Dating back 15-some years on internet forums discussing the OCCK case, I always believed Alpena Witness and Berkley Witness were telling the truth about what they saw and heard. Their stories never wavered. They had no motive to lie. They were not treated well when they came forward to police (a massive understatement in the case of Berkley Witness). Alpena Witness, having read Marney Keenan’s book, sent me the following email. No attacks please. Read it and carefully consider what he says before you let your brain shut off.
It’s approaching near three decades (next year will be 30 years even) since I witnessed the most bizarre discussion I ever heard in my life along with someone going over details on maps drawn on the back of restaurant placemats. It’s been maybe about 15 years now since I woke up to what it was all about and started my correspondence with you along with others involved with the case.
There’s no need to go over the same details again and I won’t. I see the same arguments and debates that has been going on for years now though. Different people with same arguments but in some cases, some of the same people with their suspects and stories. Seems beyond pointless to really debate or argue over any of it. Been there so many times before. People out there can believe whatever they want to believe. Because when it comes to the truth over this case, we will probably never know.
If people want to discount Helen’s story and suspect because of her character I guess that’s the easy way out of it. After all, law enforcement has done the same thing since day one. I guess when it comes to hard evidence it’s not there but on the other hand, no one has really taken any steps to go find if something was there.
At least now with Marney’s book I know what really happened when they went to Georgia. Looks like what appeared to be a shoddy investigation if you even want to call it that. Looks like Detective Gray can be blamed for most of it, not Cory. I kind of figured that all along anyway but I really didn’t know for sure. Try to understand that no one ever really told me what happened in regards to that incident. Cory never got back with me after we talked and now I know why. I’ve always seemed to get the cold shoulder from everyone because of my association with Helen and now I can understand all the more why.
I did talk to both Cory & Gray and my impression of Cory was he really was trying to solve the case and was dedicated to what he was doing. Searching for the truth finding out what he can like someone dedicated should be. I did not get that same impression from Detective Gray. I feel bad now knowing what happen. As I got more involved with the case, I did realize that Helen did lie about things while trying to encourage people to look at her suspect. She did play her games with people. Seems like her life was wrapped around this case and she felt like she owned it. That may be hard to understand but that was the way she was.
Although I don’t support Helen and all of her doings, I will say that her claims she made about John’s discussions with her at Big Boy did take place. That is the truth and nothing changes that. It did happen. I will still stand behind that and I always will.
Because of Helen’s character it’s not been easy to approach all the people I did but I felt they must know the truth. Except for Cory, all the rest of the cops made it a joke. I tried to explain to Mr. King and even had a brief discussion with Marney over the matter. With her it was just that Helen is a nut and nothing was discussed beyond that.
If I had to do anything over I don’t think I would change anything although it’s been frustrating as hell but deep down inside I feel I’ve tried to do everything possible to let people know the truth. Otherwise my conscience would really bother me. If anyone witness something similar out there from back in time and can help this case along, please come forward.
With these very recent developments with the Wilson hypnosis sketches further tells a story. Just due to the very fact that these composite sketches never saw the light of day until now either makes all the more evident of a ‘cover up’ or ‘lack of investigation’. Or maybe both! This is especially true when seeing the haunting similarity to the first OCCK sketch that came out. Who in their right mind in law enforcement would keep this from the public? What is also shocking is how much it matches Helen’s suspect even more than the OCCK sketches did! I think Helen would be rolling over in her grave about now to see that.
To you Cathy although we don’t agree over some matters with this case, it never stopped the correspondence we’ve had over the years. Make no secret to anyone that I’ve tried to help when I can over some things. Wish the best for some type of resolution on this case regardless of where it points to or who it points to.
Never, not once, was this man rude to me, although as he points out we had our disagreements. He has always been helpful. He met face-to-face with the cops, he didn’t just post in anonymous forums. The MSP dissed him, as they do anyone who comes forward in this case. Sadly, his treatment by the MSP over a decade ago was very prescient.
