On March 20, 2022, I posted the last of FOIA documents I received over the course of the past few months. I posted them as received, with no explanation and without much commentary. Here is an explanation as well as a recap of points previously made and continuously ignored. Apologies in advance for all of the bold print. Somehow it seems warranted here.
The Oakland County Prosecutors offices of L. Brooks Patterson and Jessica Cooper took away any chance for “justice” in this case. They gaslighted the media and the communities of Oakland County. In the case of Cooper, she also gaslighted Oakland County judges and appellate judges. They manipulated the truth and were never straight with their constituents. They thereby defiled the memory of the four child victims in this case. So I thought it was important for you to see all of the FOIA documents my family and I could obtain. Make no mistake–what we saw was just the tip of the iceberg and those responses were most assuredly manipulated long before 2022 beyond the redactions permitted by law. But this is as close to transparency as we are ever going to get.
That being said, I would like to commend the office of Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald for responding to my FOIA request of July 2021. The documents you have read over the past few months comprise that response. I did not describe where these documents came from because I did not want to create problems between the OCP and the office of Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard. But now that I have received all of the files the OCP apparently has on the OCCK case; with what must be the realization by the sheriff’s office that cooperation is a two-way street with prosecutors (and the entire nation is watching to see that those two agencies come together for the greater good in the Oxford High School massacre case and related litigation); as well as the retirement of all-around horrible human being, Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe, I will speak more freely. Slowly, those used to playing by Brooksie’s playbook are leaving office and this earth. Fifty years of dirty dealings seem like more than enough (in this, and other, cases).
By the way, I also felt similarly constrained to acknowledge and express appreciation for the help provided to me and my brothers last year by a recently retired Birmingham Police Department commander. I would not have risked exposing him to members of the OCS office or the Michigan State Police while he was still employed by BPD. We were allowed to review the files remaining at BPD in Tim’s case. Most everything, of course, went to the MSP black hole storage system over the years, but we were allowed to review what little was left behind. The commander told us they remained willing to help in any way possible and while they could not undo the past, they were still our “hometown police department.” Completely unlike the most disingenuous predecessors at that agency.
In responding to my FOIA request, the current OCP office recognized that the OCCK is NOT an active investigation. That claim is ridiculous. The only reason it is still arguably “open” is that the Michigan State Police refuse to follow through on the DNA evidence in this case, as I have addressed numerous times. Their foot and knuckle-dragging in the face of advanced DNA testing used by third-party labs (which they themselves have employed in other cases) betrays their claim that this case remains “open.” That agency cannot be trusted.
Furthermore, I made the argument that there was no claim to attorney work product in this case as grounds for withholding documents. Claims of privilege or work product immunity that are in furtherance of obstruction of justice are invalid under the crime/fraud exception. Yes, I contend that L. Brooks Patterson and Richard Thompson obstructed justice in this case beginning the week of January 25, 1977 and continuing to the present day and that they were aided after-the-fact by actions of Jessica Cooper and Paul Walton. Similarly, trump learned this week that emails he has withheld from a House select committee are not protected by attorney-client privilege due to the crime/fraud exception to that doctrine. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/28/judge-says-trump-more-than-likely-committeed-crime/?utm_campaign=wp_the_5_minute_fix&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_fix&carta-url=https://s2.washingtonpost.com/car-ln-tr/366e95a/62421fc43e6ed13ade421dfc/59863c879bbc0f6826e691d6/10/50/62421fc43e6ed13ade421dfc.
There are a few things that I need to make very clear about this document production.
First, these files had to be retrieved from the office of Sheriff Mike Bouchard this past summer. An attorney working for Jessica Cooper delivered the documents you have read here to the sheriff’s office so they would be “safe” from any FOIA request. Most of the documents are in the 2012 time period, when Cooper’s office was pushing their “Arch Sloan” lead. The files literally sat there until I filed a FOIA request last summer. Don’t believe me? I think the attorney who did the “hand off” still is in the employ of the OCP. Ask around. It seems like at a minimum, there were some serious ethical violations by at least three attorneys here but at this point, given my exposure to attorneys in the State of Michigan, I could care less about cleaning up the ethical “fox guarding the chicken coop” landscape of the Michigan State Bar.
Second, not once in any of those documents do the names Jessica Cooper or Paul Walton appear. Nor are there any file documents from my old friends Patterson and Thompson. Not a single file memorandum, not a single mention of Walton’s little power point presentation, not a mention of Cooper and Walton’s communications with then Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt, no mention of sit downs with their buddies at the sheriff’s office or FBI SA Sean Callaghan. Not only that, there is no mention of when that office started working the Sloan “lead.” How long did they sit on it? How long before they shared this information with other agencies working the case? No answers can be found in the files provided.
Third, I remind readers that on the evening of Friday, November 6, 2020, I received notification that the newly elected prosecutor, Karen McDonald, received word that Jessica Cooper (who had lost her reelection bid earlier that week) was shredding documents and that she had been told some of the files included OCCK files. In the early morning hours of November 7, the office of AG Dana Nessel was notified by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and the AG’s office agreed to issue a Cease and Desist order to the general manager of the Oakland County IT department to prevent further document destruction. Don’t believe me? Contact Prosecutor McDonald, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and the OC IT Department. Maybe it’s just me, but the fact that the documents I have posted allegedly constitute all of the OCP files in the OCCK case, as well as the fact that Sheriff Bouchard claims to have no files whatsoever in this case (https://catherinebroad.blog/2021/07/23/worlds-fastest-foia-response/) strains credulity to the point of absurdity. By this statement, I do not mean to imply that the current OCP office has withheld documents. I think this is all there is. I do mean to imply that a logical conclusion is that Cooper indeed ordered the shredding of documents related to this case.
