Flashing a badge.

Two days ago readers were going back and forth about witness descriptions of the man seen talking with my brother in the parking lot of Hunter-Maple Pharmacy the evening he was abducted. That this man was wearing a sports jacket is no surprise, is it? Just a regular B’ham guy shopping on his way home from work, or a dad talking with his son. Or someone posing as an undercover cop or security at the pharmacy.

In The Kill Jar, Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit’s Most Notorious Serial Killer (2018), by J. Reuben Appelman, he describes a near-miss as a kid during the OCCK era when a man tried to abduct him after he left a drugstore. Seven-year-old Jason had seen this man, dressed in a rust-colored blazer, shirt and dark tie, strolling around the store and assumed he was a security guard. After an aborted attempt to shoplift bubble gum, Jason ran out of the store and this man followed, first on foot and then in a compact car. He pulled up a few feet from Jason, opened passenger door, leaned over and reached out. Jason ran, cutting through yards.

So in the pedophile/kidnapper playbook, security guard or undercover cop at a neighborhood drugstore–a place where decades ago preteens routinely exercised some degree of independence before the OCCK era changed history for kids and parents alike–is a pretty good ruse. I saw you shoplifting, let’s go call your parents and clear this up. Or, in Jason’s case, some criminal asshole just pulling up in a car and opening up the passenger door. Get in; I have on a coat and tie; I mean business.

And FOIA documents establish that pedophile and favorite confidential informant of DPD’s Ike McKinnon, the late Richard Lawson, maintained he had been given a police badge by DPD for his “undercover” work. Documents and news articles also establish that the incarcerated pedophile Arch Sloan had been a volunteer firefighter in Pennsylvania and had a little badge to go along with that gig.

A reader pointed out to me that a comment from a few months ago with a link to a 2009 Oakland Press article about the private sale of “badges” warranted a deeper dive. I agree. Here’s the comment from February 2022:

John Agnew who was fired as assistant prosecuting attorney for Oakland County who also was a suspect, also was into looking at kid porn & lived in Royal Oak & shot the windows out at a Burger King bought a badge I see when I googled him.


Comment from 2/2022, https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/56938161/posts/3826970538 

Another reader pointed out to me the implications contained in this brief comment. FOIA documents indicate that Det. Ray Anger’s favorite OCCK suspect and exhumee, David Norberg, “may have known Attorney John Agnew of Royal Oak (ex-Oakland County Prosecutor, juvenile division, during time of child killings), when in [sentence not finished and page may be missing].” https://catherinebroad.blog/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/1-Suspect-David-Norberg-Final.pdf  (see page 4). This same page from Anger’s December 1995 write-up of suspect David Norberg also indicates attorney Agnew was friends with convicted pedophile Larry Smith.

I did not know an assistant prosecutor from Oakland County was ever a suspect or turned in on a tip in the OCCK case (I have not seen any documents to verify this). This possibility, as well as the allegations of child porn use, makes the link the commenter provided where Agnew is quoted about the private sale of badges article quite breathtaking.

In that 2009 Oakland Press article, the president of a company that sold “badges” for attorneys that too closely resembled sheriff’s badges is bitching about criticism from the Macomb sheriff about the obvious potential confusion and misuses of this little prop. These badges were supposedly for private attorneys for god’s sake and said “attorney” and “officer of the court.” Why waste money on business cards, right?

Agnew, who purchased one of these badges for “display on his wall,” tells the Oakland Press that he can’t understand what the problem is. “What’s wrong with making money in the United States?” he asked. “It’s not selling dope or child porn.”

Interesting choice of words by this attorney/badge purchaser.

A reader helped me with the following background on this guy. His father, John R. Agnew, worked in the OC prosecutor’s office before him. Agnew the son, was born in either 1943 or 44, and died on 2/20/2016, 40 years +1 day after Mark Stebbins’ death. Agnew was in Vietnam 64-66, went to UD for undergrad (finance), went to UD law school, was admitted in 1976, and started working in the OCPO. He formed his private practice in 1982 so he must have left the OCPO at that time. His practice was at 1207 S. Lafayette Ave, Royal Oak – a house his parents had and given or sold to him in 1965 when he was 21. It is a stone’s throw from Woodward, literally, with direct access to Woodward, and a block north of 10 Mile. It’s across from the Detroit Zoo.

