Post Script Two: Lifestyle Changes

In my judgment the method of raising children in Oakland County, and perhaps beyond, has materially changed since the OCCK deaths. If you are less than 40 years old your childhood may be much different than that of your parents, my children and even me. These changes began in 1977, but I did not realize this until 2007 after my daughter Cathy’s phone call to Cory Williams.

Before 1977 children had freedom, especially during the summer months. They had paper routes, walked to school, shopped their neighborhood stores for comic books and ice cream, took their mitts and bats to the neighborhood playgrounds and were not regularly supervised. The young children in my neighborhood do not play outdoors or visit each other. Television and computers may account for some of this result but not all of it.

This is perhaps best personified by a telephone call I received last year from one of Tim’s baseball teammates. Brian Nefcy called on the status of the investigation and told me of trip his family made to Texas to visit his wife’s parents. When his wife and he returned home his children were not there. Their grandparents advised him both his children, whom I recall were younger than Tim when he died, were walking around the block. He immediately got in the car, picked them up and told the grandparents to never allow this again.

A friend of mine who married one of Cathy’s high school friends advised me several years ago that the babysitter for his 12 year old son was always a family member with one exception. The babysitter on this one occasion was his secretary’s sister.

My neighborhood elementary school was closed several years after Tim died. The children now attend a different school which requires them to take a school bus. I was surprised to learn that some of the mothers wait at the neighborhood bus stop until their children are picked up and to meet them when they arrive home. Was this common procedure before 1977?

The above examples are only a sample of other reports I have received. Do these changes affect childhood independence and social development? Perhaps some sociologist or trained individual can make a comparison for us. Would any of these social changes have been minimized if ALL OR SOME of the suspects, especially Busch and Greene, had been identified publicly with a request for additional evidence?

Footnote: You can access my Story at “afathersstory-occk.com”. You can locate specific Chapters by adding “/chapter xx”.

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  1. Daniel Hogan

    Barry, innocence was forever lost the fall of 1977 in Birmingham, MI. Not a day goes by w/o a hope and prayer that you and your family find the answers and closure. You have my support and admiration.

  2. Kate

    It changed everything…and it makes me angry, among the obvious of this case of no justice for the victims, and the families that they knew back then once Busch was dead, they could have alleviated a huge worry for us, by stating they knew who it was, and he was dead. Shame on them, for that too. I have discussed this very issue of social changes and even my own children and their friends learning independence. We did all those things you talked about, UNTIL the OCCK arose. Once that began that was it. Our innocence and worry free lives were gone. This has stayed with me my whole life. I will never forget God Bless, Mr. King.

  3. Monty

    In summer we hit the door and were gone til supper, often eating lunch at a friends house with no contact to family. All the kids would gather and swim at one raft on the lake with a diving board nearly everyday of summer. We had no idea who owned it, nor did the owners ever tell us to get off. We would hike alone in the woods.
    I think you are very correct in your assumption that your child’s murder changed our society as a whole.
    A neighbor boy used to come over often to play, he lived two houses away. I always walked him home.


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