OCCK, Uncategorized

I could not have written this Story unless Tim’s sister, Cathy, and brother, Chris had not obtained a lead on an unidentified suspect in July 2006. In 2010, Downtown Publications, a new monthly newspaper in the Birmingham-Bloomfield Hills area, in its original issue described the Oakland County Child Killer Case including quotations from Oakland County officials. This prompted Cathy to write the attached letter to the editors dated September 30, 2010 concerning the origination of the Christopher Busch lead. Rather than provide you with second hand information, I am attaching her 6 page letter (Exhibit E) which summarizes the identification of Busch as the principal suspect. The King family is convinced that if Cathy had not called the Livonia Police Department with information on this unidentified suspect, none of this information would have been publicized. Her actions led to the title to this Chapter which I copied from a popular fiction novel publicized several years ago.

Please note that her letter is dated before my family received any documents form the public authorities regarding Tim’s murder.

Click here to view Cathy’s letter to the editors

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OCCK, Uncategorized

I commenced this story with two of my major concerns over the investigation of my son’s death. For 30 years the King family, and to my knowledge, the families of the other three victims, relied on law enforcement to identify the killer or killers. It was more than 33 years after Tim was abducted that the authorities provided me with any information. In response to my FOIA action, the Michigan State Police provided me with 3,411 pages on December 15, 2010.

My first major concern was the automobile identification process. I outlined these concerns in Chapters 3 to 7. There was little or no basis for emphasizing the participation of a blue AMC Gremlin when the files make substantial reference to other automobiles. In particular, a Pontiac LeMans was identified as being involved in three of the murders and the fourth murder even referred to a Pontiac without identifying the brand. This has continued for forty years. Why? Was this tactic deliberate? There were a lot more Pontiac LeMans on the road than there were AMC Gremlins. Is it possible for the current investigating officers to correct my perceived omissions?

My second concern is the lack of information from the Oakland County Prosecutor and the Oakland County authorities. It is my understanding that on October 28, 2008, the date of the Search Warrant, the Oakland County Prosecutor, the Wayne County Prosecutor and the Michigan State Police all believed that Christopher Busch was the best suspect at that time. I was unaware of the Search Warrant Affidavit until the Oakland County Prosecutor went to Court without my knowledge and perhaps the judge’s knowledge of my involvement to deny everyone access to this document. Was this done with a suggestion or cooperation of the Oakland County officials? Why did Jessica Cooper advise me on March 1, 2010 that Busch was no longer a suspect?

In continuing my story, over the next chapters I will discuss the following:

a. Identification of Busch as a suspect

b. Identify, Christopher Busch, Gregory Greene, Vince Gunnels, Ted Lambrogine and Archibald Sloan, the only suspects identified to me by law enforcement, and

c. The chronology of the events leading up to my FOIA lawsuits.

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Uncategorized

In order to grant the public access to government records, Michigan passed FOIA in 1976. In most lawsuits the plaintiff has the burden of going forward in presenting its case and the burden of proof on contested matters. However, FOIA places this responsibility on the public body.

FOIA also lists a number of exemptions related to documents which the public body is not required to produce. To gain an exemption a public body must indemnify the document and indicate the basis for the exemption.

As I mentioned earlier, in my FOIA action against the Michigan State Police, I received 3,411 pages. However, the documents did not contain the Search Warrant or the Search Warrant Affidavit and the Michigan State Police did not claim any exemption. The Oakland County Prosecutor produced nothing and this decision has been upheld by the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals. This is true even though the Michigan Constitution states that all citizens have a right to confer with the prosecutor (Article I, Section 24).

Earlier this year there was a great deal of publicity over the video tape of a police officer shooting a Chicago citizen. After I commenced the publication of this blog, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, suggested that police information should be available to citizens within 60 days after the shooting. However, in Michigan this time period continues for at least 40 years. While I seldom agree with the Chicago mayor on political matters, PERHAPS MICHIGAN SHOULD TAKE SOME LEGISLATIVE ACTION TO PROVIDE THOSE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHO PROVIDE GOOD INFORMATION IN CRIMINAL CASES WITH THE REASONS FOR FAILURE TO PROSECUTE.

P.S. Tim King died 39 years ago on March 22, 1977

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OCCK

When the Oakland County Prosecutor would not discuss the status of the investigation with me, I wrote Oakland County Sheriff, Michael Bouchard a short note in August 2012 asking for a meeting with his lead investigator. Sheriff Bouchard and I exchanged emails and I met with Deputy Sheriff, Gary Miller on August 29, 2012. Sheriff Bouchard volunteered to attend but I told him that I did not think it was necessary. No prosecutor attended the meeting.

At the meeting, Miller advised me that his office took no further action after the trace evidence at the former Busch residence did not contain anything which might relate to the four children. The Michigan State Police documents delivered to me on December 15, 2010 contain a report that a phone call had been made to the Montmorency County Sheriff dated March 19, 1977 in which a citizen reported that, Christopher Busch, a known pedophile, was at his vacant family cottage in Montmorency County with three small boys. Tim was missing from March 16 to March 22. This supports some comments I have heard over the years that the children may have been taken to a summer cottage because all four deaths took place during cold weather. My family has been further advised that the Busch cottage in Montmorency has been destroyed after April of 2008 and has been replaced by a new cottage. Is this just coincidence?