A few words about Berkley Witness. He is not lying. Kids don’t lie unless they have a real good motive. Police dogged him for decades after he, as a kid, called the tip line and later had a most unpleasant sit down with some cops who visited his school. He is not crazy, he is not “nuts.” I believe two very dirty cops, who dogged this man and ultimately inflicted unwarranted, serious bodily injury to him, were trying to kill him to silence him and for payback. One of these cops is still alive. He and anyone he might have carrying out his dirty work should be watched carefully, if you ask me. When a dirty cop tells you someone is crazy–consider the source. These abusers of power and civil rights gaslight and lie 24/7. That’s how they manage to keep their “reputation” and still do whatever the fuck they want. Consider the recent revelations about “Officer Friendly” if you want to argue with me on this.
Berkley Witness is not lying. Not about what he saw, not about what the cops did to him and his friends. It should have resulted in a massive lawsuit and numerous criminal charges. I could weep just thinking about what those cops did and got away with. So frustrating. But it is easier for “society” to say he is lying or “nuts” and that these cops were “good men.” The easy way out. Always. Especially in suburbia.
So many innocent people have been damaged and abused in the wake of this investigation. The crimes were heinous enough without compounding them by abusing people who tried to do the right thing.
When the OCCK task force was “rejuvenated” in 2005 there was some press coverage of the efforts being made by the MSP. In none of those articles or news clips could I find a request by detectives to the public to come forward with information and who and how to contact the state police. Because I have a couple thousand editors, I’m sure one of you will let me know if I missed an MSP statement asking the public for help.
Since October 26, 2009, when Marney Rich Keenan’s front page article “Finding Timmy’s Killer,” the Michigan State Police have used the same playbook they always do. Initially, they are somewhat cordial, until someone starts asking questions. Then it’s the silent treatment and/or gaslighting.
See, for example “A Father’s Mission: Victim’s dad demands to know why 4 child murders remain unsolved after 40 years,” by Kevin Davis for the American Bar Association Journal (Feb. 1, 2017), https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/oakland_county_child_killings. In the article, attorney Lisa Milton observed that when my Dad started asking the MSP questions,”was when they started being resistant.”
In the 11 years since my Dad went public with the failings of the legal system in this case, the Michigan State Police have actually responded in the press three times.
October 26, 2009, The Detroit News:
“There has been a lot of frustration felt by the Kings over the past couple of weeks,” said State Police Captain Harold Love, second district commander in charge of Southeast Michigan, which oversees the task force. Love said meetings with the kings had to be rescheduled due to some “issues” within the task force.
“I don’t blame them at all. We had some issues within the task force as far as where information was coming from and what information was out there and things people were saying and we needed to get the task force all on the same page.”
And then on November 7, 2009:
“We are hoping there will come a point and time to bring this together and have everybody come together and present a conclusion to the public and to everybody else so we can put this thing to bed.”
Captain Harold Love, as quoted in the Macomb Daily News. https://catherinebroad.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/2020-03-31_204751.pdf
And yesterday–11 years later–an unnamed coward from the MSP in response to Marney Keenan’s book, The Snow Killings, Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation:
“We don’t comment on fiction.”
Is this how you display your PROUD tradition of SERVICE through EXCELLENCE, INTEGRITY, and COURTESY?
The MSP is still operating in the Dark Ages. Could this be the impetus behind Dana Nessel’s new Criminal Investigative Division? https://wwmt.com/news/state/nessel-announces-creation-of-criminal-investigations-division-of-attorney-generals-office. I wouldn’t want to rely on the state police, either.
Barring some massive reorganization and shift from its good-old-boy roots, the MSP should never again be put in charge of any major case or cold case. The MSP should be assisting local agencies, not being the God of cases.
You never asked for the public’s help. Not once since that shitty, inaccurate and confusing press release about cars in September 1978. Your tip line is essentially unmanned. A common theme heard among people who came forward with information–back in 1976, 1977, 1978 and every year since is that they have not been heard. Your circular file has received heavy use.
Yesterday there were two well-respected journalists on camera with the parent of a murdered child. Yet no one from your agency could appear on camera to give even a short update on where the case is headed. Of course you couldn’t resist that unprofessional comment. That is who you are. The MSP has used up all of its good faith. Time to have another agency pick up the pieces “and put this thing to bed.”
That is what a Michigan State Police spokesperson said, off camera, to Heather Catallo of WXYZ Detroit concerning Marney Keenan’s well-researched and documented book, The Snow Killings: Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation.
