A special place in Hell

Read this “Christopher Busch file” from the Oakland County prosecutor files concerning the proceedings against Busch in Genesee County. If you read the FOIA documents I have previously posted over the years, you have read this distressing and revolting transcript before.

Of course everyone, even prolific pedophiles, is entitled to a defense. Attorney Burgess pronounces to the court that in her whole 10 years of practice to that point, she has never seen any client “so amply demonstrate his eligibility for probation as in this case,” even though he was arrested three times over the course of five days for raping boys in three different counties. That Busch got probation–AGAIN–was not due to any special attorney superpowers on the part of Burgess, as I think anyone remotely familiar with the underbelly of this case would agree.

Interesting that somebody at Oakland County was not only interested in the Genesee County proceedings–enough to obtain these copies, but also did a little research on Flint attorney Carl Leiter, Burgess’s “co-counsel” in this matter, as reflected in this little file.

12 thoughts on “A special place in Hell”

  1. My guess is they wanted to see what Heather Catallo got via her FOIA request. You can never be too careful, right, when keeping the lid on Pandora’s Box.

  2. Interesting that Leiter has since done work as a “senior advocate”.

    More interesting still that he seems to specialize in nursing home subsidies for Alzheimer’s residents. Specifically, government contracting.

    This adds to Chris Busch, who’d just gotten a job in one such facility before his death, arranged by contacts of his father, and the art gallery owner whose name I forget off the top of my head, who ministered to elderly care facilities.

    1. John McKinney. Good point about Busch’s transition into cooking for the elders–good placement for a creep whose probation requirements were that he not be around kids.

      1. Oh John McKinny, so many connections with him. I wonder if Michael or John Boy Hastings ever worked for him. Both were interested in art. I wonder if that piece of art that was hanging on Johns Alpena wall was from Mckimnys art gallery or was that more fabricated shit from Helen? Was Mckinney friends with the Coffeys? Or more BS?

        1. The artist of that piece was a big part of the social register set of artists and culture-makers associated with the Cranbrook school. Much of her fiber art looks similar, and it appears that there are several versions of the piece referenced/identified by Helen.

          The provenance issue might be moot in the sense that whether or not this particular piece was in the gallery at any given point, the artist was represented by McKinney, and admirers of that work can be reasonably expected to have intersected on more than a passing level with him, given that galleries curate sets of people as well as art. A gallery can also can be expected, without much outside scrutiny, to convene an otherwise motley group of “admirers” whose acquaintance might otherwise be highly incongruous.

          It also seems relevant to me that, within a wider networked culture organized around distribution and trafficking (see Gerald Richards’ diagram of this industry, indicating at every level coordination, shelled compartmentalization, and distribution chains), an art gallery would be a real asset. Lots of shipping. A good shell for other business, as is a religious figure ordained through the New Revelation.

          The parole officers in these cases of sexual and drug crime are interesting objects of scrutiny to me. Busch’s parole officer specialized in “family issues”: custody, foster homes, parole, treatment facilities, etc. He had a passion for it, a passion the bios of many of these figures share.

          As for Burgess’s testimony that more progress has been demonstrated by this client than any other the lawyer has represented; we can take this to mean that the client paid the best, too.

  3. Parents of rich boys want the problems covered up. Parents of poor boys usually want their sons to get actual help. It doesn’t matter if the boy is 15 or 50. I see it all the time.

  4. Leiter certainly had a curiously meandering professional career. His LinkedIn page boasts degrees from Michigan’s undergraduate business school (BBA) and Law School (JD) and also mentions graduate work in “Taxation” from NYU Law School (top ranked tax program in US) but does not refer to the LLM degree that graduates of that program get. Possibly, his time at NYU was long after he graduated from Michigan Law.

    He claims to have been Chief Assistant District Attorney for Genesee County (Flint). This may have been not long after getting his Michigan law degree and being admitted to the Michigan bar in 1965 (according to Martindale) and might have reflected political ambitions at the time. By 1977, however, he was a criminal defense attorney and still in Flint, suggesting that any political ambitions he might once have had, were gone.

    I can’t tell how long he remained as a criminal defense lawyer. His business in California advising seniors on how to get government money for long term nursing home care was started in 1993. That was sixteen years after he defended Busch. He seems to have reinvented himself professionally some time during that decade and a half. According to Martindale, he was not admitted to the California Bar.

