Read this terrifying account of a near miss at Birmingham Methodist Church in 1977:
Over the past (2) TWO years I have followed & read your blog after seeing on TV “Children of the Snow” and the WDIV documentaries on the OCCK case on youtube. I applaud & thank you for providing so much valuable information to the public in hope that one day these sick & perverted predators will be identified. I myself always wanted to know who committed these crimes because my dad was convinced he & I crossed paths with these sick mother fer’s one Saturday afternoon in Birmingham, MI in late February 1977 or early March 1977 at a family wedding. I don’t know the exact date but the photos taken at the wedding reception say (MAR 77) on the bottom corner. I believe this date on the photos is when they were developed.
My father (Gil P.) grew up in Lathrup Village and was a graduate of Southfield High School. My dad’s side of the family is mostly from Oakland County / Wayne County and that is why we were in Birmingham, MI on this day. I am confident after reading your blog and listening to Bill Beachum’s conclusion in the Decades of Deceit video that all kidnappings took place in the Woodward Corridor and the killers were always assembled in place at a chosen location on the days of the abductions just lying in wait to find kids who were alone.
The day of the incident started with my dad, mom & my twin brother heading up to the Birmingham Methodist Church from Tecumseh, MI. My dad was an undertaker so we rode up in the funeral home limousine since he was going to chauffer the bride & groom to the reception following the wedding. When we arrived at the church my dad let my mom and my brother & I out at the church entrance and we entered the church while he went to park the limo. Once inside the church, I can remember standing beside my mom while she chatted away with whoever she was talking to. This went on for a few minutes and then I spotted my dad coming in the church walking towards us and then he turned down a hallway and I saw him go into the bathroom. I told my mom that dad went into the bathroom & I was going to go to the bathroom. My mom said you’re sure he’s in the bathroom and I said yes. My mom said ok, then go. So I headed to the bathroom where my dad was but I was coming from the opposite direction than my dad who turned down the hallway coming from the church entrance.
When I entered the church bathroom and saw my dad in the far back corner of the bathroom standing at the urinal. Approximately 10 – 15 seconds later I heard the bathroom door open and noticed a person backing in (butt first) the bathroom door and holding the edge of the door closing it slowly. The person turned around and faced me and at first glance it looked like an old lady in a black dress, long black gloves, black hat with a veil, black glasses and a small black purse in one hand. I was then standing in the center of the bathroom and this lady was coming towards me. This lady then came within (2) TWO feet of me and hunched over to me looking at me eye level face to face and said “Hi, how are you” while extending one hand wearing a long black glove and within inches of me as in wanting to shake hands. As soon as I stared face to face to this person through the veil hanging from the hat, the bright fluorescent bathroom lights exposed the heavy caked on make up and a facial profile of a man in a lady’s disguise. I was extremely scared and shouted “Dad there is a lady in the bathroom” Then the old lady in disguise looked at me face to face again and said “Your dad is in here” and then before I could say “yes”, my dad said something back to me which this lady in disguise heard. The lady in disguise then leaned over me saw my dad in the back corner of the bathroom and then took off like an olympic sprinter out the bathroom door. By this time my dad was at the sink washing his hands and I was telling him I thought the lady in the dress was a man. I said (as a 9 year old) I was pretty sure because when I looked through the screen covering the lady’s face there was lots of makeup on his face and I was sure it was a man. I didn’t know what a veil was at the time since I was 9 1/2 years old, but I told my dad “a screen” was covering his face. I said yes, it has hanging from the hat. Then he says, “A funeral veil at a wedding,” “Are you sure it was a man in disguise” while my dad was drying his hands. “I said yes.” Then my dad said follow to follow him and point this individual out when you see him. My dad & I then exited the bathroom room and walked all throughout the church inside and could not spot the lady in disguise. My dad then went outside looking all around the church in hopes of spotting him. It was like this person vanished like a ghost.
I was locked face to face / eye to eye with this creep for a good 15 seconds less than 24 inches apart. When I first read your blog I assumed this little old lady in disguise was Greg Greene, because I was not aware of what Hastings looked like in 1977 until you posted his picture on page 33 of the FOIA. You then posted that Greene was locked up after his January 1977 arrest and never posted bond. I know it has been over 40 years since I looked pure evil straight in the eyes but this memory is etched & tattooed in my mind because it scared the living daylights out of me. I would conclude on that day in the church bathroom I was looking at John Hastings in disguise. Also most likely his getaway driver was Busch waiting in the car in out in the church parking lot and a lookout or two was in the church hallway where the bathroom was getting ready to put an out of order sign on the bathroom door or until the creep got his duct tape & ropes out of the purse he was carrying to abduct me.
I am just speculating that these “SICK FUCKS” or “CHILD ABDUCTION TEAM as in (BUSCH & HASTINGS) used the “little old lady” disguise on their abductions and that Hastings is involved, this is my opinion.
Gary P., [Resident of MI]
email from reader
The reader told me that the family discussed this incident many times over the years. When asked why no one reported this incident, this man’s father always said “Because the police are the Oakland County Child Killer.”
Such a church lady needed someone with a baseball bat to take care of business in one of those stalls in the men’s restroom.
Just a thought:
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4 thoughts on “Another near miss in Birmingham, MI, circa 1977”
Doesn’t seem to match any of the witness descriptions from Tim’s abduction. As weird as this was, I would think it would definitely stick out and be remembered by most. Certainly was for this person. Yuck!
I have told a similar story on this blog in the past. I too was approached by two men dressed as women on the corner of chester rd in royal oak. one was burly and the other skinny. They tried to ask me for directions but I took off running and did not look back.
Definitely a possibility that Busch and Hastings worked together . Same age, same neighborhood, same sick , demented fucks. Too bad your father didn’t have time to beat the living hell out of “ the church lady” . Too bad you didn’t have a cell back then and got a pic of that sick bastard. Even after all these years , it would be beneficial to nailing his ass.
I’m surprised that no one noticed a female in a male bathroom. Especially back in the 70’s . That would have been grounds of very bad beatings back then
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