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.
This month two convicted pedophiles were charged in decades-old murder cases of young girls after more sophisticated DNA tests linked these killers to their victims. Evolving technology has triumphed over previously inconclusive or contaminated samples. The ticking clock just might end up being a time bomb for the perpetrators of the OCCK murders as well. Even where the medical examiner in three of the four cases was an incompetent drunk and the state lab appeared to have no interest whatsoever in making sure the evidence in this case was properly stored, filed or cross-referenced. Rerun those autopsy kits and the kids’ clothing again. Technology has evolved over the past few years. Inaction is not an option.
The Oakland County Prosecutor played her hand. They do have hairs from Mark and Tim’s bodies that allegedly match a hair from Arch Sloan’s Bonneville. This all contrary to the cops’ wailing all these decades that there was no evidence! None!! Those hairs have to be rerun again given the unbelievable technological advances and the use of genetic genealogy in other decades’ old crimes. The hairs from Tim’s body were “misfiled” as animal hairs at the state lab. Apparently no one ever thought to compare the hairs found on Mark and Tim, or to compare those hairs to the hair recovered from the Bonneville (very soon after Mark’s murder) until the mid-2000’s. But now we know about their existence and the alleged match. You can’t sit on those things now. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28993934/.
There is a good chance that DNA will not match anyone in an offender data bank. But it will match someone who’s name has come up in discussions with police. Even if that person is dead, living relatives could provide DNA samples. And there could well be viable DNA on the victims’ clothing that was not previously detected, even in tests run 3-5 years ago. Too much work? What if California law enforcement had said that in the Golden State Killer case?
Earlier this month a convicted pedophile who ran an international child pornography ring was charged with the 1993 abduction, rape and murder of Angie Housman, a 9-year-old Missouri girl. See: https://www.oxygen.com/crime-time/convicted-pedophile-earl-webster-cox-charged-with-1993-murder-9-year-old-angie-housman, and https://www.denverpost.com/2019/06/05/convicted-pedophile-charged-1993-missouri-killing/. Investigators got a huge break when they found previously undetected DNA on Angie’s clothing that matched a DNA profile in a national crime data base. St. Charles, Missouri, Prosecutor Tim Lohman described the DNA match as follows: “They were looking for a needle in a haystack without a magnet and still found the needle.” Maybe because they wanted to find it.
A couple of very interesting things about this case. One, this piece of shit ran an international child porn ring (“Shadowz Brotherhood”) AND he was a child rapist and murderer. Two, police stated that this fuck was not the only suspect. That someone else was involved. Any of this sound familiar? Three, he had a history of child-related offenses and was kept in custody for years after his scheduled release in 2011 after a court deemed him a sexually dangerous person likely to re-offend if set free. I have news for you. ANY pedophile is a sexually dangerous person likely to re-offend if set free. But thank god this court kept him incarcerated or there would have been more victims. Contrast this to how Chris Busch was treated by prosecutors and courts in Michigan.
And this past Friday, a 53-year-old suspect was arrested in the 1986 kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Kathleen Flynn. It is one of Connecticut’s most infamous cold cases. https://www.14news.com/2019/06/16/maine-man-arrested-cold-case-slaying-year-old-girl/. According to court documents, this animal was a suspect from the start, “but it took years of testing evidence to find a DNA connection between him and evidence found on the young girl’s body.”
The medical examiner in this case determined that Kathleen was raped while still alive. Believe it or not, the statute of limitations in Connecticut has run on that crime and rape charges can no longer be pursued. Death does not toll the statute?? It is time for these antiquated and misplaced statutes of limitations on sex crimes be reevaluated with an eye toward NOT favoring the rapist (or the Catholic Church). Let’s hope police look very closely at other crimes this man may have committed since 1986.
These and other cold cases are being solved at a remarkable pace given DNA technology advances. It could happen in this case. While we may have to wait for someone to find snuff films in a safe deposit box belonging to one of the men who’s name has been given to police over the years, it may happen the way it did in these two cases.
