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:

  1. It is dated March 1, 1977. Fifteen days later, my brother Tim will be abducted from the Hunter-Maple Pharmacy parking lot in Birmingham.
  2. 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.
  3. “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.
  4. “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.
  5. “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.
  6. 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.

3 thoughts on “Hubris”

  1. Patterson has always been a dirty dog – I just can’t understand the continued motivation to continue to cover up all these years later – there are those still alive yet who can and should come clean.

  2. *I edited the post to change the year from 2011 to 2008, based on checking The Snow Killings, page 102: “[F]ormer Oakland County Prosecutor L. Brooks Patterson, stated in a 2012 interview that, while Busch should not have gotten a free pass, he was not responsible for the debacle. ‘To the extent that Busch was given a bad deal, yes, it was, under the circumstances. It was a bad plea. . . . It was way too generous. But, first of all, the file does not have my fingerprints, it has my office. My office was in charge of it. But Brooks Patterson didn’t handle it. I really don’t remember the case. I never saw it. I never saw that name until (2008).”

  3. Bad plea, MFer? You and your bag man, Richard Thompson, prided yourself on NEVER plea bargaining, not even in cases that should have been. So much for your faith and morals, law and order bullshit. In an office that was filled with secrecy and making sure your employees never strayed from complete loyalty, you let your underling Lenny Gilman plead out an admitted child rapist? You didn’t know that was going to happen? Thompson threw in a couple of written “NO DEALS” statements in the file thinking he would cover their asses. Real tough guy. And how about going after Busch’s victims from the Big Brother program in your perfect county–yeah, the crimes he told you about when y’all were talking about his little “problem” after he was arrested in Flint.

    Also from The Snow Killings (p. 102): “While Patterson did not shy away from the media when faced with questions about the OCCK case, he steadfastly claimed a faulty memory when it came to all things related to Christopher Busch. Patterson passed away from pancreatic cancer in August 2019 at the age of 80.”

    Patterson left the prosecutor’s office after 16 years and he was followed by his loyal servant, Thompson. The one whose fingerprints were on that file. Thankfully, Patterson was never elected to any office outside of Oakland County. After a brief, probably painful, stint in private practice, he became the eternal Oakland County executive until his death. Of course a guy like this has to die in the saddle. No way he was going to let go of the reins when cracks and publicity were starting to appear in the OCCK case. Who knows what else had to be monitored. Guy had a few more lies in him even near the end, as made plain in any interview he gave in the OCCK case.

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