Shelden’s stain on all of Michigan and beyond

A reader raised some questions about wealthy pedophile Francis (Frank) Shelden and his connections to groups in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I don’t know the answers, but another reader responded with some interesting and valuable insights:


“Ann Arbor definitely needs a much stronger flashlight shown on it, including in regard to the OCCK crimes.

I don’t have any insight into your inquiry, but it will allow me to expound upon something that’s been on my mind for a while.

The most common geographic profiling error made (myself included) when investigating Frank Shelden is to refer to his operations as the N. Fox Island gang.
It gives the false impression that he was always operating in a remote part of NW Michigan, far removed from Oakland and Wayne Counties.

In reality, N. Fox Island was merely his film set, which could only be used 3-4 months out of the year for those nefarious purposes.

The lair of the snake was actually his condo in Ann Arbor. It was the corporate headquarters location for his “Child Pornography, Inc.” Shelden’s operations would be more rightly referred to as the “Ann Arbor Pornography” ring.

It was also the location of his extensive child pornography client list, which I suspect contained the name(s) of the person or persons who payed him to organize and direct the abduction and murder of Mark Stebbins.

Unlike N, Fox Island, Ann Arbor was ideally situated for him to carry out his numerous crimes against children in the neighboring municipalities and counties.

When reviewing some of Shelden’s writings, it is clear that he had thoroughly scoped out places where there were likely to be many of his “Fellow Traveller” pedophiles.
His longtime presence and post graduate work in Ann Arbor lead me to believe that U-M was likely a hub of Academic Pedophilia.

With this in mind, it should not surprise that a serial child rapist like Robert Anderson could operate for 40 years as an employee of U-M. How many like him were there?
These things don’t occur in a vacuum.”


I was going through “pending” comments last night and found an interesting link sent by a reader who had previously asked that I not post their comment (so I inadvertently diverted two comments instead of just the one). Check out this article from The Ann Arbor News, dated July 10, 1977:

Unfortunately I don’t have page 2A. After I finally posted this reader’s link (belated thanks), I reread the comments from the November 2019 post. Many of the comments on this blog are more instructive than my posts:

The reader is right about the very real possibility that someone could well have paid Shelden to organize the abduction of Mark Stebbins. Shelden was still in the U.S. in February 1976. A credible survivor told me a few years ago that he was raped by Shelden in a church which, by description and location was probably Christ Church Cranbrook and that he saw another boy that day who looked like Mark. Shelden was on the board at Cranbrook School. Of course he was; this guy didn’t miss a trick.

Another credible survivor told me he saw Arch Sloan at a service station with a scared boy who looked like Mark. Recall that Sloan’s name was turned in to police right after Mark went missing and this resulted in the police searching his Pontiac Bonneville (the source of “the Pontiac debris” evidence what would not be looked at for another 30-plus years). Sloan had ties to the Ess Lake area of northern Michigan, where Chris Busch liked to take boys from downstate when he had use of his parents’ cabin. The concentric circles are there.

By the time the other abductions take place, starting again 10 months later when Jill is abducted, Shelden is long gone. I’m quite sure that he kept his connections with the child porn operation in Wayne and Oakland Counties. As noted in M.F. Cribari’s book, Portraits in the Snow . . . Scandals and Small Conspiracies (2011), the fun and games were now over at N. Fox Island after pedophile Shelden had to flee the country, and other measures had to be taken for “clients” who wanted to victimize children.

That is why any DNA evidence pointing to sexual contact with one of these kids (e.g., a Y-str DNA sample or hair found near groin area of child)–if the state police ever let a competent, cutting-edge, first-rate lab to take a crack at this evidence–might well just match up with the “client(s)” who ordered up child victims. Then the real work will begin, to establish the concentric circles of evil that resulted in at least four murders. These children were disposable, they were easily accessed in Oakland County and no one has ever been arrested for these crimes.

Two living men might have direct insight into this (Sloan and Lamborgine are animals, not men, and will never talk). John Hastings and Vince Gunnels. The clock is ticking.

11 thoughts on “Shelden’s stain on all of Michigan and beyond”

  1. The clock is definitely ticking Cathy. You have that right. Those four vagina cavities that are left are on borrowed time. Like you mentioned Sloan and Lamborghine refuse to talk and what do they have to lose when they will never be released. Hastings bailed out of state and will only lie. Gunnels done so many drugs that he doesn’t remember what you ate an hour ago. Those 4 society rejects are very lucky they are not in Russia. Oh ya they would be talking.

