A family friend read the documents provided by the Michigan State Police in response to my Dad’s FOIA request. He is retired from law enforcement. After reading the documents, he compiled this document in the format of a probable cause case against Busch, Green and Gunnels, in which he carefully outlined the evidence and cross-referenced it to the FOIA documents. We used it to compile questions for the task force. There is no date on the document–I could go back into my emails to figure it out, but it must have predated the magic Sloan vehicle hair-disinformation/reelection campaign press conference in 2012. After that, all bets were on someone affiliated with Sloan and his Bonneville. That is, until it comes time to admit they won’t do further DNA testing on the relevant hairs. But that bought them a few more years of spin.
The document does not evaluate, nor does it preclude, other scenarios such as a “group killing” (multiple pedophiles and child traffickers involved in each abduction/captivity/rape/murder), a cop being involved, a pornography ring. If you want to find a way to put all the players on the chessboard in addition to Busch, Green and Gunnels (Lamborgine, Sloan, John H., a cop, child pornographers and pedophiles as yet unnamed), it is easy enough to do. There just isn’t the kind of proof that is set forth here implicating Busch and Green in the FOIA documents. Remember that NONE of this was looked at back in the day. Green ratted out Busch for the murder of Mark Stebbins in January 1977. Both were polygraphed by Ralph Cabot at the MSP Post in Flint and CLEARED on the basis of the polygraph, one month before my brother was abducted and murdered. Done deal. All this shit came to light after November 2007.
I think you will find the document very illuminating. Maybe some of you, like the cops, think this is all a big coincidence. See what you think.
From an email I was copied on sent by my Dad on 11/4/13, with one redaction:
Most observers misinterpret my position on the OCCK case. When Cooper asked Studt to call me on March 1, 2010 to tell me Busch and Gunnels were not involved I had only seen documents presented to me by Heather Catallo. These public documents had been denied to my family. I have used the term “involved” rather than “murdered” regarding the Busch involvement. All we have asked for in the reason for overruling the conclusions of Williams and Gray that they were the leading suspects and could have been charged if Busch was still alive. NO ONE HAS SUBMITTED ANY FACTS CONTRADICTING THE CONCLUSION THAT BUSCH AND GUNNELS WERE INVOLVED!
We have always acknowledged the validity of the Sloan lead. After 3 ½ years nothing has developed on this lead. Sloan is still being treated as a normal prisoner rather than as an uncooperative one. We have heard rumors that there has been little or no follow up. The continued references to the blue Gremlin do not support the Sloan investigation. The way we have treated since March 1. 2010 is deplorable. Why did Cooper terminate all contacts with Worthy? Why did the MSP switch allegiance from Wayne County to Oakland County after the October 27, 2009 conference? Why did the MSP refuse to talk to Williams and switch allegiance to Oakland? Why did the OCP refuse to release the search warrant affidavit which was prepared by her office and signed by the MSP? Does this lack of information legitimately give rise to concerns of a cover up of major pedophile activity in the 1970s? Review the Chapter in the DVD on the blue Gremlin! Who can review the actions of the current and past Prosecutors for possible improper behavior?
For 30 years the victims kept their mouths shut and trusted law enforcement. The case is now 37 years old and would not be in the papers or on TV today if it were not for the King family trust in the media to raise the above issues. I will never understand how the prosecutor ignores her constitutional obligation to confer with victims and gives the media access to the same information she denies me. The next time she uses Channel [*] to present her side of any portion of this case, ask her how she interprets the constitution. She should not avoid this answer just because she was not challenged by anyone when she ruled her own court room.
Check out this letter in the Genessee Co. Busch file sent by Genessee Co. Prosecutor Robert F. Leonard to Montmorency Co. Prosecutor David F. Tibbetts on April 6, 1977, some two weeks after my brother’s body was dumped in a ditch in Livonia. I’m sure you will forgive me for my editorial comments, added when I first read the document a few years ago. Leonard states the obvious—that effective investigation of child sex crimes necessitated information sharing; something none of the agencies were able or willing to do, even in the face of this “tragic, acute and widespread problem” in Michigan at the time. I will next post the meeting agenda.
Leonard tried to do the right thing. I don’t know if the meeting ever took place or who attended. And there are more interesting documents in the file about the disposition of Busch’s pending CSC case, even in the face of the prosecutor’s and the assigned judge’s obvious concern with these types of crimes. But Leonard didn’t last long. Two years later he was in the Big House after being convicted of embezzling $34,000 from a fund his office used for undercover operations. See http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1987-09-28/news/8703130190_1_white-collar-white-candidate-seven-candidate-field
Second of three pages I am posting re: arrest of Busch and Green in Flint in the weeks before my brother’s abductionPosted: March 10, 2013
The first page ended with and this one finishes with retired Southfield PD Detective Doan and Berkley PD Detective Itami asking where their lengthy reports on Busch and Green are–the MSP file they are looking at contains only the tip sheets. Go figure. More later on O.C. Assistant PA Richard (Dick the Amnesiac) Thompson’s interview of Green on 1-26-77. He apparently has no recollection of this event. It must have gotten jumbled up in all those property crimes and traffic issues in Oakland County back in the day.