The perpetrators of the OCCK abductions, captivity, torture, rape and murders may be long gone, but people with knowledge are still alive. And some of those people participated in one way or another. Others with knowledge include a few people in authority who made this thing go away. Some are dead, but some are still alive. I hope cases like the two described above make you very nervous. No unpunished child predator or protector of same should ever feel safe.
This morning I listened to the most recent episode of the Don’t Talk to Strangers by podcaster Nina Innsted. You should, too. https://omny.fm/shows/don-t-talk-to-strangers/no-one-to-guide-him. Don’t Talk to Strangers is not just a long-form podcast about the OCCK and other child murders in Oakland County and the surrounding areas during the same era, but a long view of the shit show that is Oakland County and the Michigan State Police. You get the kind of perspective only someone who stands back and takes the long and the wide view can get. The kind of perspective that is not immune to common sense and is immune to the concept that “coincidences,” misinformation and smoke and mirrors should silence any questions or concerns.
This episode looks at the horrific murder/suicide (or perhaps murder/murder) involving pedophile James Lossing of Mt. Clemens on September 1, 1978. Lossing abducted a boy right off the street, in front of his friends, late in the afternoon. He raped him and then shot him to death within a two hour period. When police found Lossing and the boy, they were both dead in Lossing’s hellhole of an apartment. Lossing was then linked to the assault of two boys, ages 14 and 9, the previous month.
Due to the nature of the crime and the fact that the OCCK case was still wide open at that time, the good old OCCK task force was called, just like it was when monied monster Chris Busch was found dead and rotting in his parents’ Bloomfield Village home about 7 weeks later. Nina quotes Det./Sgt. Roger Rivard from the MSP, speaking on behalf of the task force, as saying that Lossing did not fit the description or the profile of the OCCK, but that detectives sure were going to work on figuring out if he drove or had access to a BLUE GREMLIN. Thanks for reinforcing that bullshit and for spending more tax dollars on your big red herring, Rog.
Nina also makes a very important point about records in these cases. There is NO file on Lossing. Not at Clinton Township, not at the Macomb Co. Sheriff’s Department. No file at all. How can there not be a file on what was most likely the most brutal murder in Macomb County that year?!, asks Nina. But she realizes, that just as in the cases of Cynthia Cadieux and Judy Farro, because the child killer task force snapped up ALL the case files in any case even peripherally related to the OCCK and they have those cases under lock and key. Nina observed that “[n]ot only are they locked in a file cabinet somewhere, they’re not digitized. No one scanned in the thousands of pages related to these murders. I’d like to think that if all of the documents related to these cases were scanned in and were searchable and sortable, it would put us that much closer to resolving these murders.” [At 19:06- 19:50 mark]
An article in the Detroit Free Press dated February 18, 2005, “Child killer hunt heats up,” describes a room “filled with three-ring binders, cardboard boxes and metal file cabinets overflowing with manilla envelopes.” Does this sound like anyone seriously attempted to get this mammoth, unsolved stain on Oakland County and Michigan solved in the previous three decades?
“Gray and Robertson [the MSP Laurel and Hardy assigned to babysit the babysitter murder cases] hope that today’s technology–such as extensive criminal databases and advances in DNA testing–and possibly new leads will help them bring closure to the case and provide relief for the victims’ families.” The 2005 news article goes on to explain that “[r]ecently, thousands of pages of reports in dusty manila folders, along with composite drawings of the suspect’s face and notebooks filled with reports, were transferred from the State Police Northville Post to the Oak Park Post, where they fill a small room earmarked for this investigation. One of the 29 file drawers has a sign on it that says: ‘Tips too large for file.’ Gray, who was assigned to the case about three years ago, said he will seek federal grants to catalog all the information that has been compiled so far in a computer database. He said he does not yet know how much that will cost or how long it would take.”
That was 14 years ago. I would love to see how much money the MSP got to investigate this case and how they spent it. If they were serious, this would all have been digitized and cataloged, and you didn’t need to pay two longtime detectives to push paper around and squelch tipsters to get that done.
If there was a Magnum Force death squad out there killing off pedophiles, it is easy to see why all kinds of shit had to be under lock and key. But just as in the first season of HBO’s True Detective, some heads may have gotten blown off but the main head of the Hydra was never slain. If that is what went down, this misguided attempt at justice ultimately further victimized the families of the victims and actually spared the reputations of these men and their families. It is truly the most god-awful shit you could put together.