His obit doesn’t mention any wives, ex wives, significant others, or children. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/dailytribune/name/john-agnew-obituary?id=11846485. He was a lifelong member of the VFW, and he was a railroad buff. The NRHS logo on his shirt in his obit photo is of the Bluewater chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society.

Here’s a very chilling possibility, raised by the reader: “If what your commenter said is true, Agnew looks like a pretty good candidate as an insider with proclivities that would connect him with pedophiles and corrupt cops in the county.  I recall that people have thought over the years that someone inside gave information to the outsiders, and to the author of at least one of the books, etc.”

Anybody out there have information about this possibility? Email me at OCCKtruth@protonmail.com.

37 thoughts on “Flashing a badge.”

  1. Ray Anger is on my last fucking nerve! He was everybody’s little bitch , fuck up interviews , control narrative, blah blah blah .Ray Anger is our kind of cop, say the people in power above him . I started reading some of Helen Damher or whatever the fuck her name is .Do I have this right ? her Todd is Anger’s son . Enough already! I’m gonna write a book a book about what we all know is true .I think if I write it and get it published with the sole purpose of getting sued for slander , at least it would get this shit in front of a Judge.

    1. Todd Matthews, now of the Doe Network (missing and unidentified persons, https://www.doenetwork.org/), was helping Helen Dagner back in the 1990s. I don’t think he is related in any way to Ray Anger. Anger, of course, communicated with Helen because he had his hands in this case any way he could. He was everywhere. Under every rock. Here’s the good news. You can’t defame a dead guy, and truth is a complete defense to a defamation action brought by a live guy. Unless you are a pirate, like Johnny Depp, defamation actions are notoriously hard to win.

      1. Aahh! So basically it’s a green light , because let’s face it most of these guys are so old, they would stroke out at a trial ,, and people like Barf Sloan well , who would waste the ink. Ray Anger 😠 😡 👿 why did that ugly mope have to die

  2. Not in Michigan (as far as I know), but I mentioned to Marney the horrific case of the Dayton brothers (and their Uncle) – prosecuted in Missouri. Their modus operandi was flashing a badge at the young boys they picked up and subsequently gang-raped, but they went much farther with play-acting at being police. This was mid 1970’s.

    I only have the court records from the case where they were successfully prosecuted;
    “State v Dayton 1976, Missouri, Kansas City District”. I’m quite certain this case was not the FIRST time they pulled this, though hopefully the last.

  3. Jack Olsen’s The Man with the Candy references an incident where an adolescent Dean Corll was “deputized” by a police officer, and given (if memory serves) a badge. His mother reacted strongly against this. At the time she was away most days working, leaving Corll and his younger brother on their own. She came home one day and was shown the badges by her sons, and was not happy. The inference was that she did not like creepy older cops enlisting her boys to report on local crime. Corll explained to his mother that he and his brother had witnessed a crime and reported it to the police officer, who showed up after the incident.

    This is interesting in general but becomes even more intriguing when run against Sam Hoover’s infamous Boy Gang, which was roughly contemporaneous. Hoover had been a delinquent criminal himself, before joining the military. He later became the mayor of Pasadena, where Corll’s father lived; the house in which Corll would later reside, then die.

    Hoover was a criminal attorney and at some point, like Patterson I believe (?), worked in criminal defense. He had many hook-ups within the police departments and in the juvenile courts. Here’s a bit of backstory:


    Sex was a big part of this scheme. So was burglary and hijacking. One couple was held captive and tortured, much as Corll was said to have detained and tortured his victims.

    Corll was an electrician who bugged his local boy hangout – where a pool table was set up. Many of the boys who became his victims had been in trouble with authorities for various petty crimes.

