Today John Ramsey, father of JonBenet Ramsey, unveiled a petition to Colorado Governor Jared Polis to advance his daughter’s murder case to allow an independent agency to conduct DNA testing in the case rather than the Boulder Police Department (BPD).
All of Ramsey’s statements concerning the BPD’s handling of his six-year-old daughter’s 1996 murder case make painfully familiar points for me. I remember talking to my therapist about the JonBenet case soon after it happened and distinctly remember her almost angrily shaking her head and saying “these suburban police departments . . . ” This was not someone in Michigan, but two time zones away.
Ramsey also made the case that child murders should be investigated as federal crimes and not left up to local police who are “just big enough that they think they know everything and they don’t.” Ramsey said “The Boulder police were totally inexperienced, and I don’t blame them for that, I fault them for not accepting help from people who knew what they were doing.”
Ramsey faulted the department for its “arrogance,” “pride,” “ego” and inexperience at the time his daughter was killed. Sound familiar? You do know that Robert Robertson, Michigan State Police commander of the OCCK Task Force 1977-1978 had never worked on a murder case in his life before he took over the investigation of the serial murder of four preteens, right?
Ramsey asked “Why they won’t test the DNA samples that should be tested for DNA, I don’t know. It’s baffling.” Yes, it is especially baffling when you consider the work being done by Othram Labs, https://othram.com/, and Bode Technology, https://www.bodetech.com/. Also, take a listen to this https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-true-crime-episode-with-david-mittelman/id1515385282?i=1000548915180 (A Bit of Optimism with Simon Sinek, Episode 48, interview with David Mittleman of Othram).
What people don’t understand is that law enforcement has to work with and cooperate with a third-party lab. They have to be educated about what is available today, this minute, to test or retest evidence for DNA and use genetic genealogy to guide further detective work. They need to understand that the work their state labs are doing is by no means cutting edge, usually serves merely to extinguish valuable evidence, and that these labs have found DNA that was previously missed by state labs and which has resulted in convictions. I can make all the videos I want to send to Othram and send my saga to Bode. If the state police won’t cooperate, won’t step in to the 21st Century, won’t allow the copious evidence–the actual evidence, not the state lab paper results–in the OCCK case to be retested by a lab that has done this for hundreds of other law enforcement agencies around the world, we stand still.
In some ways, just as in the OCCK case, the failure to test is not that baffling. Anyone with a passing familiarity with the JonBenet Ramsey case has some idea what the Boulder PD put the Ramsey family through. I suspect they are in no particular hurry to see if further DNA testing will yield actual answers. The Colorado state lab, just like the Michigan state lab, is incapable of performing the cutting edge testing that is being done by third-party labs to solve cold cases around the country. Accept this and retest all of the evidence in the Ramsey case and the OCCK case. If they won’t do it in child murder cases, they have no business having jurisdiction over these crimes.
Do the DNA testing and then report to your constituents–the people you work for. If there is no viable DNA, you owe the public that answer. If there is DNA, keep the public apprised. None of your NDA, secrecy bullshit. You have the built-in excuse that this type of testing did not exist back in the day. But that excuse is wearing thin in the face of your consistent failures to ask for help and provide ALL the evidence to a lab that knows what it’s doing in the (ice) cold case arena.
Governor Polis, I am one of your grateful constituents. I implore you to find a way to get the Boulder police to advance the DNA testing in JonBenet’s case. Please do not ignore this father’s petition. Address it however you can. It’s time for the BPD to take every step to solve or close this case; it is a stain on the city. Failure to act only intensifies suspicion. And maybe Governor Whitmer can take some inspiration from you and take on the MSP in the OCCK case.
Thanks to a reader who forwarded this link with the following observations about a British cold case involving the 1994 murder of a six-year-old boy. The case went cold for some very familiar reasons: failure to properly process evidence; unreasonable theorizing about the motive of the perpetrator; sloppy and indifferent interviewing of the actual perpetrator decades ago.
The boy’s mother was charged with the murder and a jury cleared her in 1996. Prosecutors conceded the not-guilty verdict was correct, adding “The decision to charge her with his murder was wrong.” (Try getting a statement like that from a U.S. prosecutor.)
The mother and her husband pressured detectives to reopen her son’s case a few years ago. Rather than punish this couple for pressuring police to do the right thing, rather than pulling a bunch of vindictive antics, detectives went through the evidence again and discovered a set of tapings (applied to the boy’s clothing in 1994 to lift possible evidence) and sent them for examination “using techniques unavailable at the time of the original investigation.” The tests found the DNA of the killer, who was interviewed at the time of the murder but not pursued as a suspect. He was finally charged with the child’s murder in 2020 and convicted last week.
