Quite a few readers sent me this link. I wasn’t going to post it, because it is such a soft ball, so consistent, so obvious, so maddening. But I reread it today and I am posting it:
Total whistleblower case. Sadly, not only will this man be blackballed but he and his family members will probably be pulled over on Michigan highways for the rest of time. Maybe he should team up with the private investigator from Birmingham who, unlike the state police and other agency divers, was not too afraid to get out on the Red Cedar River with a goddamn saw and an underwater camera last week.
Some brave investigative journalist in Michigan should [try to] write a long, long story about the history and culture of the Michigan State Police and how they retaliate against those who dare to cross the thin blue line as well as citizens who dare to ask questions about investigations.
Children of the Snow is back on Hulu and ID. If you haven’t watched this two-part documentary about the OCCK case, check it out. Ask yourself how you would feel if your brother’s murder case was locked in a MSP file cabinet. Someone who recently watched the documentary made this observation: “It is truly bewildering there wasn’t a single cop with a conscience, who could have at any time slipped an anonymous note in one of your mailboxes, in the middle of the night, naming names. Cowardice comes to mind.”
Yeah, it does.
Read this opinion piece from The Detroit News that ran yesterday:
And speaking of more headline-grabbing instances of abuse, this week defrocked priest Gary Berthiaume was sentenced to 17 months in prison after pleading guilty to sex crimes against boys, committed during the OCCK era in the very church this priest was serving, the aptly named Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Farmington Hills, MI. https://www.hometownlife.com/story/news/local/farmington/2022/01/20/former-farmington-priest-sent-prison-sexual-assault-cases/6591361001/ Brave survivors and their representatives spoke at his sentencing hearing. Berthiaume’s attorney, Michael Smith, pulled the old disparage the “alleged” victims stunt these defense attorneys have been using for 50 years. It’s time for that shit to stop as well, especially after your client plead guilty. Try some dignity for a change.
I’m keeping an eye on this guy. This guy goes back to the same time and place as the OCCK crimes. He hasn’t shown up in MDOC yet. Hopefully he will end up in the general population at Jackson. But some defrocked priest who had someone/some entity post his $50K bond so he could chill at a hotel while awaiting the inevitable, probably worked out some easier lock-up. The kind where none of his cell mates could administer their own form of polygraph as concerns cases like the OCCK, right Gary?
Maybe as public awareness is increased in Michigan (finally), it will become much more difficult for predators–and those who operate under color of state law to cover for them–to hide. No statute of limitations. No immunity. Out these people, all of them.
“It is time for the Michigan legislators to look at why two of the largest scandals in the history of the country — Larry Nassar and Robert Anderson — happened at Michigan’s two largest universities. Other states have addressed this issue. It is time for Michigan leadership to do the same.”Posted: January 19, 2022
Today it was announced that the University of Michigan has reached a $490 million settlement with former athletes and other U-M students who sued the school saying they had been sexually assaulted by the late Dr. Robert Anderson, a former football team doctor. https://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2022/01/19/university-michigan-robert-anderson-settlement-sexual-assault/6553333001/
I did not even wade into the reader comments to this article, which I’m sure are filled with “these people are just looking for a payday!” This is the only language spoken by institutions and agencies that shut down victims, don’t listen and look the other way. Money. Want to stop predators and the enablers who protect them? Money. More victims, more money. Do the math and decide if the university presidents, board members and highly paid coaching staff are getting this right.
The Michigan legislature should address why these huge scandals happen in Michigan and a good place to start would be with the lack of oversight and accountability by the Oakland County prosecutor’s office who derailed the investigation into the Oakland County child killing cases, 1976-1978. This lack of accountability, oversight and transparency set the stage for decades of predators’ crimes to be swept under the carpet in Oakland County. Michigan’s long history of corruption doesn’t begin with predators Robert Anderson or Larry Nassar. When law enforcement (including prosecutors) ignore these kinds of crimes–or worse, sweep them under the rug, they should have to pay, too.
L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County prosecutor overseeing the OCCK era and then county executive for the rest of his life, told the community he never heard the name “Chris Busch” until 2008*. I am well-versed in the need for amnesia in this case and of the argument that a man this incredibly busy could never be expected to remember the following, from March 1, 1977:
A few points about this article from the Detroit Free Press:
- It is dated March 1, 1977. Fifteen days later, my brother Tim will be abducted from the Hunter-Maple Pharmacy parking lot in Birmingham.
- Busch is described as a “Birmingham man.” A number of readers have pointed out that back in 1977, Bloomfield Village had a Birmingham mailing address. Indeed, the court documents list Busch as living at 3310 Morningview Terrace, Birmingham, Michigan. Bloomfield Village is not Birmingham, as any resident of the Village would be swift to point out. But Google Morningview Terrace and 1509 Yorkshire in Birmingham, our family home, to see just how close they are.
