On October 5, 2012 Laurie Brasier of the Detroit Free Press filed a FOIA request with the Oakland County Prosecutor for all documents related to the Oakland County Child Killer investigation. Paul Walton, Chief Assistant Prosecutor, returned 169 pages, including his Affidavit stating that additional documents were exempt. On October, 2012, Brasier filed a second FOIA request for the following documents.
1. All documents provided to the family of Timothy King
2. Birmingham Police Department Reports regarding the investigation
3. Documents related to the vehicles the police investigated including the Blue Gremlin
4. Autopsy reports detailing the condition of the children’s bodies
Please note that we are not seeking photos, as they are exempt, and that we will not be publishing details, except to confirm that the only one child seemed to have been bathed.
Walton responded to the second request with an additional 51 pages including a June 17, 2012 Free Press article by David Ashenfelter. It also includes reports from retired Birmingham Police Lieutenant Jack Klabfliesh and report dated September 7, 1978 from A. Robertson, the Michigan State Police Officer in charge of the original Task Force. Both of these reports make reference to several automobiles other than a Blue Gremlin.
This is another example of the Oakland County Prosecutor providing information to the media that she denies to the victims and the courts.
Prior to the March 1, 2010 telephone advice from Jessica Cooper that Busch was not a suspect, my family had requested only two documents concerning Tim’s death. First, after Christopher Busch was identified, Cathy’s attorney friend, Lisa Milton, requested a copy of his suicide report from the Bloomfield Township Police Department on January 24, 2008. The Township replied that the file had been destroyed and therefore could not be produced.
Twenty three months later, on December 3, 2009, Heather Catallo of Channel 7 gave me the suicide report. Interestingly, when I received the Busch file from the Michigan State Police on December 15, 2010, there was a note that the suicide report had been delivered to the Michigan State Police in February 2008.
In 2011, I visited the Township Police Department for an explanation. The Township advised me that it received a call in February from the Michigan State Police and an officer was instructed to locate the file. After a day and a half he determined that the file had been misplaced and delivered it to the State Police. However, the Department took no action to advise Milton. At our office when we destroy a file we add it to a destroyed file list but apparently the Bloomfield Township Police Department does not keep tract of destroyed files. The Township should adopt this practice.
In early November 2009, my secretary also called the Genesee County Circuit Court and asked for the criminal files on Christopher Busch and Gregory Greene. She was advised the Court could not locate the Greene file and that the Busch file was in the archives. She would order the file from the archives and make it available in a few days. When I called the Clerk for the Busch file the Clerk advised me that the file could not be located. On February 17, 2010, Catallo gave me both files.
These are not be the only incidences when the responsible government officials made files available to the media which have been denied to the King family. I will discuss these future media disclosures in later chapters. The victims should be entitled to the same or better treatment as the media.
After October 27, 2009 there are several inconsistences the King family believes may indicate a lack of cooperation between the various investigating personnel. Two events took place during the meeting which should have warned us about the validity of these concerns.
Prior to the meeting Kym Worthy, the Wayne County Prosecutor, was upset because the Task Force had apparently not advised her of the meeting. Fortunately, Cathy had written requesting her presence. In retrospect, I have no knowledge whether Worthy’s concern was valid, but there was no reason why both prosecutors should not have been present if one of them was present.
I was also concerned because no representative from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office or the various Oakland police agencies were present. I noted this in my November 9, 2009 to Captain Harold Love as follows:
“We are confused as to the current members of the Task Force, particularly because there were no Oakland County Law enforcement personnel or FBI representatives at the conference.”
Several times in the remainder of this story I will make reference to facts indicating disputes between the various authorities indicating they may have been more interested in who solves the case than solving the case.
The King family agreed to take no further action until December 1, 2009. I exchanged voicemails with Dave LewAllen of Channel 7 in November and agreed to meet with him on December 1, 2009. Channel 7 interviewed Ericia McAvoy and me on December 3, 2009. Thereafter, at the request of Wayne County, the King Family agreed to take no further public action until after April 1. This all ended with the March 1, 2010 phone call from Jessica Cooper closing the case on Busch and his companions.
Chris and I invited Erica McAvoy and her stepfather, Tom Ashcroft, to attend the October 27 conference. When we arrived, the four of us were shown into a small conference room. After half an hour we were asked to join the attendees. Present were Captain Harold Love of the Michigan State Police and four or more additional officers including Garry Gray, the Task Force commander, Oakland County Prosecutor, Jessica Cooper and two of her assistants including Paul Walton, Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy with her assistant Robert Moran, a Wayne County inspector and several Livonia policeman, including the recently retired Cory Williams. Once the introductions were complete, I asked the following five questions which I confirmed in a letter to Captain Love on November 9.
