        Details show up when you open the link.


  2. This is an enormous and impressive undertaking. How will new or corrected info be handled? If someone has new information to add, where is the best place to send it or who is the best person to contact?

    1. Judi: There is a designated gmail acct at the end of the headnote at the top of the timeline. All constructive input is welcome, from pointing out typos to correcting inaccuracies/ambiguities to suggesting new entries. The goal is to build an increasingly more complete and accurate account–this is just the “starter pack.”

  3. Seems like Hastings passing his polygraph in 2009 is covered two different places yet at another place explains the questionable polygraph results in detail. There was never any documentation provided that he actually passed that test in 2009. So where this came from must be assumptions or word of mouth from someone. May need to make that consistent and accurate thru out someway. It seems now that maybe Hastings never did pass his polygraph and was cleared in 2009 because Detective Gary Gray didn’t like Helen but sometimes stating the obvious is not professional. Also Alpena Witness heard part of the Helen & John discussions and saw maps at the Big Boy on December 26, 1991. There was a whole chapter dedicated to this in Appelman, J. Reuben, “The Kill Jar,” book and more currently a 2 hour interview with this witness was provided here on Cathy’s blog. Otherwise the timeline is excellent documentation on this case!

    1. Have made some edits in response. In places, I’m attempting to cross-reference related entries that are separated by several or many dates–thus the apparent double mention. But I do want them to read like connections, not repetitions. Will work in the Alpena witness later. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. Dylan,

    Thank you millions for this much needed and Herculean effort, Certainly more to be added, but as the saying goes, even the longest journey begins with the first step.

    Bob Kenney

  5. What a wonderful project! It also came to my attention recently that The Daily Tribune has now been (or is continuing to be) electronically archived, without the need for a subscription, at http://www.ropltribune.org/ which could serve as a way to verify information via newspaper articles.

    1. Thanks, I will tool around there. I heard from an Oakland Press reporter a couple years ago that their print archives had been donated to Oakland University for digitization. At the time I think the project was waiting on funding to move ahead–have to check up on that.

      1. It was a donation by a wonderful woman, a career 6th grade teacher in Royal Oak, Jane Carpenter, that funded the project to get the Daily Tribune digitized. She was a tough and inspirational teacher, and someone worth remembering.

  6. Wow – excellent job in the timeline! The more I read this I’m struck by some of the similarities between this and the Martha Morley case- same rich dysfunctional family with a neglected, destructive mess of a son, Same well connected father – hampering detectives hard work , same suburban lack of experience processing murder scenes, same idiot defendant placing himself at the crime scene (abduction sites). I really think in the Busch case it wasn’t anything as lofty as protecting the family name – this was all about protecting the family fortune from possible civil suit (s) think about it- 4 child victims & the standard of proof is much lower in a civil suit. They already had Busch’s own words and the statements from Greene and Gunnels implicating CB. 4 child victims in a civil suit could’ve bankrupted HLee – no way he was gonna risk losing the private plane, the home in Europe, the limos , the lifestyle. It ALWAYS comes back to money-truly the root of all evil…

  7. Cathy,

    The timeline is an awesome tool.
    Put the timeline link in your blog’s About section. Indicate it is a work in progress.
    And/or find a way to pin the timeline link to the right hand column of the page so that new readers see it and long time readers can quickly find it.

  8. Excellent work! I started doing something like this at one point but in map form. This timeline is a phenomenal resource to help people visualize how neatly some of the events in the cases line up

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