Finally, I again remind readers that the ONLY reason Chris Busch’s name resurfaced as an OCCK suspect was through the efforts of Patrick Coffey and my family and then the work of Livonia/Wayne County Detective Cory Williams. The OCP and the MSP were in possession of his records for 29 years at that point, yet neither said nor did anything. When the suspect who turned out to be Chris Busch was identified in July 2006, we expected to receive cooperation from the OCP office. Chris Busch’s name was in their possession and instead of immediately disclosing it so that it would appear to have been an oversight of which then OCP David Gorcyca was unaware, Busch’s name was again withheld. The OCP engaged in a proxy war through private polygrapher Larry Wasser to block the release of Busch’s name. The OCP knew exactly who Chris Busch was when Wasser accidentally referred to him in July 2006, but Wasser was used to drag out the disclosure of Busch’s name for another 18 months.
Until this recent cooperation with the current OCP regarding FOIA documents, our entire experience with the OCP office has been one of lies, resistance, threats and gaslighting. Cooper told us she could not share information about an “ongoing investigation.” The Busch leads were not an “ongoing investigation.” As Cooper was so fond of repeating to the press “I don’t charge dead people.” There was no ongoing investigation of Busch or of any of his associates or neighbors in the OCCK case. If you look at the files previously produced by Cooper to the media (and then she had to hand them over to my dad after dragging him through appeals based on her “ongoing investigation” bullshit)–files which are apparently now nowhere to be found at the OCP office, the “investigation” of Chris Busch in 1977 was simply a CSC with a minor case involving a pathetic cut and paste job of the Flint investigation into Busch’s CSC with a minor investigation in Genesee County.
Even parts of the cut and paste job were withheld (for example, Flint Complaint 2131-77 was identified as attached to the Oakland County CSC complaint filed against Busch, yet it was not attached). Not a single witness was interviewed. Not a single lead was pursued. Not even the two leads Busch freely gave to investigators after his arrest–that he poached other victims from the Big Brother organization in Oakland County, or the name of yet another victim, who Busch freely admitted he molested in Oakland County. Busch’s co-defendant, Greg Greene (driving the car while Busch molested the CSC victim in Oakland County), was never bound over and no explanation was provided, not even to the judge who inquired on the record. Yes, the entire OC CSC case against Busch was a cut and paste job of the one victim Patterson could not avoid because the victim pointed to a map on January 27, 1977, and unequivocally stated to police that he was molested by Busch in Oakland County. No argument can be made that this was the “ongoing investigation” Cooper was afraid might be compromised.
When the Busch home in Bloomfield Village was searched 30 years too late, OCP Cooper filed 21 motions to suppress the affidavit that accompanied the search warrant. If any examination of of a possible connection between the suicide/crime scene in Busch’s bedroom and the OCCK case was made in 1978, Oakland County would have said so in October 2008 before going through the motions of investigating a 30-year-old crime scene after two families had lived in the home after the Busch family. So, David Gorcyca, you are not off-the-hook, either.
When Cooper realized the damning information that was found at Chris Busch’s “suicide” scene, she and her assistant Paul Walton went to great lengths to locate and extract a disingenuous affidavit from a retired forensic scientist to supplement the report he submitted 34 years earlier with ridiculous information that was not included in his original report. Information he allegedly forgot to include when the information was fresh in his mind and right in front of him. But after chatting with Paul Walton, he suddenly remembered this info 34 years later, without having the evidence in front of him.
When Cooper convened a Grand Jury and my dad received a subpoena in this case, he was hopeful the prosecutor was finally taking an interest in solving the case. One might ask why the OCP was not willing to call a Grand Jury four years earlier when Chris Busch’s name was finally made public. Nevertheless, my dad arrived prepared to testify and was then erroneously and unjustly accused by Cooper and Walton of leaking grand jury information. The Grand Jury proceeding served no legitimate investigative purpose. It was clearly used to entrap my father. Indeed, until now, Oakland County has defined “investigating” the OCCK case as undermining the investigation and threatening families of the victims.
Up until a few months ago, the history of the OCP in this case is one of obstruction of justice and avoiding liability. Prosecutor McDonald’s predecessors left her in a hell of a position. The destruction of files in this case by Cooper is the least of the criminality here. I don’t have to read any more documents to know what took place in this case. To those of you who have your “own” suspects–this is the reason nothing got any traction in this case. No one with power will investigate this investigation. So I will find every way to tell this story to the world, no matter how long it takes me. The baton of corruption simply cannot be handed to new generations of prosecutors and investigators (who shut down legitimate investigators!) as it has been for 45 years. Exposure on a world-wide level is the only thing that will prevent prosecutors like Patterson and his successors from being emboldened to bend the law to their desired results, whether it be to gloss over a suspect like Busch or make constituents believe their little hamlets are safe from pedophiles. This happened in a case involving the serial abduction, torture, captivity and murder of children.
Someone pointed out to me that Cooper’s instructions were: Wait out Tim King’s father until he is dead. I am hoping prosecutors at the state and federal level will ignore similar instructions: Wait out Tim’s King’s sister until she loses interest or is dead.
This was and still is the biggest, most heinous unsolved serial murder case in Michigan history. All of this–the crimes, the actions of previous prosecutors in this case, the many failures of the Michigan State Police (including the current failure to pull together all evidence for a third party lab to reevaluate)–are a permanent stain on the State of Michigan. Let the record reflect this history of corruption and abuse of power. The residents of Oakland County have demanded no accountability and will therefore receive none. Someone decided for the victims that it was good enough to “put this case to bed” the way it was. Not only were these cases never solved, despite a flood of grant money and manpower, the investigation itself was tainted. And by and large, the communities of Oakland County appear to be ok with that.
Let sleeping dogs and dead kids lie.