This is part one of a two-part series. The segment airs again tonight at 11 pm EST and you can live stream it or download the WXYZ app and watch for free at 11 pm. Go to “Sections” on the app and scroll down to “Live Video”.
Part two airs tomorrow at 6 and 11 pm.
No one from the MSP had the balls to appear on camera. This time they didn’t even throw down the “can’t comment on open cases” excuse. No, this time it was: “We don’t comment on fiction.”
This case MUST be taken from the state police and given to an agency that is not hellbent on protecting the fiction they created when they shut down this case in 1978. Help me figure out a way to get this done. They are doing what they do best–doubling down and fucking with people. They will never make this right.
Expect some lying on tomorrow night’s segment. You can bet on it.
Thank you to a reader for this link–https://www.genengnews.com/insights/cold-cases-heat-up-with-new-forensic-dna-methods/ (Cold Cases Heat Up with New Forensic DNA Methods).
The OCCK case is the kind of difficult case that can benefit from a wealth of new technology and partnership with cutting-edge companies that can achieve what the MSP state lab or Quantico apparently cannot. If ever there was a case with poor-quality samples, it is this one.
From the article:
The transfer of advances from the life sciences and medical fields to the field of forensic DNA analysis has led to a burst of innovation. Sophisticated genetic analysis techniques are now being used to unlock difficult samples, coupled with software and database tools capable of accurately and securely connecting the information with those who need it.
We need it.
The question in the OCCK investigation is, dangerous to whom?
Page 244 of Marney Keenan’s book, The Snow Killings: Inside the Oakland County Child Killer Investigation, cuts to the chase:
Some of the most compelling evidence of a cover-up was at the scene of Chris Busch’s suicide, to many observers so apparently staged–the drawing resembling Mark Stebbins taped to the wall, the ropes in the middle of the closet floor, the 12-gauge shotgun shell left conspicuously on the dresser. The officers who arrived at the scene had to have run Busch’s name and discovered he was indeed a suspect, cleared by polygraph, and freed on bond weeks before Tim King’s death.
‘They realized they may have screwed up but didn’t know for sure,’ [Detective Cory] Williams said. ‘They couldn’t tell the families. If they did, it would leak out and they would look like fools for letting him go once he passed the polygraph. The task force was disbanding in a month anyway. They didn’t know for sure that he was the killer, but if he was, they figured at least he’s dead now. So someone high up the chain at the MSP shut down the Busch investigation right then and there. ‘
. . .
[S]omeone within the Michigan State Police made sure the Busch file would be buried. Someone decided the public should never know that the investigation amounted to something worse than a massive failure–it was sabotaged, the most critical evidence deliberately concealed to save face.
Remember this passage from Marney’s book if you watch WXYZ Channel 7 Detroit’s coverage of the OCCK case and her book on Monday and Tuesday evenings (Sept. 7 and 8 at 6 and 11 pm). If you haven’t read the book and you follow this case or care about how laws are enforced in Michigan, start now. You can find this book on Amazon or ask your local book store to carry this title. There is no other way to get a coherent explanation of this investigation.
I will post links to Heather Catallo’s coverage of the release of Marney’s book. In the meantime, maybe check out the Michigan State Police’s launch this past Friday of a Transparency and Accountability webpage. https://www.wxyz.com/news/michigan-state-police-launches-new-transparency-and-accountability-webpage. While clearly designed to address disparate treatment of motorists on the basis of race, this is pretty unprecedented in the MSP culture my family has witnessed.
Transparency and accountability. That’s all we have been asking for. It was denied and the denial was served up with an unbelievable level of hostility and cruelty.
So, yeah, your lies make sense. Stop denying that truth has the power to right wrong and end sorrows. Man up.
Thank you to another reader for these age-advanced comparisons of the “Doug Wilson” composite drawings–the composite drawings from June 1977 that were never released to the public.
The same reader provided colorized versions of the mug shots of Gunnels, Busch and Greene, photos previously only seen in black and white versions.
James Vincent Gunnels–
As another reader pointed out, Greene has an obvious “widow’s peak” in his hairline. Compare:
And then there is Chris Busch, who seems to have more mug shots than any other probationer who walked around free.