There is plenty of evidence in the OCCK case, which at a minimum is all of the four kids’ clothing and shoes/boots, Jill’s backpack and bike, and Tim’s skateboard, not to mention whatever evidence was collected from their bodies at the time of autopsy. Why is it not ALL being rerun? Why is the press in Michigan not asking the state police about the status of this evidence (some has apparently been extinguished) and the failure to rerun it using technology which advances almost by the week? Why do the Michigan State Police get a pass? Why the silence? The stenography that passes for journalism in Oakland County and southeast Michigan does not involve the tough questions or pressing when they get ignorant, obstructionist “comments” from the MSP on this case, and it never has. It is a 45-year-old case. The code of silence in these serial murders is indefensible and reprehensible. As is the failure to take the most obvious, basic steps to retest all of the evidence in this case, as jurisdictions around the world have done in cold cases.
What are you afraid of?
If you are someone who worked in the offices of L. Brooks Patterson, Richard Thompson or Jessica Cooper, or who worked for the MSP and have knowledge of the obstruction that has taken place in these unsolved murder cases of children and are ready to take the high road, email me at OCCKtruth@protonmail.com.
Allegations of child rape and assault first surfaced in the 1990s. Boston PD kept him on the force after an attorney threatened to file a grievance. He then went on to become a Boston police union chief until he retired in 2018. This week he was sentenced to 13 years for sex crimes against minors from age 7 to 16, over the course of 27 years.
I bet a couple of the 21 charges of child rape and assault this freak pleaded guilty to happened after this union attorney did the threat dance with the police commissioner, so some of those crimes are on those two cowards, too. YOU DON’T LOOK THE OTHER WAY OR REINSTATE WHEN THERE ARE CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT BY ANYONE, ESPECIALLY A COP, ESPECIALLY AGAINST KIDS. Unbelievable.
I’m telling you, your vote for sheriff, prosecutor and judges at any level is critically important. These people can do a lot of good or a ton of damage. Check out this outrageousness:
This guy in the boy scout/Smokey the Bear uniform looks like he has some inside knowledge on “obstruction of justice.” Talk about abuse of power. Way to wield that pointer, pal.
Before Jerry Sandusky, Penn State football had another serial sexual predator. This is the untold story of his crimes and the fight to bring him to justice.Posted: April 24, 2022
When Jerry Sandusky’s crimes came to light in 2011, the world thought it was the first time Joe Paterno and Penn State had faced a serial sexual predator in their midst. But that was not the case. This is the story of the predator who had come before.
— Read on www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/32496588/before-jerry-sandusky-penn-state-football-had-another-serial-sexual-predator-untold-story-crimes-fight-bring-justice
The obstacles of indifference, obstruction and time. Glad someone with a big audience wrote about it. Glad this monster wound up in prison before Hell.
Here is an interesting article about friends of a young murder victim who used TikTok to find justice for their friend and find the murderer.
https://www.thecut.com/2022/04/daisy-de-la-o-murder-suspect-instagram-tiktok.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=My Week in New York – April 23, 2022&utm_term=Subscription List – My Week in New York
The article addresses overworked police departments and what is essentially victim-blaming in the case of female victims. Cases that lose steam and fall by the wayside. Why, indeed, should people have to go to social media and blogs to try to put pressure on a police department to solve murder cases?
Often, those searching for someone else have at least one thing in common: grief, maybe, but also a general mistrust of the criminal-justice system, a sense that they have been failed or abandoned by police and prosecutors and journalists, that crowdsourced vigilantism is the only avenue for justice.A Murder Solved in DMs
When Daisy De La O was killed, friends looked to social media for the man they suspected had done it. They found him.
Imagine if your family member was a victim in a case where there is a 45-year history of the heaviest of ass-covering going on by prosecutors and state police? That is the OCCK case. Try moving those two agencies to do the right thing. We were failed and abandoned by police, prosecutors, journalists and a community that was all too eager to find a reason to look the other way and never demanded answers. We are still owed answers about the crimes themselves and the cover up that further damaged not only victims’ families, but entire communities. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and blogs cannot capture the depravity of public officials who buried this case, let alone the depravity of the killers of four kids. We know what you did. You know you will never have to answer for it.
As a reader asked, “Why the hell is Wray still at the F.B.I.?”
Most residents of Oakland County continue to believe the false narrative created in the OCCK case by L. Brooks Patterson, his #2, Richard Thompson, and cemented by the Michigan State Police. It is why no one in authority will act on the obvious illegal, unethical and negligent acts in this case which have kept it from being solved, closed, or even honestly discussed, after 45 long years. The press was manipulated by Patterson and decades later, Jessica Cooper and her #2, Paul Walton. Therefore, this case simply goes into the “too bad, so sad” category, while cold cases from that era are being solved at an impressive rate in other jurisdictions around the country.