And, as for their hope for DNA technology advances–yeah, your wish is granted. Successful nuclear DNA profiling of rootless hair shafts has been achieved. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28993934/
I need to research this latest use of DNA technology so I can be prepared to address the excuses that may be made for why the magic hair from the Sloan car (that allegedly matches public and facial hairs found on Mark and Tim) can’t be tested to produce nuclear DNA results which could then be used in a genetic genealogy search via GED Match. Thank you to Nina Innsted to reminding me about the Bear Brook Podcast from New Hampshire Public Radio and its discussion of very novel use of DNA technology to identify a murderer and his previously unidentified victims.
So, don’t digitize. But just try not to run those magic hairs using the most modern technology and to keep doing so as this technology continues to evolve at a very high speed. My guess is Wayne County is willing to push this. If money is an issue, a Go Fund Me page and the Tim King Fund are possibilities. A “no” now just confirms that someone high up doesn’t want these cases solved.
So, listen to Don’t Talk to Strangers. Take the long and the wide view. Ask questions. If by now you still think something doesn’t stink, you are the perfect Oakland County resident. Just hope nothing like this ever happens to you or your family.
The family of an Orlando woman missing for 13 years announced they will receive the unreacted police files from the Orlando Police Department. https://www.wftv.com/news/local/jennifer-kesse-missing-woman-s-family-settles-lawsuit-against-orlando-police/932668245?fbclid=IwAR1zF8LpwPb_d3AvX2s__bF7nrJ8yAZthTjH7FpGl5sYxLgemHtbvpG4mgU
The family filed suit against the police department to obtain their records on the case so their private investigator could try to make some headway where the PD had not. As part of the settlement, the PD has to turn over the unreacted files in the case. Unreacted. Thirteen year old unsolved case.
In 1995, four Florida newspapers, the Mobile Press Register, the Sun Sentinel, the Palm Beach Post, and the Miami Herald, sued the Hollywood (Florida) Police Department to gain immediate access to the HPD files on Adam’s case. After 14 years, there had been no arrests and no updates. The court rejected all of the “open case” exception arguments under the Florida Sunshine Law (Freedom of Information Act), as well as the family’s arguments against release and ordered the HPD to put all the files on microfilm and have it available within four months. At the time of the deadline, news organizations paid $235 a piece for a set of microfilm. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1996-02-18-9602180348-story.html
Fourteen year old, unsolved case. $235 per set of microfilm. As you probably know, the case was ultimately closed by HPD when they admitted and concluded that one of their early suspects was no doubt the killer. The chief of police acknowledged and apologized to the Walsh family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJmOgeFvpls
In this sorry case, my Dad paid over $11,000 for redacted documents from the Michigan State Police. And trust me, they didn’t turn over everything they should have. And they made my Dad file a lawsuit to get those documents. The Oakland County Prosecutor’s office fought the FOIA request all the way. None of the courts in Oakland County or the higher courts cited one, single case citation to the Michigan Sunshine Law/FOIA.
Here is what a pamphlet on the Michigan FOIA law concludes with:
When in doubt, consider the policy of the Act. Analysis should begin with the presumption that any records requested are subject to disclosure. No records are exempt unless they fit within one of the specific exemptions, which will be narrowly construed. The best policy for a public body is to accept the pro-disclosure intent and language of the act and to respond accordingly.
It has been a long time since I read Tears of Rage by John Walsh (1997). He says much that bears repeating, but this hits hard:
Many different kinds of people are victims. And the system doesn’t serve any of them. It brutalizes them all. Violence against women and children is a symptom. A symptom of how the lofty goals this society was founded on do not apply to the weak. The system that was designed to protect these women and children–and now men–instead victimizes them and revictimizes them.
Id., p. 378.
