OCCK

Prologue – Oakland County Child Killer

Prologue

My eleven-year-old son, Timothy, was abducted in Oakland County on March 16, 1977, and his body was found in Wayne County in a roadside ditch on March 22, 1977. In response to my Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuit against the Michigan State Police, I learned after December 15, 2010 that Tim had been sexually abused. Furthermore, Tim had been suffocated by someone who held both his nose and mouth shut. Tim died in his hands. I cannot imagine a more heinous death.

After the death of Kristine Michelich, the third victim, my children recall a discussion I had with Tim. He was told not to accept a ride from a stranger. If anyone tried to force him to enter a car, he was instructed to drop anything he was carrying, run and scream. During the six days he was alive, I am certain he knew what would happen.

In July 2007, Tim’s sister, Cathy Broad, advised the Livonia Police Department in Wayne County of an unidentified suspect. Detective Cory Williams of the Livonia Police Department, and Detective Sergeant Garry Gray of the Michigan State Police, identified this suspect as Christopher Busch on November 30, 2007. Williams and Gray later identified the possible participation of two of Busch’s companions, Gregory Greene and Vince Gunnels. Thereafter the King family received encouraging reports on the Busch involvement from law enforcement. To my surprise, my friend, Donald Studt, now Birmingham Chief of Police, called me on March 1, 2010 at the request of Jessica Cooper, the Oakland County Prosecutor, to advise me that Christopher Busch and his companions were no longer suspects. When no one would tell me the basis for this conclusion, I commenced FOIA lawsuits against both the Michigan State Police and the Oakland County Prosecutor. Jessica Cooper and her staff have refused to talk to me about the March 1, 2010 conclusions. Thus far her silence has been supported by the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The King family and the families of Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson and Kristine Mihelich, the other three OCCK victims, deserve an explanation from the responsible public officials regarding the investigation of these murders. In particular, your local prosecutor should not have dictatorial powers to close investigation of valid suspects without explanation. The Michigan Constitution states that crime victims have a right to confer with the prosecutor (Article I, Section 24). Why should anyone submit a valid suspect to law enforcement if the local prosecutor can refuse to take action for undisclosed reasons? If the reasons are professional, even Jessica Cooper has gone public to explain her reasoning. However, if the reasons are political, personal, power in control or other nonprofessional reasons, all of which may be present in the OCCK case, silence does not protect the victims or the public. I welcome your thoughts and responses but request that you complete the entire story before making interim replies.

In 2008, both Wayne and Oakland County identified Christopher Busch as the best suspect the system had produced in over 30 years. The Christopher Busch lead was the result of the phone call my daughter made to the Livonia Police Department in 2009 with information on an unidentified suspect. Cory Williams of the Livonia Police Department and Gregory Greene of the Michigan State Police identified this suspect as Christopher Busch.

My Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Michigan State Police resulted in the delivery of 3,411 pages on the Christopher Busch investigation. However, the legal system has told me that the Oakland County Prosecutor has no responsibility to provide information supporting her March 1, 2010 phone call.

Last summer I decided to use social media to tell my story. This was awkward because of my limited knowledge of this new communication system. I would like to thank those youngsters (age 60 and under) for the education provided to me regarding this publication.

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15 Comments

  1. Toni Roan

    Mr. King:
    I’m not certain you remember me, but I worked with Bill Horton at GMH for 15 years before having to move to Denver in 2009. My heart aches for you, your family and the other victims’ families. I pray that your efforts, and that of your family, to obtain answers will expose the people responsible for these horrific murders and will solve this case so all of you finally have closure.

    Reply
  2. Wendy

    Mr. King & Family,
    I cannot imagine what you all have gone thru all these years. I grew up in Birmingham and was 12 years old at the time these terrible events occurred. I have prayed and hoped that you and all the families involved would find some kind of answers and justice for all your children. If I can be of any assistance in helping you thru research etc. please email me. I have some questions for you regarding DNA evidence that was cited in the story posted by Click on Detroit. com. Again if I can help in any way please email me. I pray that you and all the families involved get justice.

    Reply
  3. Kate O'Brien

    Hello Mr. King and family,
    My brother, Patrick, was one of Timmy’s dear friends. I was 5 when Timmy was murdered and although I was young, it made a huge impact upon our family, to this day. I just wanted you to know how deeply deeply sorry I am for your loss. Also, to acknowledge the courage it takes for you to reignite the fire under the investigation and open the wound. Please know you have our support.

    Reply
    1. Shannon O'Brien

      Dear Mr. King and family,
      I was 13 years old at the time of the OCCK’s. It did have a huge impact upon our family. I recall my brother Patrick’s tears the morning he heard that his friend’s body had been found. My best friend’s older brother was a good friend of your son Mark. It changed the whole way we experienced being free roaming kids in a “safe” neighborhood. As a young teen I could not understand the scope of how such a tragedy affects the grieving family. To read your words now is powerful. As my sister Kate mentions, I acknowledge your courage to pursue justice. My heart is with you and your family.

      Reply
  4. In response to my Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuit against the Michigan State Police, I learned after December 15, 2010 that Tim had been sexually abused. Where did you get this information?

    Reply
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