I discussed coverage of two Oakland County wrongful conviction cases last week for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that prosecutors, detectives and judges won’t talk to the press when something doesn’t look good for them. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/56938161/posts/3953985556. That leaves civilians and reporters to piece together the truth. I think those two cases are also a stark contrast to the OCCK case and the “investigation” into Christopher Brian Busch, son of GM executive H. Lee Busch. The rich and guilty get treated better than the “less wealthy” and innocent. The blog Guarded by Jackals, https://guardedbyjackals.com/, makes this eloquently, and in my opinion, abundantly clear.
Nothing, but nothing, moves the dial in the OCCK case, a case no one wants to ponder for too long because it is just that horrific. But by looking away, you are part of the problem. You are part of the reason sex crimes committed by the wealthy are swept under the rug and why prosecutors like Patterson, Thompson and Cooper can and will engage in corruption in the future. On your dime.
The most important part of the GBJ analysis is a Tale of Two Polygraphs. https://guardedbyjackals.com/chapter-7-two-polygraphs/. Yes, the analysis is conjecture, but I ask you to explain the following hugely relevant irregularities:
- Only two polygraphs of Greg Greene are put forth in the official record, when the notes made by detectives obviously indicate Greene was polygraphed FOUR times.
- The results of all four polygraphs are not known, not even by detectives who worked the case decades later.
- Decades later, forensic analysis by three independent polygraphers was made only on two of the four Greene polygraphs.
- The conclusion of these experts was that Greene should not have passed the polygraphs (whichever ones were provided to them) and that Busch’s was at best inconclusive.
- Based on comments made by private polygrapher Larry Wasser to Detective Cory Williams in 2007, his client Chris Busch should not have passed his MSP polygraph in January 1977, and that’s why this shit bag did not advance Busch past the pre-polygraph interview to a private polygraph exam.
- Answer this: Greene and Busch were brought in on some of the same victims, but after the polygraphs and the obvious wheeling and dealing, their official charges assigned them different victims. There was to be no link between Greene and Busch.
- Busch got $1,000 bail and probation (and probation in numerous other counties as well). Greene’s bail was $75,000 and he got a life sentence. Even if you come up with some explanations for this disparity, it still feels like icing on the wealthy pedophile cake.
Jessica Cooper has been credibly charged with shredding documents in an open investigation. https://catherinebroad.blog/2022/03/29/where-things-stand/. This is a truly egregious act by any standards. What was destroyed to ensure that nothing in this investigation can ever rise above “conjecture”? The current Oakland County Prosecutor responded to a FOIA request for the OCCK files. In the thousands of documents, not once was there a single note or mention of Richard Thompson’s activities when he went to Flint to sit in on the Greene and Busch polygraphs. Not a fucking thing from that time period. Or, of course, any mention of Jessica Cooper.
Even my discovery that Thompson himself had checked out the CSC file in the Oakland County case against Chris Busch on MARCH 17, 1977, hours after my brother had been abducted in Birmingham (uh-oh) was sheer luck, when I found a file in my dad’s office a year after he died. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/56938161/posts/3624377273. It looked like a file a journalist had provided to my dad–it was not produced in any FOIA request he made of the OCP. Yes, it remains in the lap of civilians to try to piece this corrupted case together. It is insane.
I say again: This is what must be done if law enforcement and public officials in Michigan give a shit about the abduction, captivity, torture and murder of four kids between the ages of 10 and 12 in 1976 and 1977. And it is the minimum which must be done to even pretend you are working this case:
- The Michigan State Police must produce all four polygraphs of Gregory Greene, taken between January 16 and February 1, 1977, or explain their absence. We are way past FOIA requests. This must be done by the Oakland County Prosecutor or the Michigan AG, with the assistance of the FBI if necessary. Anyone still living who participated in the arrest or interrogation of Greg Greene and/or Chris Busch must be interviewed by the FBI. Preferably there would be a grand jury so these statements would be made under oath.
- The document shred by Jessica Cooper must be investigated and statements taken under oath.
- Steve Duncan, polygrapher for the Georgia Highway Patrol, who polygraphed John Hastings in the fall of 2009 must be interviewed. Then Hastings must be interrogated again. How many times do I have to raise this obvious issue? See, for example: https://catherinebroad.blog/2021/04/28/john-hastings-2/. Polygraphs are all good as long as they are controlled by the OCP and the MSP. Then, when a neighbor of Busch flunks one in Georgia, it all goes in the circular file.