THANK YOU to a reader for sending this graphic.
In my mind, the evidence against Chris Busch (and Greg Greene) is very substantial. However, I have never been able to get past the evidence implicating John H., as well as the interesting case of John McKinney (murdered in 1977). Oakland County and the MSP like it this way; so many possibilities but no definitive answers. Too hard–let’s just say this guy, who lived a stone’s throw from Busch (and close to Officer Pederast), was a bullshitting freak who strung a woman along about his possible involvement in these crimes. And McKinney–lots of people wanted him dead. Drop it.
Eyewitness testimony is often unreliable. The composite drawing was drawn in response to witness hypnosis. Does that make it more reliable? Maybe it does. But police liked that Gremlin lead–yes, let’s go with that!!
At the end of the day, what continues to shock me is that the composite drawing of the younger man and the older man were never made public. Why is that?
In June of 1977, this information could have made a big difference. Again, why was it held back?
The information from the mother of one of Tim’s friends, concerning a strange-acting, younger man who crossed paths with her in the back hallway of Hunter-Maple Pharmacy, was never taken seriously and never properly investigated. So many missed opportunities to solve these crimes.
A lot of readers provide assistance–graphics, links to cold cases that have been solved, observations and insights that I could not and cannot see myself. Then there are people like journalist and author Marney Keenan who have provided invaluable information. And there are quite a few others who have done some very heavy lifting in this case behind the scenes.
A reader wrote yesterday: “It would be significant if any of the arresting officers or prosecutors were still around and possibly would speak with you.” It most certainly would. What would truly be significant is if these people would stop lying.
A friend observed that even though we are pushing rocks uphill, some information previously kept hidden has come to light. The McNamee “coincidence” is an example. The information from Marney is another.
The next topic to tackle (future post) is the misinformation concerning cars connected to these crimes. Misinformation that I helped perpetuate. Marney Keenan has been instrumental in explaining the misinformation and lack of information provided concerning cars in this case. If you want the best way to understand the OCCK investigation, you need to read her book, The Snow Killings. There just is no other way to synthesize the information. I really caution you about weighing in on this case until you have read the book. And don’t skim the parts you think you already know about.
The most important aspect of this car topic is that once again the MSP did not come forward with information that could have helped in real time. The question of mis or malfeasance is right in front of your face. I don’t know about you, but the last people I would want making a decision that would impact the rest of my life, are cops and dirty prosecutors. Yet that is what happened here. It makes me want to take a shower just thinking about it.
Now that information previously withheld is coming to light, more than 40 years later, people are responding–I know that car; I know that face. But what good will it do if the agency charged with solving this cold case won’t act on any of it? The response morphed from overwhelm (too hard!!) to “too many useless leads.” The average person is so afraid of the words “conspiracy” or “cover-up,” as if these concepts are always bullshit. If it ever happens to or around you, you will feel the sense of drowning that accompanies it. It’s why that shit works.
This blog was born from betrayal. Who knew there would be one after another for the last decade-plus? A reader wrote:
Along with almost every stone unturned, it’s almost another confirmation of a system that operated with betrayals and cover ups for over 40 years to 4 families that want truth and justice. There is no chance for closure or healing when the wound keeps getting deeper and deeper.
And why, besides Cory Williams and Kym Worthy, wanting the same closure and healing, do the rest of the f***ing enablers just continue their course of action by sabotaging evidence, ignoring reports, allowing the whacking of persons of interest–instead of protecting these sources. This dark hole they keep digging needs to stop.
Stop the lying and stop the digging.
Corporal McNamee did not get the magic Chris Busch $1,000 bond. No, he got the $10,000 version for CSC-2.
The Mount Clemens Police Criminal Arrest Record shows McNamee has gray hair, drove a red 1973 Pontiac Ventura, license number VBJ 377. The charge is listed as CSC and while the date (4-14-82) is given, the location of the offense is not listed.
There was a consent to search form signed for the car.
A bench warrant was issued after McNamee failed to pay his $200 fine and court costs. He was brought in on a bench warrant on October 26, 1983.
Injustice on an unimaginable scale.