- “According to Prosecutor L. Brooks Patterson,” who somehow got tripped up enough to comment about Busch after February 1, 1977, he goes on to describe what his chief deputy Richard Thompson learned first hand in Flint in late January 1977–the details concerning the sexual assault by wealthy constituent H. Lee Busch’s son upon young boy in Oakland County.
- “Busch’s arrest resulted from a [sic] Oakland County investigation into the kidnap-slaying of six county youngsters in the past 13 months.” Yes, there were more than a handful of dead kids and teens in Oakland County during this era, and this was before Tim was murdered. If you have read the tortured/amended/redacted versions of the tips and investigation into Greg Greene and Chris Busch, you would quickly realize that Oakland County didn’t do shit to investigate Greg Greene and Chris Busch for these crimes, and certainly not after Busch walked free.
- “Busch has been cleared in all six of the slayings.” How the hell did that happen? Oh, right, the polygraph shuffle that was used to circumvent legit investigation. But remember, Busch was only polygraphed in the killing of Mark Stebbins (no questions about the abduction, any contact whatsoever, any sexual contact). That was an outrageous and untrue statement.
- Typical of the reporting for that era (and of reporting under the thumb of LBP), there is no expounding on the “sex charges” in Genesee County. “One of three men”–we certainly were not going to be reminded of Busch’s pal Greg Greene, whose monstrous proclivities based on convictions in California, certainly looked similar to Mark Stebbin’s case. And then more mishmash–“Busch has been charged by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office on two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct in the earlier cases.”
If you think LBP (or Richard Thompson or Larry Wasser) ever forgot the name BUSCH in the decades Patterson was the gate-keeper of all things Oakland County, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
Book discussions this week of The Snow Killings: Inside the Oakland County Child Killing InvestigationPosted: January 17, 2022
This week there are three book discussions by Marney Keenan, author of The Snow Killings:
Readers of my blog know that much has come to light since Marney published her book in July 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown days. You may think you know about the OCCK case based on having lived through this nightmare as a resident in Oakland County, or based on eating the narrative brought to you by the Oakland County Prosecutor and the Michigan State Police. I’m not going to tell you to wake up, but if you have any desire to make sure no one in society is ever able to pull one over on its constituents like happened in this case, you should tune in.
The law provides for a mandatory minimum for a reason and part of it is because of judges like this, who take the side of young, “promising,” white male rapists:
This judge has been removed from handling criminal trials and now will only be allowed to fuck up small claims, probate, civil cases and other legal matters in the Eighth Judicial Circuit court in Western Illinois.
Another example of the fox guarding the hen house in a Michigan institution:
Wouldn’t talk with victims of prolific predator and team/university health doc Robert Anderson. https://catherinebroad.blog/2021/10/10/victim-of-dr-robert-anderson-is-picketing-the-home-of-u-of-m-president-24-7/. Too busy emailing his latest subordinate conquest. Go Blue!
Thanks to a reader for seeing something I never saw in spite of many readings and recitations concerning the documentation (such as it is) of the arrest of Greg Greene on January 25, 1977 and the arrest of Chris Busch on January 28, 1977.
Here is the Genesee County Jail Inmate Record for Chris Busch after his arrest on January 28 for criminal sexual conduct of a minor in Flint:
When Busch is finally charged for violating the same victim in Oakland County (offense on or about May 29, 1976) on February 25, 1977, Richard Thompson, writes the following on the criminal complaint:
This was pretty hard to miss, but I did:
I’m not a handwriting expert, but I don’t think that is necessary in this case. Recall that OCP chief deputy Dick Thompson and OCP investigator Gary Hawkins were present for an interrogation of Greg Greene on January 26, the day Greene was polygraphed for the first two times. https://catherinebroad.blog/2021/10/28/7947/. Thompson was back in Flint after Busch was arrested, having driven to Flint in a blinding snow storm on January 28, 1977 (50 mph winds, blowing snow and a 17-car pile up on I-75), before Busch took the polygraph on the Stebbins murder at 8 pm that evening.
Flint PD Det./Sgt. Tom Waldron explains the participation of the Oakland County task force in the interrogation of Greene, and the arrest and interrogation of Busch, and by extension (presumably) the participation of Richard Thompson in the entire deal:
On January 27, 1977, the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office issued a warrant against Christopher Busch . . . on the basis of information received on Flint Police Department Complaint #2197 made by one [redacted victim’s name]. Due to the fact that the suspect in this matter, Christopher Busch, had numerous contacts and had lived in the Birmingham-Detroit area, the Oakland County Task Force that was involved in the investigation of the kidnap and murder of 5 juveniles, became involved in this matter.Special Report regarding arrest of Christopher Brian Busch, by Tom Waldron, dated January 31, 1977
I’d say that was a pretty sanitized version of how the name Chris Busch got tossed by Greene on January 25, 1977, as the killer of Mark Stebbins. But I digress.
