Not living in Oakland County, for starters. An article in today’s NYT examined the clearance rate for murders and the common belief that chances for solving a murder start to evaporate after 48 hours. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/23/upshot/murder-crime-solving.html.
Here is just a sampling of murder cases have never been solved or cleared in Oakland County. All of these murders took place during the reign of law and order prosecutor L. Brooks Patterson:
- The July 30, 1975 disappearance and presumed murder of Jimmy Hoffa.
- The February 19, 1976 murder of 12-year-old Mark Stebbins
- The August 7, 1976 murder of 13-year-old Jane Allen
- The December 26, 1976 murder of 12-year-old Jill Robinson
- The January 21, 1977 murder of 10-year-old Kristine Mihelich
- The March 22, 1977 murder of 11-year-old Tim King
- The August 7, 1977 torture slaying of 43-year-old GM exec Carson McDowell
- The September 20, 1977 murder of 50-year-old Birmingham art dealer John McKinney
- The October 28, 1978 murder of 48-year-old Gail Webster
Eight-year-old Joshua Harmon was reported missing by his parents on May 15, 1988 when he didn’t return home for dinner. After several hours of searching, his body was found in a wooded area near his Georgia apartment.
— Read on www.wjcl.com/article/cold-case-arrest-after-more-than-30-years-dna-links-georgia-boys-death-to-convicted-sex-offender/37115587
This morning I submitted a FOIA request to the office of Sheriff Mike Bouchard for all files and documents, paper and electronic in the Oakland County child killer investigation. The Oakland County Records Center acknowledged my request at 10:15 am (12:15 pm ET).
A mere 15 minutes later, at 10:30 am (12:30 pm ET), Stephanie Lajdziak of the sheriff’s office responded:
“Your request for all records regarding the ‘Oakland County Child Killer’ investigation is denied; there are no records responsive to this request within the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office records. You may find the records you seek with the Michigan State Police.”
Ms. Lajdziak and Sheriff Bouchard would have me believe they always immediately send tips to the MSP and that they keep no records of any transfers or phone calls to the MSP about the OCCK case. Either that or no one bothers calling the Oakland County Sheriff about this case any more. That I can believe.
I have to hand it to these boys. “Records don’t exist” can’t be challenged the way their ongoing bullshit “open investigation” should be. Ms. Lajdziak suggests I contact her contemporary at the MSP, Lori Hinkley, who will either say “we never got anything from the Oakland County Sheriff,” or charge me $1,000 to mount a “search” and then tell me there are no records.
But this does not surprise me, Sheriff Bouchard. I know you know how to play the musical files game in the OCCK case. So far I am the one who never gets a chair, because the game is rigged. Nice big letterhead, by the way.
Just in case you didn’t think the tide was turning, check out this New York Child Victims Act Dashboard, which contains clergy abuse statistics in New York state and lists names of predators, including 176 predators who have not previously been publicly named.
And this week the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police announced they had solved a 32-year-old cold case involving a teen’s rape and murder.
Check this out: “With less than 15 human DNA cells left to sample, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police submitted a 32-year-old cold case to a Texas laboratory for testing in January. Six months later, police positively identified the suspect involved.”
Before you go to that place in your brain that automatically defends law enforcement in the OCCK case because “there was no DNA testing back in 1976 and 1977,” ask yourself why, in the biggest investigation in U.S. history at that time which used up a ton of grant money in addition to tax payers dollars, this case would have been “put to bed” in the haphazard way that it was with no regard for basic evidentiary standards for that era.
Aside from his FBI duties, this Michigan agent has his hands full. Another model citizen in the ranks of the FBI.
You are so right, sir. This enrages me and should you, too:
Thanks to a reader for letting me know that Gary Berthiaume, convicted pedophile and former priest, was bound over today in Oakland County on two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony. https://www.wilx.com/2021/07/21/former-oakland-county-priest-face-trial-sexual-abuse-case/; https://www.mlive.com/news/2021/07/former-michigan-priest-to-face-trial-for-alleged-sex-abuse-of-14-year-old-boy.html.
The alleged assaults were committed against a 14-year-old boy in 1977 at the rectory of Our Lady of Sorrows in Farmington Hills where Berthiaume was a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Berthiaume, who was interviewed and polygraphed back in the day concerning the OCCK crimes, is no stranger to the legal system. He has a law degree and practiced for a time in Nevada before he found a truer calling that would provide him with a treasure trove of young victims. He pleaded guilty in 1977 to assaulting a boy and spent six months in jail before leaving Michigan and being taken under the wing of the Catholic church, who moved him from diocese to diocese so he could continue his sexual abuse of children of his flock. https://catherinebroad.blog/2020/09/30/why-not-accept-him-as-he-is/.
The cases described in the cited sources are no doubt the tip of the iceberg with this guy. He was swabbed and “cleared” in recent years in the OCCK case, but he no doubt left many victims of his sexual depravity in the decades after 1977.
It takes a very brave person who has been sexually assaulted–especially as a child–to come forward. It is never too late.
A new metadata system is trying to catch up to the creators, purveyors and users of child pornography:
Can you imagine that Frank Shelden and Chris Busch, both wealthy men with every possible advantage in life, created, filmed and financed this kind of monstrous shit? And that neither one was ever punished for this and other horrific sex crimes?
The Senate Judiciary Committee announced it will hold an oversight hearing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) dereliction of duty in the Larry Nassar case, which enabled the continued abuse of dozens of victims.
Michigan Representative Elissa Slotkin issued a statement about the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Nassar investigation:
Michigan Senator Gary Peters did, too:
This kind of oversight is all that’s left and who knows what it will mean/do. The FBI blew it in this case. In the Epstein case, it was then attorney general for the Southern District of Florida, Alex Acosta, who blew it. When the legal system is stacked against victims of sex crimes and populated with men doing favors for themselves and their buddies to the detriment of justice, just where is someone supposed to turn? The feds seem to be no better than the locals.
The congressional delegation for Michigan’s 11th and 8th districts should pay particular attention to not only the findings of the IG report, but the Senate inquiry, as they should consider the actions of the Oakland County prosecutors and the Michigan State Police throughout the years in the OCCK case in the same light. Malfeasance that resulted in further sexual victimization and murder. And a continuing cover-up to make sure no one knows the truth or gets any justice.
The OCCK investigation goes well beyond “poor judgment.” No one in government there is willing to look at any of the malfeasance in this case, let alone misfeasance, to “ensure nothing like this ever happens again.” If you modify Sen. Peters quote just a bit, the same is true in the OCCK case:
“These findings are absolutely appalling and reinforce the systemic failure that allowed a monster to continue inflicting sexual abuse on [young children in Oakland County]. We must ensure this can never happen again.“
Oh wait. There will never be any findings. Because Oakland County, Michigan and the Michigan State Police continue to withhold and bury evidence that would appall you and the entire world.