Thank you to Nina Innsted for sending me the link about the Jennifer Kesse case. In this more than forty year old case, Michigan has managed to keep the lid on tight. The media never went after the MSP or Oakland County. In many other unsolved cases, officials have been forced to comply with FOIA laws and their bullshit “forever open” exception is rejected. And let’s not forget our friends at the FBI who allegedly could not produce any records on Fox Island, Frank Shelden or Chris Busch because the files were lost in a catastrophic flood. Don’t you love it when a bullshitter uses extra adjectives to bolster an answer?
I hope all of the dirty players at every level and every stage in the investigation in the case are one day revealed. When you contrast this case to the cases described above, you know something is very rotten here.
If you have any information or even suspicions, PLEASE call the tip line at 833-784-9425. I’m sure the police can keep your name out of any discussion they have with a suspect or his family and associates. One of my readers made the point that time is of the essence. Act while there are still momentum and pressure in these cases. This is probably it.
Call the tip line even if you have spoken to police multiple times before. Posting here or emailing me just adds another step to the process. Tonight the Investigation Discovery show “Children of the Snow” airs. It is a four hour series airing tonight and tomorrow night. The case will get world-wide exposure, not just in metro Detroit.
Nothing I say to police will advance your lead. You have to get up the courage and call the tip line. If you don’t hear back, then you can email me and I will put you in touch with other documentarians working on this case. I don’t have police powers. I can’t research your lead. I don’t have access to police files. I only have access to the $11,000 worth of redacted documents the Michigan State Police deemed compliant with FOIA requests. I have no sway with police. The necessity of this blog has ensured that.
Whoever did this has had his lived his life for over 40 years with no repercussions. His family has been able to move on without any repercussions. Was it not obvious in the WDIV series what this has done to the families of the victims in this case? Get your shit together and call the tip line. Don’t email me about how you know people in Michigan who killed kids and fed them to their dogs. What am I supposed to do with that information?
A couple of readers have mentioned that Fox Island is muddying the waters here. Probably so. Frank Shelden and Fox Island sell books and shows. I do think it is relevant as background for how the Detroit area law enforcement and media handled situations involving people with money and put men who were criminals ahead of children. While the Traverse City Record-Eagle was publishing a multi-part investigative series about Shelden and Fox Island in 1976-1978, the Detroit area media hardly touched it. And it WAS relevant to the general discussion at the time because it was going on at the same time the OCCK was hunting kids. But the MSP and Oakland County controlled the narrative. And that narrative helped keep the case from ever being solved.
But why not take a page from the two courageous men who described going to Fox Island back in the day as boys? They were filmed constantly while they “skinny dipped,” and one of them was physically violated. They spoke on camera. IF THEY CAN DO THIS, YOU CAN LEAVE A TIP IN THE OCCK CASE ON A RECORDED PHONE LINE.
DNA technology is constantly evolving. The needle in the haystack is easier to find if there is a name. Thus far the source of the DNA in this case is not in any data base or police files. This case has been unfairly elevated to one where only DNA will be accepted as a way to solve the case. Give police a name so we can get over this hurdle.
Busch–total slob and monied, worthless fat fuck. I agree, a kid probably wouldn’t go with him. But the fact is he approached many kids–males and females, and raped many boys. Lots of people also saying that the Busch lead derailed the investigation. Again–look at the larger theme. If he wasn’t involved, why did someone murder him and try to frame him as the OCCK? Why didn’t the prosecutor pick up the phone and tell the families about this back in the day? That answer is obvious. H. Lee Busch was going to make sure that never happened. But what did happen? Over the decades, cops mentioned this suspect–the son of a wealthy GM exec–to people on the street. It came up in conversations in bars and in stores. The name bubbled to the surface again in 2006–of course it eventually did. Officials would gladly talk about David Norberg, Ted Lamborgine and many other potential suspects in the press, but Busch and Green? No way! Something really stinks in this investigation and I hope that becomes more obvious after the ID show airs. Misfeasance or malfeasance? See for yourself. Either way, it didn’t work out for Mark, Jill, Kris and Tim.
Tonight and tomorrow the case will reach a worldwide audience. But in a few weeks, this will all die down and go away. Oakland County is banking on that. SO PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL IN YOUR INFORMATION EVEN IF YOU HAVE SPOKEN TO POLICE BEFORE. 833-784-9425.