When I later discussed this matter with one of the investigators, he advised me that he requested the search warrant to be issued for both locations, but he was successful in obtaining only having the search warrant for the former residence.

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OCCK

Ex Parte proceedings do not require you to give any notice to interested parties. Section 9 of the search warrant statute regarding warrant suppression orders allows the Oakland County Prosecutor to obtain the search warrant suppression order without notice to any other persons or their attorneys.

When the Oakland County Prosecutor filed the Motion for Entry of the Clarification of the October 20, 2008 original order of suppression, her office knew of my pending FOIA cases against the Michigan State Police and the Oakland County Prosecutor. The comments to Rule 3.3 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct contain the following instructions regarding the obligation of an attorney in ex parte proceedings:

“Ordinarily, an advocate has the limited responsibility of presenting one side of the matters that a tribunal should consider in reaching a decision; the conflicting position is expected to be presented by the opposing party. However, in an ex parte proceeding, such as an application for a temporary restraining order, there is no balance of presentation by opposing advocates. The object of an ex parte proceeding is nevertheless to yield a substantially just result. The judge has an affirmative responsibility to accord the absent party just consideration. The lawyer for the represented party has the correlative duty to make disclosures of material facts that are known to the lawyer and that the lawyer reasonably believes are necessary to an informed decision.”

When I was given access to the court file on April 1, 2013, I noticed the motion filed by the Oakland County prosecutor was not supported by an affidavit. When I ordered a transcript of the proceeding, I was advised that there was no hearing. I will discuss my concerns over a court saying orders without a supporting testimony in the following chapters.

What did the Oakland County Prosecutor tell Judge Kimberly Small? If you were served with a suppression court order suspending your driver’s license and could not obtain any background information on the entry of the order, I assume you would be as disturbed as I am about the legal basis of the Order. It bothers me more as a lawyer than as a father. Am I entitled to an explanation? How did the OCP obtain this order without competent testimony?

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OCCK

In order to obtain the April 29, 2011 suppression orders from the 48th district court, the accompanying Ex Parte Motion to Clarify Order of Suppression of the October 28, 2008 search warrant and affidavit filed by the Oakland County Prosecutor states as follows:

4. That this Court has issued sixteen orders continuing the suppression of the search warrant and affidavit in this matter. The last issued March 23, 2011, and to continue to in force to May 18, 2011.

The expiration date on the fifteenth Order of Suppression expired on March 7, 2011, 840 days after October 28, 2009 Search Warrant Affidavit was issued. The sixteenth Order was not issued until March 23, 2011. Obviously, one or more of the 15 orders of suppression were issued after the expiration date of a 56 day period. Whenever the first order was not renewed within the 56 day period it can no longer be suppressed. This occurred all subsequent orders of suppression were improperly entered. The statute contains no provisions allowing the prosecutor to obtain ex parte orders once the 56 day renewal period is breached. Is my interpretation correct? Did the Oakland County Prosecutor advise the 48th district court of this interpretation when the order was entered?

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OCCK

In my 57 years of practice, I have no criminal law experience except for a few drunk driving cases early in my career. The Michigan Search Warrant Statute came to my attention when the Oakland County Prosecutor presented the April 29, 2011 orders in both my Michigan State Police and Oakland County Prosecutor FOIA lawsuits. The Order stated basically that no one could have access to the Busch search warrant file in the 48th District Court for the search of the former Christopher Busch residence on October 28, 2008.

The last sentence of Section 9 of the Michigan Search Warrant Statute (Act 189 of 1966) specifically provides that the suppression orders authorized by the statute do not apply in FOIA cases:

(9) On the fifty-sixth day following the issuance of a search warrant, the search warrant affidavit contained in any court file or court record retention system is public information unless, before the fifty-sixth day after the search warrant is issued, a peace officer or prosecuting attorney obtains a suppression order from a judge or district court magistrate upon a showing under oath that suppression of the affidavit is necessary to protect an ongoing investigation or the privacy or safety of a victim or witness. The suppression order may be obtained ex parte in the same manner that the search warrant was issued. An initial suppression order issued under this subsection expires on the fifty-sixth day after the order is issued. A second or subsequent suppression order may be obtained in the same manner as the initial suppression order and shall expire on a date specified in the order. This subsection and subsection (8) do not affect a person’s right to obtain a copy of a search warrant affidavit from the prosecuting attorney or law enforcement agency under the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246. MCL 780.651 (9)

SECTION 9 SPECIFICALLY STATES IT DOES NOT APPLY TO MY FOIA CASES AND BOTH THE OAKLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR AND THE 48TH DISTRICT COURT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY REFUSED TO DISCUSS THIS ASPECT OF MY CASE WITH ME.

In addition, Section 9 of the Michigan Search Warrant Statue also contains language suppressing the access to Search Warrant and Search Warrant Affidavits. All of the Search Warrant information is suppressed for 56 days. If the prosecutor wants to extend it beyond 56 days it must file a renewal order within the previous 56 day period. If no 56 day renewal order is entered the information is available to the public on the 57th day. The Statute does not contain any language allowing any public body to file subsequent suppression orders after the first 56 day period expires. I will discuss this further in chapter 11.

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OCCK

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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