- ALL of the evidence in these four murders must be rerun by a third party lab utilizing the most recent technological advances in DNA examination. I am told such a lab has offered to do this for the state police, FOR FREE.
These are straight-forward, obvious steps to close “loose ends.” Why would these steps not be taken? See https://guardedbyjackals.com/. If you have a better explanation, I would love to hear it. The failure of anyone in authority to close the gaps in this case cements the legacy of protecting raping child murderers in Oakland County.
Former University of Michigan professor Stephen Shipps was a nationally renowned violinist and a sexual predator. Shipps, 69, of Ann Arbor, was sentenced last Thursday to five years in federal prison for having sex with a 16-year-old student in 2002. He was also ordered to pay a victim $120,000 in restitution.
I’m glad the judge in this case saw through this U-M professor’s attorney’s argument that this predator be allowed home confinement or probation due to his alcoholism and alleged remorse and deep shame. You know the argument really was–hey, here is another old, successful, white guy predator who deserves special treatment.
And I’m glad the Kalamazoo County sheriff takes child predation seriously:
Sheriff Richard Fuller stated: “It was made painfully clear to me that people of all working ranks are involved in [attempts to have sex with children].”
You don’t have to read too far into the record of the OCCK case to know that all working ranks include a state senator, an architect, an art dealer, a physician, a philanthropist, police officers, and GM executives, among many other “types.”
A number of readers contacted me about a recent article in the Detroit Free Press about yet another case from Oakland County where a man was sentenced to life in prison for arson/murder that may well have been an accidental fire. It is outrageous, and it is the case of Anthony Kyles, which “has striking similarities to another high-profile Oakland County conviction that has been overturned,” that of Juwan Deering. Deering spent 15 years in prison for a 2000 fire in Royal Oak Township that killed five children before he was released in 2021. Kyles has been in prison for 24 years.
Both Kyles’ and Deering’s cases (1997 and 2006) were prosecuted Oakland County assistant prosecutor Greg Townsend. In Deering’s case favorable evidence, including statements by a fire survivor, was not shared with his defense lawyer before trial, and jurors didn’t know that jail informants were given significant benefits for their testimony against Deering. https://www.npr.org/2021/09/30/1041970362/juwan-deering-michigan-freed-wrongful-conviction-fire-children-deaths. Similarly, in Kyles’ case exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense and the jury was misled about benefits given to a jailhouse snitch who testified against Kyles. He has since said he perjured himself at the trial. In both cases, an outside fire investigator concluded the fires could not be deemed arson.
Both wrongful conviction cases are/were handled by attorneys for the Michigan Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan. When an innocence project comes calling, you better pay attention because these attorneys have done some incredibly solid, uphill work over the years trying to right wrongs that have happened in our courts. If you have not read Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (2014), I commend the book to you. Especially if you think everyone who raises his or her right hand in court tells the truth, or that prosecutors are on a mission from God who do no wrong, or that judges always get it right and play fair.
As I read and reread the article about Kyle’s case, I was struck by the fact that while AP Townsend’s actions were set forth, the gravity of them was not discussed. It is commendable an Oakland County judge granted current OCP Karen McDonald’s request to close Deering’s after Deering’s convictions and life sentences were thrown out at her urging. It is also commendable and unprecedented for Oakland County that Prosecutor McDonald has established a Conviction Integrity Unit in the wake of the disturbing revelations established by the Innocence Clinic in these two cases.
While the focus of inquiry must be on the innocence of the accused in wrongful conviction cases, there is another story that must not be overlooked; the prosecutorial misconduct that facilitated the wrongful conviction. Prosecutor McDonald inherited a literal 50-year legacy of questionable prosecutors in Oakland County. If detectives, prosecutors and judges (some of them not even named in this article!) won’t speak on the record, get a prominent defense attorney to explain the gravity of AP Townsend’s actions in these two cases. Get a law professor to discuss the heightened and unique ethical responsibility of a prosecutor. If no attorney from Michigan will speak on the record, find an expert from some other part of the country. The press should educate readers about what happens when you elect a hack to serve in any law enforcement capacity.
This story isn’t finished. I call it The Guilt Project. The guilt of prosecutors who abuse their power. If they do it in one area, they do it in many others, you can bet on it. That the current OCP is cleaning things up is borderline miraculous, given the history of the office. It is incumbent on the press to shine a light on past practices as well as current cases. Going easy on elected officials (past or present) and their underlings undermines the role of the press.
This article was heartbreaking and maddening. Let’s hope the rot of corruption can be excised beginning with these two cases.