• Are there any other persons being investigated currently except for Busch and his possible cohorts?
• Who are possible cohorts and what do we know about them?
• What additional polygraphs do you wish to take and what is time schedule?
• Who is the Oakland County prosecutor currently handling this case?
• Give us the name, address and phone number of the responsible lab personnel.
• Do you have the name and address of the informants who turned in Busch? We would like to thank them.
The Task Force did not answer any of these questions.
McAvoy then asked the Task Force about the DNA match between a hair found on her sister’s jacket and Vince Gunnels. At that time, I had no knowledge of DNA. Walton then gave a lecture on Mitochondrial DNA (“mDNA”) and stated that it was not good evidence and compared it to blood type. I later learned mDNA is received from your mother and will include anyone with her heritage unlike true DNA which is almost 100% good evidence of a match. My supplemental research indicates that mDNA evidence is admissible only if there are other sufficient facts involving the suspect.
It was apparent to me that we were being stonewalled and I made inquiry as to whom I should direct additional questions. The Michigan State Police said the Prosecutor and the Oakland County Prosecutor said the Michigan State Police. However, Love volunteered to accept that role and I did have further contact with him in November.
This and the following chapters will discuss the history of the Busch investigation before the March 1, 2010 phone call removing him as a suspect.
During 2009 the King Family attempted to obtain information from Oakland County concerning the status of the Christopher Busch investigation. In June my daughter, Cathy called the Victims’ Rights Office of the Oakland County Prosecutor and received no reply. On June 24, 2009 I wrote the Oakland County Prosecutor requesting an update on the investigation. We received no reply to either inquiry.
Several times in 2009, my son Chris and I asked for a meeting with the revitalized Task Force without a favorable reply. I finally set a deadline date of September 30 and called Michigan State Police Sergeant Garry Gray on that date. He returned my voicemail and we agreed on a meeting date of October 7, 2009. On October 6 Gray’s superior officer, Captain Harold Love, called me to adjourn the date for one week to October 14. During the interim week he called me to advise that there would be no meeting on October 14 with no suggestion of an adjourned date.
On or about October 20, I received a phone call from Erica McAvoy who identified herself as the sister of Kristen Mihelich, the third victim. McAvoy advised me that she had received a phone call from her Mother on Friday, October 16, suggesting that they visit with the Michigan State Police on the status of the investigation. Gray agreed to meet with them on Monday, October 19 and showed them books on the three major suspects; Christopher Busch, Vince Gunnels and Gregory Greene.
After October 20, I received a phone call from the Michigan State Police indicating that the Task Force would meet with the King family on Tuesday, October 27. In view of the comments from McAvoy, my son Chris and I looked forward with confidence that we would receive similar information to that given to the Michelich family.
The Task Force formally advised the King family that Gregory Greene was a potential suspect when his participation was discussed in the Michigan State Police reports we received on December 15, 2010.
Gregory Greene was a known pedophile and companion of Christopher Busch. The Michigan State Police reports have extensive history of his pedophile convictions in California, including one case in which Greene thought the boy was dead and dropped him off at a hospital. Fortunately, the boy lived. After he served his jail term in California he returned to his home town, Flint, Michigan. Greene and Busch were codefendants in the pedophile case in Genesee County, Michigan. Busch was granted probation and Greene was sentenced to life in prison for violating the same child. Greene died in prison in 1996.
In driving from Alma to Flint on January 28, 1977, Busch stated that Greene and he planned to have one of them get a day job and the other, a night job so that they could have someone present with a potential future victim. See Chapter 26 and 27. Busch did not answer the question when the police asked him what they would do when they were finished with a child.
The most upsetting part of the Greene story took place in Flint, on January 27 and 28, 1977 when Busch and he were investigated by the police. On more than one occasion, Greene stated that Busch had murdered Mark Stebbins the first victim. The Police Reports provided to me do not indicate that Greene was separately examined on his basis for this murder accusation.
After Green died, a former cell mate recalled discussing the OCCK Case with Greene. However, the Michigan State Police reports do not discuss content of these discussions. The Police Reports indicated that Greene was continuously in jail after January 28, 1977 and if this is true he could not have been personally involved in Tim’s murder.