Another person with a gut feeling back in the day that Busch is involved in my brother’s abduction and murder.Posted: March 9, 2013
Gut feelings–of people who are trained best to pick up on them and listen to them–apparently get trumped when your daddy is Daddy Warbucks and somebody sitting at a desk at the OCCK Task Force gets to make the final call and everything appears to fall through the cracks.
The Livonia detective I told you busted his ass on this case, finds out that Charlotte Pelham and Jr. Brandenburg are both retired and he contacts them. A dispatcher at MCS Office informs the detective that the deputy who recently found Busch’s criminal file in response to his request has information and is happy to discuss it. This deputy faxes a copy of a letter to the detective from Detective Tom Waldren at Flint PD to the Chief of the Alma PD dated March 9, 1977. In this letter, Waldren explains that Busch has CSC cases pending in Genesee County, Oakland County, Montmorency County and Midland County. Waldren stated that the strongest cases against Busch were in Oakland and Genessee County, and noted that Busch had hired the best legal counsel to represent him–Jane (“My client is a model citizen, your Honor”) Burgess. Waldren also wrote that Busch was currently free on bond at that time for all charges. Yes, that means free on March 16th, in spite of numerous CSC cases in various counties, to abduct my brother.
The deputy assisting the Livonia detective points out that in Busch’s file with them–way up north–is an old newspaper clipping about the disappearance of Tim King in suburban Detroit. The deputy stated that in Brandenburg’s interview of Busch on 3-3-77, Busch stated that he did molest [name redacted] at the cottage on Ess Lake, but never used force. Busch would not name any of the other boys from down state that he brought to the cottage and would not make any written statements until he had a chance to speak with his attorney. Busch told Brandenburg that he knew Gregory Green, but at no time did he ever bring Green to Ess Lake. Busch said he was violent and tried to strangle a boy in Flint that he believes was [name redacted]. Busch continued about Green, stating that police have confiscated all of his photographs and movies and are holding them. Busch told Brandenburg that he did not have any photos or movies at the cottage. (Ok, sure, Chris, we believe you.) Busch went on to say that his problem (pedophelia) started when his father sent him to boarding school at 17 years old.
To retired Montmorency County Detective Jr. Brandenburg’s credit, on 2-12-08 he speaks with the Livonia detective about his investigation into Chris Busch in 1977 for CSC First Degree. When asked why there was a news clipping concerning Tim King’s disappearance in Chris Busch’s CSC file way up north, “Brandenburg started out by saying that he remembers the case and remembers Busch being a very odd guy, stating that he always felt that Busch might have been involved in the King case, that’s why he had the news clippings. Brandenburg said that the dad [H. Lee Busch] was rich, owned a home in Birmingham, the cottage on Ess Lake and bought Christopher Busch a big two-story restaurant” in Alma, MI. (FOIA Doc. 01210.) “Brandenburg said that Christopher Busch always had young boys with him and remembers they were from his (Busch’s) area, down state. ” Brandenburg knew Busch had committed suicide. “Brandenburg again stated that he always had a gut feeling that Busch was involved in the child killing case.” (Id.)
And you know, based on what I’ve written before that this is going to get worse, right? In the Narrative Report entry for 2-21-08, it most certainly does.
Almost 10 years ago, the OCCK case was discussed a lot on a Topix forum. I thought it was a mostly disturbing forum. People fought and got personal and crazy. It felt like there were predators on the site, posting away and checking in. But there were many people who had a sincere interest in the case and in the discussion. I have hundreds of pages copied from that site. The forum was eventually taken down.
Check out two of the pages I copied back in 2011. A poster poses the group killings scenario and makes great suggestions–hey, if you are really serious COLD CASE investigators, break this thing down–Cass Corridor, Fox Island, the OCCK, John McKinney’s murder in August 1977 and Chris Busch’s “suicide” in November 1978. And while you are at it, look at each of the four OCCK cases in isolation. As the poster states–if a group was actually involved, you might not get the same players with each of the kids.
But those very valid suggestions only work if an agency is actually serious about solving these crimes and taking a long, hard look at what happened in each of those situations SO IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN, RIGHT UNDER YOUR SUBURBAN-ASS NOSES and so that society learns about how victimization of children thrives long-term when people sweep this shit under the rug.
The person who was “just thinking out loud” on a Topix forum had more clarity than the task force. I know that’s hard for you to believe.
Investigative Report: The Oakland County Child Killer Case, Issued June 2012, The Cold Case Investigative Society, The University of Western Ontario.Posted: November 5, 2019
A reader mentioned that she had contacted Michael Arntfield (To Catch a Killer) about the OCCK case. In addition to hosting and co-creating this true crime mini-series, Dr. Arntfield is an award-winning professor at The University of Western Ontario. He founded The Cold Case Investigative Society at Western Ontario in the fall of 2011 based on the previous success of his course “The Serial Killer in the Media.” Guess what case The Society tackled first? “[A] particularly disturbing and now-largely abandoned investigation: the abduction, sexual abuse, and subsequent murders of a minimum of four children in Oakland County, Michigan.”
Here is the report.