    I’ve noted before but it’s worth mentioning again. Also in Olsen’s book is an exchange between Wayne Henley and a friend. As they were riding their bikes, Henley asked this boy if he’d ever thought about being a hit man for the mafia. While this is a sensational statement, it indicates recruitment; although, for anyone doubting the presence of organized crime rings in Texas should look into the histories of Galveston and Beaumont (both places factored into the Corll case).

    Collateralization using the image of authority is a big part of many of these cases (Corll, Gacy, even NXIVM).

    Also worth noting again is the extensive use of “informants” by the Houston Police Department. The lieutenant that handled David Brooks’ interrogation was Houston CID. He was said to be a good friend of Brooks’ father, who I want to say was from either Beaumont or Galveston. I don’t have the Olsen book or the police reports at hand or would give citations.

  4. Spiro Agnew had a son that got arrested for being a peeping Tom .I wonder if John is this black sheep’s son? I only thought this because John’s obit ,doesn’t list any parents?

  5. RABBIT HOLE ALERT! Max Fisher got Nixon elected with the Jewish swing vote, and his nephew or whatever Everell was being called into the OCCK TIP Line .I m sure nobody thought it was important.

      1. Oh thank God! I always liked Maxy , I don’t know if that makes it better or worse ? G M was boasting record profits in 1977.Regardless Catherine is right , we better get to John Hayseed down in Atlanta before he dies.

  6. Agnew was in a good position to see and hear confidential information from both police officers and prosecutors. But he sure was a loose cannon.

    The FOIA files on him showed he was pushing investigators to look closer at Larry Smith. A couple of coincidence’s I noticed is that Agnew’s law office happened to be right across Woodward from Smith’s attorney. Smith’s attorney also handled the second divorce of Kristine’s mother.

    Additional information on Agnew is on the front page of the October 26, 1982 Royal Oak Tribune. He was arrested by his own Prosecutor’s office for breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house. She used to work at the prosecutor’s office, and was then with Oakland County Sheriff’s office. Chief Assistant Thompson said the house was broken into before, and Agnew was a suspect. Sheriff office asked OCP to investigate. OCP put a stakeout on the house and caught Agnew kicking down the door. He was arrested, and jailed in Birmingham and placed on unpaid suspension.

  7. So …G. M . is another suspect in the OCCK , Don’t look for a pontiac car ! Let’s spend a bunch of money a resources looking for an AMC car .If this were to happen today ,Brooks Patterson would have been sued by AMC ,for defamation of product.People couldn’t dump those Gremlins fast enough.

    1. Your comment of GM being a suspect in the OCCK got me thinking. On March 15, 1977 the following even occurred (below). Perhaps the tip received came from a certain son of a GM executive as a bargaining chip with his own criminal cases.

      Oakland County’s Organized Crime Task Force and three other police agencies confiscated almost three tons of marijuana Tuesday night in Lapeer County. Richard Thompson, chief assistant county prosecutor, said it is the largest marijuana “bust” he can remember in Michigan. He said the 5,800 pounds – with an estimated street value of $2.7 million — were destined for the GMC Truck and Coach Plant in Pontiac and other places in the Pontiac area

      Thompson said all four persons taken into custody were employees of the GMC Truck and Coach plant and were “middlemen” in a marijuana distributing network. He said police believe the marijuana came from Mexico, but they’re not sure how it entered the U.S. He said he will contact Federal authorities for further investigation.

      The prosecutor’s office began investigating after receiving a tip that a large amount of marijuana was to be distributed to GMC employees either for their own consumption or to sell to others, Thompson said plant officials and the corporation weren’t involved.

      1. Also , In the 70s & 80s GM was super powerful, like king making powerful. I’m not being funny about GM being a suspect in the cover up ,they had a lot to protect.

        1. Sorry…what I’m trying to convey is if General Motors fall so does Oakland county .They are one in the same. I grew up in a GM family ,there union was like the Mob.