At a minimum, the document showing the bail reduction is relevant because it shows that Thompson, and therefore his boss Patterson, were aware that Busch, an admitted serial rapist of boys and owner of reels of child pornography and ropes, was free to be on the prowl in their jurisdiction and they did nothing about it before or after my brother was abducted less than seven weeks later, less than three miles from the Busch home in Bloomfield Village.
“Rel” clearly means “released. The fact that an Oakland County prosecuting attorney wrote this on a Genesee County inmate card is not only remarkable, it means somebody in Robert F. Leonard’s office must have been aware of such an anomaly as well. Maybe it was just the chief deputy from another county helping out with paperwork–that must be it.
You might not take this as far as I do–as further evidence that there was never any line–legal, ethical or moral–that the alleged anti-smut, “no deals” duo of L. Brooks Patterson and Richard Thompson would not cross. In the Snow Killings, author Marney Keenan describes a discussion with Jessica Cooper’s bag man, Paul Walton, who explains that he diligently drove to Ann Arbor to ask Richard Thompson why he would write “no deals,” and then have Busch walk with two year’s probation. (Snow Killings, pages 212-213). Sadly, Thompson would have no recollection. “There is no rhyme. There is no reason.”
Oh, I think there is both Rhyme and Reason. But you and I know no agency in Michigan will ever call for the accountability that would be required to keep something like this from ever happening again.
Court records from Oakland County criminal case 77-32312 against Busch indicate the case was handled by OCAP Leonard Gilman. Gilman became US attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in 1981 and died in 1985 at the age of 43.
Despite Patterson’s theatrical announcement in December 1976 that he would “no longer allow those charged with breaking and entering and those charged with using guns to commit crimes to plead guilty to a lesser offense,” having previously precluded any plea agreements in narcotics offenses, armed robberies and concealed weapons cases, apparently a plea bargain in the case of a confessed child rapist was A-ok. “Plea bargaining denies a victim his day in court, demoralizes the law enforcement community and unnecessarily rewards the defendant,” said Mr. Law and Order.
The Oakland County court file on Busch’s CSC case contains a final note on June 1, 1977: “Spoke with Sgt. Dyer & he agrees with plea and will explain it to victim.”
Explain to the 14-year-old victim that got drug into Flint PD after Greg Greene tossed his name and police and then Busch’s counsel Jane Burgess put him through the wringer, that the legal system would again be unnecessarily rewarding this defendant. Again.
Maybe the voters will wake up and give this guy a permanent suspension. Or is he ready to retire with a taxpayer supported pension? “They were talking about sex because of the case.” Right, counselor. And of course this guy is too special to be subjected to a virtual hearing during COVID and of course he wanted to confront his accuser in the flesh. We get it, your honor.
Does the entire system have to totally stink? There is nothing honorable about this judge. Society deserves better, not just the attorneys and parties who are subjected to him in a courtroom. And of course he is a judge in Michigan. Of course he is.
An Oakland County judge rejected the plea agreement entered into between the Michigan AG and pedophile priest Gary Berthiaume, ruling that what the prosecution had proposed didn’t fit the crimes.
The judge sentenced him to 20 months to 15 years, longer than the prosecution proposed sentence of ONE YEAR AND ONE DAY.
Under the terms of the agreement, Berthiaume withdrew his guilty pleas and a no contest plea. He is out on bond until his next court date, hanging at a hotel.
I am so sick of the old, white man “I am too old to go to prison” defense. Here’s the deal, padre–you only spent six months in the Oakland County JAIL in 1977 for criminal sexual conduct with minors in 1977. You belonged in prison and even back then–the “good old days,” you should have been sentenced to far longer.
Then you got to live decades and decades, continuing to sexually assault, while your employer, the Catholic church, moved you like a chess piece to try to stay ahead of your criminality. You get away with all of your assaults and all your lies until you are 80. Then you pull the old man defense.
This bullshit plea agreement allowed this monster to contend he only “touched boys’ penises.” Seriously? It’s 2022, not 1977. You had a long, long run where your church protected you. It didn’t protect your victims. You had a full life until you got caught again.
No more “one year and one day” for offenders like this. From the sounds of the victim statements, a trial could have been quite devastating for this old freak. Quit taking the easy way out, prosecutors! An Oakland County judge saw through this charade. Now get down to business with this criminal and his attorney. You are better than this