    I wonder if he knew the late Judge Harry Newblatt in Flint, either socially or professionally. It was Judge Newblatt who reduced Bush’s bond from $75, 000 on January 27, 1977 to only $1,000 by January 31, 1977 (see pages 49-50 of Catherine’s PDF attached to this post).

    1. This might be an interesting article to consider in relation to nursing homes:


      Whatever the focus of Leiter’s public sector career, it would have been informed by earlier experience, making his entrance into that field as a specialist possible, it not quite legibly logical to the casual observer.

      While I’m not making a case for the involvement of organized crime, the article shows that at this time, or thereabouts, nursing homes were viewed as racketeering opportunities. The elderly are vulnerable and impressionable in similar ways to children, and their exploitation must be a lucrative field, given all the news reports that persist today.

      That said, I don’t discount the presence of organized crime in such an endeavor/racket, especially within the context of a network which relies on the distribution chains of industries which were forcibly controlled by organized crime during that era; ie pornography, the sex trade, laundering, and the black market; and especially within the context of a state which at the time was the focal point of criminal graft around union pensions.

      From what I know, the pension funds were exploited in complex loan schemes where the money was extended but never paid back. This often involved land prospecting; like, say, the land Shelden had secured in–was it Charlevoix? There’s also the fact that organized crime has long controlled central sectors of the construction industry.

      And the fact that wealthy criminals rely on protection that doesn’t just reside in the courts.

  5. Leiter had a curiously meandering professional career.

    His LinkedIn page boasts degrees from Michigan’s undergraduate business school and from its Law School. It also mentions graduate work in Taxation at NYU (the nation’s premier tax law program) but he does NOT claim the LLM degree that graduates of that program earn. It is possible that whatever time he spent at NYU was many years after he finished law school in Michigan.

    He was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1965, according to Martindale, when he would have been 26 and a graduate of Michigan Law. I would guess that his time as a “Chief Assistant District Attorney” of Genesee County (i.e. Flint) was fairly early in his legal career and may have reflected political ambitions he had at the time. By 1977, he was still in Flint but working as a criminal defense attorney for Busch (among others) and whatever political ambitions he might once have had were almost certainly gone.

    His business in California advising seniors on how to get government money for nursing home care was started in 1993, sixteen years after he defended Busch. He was never admitted to the California Bar.

    So, he seems to have reinvented himself completely over a decade and a half.

    I wonder if he knew the late Judge Harry Newblatt, socially or professionally. It was the Flint-based Newblatt that reduced Busch’s bond from $75,000 on Thursday, January 1977 to only $1,000 on Monday, January 1977 (see pages 49-50 of Catherine’s PDF file attached to this post).

    1. Good points.

      Note too that on page 34 of the file, Leiter’s motion to dismiss (and/or quash the information) is based on the suspicion that Kenneth Bowman had some “special relationship or vested interest with the prosecution”, including, presumably law enforcement.

      Was Leiter hinting that Bowman was part of a sting operation by law enforcement, a subject he was threatening to explore in court, if allowed to question Bowman?

      So it seems to me.

      If so, then that was yet another reason why powerful unseen actors would not have wanted this case to proceed to a full-blown trial.

    2. Further, on page 37, Leiter clearly believed that the prosecutors were planning to use some kind of “confession” from Busch to induce a guilty plea.


      But here’s Leiter’s key point: this “confession” was apparently obtained by “voice recordings, photographs, motion pictures, or written documents . . .”

      In other words, on May 11, 1977, Leiter hinted in writing that Busch had been under some sophisticated surveillance, that the results of that surveillance were available to the prosecutors in the Bowman case, and that he, Leiter, wanted to probe that surveillance in open court.

      On May 16, 1977, a hearing to quash was held. A hearing at which Leiter had threated to introduce not only an alibi for the last week of July, 1976, but to explore/reveal the “special relationship” between Bowman and the state, and also the methods used by the state to prove guilt.

      So what happened next?

      On August 9, 1977, Busch pleaded guilty and was immediately rewarded with an nine month delay in sentencing.


      In April of 1978, Busch’s final sentence was handed down – probation for five years, and a $2,400 fine.

      I’d say Leiter’s veiled threats worked.

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