The work Dr. Arntfield’s students was reported in the Detroit area media.
Lest you think this was some little class project, consider Dr. Arntfield’s credentials. He is widely regarded as the leading Canadian authority on cold case murders and serial homicides. He was a police officer in London, Ontario for 15 years prior to becoming a criminologist and university professor. He has authored a number of books and related works, including Murder City, The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984. (Friesen Press, 2015.)
Wait, you might say–this report came out just before the “magic hairs” press conference where Jessica Cooper tossed the Arch Sloan Bonneville. If you watched the documentary The Children of the Snow (February 2019), you will recall that Dr. Arntfield sits down with J. Reuben Appleman to discuss this case. He discusses the possibility that these murders fall into a ghastly serial killer format known as “group killings.” In other words, multiple participants. Busch and Green aren’t off the game board, but others could easily participated in one or more of the abductions, sexual abuse and murders.
This possibility was raised by a commenter on Topix, back when that site hosted discussions of crimes, including a thread on the OCCK. Check out the comment at the top of this page, posted on May 27, 2011:
While it was most certainly “way overdue” for the four victim’s cases to be investigated on their own, as well as investigations of Cass Corridor, Fox Island, the murder of John McKinney and the “suicide” of Chris Busch in 2011, I can guarantee you none of this will ever happen now.
Read The Society’s report, which concludes “that Busch, even with the assistance of others, was the main architect of these murders.”
“I cannot believe how the adults handled it. Unimaginable. I still remember all of us trying to comfort one another. . . We were 11 and 12. Just unbelievable.”Posted: November 4, 2019
Check out this clipping from The Royal Oak Daily Tribune, dated Thursday, March 17, 1977, the day after my brother was abducted. This newspaper was so much better than the bigger Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. This paper always dug a little deeper and got a lot more important details and a bigger picture. Because it is a poor quality copy, I will quote from the article.
L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Prosecutor at the time, explains that the task force was already working on Tim’s case. Patterson is described as the “chief spokesman for the task force.” He sure didn’t have much to say in the press after Tim wound up dead.
The article describes why Tim’s prior behavior made him unlikely to have run away, and quotes the principal at Tim’s school:
Robert Jones, principal of Adams Elementary School, where Timothy, a sixth grader, described the boy as ‘a fine young fellow, not one we would expect to be truant. The boy is doing well in school and isn’t a loner or experiencing any problems,’ Jones said. ‘He had lots of friends, he was a popular little guy.’
One of Tim’s classmates commented a day ago about the wealth of evidence against Busch and Green. Everyone who views this case as just a fascinating “whodunit” needs to read these comments very carefully. THIS is what happens in the wake of such a horrendous crime. Readers and web sleuths pick the case apart and try to figure it out and people who were directly affected have to spend the rest of their lives picking up the pieces. Be mindful of that when you comment on my blog. You literally have no idea. None.
Wow…just mindblowing. So hard to keep drudging this up (Tim was a classmate of mine and the trauma never goes away), and yet this MUST come out! Sending you continued strength for the energy you put into this each and every day.
Thank you, Beth and I am so sorry. I remember my Mom asking how all Tim’s classmates were supposed to deal with his empty desk in that sixth grade room. And the Birmingham School District, in its wisdom, issued an edict to teachers and counselors (at least at the junior high and high school levels) that they were not supposed to talk about the case. My brothers and I watched as kids who had lost a parent were consoled by teachers and counselors and we were shunned. It was incredibly isolating, painful and confusing. I hope they did a better job at Adams Elementary.
I will say that I can never forget how horribly Adams School handled it. It was gut-wrenching for all of us in his 6th grade class to have that empty desk. To my best recollection, our teacher did not engage in any sort of conversation with us about it. All those days of not knowing, and then knowing and feeling so shocked and scared and heartbroken. I do remember that our art teacher, Mrs. Bell, did talk about it with us and allowed us to express our emotions and fear and confusion. She was the ONLY ONE. I am so sorry to know that you did not receive the support you so deserved.
I will never ever forget Tim and continue to be haunted by this heinous time in our lives and disgusted as I learn more and more as an adult the injustice around the investigation. I have been reading and following everything since the internet became accessible. It always opens the wounds, but I just always hope there will be answers and justice. And my heart goes out to you and your family every time I get your blog or read a book or listen to a podcast….
Blessings and peace to you,
Beth, your pain, agony and fear which I will bet has followed you through adulthood breaks my heart again. Our school system
failed us at every level but as direct classmates you deserved way more than a “Carry On” attitude. You were still children suddenly thrust into a real life horror story. Your class, of all children, deserved and required specific professional attention. You were victims, too.
I cannot believe the way the adults handled it. unimaginable. I still remember all of us trying to comfort one another… we were 11 and 12. Just unbelievable.
This is just utterly heartbreaking. The complete failure of this community to deal with these crimes and the aftermath is what allowed the MSP and Oakland County to fashion an easy way to “put it to bed” and to never deal with it again. And the disservice done to every young person growing up in Oakland County during that time cannot even be quantified. The failures were and continue to be so epic. Unimaginable. Unbelievable. Unforgivable.