  2. Shelden was absolutely in the US, and seeking young boys in early 1976. I know from personal experience. He had the means to have others do his dirty work. As I have said, I truly believe also met Chris Busch. This network was closely tied. I believe once it was discovered how influential some of those involved were, Oakland County officials turned a blind eye to what was occurring. How do they justify shutting down the task force without any arrest? How do they justify releasing Chris Busch without so much as a second glance. Four children were sacrificed at the hands of evil, and Oakland County officials buried their collective heads in the sand.

  3. I’ve wondered if a U of M connection is yet another reason for all the corruption and lack of charges in this case (U of M – power, influence, and $$.) Guilt in cases like this runs deep and goes high up (police forces, universities, military, and of course wealthy individuals.) Does anyone know what Sheldon’s post-graduate studies at U of M were in?

    And as always, blessings to you, Catherine. You are a hero to many of us.

    1. Jade,
      You make some very salient points.

      I would add that most importantly, guilt in this case also resides in the local, county and state government agencies and political offices. They are the entities that would have the power and ability to put the kibosh on the resolution of the OCCK case,

      Frank Shelden received a master’s degree in geology from Wayne State in 1962.

      At U of M, he had completed the class work for a doctoral degree in geology, but never finished his doctoral thesis necessary to obtain that degree.
      I don’t know what years he was actively taking classes. Normally that would take 2 years but could have been longer depending upon how many classes he took per semester.

      Bob Kenney

      1. Bob, guilt most assuredly resides in the local, county and state government agencies here. As someone mentioned to me today, this cold case is so strange because it keeps bubbling to the surface and then it always gets shut down. What would seem to be an unbelievable hit is always just met with a shoulder shrug.

        Another reader pointed out that when a county is being lead by a dishonest, corrupt politician for many years, the prosecutor and top cop are expected to play ball. In such a situation, the judicial system (ex-prosecutors and their spouses) can be presumed to be tainted and compromised as well. I agree, and don’t think that is much of a stretch. Will we really have to wait for another cycle of “public servants” to get to the truth?

  4. Seems to me Hastings Gunnels and even Lamborghine could be pressured to crack. No doubt Sloan is pure animal and will never, ever talk. Has it ever been confirmed that any of these 4 creeps were at the legion on the day Mark Stebbins was abducted. It just strikes me that it HAD to be someone who was either there at the hall or known to hang out there and got Mark in the parking lot or shortly thereafter – it would’ve been very difficult to grab him on the route he would’ve taken home in broad daylight. Clearly The abductions if Jill, Kris and Tim were more random ( Jill and Tim being dark evening hours). But Mark was known to walk home – sometimes alone – when his Mom worked- and perhaps that person was watching her schedule , waiting for the right moment.

  5. if you look up nambla on google you’ll find a .pdf of old fbi documents, heavily redacted, about surveillance they did. it mentions a group called youth liberation of ann arbor a number of times. they were distributing nambla ‘zines. every time i’ve looked up anything about youth liberation or ageism or adultism it become immediately clear that it’s got something to do with pedophilia. just look. it’s not an assumption. they’re pretty blatant about it. so, if you go to Youth Liberation’s webpage (run by a guy named Chuck Ream) you’ll find a book written by a guy named Keith Hefner (not the brother of Hugh Hefner. They’re not the same guy… it’s just a coincidence…) there’s a section in that little creepy book entitled “why ann arbor?” you should look at it. it’s available online. keith hefner is still around – he runs a big non-prof called youthcomm. i’ve been looking into this “youth liberation” movement for a minute now and every single person i’ve spoken to in reference is an almost unabashed pedophile…

  6. Just started following this case, so sorry if this question has an obvious answer. What was ever done with the client list? Was there a massive take down of all the subscribers? This is sickening

    1. Bob Kenney


      Shelden’s client list was never recovered. After 46 years, I don’t believe they ever will.

      When his associate pedophile, Gerald Richards was arrested on June. 26, 1971 in Port Huron, he soon revealed to investigators the existence of these files in file cabinets at Shelden’s condo in Ann Arbor.

      Unfortunately, Shelden got wind of Richard’s arrest soon after.
      When police raided his condo 3 days later, the file cabinets were empty, and Shelden was long gone.

      There has been some debate whether Shelden destroyed these files.
      I firmly believe he absconded with them to the Netherlands.
      They were his meal ticket.

      1. Bob Kenney

        One correction,

        Richards was arrested on July 23, 1976.
        I was way off on that date. Sorry for that error.

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