          1. One more thing , the drugs delivered to the plants was an open secret with the UAW. They would do anything to keep the line running.A scandal like that would not turn people against them. RAPING & KILLING children cover up could cause a walk out. This wasn’t about protecting someone’s son ,it was about protecting a Brand.

        2. I took your suspect comment to be serious. I too grew up in the industry and worked with GM engineers and designers for 7 years. You are correct, there was much to protect.

          1. Then you know the UAW sends out letters reminding there people the best way to vote …like for president of the United States . They hold tremendous sway, not to mention you can’t swing a cat in oakland county without hitting someone who didn’t work for the auto industry. It would have been bad for everybody. Can you imagine the phone call to Brooksy ? Everell & Chris were threatening baseball ,automobiles & apple pie. And they are still protecting this image .Why ? because oakland county, one of the richest in the USA is the epitone of the American dream.

            1. Not for Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson, Kristine Mihelich and Tim King. Or Cynthia Cadiuex, or Jane Allen, Kimberly King or Sheila Srock. Or Gail Webster.

        3. That is why that shit about N. Fox Island was never reported adequately in the Detroit Area. Marilyn Wright’s reporting for the Traverse City Record-Eagle put all of the Detroit reporters to shame. But there were too many GM big wigs raping and photographing kids to have any of that discussed closer to home in the Motor City. I think even Patterson and Thompson got a kick out of the AMC blue Gremlin. Blue Vega? Never. The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press loved them some GM advertising dollars.

  8. Yah.. VFW in Berkley on cooliage open in the 70s . This guy didn’t need his office to find other pedos, I think kids really love choochoo trains .He just needed the office to not get cau…oh..right ,he did get caught.

    1. I just have a note on badges. I like to browse the auctions online for treasures. I see alot of badges for sale. Some are obvious toys, some antiques but to a panicked child with seconds to respond it would probably look real enough.

  9. Badges? What about Richard McNamee who looks the drawing that Doug Wilson provided? What is he not discussed more on this website? Its he and Hastings , IMO who did these crimes.

    1. I wrote about Officer Friendly, that POS Richard McNamee, until I was blue in the face. Google “Richard McNamee” and “catherine broad blog.” Marney Keenan obtained documents through a FOIA request, published on this blog. Marney also located and spoke with family members of McNamee, who were predictably unhelpful. I documented on this blog my attempt to get the then-assigned MSP detective, Sean Street, to communicate with me about this significant piece of information (responding officer to Busch death scene is himself A PEDOPHILE). Street blew me off and in fact ceased all communication with me that summer. Street never even picked up the phone to call my dad before he died, even though he claimed he was going to meet with my dad and brother to “bring them up to speed.” COVID hit, but the guy couldn’t even pick up the phone?? He should have. My dad would have fallen for that “I have three kids of my own” bullshit you tossed at me. He would have actually believed you were doing something to advance this case.

      1. I did not realize Marney located some relatives of McNamee, and spoke to them. Good work by her.

        In your original blog about McNamee you indicated “he may not have been married”. I ran across an Oakland County case 1976-140789-DM where Barbara J. McNamee divorced Richard J. McNamee. Do you know if she located the ex-wife?

        1. I think Marney spoke with kids or step kids. I think the ex-wife demurred as I recall, as did other kids from the neighborhood from that era. Just the one brave woman came forward and of course the cops BLEW HER OFF and never even called her back.

  10. How does Anger confirm that Agnew is friends with Larry Smith ? He is accusing a county prosocutor of relashionship with convicted pedo. I get that Anger is trying to produce another red herring. Wasn’t there any blowback from this statement in an official police report?

    1. Your comment assumes anybody at the MSP or OC reads anything about this case, past or present. They do not. Blowback? Blowing in the wind.

    2. No blowback when a guy like this keeps his fingers all over the OCCK case for his entire career. Probably no one read the report, anyway.

  11. Sorry I misunderstood . I forgot you could shoot up a Burger King get caught with child porn and still retain your license to practice law?

    1. On Planet Oakland County, for sure. And it seems like the Michigan State Bar Association is pretty weak in the disciplinary department.

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